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Aug 3, 2018 3:48 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Breakwater Yacht Club Hosts Pair Of America's Cup Sailboats

For the second year in a row, Breakwater Yacht Club in Sag Harbor hosted a pair of America's Cup 12-meter boats--US42 and US46, both dubbed
Aug 7, 2018 9:17 AM

For the second year in a row, the Breakwater Yacht Club and Community Sailing Center in Sag Harbor hosted a pair of America’s Cup 12-meter sailboats—US42 and US46—on August 1, as part of its annual summer racing series. The two boats based out of Manhattan Yacht Club were both built for the 1987 America’s Cup, which was contested in Australia.

The two boats, both named “America II,” strutted their stuff on Sag Harbor Bay and along Peconic River, along with the other boats competing within Breakwater’s racing series, last week, before heading to Devon Yacht Club in Amagansett, Montauk, and then Greenport to finish out their week-long Long Island tour.

Sarah Alford, a board member at Breakwater, said the relative close proximity from the America’s Cup boats home base in Manhattan to Sag Harbor made it a natural destination for the boats. Plus, since some of the board members have sailed in New York City, there is a relationship between the clubs.

“It’s kind of a like a ‘hey, why don’t we?’” she said. “We’ve had other guest boats come to race here and it’s a nice way to appreciate different kinds of boats. It adds a little excitement. It’s a nice way to appreciate the skill of the sailor. When you sail on a boat that’s such a high performance boat, you can actually appreciate so much more and see what it takes to maintain the boat’s performance.”

Michael Hayes, another board member at Breakwater, helped sail one of the boats, along with his 12-year-old son, Gus. He called it, “a great experience.”

“Having sailed so many years and having watched this era of boats, this American Cup-era, through most of my growing up, it’s a real treat to be able to get on one and experience it and actually share it with my 12-year-old son,” Hayes said. “And he worked with me on the main sheet, trimming it, and he got a full workout today, no doubt!”

With winds gusting to about 30 knots, the boats were able to show the brute strength they possess.

“These boats generate phenomenal power,” Hayes said. “From the loads that the sails generate on the equipment, it’s just nothing that most of these people have ever experienced, and you’ve got to be really safe because if something blows up, it’s a bigger problem than if you’re on a J109 or a sunfish or anything like that,” he explained. “So this experience does put perspective on how much experience it takes to sail a boat like this, how much strength it takes to sail a boat like this, how much planning it takes—planning to just do a single maneuver—how much coordination and teamwork it takes to sail a boat like this. And then of course I just keep going back to, it’s historic and it’s fantastic.”

Hayes shared Alford’s thoughts that the club is building a relationship with Manhattan Yacht Club and is hoping that it will send out the America’s Cup boats on an annual basis.

“It’s a great opportunity for the town. They get to see what Breakwater does—the [after-party] is open to the public—they can come and participate and see the boats.”

Bill Rogers, who skippered “Big Boat,” a J109, out of Breakwater, won the Division I race in 1:01:59. Barry Browning, also of Breakwater, won the Division II race on his C&C 99 DK “Skidip!” in 1:04:37. And in the non-spinnaker Division III race, Bruce Dinsmore of Southampton, on his C&C 99 “Wave Equation,” beat out David and Kathy Cooper of East Hampton on their Catalina 445 “Flying Cloud II” in 1:10:05.

Sean Elliott is Breakwater’s director of sailing and helps 500 young sailors get out on to the water each week through his camps, along with the club’s regular racing series on Wednesdays and Saturdays.

“I think the racing in the big breeze was awesome, it really showed the power of those two former America’s Cup 12 meters,” he said. “The after party is always a success!”

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