The Camden Classics Cup for 2022: excitement on a historic Scale
Join us next year
July 27-29, 2023
ARE YOU READY TO RACE?
The Camden Classics Cup is one of the world’s most beautiful regattas - sailed where the mountains meet the sea off the lovely harbortown of Camden, Maine. The Camden Classics Cup aims to give sailors the time of their lives with terrific on-the-water racing, and stellar onshore events.
Presented by Lyman-Morse with support from the CYOA, the Camden Classics Cup is a celebration of both classic yacht racing and boatbuilding. Featuring 2-days of racing for sailboats and a panoramic backdrop for powerboats. Participants will have access to Lyman-Morse's facilities, and a full weekend of events in the lovely town of Camden!
We are very excited to be planning the 6th Annual Camden Classics Cup, July 28-30, 2022.
We would like to thank our sponsors! Please scroll down and take a look at the list and we hope you will express your thanks to them for their support.
LIFEFLIGHT OF MAINE
Most people who need emergency medical care can be appropriately transported by ground ambulance. The sickest patients, however, need the critical care and speed that LifeFlight provides.
LifeFlight services have been used by every hospital in the state, at emergency scenes in more than 330 communities, islands and unorganized townships in every county in Maine.
Eighty percent of LifeFlight’s missions are from rural, community hospitals to one of Maine’s three trauma centers, or to specialty centers in Boston. Twenty percent of the flights are to accident scenes.
Since our establishment in 1998, more than 19,000 patients have been safely transported by ground or air.
Thanks to the generous support of our 2022 sponsors and fleet participants, the Camden Classics Cup will donate $15,000 to LIfeFlight of Maine. This brings our total contributions to over $75,000!
Many thanks to these sponsors who helped make out event such a success! Please contact us for more information about 2022 sponsorship.
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Insider’s Guide to Understanding the Classic Rating Formula
RULES AND REGULATIONS UNPACKED:
By Elaine Lembo
You’ve snagged an invitation to bob around aboard a spectator boat and watch classic yachts race off the coast of Maine on a beautiful summer day.
Your luck has just begun: It’s more than a guest pass to a live performance of billowing clouds of sail and gleaming varnish in close-course competition.
It’s an opportunity to learn more about an important pastime that’s part of America’s cultural heritage. Wooden boats inspire passion and dedication, and their endurance has translated into an appreciation for a seemingly arcane aspect of sailing whose preservation remains vital today. The jammed summer classic sailboat racing schedule of any coastal community is proof positive.
Every sport has regulations and rules, and classic sailboat racing is no different. What makes Vintage different from Classic? What’s the difference between Modern Classic and Spirit of Tradition?
A basic understanding of how a yacht is classified in divisions of the Classic Rating Formula (CRF) system for the Camden Classics Cup (CCC) regatta and other events in the Classic Yachts Challenge Series helps observers appreciate what sets these yachts apart and how materials, design, and construction methods of yachts continue to evolve for the benefit of the sport.
For a primer on sailboat racing basics as well as the finer points of classic yacht competition, the go-to expert is award-winning yacht designer Jim Taylor, chair of the technical committee for the Classic Yacht Owners Association (CYOA), the organizing authority of the CCC and other classic yacht races.
The CYOA, formed in 2015 to advance the interests of classic yacht owners and promote increased participation in classic yachting events throughout New England and beyond, is responsible for a fundamental reworking of the Classic Rating Formula (CRF) that was launched before the 2017 racing season.
Sympathetic to the confusion that often bedevils the lay spectator, Taylor’s approach is good humored and helpful. “Otherwise sane people choose to race sailboats in three basic formats,” he says. “One form is entirely ad hoc, in that any time there are two sailboats in sight of each other on one piece of water, one will try to sail faster than the other. It’s who sailors are, full stop.
“A second form is more organized and called One Design, where the boats are all identical, and the first boat across the finish line is the winner.
“A third form is equally organized, but the boats choosing to race are not all the same size and type. Basic physics says that bigger boats are potentially faster than smaller boats, so there has to be a handicapping system — think horse racing and golf — that allows the small boats to have a fair chance against the bigger ones.”
That’s where the Classic Rating Formula comes in.
“CRF was first developed because owners of old wooden boats decided that it would be fun to race them, and there simply wasn’t a handicapping system then available that was equipped to deal with the wild variety of boat sizes and types who wished to participate,” Taylor says. “To fill the void, a group of bright classic yacht aficionados put together the original form of CRF, a clever mix of mathematical formulas and subjective adjustments that facilitated racing the old boats that they loved so much for 25 years. The revamped form of CRF that was implemented in 2017 was in response to a push from participants to have a system that was more technically based and fully transparent.”
Because it’s not fair to put a 73-foot-long yawl on the same starting line as a 38-foot-long schooner — and typically there are too many boat entries in the first place to safely start them all together — race organizers divide entries up into different classes, Taylor says.
The classes are defined to keep similar boat sizes and types together, recognizing that handicapping sailboats is extremely difficult to do fairly. The odds of the handicaps assigned doing the job well are far higher when the differences between the boats in any one class are minimized, he adds.
For 2022, the Camden Classics organizers have divided entries into four CRF groups listed in the scratch sheet:
Vintage (designed before 1950)
Dorade, 1929 52 ft. Olin Stephens yawl
Classic (designed between 1950 and 1980 with full keel)
Saphaedra, 1965 51 ft. K. Aage Nielsen centerboard ketch
Modern Classic (designed between 1950 and 1980; rudders separated from keels)
Vortex, 1990 53 ft. Knud Reimers Swede 55
Spirit of Tradition (boats designed after 1980 that have shape and style links to traditional boats, with modern hull and keel below the water)
Blackfish, 2017 49 ft. Taylor 49c Dreadnought
Also scored under the CRF is a new division in 2022 — the Daysailer group of Vintage, Classic and Spirit of Tradition boats with a waterline length less than 24 feet.
Now the answers to those questions become clear:
What makes Vintage different from Classic? “Basically, it’s the design date,” Taylor says. “Vintage is before 1950, Classic is 1950-1980.”
And what’s the difference between Modern Classic and Spirit of Tradition? Taylor: “Again, mainly design date. Modern Classic is basically 1950-1980 with a rudder separated from the keel (to distinguish it from Classic), while Spirit of Tradition is designed after 1980.”
Aside from CRF classes, because organizers’ goal for the six-year-old event is to be “an inclusive regatta open to a diverse fleet,” other groups include One Design, Ocean Racing, and the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF). By mid-July 2022 entries totaled 91 — a crowded racecourse indeed.
After listing division, boat name, owner, type/designer, the scratch sheet also lists the Rating.
Under the CRF 2022 and PHRF handicapping systems, the posted rating numbers reflect the time in seconds that it should take the selected boat to sail around a one-mile triangular course. This means a boat with a bigger rating number should take longer to sail the course and is a slower boat.
How do these ratings relate to performance and winning?
Each boat’s elapsed time, or, the time it takes to complete the course, is adjusted by the differences in the rating relative to when the other boats in the class arrive, called the corrected time. The finish scores for each boat are ranked in order by corrected times, with the lowest corrected time winning.
When the racing is over — no matter how inclusive and diverse the fleet, or how much fun the spectators have — top honors go to the historic yachts. The Camden Classics Cup Trophy, a Tiffany sterling silver perpetual trophy, is awarded to the yacht in the Vintage or Classic Division with the lowest score. In other words, the real winners in this regatta are history and time-honored craftsmanship!
Black Watch — an S&S custom yawl from the CRF1 Class
Blackfish image by Ingrid Abery
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