This is where you will find a comprehensive list of recent Press Releases.
Check back frequently to catch up on what is going on in the world of sailing and racing.
OAKCLIFF SAILING TRIPLE CROWN
There has been a lot of talk lately on the decline of sailing in the United States. Over the past few years there have been numerous regattas that were cancelled due to lack of entries. The impact of busy family life impinging on sailing is being felt at the local level all the way up to the Olympics. Wikipedia documents the decline in Olympic medalists over the years. This comparison of Gold, Silver and Bronze medalists from 1900 to present shows the United States’ podium finishes declining. In fact, the latest winners of Gold was in 2000 when Paul Foerster and Kevin Burnham won in the 420 class and Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl won in the Stars. Zach Railey won Silver in the Finn class in 2008 and Caleb Paine won Bronze in 2016 in the Finn Class. Source: Wikipedia, List of Olympic Medalist in Sailing by Discipline.
The difficulty of the US winning Olympics rests on several factors, but one that stands out is this: the United States is competing against countries that finance their Olympic hopefuls and pour tons of money into their Olympic campaigns.
That is why news coming out of Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay is so exciting. In a recent press release, Dawn Riley, Executive Director of Oakcliff announced the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series, a groundbreaking plan to reward athletes for their hard work and provide significant financial resources to assist them in achieving Olympic success.
The Triple Crown Series will consist of up to six regattas to be held annually in Oyster Bay, New York, and will offer both international and American athletes in five of the ten Olympic Classes a chance to win prize grants. Sailors in the 49er, 49erFX, Men's 470, Women's 470 and Nacra 17s will race for $100,000 in each class for a total of $500,000 annually. There will also be opportunities to win additional bonuses.
The grants are to be used by the winning sailors to fund expenses associated with Olympic campaigns. The series represents an unprecedented effort to relieve some of the fundraising challenges that typically burden U.S. Olympic hopefuls while simultaneously providing new opportunities to hone high-performance racing skills.
The series will consist of three qualifier regattas each spring, which will give winners an entry into each of the three prize grant regattas. These will be held in late summer and will include qualified and invited teams.
The distribution of prize grants will evolve over the four-year Olympic cycle. Early in the quadrennium, the prize grants will be spread widely across the fleets. Closer to the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the top two series finishers in each class will receive the bulk of the prize grant funds.
"My first response is just "Wow!" This Triple Crown Series is just incredibly generous," said Rio 2016 Olympian and 2009 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Bora Gulari (Detroit, Mich.) "To help US Olympic sailors with regattas that matter here at home and to bring the bring the best in the world to us is nothing but positive. Having the ability to do well and to be able to win funds to help us continue to race hard is a double bonus. This is just really impressive!"
"The Oakcliff Triple Crown Series will not only provide U.S. athletes with an opportunity to win resources vital to achieving their dreams, but will give young sailors more chances to compete in Olympic classes against top international competition," said Malcolm Page, Chief of U.S. Olympic Sailing. "Once again, Oakcliff Sailing is demonstrating leadership in fostering high performance sailing in the U.S., and our national team athletes are very excited for this new opportunity."
After becoming a US Sailing Team National Training Center in 2013, Oakcliff Sailing invested in a substantial number of Olympic-class boats, primarily stored and raced in Oyster Bay. These fleets of dinghies and skiffs will make up the backbone of the Triple Crown Series by offering readily available chartering opportunities to both international sailors and American athletes new to this level of competition.
"Raising the level of competitive excellence in the U.S. is at the core of Oakcliff's mission," said Dawn Riley, Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing. "By creating the Triple Crown Series, we hope to help revitalize high-performance one-design racing here at home, and provide real benefits to Tokyo medal hopefuls and first-time campaigners alike."
For more information about the Oakcliff Triple Crown Series, please reference the Announcement of Series and Notice of Race available HERE
2016 SONAR NORTH AMERICAN CHAMPIONSHIOP
The Sonar North American Championship was held at Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Port Washington, NY on Sept 30 - Oct. 2. The first day of racing, Friday, Sept. 30 was a practice race and the beginning of racing. PRO Sue Miller delayed the start of racing and got the event going right after noon. The winds were high and there was a lot of damage to boats. One boat lost its mast, another competitor had TWO of their team overboard, another boat lost their jib sheet, and a team member was hoisted to use the spinnaker sheet but that didn't hold in the high winds - they had to race one full leg without a jib and went from coming in high on the leaderboard to finishing 13th. No one was hurt and the racing continued throughout the weekend. Teams were energized by the good wind conditions and excellent courses set by the Race Committee. By Sunday, the RC completed 11 races. Colin Gordon, Guilford, CT, Sonar #506 was crowned the winner. Peter E. and Jean M. Galloway, FAST FORWARD, Wilton, CT, who lead at the end of Saturday came in 2nd, followed by Bruce and Debra McArthur, Stamford, CT. For full results on Yachtscoring, click HERE
YACHT CLUB FALL SEREIS - OCT. 15-16, 2016
When the late John B. Thomson, Jr. dreamed of a fall series to take advantage of the good wind conditions out on Long Island Sound, he may not have envisioned what happened last weekend at the 38th Annual Fall Series. While this year’s event may not be the “wildest ride ever,” it definitely has a place in the history books. Especially on Sunday. The forecast was for a sunny Sunday with winds under 10 knots. What the teams actually encountered was a Long Island Sound with white caps and swirling winds. Out at Execution Rocks Lighthouse, the winds were about 20 knots with higher gusts. This all made for a lot of fun racing – depending on your point of view (read: how impacted your boat was). Take for example, the first race on Sunday morning. All was going well, the Race Committee had everything under control, when all of a sudden, right at the start, a loud bang was heard. Excelsior, Todd LaBaugh, blew out his jib in spectacular fashion and was given a DNF (did not finish). He was able to get another jib and get back in the game for the 2nd and 3rd race on Sunday.
But the excitement didn’t end there. On Desperado, Skipper George Petrides maneuvered for position at the Race Committee end of the line. He tacked away for better wind, and all was good. As he raced across the bow of the Race Committee boat, one of his crew decided to add some excitement into the mix and did a back flip off the starboard side of the boat. His timing couldn’t have been better. Everyone on the Race Committee boat had front row seats to this spectacle and admired the guy’s agility. As the skipper continued racing upwind, this very soggy sailor managed hoist himself back onto the boat and back to his assigned duties. It helped that said soggy racer had on bright orange shoes to draw attention to his escapade! And from the photos, it appears that the skipper missed the entire episode, but in his defense, he was on the windward side of the boat.
The rest of the racing, in comparison, was uneventful, for the rest of the day. Skippers and crew gathered at the Manhasset Bay YC for the Awards Ceremony where teams compared notes and some very perceptive attendees saw noses growing longer by the minute. It was all great fun.
The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) was well represented at this year’s Fall Series. They entered three boats: PHRF 1: PHANTOM, Kenneth Luczynski, skipper, and PHRF 2: STING, Midn. Devin Keister, skipper and SABOTAGE, Midn. Dustin Ecklebee, skipper.
The Fall Series always attracts the most competitive racers trying to get one more race in before scores are calculated for YRA annual awards. This year was no different. And while the USMMA boats didn’t win any silver this year, they held their own against some very accomplished racers whose teams have been together for a long time. A quick perusal of the event photos shows that all three KP boats had great starts. STING was jockeying for good position against MORNING GLORY, Dr. Carl Olsson, who ended up wining PHRF 2 Division. PHANTOM was right in the thick of things, going up against MOONSHINE, a USMMA boat chartered by Paul Strauch, MBYC Commodore, who came in first in PHRF 1. And SABOTAGE was chasing DEVIATION, Iris Vogel, who came in 2nd in PHRF 2.
Seven Midshipmen attended the Awards Ceremony at MBYC: Adam Reisus, ’19, Veronica Grabiak, ’20, Nicholas Becker,’20, KJ Weber, ’19, Patrick Lyall, ’19, Samantha Fineberg, ’20 Benjamin Manning, ’17. Midn. Nicholas Becker. ’20, crew on Sting, had this to say about the Fall Series, “STING carried a crew consisting mostly of Plebes and we ended up 4th in our division. We started the weekend with a first place finish in Race 1, but then ran into some difficulties. In the second race on Saturday, the jib sheet got caught around the spinnaker sheet and we ended up 5th.” He summarized, “The team had never practiced together before. By Sunday we were doing much better as a team. We were all impressed with each other and how well we worked together. We were a bunch of Plebes with a great skipper. Most of us are new to sailing. It was a really good weekend.”
