Chester IOD wins Bermuda Race Week

posted May 22, 2017, 9:02 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 9:03 AM ]

Published on May 5th, 2017 

by Dayna Nelder, Scuttlebutt Sailing News
Our International One Design fleet from Chester, Nova Scotia, has been busy building a reputation in Bermuda. Ted Murphy and crew followed Peter Wickwire’s historic three-peat win with a win of our own at 80th Bermuda International Invitational Race Week on April 30 to May 5, 2017.

The week was made even more memorable with the America’s Cup boats foiling around and through our course in the Great Sound. This year’s BIIRW was hotly contested, with sailors from Bermuda, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom, Canada, and the United States attending the regatta. Only five points separated the top three, with the regatta coming down to the last race. Giles Peckham of Cowes came second, and Patrick Cooper of Bermuda finishing third.

Nothing compares to the sight of IODs barreling towards their leeward gate with the cutting edge of sailing, foiling across their course. It is amazing to think that after eighty-one years of innovations the IOD is still able to make its presence known among these multihulls. Racing in the vicinity of the AC yachts was an awesome contrast of how far sailing has come in the last century and not to mention, a bit distracting! The foiling harmonics are incredible.

Our crew hails from the Chester IOD Fleet. We raced with an all-Nova Scotian team starring our local sailing legend, Jeff Brock, on tactics. The rest of our amazing crew was made up of Jonny Seller on main trim, Dave Wedlake on headsail trim, Jamie Blunden on the bow, skipper Ted Murphy, and myself on panel. Our skipper fell in love with the IOD after racing on the first IOD, Aileen, a few years ago. Our crew found success and managed to secure a qualifying slot to represent Chester this year at BIIRW.

The Bermuda IOD fleet truly knows how to put on a great regatta for its fellow sailors. Thirteen fleets from around the world came to compete and we were all lucky enough to have a place to stay and every day were we able to sail a new boat! During registration there was a boat raffle and the number your skipper picked decided your lot for the week.

After the first day of racing we had our new rivals boats’ memorized for the rest of the week and every day we would look for them on the water to make our moves. Some boats are inherently slightly faster than others, and the pressure is on when there is only a point between your crew and the winning crew and you had their boat the day before and you know how it performed!

The top three competitors spent the first four days trading top finishes. Every race was a grueling quadruple windward-leeward, with lots of time for late shake-ups.

It was the team from Bermuda with skipper Patrick Cooper that set the standard by getting straight bullets the first day. We realized that playtime was over; it was time to get to work and start chipping away. The second day we spent exchanging first place with the skipper Giles Peckham and crew from the Cowes Daring fleet. On the third day, the Cowes crew made it known that they were here to win and followed through with firsts all day. But our time came on the fourth day, when we were able to push for straight bullets.

It came down to the last race to know who would win the overall spot. The pressure was certainly felt and one false move, one missed shift, you could lose your slight edge. The last race featured a number of lead changes in a tricky course close to shore. In the end, we got a 3rd, to Cowes’ 2nd and Bermuda’s 6th, meaning we won the whole week. The first prize was not just bragging rights but for our name on the Vrengen Gold Cup. Let me tell you, the taste of champagne from a cold gold cup in beautiful Bermuda was well worth the bruises and blisters!

Cheers to all of our great competitors, and we hope to see you in Chester for the IOD North Americans in 2018 and the Worlds in 2020.

The full results are available at:

Long-Term One-Design, IOD-Style

posted May 22, 2017, 7:09 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated Jun 8, 2017, 7:04 AM ]

This article is a work in progress. It highlights some of the changes in the class over the years that have kept the class competitive, fun, and relevant. Many readers will have knowledge of another part of this story. Please submit comments to the Class Secretary for correcting or adding to this piece. It will remain on the class website as part of class history.

From early in the 20th century, there were many fleets of keelboats created as onedesign classes, but the International One-Design Class is extraordinary among boats 30-feet and longer. Many of these classes continue today, but few have been successful in avoiding the obsolescence of the early boats, with fiberglass hulls, aluminum or carbon rigs, and the modernization of hardware and cordage. The work of a number of dedicated individuals and the strength of many individual competitive fleets had a lot to do with the success that the class has achieved in 80 years.

