IRC Two winner Carina II is skippered by Rives Potts. The Rear Commodore of the New York Yacht Club raced the 1969 48' sloop in last month's Transatlantic Race to take part in the Rolex Fastnet Race. Carina II is a family affair: Rives Potts has his son William working the bow, navigator Dirk Johnson has his 16 year old son Dirk Jr. on board and Watch Captain, Richard du Moulin's son, Edward works on trim.
The three families represent a dynasty of sailors for Newport Rhode Island. Rives Potts has competed in several America's Cup campaigns. Potts sailing Carina is a veteran of 20 Newport Bermuda Races and has won the coveted St. David's Lighthouse Trophy on three occasions.
"I think the Rolex Fastnet Race is one of the most fabulous races in the world," exclaimed Potts dockside in Plymouth. "I think it's probably filled with more passion than any other race that I know of. I think the Bermuda Race rivals it, but the Fastnet Race has probably been greater. The second thing is I wanted to sail with my son and some of my best friends' sons. So we had a bunch of fathers and sons on the boat and we had a great time."
Carina had a wonderful battle with Scarlet Oyster, although Potts had never met Scarlet Oyster skipper Ross Appleby before, they ended up tying up next to each other after the race and the two skippers shook hands like old friends.
"Right from the start, Scarlet Oyster got ahead of us and they stayed ahead the whole bloody race. When we rounded the Runnels Buoy at Land's End, Scarlet Oyster just made it. After passing the mark they had a problem with some kelp on their keel and so they backed down and did a funny little manoeuvre. We heard another boat call up and said they were going to protest them for not going around the mark. I gave a call down to my navigator. I said 'Call up right now. Put a squash on this,' I said: 'Carina saw them go around the mark and we will go to our deathbed testifying that they rounded the mark properly," said Potts.
Anyhow, so we got to be fast friends kind of at afar, we came together again right near the finish and we had a port-starboard. We waived them by because we were close enough and then they beat us by about two seconds, boat for boat, but we beat them on time correction. All Good fun!"
The Class win in IRC 2 was made all the more sweeter by the fact that Carina II was pipped at the post in the Transatlantic Race for class honours, having led all the way across the ocean. Carina II has sailed thousands of miles to compete in the Rolex Fastnet Race but their odyssey doesn't end in Plymouth. Most of the crew will sail the boat down to Australia to compete in the Rolex Sydney Hobart, this December.