and a disappearing breeze made getting racing in a distinct
challenge. The Melges IC37 fleet started and finished a race in
visibility that made seeing the competition a challenge, let alone
the marks of the course, while the ORC fleet waited for the fog to
clear before starting a race, only to see the wind evaporate halfway
through. Sailors and race officials waiting patiently for the breeze
to return, but it refused to fill before the 3 PM. deadline for a
final start, and the three fleets headed for the dock with just one
race completed between them and no changes to the podium standings.
Winning the three classes at Race Week were Vesper, skippered by
David Team (Newport Beach, Calif.), in ORC 1; Impetuous, skippered
by Paul Zabetakis (Jamestown, R.I.) in ORC 2, and Blazer II,
skippered by Christopher Culver (Newport, R.I.), in the Melges IC37
class. Culver and Team, who was the overall winner among the two ORC
groupings, each earned a Rolex Steel and Yellow Gold Submariner Date
for their outstanding performances on the water during the regatta.
For David Team and his crew on Vesper, the deciding moment came in
the class's final race, a 22-mile distance race in Narragansett Bay
and on Rhode Island Sound sailed on Friday. "The start was key,"
says Team. "It allowed us to get to the right side and seek relief
from the current off Jamestown. It was a great race, Fox got us at
the end, but fortunately we corrected out on them."
In fact, not only did Vesper slip past Fox, but Hap Fauth's Maxi72
Bella Mente was able to sneak between the two boats in the final
result for that race, turning a one-point deficit for Vesper into a
one-point advantage in the overall standings.
"Thank you to the yacht club, the trustees and the race committee,"
says Teram. "It was great to go sailing again and, fortunately, we
had some good Vesper weather. It made for interesting racing. We
have had a great relationship with Fox from racing each other on the
West Coast. [Skipper Victor Wild] is a great guy. It was great to
race against the Bella Mente team as well. We just went out and
sailed our own boat which is all you can do with a class that
In the ORC 2 class, Tom Sutton's Leading Edge (Houston, Texas) took
the early lead with a pair of wins in the first two races. But once
Zabetakis (left) and his team on Impetuous got a taste of victory it
was all over. Impetuous won the final five races of the regatta to
take a two-point win over Sutton, who was second in each of those
"The boat was fast and it really pointed well so we were able to
lift off other boats and keep lanes," says Zabetakis. "The crew work
in the corners, they knew what to do. I remember in the old days
watching what everyone was doing on the boat and telling them what
to do. Now I just focus on driving and they do everything."
The next edition of Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex will
take place in July of 2022.