One-design concept – When Corny Shields formed the class, he framed the rules to keep costs from driving down class growth. He developed a sail purchase plan to buy new sails for every boat in a fleet at the same time. This leads to a 5-6 year life for mains and 3-4 years for jibs or spinnakers. He limited costly mid-season haul outs as a drier, lighter boat might have an edge. It was a time of few rules. The boats were all the same from the builder, and there was no need to specify sail dimension or rig position in a set of rules. The top sailors in the region came to sail against Corny. With few rules, they experimented to find the best way to balance and make their hull go through the water a little faster than the identical hull alongside. Finding the best setting for the head stay length or the jumpers, the rake, or tension or position of shroud attachment was the game to get the best power out of identical boats and sails. Corny gathered many great sailors, and the fleet grew as the thrill of competing against the best attracted many who wanted to learn from the masters.

Transition to glassThere were similar developments at the other early International Class (as it was then called) fleet venues in Bermuda and Northeast Harbor. But these fleets in vastly different climates and different length sailing seasons had different wear and tear on their boats. As aging of all the fleets moved on there was a demand for new boats from new materials. Early fiberglass boats, stronger and lighter in many other one-design classes, had obsolesced the older wooden boats. Jim Bishop knew from personal experience in the Atlantic class that it was tricky to bring in glass boats while keeping the wooden boats competitive. Working with top naval architects, he helped the class design a fiberglass layup schedule for the new plastic IODs that gave the hulls the same weight and weight distribution as the original wood boats. Initially built by Bjarne Äas, the builder of the wooden boats, the successful outcome showed no speed differences between the two construction techniques. The class soon built two sets of molds and licensed other builders to use them. By the 1970s and 80s, nearly all of the 1937 wood boats in Bermuda were replaced by glass boats, some from Europe or the US, most from the Bermuda IOD Company. Of course, there were some minor differences, but the boats were designed with 75 mm of fore and aft latitude in positioning the mast at the step and the partners. This skipper’s choice in setting up the rig permitted good sailors to find the right power and balance settings for each slightly different hull and sails.

Aluminum rigs – These initial mast position decisions in different boats were with wooden spars, but mast technology was also advancing with new materials. As different fleets sought aluminum mast solutions, the class management was very hands-off, leaving fleets to make their own decisions. Marblehead sailors did independent wind tunnel testing on different mast sections at MIT to determine that the Kenyon section for the J-30 spar had windage characteristics closest to the wooden spar section. The lads in Corny’s fleet worried that the Etchells 22s starting 5 minutes behind them would often finish ahead of the IODs, so they selected a smaller aluminum section with less windage, raised the hounds, removed the upper spreaders, and lengthened the spinnaker pole in order to amp up the IOD in their light Western Long Island Sound breezes. Bermuda sails with a similar rig. San Francisco had different manufacturer choices and selected a Ballard spar with the Classic Rig, double spreaders and jumpers. Northeast Harbor, with a short season, cold winters and great local craftsmen continue to use wooden spars, some of them original from 1938. In Europe, they needed yet another aluminum spar maker, Selden who mimicked the Larchmont configuration, or the Modern Rig in the present Class Rules. In 1996, Norway held the World Championship in about 20 host provided boats with half wooden Classic Rig and half aluminum Modern Rig. The competitors changed boats every race and saw some slight advantage of one rig over the other in the range of breeze seen that week, but boat swaps made it a fair competition. This validates the class rules that permit the owner to set up his own rig with few dimensional restrictions.

Hardware and Cordage – Over 80 years, some hardware naturally wore out. Different builders had to replace some hardware with what they had locally. Meanwhile the Harken brothers brought us a whole new panoply of hardware choices. With the minor differences on hulls and rigs largely dialed out by owner rig setup, the differences between substantially equal boats often came down to boat handling. This has become another puzzle for owners to figure out how to help their crew come out of maneuvers in the fast lane. Travelers had not been invented when the boat and rig was designed in 1936, but they helped depower the big IOD main in a puff without opening the leach and without breaking a wooden boom with vang sheeting. Two-to-one original jib sheets with Vernier fine tune gave way to one-toone to a winch that was lighter and vastly superior to the winches of the 1930s. Head knockers, barney posts, Cunninghams, twings and through the deck blocks to racks of cam cleats have all appeared on many IODs. Kevin Mahaney, Olympian and Maine IOD sailor developed a more modern application of Harken hardware for sheeting and other adjustments. Since then, stripped double braid did away with carrying both heavy and light spinnaker sheets, and four-to-one fine tune tackle on Spectra main halyards eliminate many a halyard winch. These differences between individual one-design boats give some crews an advantage in honing their boat handling skills in their regular fleet racing. Differences in running rigging also challenge the teams at borrowed-boat championships when the crews change boats after every race and must quickly train themselves with many new and different sail controls. It seems that every one-design class started prior to the Laser has dealt with many of these changes. For the IOD it is a way to keep our 30- and 50- and 80- year-old boats competitive against the much newer boats.

