We are pleased to announce that we are now able to offer you the ability to immediately purchase a gift certificate on our website. While we have always offered gift certificates, previously you had to call and we’d take you information and mail a gift certificate to you. Now you can purchase a gift certificate in any denomination and pay immediately and print out a receipt. Your purchase online is secure and immediate. You can still call and we can take your information and mail a gift certificate to you that you can present to someone special.
Archive for the ‘Sailing’ Category
November 29th, 2013 by billfarrell
July 18th, 2012 by billfarrell
As recently announced in the Newport Daily News, Astor’s Beechwood mansion which was purchased by Larry Ellison of Oracle about two years ago is slated to become the new home of Beechwood Art Museum which will house Ellison’s collection of 19th Century art. For those who do not know, Larry Ellison is the founder and CEO of Oracle Corporation and is the fifth richest person in the world. Larry also owns MBW Oracle Racing, sailing America’s Cup yachts. His team was just in Newport, Rhode Island in the 2012 America’s Cup Series races.
Ellison hired Newport architect Richard Grovesnor to reconstruct and restore the mansion to the way it looked when Richard Morris Hunt restored it in 1881. Along with the purchase of the Beechwood Mansion, two other properties north of the mansion were acquired and will be torn down and reconstructed due to the amount of work that needed to be done. When all is said and done, the Beechwood mansion will house Ellison’s collection in the large rooms on the first floor, while the second and third floor will be used for his residence. When Mr. Ellison is not in residence, the second floor will be opened to display his art in a residence setting and will be one of the finer mansions in Newport. With the amount of work that is being put into the mansion, this may become one or the more popular mansions to see on Newport’s fabled Bellevue Avenue.
January 23rd, 2012 by billfarrell
October 21st, 2011 by billfarrell
State officials and local business leaders recently announced the 2012 Ocean State Tall Ships Festival. With an anticipated $92 million dollar economic impact locally and statewide, the Tall Ships visit from July 6-9 and the America’s Cup World Series events that will precede it from June 23 – July 1 are sure to draw tourists, visitors and sailors from around the world. Previous Tall Ships events in Newport and Rhode Island have been large draws for the city and the state but with the Americas Cup World Series this year, Newport will sure to be the place to be to view these exciting events.
The most recent Tall Ships event was in 2007 and drew an estimated 200,000 people to Rhode Island and had an economic impact of more than $20 million dollars. The organizers of the 2012 event are expect the numbers to far surpass the 2007 numbers. Local businesses are eagerly looking forward to the arrival of the Tall Ships and the Americas Cup events preceding it.
The 2012 Tall Ships event will be part of the Tall Ships Challenge sponsored by Tall Ships America. Participating ships will begin in Savannah, Georgia form May 3-7, go on to Charleston, South Carolina, May 10-14 and will then be in Greenport, New York from May 24-28 before heading to Newport. When the Tall Ships depart Newport, they will sail for Halifax and other Nova Scotia ports on July 18-2 and July 24-30th. These events are all part of the celebration of the Bicentennial of the War of 1812.
The Spring Seasons Inn currently has availability on these dates but we would expect the month of June and July, 2012 to fill up soon so if you are thinking of coming to Newport to participate in or view these events, it is a good idea to start your planning immediately as the B&B’s and hotels are expected to sell out soon.
June 29th, 2011 by billfarrell
SeaFair, a forty million dollar mega yacht has docked in Newport for what is planned to be a two month floating art show/sale. Florida base art dealers, David & Le Ann Lester have based their art show on what have become hugely popular land based art fairs and have taken it to the high seas, docking in ports up and down the east coast. A recent showing in Sarasota, Florida attracted 18,000 visitors in five days.
While the ship is docked in Newport, visitors will have the opportunity to tour the ship, admiring art from prestigious presenting paintings, sculputure, photography, solver, jewelry, design and fine art glass among other things. With five decks, a glass walled restaurant, luxe lounge, international coffee bar and open air sky deck bar and bistro, the Sea Fair promises to be a once in a lifetime visit.
Guests of The Spring Seasons Inn and Tea Room are eligible to receive special pricing on admission to the exhibits. Please call for details.
March 17th, 2011 by billfarrell
JANUARY 27, 2011, Newport, RI – David Pitman, secretary of the J-Class Association, announced that the first event in the J-Class Global calendar will be staged in Newport, Rhode Island. Racing in the fabled waters of the America’s Cup, the J-Class will use this regatta to kick off a four-regatta series culminating in a race around the Isle of Wight in July of 2012 for the finale regatta, which will be for the newly-minted Hundred Guinea Cup.
