The best photos from the 2017 Candy Store Cup superyacht regatta

The venue

The Candy Store Cup superyacht regatta returned to Newport Shipyard for its second year with three days of highly competitive racing from July 27-29.

This year’s regatta attracted a strong fleet of 11 competitors, but as the photo above shows there were also many more notable yachts in attendance, including the 90 metre Royal Huisman flagship Athena.

Photo: Stephen Cloutier

The fleet

Racing at this year’s Candy Store Cup was split into three categories, with the 37.3 metre Action, the 32.5 metre Sunleigh and the 41.55 metre J class yacht Ranger contesting Class A.

Action came out on top in her class and tactician Ian Walker was full of praise for the format. “I’ve really enjoyed this regatta,” he said. “I love that the boats are so close together on the docks here, there is lots of hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere, and obviously Newport is a beautiful place to be this time of year. The fact that the Candy Store Cup is smaller and more intimate is its unique selling point.”

Photo: Billy Black

The conditions

Mother Nature proved to be a key protagonist in the 2017 Candy Store Cup, with changeable conditions across the three days. Mid-range southwesterly winds on Thursday gave way to a light northerly on Friday before the winds really whipped up on Saturday, causing Sunleigh to opt out of racing and forcing three further yachts to retire.

However, the rough conditions didn’t hamper the progress of Meteor — the 51.59 metre Royal Huisman won her final race to scoop top honours in a tightly contested Class C, edging out Whitehawk and Naema. Dan Meyers, skipper of Meteor, added, “Saturday was full-on — having a kite up in 30 knots keeps your attention, but it was fun. We had it all!”

Photo: Billy Black

The scenery

The course for the 2017 Candy Store Cup was modified to start off Castle Hill and take in Brenton Point and the Cliff Walk as some of the most scenic backdrops.

The photo above shows Meteor passing The Breakers — a turn-of-the-century mansion once owned by the Vanderbuilt family and now designated a National Historic Landmark.

Photo: George Bekris

The winner

After three days of close racing, two yachts were tied on four points — Action and Bequia. Faced with this dilemma, the organisers opted for the traditional tie-breaker of starting prowess, which handed the win to Bequia.

This 28 metre yawl retains the overall trophy as well as the Class B cup, which was filled with penny candy. Speaking at the awards party, Bequia’s tactician Tom Whidden reflected on a “wonderful week”. “How spectacular to have a medium-air, a light-air and a heavy-air race. They couldn’t have planned it better.”

Photo: Michelle Almeida

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