Wislar Goes Wire To Wire, Successfully Defends IOD World Championship (EYC Coverage)

posted Jun 20, 2011, 7:02 AM by Greg Mancusi
Long Island Sound's Elliott Wislar took full advantage of moderate conditions in the second half of the week to sucessfully defend his title at the International One Design World Championship. The winner of the first championship race, Wislar, with his crew of Steve Madeira, Jennifer Leary, Alden Reid and Mackenzie Wislar, sailed consistently and never trailed in the regatta. At the conclusion of racing on Wednesday, his advantage had narrowed to just one point, but strong finishes on Thursday and Friday cemented his overall victory.

Past champions John Burnham and Charlie Van Voorhis, both representing Fishers Island, finished second and third respectively. Eastern Yacht Club member Bill Widnall finished fourth overall and Norwegian Martin Rygh took fifth place in the standings.Fellow member Norm Cressy finished ninth in the nineteen team  field.

The International One Design World Championship, which took place at the Eastern Yacht Club between June 11 and June 17, featured nine championship-length races sailed in a wide range of conditions. Generally speaking, the week started with very strong breezes and large seas and ended with light air and flat seas. To create the fairest competition, the regatta was sailed in a change boat format - the Marblehead IOD fleet prepared a twenty boat championship fleet of IODs with equal tunings - mast positions, mast rakes, prebend, shroud placements and shroud tensions. Each competitor would sail only a single race in each boat, so that by the end of the regatta, each competitor had sailed in nine differetent IODs. With the variety of conditions and the variety of boats, the top finishers had to demonstrate their adaptability and their versatility throughout the week.

Boats for this event included 12 Marblehead boats and four boats each borrowed from the IOD Fleets in Nantucket and in Fishers Island.  The borrowed boats arrived by land and sea over Memorial Day weekend, where they were launched and used by their respective owners in the very successful New England Challenge. The boats were then equalized and used in the Championship.

The nineteen IODs created some of the most spectacular racing sights in recent years.  Photo galleries of the racing are available here.