CAMDEN — After a pause in 2020 due to the global pandemic, yacht racers in the Camden Classics Cup returned to Maine this summer that made this regatta one of the fastest growing events on the New England yacht racing circuit.

They were rewarded with strong wind for fast sailing, a variety of weather conditions made for interesting tactics and a pair of evening parties that brought racers together at the Camden Yacht Club and Lyman-Morse – Camden.

The raft-up of classic yachts in Camden Harbor was followed the next day by a sail parade through the inner harbor.

This year’s fleet was the largest in the event’s five-year history, with 95 fine yachts registered – continuing the upward trend that saw 75 yachts in 2019, 68 in 2018 and 39 boats in 2017.

“The success of this year’s regatta was due to the incredible yachts and crews that came to Camden, the tremendous support that the Town of Camden and the Camden Yacht Club have provided, and the more than 50 sponsors who contributed to our event,” said Drew Lyman, the president of Lyman-Morse.

“The Camden Classics Cup has become a true community event and a highlight of the summer in Camden Harbor, and I’m thrilled to see the growth we’ve seen in the past five years. We can’t wait to grow it even more next year!”

The Camden Classics Cup also included a Youth Regatta July 30, led by Thomas and Kathryn Turansky of Jeff’s Marine.

Sponsored by Camden National Bank, 40 sailors Tarratine Yacht Club of Islesboro, Harraseeket Yacht Club of Freeport, Rockport Boat Club and CAYSP competed in Opti and 420 youth sailing boats. They ran five races July 30 in a steady southerly wind, that built up throughout the morning from 5 knots to 10, with gusts up to 15.

This year, Doyle Sails sent sailors Chris Howes and Lindsay Smith to offer on-the-water coaching and pre- and post-race analysis. The awards ceremony, led by CAYSP’s Scott Norman, saw Tarrantine Yacht Club’s Cabaniss and Ladd take the bronze; Conover and Condon from CAYSP take silver; and the gold to Strout and Williams of CAYSP in the spinnaker division.

Maine Boats, Homes & Harbor Magazine provided the awards. The Rockport Boat Club swept the non-spinnaker division.

The awards ceremony was presided over by Publisher Andrew Breece of Wooden Boat Magazine and Publisher John Hanson of Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors Magazine. The Classics, Vintage and Modern Classics classes competed for the overall trophy, a sterling silver Tiffany champagne bucket.

After two days of racing and several tie-breakers, Gleam, a 12-meter yacht from Boothbay Harbor, had the fastest time over the course and was named the Overall Winner.

First place in the Spirit of Tradition Class was won by Verissimo, a 63’ John Alden designed cutter built in 1998. Otter won the Concordia Class. Her owner, Robert Keefer, donated a silver bowl as a trophy. The New York Yacht Club maintained their grip on the Yacht Club Challenge. Cruising Club of America was second and the Camden Yacht Club came in third.

In addition to racing, the fleet participated in a Saturday Parade of Sail around Camden’s inner harbor.

Hundreds viewed from the public landing. Others took in the spectacle from rooftop bars, Harbor Park and along the waterfront. This was led by the regatta’s committee boat Reimagine, a 90-foot motoryacht built by Lyman-Morse in 1997.

The Camden Classics Cup is always scheduled for the weekend prior to the Eggemoggin Reach Regatta, one of the most longstanding classic yacht races in New England, and is followed by Camden Classics Week, featuring a variety of maritime-related events and destination racing to Castine, Brooklin and the outer islands. It all sets up a full week of racing, cruising and camaraderie.

Camden and its businesses embrace the maritime theme with art displays, lectures, music, film and youth events all on the waterfront of the town.

The Camden Classics Cup is a Sailors for the Sea Silver Level regatta. The on-water activities also had community events, including a film in Rockport, an art auction fitting the Camden Public Library and more.

LifeFlight of Maine is the Camden Classics Cup’s beneficiary. During the award ceremony, the event presented the state’s emergency air care service with a check for $15,000. This brings the total amount donated to LifeFlight from participants and sponsorships since 2016 to $60,000.

Next year’s dates are set, mark the calendars for July 28 – 30, 2022.

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