NEWPORT, RI - As we type it's only of 58ºF (15ºC) in Newport, RI, but there's a nice 11-knot southwesterly and everyone is excited about the new IC37 Class commissioned by New York Yacht Club for use in its popular Invitational Cup and beyond.
After being trucked last week from Westerly Marine in SoCal near Newport Beach, the first yacht was splashed Tuesday in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay for sea-trials, seen here off NYYC's Harbour Court on the south end of Newport Harbor on Thursday. Nice photo, above, courtesy of Stuart Streuli, our longtime friend and NYYC's esteemed communications director.
Sea-trials are continuing today (photos below). The Mark Mills design is being built by Westerly Marine (Santa Ana, CA) with the class managed and promoted, and sold, by Melges. One hears that NYYC members have already spoken for north (no pun intended, sails by North) of 20 IC37s. The early success of this new class harkens (sorry, couldn't resist, gear by Harken) back to earlier eras when NYYC commissioned popular one-designs for members and more. How many such classes can you name?
As your Ed. has been saying for months and firmly believes, the IC37 is one of the major and best developments in the sport, at least in the USA, in decades. Royal Canadian Yacht Club has already announced that they will use the IC37 class for future Canada's Cups. One would not be surprised to see, in due course, a number of IC37s at clubs on the West Coast as well – perhaps even at Long Beach Yacht Club to replace the aging Catalina 37s used for the Congressional Cup?
Congrats to NYYC Commodore Philip Lotz and all the others involved who conceived of and are delivering on this exciting project.
Photos below are from a few minutes ago (midday Saturday) in Newport Harbor off Fort Adams, and courtesy of our Facebook friend and keen sailor Richard Levine. Richard texted, "Looks awesome – and fast!"
Note that, no surprise, the yacht has a proper masthead pig-stick displaying the Club's burgee.
What's going on in the background of the second photo? The yellow waterfront building, right, is the Fort's admin building, not Sail Newport's beaut new HQ at Fort Adams, dedicated last summer, which is further to the south (thanks for the clarification, Allan "Trev" Prior). The cranes are preparing the docks and race village for next month's Volvo Ocean Race stopover. Perhaps we will have Sail Newport ExDir Brad Read on our "Tuesdays with TFE" webcast soon to give us a preview of what several of the veteran VOR skippers said, before leaving Itajaí last Sunday, was their favorite stopover in the last edition of the race.