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On The Bay: January 25, 2012

The Annual Frostbite New Year’s Regatta is always the highlight of the holiday season. Not only is the on-the-water competition really good, but the festivities connected with the event are great fun. Last week, this column highlighted one of the “awards” given to the Race Committee for their superior demonstration on how to try to burn down Kraus’ Kastle. What readers need to know is that they really didn’t want to burn down the float, but because they grill yummy lunch each Sunday out on the bay (in freezing temperatures, mind you) they may have gotten just a tad bit lax in watching the burgers. Oh, well, these awards are all in good fun, like the Mooseheads that are given out at the end of each season. Come to think of it, both events are aimed at Race Committees…. Maybe we need to have a seasonal roast of the racers and their teams… I am sure we could come up with some really “dopey” things that go on in a race… you know, those things that are never mentioned at the bar after racing.

Having said the above, there are still a few of those “awards” that readers may enjoy hearing about, such as the following: “And speaking of New York’s bravest, it has come to the attention of this Committee that one of our fellow frostbiters turns out to be much handier with a fire extinguisher than our beloved Race Committee thanks to his years of service as a fireman. Consequently, he may still be stronger with a fire hose than he is with a tiller extension, which has managed to get tangled in the strangest of ways over the past year, causing an untold number of swims in Manhasset Bay. The Race Committee has lost count of how many times this individual has been in the drink, but you know you’re in for a long day when you carry scuba gear aboard your Laser. For his expertise in capsize recovery and his diligence in checking each day whether the waters of Manhasset Bay are safe for swimming, the Order of the Bath, with hook and ladder clusters, goes to….” Hey, committee, give this skipper a break… in due time, he will manage to stay upright in the Laser… probably sooner rather than later – the cold bay is a great motivator to learn really fast!

After all the awards, both the real ones and the fun ones were in the hands of their owners, it was time to vote in the officers for the 2012 Frostbite YC. Nominated to esteemed positions were the following: Commodore: Peter Beardsley; Vice Commodore: Vince Syracuse; Rear Commodore: Amelia Amon; Treasurer: Bob Mitchell; Measurer: John Browning; Dock Captain: Simon Strauss, Harbor Master: Felicity Ryan, and Secretary: Pete Saladino. All were voted into office by unanimous vote. Thus the Frostbite YC Annual Meeting came to an end, and the crowded grill room at Manhasset Bay YC sprang into action, as everyone seemed to be having so much fun, they wanted to hang around just a bit longer, enjoying the company of like-minded sailors who love to sail in the off season. And if you have a chance to ask any of them why they do this, you will never hear, “because we can.” What you may hear is a description of the challenges and how great the competition is, and every once in a while you may hear something along the lines of “but it can get really cold out there!” But these comments are few and far between.

Continuing with the frostbiters for a bit: Past scores (other than the regatta scores that were reported last week): Dec. 4: Interclubs: 1. Pedro Lorson/Coleen Stack 2. Ted Toombs/Mariann Simms 3. Philip “Fee” Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon 4. Claes Larsson/Flo Paterno and 5. John Silbersack/Virginia Wilkimg. Ideal 18s: 1. John Browning/Stef Baas 2. Bob Kirtland/Alan Thomson 3. Dan Griffin/Andrew Feigen 4. Bob Schwartz/Tom Powers 5. Danielle Powers/Marco Prono. Lasers: 1. Leon Spethrie 2. Paul Quinn and 3. Dan Catanzaro. Top crew for Dec. 4, 2011 - Interclubs: 1. Sabrina Lorson 2. Amelia Amon and 3. Madeline Simms. Ideal 18 crew: 1. Alan Thompson 2. Tom Powers 3. Stef Baas 4. Mario Prono 5. Andrew Feigen. Readers may have noticed that, rather than the usual top three winners, the top five places are included. Since this is the winter season and it is cold out on the bay, it makes sense to include more winners as these teams are making an effort to keep frostbiting alive in our area. This will continue throughout the season, if there are enough boats on the starting line to warrant including first through fifth place.

The only scores available for Dec. 18 are for the Ideal 18s: 1. Vince/Rita Syracuse/John Bainton 2. Michael Silverman/Ryan Christie 3. Dan Griffin/Andrew Feigen 4. Bob Schwartz/Tom Powers and 5. Danielle Powers/Marco Prono. Scores for Jan 8, 2011: Interclubs: 1. Pedro Lorson/Coleen Stack 2. Ted Toombs/Mariann Simms 3. Dana Schnipper/Madeline Simms 4. John Silbersack/Virginia Wilkimg and 5. John Lobley/Dina Ashinsky. Lasers: 1. Leon Spethrie 2. Gregory Stebbins and 3. Dan Catanzaro. Ideal 18 Crew: 1. Cindy Jordan 2. Eli Schwartz 3. Alan Thompson and 4. Arthur Feigen. No scores for the Ideal 18 team were available by press time. There was no frostbiting on Jan. 15 due to extremely low temperatures and high winds.

High profile fleets, intense competition and superb sailing conditions have made Key West a showcase event for many one design classes. This marks the 25th anniversary of the annual race week off Key West (Jan. 16-20), and Quantum Sail Design Group has helped keep the renowned regatta going during tough economic times. “We recognize that Key West Race Week is the flagship regatta in this country and has been for well over two decades,” Quantum President Ed Reynolds said. “This has been reinforced by many people we’ve spoken with both here and abroad. Even with the smaller fleet sizes of recent years, this midwinter, big-boat regatta is very important to North American and international sailboat racing. We would like to see it continue and are committed to supporting the regatta during this transition period.”

Some of the most exciting racing in Quantum Key West 2012 will certainly come in the 52-foot class, which has drawn eight entries of various designs. Included in the class are brand new IRC 52 designs from Reichel-Pugh and Judel-Vrolijk along with two others that are coming right off the Med Cup Circuit. “This is going to be one of the finest IRC 52 fleets ever assembled,” said Ed Reynolds, president of Quantum Sail Design Group, which is sponsoring the regatta and fielding an entry in that big-boat class. Full report: