On September 13, the Atlantic Class was invited to participate for the first time in the annual Classic Yacht Regatta held by Indian Harbor Yacht Club. Seven boats made the trip to Greenwich, CT, for the event, which was a convenient stopping-off point for the Janeway Series across the Sound the following weekend.
This was a day to remember. First, we watched in awe as a group of large yachts thundered across the start line, including Spartan, a beautifully restored 72ft gaff-rigged New York 50; Black Watch, an S&S 68ft yawl which is a sister to the famous Bolero; and the 72ft Herreshoff ketch Ticonderoga. Fitting company for our classic Atlantics.
In 15-18 knots of wind, we were the third class to start, sharing the line with five Herreshoff S-Boats. After a short weather leg, the course took us on a close fetch for five miles across Long Island Sound to a buoy just west of Oyster Bay. The seven Atlantics kept pretty close, but soon left the older S-Boats behind. Another short weather leg was followed by a wonderful fast spinnaker reach back toward the mainland shore, of the kind that Atlantics used to enjoy before the days of windward-leeward courses.
Aboard Frank Sparks's newly-acquired A30 Blue Dahlia, we held on to a narrow lead with two boats breathing down our necks, until on the final spinnaker reach to the finish line when the brummel hook on our spinnaker guy exploded, so we had to drop the sail with no time to recover. Stephen Jay in Alliance (A148) and Leighton Lee in Vesper (A149) swept past to take first and second places. The first four were from four different fleets.
We had hoped to return in 2015, but unfortunately this year it clashes with our Nationals at Cold Spring Harbor. In 2014 the sailing was great, IHYC members were exceedingly generous with their hospitality, and the parties were a blast. If there's no conflict in 2016 and you get the chance to do it--do it! — GG