37th Annual Race Honors Yachtsman William K. Vanderbilt II
The Centerport Yacht Club (CYC) held its 37th annual William K. Vanderbilt II Memorial Cup Regatta on October 7, and raised $5,000 from the post-race party, which will benefit Vanderbilt Museum education programs.
Albert P. Rosanes, then the club commodore, established the regatta in 1981 in collaboration with the Museum. Rosanes’ son, Erik, now CYC vice-commodore and principal race officer, said the race is open to all sailors. Thirty boats raced this year.
“My father created the post-race party as a Vanderbilt fund-raiser,” Rosanes said. “By tradition, the regatta has always been held in late October, close to Mr. Vanderbilt’s birthday on October 26. For the past several years, the club has held the party at the Vanderbilt.”
The race is operated according to the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet (PHRF) handicapping system of the United States Sailing Association (US Sailing) as administered by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island (YRALIS), Rosanes said.
“US Sailing administers a number of different rating and handicapping systems that allow equitable racing for diverse fleets and sanctions regional authorities, such as YRALIS, to administer the national rule on the local level,” Rosanes said. “PHRF adjusts for speed differences among classes and sizes of boats.”
The regatta starts at Bell 8 near Target Rock off Lloyd Neck. Bell 8 is one of the system of federal marker buoys maintained in American harbors by the U.S. Coast Guard, Rosanes said. The course uses the buoys as turning marks for the race.
“Racers include very serious competitors as well as families with children who just want to make a trip around the buoys,” he said.
The race course is based on wind direction and velocity, and can run from 12 to 22 miles. Historically, the finish line is in Northport Bay, across from the Vanderbilt Mansion.
“This tradition not only honors yachtsman William K. Vanderbilt II, but also makes it possible for visitors to the Vanderbilt Museum to see part of the race,” Rosanes said. “We hope it helps to drive visitors to the museum.”
Shortly after the end of World War II, a group of local sailors that liked to race began to call themselves the Centerport Yacht Club. They operated out of a small shack on Centerport Harbor and challenged the existing Huntington and Edgewater (Northport) yacht clubs to race. The club was established officially on Valentine’s Day in 1947, when its certificate of incorporation was approved by the Supreme Court of the State of New York.
In 1948, the club found temporary quarters at the Holiday Lodge on Northport Harbor. The following year, the club learned that a summer house across the harbor was for sale, and purchased it for its new home.