Classic Yachts #3

yachts51

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Avast, ye readers. Today we are pleased to present another guest post from America’s Cup winner, ESPN broadcaster, and Classic Yachts contributor Gary Jobson, who has graciously agreed to regale you with his tales of the high seas.

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Eleonora Viewed from Weatherly

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Over Labor Day weekend I chartered the 1962 America’s Cup-winning 12-meter Weatherly for the Classic Yacht Regatta in Newport, RI. Our crew was comprised of my family and a good friend’s family, including eight grown children, all in their twenties. Three of us had sailed in the America’s Cup races many years ago; this would be a nice float down memory lane. On the way out to the racecourse the giant yacht Eleonora, featured in Classic Yachts, was preparing to race. Her crew hoisted the sails with impressive efficiency as our team simply stared in awe. It took Eleonora’s crew of 30 stalwart sailors about 15 minutes to get everything set. Once underway she accelerated to 14 knots on this gusty Sunday morning.

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Eleonora is a sister ship to Westward, a boat that was raced nearly 100 years ago by the great yacht-racing skipper Charlie Barr. Banker J. P. Morgan hired Barr to defend the America’s Cup for the New York Yacht Club, and Barr went undefeated in three defenses from 1899-1903. As Eleonora sailed past you could envision Charlie Barr quietly giving commands to the crew working the sails. It was a moment of ghostly inspiration for all of us on Weatherly.

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By now it was time to set our own sails aboard the 65-foot wooden 12-meter. We sailed by a family in a small 30 sloop at one point. They cheered as we churned past. It dawned on me that we were sailing a classic ourselves—and you know what, that 30-footer looked pretty good too because their crew was all smiles.

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