Jeffrey Kennedy purchased an Italia 13.98 with the intention of cruising the Chesapeake Bay, the Atlantic Coast, and the Caribbean. However, that mindset changed once Kennedy took delivery of the sailing cruiser designed by Maurizo Cossutti and constructed by Italia Yachts. He was immediately impressed by its performance characteristics and decided to do some longer races to reach destinations.
With the support of the team at David Walters Yachts, Kennedy entered Artemis in the 2021 Annapolis-to-Newport Race and did quite well, placing third in the ORC 2 class.
“We put a team together to campaign the boat and document what it takes to prepare and race to get good results,” Kennedy said.
Josh McLean, President of David Walters Yachts, was aboard and did indeed film much of the voyage for a documentary piece. Erik Haaland, a broker with David Walters Yachts, served as navigator. Andrew Waters, a professional with the Annapolis loft of Quantum Sails, lent his expertise as tactician.
Kennedy was so encouraged by the experience he upgraded to an Italia 14.98 and has made the 2023 Annapolis-to-Newport Race his primary focus. The brand new boat was recently delivered to Bert Jabin Yacht Yard. The David Walters Yachts team is working closely with Kennedy to commission the impressive vessel.
Event organizers with Annapolis Yacht Club (AYC) are pleased to announce that David Walters Yachts has come aboard as the “Official Yacht Brokerage” of the 40th biennial Annapolis-to-Newport Race.
In a strong show of support for the event, David Walters Yachts is presenting the popular “What to Expect” seminar series. That series got underway recently with a seminar on Rigging, Sails, Sail Prep, and Repair Kits. It will continue with the second seminar on Safety Equipment for both Vessel and Crew, currently slated for Thursday evening April 6 with Kennedy and Jim Praley teaming up as presenters.
“We are excited to welcome David Walters Yachts as the Official Yacht Brokerage of the Annapolis to Newport Race and presenter of our “What to Expect” seminar series,” said Jim Praley, chairman of the Annapolis-to-Newport Race.
“David Walters is one of the pre-eminent yacht brokers on the East Coast, offering both new and used boats for sale. Their support of this classic offshore race is greatly appreciated by the organizers and competitors.”
David Walters Yachts was founded in 1982 as a New England design and building company. Over its 40-year history, the company has grown to become the premier brokerage for quality blue water sail and motor yachts.
David Walters, who was co-founder of Shannon Yachts and founder of Cambria Yachts, was responsible for morphing his namesake company into a brokerage. At the urging of Walters, McLean took over leadership of the company in 2016 and has been able to expand its reach significantly.
In addition to Annapolis, David Walters Yachts now has offices in Fort Lauderdale (Florida), Marina del Rey (California), and St. Maarten. DWY also has brokers based in Newport (Rhode Island), Portsmouth (Maine), Naples and Palm Beach (Florida).
DWY focuses on high-quality sailing yachts and is the exclusive dealer of the Italia and Hylas brands. “We are one of a few brokerage companies that have specialized in servicing the bluewater cruising and offshore sailing crowd,” McLean said. Kennedy is putting the band back together for the 2023 Annapolis-to-Newport and the team at David Walters Yachts is providing unparalleled support.
“Annapolis-to-Newport is near and dear to David Walters Yachts because we have a presence on both ends of the race,” McLean said. “I consider Annapolis-to-Newport as a destination race joining two towns that are deeply entrenched in the sailing community and maritime industry. There is a lot of enthusiasm for this race in both Annapolis and Newport.”
McLean enjoys the challenge of A2N, which any past participant will attest is akin to three races in one. There is the Chesapeake Bay portion, the Chesapeake Light to Block Island ocean passage then the finishing leg into Newport.
“It’s kind of the perfect length for an offshore race, and as we saw during the last edition, conditions can definitely vary considerably from start to finish,” said McLean, who is excited about helping prepare Kennedy’s newest Artemis for the voyage. “We had a podium finish last time around and Jeff has a good shot of doing it again,” he said.
The Annapolis-to-Newport Race is one of many sailing events that David Walters Yachts supports. The company is also a sponsor of the Salty Dog Sailing Association as it wants to support its offshore cruising customers and a backer of U.S. Patriot Sailing due to its providing veterans support and direct involvement with sailboat racing and the associated teamwork aspects of the sport.
“With our growth, we’ve been able to select a handful of causes, events, and organizations to support our customers,” said McLean, who served many years in the Air Force.
In addition to having Kennedy’s Italia 14.98 competing in the 40th edition of the A2N, David Walters Yachts will further show the flag by providing a brand new Hylas 47X Motor Yacht for use as the signal boat on the starting line.