In 1930, Newport was the venue for the start of the remarkable J-Class era. Between 1930 and 1937 there were just 10 of these stunning yachts constructed for the purpose of winning the America’s Cup. Two of the originals (Shamrock V and Velsheda) will participate in Newport, together with Ranger, a true replica of the original. Negotiations continue with two other new J-yachts to have them join the regatta.
Lars Loftus, Captain of Velsheda, said, “Our team looks forward to racing in Newport. Brad Read of Sail Newport has given us an exciting course inside the bay, and we look forward to showing our friends on Shamrock and Ranger how a big yacht performs!”
In response, Dan Jackson, Captain of Ranger, said, “The pleasure will be ours to show Lars and his team the proper way to get the most out of a J-Class yacht.”
Sail Newport and the J-Class Association are responsible for the on-water race management of the regatta. The yachts and their teams will be based at the Newport Shipyard with crews staying at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina.
The regatta series of five races will be run from June 15 to 19, 2011, with starts and finishes off of Fort Adams. Viewing stands will be set up on the northwestern corner of Fort Adams, and other excellent viewing options will be at Castle Hill Inn and various spots in Jamestown. Working with the U.S. Coast Guard, Sail Newport will establish safe water viewing areas along the entire course. Mr. Pitman closed the announcement by saying, “This will be the first competitive J-Class regatta in the U.S.A. since the America’s Cup event of 1937 between the defender Ranger and the challenger Endeavour II.
“We hope to provide the most exciting racing seen in Newport since then, and with the continued support of the state and the city of Newport, we look forward to confirming arrangements for a major regatta in Newport during 2014, featuring up to ten J-Class yachts.”
While participating or watching these fascinating races, make The Spring Seasons Inn in Newport your home away from home.
March 6th, 2011 by billfarrell
Saturday, March 05, 2011
GoLocalProv Lifestyle Team
From the beach to the bowling alley, from surfing to skiing, Doris Duke was a woman who loved to play.
A new exhibit at her Newport mansion Rough Point reveals the sporting side of the noted heiress and historic preservationist’s personality. Visitors can admire Doris Duke’s stylish sportswear alongside items of her personal sports equipment in Dressed to Play: The Sporty Style of Doris Duke. The exhibit illustrates her athletic lifestyle, which included surfing in Hawaii and daily swims in Newport. Fun, playful fashions from the 1940s-1970s will make visitors nostalgic for the classic styles of their mothers and grandmothers era. A collection of her personal sports equipment, including a surfboard, tennis racquet, golf clubs, scuba gear, riding habit and bowling ball, is displayed along with never before seen images of Doris Duke in action. The exhibit opens on April 14, 2011.
The active heiress
Doris Duke lived an active life filled with sports well into her later years. She swam off the rocks of Rough Point, surfed at her home in Hawaii, and bowled and rode horses at Duke Farms in New Jersey. She studied dance with choreographers around the world and was a member of Martha Graham’s Dance Company in New York. She had tennis courts at each of her homes – a passion that began as a child playing tennis with her friend Alletta Morris on the courts at the Newport Casino. Daily swims were an important part of Doris Duke’s regimen of healthy living. For many years, she swam off the rocks behind Rough Point. Later, she had a salt-water swimming pool installed in the house’s basement.
Exhibit highlights sporting gear
Two of the exhibit’s highlights are equipment related to Doris Duke’s love of water sports. The first is a Velzy Surfboard, ca. 1960, made of foam polyurethane and fiberglass. Created by Dale Velzy, who is believed to have opened the first conventional surf shop in California in 1949, the surfboard was used by Doris Duke at Shangri La, her home in Hawaii. It is notable as one of the first boards Velzy created using the new foam polyurethane material; boards were previously made of balsa wood. The second item is a pair of wooden water skis, circa 1935, which measure nearly nine feet in length. The large size of the skis helped to maintain stability on rougher ocean water. Both pieces are on loan from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art which runs Shangri La.
Soon after settling at Shangri La in 1938, Doris Duke became involved with surfing. She quickly became friends with the Kahanamoku family. Duke Kahanamoku, an Olympic diver and celebrated champion surfer, and his brother, Sam, taught her to surf. Her aptitude for the sport is evidenced by a gold and sapphire powder compact included in the exhibit, inscribed January 22, 1939, recognizing Mrs. James H. R. Cromwell (as Doris Duke was then known) and Mr. Sam A. Kahanamoku for winning first prize in a Waikiki tandem surfboard paddling contest. This piece is also on loan from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art.
