Originally published in Castine Patriot, August 7, 2014
Castine Classic boasts vintage yachts and ‘perfect sailing conditions’
A fleet of yachts race in steady wind in the Spirit of Tradition class, with Lynette in the lead during the Castine Classic on July 31. The regatta is the first of three annual races in as many days in Penobscot Bay.
by Anne Berleant
Click the link to see the Castine Classic Results.
A fleet of 32 classic sailing yachts raced from the Castine Harbor Bell to Camden on July 31 in the 15th annual Castine Classic, kicking off three days of classic boat racing, culminating in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta on August 3.
“It was a beautiful clear day so we were lucky,” said David Bicks, chairman of the event sponsored by the Castine Yacht Club. “This year’s clear skies and steady 8-12 knot southwest breeze made for perfect sailing conditions.
“The only nervous part was that the wind died at the Mouse Island gate but fortunately the tide quickly turned, the wind came up, and everybody finished the race swimmingly.”
Black Watch, a 67.8’ 1938 Sparkman & Stephens yawl skippered by Peter McCausland won the Classic A race with a time of 3:38:.01. Spartan, a 72’ Herreshoff-designed NY-50 built in 1912 and skippered by Victor Paul came in a close second at 3:38:29.
“I was particularly pleased with the start of the classic A fleet, which was a large, very competitive fleet. They all hit the line fast and without incident,” Bicks said.
The Classic A race had the added thrill of six 45-foot 1936 NY-32 yachts—the largest fleet of the Sparkman & Stephens-designed boats seen in over 50 years. For some, that was the story of the race and of the three regattas overall.
“I think what was most historic…is that they had six of these NY-32s together for three days racing,” said Ted Lameyer, Racing Skipper and tactician of Sapphire.
“They were built as off-shore racers. They disbursed to the Great Lakes…and the class never really got back together since the war,” said Bob Scott, skipper of the Falcon, and winner of the Mitch Gibbons-Neff trophy for the top finish among the NY-32 yachts in all three races.
Rogue, a 37’ Herreshoff/Newport 29 sloop built in 1953 sailed by Seville Simonds, won the Classic B Class at 4:00:03.
Thora, a Little Harbor 36 built in 1960 sailed by Vince Todd, led the Classic C Class at 4:10:51.
In the Spirit of Tradition class, Isobel, a 75’ sloop designed by Stephens-Waring and built in 2011, sailed by Richard Schotte, claimed first place honors.
The following day, the Camden Classic set off on a 22 nautical mile course north of North Haven Island, through the Deer Island Thorofare and ending at Naskeag Point in Brooklin.
“We ran into the strangest wind,” said Scott. “Strange in any other part of the world but not in archipelago islands north of North Haven Island. It always fools you. We had a northern that became a southerner. It was fun. It really extracted lots of ability to be able to deal with it.”
At the awards ceremony at the WoodenBoat School in Brooklin following the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, Bicks presented the Ames Cup for the fastest time in the Classic A, B and C classes, and the Sparkman & Stephens trophy to Peter McCausland of Black Watch.
For the second year running, Scott was awarded the Mitch Gibbons-Neff trophy for the top NY-32 in the three race series, presented in memory of Mitch Gibbons-Neff, the late head of Sparkman & Stephens who regularly crewed on Scott’s NY-32 Falcon.
The Phalarope trophy, awarded to the top Concordia yacht in memory of Thomas G. Ashton Sr. of Castine, was presented to Robert Keefer, skipper of Otter.