(Newport, RI) After an ideal weekend of racing at Cedar Point Yacht Club on Long Island Sound, three J/109s made the quick turn-around for the second leg of the 2021 East Coast Regatta Series at the New York Yacht Club 167th Annual Regatta in Newport, RI over June 11-13. The regatta is three days, which include a race around Conanicut Island on Friday and two days of buoy racing on Saturday and Sunday. In past years, the J/109s fielded their own class, but with only three in 2021, Leading Edge, Vento Solare, and Growth Spurt sailed in ORC E, but were scored as a sub-class for class purposes.
For Friday’s race around Conanicut Island, the fleet had bright sunshine and about 10 knots from the Southeast. John Greifzu, Jr.’s Growth Spurt jumped out to an early lead on the upwind/reach to Beavertail at the southern end of the island, but Tom Sutton’s Leading Edge passed by setting the spinnaker first. On the east side of the island, Bill Kneller’s Vento Solare was able to stay in the breeze outside the lee of Dutch Island and pulled into second. The J109s compressed completely by the time the fleet passed the northern tip of the island and it was anyone’s race . Leading Edge hooked into some pressure and a lift on the east side of the beat to the finish while Growth Spurt and Vento Solare stayed west, and Leading Edge legged out from there and finished the race first in 03:08:46. Growth Spurt was second and Vento Solare was third.
On Saturday, after a long AP, the fleet completed one race in 4-5 knots of SSE breeze. Leading Edge played the puffs and the current well and took that race by a wide margin. On Sunday, Newport delivered a perfect, building SW sea breeze and the J/109’s circle completed three races. Vento Solare won the first race in 12 knots of breeze, and finished the day with two more seconds in 13-16 knots. Leading Edge went 2,1,1 on Sunday and that was enough for the regatta win. Leading Edge has the appropriate signal flags Foxtrot, Romeo, Bravo on their shirt logos where at the bar you might hear them referred to as that “Fast Red Boat”, or other appropriate descriptive adjectives.
Some drone footage and stills taken by Vento Solare crew member Roland Hansen during the regatta is available at this link.
Next up, these three boats will meet up with 11 more J/109s in Block Island for the East Coast Championship June 21-25.