September 2, 2022
Recapping the 2022 Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta
The annual Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta (HCYR) took place as usual on the final weekend of August with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 26-28. The 2022 HCYR is part of the CYOA (Classic Yacht Owners Association) Classic Yachts Challenge Series and includes Vintage (pre-1950), Classic (1950-1980), Modern Classic and Spirit of Tradition (newer boats with designs evocative of classics). In addition, HCYR includes a Herreshoff S Class boats, a one- design class developed by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1919.
The annual Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta (HCYR) took place as usual on the final weekend of
August with racing on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, August 26-28. The 2022 HCYR is part of the
CYOA (Classic Yacht Owners Association) Classic Yachts Challenge Series and includes Vintage
(pre-1950), Classic (1950-1980), Modern Classic and Spirit of Tradition (newer boats with
designs evocative of classics). In addition, HCYR includes a Herreshoff S Class boats, a one-
design class developed by the Herreshoff Manufacturing Company in 1919.
Friday’s Newport-to-Bristol Feeder Race, the opening act of the HCYR, took place Friday
afternoon with a gathering of the fleet of gorgeous classic yachts just south of Gould Island.
The sailors were greeted with a 20-ish knot southwester and a flooding tide – a recipe for a very
fast trip to Bristol – so Principle Race Officer Peter Gerard sent the fleet on a short upwind leg
toward Newport before turning north for the run to Bristol. A couple of turning marks along
the way added a bit of time to the trip, but line honors winner Outlier, the hot rod Spirit of
Tradition yacht from Nantucket, arrived in Bristol less than 90 minutes after the start. She was
followed closely by the lovely Zemphira and the 1962 America’s Cup winner Weatherly.
The racing on Friday was followed by the annual Living Boat Show and cocktail reception on the
Herreshoff Marine Museum waterfront with the sensational bluegrass band Hollow Turtle
livening up the party. Over 200 guests wandered the docks admiring the beautiful boats tied up
there as well as those on moorings nearby while storm cell after storm cell passed by just to the
north of Bristol. Until they didn’t. When a sizable cell clearly had Bristol in its sights, the party
moved inside under the tent, and Hollow Turtle offered up an awesome acoustic set to close
out the evening’s festivities.
Having seemingly used up all the wind on Friday, Saturday arrived with a light northerly which,
as those who’ve prowled the Bay on a hot summer day know, had limited prospects of hanging
around for long. Nonetheless, it did hang around for long enough to complete a 6.2 mile race
between Poppasquash and Prudence Island which was won overall by Tink, Jack LeFort’s new
Eggemoggin 47 from Jamestown closely followed by the 1944 Luders 24 Leaf sailed by Bristol’s
own Ben and Nan Hall. The S Class fleet of 7 boats racing one-design was led by the local
legend Aquila, sailed by Geoff Davis followed by Paul Del Nero’s Vindex, another Bristol boat
and the overall winner of the class’s Centennial Regatta in 2019.
The northerly eventually died a slow death but was replaced by a nice little easterly that
seemed like it might last long enough to power the fleet around a short race track finishing in
front of the museum. The Saturday afternoon race normally sees the fleet exploring Mt. Hope
Bay, however, the lateness of the hour combined with trust issues around the breeze
demanded a shorter course that, while providing the fleet with a nice view of the Mt. Hope
Bridge, did not extend to the north.
The boats came reaching in to the finish off the HMM flagpole with Chris Bouzaid’s 1971 30-
square-metre Bijou II the overall winner followed by Van Brown’s gorgeous 1907 Herreshoff
Neith from Mystic, CT. The S Class was led by Sheldon Whitehouse’s perennial favorite Osprey
managing a narrow win over Alan Silken’s Firefly.
250+ tired but happy classic yachties enjoyed the annual Regatta Dinner on the HMM
waterfront under the marquee at which the day’s winners were honored. They included overall
winner of the 11-boat Vintage Class Leaf winning a tie-breaker with Matt Brooks’ iconic 1930
S&S design Dorade. The Classic Class was won by the 12-Metre Nefertiti owned by Jack Klinck,
while Eric Hall’s Stuart Knockabout Blackwing won the 5-boat Modern Classic Class. Tink edged
Zemphira with two bullets in the Spirit of Tradition Class, while the S Class was won by Aquila
whose 1, 3 just edged Osprey’s 4, 1.
Sunday’s race from Bristol to Newport was delayed a bit by a lack of wind, however the fleet
was off and running in a light westerly that subsequently backed to the south. While the course
seems simple – sail to Newport – conditions made it anything but with patchy breeze and
challenging currents. Matt Brooks’ Dorade pulled off a 2.5 minute win over Casey Fasciano’s
1947 S&S sloop Courageous (not the 12-Metre), with Vindex winning the S Class on a bold move
tacking to the east of Dyer Island.
In hindsight, the 2022 Herreshoff Classic Yacht Regatta was one of the more challenging
editions. Over three gorgeous days, the sailors saw wind directions from all points of the
compass with velocities between 0 and 25 knots. The fleet of 33 boats offered a great mix of
sizes and types of boats, and each day featured a different set of winners. A good time was had
by all, and we are all looking forward to the 2023 edition on August 25-27.