International One Design sailboats racing. The Northeast Harbor Fleet hosts the IOD class North American Invitational this week. ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Northeast Harbor hosts IOD North American Invitational

MOUNT DESERT — The North American Invitational regatta for the International One Design Class is underway here this week, hosted by the Northeast Harbor Fleet (NEHF).

Racing is set for July 28-30 beginning at 10:30 a.m. each day.

“Bringing in these sailors from other fleets, everybody has different sailing conditions, scenery where they’re used to sailing,” event chair Nicholas Schoeder said Tuesday in a cell phone interview while towing one of the boats from Sutton Island to Gilpatrick Cove. “It’s fantastic to show them what a beautiful place we race in. It’s special to us.”

Each of the North American IOD fleets nominates one skipper to represent them at the event, which was last held here in 2009, Schoeder said. Sailors from San Francisco, Long Island Sound, Nova Scotia and Bermuda will be on the line.

Northeast Harbor will field four boats, two of them sailed by youth competitors. Last year’s North American champion and NEHF member John Roberts will look to defend his title.

“We provide the boats, we invite skippers, and they come up with their crew,” Schoeder said. “I also invited some sailors from other sailing classes to come and compete up here.”

Crews from Blue Hill, Boston and Virginia were among those special invitees, coming from the International 210, Atlantic and other racing classes.

“Ours is the only class in the world that requires the wooden mast,” he said. “We do have a lot of the original 1937 boats here. At other fleets, you don’t often see this many boats on the line racing at once.”

The North Americans serve as a warm-up for the host fleet, as the regular rotation calls for the world championships to be held here in 2017.

“We’re hoping to get 22 boats on the line next year for worlds,” Schoeder said.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.