IOD Class Championship: Van Voorhis Wins, Fishers Island Sweeps
Charlie Van Voorhis, of Fishers Island, sailed to a convincing win at the 2016 International One-Design Class Championship, a six-day regatta held on San Francisco Bay in September. The fleet included teams representing Norway, Sweden and Bermuda as well as the U.S.
In winning the title for the fourth time, Van Voorhis easily finished first in a six-race qualifying series, which split the 11 teams into gold and silver fleets of six and five boats, respectively.
Sailing with Jim Thompson, Neal Fowler, Todd Wake and his son Lyon (a 6'6" bowman), Van Voorhis then won four of the six races in the final series. After the racing concluded, his margin of victory was reduced 3 points by a jury penalty for adding ballast water in the bilge before the penultimate race, which he subsequently sailed and won without the water.
The defending champion, Jonathan Farrar, also from Fishers Island, scored consistent top finishes and took second overall. Yet another Fishers Island team, skippered by John Burnham, won the final race to beat Nantucket's Roy Weedon and San Francisco's Rich Pearce for third,
completing a sweep of the top positions for Fishers Island.
The event was sailed from San Francisco Yacht Club in Tiburon, with races taking place just west of Alcatraz Island in 12-18 knot winds. Finishing ahead in the Silver fleet was Rob Van Alen of Northeast Harbor, Maine.
The 33' IODs racing in the event were originally designed in the mid-1930s by Norwegian designer Bjarne Aas and like the Fishers Island fleet in West Harbor were built either of wood or fiberglass in the 80 years since. Sailors in the event qualified for the regatta in their home fleets and then sailed in borrowed boats on loan from members of the local San Francisco fleet.
Fishers Island was in the unusual position of having three teams racing because Farrar won 2015 title and received an automatic invitation. In 2017, Van Voorhis will get the defending champ invitation to the event which is scheduled for Northeast Harbor, Maine.
Farrar's crew included Kevin Wypchoski, Richard Feeny, Mike McNamara, and Kevin Gilman. Burnham's included Charlton Rugg, Brad Gibbs, Beth Scholle, Peter Rugg and Frank Alexander.
Fishers Island Yacht Club
This year’s Annual Cruise introduced Whaleboat racing to the members of NYYC and Fishers Island Yacht Club during the August 10 Lay Day. Seven teams competed in half-mile time trials. Commodore Rives Potts and Fleet Captain Chafee Emory were among the competitors who rowed in four of Mystic Seaport Museum’s ten historical and lovely whaleboats, which were built for the Charles W. Morgan’s 38th Voyage last year. Each 28-foot lapstrake boat had five first-time rowers who had a chance to learn and practice from Seaport staff members who also served as “boat steerers.” Occasional rain showers and distant thunder barely dampened the spirits of the crews. At the evening dinner, Commodore Rives Potts and Mystic Seaport President Steve White congratulated all participants and Steve White presented the Mystic Seaport Whaleboat Race Trophy to the crew of the El Oro, which came in first place, and the Broken Oar Trophy, which honors the spirit of rowing, which was given to the team from the Fishers Island Yacht Club, which came in just seconds behind the first place boat. For all who participated in or viewed the whaleboat races, a special thank you goes to NYYC members/Mystic Seaport trustees Sheila McCurdy and John Brim, Fleet Captain Chafee Emory, and John Urban of Mystic Seaport who made the event possible.