These young Midshipmen attended the Awards Ceremony knowing they were not taking home any silver. But, in true USMMA fashion, they attended the ceremony to support those who had a podium finish. Good for them – this is really the definition of sportsmanship.
Terry McLaughlin/Rod Wilmer, Mandate, J/105 won the John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy for best overall performance in the Fall Series. They hail from Canada and were in the States to participate in the J/105 North American Championship over at Larchmont YC.
Top boats in each division: PHRF 1 Spinnaker: 1. Paul Strauch, Moonshine, 2. Sam Talbot, Spike, 3. Desperado, George Petrides. PHRF 2 Spinnaker: 1. Morning Glory, Carl Olsson, 2. Deviation, Iris Vogel and 3. Frequent Flyer, Allstair Duke. One Design Division, J/105: 1. Mandate, Terry McLaughlin/Rod Wilmer, 2. Good Trade, Bruce Stone/Nicole Breault, 3. Allegro Semplicita, Fred deNapoli. Young American, the Young American Jr. Big Boat Team from American YC, came in 4th. Kudos to them. They are doing what all youth sailors can only dream of doing and are wonderful role model for other juniors who desire to reach for higher goals.
Thanks to Paul Strauch, Commodore, Manhasset Bay YC was served as the Fall Series Event Chair and Bill Siener, MBYC club member, PRO (Principal Race Officer). Additional thanks to the entire Race Committee, MBYC Staff and, of course, to the teams who entered this last-race-of-the-season event.
Scores on Yachtscoring: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=2938
2016 GOVERNOR'S CUP REGATTA - AUGUST 20, 2016
The 2nd Annual Governor's Cup Regatta is history. This new event, a combined effort of Manhasset Bay YC, City Island YC and Huguenot YC had a very successful event last Saturday, Aug. 20. Though the weather on western LI Sound was threatening - predictions of lots of thunder and lightening - Mother Nature took pity on the 35 boats entered in the race and decided to give other locations the best she had to offer. This year Huguenot YC was the host and set up a course around Hart Island that racers raced counter-clockwise. Two United States Merchant Marine Boats (STING and ZETIANA) and one U.S.M.M.A boat, MOONSHINE, competed along with local racer, Bob Schwartz, on NORDLYS.
For those of you unfamiliar with this part of the sound, think of Sands Point at the tip of the Port Washington peninsula, This peninsula is the second peninsula east of New York City, Kings Point being the first. So, if you stand on the tip of Sands Point, looking north across the Sound, Hart Island would be on your left or west toward New York City. Execution Rocks Lighthouse would be to your immediate right, or east toward Montauk. Sailing Instructions told the sailors to round Hart Island counter clock-wise and because of the direction of the wind, it was a downwind start meaning the wind was coming from behind the boat, so spinnakers were raised to take advantage of the “not so very good” conditions.
There were six divisions for spinnaker boats and those boats that race without raising a spinnaker. Local racers included: Bob Schwartz, Nordlys, J109, Paul Strauch, Commodore of Manhasset Bay YC and two boats from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA). Midshipman Ben White skippered Sting, a Soveral 33 and Midshipman Brendan Wright and Scott Johnston, co-skippered Zetiana, a Melges 32. Full results are available HERE.
OAKCLIFF INTERNATIONAL - FIRST STOP ON THE GRAND SLAM
The Oakcliff International Match Race is a Grade 2 international race that attracts racers from around the world. The Oakcliff International is part of a series of three Grade 2 match races, called the Grand Slam, the other two being Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, MI and the Chicago Match Race Center. The teams will race in 10 Swedish Match 40s with brand new sails. Not only are the boats a thrill to race, they are also used on the World Match Racing Tour.
A shout out and big THANK YOU to friends at Long Island PULSE Magazine who sponsored a spectator boat for this year's match race. Even though Mother Nature send her best wishes with oppressive heat, it didn't seem to bother this crowd. And for good reason. With shrimp on ice, and champaign at the ready, plus a lot of other yummy offerings, including Regatta Ginger Beer (another sponsor) who could complain about a little heat?
For those of you reading this outside the Long Island area, you may want to take a look at this magazine. Not only it it absolutely beautiful, the magazine covers Long Island in a way no one else does, highlighting arts/culture, music, dining, and wellness. The magazine is literally a feast for the eyes. Check it out HERE
Since the Oakcliff International results will be available later today so check back. Also go to the Oakcliff Sailing website HERE
USMMA BRINGS HOME SILVER AT THE ALIR
The 40th edition of the Around Long Island Race (ALIR) is over and the Midshipmen from USMMA, as they are wont to do, brought home silver and crystal. Along the way, they made friends, had fun, upped their blue water sailing skills…and represented USMMA in fine fashion. Kudos to the teams, their coaches, and USMMA.
PHANTOM, a Tripp 40, came in 2nd in Division 8, denied first place by AVALANCHE, a Farr 395, Craig Albrecht/Mark DiSanti. To put this in perspective, AVALANCE’s team of very experienced racers have been together for a long time and have many regattas under their belt. PHANTOM also won the Jack Sussi Memorial, which is the first place award for a Service Academy boat.
On board PHANTOM was Coach Rick Dominique, Director of Varsity Programs, and his team: Safety Officer John Casey, Midn. Scott Johnston ’18 (Wayne, NJ) Skipper; Midn. Brendan Wright ’18 (Bel Air, MD) Primary Helm; Midn. Hunter Noel ’18 (Lake St. Louise, MO) Navigator; Midn. Jake Andrew ’21 (Bel Air, MD) Primary Bow; Midn. Patrick Lyell ’19 (Fort Collins, CO); Midn. Ken Weber ’19 (Falmouth, MA); Midn. Ben White ’19 (Carthage, NC); and Midn. Stephen Belt ’19 (Annapolis, MD).
So what about BANDERA, a Hinckley 57? They grabbed some silver too. BANDERA, along with PHANTOM and HIGH NOON, the Young American Jr. Big Boat team, tied for 1st place in the Around Long Island Team Trophy,
BANDERA’s team, under the leadership of Coach Ken Luczynski, were: Midn. Ethan Neubelt ’21 (Little Silver, NJ); Midn. Max Neubelt ’21 (Little Silver, NJ); Midn. Gabi Neubelt ’21 (Little Silver, NJ); Midn. Dominique Neubelt ’19 (Little Silver, NJ); Midn. Connor Sexton ’21 (Vermilion, OH); Midn. Ben Manning ’21 (Warwick, RI); Midn. Karl Wallin ’20 (Charlestown, RI); Midn. Chase Hinkle’19 (Cave Creek, AZ); Midn. Danielle Christmas ’19 (Tavernier, FL); Midn. Chandler Chiappe ’20 (Granbury, TX); Midn. Nick Gionio ’21 (Columbia, NJ); and Midn. Nathan Miller ’21 (Seattle, WA).
But the story doesn’t stop yet. All three boats that won the ALIR Team Award also qualified for the YRA Youth Challenge Cup, which means at least one third of the crew is between 14 and 24. To be eligible for the Cup, a yacht must also participate in at lease three qualifying events.
And…..All three boats, PHANTOM, BANDERA and HIGH NOON are all USMMA Sailing Foundation boats. Ralf Steitz who heads the Foundation is a professional sailor, raced in the America’s Cup, and managed the waterfront at USMMA. For those of you who may not know of the USMMA Sailing Foundation, it’s purpose in life is to solicit donation of vessels to be used in various maritime program for education and training. But if you want to get a real sense of what goes on at the Foundation, take a look at this video (https://vimeo.com/152183055). It is the best donation video ever! Just say, “Bear sent you.” http://www.usmmasailingfoundation.org
MAKE A WISH REGATTA AT PORT WASHINGTON YACHT CLUB - Aug. 23, 2016
“A wish come true helps children feel stronger, more energetic, more willing and able to battle their life-threatening medical conditions. For many, the wish marks a turning point in the fight against their illnesses. Doctors, nurses and other health professionals say the wish experience works in concert with medicine to make their patients feel better emotionally and even physically. That is why wishes matter. That is why we grant wishes.” Source: “Make-A-Wish® website.
