Anticipation and Temptation

With the ORC World Championship marked on the calendar, Art Santry's chartered 66-footer Temptation is looking for a summer of getting faster.
The J/V66 "Numbers"
The J/V66 “Numbers” is in the Oakcliff Sailing stable and will be chartered by Art Santry for the season, leading up to the ORC World Championships hosted by the New York YC in the Fall. Dan Nerney/Rolex NYYC Regattas

As the winter grinds on, my thoughts are turning toward a summer of racing. The anticipation of being on the water is good therapy on cold days. I look forward to joining Art Santry for his campaign on a Judel/Vrolijk (J/V) designed 66-footer beginning in May. Santry has been racing a Ker 50, “Temptation,” for the past 15 years. Both the Ker 50 and the JV 66-footer are part of the Oakcliff Sailing program inventory of racing boats.

The Oakcliff program is directed by America’s Cup Hall of Fame sailor, Dawn Riley. The Ker 50’s handicap rating worked well under the Royal Ocean Racing Club’s IRC rule, but struggled in the more recently used Offshore Racing Conference (ORC) handicap rating rule. When the formerly named, Numbers, a J/V 66-footer, became available for a long-term charter, Santry studied the opportunity. Late in the summer of 2023 he raced in two events off Newport, Rhode Island and was intrigued by the prospect of campaigning a larger, and faster yacht. An arrangement with Oakcliff Sailing, was signed and Santry and his manager Bill Rudkin went to work with Riley putting together the racing program for 2024.

Organizing a big boat campaign requires considerable effort. A crew needs to be recruited, the boat thoroughly surveyed and prepared for blue water racing, complicated applications for entering regattas must be executed, new sails need to be ordered, and equipment must be serviced or replaced. The list is long. Santry has been campaigning boats at a high level for many years, and he understands the process.

Even still his new yacht requires extra effort. Santry has decided to keep the name Temptation for the 66-footer. He explains, “My father named his 54 yawl Temptation in the 1960s. Since that time there have been four boats in our family with the same name. I wanted to keep the tradition of using Temptation for continuity.”

During the winter months the boat has undergone a series of upgrades including replacing the seals and bearings for the rudder and lifting keel. The hydraulic pins have been replaced along with installing new runner winches. The boat will have a new electronics package to bring it up to state of the art. Santry says, “We’ve cleaned up the electronics down below by getting rid of unused wires and pieces of equipment. The boat has a low freeboard and is wet. We are making sure the hatches are watertight.

“The boat has a good inventory of sails, but we are adding a new number two headsail, and an asymmetric No. 4 spinnaker and will likely get a new mainsail at some point. The carbon standing rigging was replaced two years ago and is in good shape.”

Santry says the boat has double the sail area of the Ker 50 and sails upwind 3.5 knots faster than a 12 Meter. “It’s a lot of boat,” he says. “It will be relatively easy to sail once we figure it out. It is fast upwind. I think we will be competitive.”

The boat is also fast downwind. He adds, “Last summer during the Ida Lewis Distance Race we the boat was approaching a leeward mark at 25 knots in 23 knots of wind. I asked how far we were from the mark? I was told six miles. That meant we had less than 15 minutes to get the headsail up and the spinnaker down. We all worked hard to be ready for the rounding. You cover a lot of distance at those speeds.”

The crew will be made up of a few older sailors (I prefer to call us veterans) and lots of young sailors. Oakcliff Sailing will provide several graduates from their program along with a few newcomers. Art’s daughter, Alexa and son Richie will be on the crew.

My role on the boat will be tactician. Mike Toppa will oversee sail trim and LJ Edgcomb will be the navigator. Steven Murray will share steering duties with the skipper, Art Santry. Most of the crew will be amateur racers, but there will be a few professionals on board.

The boat is scheduled to be launched in early May and a three-day practice weekend will follow. The race schedule will include at least one practice day before each race. The regatta list includes the Block Island Race, the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta, the Newport to Bermuda Race, New York Yacht Club Race Week, Safe Harbor Regatta, Ida Lewis Race, and the capstone of summer the ORC World Championship that starts at the end of September where Temptation will be competing in the Maxi Class.

Springtime is for getting ready for racing. Boat preparation, getting in good physical condition and carefully planning endless logistics is the key to success. As I sit by the fireplace watching the flames I see sails flicker and visualize Temptation rocketing upwind at 12 knots with the foredeck preparing the spinnaker for a fast ride. A good summer is on the horizon.