The first one-design start for the C&C 30 One Design fleet takes place during the New York YC Annual Regatta, June 12 -14. With seven boats on the line, teams will be on their A games as they learn to maneuver with the 6-foot-long, permanently deployed sprit pole and race at near-20-knot boatspeeds downwind in a tight fleet.
“It’s going to be wild,” says Clay Deutsch, owner of Just a Friend. “Here’s the reason I bought the boat: I sailed it up the Bay in 25 knots. We put the kite up and came ripping down the Bay at 17 knots. It was a ball. If we get conditions like that during the regatta, it will be like skiing in powder.”
Having competed at Charleston Race Week and Figawi sailing under PHRF, Angus Davis, owner of Nyabinghi, agrees that the boat’s speed adds to the fun. “We sailed upwind for most of the Figawi race and hung in there with the larger boats. But the last part of the race was about 12 miles downwind and we passed everybody,” he says. “It was a great day of sailing.”
As the only owner who’s competed in multiple events, Davis doesn’t feel that his time in the boat gives him an advantage coming in to the one-design season. “I’ve never sailed a planing keelboat before, so this is a whole different animal for me. We’re working on finding the edge. It’s like a dog learning the invisible fence – sometimes you go over the edge and you learn just where it is. My other boats are classic wooden boats: an S Boat and a 43-foot cruising Herreshoff design. The S Boat is the oldest one-design still sailing and the C&C 30 One Design is one of the newest, so it’s a tale of two cities. The fastest I’ve gone prior to this is around 7 knots and change. Downwind during the Figawi we hit a high of 16.8 knots.”
Based on his experience, Davis does, however, have some advice for the newer teams. “Heel angle is key. Understanding how it affects boatspeed is critical. And there’s a lot going on with the crew work. We’re ironing out the wrinkles and figuring things out as we go.”
Both Davis and Deutsch sail primarily in Rhode Island, but neither thinks local knowledge will be much of an advantage. “There’s nothing tricky if you’re aware of the tide,” Deutsch says. “But here’s a hint for the out-of-towners: be super aware of the transitions in the breeze. I’ve sailed through 180-degree changes in wind direction – this happens quite often around the bridges, when the northerly is fighting the southerly. We’ll have a little bit of everything this early in the season, especially sailing around the Island.”
So the field is wide open in this new, one-design class. “Everyone is still learning the boat,” says Deustch. “We’ll be serious by Key West, but now we’re all learning how the boats work.”
“It’s great to have the one-design element,” says Davis. “The C&C 30 is designed with no limits – to just go fast. It’s also nice that there’s only one factory boat in the NYYC Regatta – the majority of the boats are sailed by owners. With all the new owners getting into the class, it shows there’s a bright future ahead.”