Dressing for play
Doris Duke’s active lifestyle required a wardrobe that included comfortable, practical clothing to participate in a number of sporting activities. Sportswear, which began in the 1920s as specialized clothing for activities like tennis and hunting, became part of mainstream fashion during the 20th century. Social norms about public sports and activities for women expanded during this time, allowing sweaters, pants, skirts, blazers, and casual dresses to become regular items in a woman’s wardrobe. Exhibit curator Kristen Costa Francoeur explains, “These clothes may seem like everyday items to us now, but Doris Duke was on the cutting edge of fashion – she was wearing sportswear as it was being created and her busy lifestyle is shaping her wardrobe.”
Doris Duke’s wardrobe included a wide range of casual and active apparel made by American and European designers such as Jantzen, Valentino, and Giorgio Sant’Angelo.
One of the clothing highlights of the exhibit is a 1958 sundress by Tina Leser, one of the earliest American sportswear designers. During the 1930s-1950s, the United States was producing some of the best sportswear in the world. This sportswear was designed by women and it was the first time female designers had their name in the limelight.
“Dressed to Play: The Sporty Style of Doris Duke” will be on exhibit in the galleries at Rough Point through early November 2011. Guided house tours, which last approximately 75 minutes and include the exhibit, cost $25. Children 12 and younger are admitted for free. Tours are offered 10-2, Thursday-Saturday, April 14 – May 14. From May 17 to November 5, tours are offered 9:45-3:45, Tuesday-Saturday. For those wishing to see only the exhibit, gallery hours are offered on Saturdays from 1-4 for $5. In addition, the galleries are open during a series of special evening events offered as part of Newport Gallery Night, held on the second Thursday of each month. For more information or to buy tickets, visit www.NewportRestoration.org or call (401) 847-8344. The Spring Seasons Inn is close to Rough Point and offers room packages that include admission to Rough Point
December 16th, 2010 by billfarrell
By ALex Kuffner Journal Staff Writer
Five months after Newport learned it had lost the race to host the next America’s Cup, the City by the Sea may have gained a second chance.
With ratification of an agreement between San Francisco and the Golden Gate Yacht Club threatened, a member of the GGYC’s board of directors was set to travel to Rhode Island to meet this week with Keith Stokes, executive director of the state Economic Development Corporation, to talk about whether Newport could step in to host the prestigious yachting race.
Stokes told The Providence Journal on Sunday that he would talk with the board member, Tom Ehman, who is also head of external affairs for America’s Cup champion BMW Oracle Racing, on Monday to set up a meeting.
“BMW Oracle reached out to us to reopen discussions,” Stokes said.
Rhode Island submitted a proposal on Dec. 8 to host qualifying races for the Cup, but the talks this week will focus on the final Cup series.
“They asked, ‘Could Rhode Island provide the proper amenities for not only the championship races, but also the final events?’ ” Stokes said. “Which we absolutely can do.”
Stokes said that by Dec. 20 the America’s Cup Rhode Island 2013 Planning Committee would select an engineering firm to design improvements at Fort Adams State Park so it could host the qualifying races. Those improvements could be done quickly, he said.
“Most of our facilities are in place,” he said. “Our improvements are nowhere near the scale and cost of San Francisco’s. And being such a small, compact state, we not only have a history here, but we can also ensure a streamlined build-out process.”
America’s Cup official Stephen Barclay said he considered San Francisco to have come up with the winning bid in early November, when city officials and the yacht club negotiated an agreement that was then sent to the Board of Supervisors to begin the approval process.
But he said the Port Commission recently changed key points in the agreement that would put too much of a financial risk on the America’s Cup Event Authority, which has been contracted by the GGYC to run the regatta.
The San Francisco Board of Supervisors’ Budget and Finance Committee will hold a final hearing Monday, and the full board is expected to vote on the agreement Tuesday. “They’re holding on by their fingernails at the moment,” Barclay told The Associated Press on Saturday from his home in Auckland, New Zealand. “It was theirs to lose and they were told that.”
In a letter sent to Mayor Gavin Newsom and other city officials on Saturday, the GGYC said San Francisco would lose the right to host the next Cup races if a deal is not signed by this coming Friday. Barclay said the GGYC — which sponsors BMW Oracle Racing — set the deadline because the America’s Cup Event Authority is committed to informing participating teams of the venue choice by Dec. 31.
BMW Oracle Racing swept Alinghi of Switzerland in two races off Valencia, Spain, in February to return the oldest trophy in international sports to the United States for the first time since 1995.
