Blog

Event Wrap-Up: Inaugural Designer Series Rendezvous in Bristol Honors Ted Hood

Weekend Event Attracts Diverse Fleet of 23 Hood-Designed Yachts

Bristol (R.I.)  August 3, 2017 – The Designer Series Rendezvous, a new annual event to honor yacht designers, kicked off with a weekend of festivities July 21-23, 2017 on the shores of Bristol, Rhode Island, at the Herreshoff Marine Museum. With 23 boats represented, owners, their guests and the public celebrated the legacy of renowned yacht designer, sail maker and America’s Cup champion Ted Hood.

The Friday-night kick-off, an “Open Boat” cocktail party, drew guests aboard twelve of the attending Hood yachts, including the 12-meter Nefertiti, Hood’s first America’s Cup design; the original Robin, the 1959 40-foot sloop credited with launching Hood’s design career; and the luxurious 116-foot Whisper, one of the last boats created by the Ted Hood Design Group. Many of Hood’s iconic Bristol Yachts and Little Harbors were also on hand to welcome everyone–from new owners such as Gene and Gay Berardi on their Little Harbor 70 Mach Buster and Ted’s daughter Nancy Hood-MacLeod and her husband Norm MacLeod on their new Bristol 47.7 Dunvegan, to veteran cruisers and racers on Little Harbor 60 Beau Geste and Bristol 35.5C Haff Tail.

Docks2.png

From Clockwise from left: Mach Buster, Whisper, Nefertiti, Dragon, Beau Geste, Windwalker, Halcyon, and Robin. Photo: Kate Wilson

“The opportunity to board all the different Hood designs and talk to the owners and crew of the yachts was so unique,” said Bob Alberhasky, owner of Little Harbor 75 Kahuna. Alberhasky could not bring his yacht to the event but flew up from his home in Georgia to be part of the weekend.

Windwalker rafted alongside Halcyon, Beau Geste off her bow. Photo: Michele Almeida

On Saturday, owners threw off the dock lines after a wind delay to compete in a race around Hog Island. The hot summer day caused the sea breeze to fill later in the afternoon, so the pursuit course was modified on the fly by Ted Hood’s grandson, Alex Hood, to accommodate the racers.

“I think big Ted was breathing down on us when the last race delay was coming to a close and the wind filled in just in time,” said Ted Hood Jr., Alex’s father.

Photo: Alex Hood, grandson of Ted Hood and PRO, fires the cannon for a finisher with  Nefertiti, the 12-meter, in the background.

Nefertiti, crewed entirely by Hood-design owners who could not bring their boats to the event, started last and finished first in the five-mile race. She was followed by Windwalker, a 60-foot Lyman Morse/Hood design owned by Dan Levangie with Ted Hood Jr. as crew. Third place went to Beau Geste, skippered by long time Ted Hood colleagues Andy Tyska and Matt Smith, followed by the Little Harbor 52 High Cotton and Mach Buster. A special recognition was awarded to Dunvegan–crewed by Ted Hood’s other two children, Bob and Nancy–which started the closest to their designated start time.  

Nefertiti, crewed by Hood-design boat owners, won the Race Around Hog Island. Photo: Michele Almeida

Nefertiti and Haff Tail, a Bristol 35.5C, cross during the race. Haff Tail started first and Nefertiti started last in the Pursuit race. Photo: Michele Almeida

Twelve boats competed in the race around Hog Island. Here Dunvegan, Bristol 47.7,  is being overtaken by Halcyon, Little Harbor 78. Photo: Bill Shea

Saturday evening under the tent, participating sailors and their friends continued the celebration with a clambake. After awards, including a raffle from Hood Sailmakers for a sail repair kit won by the 51-foot Hood yawl Arawak, Ted Hood Jr. led a panel of former Hood Design employees to share stories of working with the man known to speak few words. Ally Maloney, Matt Smith, and Ted Fontaine swapped tales of inspiration and humor of working with Ted Hood.  All four of the panelists now have successful companies of their own in yachting design.  

