NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta

July 15th-20th, 2019

Four Gunboats participated in the New York Yacht Club’s celebratory 175th Anniversary Regatta, with 5 days of racing and an entire week of on-shore celebrations. For a few years now Gunboats have been an established part of the scene at the New York Yacht Club and we love seeing the fast carbon cats intermingled with classics and monohulls in the big spectacular scene that takes place on Narragansett Bay.

Gunboat 57 VAIVAI – Gunboat 60 FAULT TOLERANT – Gunboat 60 FLOW – Gunboat 68 CONDOR

Over the five days of racing, the fleet sailed mostly windward-leeward Navigator’s courses, with the exception of a point-to-point course with some nice reaching legs for the last two races of the week. The wind was generally light in the morning with a freshening sea breeze building in the afternoons, providing varying conditions nearly every day that tested tactics and brought on lots of lead changes and boat crossings.

“In one race we had three different lead changes, with three different boats, from three different designers…and that just shows that it’s great fun racing these boats, and how engaged the class is despite the variety,” recapped Spike Abram.

Along with the boat-on-boat action and the battle for line honors, our fleet of multis ranging from 57-68 ft raced under the MultiRule/ORCmh, which the Offshore Multihull Association explains “seeks to use large data sets, modern polar curve refinement methods and PCS scoring to establish ratings and scoring across multihulls of varied performance characteristics.”

So the fleet sailing was exciting in its own right, and the regatta results based on the Multirule meant each Gunboat with her best performance had the chance to take the win.

While the NYYC clocked 175 years, the new Gunboat 68 CONDOR made her racing debut. In a fun collaboration, the core of team Bronco along with ex-Elvis pros Anthony Kotoun and Scotty Bradford joined CONDOR’s owners and crew, along with Spike Abram on behalf of Gunboat. A lot of cooks in the kitchen? On the contrary, they had a blast being the first group to get to put the Gunboat 68 through her paces out on a race course! The team set out to learn the boat, execute clean maneuvers, and try out different modes – with an eye on confidently owning line honors by the end of the week. The week played out like a crescendo, with line honors in the last three races and winning on OMR corrected time in the final race as well.

Click to read more about Gunboat 68 CONDOR in the NYYC 175th Anniversary Regatta.

Winners of the Multihull class in this same event last year, Gunboat 60 FAULT TOLERANT came out swinging, but a few errors in execution amassed a series of setbacks. …That’s racing! This Corinthian friends and family program is no slack on the race course, and this is certainly not a plea for sympathy – when race performance doesn’t come together the social gathering is already locked-n-loaded on board the good ship FT, who has earned her reputation as a host-with-the-most vessel!

In another collaboration, Gunboat 57 VAIVAI powered by Rigging Projects chartered this custom, performance-optimized 57-footer and nearly won the event! VAIVAI punches seriously above her weight – then add experienced owner-drivers, the go-fast man Paul Larsen, the navigating brains of Helena Darvelid and the core of the Rigging Projects team. At times VaiVai found her way to the front even as the smallest boat in the fleet, and when bringing up the back of the fleet they didn’t miss a beat observing the leaders and seeing how they could gain even more.

Read Scott Gray’s or Paul Larsen’s accounts of VAIVAI in the NYYC anniversary regatta, and take the virtual reality tour of VAIVAI on our website.

But it was Gunboat 60 FLOW who held off the competition for the overall win in the Multihull class. They’re a tough act to beat with slick teamwork and steadfast boat handling by an owner and crew who have raced together for a long time and really don’t miss a beat! Performance upgrades and her ultra-light weight make Flow one fast cat who can keep up with – and sometimes catch up with – her bigger sisters on the race course.  The experienced owner-driver and crew know exactly where they want to be on the course, expertly swap sails at the drop of a knot, and get the most of the 12-ft daggerboards for optimal stability and performance. She’s a capable hull-flyer in very capable hands. Catch her if you can.

The week ended with FLOW in 1st place and VaiVai in 2nd place on the podium…this time! The cats are already discussing Caribbean events for the rematch – for the camaraderie, fun, and adventures as well as the exciting racing.

Photos by Billy Black

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