Rules for Class Growth – As mentioned above, when Corny Shields started, the rules were essentially to prohibit high cost boat speed alternatives. When the class constitution and championship regulations were penned sometime in the 1960s or 70s, there was a reliance on the authorized builders turning out long lasting boats with the same hull and sail plan as boats built before. There were a few specified dimensions such as on replacement deck thickness to prohibit the use of significantly lighter materials. It has taken a great measurement effort by Charlie Van Voorhis and the Technical Committee to produce the Class Rules in 2015, recently updated with the help of World Sailing. Now they specify that the hull as designed, built for equal original weight and distribution, and a sail plan that can be held aloft by either the Classic Rig or the Modern Rig, and each fleet is to designate one rig or the other. Fleets can specify other local rules such as what electronic instruments can be aboard, but the class rules that define an IOD are open. If the class rules do not prohibit something, then it is allowed, and owners are only limited by class dimensional rules. The choice of rule structure is required by World Sailing to be closed or open and any choice but open rules for an 80-year-old class with boats, rigs and sails made by more than a dozen different manufacturers would be chaotic. Each owner has wide range to configure his boat to suit his purposes and ideas, and fleets or sailing instructions may not establish more stringent rules than the Class Rules without consent of the Class for a local exception. Having the openness to attract each owner’s ingenuity is a strength that has served the class well over four score years of technological development and it’s application drives keen competition.

June 2017

1938 Life Magazine - Moxham's International Class Boat

posted May 11, 2017, 9:50 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:50 AM ]

Life Magazine, 1938

Sailing on Long Island Sound

To most landlubbers, Long Island Sound is an unromantic place, but to amateur sailors, it is a paradise. They like it best when a spanking sou’wester blows up the Sound, spraying white caps over the slippery decks of their boats. Then, from every cove and harbor from Throgs Neck to New London, they skim out into open water, ready for an overnight race around Block Island or for a shorter sail around a triangular course near their home port. Along the shores of the Sound are more salt-water yacht clubs (well over 100) than along any comparable coastline in the world. 

Today, as for 75 years, the Sound is the hub of American yachting. Gone are most of the huge steam yachts, gaff-rigged sloops and professional crews of the days when only the very rich could afford to sail. In their place are thousands of smaller boats, costing less but sailing faster. One of the first of these newer boats to be built was a schooner Niña, shown here boating to windward. A fast and sturdy ocean racer, the Niña cost about $30,000 and is now owned by D Coursey Fales, a New York lawyer. Smaller and more popular are the International Class yachts shown on the following pages. 

IODs overtaking Artemis

posted May 9, 2017, 7:54 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:50 AM ]

IOD Class Wins World Sailing Acceptance

posted Jan 30, 2017, 7:33 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:51 AM ]

At the 2016 Annual Conference of World Sailing in Barcelona, a 39-0 vote of the Board sealed the re-acceptance of the IOD Class at World Sailing.

As many of you know, the International Class, celebrates 80 years of continuous active boat racing in 2017 and predates World Sailing by many years, World Sailing being the successor to International Sailing Federation (ISAF), itself the successor the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU). In any event, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, ISAF began to try to control the moniker “World Championships”. Today, there are about 150 different sailing World Champions. The sailing fraternity has been criticized for this explosion of superiority, as it seems like overkill when one considers baseball has only one per year and football (not American Football) has one every 4 years.

When confronted with the possibility of sanctions against IOD sailors who competed in our Worlds and then aimed for the Olympics, the class leaders worked with Star sailor and ISAF Board member Ding Schoonmaker who succeeded in persuading ISAF to grant the IOD status as a ‘Classic Class’. As such, we could host a World Championship as we have nearly every year since 1959 without fear of reprisals. This lasted until about 2013 when ISAF changes the rules, eliminated the Classic Classes and demanded adherence to stringent requirements on numbers of boats sailing in a Worlds that the IOD Class could not meet on a regular basis. There were other issues in the IOD-ISAF relationship and it was determined to part company.