Leave it to the kids. They seem to understand intuitively what is important in our confusing and somewhat chaotic world. Just take a look at what the junior sailors at Port Washington Junior Yacht Club have been doing, for years. At a young age, these juniors are learning that important lesson that giving to others in need is a good thing. Pair that with having fun doing what they love – sailing – and you have a winning combination. And the “feel good” component just enhances the experience.
On Saturday, July 23, the Port Washington Junior Yacht Club (PWJYC) greeted over 80 teams for the express purpose of raising funds for Make-A-Wish®. While most regattas on the north and south side of Long Island Sound are for the express purpose of competing for trophies, this regatta has a bit different approach. While trophies are awarded and everyone applauds these young racers prowess of the water, the biggest rewards go to those who raise the most money for the cause. Spurred on by the fact that “Make-A-Wish® grants the wish of a child diagnosed with a life-threatening medical condition in the United States and its territories, on average every 38 minutes, these kids were motivated, and their enthusiasm palpable.
Samantha Maynard, Sea Cliff YC, was the top fund-raiser ($3,500) and won the Walter “Duke” Dayton Memorial Trophy, which is given to the individual who raises the most pledge money in a given year. Brendan McCormack, PWYC and Connor Johnston, PWYC, who were 2nd and 3rd respectively, raised $2500. Additional funds came from total pledges ($19,775), registrations ($7600) and Tips for Talent ($2000). Tips for Talent was a fun evening of Karaoke held during Friday night Happy Hour. Not available at press time is the amount raised by the exquisite baskets made by club member Sharon Abruzzo. All said, the PWJYC raised funds for 4 or 5 wishes to children, who for one day will be transported from their daily life-threatening challenges.
Top boats in each division: OPTI FLEET: Note that the Green Fleet, the very youngest sailors, received Participation Awards. Red fleet: 1. John Croke, Sea Cliff YC, 2. Shayne Bersin, PWYC, 3. Nicole Bernstien, Douglaston Yacht Squadron. White Fleet: 1. Brendan O’Connor, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Rocco Rainone, Sea Cliff YC, and 3. Isabella Croke, Sea Cliff YC. Blue Fleet: 1. Zachary Petrick, Sea Cliff YC, 2. Brooke Lorson, PWYC, and 3. Naadira Gafar, Douglaston Yacht Squadron.
Top boats in Big Boats: Pixel: 1. Madeline Murray, Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, 2. Juliet Minadd, Manhasset Bay YC, and 3. John Saville, Manhasset Bay YC. Bic: 1. Jack Grygiel, PWYC, 2. Barnaby Griffin, PWYC, and 3. Ava Giangrande, PWYC. Radial Laser: 1. Justin Smith, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Lauren Krim, Manhasset Bay YC, and 3. Emily Budraitis, Hempstead Harbor. Club 420: 1. Julianna Blanco, Waterfront Center, 2. Ryan O’Connor, Waterfront Center, and 3. Brendan T. McCormack, PWYC.
It was Sharon Abruzzo, who first brought the PWJYC and Make a Wish Foundation together. “For our family, regattas have always been a time of great fun. That's one of the reasons why the Make-A-Wish Regatta is such a pleasure to be a part of. Along with the fun and excitement of the race (which is usually a first for many of the young sailors), there is the unmistakable good feeling everyone involved shares because it is also in support of a very special charity. That shared commitment - by the Port Washington Yacht Club, its members, the PWYC Junior Sailing Committee and all the sailors and families who participate - results in a tangible outcome, the granting of wishes to children who are critically ill. It is the Abruzzo family's deep honor to be a part of that.”
A big thanks to the following: George Catallo, Chair, PWYC Junior Sailing and Aidan McCormack, Sharon Abruzzo, Raffle baskets, the Race Committee, headed by PRO Tom Egan. Also thanks to PWYC Head Sailing Instructor, Morgan Collins, and to the staff at PWYC.
To view all the Make A Wish Regatta photos, click HERE
2016 CLAGETT/OAKCLIFF MATCH RACE, HOSTED BY THE WATERFRONT CENTER
A lot of amazing events have occurred over at Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, but what happened recently out east, amazing doesn't even begin to describe the event.
Oakcliff Sailing, lead by Dawn Riley with the help of Bill Simon (a Port Washington resident) and their team have always done great things. But when they teamed up with Judy McLennan, The Clagett President and Co-founder, for the first ever match race event for adaptive sailors, it was pure magic. Eight teams from around the country and as far away as Puerto Rico arrived in Oyster Bay for a weekend of racing. Now that doesn’t sound too different than any other event - there is a lot of match racing going on at Oakcliff Sailing. But this time is was for disabled racers who have never match raced before. To get an idea of how new this type of racing was for these racers, Dave Perry, who lead an onshore clinic on match racing with an on-the-water coaching the day before, started the Skipper’s Meeting with a review of match racing’s starting sequence. For those of you reading this who may be unfamiliar with the somewhat confusing sailing rules, match racing starts can be over-the-top confusing for the newcomer. So when Perry reviewed the match racing start it really hit home, not only that the teams were new to match racing, but also how enthusiastic they were to try something new.
Think about it. Eight skippers with disabilities both visible and invisible (PSTD) registered to race. Some were missing an arm or leg, another skipper was blind, and yet another who, because of a spinal injury, had to be hoisted into the boat. He steers the boat through a breathing tube attached to the boat’s rudder. Then there are some skippers whose disabilities aren’t visible but are challenged just as much. And they spent a weekend racing, not only a new boat, but in a totally different kind of racing from fleet or team racing.
Just getting the skippers into the boats was a bit of a challenge. Thanks to the Waterfront Center, which hosted the event, 8 Sonars were adapted for disabled sailors; no small feat. It’s not like most of us who go down to dock to get a launch to get to your boat’s mooring. These boats were outfitted days before and were waiting at the dock. At the conclusion of the Skipper’s Meeting, the parade of wheel chairs, others with canes and additional help, emerged from the Waterfront Center and headed to their respective boats. Some skippers required more help than others. One had to be hoisted into his boat with what is called a Hoyer Lift that has been designed for just this task. Once aboard, a breathing tube (not the actual name but that is what it looks like) was attached and the skipper started breathing through it to see if it turned the rudder properly. Depending on how the skipper breathed into the tube, the boat would turn either to starboard or port. After a few test breaths, the boat was ready for racing.
Let’s pause the sequence right here for a moment. After struggling on land to get to the dock, and after spending a lot of time just getting into the boat and strapped in, the boat leaves the dock for the racecourse. This is the moment that makes it all worthwhile. The contrast between the difficulties facing the disabled on land totally disappeared once the boat got underway. There wasn’t a dry eye on the dock as we watched the sailors go out for a day on the water – doing just what every able-bodied sailor takes for granted. This is the true definition of freedom for these sailors.
By now you may be scratching your head and wondering “How in the world can a blind person sail a boat?” On each boat there is an able-bodied sailor who volunteers to race with the team. These are mostly friends who feel strongly that helping adaptive sailors get on the water is what they want to spend their time doing.
Let’s take a step back for a minute and give you a bit of history of the Clagett and how the work of many people lead it to Oyster Bay and the match race. The late C. Thomas Clagett, Jr., an extremely accomplished sailor, came down with Meningitis when he was young and was temporarily paralyzed. This gave Mr. Clagett a new respect for the accomplishments of the disabled. His daughter, Judy McLennan, is the President and Co-founder of The Clagett, a not-for-profit organization initiated in 2003. The Clagett’s vision is to become the leader in developing competitive sailing opportunities for sailors with disabilities. Their mission is to develop a program that will enable sailors with disabilities to reach their personal levels of achievement by providing venues and a process that included inspirational information and educational instruction. Source: www.clagettregata.org. Enter Timmy Larr, from Oyster Bay, who volunteers for many sailing-related organizations and has won too many awards to list here. She came up with the idea to hold the first match racing regatta for sailors with adaptive needs. The idea took hold last year, with Oakcliff Sailing (www.oakcliffsailing.org), The Waterfront Center (www.thewaterfrontcenter.org), SailAhead (www.sailahead.org) and Warrior Sailing (www.warriorsailing.org) on board. And of course, Dave Perry, who spent the weekend presenting a clinic and on-the-water coaching both days of the weekend, and a debrief at the conclusion of racing.