Halsey Herreshoff talks with Andy Tyska and guests during the cocktail hour before the clambake. Photo: Bill Shea

Lobster dinner clambake: Photo Bill Shea

Sunday morning sailors and guests gathered under the tent for a casual breakfast and the stories continued. “It was a truly memorable weekend honoring my dad!” said Nancy Hood-MacLeod.  “Last night was very special and I will never forget being a part of it,” said Susan Glendening, owner of a Little Harbor 42, Halcyon.

Crew of the winning Nefertiti. Photo: Bill Shea

For one last time, owners left the docks to participate in a boat parade through Bristol before heading back to their home ports. Lined up from oldest to newest, Robin followed by Nefertiti sailed by the docks and into the harbor.

“This is such a special sight,” said one Bristolian who biked down to watch the parade. “Will they be back next year?”

Next year, the Designer Series Rendezvous plans to travel down the Bay to Newport to honor another designer, to be announced in Fall 2017.

“I believe we have found a formula that works,” says Andy Tyska, president of Bristol Marine who is one of a team of individuals spearheading this new series. “We are already working on planning for next year and hope to invite more boats and the public to take a weekend to appreciate all the hard work that goes into yacht design and the marine industry.”

Boat Parade on Sunday – Photo: Kate Wilson

This event is also created to do more than celebrate iconic designers: it is also about looking to the future and cultivating the Ted Hoods of tomorrow.

A new Designer Series Scholarship of $3,000 will support an individual who is pursuing a career in recreational yacht design or marine engineering, service or construction. Students studying at a trade school or an institute of higher learning can apply for this funding.

Individuals who wish to apply for the scholarship should visit  designerseries.org/2017/scholarship. The application deadline has been extended to September 1.

For more on the Designer Series Rendezvous, please visit the event’s website at designerseries.org.

Designer Series in Bristol Launches New Scholarship for Marine Trades Students

Bristol (R.I.)  July 17, 2017 – The Designer Series–a new type of boating rendezvous that gives boat owners, the marine industry, and the public a chance to celebrate the sport’s iconic designers—will launch a new scholarship for students studying for careers in the marine trades. 

The inaugural Designer Series will salute the life and work of Ted Hood and takes place at the Herreshoff Marine Museum in Bristol from July 21-23. The weekend-long event will include on-the-water and land-based festivities and gather a diverse fleet of Hood-designed sail and power boats, along with the individuals who enjoy these boats and the professionals who helped to create them. 

“The Designer Series was conceived as an event that can both honor the past achievements of our iconic yacht designers, but also look forward—and an important part of the mission for this series is to help cultivate the Ted Hoods of tomorrow,” said Andy Tyska, president of Bristol Marine who is one of a team of individuals spearheading this new series.

The Designer Series Scholarship of $3,000 will support an individual who is pursuing a career in recreational yacht design or marine engineering, service or construction. Students studying at a trade school or an institute of higher learning can apply for this funding.

Individuals who wish to apply for the scholarship should visit  designerseries.org/2017/scholarship. The application deadline is August 1.

Ted Hood was a sailmaker, rigger, yacht designer, and a skilled yachtsman who skippered the 12-meter Courageous to a win in the 1974 America’s Cup. A Massachusetts native, he founded Hood Sailmakers in Marblehead; in the mid-1980s he moved his business to Rhode Island and transformed a stretch of Portsmouth coastline once occupied by the Navy into one of the largest yacht service, design and building operations on the East Coast.

Hood brought an innovator’s mindset to his work and produced breakthroughs in yacht design, rigging and sailmaking. When Hood passed away in 2013, he left behind a fleet of some 1,500 boats built from his designs.

