White Wings Wins Day One Of Newport Bucket Regatta 2010
The 2010 Newport Bucket Regatta was launched in a Carnival Atmosphere on Friday evening with three significant splashes. Our Ratings Guru, Jim Teeters, Charlie Dana, our host at Newport Shipyard and race director Hank Halsted, were sacrificed to the “dunk tank” where amid cheers and laughter they were dumped one by one, into the tank with our guest juggler, fire thrower and stilt walker entertaining the crew all the while. With light wind forecast for the weekend, the Skippers meeting also called for a special tribute to our patron God, Neptune, wherein all in attendance served up a toast of vintage Calvados – with a tot into the sea, and a hearty cheer for the wind gods.
Unfortunately, six of sixteen yachts which were entered in the regatta were forced in the past week to withdraw for a bizarre set of circumstances involving two serious engine problems, a cruising permit issue, a death in a family and a couple other disabling events. Regardless, ten boats arrived at the starting line, five “Grandes Dames” and five “Gazelles” filled the cruising and racing classes.
Saturday was a sparkling fall day with a brisk 15 knot northerly blowing in the morning, forecast to diminish substantially. The starting line was well recognizable, with magnificent 160′ Trinity Motoryacht, VITA, as committee boat, loaned to the Bucket by the Owner of J Class, RANGER. Thank you John!! The two classes sailed courses of 14 and 19 miles respectively, from the same start to the same finish, with reasonably close racing within the classes.
Even sailing the extra five miles, the Gazelles dominated the day with the W 76, WHITE WINGS finishing first in class and overall, a minute and a half ahead of the classic 12 Meter, EASTERNER, driven by Paul Callahan, director of the “Sail to Prevail Foundation” which uses sailing as an instructional format for the handicapped. HANUMAN, the J Boat by Royal Huisman Shipyard finished third.
Among the Grandes Dames, the Royal Huisman 169′ Schooner, METEOR won her class by over five minutes, having sailed a tactically beautiful race. The yacht is simply, a visual feast! PALAWAN, the Little Harbor 75′ Sloop finished second with AURELIUS, the 77′ Modern Classic Dykstra design sloop, in third.
In sum, this was a perfect fall day of sailing off Newport with sun, crisp breezes that never died, thanks to our patron, Neptune, and a good time had by all!