(all photos Rolex/Daniel Forster)
Newport, RI – In seven races scored among ten teams spread in three classes, Jim Swartz’s TP 52 Vesper won overall in HPR scoring at New York YC Race Week presented by Rolex. Supported by a solid veteran team, Swartz amassed an impressive scorecard to include four firsts and create a margin of victory over runner-up Franck Noel’s TP 52 Near Miss of 9 points. Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek HPR 40 Spookie was another 3 points back to finish in third place overall.
The event this year was intended as four days of racing, but Day One was cancelled due to the threat of storms in the Newport area. The remaining three days had a mixture of windward-leeward course racing and courses NYYC described as “stadium courses” which had the fleet transiting around marks throughout Narragansett Bay, within sight of the shore and shore-based spectators. In the light afternoon seabreezes, conditions ranged from 6 to 12 knots.
Vesper tactician Gavin Brady commented on the stadium course formats: “What the New York YC has done this year with the course format is quite brilliant, and it adds a whole new dynamic to racing. Having shorter courses closer to shore is so important because people watch, and it brings interest to the sport; it is an absolute must for the future of sailing. Having the Race Committee switch up the race format each day also makes it quite exciting. Normally during a regatta, you race on the same course every day, but for this event we don’t know what we will be faced with until the morning of racing, so we have to be prepared for anything.”
Using a clever method of calculating the corrected seconds/mile for each race, HPR dual scoring was achieved across three classes at the event who raced courses of different lengths. This allowed boats to be scored against each other in a wide range of sizes, from the TP 52’s in Class 1 to two new sportboats making their competitive debut at the event in Class 3: Max Buerman’s new C&C 30 Thirty and Sandra Askew’s Farr 280 Flying Jenny.
Complete HPR results can be found at the event website: http://www.nyyc.org/images/pdf/2014_Race_Week/part_2/2014_rw_hpr_results.pdf.