A jubilant Onawa (US-6) crew shares their summer adventures including a win at the 2022 Opera House Cup.
Onawa’s Summer Adventure, submitted by Andy Green on behalf of the entire US-6 team
August 31, 2022: Onawa’s Summer Adventure, submitted by Andy Green on behalf of the entire (US-6) team.
We sail the classic 1928 12mR Onawa (US-6) in Newport, RI. A syndicate of owners and a combination of paid hands and willing volunteer race crew. Our captain Kelsy has been with us since we re-energised the campaign for the 2019 Worlds after a decent rest following complete restoration prior to the 2001 Cowes Jubilee.
This summer of 2022 we decided to stray from our familiar 12mR and classic regattas in Newport and Narragansett Bay and go island hopping. Firstly to Vineyard Haven, the northern tip of Martha’s Vineyard- The Vineyard Cup. Seventeen classics in a bucolic setting with a much needed island change of pace gentle racing against a wide variety of boats, Juno, The Blue Peter, Santana to name just a few all ending in a pursuit race and the Dana Cup- a small copper jewelry plate. Underwhelming trophy, Overwhelmingly lovely regatta.
Two weeks later- to the big daddy of them. The Opera House Cup, not any year either. 50th Anniversary. Onawa in its 94th year, with sights set on the elusive and very hard to win event around Nantucket Sound. No spinnakers, pursuit race with every variety of timber that can sail. From Hereshoff 12.5s to the huge Alerion fleet via American Eagle (US-21), Ticonderoga, Black Watch and Valiant (US-24), the famous sort of 12mR!
NYYC Commodore Chris Culver and wife Diedre skillfully navigated Onawa to the first mark ahead of the other pursuing 12s. Black Watch conveniently deployed their large downwind staysails after we had passed but before the pursuing fleet. Helping with a substantial wind shadow to leeward.
Our guest navigator, America’s Cup winner and sailmaker, Tom Whidden ensured we didn’t do anything silly as we picked of, avoided, squeezed and cajoled ourselves past the other 67 strong fleet. A shifting breeze up the final leg allowed us to pass Dorade and Santana while holding off the chasing 12s, Nefertiti (US-19) and Columbia (US-16).
Crew, Captain and team were so happy with a long standing event finally won and looking forward to Worlds in Newport in 2023 and hopefully we get to race our Vintage sisters in Europe in 2024.Fair Winds.
Earl McMillen, Chris Culver, Mark Watson, Steve Gewirz, Captain Kelsy Patnaude, Andy Green and the whole team.
ABOUT THE INTERNATIONAL 12 METRE ASSOCIATION (ITMA):
The 112 year-old International 12 Metre Class encompasses a living history of racing yacht design by the world’s foremost naval architects including Olin Stephens, Clinton Crane, William Fife III, Johan Anker, Alfred Mylne, Charles E. Nicholson, Philip Rhodes, Ben Lexcen and more who pushed their designs to the very limits of innovation. The resulting boats represented the pinnacle of yacht development from 1907-1987 for the highest levels of international sailing competition– the Olympic Games (1908-1920) and the America’s Cup (1958-1987). To learn more, visit 12mRClass.com