Two years later discussions began with World Sailing VP Gary Jobson who sails IODs regularly. Gary said he believed that the IOD should have the honor and status of World Sailing membership and agreed to help us succeed if we thought it could work for us. At Gary’s suggestion, we opened discussions with
Dina Kowalyshyn, Vice Chair of the World Sailing Equipment Committee. It is the Equipment Committee that must first vote favorably on any class application before the World Sailing Board can consider it for approval. With Dina, a small team discussed the application process, the requirement for membership, the benefits for glass growth of being recognized by World sailing, and a number of ways to comply with the World Sailing rules for classes. Several new strategies for complying with the minimum entries for a World Championship also came to light. As the Executive Committee learned more, it became clear that the benefits could outweigh the costs. We would have a better ability to grow and maintain the class as a member of World Sailing than as an outsider. In the spring of 2016 it was agreed to proceed with an application. The Formal Application is posted on the member only site for your reading pleasure: WS Application.

The filing of the application with World Sailing commenced several discussions about the numbers of active IOD Sailors around the world. With the strong efforts of Secretary Roy Weedon, the lists were compiled, notarized and submitted. While the WCA had historically focused on the fleets, there are many of our beautiful boats owned and sailed outside the scope of the registered fleets. Even our limited knowledge of these owners proved important in working with World Sailing. For example, members of the
Equipment Committee were advised if we knew of boats in their country even if there is not an organized fleet there. This gave them each a personal reason to support the IOD sailors in their country by supporting our application.

Dina strongly suggested that an officer of the WCA travel to the World Sailing Annual Conference to support and defend our application. President Rugg agreed to take on this responsibility at no cost to the class, and attended the conference in Barcelona in November 2016. At the conference, a subcommittee of the class rules committee reviewed our class rules. Fortunately, two of the 3 members of the sub-committee were known to the President from other sailing organization activities and met with the President to discuss certain changes that would clarify the rules and make them better fit the World Sailing class rules template. These changes were discussed with our technical committee chairman and the President was able to confirm agreement to the scope of changes at the conference.

The process for the US Delegation to the conference was instructive. Two conference calls were held prior to the start of the meeting, and the members of the US delegation met early each morning to discuss the overall US strategy for the conference, each individual delegates objectives, and progress on a day-to-day basis. This process provided a large group of lobbyists who worked the halls and committee rooms to support our application. The President was also able to support several objectives of other delegates.

At the formal meeting of the Equipment Committee, the President presented a short review of the application and how the IOD Class and World Sailing could have a mutually beneficial association. The Equipment Committee was impressed with our superlative management of the transition from wood to fiberglass that has prevented obsolescence or lack of competitiveness of our elder boats. They also found our championship events with host club provided boats an important way to engage more sailors in higher-level international competition at an affordable cost. Several members of the committee spoke about their personal knowledge and respect for our class, including Kim Anderson, then Chairman of the Equipment Committee and now the newly elected President of World Sailing.

At the end of the conference, the World Sailing Board met for two days to vote on a very long list of submissions for changes to sailing administration, rules and regulations, including the re-election of Gary Jobson as Vice President of World Sailing. This was an important issue for the US delegation. The final vote on the IOD Class application approved unanimously.

Going forward we will have a partner in World Sailing in keeping our constitution and rules up to date with best practices. The IODWAC will be better able to support each of our fleets with the underpinning of rules that promote fairness at both the fleet level and at our championships and other events. Based on our World Sailing status, we can now better support our builders and the IODs owners that are in locations distant from a recognized fleet. We will have a responsibility to work with World Sailing as a partner, and to maintain communications on changes and updates to our constitution and rules. We will also report the attendance and other information on our World Championships, and work with World Sailing to assist every fleet in hosting world class events.

Jan 2017

Vision for the New IOD Fleet at Manhattan Yacht Club

posted Jan 3, 2017, 8:27 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:55 AM ]

© Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection

Byline: Michael Fortenbaugh

[Excerpted from the Manhattan Yacht Club, December 2016 newsletter]
For many years, our Club has been looking for the next-level fleet for our more experienced racing and cruising Members. This would not replace our great J/24 fleet which does such a wonderful job in making sailing easy and accessible for all Members. The next-level fleet would be in addition to our J/24s. 

