The 2018 Maine Classic and Spirit-of-Tradition Race Report

Camden Classics Cup, July 26-28: It was a good few days for traditional and modern sailboat racing in Penobscot Bay, Maine. The third running of the Camden Classics Cup continued to build on the success of the first two events. We counted 68 yachts on the scratch sheet. Or about double the 30 boats that shaped up to race, year before last. We’re shameless promoters of the Camden Classics. We are sponsors of the regatta. We serve on committees to improve the rules for it. And our boats, and our selves, race in the event. And even discounting for all […]

Classic Lessons Learned For Classic and Spirit-of-Tradition Races

Let’s begin with the disclosures: We didn’t just spend two weeks racing Vintage, Classic and Spirit-of-Tradition yachts. We spent a lot of time during those races thinking about racing: How to organize these modern-classic events more effectively; how to class boats more fairly; how to handicap the yachts more properly and how to make these events more inclusive, rather than more exclusive. This brainwork was part of a reasonably rigorous market survey we are conducting of the Vintage, Classic and Spirit-of-Tradition racing fleets. The full report is due out later this year. But even now, we are finding solid lessons […]

Sailing Around the World — Not Being Alone, Hungry and Afraid.

Speaking of racing, we’ve been following the current round-the-world Golden Globe Race, with a kind of lurid fascination. That’s the race where 14, mostly amateur, racers sail 35,000 miles around the world’s great capes, in throwback, full-keel vessels, alone and unassisted. Some boats are from the 1960’s, but none carry modern electronics, navigation or watermakers. And the weekly satellite phone calls of these single-handers is mostly about old men struggling with broken wind vanes, getting lost trying to navigate just with sextants and getting excited about sailing 90 whole miles in a 24-hour period. Oh boy. That got us to thinking: […]

The Classic Racing Issue #1: How to Build a Really Good Race.

Contrary to popular belief, it takes more than two sailboats in close proximity to make a race. Or, at least a GOOD race. In fact, it takes a committee. A race committee, with a feel for the nuance of the handicap rule used in that race, and how that rule interacts with the course for that race. Like most sailors we’re competitive bastards. Any time we see another boat we start tweaking sails to beat the band. But we learned a long time ago that some boats are just plain faster than others. And we don’t get the right gratification […]

The Classic Racing Issue #2: The Better Notice-of-Race Association?

Recently, we spent a pleasant evening at a Classic Yacht Owners Association, or CYOA, event in Newport, RI. We stopped down to this terrific event to help tell the Spirit-of-Tradition story. And to participate on a panel discussion around what it means to sail as a Corinthian sailor in the classic regatta circuit. We were excited to see how the CYOA is doing in building consensus among its diverse membership of classic, modern classic and Spirit-of-Tradition vessels. We fully expect Managing Director Bill Lynn and members of the executive committee, like Charles Townsend and Timothy Rutter, to be instrumental in driving […]

The Classic Racing Issue #3: The Forgotten Fun Factor.

Let’s face it, if you don’t look at handicap racing with the right attitude, it can get kind of silly. Tons of fun, but still silly: Handicapping fleets in classic regattas becomes burdened by the fact that handicap racing, in general, is so flawed. This is true no matter what kind of boat you own. That’s why, we believe, it’s important to look past the ratings rules and try to rearrange our own attitudes toward racing. After all, we are trying to have fun out there. And fun is not always easy. To fully expect handicapping systems to create a […]

The Ultimate Maine Cruising, Racing, Cruising, Racing-Racing, Cruising Guide

Maine as a racing and cruising destination? Who ever heard of such a thing. But at least for the summer 2018, it seems to be true. We’ve been taking a deep dive into the coming classic yacht-racing schedule, and wouldn’t you know it — with no particular organizing body involved — little old Mid-Coast Maine has become a must-do race and cruise stopover for late July and early August. If you have ever dreamed of making the trip Down East, here’s the perfect cruising, racing, cruising, racing-racing, cruising guide to Maine. The Camden Classics Cup: July 26 – 28. Maine is […]

The Regatta with a Great Story to Tell: The Corinthian Classic.

As this summer’s racing season gears up, and we consider the Mid-Coast Maine classic racing scene in another nearby post, an interesting naval design truth hit us: The biggest sailboat races almost go out of their way to deny their design legacies. Go look at the scratch sheets for the major events like the Newport Bermuda Race, the Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, and the TransPac, and can you find many sailing homages to the past that built these fleets? Probably not. Certainly, most big regattas try to tell their stories in one form or another in race history […]