Shifty winds challenged the teams and at one point racing was suspended because of lack of wind. Dave Perry was out taking videos, and volunteers from SailAhead and Warrior Sailing Program provided on-the-water support. By the end of the day, the teams arrived back at The Waterfront Center for a Perry debrief and Awards. While awards are important, the take-away was that everyone was a winner: all the teams, the volunteers and the organizations who spend incredible amount of time to give adaptive sailors an experience they don’t have each day – the freedom to just sail a boat on a sunny afternoon on Long Island Sound.
As teams gathered their gear, they were overheard discussing getting together in a few weeks for another match race, even if the organizations sponsoring this great event are unavailable. This ultimate praise and thank-you ended an astonishing several days, and sent all homeward bound with smiles and a warm heart will last far longer than the weekend just past.
Final Results: 1. Jen French (St. Petersburg, FL) 2. Julio Reguero (San Juan, Puerto Rico) 3. Charlie Rosenfield (Woodstock, CT) 4. * Sarah Everhart Skeels (Tiverton, RI) 4 * Andy Fisher (Greenwich, CT) 6. Dan Evans (St. Petersburg, FL) 7. Pauline Dowell (Charlestown, MA) 8. Dave Whalen (Lake George, NY) * Unbreakable tie.
Click HERE to check out all the event photos.
2016 TAYLOR TROPHY - LONG ISLAND SOUND'S MATCH RACE CHAMPIONSHIP
Congratulations to Derek Webster and Tory Lynch, Larchmont Yacht Club, who won the 2016 Taylor Trophy Match Racing Championship. By the end of the day, they were tied with Zach Runci, with crew Ali Blumenthal and Howie Meyers, SUNY Maritime. Each team had a score of 6 wins, 1 loss. Because Webster beat Runci in their match, the Taylor Trophy was awarded to the team of Webster-Lynch, relegating Runci to the runner-up position.
The next two places were also a tie between Will Hutchings and Albert Nichols, Larchmont YC, and Ben Gent and Christopher Bigos, New York YC, who was last year’s winner. Again, the tie was broken in favor of Hutchins as he beat Gent in their match up, placing Hutchings in 3rd place, followed by Gent in 4th.
Fifth place went to veteran Doug Shannon, Ann Corvi, and Mark Feck, YRALIS, with 3 points. It was an all Oakcliff Sailing tie for 6th and 7th place that pitted Greg Adams and Ethan Johnson, against Sean O’Halloran and Lau Busch-Petersen. Adams beat O’Halloran in their match, giving 6th place to Adams and 7th to O’Halloran. Newcomer Stephen Yip, Sandy Krasovec, and Karin McKinnell, Oakcliff, were 8th.
Dave Perry, match racing guru par excellent, hosted a clinic on Saturday and then came back on Sunday to Umpire. Dave had this to say about the event: “On Saturday and Sunday, July 9 and 10, the YRA of LIS and Larchmont Yacht Club hosted a combined clinic and regatta which provided a wonderful weekend of competition and improvement for YRALIS sailors. The clinic was the North U Advanced Match Racing clinic coached by five-time U.S. Match Racing National Champion Dave Perry. All eight of the regatta teams participated in the clinic, which helped them greatly improve their Ideal 18 boat handling and speed, and get some great coaching in their match racing tactics. The Clinic ended with an hour video debrief which prepared the sailors perfectly for Sunday’s regatta. The regatta was the Taylor Trophy, which is the Long Island Sound Match Racing Championship. All the teams performed near their best in tricky northwesterly conditions, ranging from 6-14 knots, with every team winning at least one race, and no team winning all their races. Congratulations to Derek Webster and Tory Keefe for their win!” Many, many thanks to Dave for all he does for match racing, the sport of sailing, and for the YRALIS.
Bill Simon, Race Program Director, Oakcliff Sailing, was the Chief Umpire for the Taylor Trophy. He brought with him a very experienced group of umpires, which included Brendan Larrabee, Bam Miller, Wiz Mooney, Henrik Pederson, Dave Perry, Bill Siener and Liz Shaw. How fortunate for the YRALIS and for the competitors that Simon carved time out of his heavy match racing duties at Oakcliff to help make the Taylor Trophy spectacular.
Commenting on the event, Bill said, ”It is great to see a broad base of new match racers and we know some of them like Derek Webster are really making the move into more and higher level events. Thanks to the Taylor Trophy for filling this important role. Wouldn’t it be great if all of the YRAs did something like this? Thanks to our special local YRA LIS.”
Speaking of Derek Webster, he had this to say about this year’s Taylor Trophy, “The 2016 Taylor Trophy was an awesome event, and I'm grateful for everyone who made the event possible. Dave ran an amazing clinic with great sessions on and off the water. Cynthia and the entire Larchmont YC Race Committee got a lot of quality racing in. Bill Simon and the umpire team were fantastic. And, of course, we're grateful to Andrea Watson and YRALIS for their support of the regatta. My first ever match race regatta was this exact event two years ago. It's been fun to come back each year, sailing with Tory each time, and improve enough that we were able to win it this year. Tory really deserves all of the credit, as she helped ensure that we didn't make any major mistakes all day.”
Last but definitely not least, a huge thank you to Cynthia Parthemos, PRO, from Larchmont YC. She gathered a very experienced Race Committee that included Bob Hiden, Maureen Koeppel, Beth Dowd, Paul Lennon, Tom Keller, Jack Regan, George Parthemos, John May and Jed Kelly. For all those who have anything to do with racing, know that the Larchmont YC Race Committee is one of the most experience and busiest Race Committees on Long Island Sound. The YRALIS is very grateful that they have taken the Taylor Trophy under their wing, considering their heavy schedule. Thank you many times over!
Taylor Trophy 2016 FINAL SCORES: 1. Derek Webster Tory Lynch Larchmont YC (6 Points), 2. Zach Runci Ali Blumenthal/Howie Meyers SUNY Maritime (6 Points), 3. Will Hutchins Albert Nichols Larchmont YC (4 Points), 4. Ben Gent Christopher Bigos New York YC (4 Points), 5. Doug Shannon Ann Corvi/Mark Feck YRALIS (3 Points), 6. Greg Adams Ethan Johnson Oakcliff Sailing (2 Points), 7. Sean O’Halloran Lau Busch-Petersen Oakcliff Sailing (2 Points), 8. Stephen Yip Sandy Krasovec/Karin McKinnell Oakcliff Sailing (1 Point).
Boat Assignments: (to help you identify the teams) Derek Webster - Columbia #53, Zach Runci - Banisher #58, Will Hutchings - Falcon #56, Ben Gent - Jane Mary #59, Doug Shannon - Isolde #51, Greg Adams - Helena #50, Sean O'Halloran - Emerald #57,and Stephen Yip - Atalanta #52.
CLAGETT/OAKCLIFF MATCH RACE EVENT FOR ADAPTIVE SAILORS - JULY 15-17
OYSTER BAY, NEW YORK (March 25, 2016) – The C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta and Oakcliff Sailing are happy to announce that the two organizations have joined forces to create a new match racing event for adaptive sailors in North America. Bill Simon from Oakcliff Sailing and Timmy Larr from The Clagett saw a need for competitive adaptive sailors to have options for racing and therefore the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race event was created.
Hosted by the Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY, the inaugural Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race event will be held July 15-17, 2016. The event is open to both adaptive and able-bodied sailors as well as US and International sailors, however at least one person on the boat should identify as having a disability. Five time and current US match racing champion Dave Perry (Pequot Yacht Club, CT) will be on hand to provide coaching in boat handling, boat speed, and match racing. Competitors will be sailing Sonars provided by The Waterfront Center and Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club.