Many years ago, we promoted a J/105 fleet but the costs and complexity of these boats ended up being too high. Since then, we have studied many other classes and have not yet found the one which is right for our Club.  What we are looking for is a classic design, not the "latest & greatest" which could lose its luster and become a flash in the pan. We are looking for yachts which are well built, easy to maintain, and are proven to hold their value over the long haul. We are looking for a yacht which is easy to sail and where new sailors can participate alongside veterans.

In the end, we believe we have found the next level fleet for MYC - the International One Design class. Our Club was exposed to this fleet in Bermuda this past November.  IODs personify beauty, grace and style. They are, in effect, miniature 12 Meters which are already hugely popular at our Club. And while 12 Meters are complex and a difficult production, IODs are simple and easy.

These boats will be great for racing! They will deliver an evenly matched fleet with tight racing so that skill and wind shifts determine the winner. The boats race with 5 people so your team can be made up of experienced as well as novice sailors. The boats are also forgiving. When a puff hits, they lean over but do not spin out of control like a more modern boat.

These boats will also be great for cruising in the harbor. They are distinguished and beautiful. They are more stable and comfortable than a J/24. They will make a perfect boat to cruise with friends and family. Because of their style and grace, they will also make an excellent boat for entertaining friends and co-workers. Sailing on an IOD past the Statue of Liberty will be breathtaking and memorable.

© Mystic Seaport, Rosenfeld Collection

Our Club will announce soon the IOD vision and plan, including the prospectus to participate in this historic effort. Our fleet will be limited to 12 boats. They must all be Member-owned and you can buy an IOD as a single Member or build your own syndicate of Members. There are a few boats on the used market but they are hard to come by. There is also a builder in Chester, Nova Scotia who can deliver new boats at a reasonable cost. Racing in the IODs will be Member-only like our J/24s. For cruising, owners will be encouraged to invite non-members to participate and learn about the IOD history and vision.

Commodore Fortenbaugh and his Tuesday race team have already formed a syndicate and acquired the Club's first IOD, Black Arrow #103. Black Arrow had been racing at the Larchmont Yacht Club and will come to our Club this summer. The Syndicate behind Black Arrow will make her available for other Members to test sail.  

It is hoped that the legacy of our 30th Anniversary season will include not just a second 12 Meter racing in the harbor (see below) but also the start of an IOD fleet which will begin racing at the Club in 2018.

2016 IOD Weird Not World Championships

posted Sep 23, 2016, 7:09 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:56 AM ]

Written by Chris Gould

This article was written for Nantucket Yacht Club's magazine "Soundings", and is presented here with permission of its author.

The 2016 International One Design “world” Championship, was held September 3-10 out of San Francisco Yacht Club, north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Tiburon.  The event was unorthodox in nearly every respect.  The sport’s international governing body had prohibited use of the term “World Championship”, in accordance with its new standards for fleet size and geographic representation.  The IOD class governing body was itself at war with the local San Francisco Bay host fleet; the latter was in open conflict with one of its own members.  The number of entering teams outnumbered available boats.  Two consecutive non-cumulative scorecards were kept, one for “qualifier” series, one for “final” championship.  No throw-outs.  Protest hearings were replaced by on-course umpires.  Tidal current on the race course matched that of Nantucket’s entrance channel.  Courses featured starboard mark roundings.
And yet, despite all distractions and challenges, the event was competitive, legitimate, fun and worthy of the “class championship” moniker. 
The field and format…
Eleven teams were present: three from Fishers Island, two from Norway, and one each from Bermuda, Long Island Sound, Nantucket, Northeast Harbor, San Francisco and Sweden.  Four skippers were former World Champions, including 2015 defending champion Jonathan Farrar who won a year ago in Nantucket.  
With fewer boats than entrants, regatta organizers adopted a two-stage competition consisting of a qualification series followed by a championship (final) series.  All teams rotated onto boats in the qualifiers, with six teams sailing, and five sitting out each race.  The three day qualifier series would yield six finalists in a “Gold” fleet, and a five team “Silver” fleet.
Hurry up and wait…
Every book about sailboat racing advises, “Be on the water early.  Sail to the race course in plenty of time to tune and get a feel for conditions -- especially when racing in unfamiliar waters, borrowed boats, or with crew that haven’t sailed together.”
Now picture Team Sierra, representing Nantucket.  Skipper Roy Weedon, and crew Dan Faria (tactician), Phil Cox (foredeck), Linda Green (middle) and Chris Gould (middle) arrived the night before (and day of) the first race.  As is customary to prevent damage, the fleet had been quarantined until commencement of racing.
Being one of the teams to draw a bye for the first two races, Nantucket’s team Sierra boarded a large motor yacht an hour after the IOD fleet left the dock.  So much for practice time.  Racing was already underway in the middle of the bay, with a start/finish line set a couple of hundred yards west of Alcatraz, and a weather mark half way to the Golden Gate, in the vicinity of the recent America’s Cup starting box.  Watching the competition from the massive power cruiser, Weedon and company pulled on layers of gear for the Bay’s brisk conditions.  
Initiation by fire…
A rigid inflatable launch whisked us to our assigned boat as soon as it had crossed the finish line.  Within minutes, a voice on the VHF was asking all boats to raise their jibs to indicate readiness for a starting sequence.
Sierra’s crew was very experienced, not just in IOD’s.  Roy is an IOD North Americans champion, and this was his fifth shot at the worlds.  Dan is a Bermuda Race Week winner in IODs; he and Phil race a Shields in Newport.  Linda is not only a skipper of the Echo syndicate in Nantucket; her name is also in the trophy case at San Francisco Yacht Club, where she first started sailing years ago.  This author is a local to San Francisco Bay, has background in Olympic classes, and races IODs in Nantucket.  Notwithstanding individual resumes, the five of us had never sailed as one team.  We were still determining roles on our ride out to the race course. 
Once finally aboard, we scrambled to figure out systems, identify strings, and organize the spinnaker.  We got a quick look at the ferocious flood current on the starting line.  The RC boat looked as if it were being towed by its anchor rode.  The warning signal sounded before we had upwind compass bearings.
A river runs through it…
Over six days, almost every race was in flood tide.  That meant tactics were simple, almost irrelevant.  The name of the game was to start well, go left, and try to guess how much by which to overstand the port layline against the torrent of left to right set.  In all but two or three of the twelve races we sailed, the Sierra team tacked twice – once per upwind leg. 
Starting in the second row, or without clear air, or not being able to hold a lane almost certainly meant a fifth or sixth place finish.  In this respect the course location, indeed most of San Francisco Bay, is not ideal for a major fleet championship.  But that’s sailboat racing, and it was the same challenge for all entrants.
To grasp the magnitude and effect of the current on racing, consider that for the first four days, in race after race, the fleet took eighteen to twenty minutes to claw its way against the tide upwind, and as few as six minutes “downhill” with chutes up and current boiling from behind.  In the 15-23 knot breeze, a slow spinnaker set, or even no spinnaker set, was unlikely to result in changed positions.
Knowing its flock would head toward the San Francisco city front, and thus would approach the weather mark on port layline, the race committee opted for starboard roundings in the flood tide conditions.  That setup led to some nasty encounters, and at least one major collision involving two former world champions.  The committee attempted unsuccessfully to set an offset mark, and every race became up-down-up-down finish.  Only later in the week were there a few counterclockwise courses in the ebb tides.
