Close hauled on the starboard tack, a pair of International One Design sloops prepare to hoist spinnakers during last week’s IOD Word Championship regatta off Mount Desert Island. SUE CHARLES PHOTO

Farrar defends title in IOD Worlds

MOUNT DESERT — Jonathan Farrar of the Fishers Island fleet became repeat champion of the International One Design class World Championships, held at Northeast Harbor Aug. 20-25, after first winning the title in 2015.

“We’re fortunate that we’re the largest IOD fleet in the world and can put 20 boats on the line,” said John Roberts, class captain and a Northeast Harbor Fleet member. “So a lot of people look forward to coming here.”

NEHF skippers John Henry and David Rockefeller finished the regatta in third and fourth place, respectively. Henry won one race and had one second-place and one third-place finish. Rockefeller succeeded by finishing between third and ninth place in most races.

“They’re both very good racers,” Roberts said.

Farrar was the winner in the 10-race series with two bullets, two second-place finishes and one third-place finish.

“It was incredible,” Roberts said, “the field was completely stacked. The quality of the racing is unmatched.” That made mark roundings exciting, as such skilled skippers are able to pull off very close shaves.

Each of the 20 boats on the line carried a crew of about five. Another 50-75 people were on the water helping on the race committee, marking boats and other support. The annual meeting for the IOD class was held Wednesday, on a day off from racing.

Doing some research ahead of the event, Roberts determined that there have been 55 world championships in this class to date.

“And 28 of those world championship winners were represented in the fleet that was racing here with us including the last ten world champions,” he said.

Bill Widnall of Marblehead, a 10-time IOD world champion, was on the starting line. And Penny Simmons of the Bermuda fleet, who finished ninth, has won the worlds eight times, Roberts said.

Simmons tied with a team from a new fleet based in New York Harbor, led by Eric Leitner, but lost to them in a tiebreaker.

The new IOD fleet is based at Manhattan Yacht Club in Jersey City, N.J.

“They’re doing incredibly well,” Roberts said. “They bought a couple of boats that were on sale with other fleets, and they’re having some new boats built. It looks like it’s a growing fleet — at some point in the future there may be a world championship that’s hosted down there in New York Harbor!”

Roberts is the reigning North American IOD champion (“Unfortunately, we’ve not had a NEH boat ever win the worlds,” he said) and is headed to Fishers Island in a few weeks to defend his title.

His team will include his son Jack, Chris Hopkins and Hopkins’ son Drew.

“We call ourselves the dads and lads team,” he said.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.
Liz Graves

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