Castine Classic Yacht Race | Cruising World

Castine Classic Yacht Race

Black Watch wins Ames Cup in Castine Classic Yacht Race; Katrina leads celebrated Concordia fleet

Castine Classic Yacht Regatta

Black Watch at the Castine Classic Yacht Regatta

Kathy Mansfield

In the 14th annual Castine Classic Yacht Regatta, Black Watch, a 67.8’ Sparkman & Stephens yawl built in 1958, sailed by Peter Kellogg and Lars Forsberg, led a fleet of 40 classic yachts to win the coveted Ames Cup. The Ames Cup honors the memory of Richard Glover Ames and Henry Russell Ames who were lost at sea on June 9th, 1935 south of the Grand Banks in an unsuccessful effort to save their father who was washed overboard during the Newport to Bergen, Norway yacht race. The Ames family hailed from Castine.

This year’s Castine Classic Regatta celebrated the 75th Anniversary of the famed 39’10” and 41’ Concordia yawls. Designed by C. Raymond Hunt with the assistance of Waldo Howland, the Concordia Company commissioned 103 yachts of this class from 1938 to 1966, all but four of which were built at the Abeking and Rasmussen shipyard in Germany. With their extraordinary success as offshore racers and cruisers, these Concordias became the biggest class of large wooden sailboats ever constructed.

Prior to the race, 13 Concordia yachts were on exhibition at the Castine town dock and were honored at a symposium at the Maine Maritime Academy. The large crowd attending the symposium heard from speakers illuminating the finer details of the design, construction, and sailing qualities of these boats. John Eide, editor of The Concordian and owner of Golondrina, chaired the symposium, which included Doug Adkins, author of Dorade: The History of an Ocean Racing Yacht and owner of Concordia Coriolis; Queene Foster, who has sailed Concordias since the 1970’s; Giffy Full, the dean of wooden boat surveyors; Brodie MacGregor, owner of the Concordia Company; Benjamin Mendlowitz, premier wooden boat photographer; and Jon Wilson, founder of WoodenBoat Magazine.

The Castine event kicked off three days of classic boat racing, culminating in the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta.

The 19.6 mile race from Castine to Camden, sponsored by the Castine Yacht Club, was sailed under ideal conditions this year. David Bicks, co-chair of the event with Bob Scott of Castine, said that “In the last two years, our race was plagued by fog and lack of wind. But this year’s clear skies and steady 8-12 knot southeast breeze made for perfect sailing conditions.”

Katrina, a 41’ Concordia built in 1963, sailed by Joe Harris, led the celebrated Concordia fleet. Otter, sailed by Robert Keefer, took second place, followed by John Eide’s Golondrina.

In the Classic A Class, Black Watch was followed by Puffin, a 47.8’ Sparkman & Stephens design built in 1969 and sailed by Cabot Lyman. Spartan, a 72’ Herreshoff-designed NY-50 built in 1912 and skippered by Charles Ryan, took third place. The Classic A Class included a highly competitive match race among four Sparkman & Stephens 45’ NY-32s built in 1936. Falcon, sailed by Bob Scott of Castine, edged out Siren, sailed by Peter Cassidy; Isla, sailed by Henry May; and Gentian, sailed by Richard Armstrong, to lead the NY-32s in the three race series.

Thora, a Little Harbor 38 sailed by Vince Todd, led the Classic B Class. Palawan, a 47’ Sparkman & Stephens yawl built in 1952 and skippered by Scott Gazelle, took second place. Tiger Maru, a 37’ Laurent Giles design built in 1971 and skippered by Julien Davies, followed close behind in third place.

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 47’ Stephens Taylor designed Lark, built in 2012 and skippered by Patrick Wilmerding, took second place, followed by Vortex, Steve White’s 52’ Reimers sloop.

At the awards ceremony at the Wooden Boat School in Brooklin following the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, Bicks presented the Ames Cup and the Sparkman & Stephens trophy to Peter Kellogg and Lars Forsberg of Black Watch. The Mitch Gibbons-Neff trophy, presented in memory of Mitch Gibbons-Neff, late head of S&S who regularly crewed on Scott’s NY-32 Falcon, was awarded to Bob Scott, skipper of Falcon.

The Phalarope trophy, awarded to the top Concordia yacht in memory of Thomas G. Ashton Sr, was presented to Joe Harris of Katrina.

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