Lucie Wins Annual Regatta

Four days of practice in April and three more in May set up Lucie’s crew for success at the 165th New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta in June.

For the three-day regatta, Lucie was placed in the smaller of two divisions of Classic yachts, racing against Alana, Syce, and Cherokee, three other 6-Metres, plus a pair of Luders 24s, and Gamecock, a Herreshoff R 40. The series began with the traditional race around Conanicut Island in a strong westerly breeze, and as the photo shows, close reaching to the finish line, Lucie was laid over hard but still sailing fast. She finished second to Peter McClennen’s Gamecock, which has a longer waterline and legged out on the long reach to the finish.

US 55 Lucie close reaches toward the finish of the Around the Island Race in the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta. Daniel Forster photo

In the two days of around-the-buoys racing that followed, the other 6-Metres were not a factor in the results due to breakdowns and retirements. Lucie competed closely with Chris Bouzaid’s Luders 24 Leaf but finished ahead in each race. Gamecock won a pair of races but Lucie was second each time, and the resulting 1-1-2-1-2 scoreline was decisive in favor of Lucie.

Evaluating the Lucie team’s performance, skipper Craig Healy said, “It’s more second nature sailing the boat now. We’ve come to grips with how to do the maneuvers using Lucie’s old-school winches and cleats.

“We still need more practice,” he added. “We never got around the leeward mark and said, ‘We took the kite down too early.’”

Tom Ducharme, John Hayes, Keith Stahnke, Isabelle du Moulin and Craig Healy (red jacket) sail Lucie downwind. Dan Nerney/NYYC Archives photo

Although the other 6-Metres had difficulties, Craig still felt the regatta was valuable for his team. “Keith Stahnke could choose laylines and work out how to deal with traffic,” Craig said. “That’s the whole point of a sailing in an event like this.”

Doyle Sails designer Glenn Cook sailed with the team the day before the regatta and supervised the review of two new mainsails, a heavy-air genoa, and a spinnaker. The consensus was that the sails were ready for action at the Worlds, and the team then put them away carefully and used older sails for the regatta .

Of the mainsails, Craig said, “Work on generating mast bend to be able to add sail area in the luff instead of the leech is paying off.”

Lucie, ready to travel to Hanko, Finland. Jens Lange photo

Following the regatta, Lucie was hauled and packed up for shipment to Europe for the World Championship in Finland. The team will follow and begin sailing her on July 31, with three days planned for final practice sessions before the regatta begins.

In the meantime, Craig and Tom Ducharme will get some more 6-Metre sailing time at the New York Yacht Club 175th Anniversary Regatta aboard a 1987 Ian Howlett design, Scoundrel. They will fly the St. Francis Yacht Club flag in that event as well as at the Worlds. “I don’t know how we will do at the Worlds,” said Craig, “but we’re giving it a good honest shot by being well prepared. We’ll be happy with how we carry ourselves, we’ll be competitive, and we’ll give it a good try.”

One of the trophies Lucie earned at the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta.

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