By Jane Ahrens
The week of September 15, 2013 was a busy one for the Fishers Island Yacht Club as they hosted the 2013 IOD (International One-Design) World Championship Races on the Island. Sailors began to arrive on September 14 and by Monday morning, with tide charts and wind calculations in hand, they boarded their assigned boats for the 1st races in the 5-day series.
IOD teams around the globe qualify for the world championships each year by competing within their local fleet in a series of races, and then traveling to the host venue, where boats are loaned to the champion of each fleet. Although the Norwegian and Swedish fleet qualifiers were unable to attend, a strong group of 10 teams compete at Fishers for the 2013 Worlds. Skippers were Charlie Van Voorhis, Fishers Island; Peter McCausland, Nantucket 1; Roy Weedon, Nantucket 2; John Henry, Northeast Harbor 1; David Schoeder, Northeast Harbor 2; Jim Bishop, Jr., Long Island Sound; Bill Widnall and Matt Lindblad, Marblehead; Mark Pearce, San Francisco; Penny Simmons, Bermuda 1; and Patrick Cooper, Bermuda 2.
Co-skippers Matt Lindblad and Bill Widnall of Marblehead captured the title, finishing the week just one point ahead of Fishers Island’s Charlie Van Voorhis. The series score was close throughout the week, with first Penny Simmons and then Van Voorhis — both former world champions — holding the lead. In the final race, held in a dying breeze, the title hung in the balance until the last hundred yards of the last leg, when the Marblehead team gained just enough places to take the title from the Fishers Island team.
The week was not just spent on the water. The Fishers Island Yacht Club’s IOD Worlds Committee organized a variety of social events for the visiting teams and their Fishers Island hosts. With Right Gin as the official sponsor of the 2013 Worlds, the opening cocktail party and grill night at the Yacht Club on Sunday evening kicked off the week. This was followed by a night of dinner and dancing on the Pequot Inn’s light-up dance floor, an Italian night at the Community Center, and a special treat of Fishers Island oysters, chowder and chili on the Yacht Club lawn. As the week wound down, each team and their hosts found an invitation to a casual dinner at a Fishers Island home on Thursday night. The awards banquet and closing ceremonies took place at the Fishers Island Club on Friday.
To accommodate the visiting teams, Fishers Island Yacht Club used nine of the Fishers Island IODs and borrowed two boats from Nantucket. This of course entailed going to get them in September and returning them late in October. The delivery in September was made by two teams, Kevin Carroll and Charlie Van Voorhis in one boat and Colin Sykes and Roy Weedon from Nantucket in the other. They left Nantucket at 10:00 am and were towed or sailed side by side for 24 hours to arrive on Fishers September 7 at 11:00 am. The return trip was a bit more eventful. Leaving West Harbor on October 26, Charlie Van Voorhis and his brother Norman crewed one boat and Bill Reed, Geordie Loveday and James Hall sailed the other. The return trip started at 4:30am on the beginning of the ebb tide with the wind out of the northwest at 10 knots. By the time the team reached Nantucket Harbor, there were gusts of 40 knots at Buzzards Bay tower, and by the time the boats were safely moored at Nantucket Yacht Club, the ferries had all been cancelled for the night. Here is more to the story – IOD Delivery to Nantucket: October, 2013 by Bill Reed
Danielle Lawson’s 2013 IOD AGM President’s Report captured the essence of the race week.
“Thank you to the Fishers Island Fleet and community for putting together this great event and catapulting the class in to the twenty-first century – thanks to the twitter feed (@IntlOneDesign, #IODWorlds), the pictures and the live racing coverage on Kattack.
“I am well aware that it takes a village to put on one of these events and I can only image that is at least doubly true when there is but one store, one bar and no roads in and out of the venue (as is the case on Fishers Island). It is fantastic that the hosts have focused on making the racing outstanding, but all of the other logistics are no small feat of accomplishment and for that we are all in your debt. Thank you to the owners, the hosts, the tinkerers, the tweeters, the sail makers, the lunch-makers and all the others that have allowed us to intrude on them and who are sharing a little bit of the Fishers Island Magic this week.”
To learn more about the IOD Fleet please visit: http://www.internationalonedesign.org/home
Photo Credit: Mary Feeny Photography
(Click on any photo in the series to see a larger image or view as a slideshow.)