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IOD Celebrity Invitational Regatta


August 13 - 15, 2014



  (photo by Karen Ryan Photography)


Imagine being provided a boat within a fleet of 14 evenly matched IODs to be raced by your crew on Nantucket Sound.   Further imagine having an America's Cup tactician, Olympic medalist or a world champion calling your tactics for the regatta.  In keelboat one-design racing this is truly special.

Nantucket Race Week is pleased to announce the tenth annual running of the IOD Celebrity Invitational.


    (photo by Karen Ryan Photography)

The Celebrity Invitational begins with an opening reception buffet dinner at the Great Harbor Yacht Club on August 13, with two days of racing and more social events on August 14 and 15, 2014.  The series will consist of up to four races each day on Nantucket Sound.  Each participating team will have a celebrity tactician on-board.  Races will be sailed in a fleet format, and prizes will be awarded for daily and overall results. Opportunities abound for non-sailing spouses and significant others to explore and enjoy the island: beaches, bicycling, water sports, shopping, museums, sightseeing and more.

     (photo by Karen Ryan Photography)

Schedule of Events

Wednesday, August 13th

  Throughout day - arrival on island, and transport to accommodation

  4:30pm Registration at Nantucket Yacht Club

  6:00pm IOD Celebrity Invitational Opening Buffet at Great Harbor Yacht Club

Thursday, August 14th

  9:00am Skippers' Meeting at Nantucket Yacht Club

11:00am Day One of the IOD Celebrity Invitational, first warning signal

  6:00pm Daily Awards ceremony at Nantucket Yacht Club

  7:00pm America's Cup Dinner with Gary Jobson at Great Harbor Yacht Club

August 15th

  9:00am Skippers' Meeting at Nantucket Yacht Club

11:00am Day Two of the IOD Celebrity Invitational, first warning signal

 4:30pm  Awards ceremony at Nantucket Yacht Club

 7:30pm  Shipwreck Costume Ball at Nantucket Yacht Club, Theme:  Once Upon an Iceberg 

2014 Celebrity Tacticians:

  1. Josh Adams, three-time College All American, Director of US Olympic Sailing
  2. Jim Allsopp, three decade veteran of North Sails, former Star World Champion, 6 AC campaigns
  3. Peter Bromby, Olympic Sailer, three-time IOD World Champion
  4. Robbie Doyle, founder of Doyle Sailmakers
  5. Dave Franzel, founder and director of the Boston Sailing Center
  6. Phil Garland, partner in Hall Spars, two-time Mumm 30 NA Champion
  7. John MacCausland, America’s Cup (1987), six-time Star NA Champion, US Olympian
  8. Mark Reynolds, Olympic Gold Medal winner in Stars
  9. Dawn Riley, first woman to manage an America's Cup campaign
  10. Jud Smith, Head of Doyle One Design, 5 World Championships, 8 North American Championships
  11. Mike Toppa, participated in seven America's Cup campaigns, won twice
  12. Dave Ullman, four-time World Champion and 1996 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year
  13. Will Welles,  member of the North Sails Rhode Island team
  14. Jon Wright, trimmed mainsheet in five America's Cups and won the 1989 Volvo Ocean Race

 Past celebrity tacticians:   

Adams, Josh
Allen, Chuck
Haines, Robbie Read, Ken
Allsopp, Jim Healy, Tim Reynolds, Mark
Anderson, Karl  Holmberg, Peter Riley, Dawn
Barkow, Sally Isler, JJ Schwab, Bruce
Brady, Jim Isler, Peter Shore, Bill
Brady, Julia Jobson, Gary Smith, Dee
Brenner, Dean Keyworth, Will Smith, Jud
Brun, Vince  Kotoun, Anthony Snow, Chris
Burnham, John Larson, Chris Swanson, Jody
Burnham, Kevin Lewis, Cam Tihansky, Jahn
Callahan, Mike Macky, Jane Toppa, Mike
Tunnicliffe, Anna
Campbell, Andrew Mahaney, Kevin Ullman, Dave
Crump, Will & Marie Merrill, Nate Weisman, Gary
Dellenbaugh, David Miller, Jim Wells, Will
Doyle, Robbie Mollicone, John Whidden, Tom
Farrar, Kevin Moore, Geoff White, Steve
Fortenberry, Bill
Fowler, Neal
Franzel, Dave
Musto, Keith Widnall, Bill
Garcia, Grant
Garland, Phil
Perry, Dave Worthington, Kimo
Wright, Jon
Gladstone, John Read, Brad  


About the Nantucket International One Design Fleet
The International One Design was the first class to achieve 'International Classic Yacht' status with the International Sailing Federation.  Inspired by the majestic 6-Metre class, Cornelius Shields commissioned Norwegian naval architect Bjorn Aas to design a strict one-design class.  In 1935, the International One Design was born.  21-feet on the waterline, with long, graceful overhangs extending to 33-feet overall, and a powerful 45-foot rig, the IOD resembles a scaled down version of a majestic J-Boat.  With fleets in Northeast Harbor, Marblehead, Nantucket, Long Island Sound, San Francisco, Nova Scotia, Bermuda, Scotland, Sweden and Norway, the IOD class has a strong tradition of inter-fleet competition.  The King Edward VII Gold Cup leg of the Swedish Match tour is sailed in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club's fleet of IODs.

