The 45th annual Buzzards Bay Regatta (BBR) took place over this past weekend of August 4th through 6th and for the very first time included kite racing as one of the sailing disciplines. When the dust settled, a total of 18 kiters from up and down the Eastern Seaboard participated in the event split evenly between the two divisions of Open Foiling and CR:X One Design Racing. BBR has a long-standing tradition as New England’s premier summer sailing events, attracting sailors from all over the U.S., as well as from overseas, due to the areas champagne sailing conditions. This year’s regatta was certainly no exception as BBR was once again blessed with phenomenal breezes and classic “summer sailing” conditions that every sailor who has ever participated in the regatta has come to know and love.
NeilPryde was asked to sign on as an official Buzzards Bay Regatta sponsor in the early months of 2017 as their newly launched One Design platform caught the eye of freshly appointed regatta chair, Forrest Williams. Under Williams’ leadership, the event focused heavily on a modernized format, refreshing approach, and a resetting of the overall mission of the regatta to include kite racing as an official event discipline.
For BBR, NeilPryde provided sets of CR:X charter gear in addition to supplying the PRO for the kite circle, Brendan Healy. NeilPryde had the pleasure of working alongside of the Massachusetts kiteboarding community with the promotion and organization of the event from the absolute beginning, assuring that the group of 22 volunteer race committee personnel would be well trained and adequately prepared to conduct a successful regatta that was appreciated and enjoyed by the regatta staff, the competitors, and the New Bedford Yacht Club in its entirety.
The kiting aspect of the regatta was broken down into two days of racing with Friday designated as a clinic which was orchestrated and run by Healy as an introduction to racing for those new to kite racing as well as a foil clinic to refine the skills of current foilers. Friday’s conditions were ideal for this platform with breezes out of the South/Southwest at 12-16 knots. A “land clinic” was held at the BBR regatta tent in the morning with 20 participants as everything from safety, to race tactics, and foil set-up was discussed. After the land aspect, 12 CR:X kiters hit the water with drills focusing on speed, maneuvers, course tactics, in addition to full practice races.
Day one of the regatta welcomed kiters to ideal foiling breezes out of the South at 14 knots and relatively flat seas. Racing got underway at approximately 1300, after a brief rain delay, as the RC was able to complete 5 total races for the 9-participant CR:C division, in addition to 6 races for the Open Foil Division. Post racing, kiters were treated to BBR tent party hospitality where they were able to mingle with the sailors, talk shop, and be included as a class amongst a huge group of welcoming and enthusiastic sailors.
Sunday’s racing saw spectacular conditions with breezes into the low 20s and sunny skies with temps into the upper 70s. 3 additional races were completed for both CR:X and Open Foil divisions with windsurfing legend Nevin Sayre taking the overall CR:X title and home town here Jamie Douglas claiming the Open Foil win.
At the end of the day, this event will go down as a huge success for NeilPryde One Design. The New Bedford Yacht Club has committed to the inclusion of kiting into this event for the foreseeable future and could not have been more excited and appreciative with NeilPryde’s involvement and support. The CR:X inclusion was deemed the “critical component to this year’s event’s success” by commodore Watson with a sincere dedication of the support of one design kite racing within the club and Buzzards
Bay sailing community. NeilPryde would like to thank NBYC for their support and overwhelming enthusiasm surrounding the kite circle at this year’s 2017 Buzzards Bay Regatta.