"We at the Clagett are very happy to announce that The Clagett and Oakcliff Sailing have teamed up to provide a competitive sailing option for adaptive sailors in North America. The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race will allow sailors to take part in a match racing event at The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay," commented Clagett President and Co-founder, Judy McLennan (Portsmouth, RI). "This is the first year we have offered an event like this, and all early indications show that it is shaping up to be something truly special,” remarked Bill Simon. “The potential for this event, with the support of all these remarkable organizations, is incredible. We are beyond excited.”
Participating sailors who are interested can get involved in two ways. Teams (consisting of two or more, including skipper) can request an invitation online and individuals looking to join a team can add their name to an online crew bank. Scholarships are available for travel and housing through The Clagett. For more information about The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race, including how to get involved, please visit: http://conta.cc/1YWiWgk
The Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race event is a match racing event open to both adaptive and able-bodied sailors from the USA and International. At least one person on the boat should identify as having a disability. The Clagett, whose motto is "Reach for Success", and stated mission is "to assist sailors in realizing their potential on the water by providing them both the knowledge and tools to improve their skills and the opportunity to use these skills in competition,” has joined with Oakcliff Sailing, a non-profit coaching and training center for sailors who have progressed beyond traditional coaching methods. The event will be hosted by The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, NY and supported by SailAhead and the Warrior Sailing Program.
YOUNG AMERICAN JUNIOR BIG BOAT SALING TEAM WINS BIG AT BERMUDA RACE!
The Newport to Bermuda Race is over and all boats have safely arrived in Newport. The 635-mile biennial Newport Bermuda Race is the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, one of very few international distance races and one of just two of the world’s regularly scheduled races held almost entirely out of sight of land. Founded in 1906, the Bermuda Race was held for the 50th time this year.
At one point in time, the safety of this race was called into question because of the weather forecast, not for high winds at the start, but for severe weather for the second day into the race. This was problematic because on the second day teams would be right in the middle of the racecourse without sight of land. And the weather forecast was downright scary. “NE-Easterly winds will become strong and widespread from near 38N south through Bermuda. There will be overall little change in this through the 20th. There will be frequent periods of near GALE force winds, especially from 36N south to Bermuda from tomorrow afternoon through the 20th. Wind gusts to GALE to strong GALE will be prevalent near Bermuda and north to 35N during the 19th-20th due to the developing low in the area coinciding with numerous areas of squalls. Winds are forecast to veer to SE-Southerly at Bermuda north to 34N during the 20th. For swells, these will remain below 6 feet from coastal Southern New England south to near 38N during the next 3 days. Larger swell sets up 10 feet will be present from today through the 20th due to active weather and these will be fairly short in period. Source: Weather Routing, Inc. (WWI), the official weather forecaster for the event. Because of the dire conditions about 54 teams dropped out of the race, many of them the smaller boats who would have the most difficult time in high winds and huge swells.
The above description of the “go-no go” dilemma forced on teams makes the next piece of information all the more incredible. It’s all about High Noon and the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team.
Steve and Heidi Benjamin owned High Noon, a Tripp 41, and donated it to the United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) Sailing Foundation. Ralf Steitz, who is the President of the Sailing Foundation, has raced for many years in Manhasset Bay and from all accounts, is doing one fantastic job heading up the Foundation over at USMMA. Many will recognize his name from previous columns. Many readers will also recognize Steve Benjamin as he has been an active frostbiter in Manhasset Bay over the years. He and his wife Heidi have supported the sport of sailing and junior sailors for many years.
How does this all tie into the Newport-Bermuda Race? Well, it turns out that the USMMA Sailing Foundation loaned High Noon to the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team at American Yacht Club (Rye, NY). High Noon is just 41 feet and had on board a crew of three adults and seven teenagers. High Noon was the second boat in the fleet to finish overall. The only boat that beat them to Bermuda, was Comanche, Jim and Kristy Hinze Clark’s 100-footer, skippered by Ken Read and with Stan Honey as Tactician, who smashed the Open record when she finished at 4:22:53 EDT on Sunday breaking the elapsed time record with a professional crew. High Noon sailed in the St. David’s Lighthouse Division, Class 10 with a mostly amateur crew of seven young sailors ranging in age from 16 to 18 along with three adults. She is the second smallest boat to take line honors. When High Noon reached the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club marina, she was the only Bermuda Race boat in the harbor, she stood first on corrected time n the St. David’s Lighthouse Division and – even more impressively – she stood second in the fleet on elapsed time.
“This Bermuda Race will be the culmination of at least three years of work by these juniors,” said Peter Becker, one of the project’s leaders. “First they did overnight distance races, then weekend races, and then they looked for opportunities to sail offshore.” The young sailors underwent hands-on safety training and worked closely with the navigator, skipper, and watch captains to gain experience in leadership roles. Some of the sailors helped deliver boats home from Bermuda and Hawaii. They are committed to the project, and so are their mentors. “I’ve sailed 16 Bermuda Races,” Becker said. “My first race was when I was 15 or 16. I was the kid on the boat, up on the bow changing sails. I’m trying to give these kids the same passion and experience I was exposed to when I was young and sailing with older sailors. Every junior on the boat is there because they’re competitive and they want to win the race.”
But it’s not all about winning, said Becker. “The kids are resonating with this. They love big boats. It’s challenging, it’s social, and it’s really inspiring. You get out there and you see the stars overhead and you think, ‘the land is really far away.’”
Imagine being a teenager and racing in the Newport to Bermuda Race. Just appearing and getting to the finish line would be amazing…but to win line honors is over-the-top incredible. Congratulations to the kids for all their hard work and to the dedicated adults who understand how important it is to give kids a chance to have such an exciting experience. Wouldn’t it be interesting to follow these young sailors and see what they are up to in a few years? Information about the Bermuda Race can be found at www.bermudarace.com
NEWPORT to BERMUDA RACE - Friday, June 17, 2016
Every other year about this time, the Newport to Bermuda racers are gearing up for this iconic race. This 635-mile biennial race is the oldest regularly scheduled ocean race, one of very few international distance races, and (with the Transpac Race) one of just two of the world’s regularly scheduled races held almost entirely out of sight of land. Founded in 1906, the Bermuda Race is held for the 50th time in 2016. Its purpose was stated in 1923 by Cruising Club of America Commodore Herbert L. Stone: “In order to encourage the designing, building, and sailing of small seaworthy yachts, to make popular cruising upon deep water, and to develop in the amateur sailor a love of true seamanship, and to give opportunity to become proficient in the art of navigation. . . .”
This year’s event is expected to be the third largest in the race’s history, with approximately 190 boats. The race attracts sailors from across North America and the globe, with recent entries from Russia, Britain, and China, and always a large turnout of Canadians. The 2016 fleet is extremely diverse. A total of 23 countries are represented among the sailors, and 55 of the boats have at least one sailor from outside the United States. In addition, 41 US states are represented in this fleet. The Newport to Bermuda race is so demanding that the rules state, “The Newport Bermuda Race is not a race for novices.” The course crosses the rough Gulf Stream and is mostly out of the range of rescue helicopters, and Bermuda is guarded by a dangerous reef. The race is nicknamed “the thrash to the Onion Patch” because most Bermuda Races include high winds and big waves (a combination sailors call “a hard thrash”), and because Bermuda is an agricultural island.
An interesting piece of information from the Newport to Bermuda website (www.bermudarace.com): The very first Bermuda Race was an act of rebellion. In 1906, the Establishment believed that it would be insane for amateur sailors to race offshore in boats under 80 feet. Thomas Fleming Day, the feisty editor of The Rudder magazine, vehemently disagreed, insisting, “The danger of the sea for generations has been preached by the ignorant.” Certain that an ocean race would be enjoyable and safe – and also develop better sailors and better boats – Day founded one on his own. The Brooklyn Yacht Club started the race in New York Bay, and down on the island paradise, the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club finished it off St. David’s Head. And get this: Critics predicted disaster. It was rumored that funeral wreaths were delivered to the three boats (all under 40 feet) so the sailors would be prepared to make a decent burial at sea. Statistics today show that, two boats have been lost since 1906 (Adriana, fire 1932; Elda, grounding 1956) and one life lost.
