a win is a win. or is it?

We never have really thought about how to win a Super yacht Regatta…
Talking about racing sailboats starts a competitive debate around here. On one hand, we’re still the boat-nerds dreaming of deconstructing a Vendee Globe or America’s Cup racing rule to unlock the hidden speed secrets that take the silver home. All designers dream of sailing glory. But on the other, experience has taught us that real raceboats are a bummer. The dumb things go out of date before they’re even built. And the boat you wind up having to sail is a beast: Rough. Wet. Dangerous. And that’s assuming you know how to sail fast. Most of us live through the nautical murder of slowly slogging along, crawling along in a boat meant to go fast. It’s a killer.
The lovely Bequia won big at the 2017 America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta in Bermuda.
Instead, time has taught us to stick to our wholesome Spirit-of-Tradition naval knitting. We seek to design boats that are comfortable, look fabulous, yet still flash plenty of speed for fun and safety. And if you win your Wednesday night ‘round-the-can races with your buddies, all the better. That’s racing Stephens-Waring style.
Thing is, in our world sometimes this sort of racing among friends turns into serious competition among seriously competitive sailors. And earlier this summer, one of our favorite 90-foot yawls, Bequia, shaped up for the America’s Cup Superyacht Regatta 2017 in Bermuda, skippered by no less than Tom Whidden, president and CEO of North Technology Group, in Milford CT; where he manages the core North Sails brand, as well as companies like Southern Spars, North Apparel and EdgeWater Boats. Tom gets going fast in sailboats. He’s actually won a real America’s Cup, back in the day. And he’s one of the few sailors that legends like Dennis Connor actually listen to out on the race course. Whidden helmed Bequia to a win in her class, and within just a point or two of taking the honors for the entire regatta.
Read on.