New York Yacht Club Race Week 2008

photo by christian jensen
photo by christian jensen

In July, I raced on J-109 belonging to Peter Rugg.I had previously written about the exciting Sunday, our final day of the regatta. The forecast was for intense thunderstorms. we managed racing in the morning, when powerful clouds appeared over Pt. Judith; the race committee chose to start a race, anyway. I was too busy on the boat to get photographs. These are from a boat that was nearby; caught by the same storm.

New York Yacht Club Harbour Court lily pond

If you park near the sailing office you will walk by the lily pond at Harbour Court. It gives me no end of pleasure to see the daily changes. The New York Yacht Club has succeeded in making an environment that not only fulfills the need of access to the water for sailing but an exceedingly pleasant one as well. Spend an evening overlooking the harbour at sunset.


Team racing is something I have always enjoyed. In secondary school most of our sailing was team racing. In college, we did less, but it was still part of the program. Our college team stayed together for a short time after graduation, but soon the requirements of life broke up the team.

I did not team race again until 2003. It re-awakened in me many fond memories. Of course the rules had changed substantially, so I was faced with a new challenge, one I embraced with pleasure.
I have not team raced as much as I would like, but the New York Yacht Club owns a fleet of Sonars making it accessible.It is so much fun. It is not about going fast, it is about being smart.

Swan 42 "Mustang"

September 2007 found me joining Gary Jobson on his new Swan 42 “Mustang” for the Stamford-Vineyard Race. The first time we had ever sailed together on the same boat; having competed against each other in college and on twelve meters for the America’s Cup.

A few weeks later I was again aboard “Mustang” for the first ever Swan 42 North American Championships in Newport, hosted by the New York Yacht Club. Gary had assembled a fine crew, each bringing some strength to the group. The racing was keen and close. Gary did an outstanding job steering the boat. All the starts were great. We ended the series in second place.

america’s cup 1977 Independence

Independence US 28, skippered by Ted Hood. I was the bowman, and responsible for the rig. Conceptually the boat was good but simply not as fast as Courageous. We arrived in Newport with a boat that was just not fast enough. A summer filled with anecdotes of the personalities involved. The last summer of real amateur america’s cup sailing. Turner was unstoppable that year, he won every contest he entered.

It may have been the last year the “America’s cup demitasse” was run. Conceived as a fun event during a layday in the America’s cup summer. Two crew from each boat raced in Dyer Dhows. Turner won, Jobson was second, I came third.

america’s cup jubilee 2001

the America’s Cup Jubilee held in 2001 in Cowes, England. The Woodstock of sailing as it has been described. Was truly a remarkable event. The Royal Yacht Squadron set the standard of how to make people happy. 38 twelve meters assembled in one place for the first time ever; along with so many other fabulous boats. For those of us who love sailing it truly was the best of the best, with no end of the “eye candy”.

White Crusader and Ecosse(USA) sailing upwind. Vanity V with 5 Vargas girls spinnakers;
the crew photo is Olin Stephens with a smile from ear to ear posed with the crew of Nyala sailed by Troben Grail
Columbia, the 1958 defender in the America’s cup aboard which I sailed, in a foul tide with the cliffs of the needles in the background.
Finally a photo of a water spout with Corsica in the background. taken while sailing Columbia from Sardinia to Monaco.
The hardest thing about this post was to limit the photos, I smile to myself every time I think of this event and how fortunate I was to have been able to take part in it.

2003 trans-atlantic race

the 2003 trans-atlantic race from Newport, RI to Hamburg, Germany, sailing aboard “Snow Lion” a 50 foot Nelson/Marek. The race took not quite 20 days. we had 12 days of over 200 miles a day. Our best being 275 miles in 24 hours; unfortunately for us that same 24 hour period one of our competition sailed 475 miles.

once again the fellowship that only the sea can forge was created with this fine group. It is had to cross the Atlantic with out one storm, ours was only 50 knots, as you can see we sailed with the #4 and a double reef in the mainsail, we hit our fastest recorded speed in this combination, at 26 knots.

sunday sail

Racing a J-105 during the New York Yacht Club race week, the weather was mostly uneventful, however, on sunday a big black cloud appeared over Pt. Judith, the race committee started a race anyway. we had 50 knots shortly after that. we were all a little busy at the time. this photo taken sfter the race was cancelled sets the tone of the moment.