A diverse fleet of Hood designs will gather for the first time for this inaugural event–including the 12-meter Nefertiti, Hood’s first America’s Cup design; Bristol and Little Harbor sail and power boats; the original Robin, the 1959 40-foot sloop credited with launching Hood’s design career; the luxurious 116-foot Whisper, one of the last boats created by the Ted Hood Design Group; and others.

On-water events for the fleet will be held on Saturday. Tickets to an “open-boat” party on Friday evening, where attendees can view and board the fleet, and Saturday night’s clambake featuring the local band Sugarbabies are still available. Sunday will feature a boat parade along Bristol’s harbor front.

A core of marine-industry professionals who worked closely with Ted Hood–including Tyska, Ted Fontaine (Fontaine Design Group, Portsmouth) and Matthew Smith (Matthew Smith, Naval Architect, Barrington)–and Hood’s sons Ted Jr. (Wellington Yacht Partners, Portsmouth) and Bob Hood (Hinckley Yacht Services, Portsmouth) are spearheading this new event.

To purchase tickets to the weekend’s festivities, visit the event website at designerseries.org or call 401-253-2200. Attendees can purchase tickets to Friday or Saturday night’s parties separately, or opt for a Weekend Package. Clambake tickets for Saturday will not be sold at the door.

Ted Hood Designer Series in Bristol Showcases Historic Fleet–and the Public’s Chance to Experience It

 

Bristol (R.I.)  July 5, 2017 — Ted Hood (1927-2013) made a lot of history during his lifetime. He was an innovative sailmaker and yacht designer, an America’s Cup winner, and a businessman who helped transform an abandoned parcel of Navy land in Portsmouth into a thriving complex of marine businesses. But the new Designer Series, which takes place this month in Bristol, makes some history of its own: this event will be the first time a fleet exclusively of Hood-designed boats will gather to race, rendezvous and celebrate the man behind these remarkable yachts.

“This event will be a first,” said Ted Hood, Jr. of Newport, who worked with his father from the time he entered the workforce until Hood’s business was sold in 2000. “It will be all encompassing, with all varieties of Hood designs—from his earliest to his latest. We hope to showcase that diversity, since my father was not just one brand.”

The three-day Designer Series takes place at the Herreshoff Marine Museum from July 21-23. The fleet of sail and power boats will range from a unique 21-foot sloop with a lifting keel to the luxurious 116-foot Whisper built in the Netherlands, one of the last boats created by the Ted Hood Design Group. Many Little Harbors and Bristols, two popular boat lines Hood is noted for, will also be sailing. The event is designed so members of the marine industry and all boating fans, in addition to boat owners and their crews, can take part is this historic celebration.

On-water events for the fleet will be held on Saturday, including racing for sailboats and a log race for powerboats. Tickets to an “open-boat” party on Friday evening, where attendees can view and board the fleet, and Saturday night’s clambake featuring the local band Sugarbabies are still available. The public and members of the marine industry, especially those who worked with Hood and on his boats, are welcomed to the Saturday clambake to hear stories and reminisce about Hood, his work and his life. Sunday will feature a boat parade along Bristol’s harbor front.

The breadth of Hood’s talent lives on in the boats he created and the people who are still enjoying them. Unique to this event are two boats that bookend Hood’s illustrious design career—including the latest Hood design Whisper and the original Robin, the 40-foot sloop that launched Hood’s design career in 1959.

As a young man in his early 30s, Hood was known as a sailmaker from Marblehead (Mass.). But that all changed with Robin—a unique shoal-draft centerboarder Hood designed and painted robin’s-egg blue. Hood skippered the boat to many regatta wins in its first summer, and as his son Bob Hood of Portsmouth (R.I.) remembers: “All of a sudden, people started to wonder who this guy from Marblehead was.” The boat cemented Hood’s talent as a helmsman with a unique approach to yacht design. Hood subsequently designed the 12-Meter Nefertiti, which came close to defending the 1962 America’s Cup; he won the 1974 America’s Cup as helmsman of Courageous.  

