THE WAY WE WERE

1971 STEPHEN LIRAKIS, JACK CUMMISKEY, MARTHA SMITH, RICHARD S NYE, CHRIS WICK
1971 STEPHEN LIRAKIS, JACK CUMMISKEY, MARTHA SMITH, RICHARD B. NYE, CHRIS WICK

 

This photo remains one of my favorites. A memory, a happy one; taken with a polaroid camera. I do not remember who took it.

We were in Harwichport at David Steere’s house. He was the owner of “Yankee Girl”, which along with “American Eagle” and our boat “Carina” were leaving the following day to sail to Cowes for the Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet Race. It was 1971. My good friend Mickey Spillaine was the pro on “Yankee Girl” and Joe Kennedy was his mate along with John Scott, a classmate from St. George’s.

We crossed the atlantic in 14 days, as I remember, we beat “Yankee Girl” and American Eagle” boat for boat by a day. They sailed a more southerly and warmer route.

This was before GPS. We navigated by sextant and dead reckoning. Crossing the Grand Banks in the cold and fog we had not had a fix in days. Dead reckoning put us about 20 miles south of  Sable Island. I was off watch when I felt something strange, we were running with a spinnaker at about 8 knots. My immediate thought was that we were going ashore on Sable Island. I leapt out of my bunk and headed on deck when there was a second bump.  I arrived on deck in time to see a whale pop up astern.

 

 

EVER CHANGING SHAPE OF SPEED

SHAPES OF SPEED 2
SHAPES OF SPEED 2
SHAPES OF SPEED
SHAPES OF SPEED
RAGAMUFFIN AT THE NEEDLES
RAGAMUFFIN AT THE NEEDLES
AMERICAN EAGLE REACHING THROUGH THE ANCHORAGE
AMERICAN EAGLE REACHING THROUGH THE ANCHORAGE
UFFA FOX AND COWSLIP
UFFA FOX AND COWSLIP
DICK CARTER AND RED ROOSTER
DICK CARTER AND RED ROOSTER
THE GRAND PRIZE "THE ADMIRAL'S CUP"
THE GRAND PRIZE “THE ADMIRAL’S CUP”
THE NEW BENCHMARK
THE NEW BENCHMARK
SPEEDBOAT
SPEEDBOAT
VOLVO 70
VOLVO 70

Every sailor wants a boat that is faster than his opponent. An edge that allows for errors in judgment. The achievement has been interrupted often because of rating rules; which attempt to make unequal boats equal. The disparity has now grown to a point where it is silly. Not that it was ever perfect.

Uffa Fox sitting on the upper balcony of his house in Cowes watching over the boats returning from a day’s racing, worked towards planing hulls, light and strong.

Dick Carter, so well known for fast boats that two of his designs were chosen for Admiral’s Cup teams before they were finished; i.e. untested.

Süd Fischer’s “Ragamuffin” , for me was not only the fastest of her time but the best sailed.

The just finished America’s Cup has changed the paradigm of the search for speed under sail.

CARINA DAY

ORIGINAL LINES
ORIGINAL LINES
FATHER AND SON
FATHER AND SON
RICHARD B. NYE
RICHARD B. NYE
AUDIENCE
AUDIENCE
REEVES POTTS AND KIT WILL
REEVES POTTS AND KIT WILL
4TH OF JULY 1969
4TH OF JULY 1969
THE "NEW" CARINA
THE “NEW” CARINA
BODIE RHODES, RICHARD B. AND RICHARD S.
BODIE RHODES, RICHARD B. AND RICHARD S.
CHASING RAGAMUFFIN 1969
CHASING RAGAMUFFIN 1969

Today was “Carina” Day. In Newport, Reeves Potts and some of his crew spoke of their 2 year campaign. The bookends of the story were two Bermuda race wins. In between were a transatlantic race, the Sydney-Hobart race and an around the world delivery.

At Indian Harbor Yacht Club today was a Memorial service for Richard B. Nye. In a sense, the final chapter of the legacy of “Carina” and the Nye family.

Much has been written about the boat and it’s accomplishments; but perhaps not enough emphasis has been focused on the father and son team that forged that legacy. They worked together and played together a lifetime. That itself is noteworthy.

