In winning the newport bermuda Race's St. David's Lighthouse Trophy in June, Peter Rebovich, 72, who sails his Cal 40 Sinn Fein out of Raritan YC, in Perth Amboy, N.J., achieved what only one other skipper in the race's history ever had: back-to-back wins of the race's top trophy. This was also Sinn Fein's fourth consecutive Class 1 victory. Only Carleton Mitchell, sailing his 38-foot Olin Stephens-design Finnesterre, which won the St. David's Lighthouse Trophy in 1956, 1958, and 1960, has done better.
"To win the Lighthouse Trophy, you've got to win the class," says Rebovich. His preparations to do so began in 2007, when he and his crew, especially his son Peter Jr., began running through the possible optimizations that could be made to Sinn Fein. "We talked about a longer pole, a bowsprit, asymmetric spinnakers, symmetric spinnakers, and ran through all the numbers," says Rebovich. "We had some help from Jim Teeters at US SAILING, and decided to go with no pole, no sprit, and centerline, bow-tacked asymmetric spinnakers, which gave us the rating we were looking for."