|NEWPORT, RI, USA-(25-1-2006) North American championships for four one-design classes - Beneteau First 36.7, J/44, J/109, and Farr 395- and National championships for two one-design classes - Farr 40 and Melges 32 - will be determined at the biennial New York Yacht Club (NYYC) Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex. Set to take place July 14-23, 2006, the popular regatta is known for its split format, with the first half of the week, July 15-18, devoted to handicap racing under IRC, PHRF, NYYC CR and Classics, as well as the 12 Metres, and the second half, July 20-23, dedicated to one-design racing. A distance race around Conanicut Island, that draws competitors from all divisions, takes place mid-week, July 19, and is scored separately.
`We've added to the one-design portion of the event, expanding from three to four days` said Steven Wolff (Fairfield, Conn.), chair of NYYC's Sailing Committee, `and this is the first time the week will host IRC racing. Race Week at Newport takes advantage of two weekends and the days in between, offering competitors an abundance of choices: handicap, one-design and distance, in modern or classic yachts.`
Rolex timepieces will be awarded to the yachts with the best overall performances in IRC and PHRF divisions, as well as one-design classes competing for their North American or National championships that meet minimum entry levels. A timepiece will also be awarded for best overall performance during the one-design segment of the regatta.
Racing will take place on Rhode Island Sound and Narragansett Bay with up to three racing circles for the handicap and one-design portions of the week. A minimum of eleven races are planned per division.
Shore-side activities will be hosted at Harbour Court, NYYC's clubhouse on Newport Harbor with unrivalled views of the city front and the Newport Bridge.
`With this fifth running of Race Week, we have expanded both the racing schedule and social activities for all three phases of the regatta,` said Wolff. `Sailors can enjoy daily awards, cocktails and food each evening under the tent and the nightlife of downtown, which is just minutes away.`
Other one-design classes competing are the J/105, J/120 and Swan 45. Additional one-design classes are also expected to compete.
The New York Yacht Club Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex extends the partnership established between Rolex and New York Yacht Club in 1994 and joins the calendar of prestigious Rolex sponsored sailing events including the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship, slated for Newport in September; the Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race; International Rolex Regatta; Rolex IMS Offshore World Championship; Rolex Big Boat Series; Rolex Antigua Sailing Week; and Giraglia Rolex Cup.