Reeves Potts, intentionally or not is carrying on that legacy.

RICHARD B. NYE

Richard B. Nye, International Yachtsman and Wall Street Executive, Dies at 81

Richard Barre Nye, a long-time resident of Greenwich CT and recently, Ludlow Vermont, a former Wall Street businessman and avid yachtsman, died peacefully on March 14, 2013 in Norwalk CT at the age of 81.

Richard was born in 1931 in Brooklyn, New York to Richard S. Nye and Florence Evelyn Nye. After the family moved to Greenwich CT, Richard grew up there and attended the Brunswick School before going to Dartmouth College where he received his BA in 1952 and his MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business in 1953.

After graduating from business school, Richard went to work with his father at Georgeson & Company in New York. Together, they made Georgeson one of the nation’s largest and most well regarded proxy solicitation and investor relations firms. Under their leadership, the firm played a key role in many of the nation’s largest corporate takeover battles. Known for its successful communication strategies and its ability to influence shareholders, Georgeson proved adept at both helping clients ward off unwanted “hostile” takeover attempts and acquire companies in “friendly” transactions.

Father and son’s involvement with Georgeson led to their introduction to sailing when on a whim, Richard’s father bought the yacht Vanward from Lloyd Georgeson’s estate. Father and son, with no prior experience, and despite nearly putting Vanward on the rocks their first time out, developed what would become a lifelong love for the sea. Together, they became keen yachtsmen and competitors. In 1947 the Nyes purchased the first of three yachts they would name Carina, the last two custom built to their specifications. For nearly fifty years, they made a formidable team and enjoyed numerous triumphs, including transatlantic races to England, Ireland, Sweden, Germany and Spain , the Newport to Bermuda Race, Admirals Cup team competitions off the Isle of Wight and Fastnet Races along with a myriad of regional and local successes. When not racing, Richard’s passion for being at sea was met while cruising off the coasts of Maine, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland. Ultimately Richard’s love of open water shifted to power boating aboard his beloved Cap’t Ezra Nye.

Richard was proud of his racing successes but he was especially proud of doing so while sailing with family and fellow amateur sailors, especially into the 70s and 80s when professional crews became prevalent. He also delighted in mentoring junior or younger sailors and gave many their first taste of “big boat” sailing. And he was also proud to represent his home club, Indian Harbor Yacht Club, particularly when competing overseas.

In addition to Indian Harbor where he was Commodore from 1992 to 1993, Richard was a member of New York Yacht Club, the Cruising Club of American, Storm Trysail Club, the Royal Ocean Racing Club and US Sailing. Notably, as a US Sailing member, Richard served as chairman of the rules committee for yacht racing in the United States. Richard wrote and published a memoir of his sailing exploits, Home is the Sailor, in 2012.

Richard retired to Vermont in 1995 where he became active in local affairs. He served on the board of Green Mountain College and the Black River Academy Museum, and supported, among others, Vermont Public Radio, the Vermont Historical Society and the Dartmouth Sailing Team.

Richard is survived by his children, Jonathan H. Nye and his wife Karin, Melinda H. Nye, Robert C. Nye and his wife Andrea, William H. Nye and his wife Amber, step-daughter Jennifer Leigh Taylor and her husband Todd, nine grandchildren, his two sisters, Edith Jones and Carolyn Hawe and his first wife Joyce Roper Nye.

Richard was preceded in death by his second wife, Patricia Ann Nye.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the American Parkinson Disease Association, Vermont Chapter, PO Box 2191, South Burlington, VT 05407 (or online at www.parkinsonsvt.org/donations.php) or the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Development Office, 266 Woods Hole Road, Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050 (or online at www.whoi.edu).

………………………………………………………………….

CARINA AND THE NYES

For me, one of the untold stories of “Carina” and the Nye family that is not emphasized enough in the newly released book “Home is the Sailor” is the relationship between father and son. The two Richards worked together and sailed together throughout their lives. This relationship should not be underestimated. Richard acknowledged it to me some years ago when relating the story of the 1979 Fastnet Race. Richard S. was certainly now older and age was taking it’s toll. Conditions are miserable and Richard saw how happy his father was to be at sea. I was witness, like the rest of the crew to other small events that reflected the bond between father and son.