Robin was soon sold to new owners, which left Hood the opportunity to design a new Robin. All totaled, he designed some 30 boats named Robin during his career–all different designs and strong performers that sold to new owners. The family lost track of the original Robin, until a friend alerted them that the boat was languishing and in rough shape in Maryland. The family brought the boat to Rhode Island and gave it a total refit; the public can see this historic sloop at the Designer Series.

A core of marine-industry professionals who worked closely with Ted Hood–including Andy Tyska of Bristol Marine, Ted Fontaine (Fontaine Design Group, Portsmouth) and Matthew Smith (Matthew Smith, Naval Architect, Barrington)–and Hood’s sons Ted Jr. (Wellington Yacht Partners, Portsmouth) and Bob (Hinckley Yacht Services, Portsmouth) are together spearheading the event.

The Designer Series was conceived as a perennial happening that will salute a different iconic designer each year. An important part of the event’s mission is to also cultivate the Ted Hoods of the future. A scholarship has been created to support an individual pursuing a career in recreational yacht design or marine engineering, service or construction. Individuals who wish to apply can do so at designerseries.org/2017/scholarship. The application deadline is August 1.

To purchase tickets, please visit the event website at designerseries.org or call 401-253-2200. Attendees can purchase tickets to Friday or Saturday night’s parties separately, or opt for a Weekend Package.

Owners of Ted Hood designs who have not yet finalized their plans to attend the Designer Series are encouraged to contact Event Coordinator Carol Beecher at saltwatereventsri@gmail.com or 360-927-8555.  A limited number of crew slots to sail onboard the 12-meter Nefertiti during the event are also still available.

 

NOTE TO MEDIA: Media members who are interested in attending and covering the event should contact Cynthia Goss (cynthiagoss@sbcglobal.net / 203-453-2731). Photos are also available to accompany preview stories.

 

Ted Hood’s last design, 116-ft Whisper to join the Designer Series

 

While the 40-foot sloop Robin is credited as the boat that started Ted Hood’s yacht design career, the 116-foot Whisper was the last design to emerge from the Hood office. Both boats will bookend the fleet at the Designer Series.

The 2004 winner of ShowBoats’ “Best Sailing Yacht Under 40 Meters,” Whisper is a centerboard world cruiser that can easily transit from deep waters into shallower anchorages. The boat’s 13.5-foot draft is reduced to 8-feet 3-inches with the board up. This yacht also has a powerful sloop rig and an enclosed pilothouse.

The boat was launched in 2003 from Holland Jachtbouw in the Netherlands. The interior defines luxury afloat, created by Andrew Winch Designs.

Attendees at the Designer Series will have a chance to see this self-sufficient world cruiser. When not at the Designer Series, the yacht spends winters chartering in New England and Caribbean waters.

Ted Hood’s Original “Robin” will be at this year’s Designer Series Rendezvous

The original Robin is the boat credited with launching Ted Hood’s yacht design career.

Hood’s concept of shallow-draft, wide-beam, deep centerboard hull proved to be a winner–and during the boat’s first season in 1959, Robin and Hood turned a lot of heads after winning almost every race that season. Additional benefits of the design were an excellent load-carrying ability and a comfortable, easy motion in heavy seas.

During its tenure, Hood Designs developed this early yacht-design concept in over a hundred boats built for pure cruising sailors seeking both comfort and performance.

At the time of Robin’s debut, Hood was a young man in his early 30s and known only as a sailmaker from Marblehead. But after Robin’s strong performance, as his son Bob Hood says, “People started to wonder who this guy from Marblehead was.”

The boat cemented Hood’s talent as a helmsman with a unique approach to yacht design. Soon Hood’s talents were tapped by America’s Cup syndicates and he subsequently designed the 12-Meter Nefertiti, which came close to defending the 1962 America’s Cup.

Robin was sold to new owners after its early victories on the water, which left Hood the opportunity to design a new Robin. All totaled, he designed some 30 boats named Robin during his career–all different designs and strong performers that sold to new owners.

