Ida Lewis Distance Race Approaches

Lighthouse at Castle Hill, 2010. Photo/Ida Lewis Yacht Club Distance Race

The Ida Lewis Distance Race (ILDR) in Newport, Rhode Island, is set for August 19, and organizers are encouraging competitors to register by the early-bird deadline of August 5 to help build excitement among the competitors and encourage others to sign up early, too.

Open to boats 28 feet and longer and with its courses covering some of the most storied sailing grounds in the world, the 7th edition of the Ida Lewis Distance Race starts Friday, August 19, at 1:00 p.m. off Fort Adams in Narragansett Bay and includes turning marks at Castle Hill, Brenton Reef, Block Island, Montauk Point, Martha’s Vineyard and Buzzards Tower on its way to a signature champagne finish inside Newport Harbor off the historic Ida Lewis Yacht Club.

Who’s Coming:

Rambler wins IRC and Navigator's Trophy (2010). Photo/Ida Lewis Yacht Club Distance Race.

“In the past we’ve done a lot more buoy racing, but after a friend of ours requested we do the Ida Lewis Distance Race back in 2009, we decided to try it out and ended up having a great time,” said John Wayt (Jamestown) who placed second in the cruising spinnaker class that year on his S&S Swan 44 Vixen. “We did the race that year with 4 crew members, including my wife. It was a really relaxing sail, but also competitive.”

Along with Wayt, other competitors who have signed up early include Charlie Robertson (Old Saybrook, CT), Swan 68 Cannonball; Bill Varr (East Freetown, MA), Hanse 540e Airglow; Ian Scott (Newport, RI), Swan 36 COCO; Ray Way (Warwick, RI), Dehler DB2 Dead Reckoning; Dennis Ziemba (Highlands, NJ),Tartan 41 Moonshine; Jeffrey Ohstrom (Dumont, NJ), Custom 50 STAR; Roel Hoekstra (Essington, PA), Swan 43 Akela II; Robert Tullman (Tampa, FL), Swan 46 Destiny; and Rod Komar (Marstons Mills, MA).

Youth Challenge:

Youth Challenge, (2010) Photo/Ida Lewis Yacht Club Distance Race.

New to the event this year will be Steve Frank’s custom 69’ McCurdy & Rhodes Gracie entered in the Youth Challenge, which was introduced to the junior sailing world last year and met with huge success when 6 boats out of a fleet of 35 signed up to compete. “We all really wanted to volunteer the boat, and when we learned about the distance race it was the perfect opportunity,” said Skip Kelly, Captain of Gracie, who continues to recruit junior sailors from local yacht clubs for the team. “Five of our crew are Storm Trysail members, and each will be given three youth sailors to work with. We have to bring up the new crop of sailors; our primary goal for this race is to be safe, teach them some good skills and have fun along the way.”

To qualify for the Youth Challenge, more than 40% of the crew must have reached their 14th birthday but not turn 20 prior to August 19. Teams may have junior crew members outside of those parameters; however, they will not count towards the youth component. Adults (minimum two aboard, one of whom must be designated as Captain) will make up the balance of the crew, but it is intended that they serve only in a supervisory capacity. Teams must be registered under the flag of a US SAILING yacht club or community sailing program. All youth sailors will be required to attend a brief informational meeting the evening before the race (participants of all ages welcome) and will be strongly encouraged to attend the Storm Trysail Junior Safety at Sea Seminar, which will be held in Newport, on Wednesday, August 17.

Block Island Course Chart

The Race Committee will choose separate courses (longer for IRC and shorter for PHRF, Youth Teams, One-Design and Double-Handed sailors) from among four courses: Montauck (177 nm), Block Island (150 nm), Nomans (122 nm), and Buzzards Bay Tower (104 nm).

The Ida Lewis Distance Race is a qualifier for the 2011 New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF); Northern and Double-Handed Ocean Racing Trophies (IRC); and the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series.

Montauk Race Chart

Starting Line sponsors are North Sails, New England Boatworks, City of Newport, and Doug Ferguson and Family. Contributing sponsors are Dockwise Yacht Transport, Flint Audio Video, Gosling’s Rum, Mac Designs, Narragansett Beer, Newport Shipyard, Newport Tent Company, Rig Pro Southern Spars, and Sea Gear Uniforms.

Registration information:

To register for the regatta, go to Ida Lewis Distance Race , click “registration” at the top of the page and you will be directed to the Yacht Scoring  site. It’s easy especially if you have registered for the ILDR or other events through the yacht scoring system in the past.

For more information:

Contacts for the Youth Challenge:

Sponsorship Opportunities:

Connect on Facebook:  Ida Lewis Distance Race Facebook Page.

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