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Skoot Wins North American Championship

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The Sag Harbor-based Skoot  won last week's J/109 North American Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.

The Sag Harbor-based Skoot won last week’s J/109 North American Championship in Newport, Rhode Island.

By Gavin Menu

Sag Harbor’s Breakwater Yacht Club was well represented at the 2014 New York Yacht Club Race Week in Newport, Rhode Island, last week with captain Jim Vos and his crew sailing Skoot to victory in the J/109 division.

The victory came with an added and significant honor since the event doubled as the J/109 North American Championship.

“We are elated, but we’re not going to gloat, because there are some very good boats that had a tough day today,” Vos said in a release, giving a nod to his tactician, Danny Cameron, a resident of Sayville who helped bring Skoot from behind to claim victory. “The J/109 fleet is stronger now than it has ever been, so if you’re behind at any point during a race it is very hard to come back. The outcome could have gone many ways this week.”

Caminos, another boat based out of Breakwater and captained by Donald Filippelli, finished second overall in the event, which consisted of nine separate races over a three-day period from July 17 to19. Caminos finished first in four of the nine races, but fell short of the championship after finishing toward the bottom in two of the last three races.

Skoot, by comparison, had just one victory but was steady across all three days, finishing no worse than sixth in all but one of the nine races.

“You can’t afford to have too many bad races,” Cameron said when reached by phone on Tuesday. “It’s not about finishing first. In these regattas, especially if there’s enough good boats, if you can have your average around 4 or 5, you’re going to do well.”

Skoot and Caminos, which are both based out of the Breakwater Yacht Club, finished first and second in last week's J/109 North American Championship.

Skoot and Caminos, both based out of the Breakwater Yacht Club, finished first and second in last week’s J/109 North American Championship.

Skoot finished with a score of 39, representing the total of its finishes in all nine races (4.3 average). Caminos was second with  43 points (4.8 average) and Emoticon, captained by Jonathan Rechtschaffer, finished third with 44 points (4.9 average). Emoticon won three of the first five races, but finished 11th, 10th and 7th in the final three to fade back into third place in the overall standings.

Three other J/109’s out of Sag Harbor also competed, with Greg Ames and Steve Kenny sailing Gossip to an eighth-place finish, William Rogers sailing Big Boat to ninth and Ray Pepi sailing Cleo to 13th overall.

The race was held at the New York Yacht Club’s Harbour Court clubhouse in Newport, and featured entrants from as far away as Great Britain, Italy and Switzerland.

Cameron on Tuesday credited the crew of Skoot with an outstanding performance over the three-day event.  Liz Joyce, Luke Babcock and Brett Morgan, all of Sag Harbor, Chris Mangieri of East Hampton, Jim Ryan from the North Fork and Madeline Clarke of Indiana helped accomplish what Cameron described as “one of the biggest accomplishments in sailing I’ve ever had.” He also praised Vos, who was at the helm and graciously gave Cameron the “trophy” Rolex watch after the races had ended.

“We had long days, leaving the dock at 10 a.m. and not coming back in until 7:30 at night,” Cameron said. “Staying on the wheel for that amount of time is exhausting, and Jim did a great job.

“Everyone performed extremely well,” he added. “If all the pieces aren’t all there, there’s no way you’re going to win.”

The crew aboard Skoot.

The crew aboard Skoot.

Alliance Wins Sag Harbor Cup

 Meanwhile back home in Sag Harbor, Breakwater hosted its annual Sag Harbor Cup regatta with a smaller fleet because of the race in Newport. Stephen Guyer sailed Alliance to victory with a corrected time of 3 hours 33 minutes and 27 seconds, besting last year’s winner, Osprey, by nearly 12 minutes.

Captain George Martin brought Osprey across the line with a corrected time of 3:45:01 while Dan Montero, aboard Gracious, finished third in 3:51:56.

New York Yacht Club Races Off Gardiner’s Bay

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web NY YC

by Raymond M. Pride

The New York Yacht Club visited Sag Harbor’s home waters Thursday and Friday on the Club’s 153rd Annual Cruise. The cruise started and will finish at the NYYC’s grand seaside Newport Club House, Harbour Court,

The NYYC fleet was so large that yachts had to disburse Thursday night among local harbors, anchoring in West Neck Harbor, Sag Harbor, Coecles Harbor and outside of Shelter Island Yacht Club’s Deering Harbor.

Over 100 yachts, of all ages and sizes participated, from the 1914 vintage 93 foot Sumrun owned by local resident Bob Towbin to George David’s out-of-the-box 90-foot, Reichel/Pugh-designed Rambler  (shown above bearing down on this reporter’s boat). Thursday’s race sent the racing yachts from Shelter Island back through Gardiner’s Bay and east to Stonington CT.

The NYYC was founded in 1844 and is one of the oldest yacht clubs in America. The Sag Harbor Yacht Club was founded in 1899 but is dated back further to the Cove and Bay Fleet of the 1860’s. The white SHYC Club House, visible from Bay Street, was built in 1892 and actually belonged to the NYYC where it was used by members as one of 11 “stations” as they cruised in southern New England. The Club House was later sold to the SHYC in 1913 and moved from Shelter Island to its present location. Local yachting organizations in Sag Harbor sponsor also hold numerous sailing events; many are viewed from the Bridge and start in and around the entrance to the Breakwater. The Breakwater YC’s Wednesday night races often have 30 or more local boats on the starting line between May 1st thru October 1st providing exciting and varied courses for the novice or expert sailor. The BYC also sponsors Pierson HS’s sailing team as well as providing sailing instruction to local youths. They will hold their Annual Regatta, the Sag Harbor Cup on Saturday, August 15th racing around Shelter Island. The Sag Harbor YC will hold their ANNUAL MAYCROFT CUP SAILBOAT REGATTA on September 26 in Shelter Island Sound. For more information on sailing visit the Breakwater and Sag Harbor Yacht Clubs on line.