Chelsea Yacht Vies for Prize at This Weekend's Races

By Mathew Katz on October 5, 2011 1:15pm 

The America 2.0, one of the 18 yachts sailing in this weekend's races.
The America 2.0, one of the 18 yachts sailing in this weekend's races.
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Pim Van Hemmen

CHELSEA — Keep your eyes on the fore-and-aft sails and hold on to your captain's hat: This weekend marks the sixth annual New York Classic Week schooner races.

The three-day-long series of sailboat races kicks off on Saturday and the action goes through Monday.

Several new kinds of yachts will test their mettle during the races, including the Chelsea Piers-based America 2.0, a 105-foot, 85-passenger carbon fiber boat that designers are hoping will outrun its 17 competitors.

"It's a classic," said Will Candis, a spokesman for Classic Harbor Line Yachts, the boat's owner. "It's brand new, but it looks like it's from the 1800s."

The boat was delivered two weeks ago, and its owners are hoping to use the race to show what it can do.

Along with many other yachts in the race, the America 2.0 will carry about 40 passengers who want to see the races from up close — while sipping on wine and snacking on hors d'oeuvres, of course. 

The America 2.0 is expected to sail at about 13 knots, or 15 miles per hour — which owners said is fast for a boat that's also serving as a bar.

Organizers said they are confident that the fall winds will really start to kick in this weekend, and spectators from around the city will be in for some speedy sailing.

The races begin in the New York Harbor each day at 12 p.m. and will feature some of the city's most iconic sites, including sails around the Statue of Liberty and the Verrazano-Narrows bridge.

Tickets for the four-hour outing aboard America 2.0, departing from Chelsea Piers' Pier 62 at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, are still available for $125 a piece.

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