Another story that merits stating because it highlights the philosophy of the “Carina”. A few years ago a friend of mine who happened to work at North Sails said one of his regrets was never to have sailed on “Carina”. I was surprised at his remark, as it happened so many years after the Nyes had owned “Carina”. I responded by saying that the legacy of “Carina” was mostly forgotten in today’s world of sailing. But further he would likely never have been invited to sail on the boat as the Nyes never found the need to have “rockstars” as part of the crew.

RATING RULES

The book about the three “Carinas” written by Richard B. Nye came out a few weeks ago. The saga of “Carina” continues as she having sailed to Australia to participate in the Sydney-Hobart race from England after having completed the 2011 transatlantic race and now sailing home to the East coast of the United States where she will sail in the Bermuda Race this June. Follow her story HERE.

The story of “Carina” is interesting from many points of view. Her conception was the culmination of years of experience of ocean racing by the Nye family. She was launched in 1969. This is where the story is so interesting as we look back. At the time two racing rules dominated the world: the CCA in the United States and the RORC in the rest of the world.

I have added the photo of “Outlaw” to illustrate the RORC rule. Anyone wondering where the pinched ends under the IOR came from. This was one of the compromises in order to achieve one rule.

Back to the “Carina” story. In 1968, the Nyes had won class in the Bermuda race with the old yawl, but wanted a new boat. The new rule was still being negotiated, no one knew what the final rule would offer, so Jim McCurdy and Bodie Rhodes were tasked with designing a boat that would rate well under any circumstances. The result was a boat that is still winning races 40 years later

“NEVER SAY NEVER, SAY NYE”

Tenacity is an important part of almost any endeavor in life. It is an essential ingredient of Ocean Racing. I thought Peter Millard’s words this evening summed up the Carina Story: “Never say never, say Nye”

This evening at Indian Harbor Yacht Club as many of the old crew re-united to celebrate the publishing of a book of the Nye family love affair with the sea.”Home is the Sailor” by Richard Nye, published by Bruce Farr. A bond which had drawn us together. I keep fond memories of my brief years on “Carina” and the friends and shipmates created.

I should add that the trophies won by the various “Carinas” over the years have been given to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, where they belong; to remind us of the boat, the people, and the stories.

Dick probably got overtired by the event, but I am certain that in his heart he was glad to be there and see many familiar faces of those with whom he had shared events that only those inducted into the fraternity of Ocean Racing could truly comprehend.

A REUNION OF SORTS, A CARINA EVENT

It is really about Dick Nye gifting the trophies the “Carinas” had won over the years to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club, coupled with the publication of a book of the history of the “Carinas” and the family whom owned them. I was part of the crew for only a short period of time, 2 transatlantic crossings, 2 fastnet races, 2 admiral’s cups, 1 bermuda race, and of course all the smaller races during that time. I keep many fine memories and hope to see many of the former crew there.

CARINA FINISHES THE SYDNEY-HOBART

“Carina” finished 2011 by competing in the Sydney-Hobart race; a journey that started in June with the transatlantic race to England, the Fastnet race; and the kids sailing the boat to Australia in time for the race.

Naturally when I pause to think of the wonderful adventure 2011 brought to them I reflect on my own small adventures. The Transtalantic race aboard “Snow Lion”. I have sailed with most of the crew on both boats for great distances and keep many fond memories.

NEW YEAR’S EVE IN PARIS

CHAMPS ELYSEES BEFORE CLOSING IT TO TRAFFIC

 

2011 and two grandchildren

NOT APRIL FOOL’S

I stumbled across this photo while looking for something entirely different. ( I have over one hundred thousand negatives spanning almost 50 years) I have been scanning and correcting images for several years now. It is a slow tedious process. There are photos which I still have not found that I know I have safely somewhere. I found an image a few days ago I had been searching for, for easily two years.

Back to this photo taken approaching the finish of the 1969 transatlantic race from Newport, RI to Cork, Ireland. That is Daunt Lightship on the bow of “Carina”, our finish. Richard B. Nye trimming the spinnaker. Finding this photo made me wish I had similar ones for each race I had sailed.