After competing in the
2010 Ideal 18 North American Championships at Larchmont Yacht Club, then IHYC
Fleet Captain Michael Millard and sailing partner Greg Neumann sought to
continue the excitement of Ideal 18 racing within a large fleet in the North
American off years. As a result, what is now known as the Ideal 18 Inter-Club
Championship of Long Island Sound was conceived as a biennial regatta.
Greg Neumann, the
event chair in its inaugural year 2011, explains that the Ideal 18 Inter-Club
Championship of Long Island Sound was conceived to be “an equally robust and
competitive regatta.” The goal was to be the largest fleet race of the season for
Ideal 18s in the area. The event’s original organizers added a team component:
the club with the best top three finishes would earn the honor of winning the
team trophy. Even though Indian Harbor Yacht Club originated and hosted the
regatta that first year, the concept of the competition was to have the club
with the winning team earn the privilege of hosting the next event and defend their
On September 23 Indian
Harbor Yacht Club again had the pleasure of hosting the 2017 Ideal 18
Inter-Club Championship, thanks to the 2015 team trophy win by IHYC. With 27
boats on the line, the fourth running of this event continued to be a fulfillment
of the original aspirations for the regatta…to be the largest Ideal 18 fleet
racing competition of the season, with multiple clubs sending teams of three or
more. Competitors from eight different clubs, as far away as Stonington Harbor
Yacht Club, gathered on one of the best days of the season for racing: a late
September reprise of warm, sunny, summer-like weather, accompanied by a more
fall-like steady northerly breeze, registering in the teens.
On the line - 27 Ideals
PRO Past Commodore Jeff
Merz could not have ordered more cooperative conditions to get off five races
with maximum efficiency. Although the shifty northerly may have provided a bit
of challenge to race committee, the courses were expertly tweaked, affording
competitors the opportunity to continually jostle for placement among the able
fleet. The battery of races included several with six legs! As a result, the
competition was tight, with no competitor scoring more than one bullet.
Crossing the finish line – Betsy and Dave Perry of
Pequot YC won this one, then van Loveren/Lau (253) and Millard/D’Amico (257)
True to the level of
racing typical of a championship regatta, fierce competitive skills were
displayed across the board. The start line was crowded with a 27-strong fleet
jockeying for the best position, which continued at closely-sailed mark
roundings which requiring competitors to display skilled boat-handling
maneuvers to secure their spots. Downwind photo finishes were eked out by
finessing chute trim to project spinnakers to gain the edge.
Windward traffic jam – IHYC competitors John
Cutting and George Hopley (254) going in with guile and guts.
When the scores were
tallied, the closeness of the competition was apparent. Michael Millard and
Christine D’Amico took first, only edging out the second place finishers Roger
van Loveren and Steven Lau on a complex tie breaker.
First place winners Michael Millard and Christine D'Amico
Second place, after tie break for first -
Roger van Loveren and Steven Lau
Third place went to David Seabrook and Paul D’Amico, who were only one
point ahead of competitors Jon-Claude Zucconi/James Townsend and John
Cutting/George Hopley, who placed fourth and fifth respectively on another tie
breaker! Cumulative results can be found on Yacht Scoring here.
Third Place- David Seabrook and Paul D'Amico with PRO Jeff Merz and Event Chair Christine D'Amico.
Indian Harbor Yacht Club captured the 2017 team trophy with the top three finishes and is exited to have the privilege to host the fifth anniversary of the Ideal 18 Inter-Club Championship scheduled for 2019.
The success of the
2017 event could not have been achieved without our race committee volunteers,
the efforts of our Waterfront Director Joel Labuzetta, Sailing Director Erin
Sprague, and Marine Manager Dustin Bruce coordinating boat charters and visitor
boat moorings, and our fantastic sponsors: Shumway Marine and the Ideal 18 Class,
Heineken Beer, Vineyard Vines and North Sails. A special thanks goes out the
our enthusiastic on-water photographer, Mary Alice Carmichael. She was perched
on Sachem and on the move on a mark boat aiming her lenses to capture all the
action. Photos of the event can be viewed here.
We look forward to
welcoming returning teams and individual competitors to renew the competition
and camaraderie that is a hallmark of these spirited Ideal 18 fleet racing
events. A member of the Stonington team summed it up explaining the long trek
they’ve made every year, “we look forward to these events that get the largest
amount of boats of the entire season on the line!”