While a quick look at the 2016 Newport to Bermuda Race entries doesn’t include a local boat, there may be some sailors who will race as crew. Our neighbor to the east, Oakcliff Sailing, has entered 4 boats, so we can have fun following them. The race begins in Newport on Friday, June 17 and finish times depend pretty much on the size of the boat. Those interested in following the actions: www.bermudarace.com.
For those of you who can’t grab a seat on one of the boats for this year’s race – which includes most of us – you can race with the teams vicariously by reading a wonderful book by John Rousmaniere called A Berth to Bermuda: 100 Years of the World’s Classic Ocean Race. Rousmanier, who wrote 22 books, including Fastnet, Force 10 (a truly exciting book), is a Bermuda Race veteran and explains the addiction of the Bermuda Race that keeps racers coming back for more. It must be the intrigue of amateur sailors in normal boats that draws thousands to this race. So get a copy of this book, enjoy the vicarious thrills and check out the website: www.bermudarace.com. You definitely won’t be disappointed.
PORT WASHINGTON YACHT CLUB DAY RACE - June 5, 2016
It may sound crazy, but sometime when the weather is inclement, sailors fare the best. Take for example, the weekend of HarborFest, the annual waterfront celebration held down at the Town Dock in Port Washington. With predictions of heavy rain and wind, HarborFest vendors set up hoping for the best, but just before noon, the heavens opened up. HarborFest was cancelled for the remainder of the day…. a disappointment to all who have spent months planning for the event and for all who attend this fun day year after year.
While everyone on land scurried to get out of the rain, a very different story played out on Long Island Sound. The Port Washington Yacht Club Annual Day Race was scheduled to start at noon, which, if counting the warning signal from the Race Committee signifying the beginning of the starting sequence, actually started a few minutes earlier. And coinciding with the first gun, it didn’t rain, it poured. You couldn’t see the horizon, the Connecticut or Long Island shore. The Throgs Neck Bridge, which was visible only minutes before, had totally disappeared from view. The rain was that heavy. Did the Race Committee abandon the race? Not at all! For sailors are used to racing in all kinds of weather and come prepared. While Mother Nature, with her knickers in a twist, was probably enjoying her sadistic perfect timing, our racers took it all in stride. The distance race was completed in the outer bay and teams arrived back at the club with stories to tell and a ravenous appetite. There is something about being on the water in a downpour, getting absolutely drenched, that makes us really, really hungry That’s always a good thing at Port Washington YC, because the BBQ was huge (lots of options) and delicious. Once everyone had time to eat and enjoy each other’s company,
Commodore Howard Curd and Day Race PRO, Tom Egan, presented the awards. The 2016 results: PHRF Division: 1. Avalanche, Farr 395, Craig Albrecht, 2. Speed D8, Evelyn 32-2, Chuck McCarthy, and 3.Tenebrae, J124, William Ingraham. PHRF Non-Spinnaker: 1. Rita, Hunter 35.5, Arthur Sa, and 2. Impulse, O’Day 39, Len Di Iorio. The Port Washington YC Day Race is the first race in the Western Long Island Sound Triple Crown. The other two events are: City Island Yacht Club Annual Day Race, Sunday, August 14, and Douglaston Yacht Squadron, Captain Island Race, Saturday, Sept. 10. To be eligible for the perpetual trophy, boats need to complete all three races in the series.
EMIRATES TEAM NEW ZEALAND WINS ACWS-NY
After waiting 92 years for the America’s Cup to return to New York, the day that was so anxiously awaited for finally arrived. By the end of the weekend, Emirates Team New Zealand won the America’s Cup World Series (ACSW) with 52 points. And this was after they got hooked on a starting buoy and managed to free themselves in a winner-take-all final race on Sunday, May 8. The “home” team, ORACLE TeamUSA, came in a close second with 50 points, followed by Groupama Team France, with 44 points.
Mother Nature didn’t give the six teams a very nice New York welcome. On Saturday, the racing was abandoned for lack of wind. Then on Sunday, there were reports of huge wind shifts from the west to the north and ranging anywhere from 5 to 20 knots. Racing in the Hudson, which is nicknamed the “river that flows both ways” was a big concern for all the teams coming into this event.
Right from the start, the six skippers showed some concern about racing in New York. For sailors, a major challenge was the Hudson’s wind and current conditions. To adapt to the strong tidal current, which during the race would be running south with the outgoing tide, organizers planned on using heavier anchors and longer chains than usual to secure the race buoys, which are called marks. As for the air, the canyon of high-rises in Manhattan’s financial district and in Jersey City could negatively affects the all-important wind that is the sailor’s fuel. “But a breeze from the east — and slightly less so, from the west — would become shifty and turbulent as it sifted through the buildings and swept across the racecourse”, said Nathan Outteridge, 30, the captain for the Artemis Racing team from Sweden. “It adds a new element and dimension to it and makes it trickier.”
New Yorkers turned out in droves to welcome the teams from around the world – and gave them a great New York welcome. 75,000 spectators were in boats large and small to watch these super-fast beasts and then on Sunday 100,000 spectators were on site. Even though there wasn’t any wind on Saturday, the cats were towed through the spectator field to strut their stuff. These nearly identical catamarans carry a 70-foot solid sail that looks like an airplane wing and are equipped with L-shaped hydrofoils that let them glide dramatically out of the water. One would think that without racing, the day might be a bit boring. Not at all! To see these cats so close up that you could almost reach out and touch them was an experience not to be forgotten. It was a bit disconcerting when some of the teams actually waved at spectators, reminding all of us that this was not the real deal – at least not until the wind filled in. Which it never did!
The promised “stadium sailing” actually occurred on Sunday with 3 races completed. Even though Emirates New Zealand came out on top, at one point it looked like ORACLE Team USA might win during the final race. Skipper Jimmy Spithill and crew won the start and led around the first two mark roundings. But Dean Barker’s SoftBank Team Japan grabbed the lead by working the right side of the course while ORACLE TEAM USA struggled on the right side. In the end the reigning America’s Cup champion placed second in the race and second for the series. “The crowd was insane,” said Spithill. “Today was great for the fans. In these conditions you have to roll with the punches and keep fighting. We wanted to win but we’ll take the second place. The Kiwis got a Hail Mary there at the end, but you have to take your hat off to them and congratulate them.”
A bit about the ACWS: The series was revived as heats ahead of the 2017 America’s Cup. The AC45 specification was changed to accommodate hydrofoiling capabilities, with the winner of the series earning two points and the runner-up receiving a single point in the new America's Cup Qualifiers. And if you remember the 2013 America’s Cup in San Francisco, ORACLE Team USA rallied from an 8-1 deficit to win the Cup 9-8. So while spectators are treated to an over-the-top spectacle, it is quite serious racing for these six teams. Next up in the ACWS is Chicago. Let’s hope by then that the TV news coverage will get the timing right and not cut away to a commercial during a race finish. One can only hope!
Results- New York: Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series New York Final Standings: 1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 52 points; 2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 50 points; 3. Groupama Team France – 44 points; 4. SoftBank Team Japan – 42 points; 5. Land Rover BAR – 42 points; 6. Artemis Racing – 40 points.
Results – Overall: The Louise Vuitton American’s Cup World Series Overall Standing (after five events): 1. Emirates Team New Zealand – 244 points; 2. ORACLE TEAM USA – 236 points; 3. Land Rover BAR – 227 points; 4. SoftBank Team Japan – 203 points; 5. Artemis Racing – 201 points; 6. Groupama Team France – 194 points.
LONG ISLAND SOUND RACERS WIN BIG AT CHARLESTON RACE WEEK
Charleston, SC, that “great port town” down south, has been married to the sea right from the start. This charming city, with its architecturally significant homes and buildings is on a peninsula overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. The first colonists sailed into her harbor in 1670, so you can just imagine the stories that old-timers have of the pirates, merchants and foes which have been woven into the city’s history over the years and have contributed to Charleston’s unique and lovely history. Combine the culinary and nightlife scene, the shopping, international culture, and of course the southern hospitality, it should be no surprise to anyone that Charleston is the home of Charleston Race Week (CRW).
