North Sails NEWS


Local Sailing Finds Perfect Conditions on Narragansett Bay

It took until mid-July but it finally feels like summer on Narragansett Bay. This past weekend 24 boats of various shapes and sizes participated in IYAC’s 2020 Newport Cup to race around Conanicut Island. Local talent, short-handed sailing, and solo kiteboarding sessions were all on display in an effort to do whatever it takes to get back out on the water.

Skipper of Class40, First Light, Sam Fitzgerald said, “it was great to get back out on the bay today and race against some new faces. Today’s conditions were challenging, especially in the beginning of the race but we had an awesome day nonetheless! We are just glad to be out here!” 

The around Conanicut Island clockwise course started in a fresh southerly gradient which slowly shifted to a southwest sea breeze. The 18 mile “around the island” is a classic racecourse with upwind, downwind and reaching legs. Jason Carroll’s Mod 70 Argo was first to finish in just under 90 minutes.

“Never a bad day when you get to line up with a Mod 70 on the kite foil,” said local kiteboarder Casey Brown. ” I let Argo get a clear start, then started reeling them in as we ripped through the fleet before the wind faded approaching beavertail. Shoulda gone with a bigger kite! It was a great day on the water! Lots of stoke.”

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” remarked North Sails expert Mike Toppa. “It’s easy to take local sailing for granted but, we are lucky enough to be out sailing on one of the nicest pieces of water in the world. Schooners, kiteboarders, multihulls, classics, double handers, 12 Metres, PHRF champs, and everything in between were competing. This is different from what we all had planned for our 2020 season, but summer is short and you don’t want to miss out.”

Meanwhile, on the bay, Newport Yacht Club held their Offshore 160 Single-Handed Challenge. 15 short-handed boats set off on a 114 mile, overnight, offshore course to a buoy off Montauk Point and back. The biennial Offshore 160, held in the off-year from the Bermuda ONE-TWO, is a 160-mile qualifier for the ONE-TWO. This low-keyed, bare-bones event provides a chance for new skippers’ singlehanded to hit their qualifying passage in the off-year, and to provides past competitors with a long-distance racing “fix,” something we all need this summer

There is still plenty of racing in and around Rhode Island this summer for anyone interested in getting on a racecourse this summer. Check out the schedule below or get in touch with the North Sails loft in Portsmouth for questions or expert advice.

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Events Coming Up Around the Bay:

M32 Midtown Cup – Jul 18-19

GSBYRA Southbay Regatta – Jul 18-19

Sail Newport Part I –  July 25-26

MOHOSA Wednesday Night Worlds – July 29th

Around Martha’s Vineyard – July 30-31

Edgartown Yacht Club ‘Round the Island Race – Aug 1

Sail Newport Part II –  Aug 1-2

MOHOSA Part II – Aug 2

Ida Lewis Distance Race – Aug 15-16

J/Fest – Aug 15-16

Herreshoff Museum Leukemia CupAugust 22

166th Annual Regatta & NYYC One-Design Regatta  – August 28-30

Sail Newport Part III – Aug 29-30

CYC ATI Race – Sept 6

Queen’s Cup – Sept 2

Sail for Hope – Sept 12

Race Week at Newport presented by RolexSept 23-26

Melges IC37 National Championship – Oct 2-4

Laser Masters – Oct 10-11