(Newport, RI)- With 19 boats, the J/109 fleet was the biggest to compete in the 2016 New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. By the time the first race started on the final day, however, only two boats mattered. David Rosow's LOKI (Southport, Conn.) and Donald Filippelli's CAMINOS (Amagansett, N.Y.) started the day tied at 23 points each. With third place 14 points back and a morning delay limiting the class to just one race, the class's North American Championship, and a Rolex Stainless Steel Submariner Date timepiece, came down to which of these boats beat the other around the track.
Rosow preached all regatta about keeping things simple. With the regatta on the line, he didn't see any reason to stray from the approach that had gotten them this far.
"We wanted the pin end and to be near CAMINOS,” he said. "If the opportunity presented itself we would’ve gotten in front of them. We knew we had boat speed compared to the fleet. We had a good start in the front row. We knew it was a two-boat race, and we just had to beat them."
While Rosow was able to get away cleanly from the pin end, CAMINOS found itself mired in traffic after a mid-line start, and was eventually forced to tack away. By the time the boats came together at the windward mark, LOKI was second, with CAMINOS two spots back. With the early advantage, and a steady 6-10 kt breeze opening few passing lanes, the key was to simply not overthink the strategy for the remainder of the race.
"From there we just shepherded them around the course," said Rosow, who has owned LOKI for 10 years. "Full credit to CAMINOS, they sailed very impressively. They’re good competitors."
For Rosow, this is his first North American championship. He has won distance races before, but never anything on this scale in one-design competition. Adding in a Rolex watch and, no surprise, he was pretty elated, “pumped up! Incredible! I have a perma grin that won’t come off for a while."
NYYC Rear Commodore Bill Ketcham (Greenwich, Conn.) started the regatta on fire, his J/44 MAXINE winning the first four races in IRC 3 division. But a 10th in Race 5 put the lead back into play for two other boats. However, after two races on the final day, the difference between the three boats' overall scores was just half a point! In the end, it was Ketcham’s J/44 MAXINE taking the class win with the NYYC Annual Regatta Round Island Race winner- Tom Sutton’s J/35 LEADING EDGE- holding on to 5th place.
The J/88 one-design class saw spirited and very close competition. After the first day blitzkrieg of 1-1-2, it appeared that Mike Bruno’s WINGS crew was hot on the trail to yet another class win. However, by days two and three their momentum faltered, posting a 5-5-4-4 to drop them into second place for the regatta. Conversely, Doug Newhouse’s YONDER team also started off well with a 2-2-4 on the first day and managed to post three bullets in the next few races to ultimately win the class by six points. Third was the New York YC Annual Regatta J/88 Class winner, Doug McKeige’s JAZZ. Fourth was Iris Vogel’s DEVIATION from Long Island Sound and fifth place was Jeff Johnstone’s family crew on ELECTRA. For more New York YC Race Week sailing information