Classic Yacht Cruise to Arrive in New Bedford Harbor Wednesday, August 22

Wednesday, August 22
A flotilla of some 25 classic sail and powerboats will parade in company through the New Bedford hurricane barrier between 2 and 4 PM on Wednesday, August 22 and will layover in the harbor. Cruise participants will come ashore to enjoy the city and the many activities organizers have planned.
Mayor Scott W. Lang, the New Bedford Economic Development Council (NBEDC), the Harbor Development Commission, New Bedford Office of Tourism and many local businesses, organizations and individuals have scheduled a full itinerary to warmly welcome the fleet of classic boats and their passengers participating in the Classic Yacht Cruise (CYC) – some launched as early as 1905 and lovingly restored- some right here in our harbor. The 160-foot, three-masted staysail schooner Arabella serves as the mother ship for the cruise.
The annual event, organized by the International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) of Newport (R.I.), will cruise in southern New England waters, starting in Nantucket in conjunction with Opera House Cup Regatta and sailing to Martha’s Vineyard, Tarpaulin Cove, New Bedford, Cuttyhunk and its final destination, Newport (R.I.).
The CYC draws a fleet that represents a time capsule of classic yacht design—from wooden boats launched in the early 1900s to recently launched modern classics built in a “spirit of tradition.” Participating power and sailboats range in length from 39 to 76 feet.
Among the activities planned are a reception Wednesday evening at Cork Wine Bar, a fundraising dinner at the Whaling Museum and several activities on Thursday including: sailing on two of the vessels for children in the Community Boating program; tours of Foley’s Fish Processing Plant, an Eastern Fisheries scalloper, Joseph Abboud Manufacturing, the National Historic Park and Whale Boat Races.
“For New Bedford to be chosen as a layover for the IYRS cruise is good news for the city,” said Mayor Scott W. Lang. “Our hope is that the captains and their crews feel welcome here and have a memorable stay in New Bedford. We hope they enjoy all that we have to offer and that they return to our beautiful working harbor and historic city.”
A number of area businesses have donated items to welcome the vessels including Sperry Sails of Marion, Crystal Ice, Cardoza’s Wine and Spirits, Continental Plastics, Hunt Yacht design, Titleist golf balls, the Coalition for Buzzards Bay and The Black Whale. Jeff Pontiff’s New Bedford Harbor Tours will be running regular launch service.
“The layover presents an important opportunity to tell our story to many individuals connected to companies, jobs and investment dollars,” said NBEDC Executive Director Matthew Morrissey.
As part of a broader business development campaign of the NBEDC, each captain will receive a personalized commemorative book designed by MediumStudio and printed by Reynolds-DeWalt, entitled “New Bedford IS…” Both firms have donated their services. This version of the book contains specific information important to mariners.
“We welcome IYRS to the Port of New Bedford to explore our great city and learn about New Bedford’s maritime traditions. The group will have the opportunity to experience first hand the authentic charm of a working port with beautiful vistas of hundreds of fishing vessels throughout the harbor.  IYRS’s voyage to New Bedford demonstrates the diversity of our port and how recreational, tourism, and industry-based operations compliment and benefit one another,” said Kristin Decas, Executive Director of the Harbor Development Commission.
New Bedford resident Laurie Bullard, co-admiral for the Classic Yacht Cruise and New Bedford port captain said, “I see this as an outstanding opportunity for New Bedford – a chance to showcase the beauty, history and culture of the city. We have a large, deep-water and safe harbor, the best ice on the East Coast, excellent marine services, great museums, talented artisans, restaurants with delicious food, attractive shops and lovely residential areas. Thanks to the efforts of a huge number of folks, the fleet will receive the best while they are in our harbor.”
Among the many organizations participating are the National Historic Park (Celeste Bernardo, executive director and Jennifer Gonsalves, ranger), the Whaling Museum (Anne Brengle, executive director), Office of Tourism and Marketing (Anne Marie Lopes, director), the Harbor Development Commission (Kristin Decas, executive director) and the NBEDC (Matthew A. Morrissey, executive director). Various city departments will provide essential support.
Photographers who would like to shoot the fleet’s arrival should consider locations such as Fort Phoenix (Fairhaven) and the navigation gate of the Hurricane Barrier. It is recommended that photographers call Deirdre Opp of IYRS on Aug. 22 to get a more accurate estimate of when the fleet will arrive (mobile: 401-835-7323).
About IYRS: Located in the heart of historic Newport, the International Yacht Restoration School has transformed a once-abandoned section of waterfront into a thriving center for maritime education and restoration. Its highly regarded educational programs, which draw students from around the world, make the school a valuable training institution for the maritime industry. IYRS offers two curricula of study: a two-year program in boat building and restoration and a one-year program in marine systems and associated technology (in addition to a full menu of Continuing Education courses). Emphasis in both programs is on developing a high degree of technical and craftsmanship skill, leading to certifications that are highly regarded by the marine industry. IYRS also promotes an understanding of maritime heritage to the public at large through its lecture series; publications such as Restoration Quarterly; and a campus that is open year-round to the public, which includes a working marina that attracts classic power and sailboats in the summer season. IYRS students restore historically important boats and as a byproduct of the program, students have returned a fleet of classic boats to the water including small rowing skiffs and power boats, the first Concordia yawl and yachts of important designers and boat builders.
For more information, visit the school’s website at www.iyrs.org. The website’s Media Room houses the latest press releases in addition to background sheets on the school and its major restoration projects. Media Contact: Cynthia Goss, 203-430-4145.

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