The C&C30 was the newest class at the 162nd New York YC Annual regatta, the first event of the Newport summer season. The high-performance 30-footers may look like an overgrown surfboard. But, says two-time Olympic sailor Mark Mendelblatt, the boats are surprisingly seaworthy. “We had up to 27, 28 knots of wind, and were averaging low 20s for both races. It was right on the edge, but OK.”
Mendelblatt sailed with Dan Cheresh onboard Extreme2, which won the regatta with an impressive 2-1-2-1 scoreline. Mendelblatt placed the lion’s share of the credit on Cheresh’s shoulders.
“The driver is always the biggest factor on the sailboat, but on these boats where the level is close and it’s very tight at the top, the driver is usually who can pull it off,” said Mendelblatt. “Being able to drive the boat fast in a straight line is the most important thing, throughout the range of conditions. We did have a few [boathandling] mistakes, but in that breeze everyone makes mistakes. A couple of times we got handed the race, but we were always up near the front and didn’t have any major mistakes.”
Jim Madden’s Stark Raving Mad VIII finished second, winning a tie-breaker over Kip Meadows and the roXanne team. Madden scored a 5-4 in the first two races, and was leading the day’s third race when the race committee abandoned the race in a dying breeze. They came back strong on the windy second day with a 1-2; their race win breaking the tie with Meadows.
Angus Davis and the Nyabinghi team won the first race, and finished fourth overall, only two points behind the tied teams.
Later this summer a fleet of a dozen or more C&C 30s are expected to contest the class’s first North American championship during Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. For many of the six teams sailing this past weekend, this regatta served as a high-test tune-up for the big show, which begins July 13.
-Stuart Streuli, NYYC