San Francisco officials have estimated that hosting the America’s Cup would be worth $1.4 billion in economic benefits and create 8,000 jobs.
Barclay said the GGYC has reopened talks with Italy to hold the America’s Cup in 2013. He also said that Ehman was set to reopen negotiations with officials in Newport. Ehman also is a member of the New York Yacht Club, which defended the America’s Cup in Newport from 1930 until 1983, when Dennis Conner was beaten by Australia.
Barclay is chief operating officer of BMW Oracle Racing and a member of the GGYC’s America’s Cup Committee. BMW Oracle Racing is owned by software billionaire Larry Ellison, whose Oracle Corp. is based in Redwood City, south of San Francisco. Ellison also owns a mansion in Newport.
Italy is in the mix because Club Nautico di Roma is the Challenger of Record, which represents the interests of all challengers.
There might even be a third option. BMW Oracle Racing officials are said to have remained in the United Arab Emirates following the recent Louis Vuitton Trophy regatta, perhaps to initiate talks about the America’s Cup being sailed in the Middle East. Mayor Newsom’s spokesman, Tony Winnicker, confirmed receipt of the letter from Barclay.
With reports from Associated Press
February 27th, 2010 by billfarrell
Sat, 27 Feb 2010 23:42:21Jim Donaldson: America’s Cup in Newport is always half full
08:51 PM EST on Saturday, February 27, 2010
There are some folks whose fondest memories of those glorious, halcyon days when the races for the America’s Cup were held on the blue-green, white-capped waters off Newport, are of the victorious American 12-meter — and, until that disastrous day in 1983 when the Aussies made off with our sterling-silver ewer, the Americans always were victorious — sailing past Castle Hill as resounding cheers reverberated off the rocks, and the boat horns of the spectator fleet, bobbing happily all the way from the tip of Beavertail to the Ida Lewis Yacht Club, blasted in congratulation and celebration.
My fondest memory, however, is of the arm of Ted Turner, champagne bottle in hand, the only visible part of his anatomy, reaching up from beneath the press table in the old armory on Thames Street.
That was a few, mirthful moments before the re-emergence of the rest of the playboy yachtsman’s saltwater and French bubbly soaked body, his sunburned, windburned face sporting a silly but triumphant smile as wide as the Atlantic after skippering Courageous past Alan Bond’s Australia in 1977.
While the bluebloods in blue blazers at the New York Yacht Club, sipping cocktails on their green, sloping lawn overlooking Newport’s colonial-era harbor, like to remember the contests for the Cup as great boat races, the rest of us –– those of us who occupied stools at the bars that are as ubiquitous as sea gulls in the City by the Sea –– recall Cup summers as one long, wonderful party.
Although, if you recall too much of those times, then you didn’t have a good enough time.
That’s why not just Newporters, but all Rhode Islanders, ought to do everything possible to bring back the good times; why we should make every effort to bring the America’s Cup races back to where they belong — in Newport.
San Francisco, the current favorite to host the next competition for the America’s Cup, is my favorite city in America. And I can’t say a single bad thing about the other prime contender, San Diego. Well, okay, one — the traffic on I-5 can be ridiculous.
But, unless the races are held on Lake Pontchartrain, beside the city of New Orleans, there is no better place than Newport where yachts roll on the waves while the good times roll on shore.
It’s been a while since I owned a pair of Topsiders, and even longer since I went out on the town wearing a pair of Breton red slacks. But I’m going to have buy some if, indeed, the Cup races come back home to Newport.
At least I won’t have to spend any money on socks.
That was the uniform of the day, as the Navy boys used to say, back in the days when Uncle Sam had more boats in Newport than the yachtsmen, lobstermen and commercial fishermen combined: Polo shirt — with blazer if you were going to the Candy Store — Breton reds, Topsiders, no socks.
It was the uniform of the night, too.
At least those nights when, their 12-meters safely tied up beside the wharves, the sailors cut loose. Which was just about every night.
Having spent the day plying the waters of Rhode Island Sound, the sailors — and even more pseudo-sailors; because, since few people ever actually saw the boats in action, who would know if you weren’t a crewman for Turner, or Dennis Conner, or the handsome, young Russell Long — would then troll the watering holes of Thames Street, America’s Cup Avenue and Bannister’s Wharf for debutantes and divorcees.
There was more action in town than there ever was on the water. At least more than most people ever saw, or cared about.
Yacht racing is not exactly a spectator sport.
