Inaugural North American Championship Serves as Final Test for IC37 Teams
Savvy tourists have known for years that early fall is the best time to visit Newport. The summer crowds and humidity are significantly diminished. And those who time the visit just right are rewarded with the magical combination of sparkling, warm, sunny days and crisp evenings.
The nearly 200 competitors flooding into town for the inaugural IC37 North Americans, however, are more focused on a different type of serendipity, the sort that happens when practiced boatspeed, solid tactics and the benevolence of the wind gods combine to produce a winning scoreline in a major championship.
“We are looking forward to this event,” said John Brim, who will lead his Rima37 team into the regatta, “Our crew comes from many places, and everyone looks forward to getting together for a long weekend in Newport and one final event of the season.”
The IC37 North American Championship will be hosted by the New York Yacht Club Harbour Court in Newport, R.I., from October 1 to 3. The regatta is the final event of the summer 2021 IC37 regatta calendar and will feature 17 Corinthian teams battling for top honors through eight scheduled races on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay. The IC37 class was created by the New York Yacht Club to promote one-design competition for amateur sailors. The high-performance 37-foot keelboat was designed by Mark Mills, and strict class rules ensure the most-level playing field in big-boat sailing. The class’s inaugural North American Championship is sponsored by Cadre, Hammetts Hotel, Safe Harbor Marinas and Helly Hansen.
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Due to the weather-related cancellation of the New York Yacht Club One-Design Regatta in late August, the IC37 fleet hasn’t gathered on a starting line in more than two months. Every team will need to shake off the rust inherent in any long layoff. A number of teams will also need to incorporate new crew members. After a long season of regattas, the realities of family and work commitments have mandated more than a few substitutions.
Brim’s Rima37 crew (at left) is one of the luckier ones, with all but one crew member from the team’s runner-up finish in the National Championship in July returning for this regatta. The skipper is hoping they can carry forward the lessons learned earlier in the season.
“We felt that our team really came together in the Nationals, especially the coordination between main trim, runners and driver,” said Brim. “It seems to me that the leading boats in the IC37 class have become more refined in their trim and are sailing a little higher upwind without losing pace, and are also able to make small soaks downwind while still maintaining speed. It’s a game of very small adjustments at this point.”
Other teams to watch out for include Bill Ruh’s Pacific Yankee, the two-time national champions; Members Only, which finished third in July’s National Championship; and Commodore Christopher J. Culver’s Blazer II, which recently took fifth in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Invitational Cup.
Cadre Hosts Regatta BBQ & Weather Briefings
Aside from good sailing conditions, there are two things sailors value above all else: solid weather forecasts and a good post-race party. The New York Yacht Club Regatta Association is pleased that Cadre, a technology-enabled commercial real estate investing platform, will be supplying both for the IC37 North American Championship.
Cadre’s support of the event will include hosting the Saturday evening competitor barbecue, a weather seminar on Thursday night and weather briefings on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings with US Sailing Team meteorologist Chelsea Carlson. Cadre will join season-long Regatta Association partners Safe Harbor Marinas, Hammetts Hotel and Helly Hansen as official sponsors of the IC37 North American Championship.
Racing in the IC37 North American Championship will conclude on Sunday, October 3, with an awards party at Harbour Court.