EYC Women's IOD Invitational Regatta

September 7 & 8, 2024

The inaugural Marblehead IOD Women’s Invitational Regatta is schedule for Saturday and Sunday September 7th and 8th 2024, hosted at the Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead.  All-female teams are invited to apply for an invitation to this regatta by June 1, 2024, accepted regatta participants will be notified by June 15th 2024. The Notice of Race is available for download now.

Q: What is the format of the event?
A: Two days of racing are planned in a fleet of up to nine closely matched International One Design Sloops.  Races will be approximately 6-10 NM in length, and will be laid out to be approximately 90 minutes in duration.  This target course length should provide competitors with racing that balances tactical and strategic considerations.  Boats will be allocated for the weekend — no skipper or crewmember will be allowed to race on a boat that they regularly sail..  Owners or owners reps will join the teams for an orientation aboard the boat on Saturday morning,

Q: What are the housing and social events likely to be?
A: The OA hopes to have a competitive, but collegial event. Every attempt will be made to accommodate out-of-town teams in local homes, There will be light breakfast treats during Saturday morning registration and Sunday morning before racing, a regatta dinner (casual) on Saturday night, and refreshments following before and during the awards presentation on Sunday.

Q: What is the entry process?
A: The entry window is still open –– it has been extended. There is space for additional teams. The regatta organizers hope to assemble a field of highly competitive sailors, include college teams, and experienced keelboat racers. We anticipate a field that includes IOD sailors and experienced racers who may be new to the boats. Interested teams are invited to fill out the entry application found on this site and email it to womensinvite@marbleheadiod.com before June 28, 2024.  Accepted entries will receive their formal invitations no later than July 12th 2024.  Invitations are only secured through the payment the entry fee. See NOR. 

Q: Is there an entry fee?
A: Yes. The entry fee for the event is $400. This fee includes five social tickets for the weekend (breakfast snacks on Saturday and Sunday, plus the informal regatta dinner on Saturday evening).  Note that no entry is finalized before the entry fee is paid. See NOR.

Q: Are there any other fees?
A: Yes. As is the case at all International Class events worldwide, teams will be required to provide a refundable damage deposit as a condition of their participation. The damage deposit for the EYC Women’s Invitational is $1000. Some or all of these funds may be claimed by the OA in the case that a team is responsible for an incident that damages a boat.  In the unlikely event that there is an incident on Saturday that causes damage, the team will need to restore their damage deposit to $1000 before they are permitted to compete on Sunday. See NOR.

Q. What are the boats like?
A: International Class (IOD) sloops are heavy displacement one-design keelboats essentially built to the International Rule.  Thirty-three feet long, with six feet of beam, the full-keeled boats resemble and sail like their larger cousins – classic 12m yachts.  Conceived by the legendary Cornelius Shields, these magnificent racers were designed and first built by Norwegian Bjarne Aas in 1936.  The inaugural races were sailed in Larchmont in the summer of 1937. IODs have been racing in Marblehead since 1938.  

IODs have truly stood the test of time.. One of the 1938 boats – POMPANO – has been racing continuously in Marblehead since 1938 and is regularly found among the leaders each summer. She will be part of the racing fleet for this event.. The other boats projected to be in the event include five of wood and four of fiberglass. Our newest woodie – VIKING – was built in Norway in 1966 and is possibly the last wooden IOD built under the watchful eye of the designer. Fiberglass boats were introduced in the 1970s and great care was taken to ensure that the wooden and glass hulls were equal in performance. 

At the heart of the IOD Class DNA is the idea that the racing tests the teams, not the checkbooks of the owners,  From the beginning, the class rules have mandated a strict one design approach, structured to create a racing fleet of evenly matched boats. Across the racing fleet in Marblehead, all boats will carry the same rigs, boom sections, and fly sails of equal age, design, and cloth.  Although equipped only with only a single main, jib, and spinnaker, the boats are surprisingly technical, the steering must be precise and the sails constantly tended if the best boat speed is to be achieved.

Typically, teams comprise five people – a driver, mainsail trimmer, foredeck, headsail trimer and pit/bulkhead.

Q: Is it possible to try an IOD out before the event?
A: With some advance planning, it should be possible to test sail an IOD on most Sundays, and many weekdays of the summer. It is also possible that some boats will be available for orientation sails on Friday September 6th. If you would like to arrange a practice sail, please contact the organizers at womensinvite@marbleheadiod.com

Q. What are the conditions likely to be?
A. The first weekend of September can deliver almost any condition.  The winds in the sailing area are often driven by a developing early afternoon sea breeze. But coastal systems and fronts can push through, creating blustery conditions.  Because the event will be sailed in boats that have been loaned by Marblehead IOD owners, the Sailing Instructions will include provisions for limiting the use of spinnakers in strong winds. 

Q: How can I find out more?
A: Please forward your questions to womensinvite@marbleheadiod.com