Here come ‘da judge…
The fleet may have seen a glimpse of the future, with umpires on RIB craft watching every move.  In lieu of Rule 61, a protesting boat would wave a “Y” flag, and instantly an on-water judge would either direct the offending boat to do a turn, or disallow the request.  Moreover, the umpires were ready and willing to impose a penalties on their own, whether or not called by a competitor.  There were no off-water protest hearings.   Everyone we talked to was impressed and appreciated the real-time judicial process.  Mistakes may have been made, but probably less so than after the fact, indoors, with biased perspectives and recall.
Team Sierra learned the protocol first hand in the qualifier series.  In one start, we were deemed not to have yielded to a leeward boat.  In another race, at a downwind rounding we were nabbed for squeezing our nose inside a right-of-way boat.  Justice was administered on the spot, and served to illustrate the enormously harsh consequence of a 360 degree turn in those circumstances.  
Among the many unexpected twists of this regatta, the on-water jury added a surprise on the last day of racing.  Judges boarded the boat of the eventual regatta winners, and busted them for “adding ballast”, i.e. pumping water into the bilge.  That unfolding story maintained suspense for several hours after sailing was completed, and was finally settled with a penalty that left the overall result unchanged.
The competition…
Charlie VanVoorhies of Fishers Island fleet demonstrated from the very first race that he was ready to rumble, and his team never let up.  His crew was talented in every position, with good size for the windy conditions though not huge in overall weight.  Neil Fowler, a veteran Celebrity Tactician in NRW IOD Celebrity Invitational called tactics.  Jim Thompson was recognized at the awards ceremony as most-distinguished overall crew.  Charlie’s son Lyon and Todd Wake completed their roster.
Defending champion Jonathan Farrar, also from Fishers Island fleet, kept it close all the way to the end.  Going into the last race, they were still in position for a repeat win, but couldn’t quite pull it off in the end.  The VanVoorhies and Farrar teams outsailed the rest of the fleet all week, and deserved to finish at the top of the board.  John Burnham and team rounded out the Fishers Island podium sweep, substantiating the claim that theirs is the most competitive fleet in the class.
Sierra sailed well.  One highlight of the week was winning the last race of the qualifier series, saving the team from Gold fleet elimination.  Sierra was one of only two boats in the “championship” series without a former world champion at the helm; the other was the San Francisco entrant, Rich Pearce, who clearly had a local knowledge advantage over most visiting teams.  Sierra finished strong in the final series as well, with a second and third on the last day.  It wasn’t easy to step aboard all the different boats and dial things in right away.  We mixed it up with the fast crowd, just not as consistently as the guys who came out on top.
The politics…
Controversy surrounded this event for over a year.  At the 2015 IOD class Annual General Meeting held during last year’s Worlds in Nantucket, a faction of the IOD World Class Association (WCA) leadership attempted to reassign this year’s hosting and venue to a fleet other than San Francisco.  Over the winter, the WCA deemed the San Francisco fleet to be “not in good standing” due to an argument the fleet was having with a member regarding changing his rig.  The WCA deemed the changes acceptable, and sanctioned the fleet for its handling of the matter.  The battle continued in San Francisco, with procedural arguments in the skippers’ meeting, followed by tense and testy exchange during the Annual General meeting two days later.  At mid-week the San Francisco fleet was still “not in good standing”, and decided to cancel the entire event following the qualifier series.  Cooler heads prevailed, with both sides giving some credit to Roy Weedon as mediator.  At this writing the matter is moving up sailing’s judicial system to the regional and perhaps national level.
Politics, pettiness and personalities aside, the core issue of the debate is relevant to all IOD fleets, including particularly Nantucket.  It’s analogous to federal versus states’ rights in the U. S. constitution.  Can the WCA force a fleet to accept a member and his boat if it deems the boat’s measurement certificate to be valid?  Or should the local fleet have final say on its standards and their enforcement?  No doubt, much more discussion will take place on the topic.
The upshot…
The 2016 IOD Class Championship was very successful, despite oddities and distractions.  The San Francisco Bay IOD Fleet made huge effort and sacrificed greatly to make its boats available.  The San Francisco Yacht Club, led by P.R.O. Forrest Gay and supported by a deep bench of volunteers, did a superb job on the water.  Housing was well organized.  Social activities were top notch.  Parts of the format were experimental, but nearly everything worked.  The competition was fair, and overall, teams finished in accordance with their performance.  If the format is repeated, one might expect it to be tweaked to maintain interest and incentive for the Silver fleet. 
Nantucket sailors benefit many ways by attending off island events.  We learn by racing, observing event management on and off the water, and by interacting with members of all other fleets.  We return to Nantucket with ideas, and with renewed appreciation for the uniformity, layout and condition of our own fleet of boats, our unmatched open waters for racing, and the spirit of cooperation within and among our syndicates.

