Camden Classics Recap 2022

Originally posted on Camden Classics Cup Website

Camden, Maine, USA —July 31, 2022 — Great things happen when fresh breeze meets gorgeous yachts on a historic patch of New England brine. All three of these important actors were on stage during the final day of racing at the 2022 Camden Classics Cup, which took place on the waters of Maine’s Western Penobscot Bay (July 28-30). Better still, the day began with the regatta’s Parade of Sail, which brought the fleet through Camden Harbor and gave the Camden community the opportunity to enjoy the sight of these graceful yachts from town.

Nadan, the 151-foot motoryacht that serves as the tender for Zemphira (née Goshawk), a Stephens Waring-designed 76-foot sloop that was built by the Brooklin Boat Yard in 2005 and refit at Lyman-Morse from
2020-2021, led the Parade of Sail. Nadan was followed by Eagle, Daniel Smith’s Concordia 41, and Falcon, Bob Scott’s New York 32. Cannon shots rang out for each yacht that slowly motored past Lyman-Morse’s Camden facility.

Brightwork may have competed with sheer lines for landlubber attention during the Parade of Sail, but once sails were hoisted, the day was all about displaying each crew’s nautical bronze. A squirrelly 15-knot breeze—with
puffs into the 20s—that predominantly flowed from the west helped define the day’s racecourse action. Bottom paint and big smiles could be seen once the canvas (and spectra and carbon) sails were pressed to the
DownEast airs, as crews leveraged time-honored seamanship skills to safely maneuver their steeds around the courses.

“Yesterday was the kind of day that sailors live for,” said Holly Paterson, event director of the 2022 Camden Classic Cup. “The chance to sail yachts of this caliber on Penobscot Bay in a good breeze mints the kind of memories that last long after the racing sails are flaked. The morning’s Parade of Sail was beautiful, and everyone was buzzing about yesterday afternoon’s conditions at last night’s party and awards ceremony.”

Maine’s summers may be short, but when Mother Nature decides to put on a show, it’s always best to observe it from the water, ideally from the deck of a classic yacht.

“The competition is fabulous,” said Alec Brainerd owner and skipper of the Nora, a 40-foot Sparkman & Stephens design that was built in 1960 by William Healy, and which competed in the Classics class at this year’s regatta. Brainerd should know: he has sailed in every edition of the Camden Classics Cup, and he owns Artisan Boatworks in nearby Rockport. “It’s a really great group of boats,” he continued. “Everyone is polite and does what they need to do to be competitive and get around the buoys safely.”

This is especially important when the anemometer tops 20 knots. “Across the fleet and across the classes, there are some really good, experienced sailors here,” said Ted Smith, who served as the regatta’s principal race officer for his sixth year. “Just look at the condition of the yachts— they’re exceptionally well-maintained, professionally looked after. It’s a very squared-away crowd.” Oivind Lorentzen, the owner and skipper of The Hawk, a 37-foot William Tripp Jr.-designed One Tonner that was built in 1968 at the DeDoob Yard in Bremen, Germany, agreed. “The level of sailing [here] is very, very high,” he said, adding that he’s racing in the regatta’s modern classic division. “These boats are complicated to sail, there’s a unique challenge.”

Especially when it’s windy. Because of this, Lorentzen was clear about his regatta priorities. “Be safe first, have fun second, and sail fast,” he said. This is Lorentzen’s fourth year of racing at the Camden Classics Cup, and while great competition draws him back year on year, so, too, does the chance to race on hometown waters. “We have a place in Rockport, and it’s wonderful getting out on the water in front of our house,” he said.

Lorentzen wasn’t alone in finding a lot more to appreciate about the Camden Classics Cup than the final results. “It’s more than a race—it’s a gathering of friends and like-minded people,” said Phineas Sprague, Jr., the owner and skipper of Lion’s Whelp, a 74-foot staysail schooner that was designed to John Alden’s traditional lines. This was Sprague’s second time racing at the Camden Classics Cup, and he competed in the four-strong Schooner
and Gaff class. “It’s about seeing your friends and having an opportunity to get together with people,” continued Sprague. “We would never win with our rating, so we might as well enjoy it, and enjoy the people.”

While there can only be one winner in each class, participating owners, sailors, and their guests got the opportunity to trade (racing) war stories and mingle with friends new and old at last night’s well-attended post-racing dinner dance party and awards ceremony. While it’s fair to say that the sailors had a great time racing in yesterday’s breeze, it’s also fair to say that everyone walked away from last night’s gathering feeling like winners
after enduring two long winters of singing the protest-room blues (read: social distancing).

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