The Sperry Charleston Race Week is celebrating is 21st birthday this year. The regatta motto is “A Regatta Unlike Any Other.” No regatta can grow year over year without great race management. Randy Draftz, the Event Director has won many accolades, including the US Sailing One Design Award for Regatta Excellence and Seahorse Magazine’s Sailor of the Month. Providing great on-the-water racecourses, reasonable entry fees and great parties seems to be a formula for success. In addition, CRW was again awarded the Gold Level Certification by Sailors for the Sea for their participation in the Clean Regatta Program. And if that wasn’t enough, a portion of the net proceeds go to benefit sailing programs serving community, youth, adults and veterans and special needs. No wonder this event has grown by an average of 15 percent in recent years and evolved to become the largest keelboat regatta in the Western Hemisphere.
With 27 U.S. states and 10 different countries celebrating CRW’s birthday, one can only imagine how rough the competition was. There were 18 fleets represented: J/80 (10 bots), J/24 (17) J/22 (4), VX One (8), GP 26 (5), J/70 (67), Melges 24 (29), Melges 20 (12), Viper 640 (12), J/111 (6), J/88 (6), PHRF A (7), PHRF B (10) PHRF C – Sport (6), PHRF D (5), Pursuit Race –Spin 1 (5), Pursuit Race _ Spin 2 (8), and Pursuit Race – Non-spin (16), J/70 (27),
A quick look at Yachtscoring’s cumulative results shows that several teams from our area won their divisions. J/80: Gary Panariello, Courageous, Viper 640: Peter Beardsley, Ghost Panda, J/88: Iris Vogel, Deviation, PHRF D: Steve Thruston, Mighty Puffin, J/29 MH; and Pursuit Race – Spinnaker 1: Joseph Mele, Triple Lindy, Swan 44 MK II TM. Congratulations to all who were so lucky to race in the 21st birthday edition of Charleston Race Week. For complete results, click HERE
AMERICA'S CUP RETURNS TO NEW YORK HARBOR! - May 6, 7, 8
After a hiatus of almost a century, the America’s Cup is returning to New York.
In two years, the greatest sailors on the planet will descend on Bermuda to take on ORACLE Team USA as she defends her 2013 America’s Cup title. These very same teams will be right here in our backyard, racing on the Hudson for the first time since 1920. You can be part of this historic event. The Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS) is chartering the Aqua Azul on Saturday, May 7 for an up-close and personal viewing of the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series (ACWS). Spend a day on the Hudson witnessing racing at it finest!
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is a racing circuit featuring the best sailors in the world, competing on foiling, wingsailed catamarans - an updated version of the AC45 raced in the last series.
The Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series is the first stage of competition in the 2017 America’s Cup and begins in the summer of 2015. Featuring all of the America’s Cup teams racing in foiling, one-design AC45 catamarans, the circuit is an early opportunity to put points on the board that carry forward into the next stage of the competition. Overall ranking position in the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series determines the starting points score of the teams in the America's Cup Qualifiers in 2017.
Jimmy Spithill, ORACLE Team USA, said this about the World Series, “The New York event is going to be spectacular. Racing on the lower Hudson River, in front of that Manhattan skyline, will be a huge hit. New Yorkers are massive sports fans and I think this will be something very special: thrilling, top-level racing right in the heart of the city. It‘s going to be a great event for the American’s Cup and a great event for New York.
The New York event is an historic milestone of sorts. America’s Cup racing was held in New York harbor and environs form 1870 to 1920, representing the first 13 challenges for the oldest trophy in international sport.
Racing will take place on the lower Hudson River off the Battery Park City Esplanade and will bring the America’s Cup community back to the city that has the longest connection to the trophy, which was held by the New York YC from 1851 to 1983. “The Cup was bolted down here for a long time,” Spithill said. “So it’s kind of funny that we bring it back, and I think New Yorkers will be in a bit of a shock when they see what it’s all about. Once you see these things tearing around the Hudson, they won’t be able to walk past without stopping and just being in a bit of shock, I reckon.” The World Series will be raced in AC45 catamarans, which offer thrilling, high-speed competition. To add to the excitement, the World Series teams compete head-to-head rather than the traditional match racing of only two boats as is typical at the America’s Cup.
The five challengers joining Oracle Team USA at the New York World Series are Artemis Racing (Sweden), Emirates Team New Zealand, Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing (Britain), Groupama Team France and SoftBank Team Japan. Three World Series events have already taken place in 2015 with three different winners with the New York event promising continued hard-fought racing on the foiling AC45F catamarans that fly above the water.
The World Series racing circuit forms part of the 35th America’s Cup program, with ACWS scoring contributing to the selection of the 2017 America’s Cup Challenger. After three events, Emirates Team New Zealand is in the lead, points wise (122), followed by Oracle Team US (112), Land Rover BAR (109), Artemis Racing (105) and SoftBank Team Japan (100).
Check out the video link about the ACWS with great racing sequences: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsva5caV4gA.
Did you know that the America’s Cup has strong ties to Manhasset Bay and the yacht clubs surrounding the Bay? Back in the day, when the America’s Cup boats were designed and built on City Island, and Cup racing was in Newport, Manhasset Bay had the distinction of being the training ground (water) for the America’s Cup boats. Teams would race in Manhasset Bay to test the boat and try out the teams in preparation for the “big event” in Newport. Local sailors from those glory days: the late Edward du Moulin, Sands Point resident and Knickerbocker YC and New York YC member, was the manager of 7 American’s Cup campaigns - the most in the history of the Cup. His management of Dennis Conner’s syndicate, Stars and Stripes, could fill volumes. Victor Romagna, Port Washington YC, has been closely involved with 12-meter yachts, specifically Cup defenders Columbia and Weatherly. He also served on the America’s Cup Committee of the New York YC for the 1980 and 1983 defenses. He and Bus Mosbacher, Knickerbocker YC, helped in the design of Intrepid in 1967. Duke Dayton, also from Port Washington YC, was involved with 12 meters Mariner and Valiant in 1974, and Courageous in 1977. The late Harman Hawkins, Manhasset Bay YC, was also directly involved with the America’s Cup during this time. Sources: One Hundred Years of Knickerbocker History, Port Washington Yacht Club Centennial 1905-2005, The America’s Cup and Me: Recollections of 63 years and 7 Campaigns by Edward du Moulin.
If you want to experience the excitement of the AC45F cats racing right under your nose, check it out on the YRALIS website, www.yralis.org. For $225 per person, you will have an orchestra seat on board the Aqua Azul with premiere open bar and cocktail style menu. To secure your place on the Aqua Azul, pay online with a credit card. Questions? Call the YRALIS office at 516-767-9240 or email at email@example.com.
If you want to experience the excitement of the AC45F cats racing right under your nose, check it out on the YRALIS website, www.yralis.org. For $225 per person, you will have an orchestra seat on board the Aqua Azul with premiere open bar and cocktail style menu. To secure your place on the Aqua Azul, pay online with a credit card. Questions? Call the YRALIS office at 516-767-9240 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
BENJAMIN AND HAEGER 2015 US SAILING'S YACHTSMAN AND YACHTSWOMAN OF YEAR - March 3, 2016
Sailors the world over describe the world of sailing as a sport for all ages. This year, the 2015 US Sailing’s Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards is the perfect example of just how true this is. Annie Haeger, East Troy, WI, who was named Yachtswoman of the Year in recognition of her impressive list of top results in the 470 Class competition throughout 2015, is in her mid-20s. The Yachtsman of the Year, Steve Benjamin, Norwalk, CT, a veteran sailor, has spent most of his life competing and winning in various sized boats, from IC dinghies to his Carkeek 40, SPOOKIE. These two are proof positive that sailing is, indeed, a sport for the young and the young at heart.
For their efforts during the 2015 calendar year, Annie and Steve were presented a ROLEX watch, which has come to represent the epitome in sailing trophies. Haeger and crew Briana Provancha, San Diego. CA, made their mark on the international stage by winning gold at the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They won the event by seven points through 10 races in a highly competitive fleet featuring the gold and silver medal-winning boats from the London 2012 Games. “In winning this award, I’m not representing myself, but Team Heager/Provancha as a whole. I am very blessed to have Briana in the front of my boat. I think she is the best crew in the United States.”
