Welcome to 2021 After a Surprisingly Successful 2020

We are happy to report that NBYA rose to the challenges posed by the pandemic last year.  In the spring, when the facts around the transmission of the virus were still poorly understood, we started a dialog among the clubs on the bay about how to continue racing in a safe manner.  Starting from Rhode Island state guidelines, the discussion allowed one club to learn from the others.  A consensus evolved which resulted in race committees feeling that events could be run and sailors feeling that they could safely enjoy the season.

This commitment to virus-safe racing was most visible in our Junior Racing Program.  To our knowledge, NBYA was the only provider of a full slate of Junior events in the northeast.  One of the creative methods used to ensure social distancing and the safety of the sailors was actually a throw-back to the 1960s — tow-in events.  Instead of trailering competitors to a congested beach launching area, yacht clubs used power boats to tow boats and sailors to the regattas.  Three regattas were held for each of the classes — Opti, 420, and Laser — with more than 200 Junior sailors participating.  In this summer of pandemic-induced disappointments, it was gratifying to see so many happy kids getting a chance to sail in big fleets!  Check out all the regatta results under the “Junior Sailing” tab on this site.

Perhaps because so many other activities were off the table in 2020, we actually saw an increase in “Big Boat” participation in many of the Narragansett Bay races.  NBYA held two very successful events — the Summer Regatta, a 16-mile course around government marks starting right outside Newport Harbor; and the Fall Regatta, three windward-leeward races hosted by East Greenwich Yacht Club further up the bay.  The Summer Regatta, hosted by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, was one of the largest Senior events in many years with a fleet ranging from a RP 60 and a 12 Meter to a collection of sport boats, Herreshoff S-Boats, and dual-purpose racer-cruisers.

Now it is time to start looking ahead to the 2021 season.  This will be the 83rd in NBYA’s storied history and will once again bring together sailors from more than 30 member yacht clubs and sailing organizations.   NBYA is proud to continue its mission to organize and promote Big Boat, Junior and One-Design racing on Narragansett Bay.  The Junior Program Committee is well into planning a full season of racing which will be highlighted by Junior Race Week to be held at Colt State Park.  The full schedule along with registration links is on the Junior tab.

The schedule for most of the Big Boat races around Narragansett Bay has already been finalized.  A complete schedule of area events can be found under the “PHRF” tab.  This includes the 12 races that qualify for the Boat-of-the-Year series, sponsored by GMT Composites.  The NBYA Round-the-Bay Regatta — with an innovative and exciting new format — will debut in late July and is also a qualifier for the BOTY series.  Watch for coming announcements.  As in years past, only NBYA members can compete for the BOTY trophy as one of the benefits of membership.

Stay tuned, stay safe and enjoy the coming season.

David Schwartz



Read about the history of NBYA in the August edition of WindCheck Magazine!                                  WindCheck-August-2020-1

Or visit their website to read the entire August edition:  https://www.windcheckmagazine.com/