The family lost track of the original Robin, until a friend alerted them that the boat was languishing and in rough shape in Maryland. The family brought the boat to Rhode Island and gave it a total refit.

Pictured here is Hood in 2011, helming the boat that started it all. The public can see this historic sloop at the 2017 Designer Series.

Don’t Miss the Industry Party of the Summer

Ted Hood defined an era in our sport and our industry, and members of the Hood family and the marine industry have created a new event to pay tribute to the man and his brand of genius that spawned a fleet of boats as well as marine careers.

The three-day Designer Series is a new event that will be held in Bristol from July 21-23, and it’s a rendezvous with a twist: not only for owners of Ted Hood-designed boats and their crews but also for members of the industry who worked with Hood and worked on his boats, and all those who appreciate his work from afar.

Activities include an “Open Boat” party on Friday night to see the fleet–from the original Robin to the 12-meter Nefertiti; on-water events Saturday followed by a Saturday-night clambake featuring music by the local band The Sugarbabies; and a boat parade on Sunday.

Organizers who hatched the idea behind the event–including sons Ted Jr. and Bob Hood, RIMTA Chair Andy Tyska, Ted Fontaine (Fontaine Design Group) and Matthew Smith (Matthew Smith, Naval Architect)–encourage members of the industry to attend the Saturday night clambake and make the evening one for fun networking, reminiscing, meeting boat owners, and paying tribute to Hood and his life’s work.

A Unique Kind of Yachting Event

Published on May 8th, 2017 on Sailing Scuttlebutt

“We want this to be the industry event of the season,” says Andy Tyska, President of Bristol Marine, who got his start working at Hood Designs after getting his degree in marine architecture. “Everyone who shares in the love of yachting should be there.”

Andy’s concept of the Designer Series came shortly after Ted Hood’s memorial in 2013. “I was inspired by how many former colleagues continue to work in the industry as well as the many clients who cherish his boats. He helped so many people start their careers, and his legacy continues to resonate throughout the boating world. I wanted to find a way to continue to honor that legacy, and others like Ted, who have helped move our industry forward.”

The event, at the Herreshoff Marine Museum & America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol R.I., will kick off with an “Open Boat” Dock party surrounded by Ted Hood designs including his flagship America’s Cup 12-meter, Nefertiti. The Hood family will bring “Robin,” Ted Hood’s first Little Harbor built in 1959. Also on the guest list are a variety of Little Harbors, Whisper Jet Powerboats, and Bristol Yachts.

On Saturday (July 22), the sailboats will compete in a pursuit race around Prudence Island while the powerboats are invited to compete in a Log Race or raft up in Potter’s Cove. Nefertiti will take out a limited number sailors who don’t have a boat of their own to race but want to be part of the action.

That evening, there will be a Clam Bake under the tent on the docks of Herreshoff with speeches and presentations from former colleagues, friends, and family of Ted Hood followed by dancing to a favorite local band, the Sugarbabies.

To close out the weekend, as Bristol is known for the 4th of July Parade, Sunday (July 23) will be the Designer Series Parade of Boats. The public is welcome to the waterfront to watch as the Ted Hood designs sail and motor through Bristol Harbor before departing back to their homeports. Nefertiti is also available to take guests for the parade and 2-hour sail back to Newport.

With the vision for the Designer Series to become not only an annual event but also an international one, the focus going forward will be to partner with a marine industry school or design program to develop scholarships and cultivate “up and coming” Ted Hood’s of the world. The designer and location for the 2018 Designer Series Rendezvous will be announced at the inaugural event. Details here: designerseries.org.

The inaugural Designer Series Rendezvous will honor renowned yachtsman, sailmaker, and naval architect, Ted Hood. Yachts designed by Mr. Hood along with their owners, friends, and the public are invited to participate in a three-day celebration on July 21-23 showcasing his enormous contribution to the sailing world.