22 Sail Newport Newport Regatta Recap
38 Years Running!

This past weekendʻs Sail Newport Newport Regatta again proved why Newportʻs City-by-the-Sea is synonymous with sailing.  Competitors experienced what has made Newport a sailing capital of the world – warm summer weather, brilliant sunshine, challenging conditions,  and sailing on the spectacular deep blue Narragansett Bay.

The annual Newport Regatta has been running for 38 years and has always been a “must do” East Coast regatta.  The local and visiting sailors in Newport have a combined passion for sailing like few other places. 

Although smaller than in yearʻs past, sailors from several countries and from 12 U.S. states entered the regatta. The sailing community as a whole is increasingly building back to pre-COVID participation levels. Next year, the Newport regatta will again include multiple dinghy classes which had been moved to an August stand-alone event to follow state guidelines for sporting events and socials.

On the first day of the regatta, July 9, the IC 37 fleet started racing in a 10-12 knot northerly breeze on their course off of Brenton Point. The competitive IC 37 fleet showed tight racing early on and continued with close mark roundings and finishes for most of the regatta.

The IC 37 team of co-skippers Hannah Swett/Benjamin Kinney (New York, NY) and crew won the regatta with their core team who have been together for four years.

After a tough first start, when they tacked shy of the layline and hit the weather mark losing critical time executing a penalty circle, Swett, however, “focused the team past that and forward to winning each race” she said.

“We had an open mind to what we had to do well – sail as well as we could, we never focused on certain boats or who to beat, we just focused on being a good team,” she adds.

With great starts, Swett added, tactician Victor Diaz-de-Leon (Miami, FL) had us in “the right place at the right time.”

The “Members Only” winning crew also included Martha Fortin (Middletown, RI), Brian Fox (NY, NY), James Hacket (Portsmouth, RI), Linda Lindquist-Bishop (Newport, RI), Joan Porter (Tiverton, RI), Julia Reynolds (Southport, CT), and Whit Rugg (Middletown, RI).

Kenahan Takes First Race

A seasoned one-design sailor,  but new to the IC 37 fleet, Chuck Kenahan (Newport, RI) and his team onboard “Mahalo” scored the first win of the regatta. Steve Liebel (Tampa, FL) on “New Wave” finished second, and the Sertl family (Cory, Mark, Katja, and Nicholas) and crew (Jamestown, RI) “Das Blau Max” slipped over the finish line to score third place.

During Race 2, most of the fleet tacked onto port soon after the start. The few that held on starboard made for a noticeable gap at the first windward rounding, one of the few times over the weekend the fleet was spread out.

For those IC 37s teams that went left and held after the start, they hit payday. Kinney/ Swett of “Members Only” came in first, Steve Liebel won second place again, and Peter McClennen (Newport, RI) finished in third place on “Gamecock.”

The breeze continued to build out of the Southeast for Race 3.  The Kinney/Swett Team posted another win, Terry McLaughlin (Toronto, ON, CAN) tucked “Defiant” into second place, and the Sertl family and crew placed third.

“Das Blau Max” Leads After Day 1

At the end of racing on Day 1, The Sertls held first place with 12 points. Mclaughlin was only one point behind in second place overall, and Libel rounded out the top three.

Racing “North of the Bridge”

“Surf Club” Monopolizes F-18 Fleet Saturday and Doesnʻt Stop

Michel Easton (Burlington, MA) on the F 18 “Surf Club” had a strong day with three first-place wins and a third. He was in first place after Saturdayʻs four races, continued to dominate on Sunday and would go on to win the regatta.

Kaleigh Morgan (Barrington, RI) was only a few points in second and would closely hunt Easton for the rest of the regatta, eventually winning second place overall on “Savasanaasa.”  Todd Riccardi (Swampscott, MA) on “Fly Tradewind” posted three second-places but had a costly ninth for Race 1(Did not Start) but would place third overall in the fleet.  

Big Turnout for Competitive VX One Fleet

In the VX One Fleet of 23-boats strong, Doug Clark (Mystic, CT) on “Sideshow” led the regatta after Race Day 1 after three races for the fleet. The Ensign fleet finished three.

In the Ensign Class, Dennis Mclaughlin (Mattapoisett, MA) skippered “Hamburglar” to first place in the fleet. The standings showed the next three boats tied with 10 points each, including Tina Clark (Marion, MA) on “Brou ha ha,” Michael Macina (North Stonington, CT) on “Firebird,” and David Hall (Mansfield, MA) on “Nightwind.”

Day 2 – Smart Early Start

Day two started early as the race committee wisely gathered all fleets early to take advantage of a Northerly. The F 18s, VX Ones, and Ensigns started racing early North of the bridge and the IC 37 Class again went to the ocean. T

The IC 37 Class added three races on Sunday.  The F 18s finished two more races, the VX Ones added two races to the series and the Ensigns completed one last race.

For Race 4 and 5, the wind held 11-14 knots from the North/Northeast. The IC 37 fleet had a very aggressive start and remained tight at all mark roundings. 

After a big shift came, a Southeasterly breeze filled to 7 to 9 knots, and Race 6 was started quickly. The final race proved critical as the fleet needed a total of six races to discard their worst score and shuffle upwards in the final standings.

