Fast Boats & Rating Rules

Rating rules come and go but good boats keep right on winning

Rating rules come and go, (along with their inevitable type-forming and loopholes), but good all-around boats are always fast and fun, and they keep right on winning no matter what rule is in vogue. Two of our designs drove this point home with huge exclamation points this past season.

T-44 Sforzando

Sforzando had an amazing season that was all the more remarkable given that she is an IMS design that is now winning convincingly under IRC, in her 11th year of top level competition. Always well sailed and impeccably maintained, she dominated this year’s NYYC Annual Regatta, [2008 Results] going 4-1-1-1 in IRC 3, and easily turning back a Corby 41.5, a Melges 32, and a Swan 45. (In fact, she has won an astonishing 10 of the last 13 Annual Regatta races she has sailed, dating back to 2005!). She next won the club’sSummer Race Week by an eye-popping 14 points, over a Farr 395 and a highly touted new King 40, a focused IRC design. This year’s Race Week opened and closed with squalls over 30 kts that overwhelmed several of these contemporary designs, but Sforzando was always under control, suffering no knock-downs or spin-outs, upwind or down. Bookended by the big breeze, the rest of Race Week featured a full range of conditions, from light air and huge lump to more typical Newport southerlies, and Sforzandoexcelled in each. She then scored well in the annual Cruise, topping a R/P 55 and 65, and earned the prestigious Herreshoff Medal, awarded by the NYYConly when merited, for exceptional overall performance during a season. The fact that this is the second Herreshoff Medal earned by Sforzando, (and a remarkable third by her owner, all in Taylor designs), is a tribute not only to the boats, but also to the dedication, energy, and talent of their owner,Blair Brown.

T-42 Cabady

Designed to the ‘pre-1994′ version of IMS, Cabady was launched as the first Numbers, just in time for Key West Race Week in 1992. A blown outhaul and a blown chute cost her a win in her debut event (by 7 seconds in the final race!), but she has been winning under various handicap systems (IMS, PHRF, IRC and ORR) ever since. She and her virtual sister Drumbeat II have won their class at Block Island Race Week four times, including three in a row in the early 90’s. (Drumbeat II’s 2nd owner has recently said, shaking his head mournfully, ‘I never should have sold that boat…’). The Taylor 42 won a NYYC Championship under IMS, a New England Championshipunder PHRF, and most recently this fall’s American Yacht Club Fall Series under IRC. But her biggest win was arguably in this year’s Bermuda Race, where she won her class and was a remarkable 3rd overall under IRC (and 8th OA under ORR). Perhaps most impressive of all is the fact that she was the top scoring boat in the Onion Patch competition, which might be called a decathlon of big boat racing, in that it combines intense short course buoy racing with a 635 mile blue water marathon. Congratulations to owner Randy Baldwin, for adding still more luster to the resume of a design that has proven to be comfortable, seaworthy, versatile, and fast for 17 seasons, no matter what the rule.