The racing sails have been flaked, the halyards and running rigging re-organized, and the teak and fiberglass decks washed after two fantastic days of sailboat racing at the 2022 Camden Classics Cup. The regatta (July 28-30) featured junior, classic, and modern yacht racing on the waters of Western Penobscot Bay, plus well-attended onshore social events. Lyman-Morse’s Camden facility hosted the event, and visiting sailors had the chance to enjoy the full-service marina and boatyard’s beautiful new boardwalk, tour their new 34,000-square-foot structure, and sample the tastes at the recently unveiled Blue Barren Distillery and Salt Wharf restaurant.
Most importantly, sailors got to enjoy two fantastic days of racing on Maine’s beautiful and historic waters.
“Everything came together,” said Holly Paterson, event director of the 2022 Camden Classic Cup. “Lyman-Morse’s new facility was completed just in time, we had many of the East Coast’s finest wooden and modern yachts on our starting lines, and we had breeze. There were a lot of tired-but-happy faces on the boardwalk for refreshments after each day of sailing.”
Drew Lyman, skipper of the LM46 Hopgrasser and president and owner of Lyman-Morse, agreed. “The best part is just being out there in the middle of the bay,” he said. “There were beautiful conditions, and the boats are so gorgeous. You can’t beat it—this is the best cruising ground in the world.
“It was really fun out there, it was challenging at times,” Lyman continued. “If I could make the whole regatta a reach regatta, we’d do a whole lot better—no upwinds!”
While it’s possible that a reaching-only course would make the Camden Classics Cup even more popular than it already is, spirited competition was on display during both racing days. “It’s been great,” said Ted Smith, the regatta’s principal race officer, about the on-the-water action. “The camaraderie and the relaxed attitude of the people, it’s great. They’re here for some great sailing, but they’re also here for a great time.”
Part of this fun involved Saturday’s breeze-on conditions. “We had a lot of wind and a lot of challenging and fun conditions, but I think the ultimate thing for me is that you have some really well-sailed boats, [some] really serious programs, [and] you’ve got some family boats,” said Lyman. “It’s a great spread. We’re not taking ourselves too seriously, but we also provide some really good competition.”
As expected, the racing was lively across all classes.
The Classic 1 class was dominated by three Sparkman & Stephens designs. Scott Gazelle’s 47-foot Palawan took top prize, followed by Alec Brainerd’s 40-foot Nora, and Brooke Parish’s 46-foot Mermaid.
The Hawk, Oivind Lorentzen’s 37-foot William Tripp Jr.-designed One Tonner, beat Vortex, Steve White’s 52-foot Knud Reimers-designed fractional sloop, and Hound, Dan Litchfield and Tom Stark’s 59-foot K. Aage Nielsen-designed sloop, to take home top honors in the CRF Modern Classics class.
The Mystic Seaport Museum and Francis Sutula’s 75-foot Nat Benjamin-designed Rebecca of Vineyard Haven beat-out Steve Frary’s 64-foot L. Francis Herreshoff-designed Narwhal and Phineas Sprague Jr.’s 74-foot staysail schooner Lion’s Whelp, which was designed to John Alden’s traditional lines, to win the CRF Schooner & Gaff class.
Competition was stiff in the CRF Vintage 1 class, but this didn’t stop Siren, Peter Cassidy’s 45-foot Sparkman & Stephens-designed NY32, from beating Black Watch, Joe Robillard’s 68-foot Sparkman & Stephens yawl, and Wizard, Maine Maritime Academy’s 43-foot Herreshoff-designed Fishers Island 31, to earn top honors.
The CRF Vintage 2 class saw Ben Hall’s Leaf, a 38-foot Luders 24, outsailed Andrew Breece and George E. Gans III’s Snow Falcon, a 39-foot Concordia 39 Yawl, and Chris Bouzaid’s Bijou II, a 38-foot 30 square meter, to own boardwalk bragging rights.
The 15-strong Daysailer Class was the biggest class in contention by entry numbers at this year’s Camden Classics Cup. After four races, John K Hanson Jr. and Polly Saltonstall’s Frolic, a Dark Harbor 17.5, topped Paul Kock’s Ponyo, a Camden Class Sloop, and Craig Buttner’s 28-foot Rozinante, which was designed by L. Francis Herreshoff, to collect the class trophy.
The J/42 Class saw Fred deNapoli’s Finezza Veloca post faster times around the buoys than Jay Pasco-Anderson’s Cirrus and Brent DeMichael’s Daenerys, while the J/46 Class saw John Nolan’s Akai beat-out Tom Babbitt’s Bravo and James Bennett’s Finisterre.
Bob Kellogg and Geoff Emanuel’s Tamarack, their Baltic Farr 44, beat-out David Ruff and Jane Wellehan’s Go Dog Go, their Beneteau 36.7, and David Jones’s Elvis Tuna, his Etchells, to claim victory in the PHRF Spinnaker Class.
The PHRF Cruising 1 Class saw Mark Scheffer’s Legacy, a J/40, top Ronald Hart’s True North, a J/109, and Luis Echarte’s Petronella, a Finngulf 41, while the PHRF Cruising 2 Class saw John Fitzgerald’s Moondance, a Sabre 36, out-sailed Brian Johnson’s Serena, a Hinckley Sou’wester 42, and Sandy Welte’s Rabbit, a J/28.
The ten-strong Spirit of Tradition/Contemporary class posted the largest number of entries amongst the regatta’s big boats, and racing was predictably tight. Once the finishing signals fell silent, Tenacious Holdings LLC’s Zemphira, a Stephens Waring-designed 76-foot sloop, won the combined Spirit of Tradition/Contemporary class. Ron Zarrella’s Taylor 49c, Blackfish, won the Spirit of Tradition Division, while Henry Brauer’s Swan 42, Tio Loco, won the Contemporary Division. Blackfish was also awarded the Stephens Waring Spirit of Tradition perpetual trophy.
Lastly, the Camden Yacht Club won the regatta’s Yacht Club Challenge 2022.
“We couldn’t be happier about how the event turned out,” said Paterson. “We helped raise money for LifeFlight of Maine, which is a wonderful cause, and everyone had a great time on the water and ashore at the social events. We can’t wait to make next year an even better experience for all involved.”