Clark Goes Wire to Wire For the Win

“It was challenging racing, nothing is a given, and you have to work hard,” says VX One sailor Clark on “Sideshow” in the Division 2 racing in Potters Cove.

“We were winning the last race at every mark until the wind died,” he said. “A number of boats caught us but we still managed to win the regatta.”

Clark raced with crew Tim Desmond (Stonington,  CT) for the first time together in the Newport Regatta.  Clark, however, is a 25-year veteran of the Newport Regatta, having competed in the J/24, J/70, ILCA, and other one-design classes. Desmond is the current Viper 640 North American Champion.

The VX One team of John Porter (Savanah, GA) and Patrick York (Sewell, NJ) won second place.  Canadian sailors Geoffrey Moore, Sheridan McLelland and Josh Yale on “The Far Side” won third place in the class. 

2023 Newport Regatta to Combine Over a Dozen Classes

The Newport Regatta will take place July 7-9, 2023, which will be Sail Newportʻs 39th year of running the signature event. The nonprofit sailing center also runs instructional programs, events, a public school fourth-grade program, sailing clinics, and major marine events, including the return of The Ocean Race in May of 2023.

“Iʻm always impressed that Sail Newport can run a world-class regatta and at the same time teach all the fourth graders and people how to sail. The breadth of what Sail Newport does is astounding, and weʻre thrilled to be a part of it,” adds Swett.

Contact: Kim Cooper, Marketing Director

Saturday Recap, July 9

Division I
The Newport Regatta started today with a six to eight-knot north/northeasterly breeze on the offshore course off Brenton Point. For most of the day, the competitive IC 37 fleet showed tight racing and tight finishes even in changing conditions.

Race 1 started on time in a shifty northerly. Most boats selected the left, but a strong current from the right side of the course combined for an interesting start. Peter Cummiskeyʻs (Greenwich, CT) “Ursa Minor” was over early but quickly cleared. Phil Lotzʻs (Newport, RI) “Arethusa” started a bit late at the signal vessel but caught four boats during the 1.2-nautical mile course.

An avid sailor, but new to the fleet, Chuck Kenahan (Newport, RI), and his team onboard “Mahalo” grabbed the first win of the regatta. Steve Liebel (Tampa, FL) on “New Wave” finished second, and the Sertl family (Jamestown, RI) “Das Blau Max” slipped over the finish line to score third place.

Race 2
During the starting sequence of Race Two, there was a significant right shift, and the race committee halted the start with an AP. The race was restarted with the expectation of a big swing to the east expected in the afternoon. All boats were clear at the start of the race with a 130 direction.

Most of the fleet tacked onto port soon after the start. The few that held on starboard created a significant gap noticeable at the first windward rounding.

During the first downwind leg, RC posted Charlie at their gate, signaling a shortened course to the next weather mark.

However, those who went left and held after the start hit the payday. First, second, and third-place finishers in the order of Benjamin Kinney/Hannah Swett (New York, NY), MO, Steve Liebel, winning second place again, and Peter McClennen (Newport, RI) in third place on Gamecock.

Race 3
For Race 3, the breeze swung to a southeasterly and increased to about ten knots. The Kinney/Swett Team posted another win, Terry McLaughlin tucked in second place, and the Sertl family and crew placed third.

At the end of racing today, The Sertls holds first place with 12 points, only one point behind is Terry Mclaughlin in second place overall, and Steve Libel is only one point behind Mclaughlin with 14 points.

Division II
Three classes of boats raced in the Potters Cove area, including F-18, VX One, and Ensigns. The first race started in a 3-5 knot northerly with barely enough wind to start a race. All three classes completed Race 1.

For Race 2, F-18s were able to start, but the wind quickly shut off and delayed the start for the VX One and Ensigns.

After a 25-minute AP delay, the breeze swung around to a southerly, and the wind settled in with 8-10 knots.

Michel Easton (Burlington, MA) on “Surf club” had a strong day with three first places and a third. He is overall in first place in the F-18 Fleet going into racing on Day 2.

Kaleigh Morgan (Barrington, RI) is only a few points and hunting first place with a 1,2, and two thirds landing her in second place overall. Todd Riccardi (Swampscott, MA) on “Fly Tradewind” posted three second-places but has a costly Ninth for Race 1 – but that will likely be his drop.

The VX One Fleet of 23 boats has several familiar faces at the top of the chart after the first day of racing.

Co-Skippers Phip Hallowell (Middletown, RI). and Chuck Brown (Newport, RI) on “Chuck Wagon is in first place with 10.5 points. Only a half a point behind “Chuck Wagon” is Doug Clark (Mystic, CT) on “Sideshow.” Kevin Northrop (Fairhope, AL) skippering “Arrested Development” is tied with Clark, with 11 points.

In the Ensign Class, Dennis Mclaughlin (Mattapoisett, MA) is in first place, and the next three boats are tied with 10 points each, including Tina Clark (Marion, MA) on “Brou ha ha,” Michael Macina (North Stonington, CT) on “Firebird” and David Hall (Mansfield, MA) on
“Nightwind.”

The F-18s finished four races, and the VX One and Ensign fleets finished three races today.

Racing starts tomorrow one hour earlier to capture the forecasted early northerly.

Full Results