This article was written and posted by by David Schmidt on Sail-World
When it comes to iconic New England sailing towns, few areas have turned out as many racecourse winners as Marblehead, Massachusetts. And amongst this who’s-who list of great sailors, precious few rival the legacy of naval architect and sailing phenom Ted Hood (1927-2013), who won the 1974 America’s Cup as the helmsman of Courageous and founded Hood Sails, Little Harbor Marine, and Ted Hood Yachts. Additionally, Hood earned an impeccable reputation for himself as the skipper of a series of boats named Robin, which he designed himself, and he also earned (and won) his way into the prestigious National Sailing Hall of Fame. So, when the Storm Trysail Club (of which Hood was a member) decided to host an annual regatta (established 2017) on the waters off of Marblehead, it made sense that the regatta would be called the Ted Hood Regatta (August 21-23, 2020).
Some backstory. The annual PHRF New England Championships began in the early 1990s and were hosted on a rotating basis by Marblehead’s three famous yacht clubs—the Eastern Yacht Club, the Corinthian Yacht Club, and the Boston Yacht Club—and held on the waters off of this sailing-obsessed town. Over time, the “PHRF New Englands” became known as the One Regatta before the Storm Trysail Club took over in 2017.
While the moniker might have morphed, the annual Ted Hood Regatta (THR) is still contested on these same historic waters during its traditional late-August time frame, and it is still hosted on a rotating basis by these same three clubs. The 2020 edition will be hosted by Boston Yacht Club and will be raced under two handicap rules—PHRF and ORR/EZ—and it will feature round-the-buoy racing as well as a doublehanded and fully crewed overnight race.
I checked in with Clarke Smith, chairman of the 2020 Ted Hood Regatta, via email, to learn more about this now-classic three-day race weekend.
What kind of entry numbers are you seeing this year? Also, how do these stack up to previous editions of the regatta?
As of today, we have 30 boats registered for the regatta. We hope to have a minimum of 40 boats.
Historically, we have had 60-70 boats participate. In the past we have benefited from some large national regattas in our area near the same time as the Ted Hood Regatta.
Looking at the entry list, what classes do you expect to be the most competitive this year? Also, what makes these classes hot?
The PHRF class and ORRez class will be the large keelboats racing. Both [of] these classes have some long-time rivalries that really sail hard to win.