IOD Class Championship: Van Voorhis Wins in San Francisco Breezes

posted Sep 13, 2016, 6:47 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:56 AM ]

Charlie Van Voorhis, of Fishers Island, NY, sailed to a convincing win at the 2016 International One-Design Class Championship, a six-day regatta held on San Francisco Bay in September. The fleet included teams representing Norway, Sweden, Bermuda, and the U.S.

In winning the title for the fourth time, Van Voorhis easily finished first in a six-race qualifying series, which split the 11 teams into gold and silver fleets of six and five boats, respectively. [

Sailing with Jim Thompson, Neal Fowler, Todd Wake and his son Lyon, Van Voorhis then won four of the six races in the final series. After the racing concluded, his margin of victory was reduced 3 points by a jury penalty for adding ballast water in the bilge before the penultimate race, which he subsequently sailed and won without the water.

The defending champion, Jonathan Farrar, also from Fishers Island, scored consistent top finishes and took second overall, one point behind Van Voorhis. Another Fishers Island team, skippered by John Burnham, won the final race to beat Nantucket's Roy Weedon and San Francisco's Rich Pearce for third, making it a sweep of the top positions for Fishers Island.

The event was sailed from San Francisco Yacht Club in Tiburon, with races taking place just west of Alcatraz Island in consistent 12-18 knot winds and typically flooding tide, which kept the Bay’s often choppy sea state moderate.  Finishing ahead in the Silver fleet and 7th overall was Rob Van Alen of Northeast Harbor, Maine. []

The 33-foot IODs racing in the event were originally designed in the mid-1930s by Norwegian designer Bjarne Aas and as in many IOD fleets include wood and fiberglass hulls built in the 80 years since. Sailors in the event qualified for the regatta in their home fleets and then sailed in borrowed boats generously loaned by members of the local San Francisco fleet. Putting some of the older and less-used boats in shape to sail in the regatta was a significant volunteer effort by several members of the local fleet.

Under the leadership of regatta chair Paul Zupan, the event used an experimental format intended to make it possible for smaller fleets to host the championship with the same borrowed-boat format. Eight boats were sailed in three races per day; each team competed in two races daily and received a bye in the third during the first three days of the regatta. At that point, the fleet was split into gold and silver divisions for three more days of racing, with the gold competing for the overall title. Silver fleet sailors chose to sail only one day and then by consensus spent the last two days sight-seeing while the gold fleet carried on racing. A total of 17 races were run by principal race officer Forrest Gregg and his San Francisco Yacht Club team.

Umpires were also employed for the first time at a class championship, with chief umpire Luca Babini leading an international team of officials. Some on-water penalties were meted out, typically requiring a 360-degree turn by the boat found guilty. Both the split-fleet format and the use of umpires will be reviewed by the IOD World Class Association and the IOD fleets to consider whether to use and/or modify the systems for use at future championships.

Both San Francisco IOD Fleet and San Francisco Yacht Club members provided housing for many of the visiting sailors, a class tradition that stretches back to the early days of the regatta, which was first run in 1959. 

Normally, the event includes one and sometimes two representatives of any single fleet, but Fishers Island was in the unusual position of having three teams racing because Farrar won 2015 title and thereby received an automatic invitation. In 2017, Van Voorhis will receive the defending champion invitation to the next class championship, scheduled for Northeast Harbor, Maine, in August.

Northeast Harbor Fleet Hosting Int’l One Design North Am. Invitational Regatta

posted Aug 1, 2016, 7:53 AM by IOD-WCA Webmaster   [ updated May 22, 2017, 8:56 AM ]

July 29, 2016
By Eric Gullickson

NORTHEAST HARBOR (WABI TV5/CW) On Somes Sound near Northeast Harbor a sailing race is going on. The Northeast Harbor Fleet is hosting the International One Design North American Invitational Regatta… Incredible history with the boats and watching them race is impressive… The Fleet’s Commodore and Vice Commodore took us out and break down the event…

2016 Nantucket IOD Invitational

posted Jul 11, 2016, 7:41 PM by Danielle Lawson   [ updated Jul 13, 2016, 5:15 AM by Danielle Lawson ]

By Ian McNiece

The 16th running of the Nantucket IOD Invitational was held June 24-26. This edition of the event included many past champions of this event two of which are multiple IOD World Champions and three teams that had little or no experience sailing the IOD. These three hailed from Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, Gibson Island Yacht Club, MD, and Hyannis Yacht Club, MA.

The weather conditions for all three days were glorious but atypical for Nantucket at this time of the year as we were treated with mainly North Easterly winds which in large part negated any tactical advantage the Nantucket teams may have had as we typically sail in Strong South Westerlies.

The racing that ensued over the three days was the closest I have ever witnessed in the IOD class with positions changing constantly while all the time the fleet was tightly bunched. After the nine scheduled races were completed, four points separated the top five boats and as eventual winner, John Burnham from Fishers Island said, “We had more than a few good breaks that helped us to the top finish, and clearly there were several teams that deserved to take home top honors. Our thanks to those who didn't tack directly on our air as we approached the weather mark on more than one occasion. If we'd had to take a couple more tacks in a single race, we might well have been fifth”.

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