(photo by Karen Ryan Photography)


IODs are typically sailed with crews of four or five.  The small rudder, tall rig and heavy displacement demand focus, reflexes and strength from both helmsman and crew.  In Nantucket, races are held outside of the island's harbor on the Nantucket Sound.  This is one of America's great racing venues, where crisp August afternoons, reliable sea breezes of 15-20 knots, and uniform currents across the course make for exciting racing, with Nantucket's legendary beauty and island life to return to after racing.

Formed in 1998, the Nantucket IOD Fleet is based on a unique concept.  Rather than the traditional system of sailors owning their boats individually, the fleet is owned by an association consisting of fifteen syndicates, each of which owns an undivided interest, or share equivalent to one fifteenth of the entire fleet.  The boats are identical in every way:  hulls, standing and running rigging, sails, supplied equipment, instruments (just a compass!), tuning, and even the bottom paint.  Syndicates rotate boats on a weekly basis.  It is truly one-design racing at its purest.                          

  (photo by Karen Ryan Photography)


For Participants

Teams should arrive with four-person crews, to which a boat (boats are essentially identical, maintained evenly and rotated daily) and a celebrity tactician will be assigned.  The Nantucket Race Week IOD Celebrity Invitational committee may be able to arrange for crew if teams are short-handed.  Crews should have experience and competency racing in heavy keelboats.  There will be social events each evening, commencing with an Opening Night Reception and Buffet Dinner at Great Harbor Yacht, Club, where teams will be paired with a celebrity tactician for the two-day competition.

Celebrity Tacticians generously donate their time and talent to support Nantucket Community Sailing.  A blind auction prior to the event gives amateur teams a chance to help determine tactician assignments.  Bids are not required, but are nonetheless welcomed, encouraged, and importantly, deductible as charitable contributions to NCS.   Pairings are announced at the Wednesday evening reception.  The bidding process is strictly confidential.  If a crew chooses not to bid, the organizers will make a tactician assignment.   

On Thursday evening there will be an optional America's Cup Dinner at the Great Harbor Yacht Club, featuring a presentation by Gary Jobson on the 2013 America's Cup in San Francisco.    On Friday evening, the Nantucket Yacht Club hosts the Shipwreck Ball—an evening of dancing to great music, heavy hors d'oeuvres, and a lot of fun.    Costumes are encouraged, with a new, creative and entertaining theme announced each year.

Nantucket Community Sailing

Nantucket Community Sailing (NCS) was recently recognized by US Sailing as the Outstanding Seasonal Community Sailing Program in the United States.  The IOD Celebrity Invitational is a fundraising event to benefit Nantucket Community Sailing.  NCS is a non-profit organization focused on providing sailing instruction and affordable access to water sports for the Nantucket community.  NCS serves 2,000 sailors in its sailing programs, and provides equipment and instruction through many community outreach programs, including sponsoring and coaching Nantucket's High School Sailing Team, sailing scholarships to island youth, free water sports to other non-profits, sailboat races for all levels and teaching adaptive windsurfing for disabled athletes.  Nantucket Community Sailing needs to raise over $600,000 each year to support its programs.  Nantucket Race Week is an essential aspect of the fund-raising effort, contributing 25% of the total.  The IOD Celebrity Invitational is a major component of this success!

Nantucket Island and Logistics

If you have never been to Nantucket, you have yet to experience on one of the great American vacation and sailing venues, and you need to rectify that!  And if you're a repeat visitor - welcome back!  Situated 30 miles south of Cape Cod, the island enjoys steady winds, pristine waters, and is one of America's great sailing destinations. Along with its rich sea-faring history on display in museums and other attractions, present-day Nantucket also offers an outstanding array of interesting shops, inns, and restaurants.  Nantucket boasts some of the most beautiful beaches and best sailing waters in the world.  But the best part of the island is the community of people you will meet and their generous hospitality.

We will be happy to do everything we can to make your participation in Nantucket Race Week a fun and enjoyable experience. Your spouse or significant other is welcome! Housing will be provided in local residences, and your hosts will be happy to have you stay through the weekend, so you can enjoy a couple of extra days on Nantucket.  In addition, plan to enjoy the boats and kayaks at Nantucket Community Sailing's Jetties Beach location throughout the week.

If you would prefer to stay in one of the local hotels or a rental property, the Nantucket Lodging Association maintains a list of up to the minute room availability for the Nantucket hotels, inns, and bed & breakfasts.  The Nantucket Visitors Services website has useful information on what to do, where to eat, and how to get to the island. You can call them at 508-228-0925 or e-mail at visitorinfo@nantucket-ma.gov to order a Nantucket Visitors Guide. 

In all, the Celebrity Invitational presents an unparalleled chance to sail with a master tactician in strong competition, in classic, closely matched boats, in great racing conditions.  Add the enjoyment of a few days on Nantucket at the best and busiest time of the year, all while making a great contribution to a worthy organization:  Nantucket Community Sailing.

Thank you to Karen Ryan and Alice Breed for the use of their photos on this page.