As the late Red Smith, the greatest sportswriter of his — or, arguably, any other —– generation wrote while covering the America’s Cup races in Newport in 1970:
“In many American newspapers, the most absurdly overplayed event in sports is the ‘competition’ for the America’s Cup. A dentist filling a tooth offers livelier entertainment for spectators. It commands substantially less reader interest than the Treasury’s statement of gold balances. Still, there are papers that assign one or more staff men to the story for an entire summer, publish lengthy daily accounts of the trials leading to selection of a challenger and a defender, and devote six or eight columns of space to the predictable results while the races are underway.”
The Journal was one of those papers (as was, by the way, Smith’s New York Times) and I was one of those fortunate staff men.
As our late sports editor, Gene Buonaccorsi, said when assigning me (thank you, thank you, thank you) to Newport in those Cup summers: “You know port from starboard and you don’t get seasick.”
It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.
Day after day, I would work diligently on my tan (and, oh, yeah, my story), sandwich in one hand, cool beverage in the other (and, oh, yeah, notepad somewhere nearby) while sprawled on the bow of the boat the Journal shared with the Times, the Boston Globe and Sports Illustrated, waiting near the buoy at the end of the downwind leg to see the spinnakers come down and the tacking duel begin.
Those were, indeed, the good old days. And nights.
As a sporting event, the America’s Cup isn’t much. As a social event, it’s the best. And there’s no better place to enjoy it than Newport.
May 13th, 2009 by billfarrell
Wed, 13 May 2009 13:45:47
by Bruce Burdett EastBayRI.com
NEWPORT — The International Yacht Restoration School of Newport marks the official opening of the newly restored 1831 Aquidneck Mill building with ceremonies this Thursday, May 14.
The event begins at the school’s 449 Thames Street campus at 11 a.m. Ceremonies will be followed by an open house that runs until 2 p.m. to allow time for visitors to tour the historic building which is one of only two surviving mills in Newport.
Built for textile manufacturing, the mill has been converted to provide space for expansion at IYRS, a maritime research library, the school’s new visitor center, and leased space for 12 companies.
“There are wonderfully layered benefits to this restored mill,” said Terry Nathan, president of IYRS. “It also satisfies the long-term mission of the school to preserve the entire historic campus, and what a beautiful improvement to the quality of life in this neighborhood. The entire mix of benefits is very gratifying.”
Newport Collaborative Architects served as architects of the $7.5 million project and construction was managed by Farrar & Associates of Newport.
Most tenants have involvement in the marine industry and the IYRS campus. One such company is Nautor Swan, builder of semi-custom, ocean-going yachts in Finland.
Other marine businesses now located at the mill include Boothbay Harbor Shipyard, Confident Captain/Ocean Pros, Dunning & Associates naval architects, The Gowrie Group, Jamestown Distributors, and Newport Yacht Management. Additional tenants include Hilltop Motors, The Rhode Island Foundation Newport County Fund, Wild Things, and Worldways Social Marketing.
The upper bay sailing season gets going on Sunday, May 17, when the Barrington Yacht Club hosts the Prett Gladding Memorial Race at 11 a.m.
The pursuit race (staggered start) is a clockwise circumnavigation of Prudence Island from a start near the Ohio Ledge buoy. Like the end-of-season Bud Humphrey Race, it is a family-style, non-spinnaker competition.
The race is the first in the 2009 GMT Boat of the Year competition. For entry details, call the yacht club.
Kiley joins GMT
Jay Kiley has been named director of sales and marketing at GMT Composites, company President David Schwartz has announced.
Mr. Kiley has spent his entire career in the marine industry, including seven years selling superyacht rigging for both Global BSY Rigging Service and OYS Service. He has also run a ship chandelry, sold boats and managed marine finance divisions. He is an avid sailboat racer.
Mr. Kiley is married with two children, one of whom is now completing her first trans-Atlantic crossing under sail.
The great J-Class yachts of the 1930s, some of which were built at the Herreshoff company in Bristol, are staging something of a comeback many decades after America’s Cup contenders moved to smaller, more affordable boats.
Hanuman, the new replica of Endeavour II, was launched recently at the Royal Huisman yard in the Netherlands. In 1937 the original Endeavour II was built of steel at Camper & Nicholson’s yard in England for T.O.M. Sopwith to challenge for the America’s Cup against the defender Ranger.
Meanwhile, the aluminum hull of Atlantis is almost complete in Holland, and work is well along on Lionheart, also in Holland, for a spring 2010 launch.
They join the restored Shamrock V (often seen in Newport), Endeavor I and Velsheda, and replicas of Ranger, Enterprise and Rainbow.