To emphasize the “team” in Team Haeger/Provancha, Heager beckoned Briana to the stage, and with the Rolex Award right next to them, the two embraced in a big bear hug, confirming that not only are they one great team, but cherished friends. The emotional moment was not lost on the audience. It was an touching moment and, reminded everyone, yet again, of the magic surrounding our sport. How lucky we are to have these amazing ambassadors representing the US in Rio.
There’s got to be something in the waters of Lake Beulah, WI. Haeger started sailing at the age of eight on the lake and participated in the “Learn to Sail” junior sailing program and ends up the 2015 Yachtswoman of the Year. Well, last year, the winner of this prestigious award was Stephanie Roble, who, you guessed it, also was in the same program. And these two couldn’t be nicer or more deserving.
Steve Benjamin is known on both sides of Long Island Sound, nationally and internationally, and represents the “older” sailor. He grew up sailing out of Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY. After earning College Sailor of the Year honors in 1978 as a member of the Yale University sailing team, Benjamin, known locally as Benj, went on to dominate the Etchells placing 2nd out of 43 boats at the World Championship in Hong Kong. His teams won at the Piana Cup. Long Island Sound Championship and Coral Reef Cup, among others. In addition, Steve and his wife, Heidi, had a clean sweep of overall wins in every offshore race they entered in 2015 on their Carkeek 40, SPOOKIE, including Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Marblehead to Halifax, Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Vineyard Race.
“This award goes to all the great sailors and crew I’ve had the opportunity to race with this year, said Benjamin. “I had some incredible team members to help me every step of the way, and perhaps the biggest supporter of them all is my wife, Heidi.” He ended his remarks with, “I’ve been at this a long time, so this is truly an astonishing honor.”
Steward Wicht, ROLEX President and Chief Executive Officer, in a letter had this to say, “Rolex is proud to sponsor these prestigious awards that allow us to recognize the successes of the nation’s best sailing competitors for 2015. The impressive list of finalists for the 2015 awards achieved outstanding results, and we at Rolex congratulate all of these sailors for a tremendous year. We take great pleasure in congratulating Rolex Yachtsman of the Year Steve Benjamin and Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Annie Haeger for their championship performances on the worldwide stag of competitive sailing. Their intense focus on setting high standards for success are values that Rolex acknowledges and commends. Thank you are setting such an amazing example for all competitive sailors to follow.”
And in a letter from Bruce J. Burton, President of US Sailing, “It is an honor for US Sailing to present its 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year Awards to Steve Benjamin and Annie Haeger for their remarkable performances over the past year. Since 1961, US Sailing has annually presented the Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards to recognize these American sailor’s for their outstanding on-the-water achievements. The awards have become an important part of sailing history in the United States. Congratulation to Steve and Annie.”
Lastly, about the Rolex Award: Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980, the Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards recognize outstanding on-the-water achievements in the calendar year just concluded. These prestigious awards are treasured by the sailing community as the nation’s top sailing distinctions. A slate of finalist nominated by the membership of US Sailing is presented to a panel of recognized sailing journalists, who discuss the merits of each nominee and vote by secret allot to determine the ultimate winners.
85th FROSTBITE NEW YEAR'S REGATTA - January 1-2, 2016
It’s 40 degrees outside, the Manhasset Bay is whipped up with rollers and white caps, the wind is all over the place, challenging the Race Committee’s attempt at a setting square starting line, and the sun’s warmth is hidden behind clouds. With two teams feeling the need to take a refreshing swim in Manhasset Bay – one a champion racer out of Larchmont - and a skipper overboard in one race, the conditions were perfect for the 85th Frostbite New Year’s Regatta!
The 2-day event has been a staple at Manhasset Bay YC since the inception of the event. It all started back in 1932 at the Knickerbocker YC and legend has it that this first regatta had everything a good frostbite regatta ought to have: it rained, it snowed, it hailed, and grog and chowder were served all day. Since that day, tradition has taken a strong hold on the event, with an Annual Frostbite Meeting, complete with a Wassail Bowl, an actual meeting (of sorts) and very Special Awards, followed the next day with an Awards Ceremony.
At the Frostbite YC meeting, John Silbersack, MBYC Vice Commodore, welcomed all to the 85th New Year’s Regatta and mentioned that this was the first day of Manhasset Bay YC 125th year. “Welcome and happy sailing!”
As with all good sailing reports, there are stories to be told. There is a really good one out of Larchmont YC who supported this event in a big way (thank you, LYC). One story goes like this: two young men, William Lipscomb and Brian McCloskey met at a hospital seven years ago when their wives were giving birth to their sons, Christopher and Ian. They became good friends and as the young boys grew, the kids became friends also. Fast forward to last week, and these kids are now crewing for their fathers in IC Dinghies. They are both seven years old, share the same birthday and were born one hour apart. And they share the distinction of being the youngest crew at the regatta. The very Special Awards mentioned above are created by Peter Beardsley, Larchmont YC, and as a scribe, very few can compete with him. If there was a Saturday Night Live just for sailors, he could quit his day job. Beardsley starts off with: “For those not familiar with our work, the Committee for Special Awards is tasked with highlighting the feats of frostbiters who distinguished themselves with particular style during the previous calendar year.” He continues, “Alas, the special awards are lighter in number this year. The Chairman attributes it to a mix of ‘better sailing’ and ‘institutionalized fear of being nominated.’ Or that the Manhasset folks have smarted up and begun looking after their own to prevent word from reaching Larchmont of their mishaps. They have a word for this in the Motherland and I believe it’s the same word they use here on LI – omerta. Or perhaps because of Manhasset Bay being frozen over much of winter and spring 2015, there were fewer opportunities for sailors on this side of the Sound to attract the Committee’s attention. Thankfully, the Larchmont guys, never known for their intelligence, continue to grab the Committee’s attention.”
An example of a very Special Award: There is a very exclusive club n the Frostbite Yacht Club, know as the Masses of the Great Unwashed. It is reserved for the very privileged few, and usually only the most novice, who have yet to experience the thrill and exhilaration of a refreshing outdoor swim in the winter months. Many, though not all of our wassail servers are part of the Great Unwashed, but this past year, their ranks shrunk by one of the most decorated of the ranks of this year’s wassail servers, a past winner of this regatta and national champion, found the mot inopportune of time to decide to cool off midrace. I am pleased to award this swim medal and accompanying Order of the Bath, with season champion clusters to (name withheld to protect the not so innocent).
2015 85th Annual Frostbite Regatta: Past Commodores Race: 1. Paul-Jon Patin/ Felicity Ryan, 2. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, Manhasset Bay YC, 3. Steve Benjamin/Brooks Daley, Larchmont YC. Overall results for Interclubs: 1. Paul-Jon Patin/Felicity Ryan, 2. Simon Strauss, Julie Lelek, Larchmont YC, 3. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, Manhasset Bay YC, 4. Keith Taboada/Sarah Gilman, Larchmont YC/Metedeconk River YC, 5. Henry Fernberger/Bronwyn Woodhead, Larchmont YC. Winners in Idea 18s: 1. John Browning/Stephanie Baas, Manhasset Bay YC 2. Guy Crawford (crew unknown), Manhasset Bay YC, 3. Bob Schwartz/Tom Powers, Manhasset Bay YC.
2015 Perpetual Awards: Anchor Light Trophy (for special participation in the New Year’s Regatta finishing all race in the class): Brian McCloskey/Ian McCloskey, Larchmont YC, Commodore Robert W. Fraser (Past Commodore’s Race), and The Sam Wetherill (Outstanding Interclub skipper): Paul-Jo Patin/Felicity Ryan, Larchmont YC, Henry A. Alker Trophy (Outstanding MBYC skipper), John P. Barry (Outstanding Ideal 18 skipper) and Baker Taylor Founders Trophy (Highest percentage in the Annual New Year’s Regatta): John Browning/Stephanie Baas, Manhasset Bay YC. Ed du Moulin Trophy (awarded to the person who has contributed to the advancement of Frostbiting in America): Cynthia Parthemos, Larchmont YC. Thanks to Pedro Lorson, Event Chair, MBYC Past Commodore Sue Miller, PRO and Regatta Co-chairs Dana Schnipper and Vince Syracuse.