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On The Bay: March 21, 2012

The Royal Bermuda YC has announced that the 62 staging of match racing for the King Edward VII Gold Cup will take place in early October, with the Argo Group as the title sponsor. The Cup was originally presented in 1907 by King Edward VII to Sherman Hoyt at the Jamestown Tri-centennial Regatta marking the commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America.

The Argo Group Gold Cup stands as the 8th and penultimate stage of the Alpari World Match Racing Tour where the teams compete for the ISAF Match Racing World Championship. The 24-team format of the Argo Group Gold Cup is unique on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. Nine of the team slots are available for Tour’s Card Holders; three are selected from qualifying events - the Knickerbocker Cup and the Detroit Cup in the USA, and the Bermuda National Match Race Championship. The remaining teams are selected by application and invitation from among the top international match racing sailors in the ISAF Match Race Rankings as well as up-and-coming sailors identified by the RBYC. By having 24 entrants, room is available for young competitors to take on the world’s best match racers.

Match racing for The King Edward VII Gold Cup is recognized as one of the classic events on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. It has always been a highlight for sailors and attracts the top sailors in the International Sailing Federation and Alpari World Match Racing Tour rankings as well as top America’s Cup skippers. In 2008 Bermuda introduced sailing to all Bermudans with the first Family Festival of Sail. That will be bigger and better in its fifth year in 2012.

This is good news for the 2012 Knickerbocker Cup, whose winner has an automatic entry into this classic event. The Knickerbocker Cup is truly an international event, attracting some of the top match racers in the world to Manhasset Bay. Its long and dignified history started back in the ’80s when Edward du Moulin and his friend Arthur Knapp brought match racing to the east coast. Knickerbocker YC hosted this event until the club closed a few years ago. Manhasset Bay YC is now the organizing authority for the Knickerbocker Cup.

This year, to celebrate the importance of this event, the Knickerbocker Cup is teaming with St. Francis Hospital for a really special evening called a “Heart and Sail” dinner dance on Friday, April 20 at 7 p.m. at Manhasset Bay YC. This is the first time in the 30-year history of the Cup to team with St. Francis Hospital. The event is a tribute to both the Cup and St. Francis Hospital to bring to the foreground the good work St. Francis brings to the community and the very special nature of the Cup to the sailing community, both locally, nationally and internationally.

Those interested in attending this evening, please RSVP to Manhasset Bay YC at 767-2150 by April 6. Cost is $125 per person, which includes an open bar, and a silent auction that is rumored to have interesting items to purchase. For more information about the event, call either Sue Miller (883-2619) or Bonnie Doran (729-5663). For more information about the Knickerbocker Cup, go to www.knickerbockercup.org.

Frostbiting is alive and well on Manhasset Bay. That is if you can call it frostbiting, with record-breaking temperatures all along the eastern seaboard. But we haven’t heard any of the frostbiters complaining, but then again, they don’t ever complain, even when it is sleeting, raining, snowing. They are a stoic bunch who just love to be out on the water whenever possible. But a nice sunny Sunday afternoon is a real plus, and gets the racers especially geared up to go out on the bay. The “regular” season is about to begin and as visions of boats launched, new sails, great mark roundings are dancing in their heads, they continue to frostbite for the chance to improve their skills, and for the great camaraderie provided by this close knit group of sailors.

According to my informants, Sunday, March 11 was really spring sailing rather than frostbiting. It was sunny and temperatures climbed from the 40s to the high 50s by late in the day. The winds shifted so much that the lone mark boat was busy almost all day moving marks to try to keep a reasonable course, but took a few minutes break to enjoy delicious turkey burgers for lunch. There were 22 competitors sailing in three fleets, Ideal 18s, Interclubs and Lasers. It was a perfect day with mild temperatures and a breeze that ranged from 10 to 15 kts.

Rita Syracuse, Jeanne Miller, Kathy Toombs and Phyllis Giordan were on station as Race Committee on Kraus’ Kastle, running a total of 24 races. Sue Miller and Charles Comer did duty on crash boats. In the Ideal 18 Fleet, Vince Syracuse took first place with 18 points followed by Danielle Powers with 19 points and Bob Schwartz with 22 points. Pedro Lorsen took first place on the Interclubs with 8 points followed by Ted Toombs at 16 and Dana Schnipper at 20. Dan Catanzaro scored first place on his Laser with 9 points followed by Paul Quinn with 12 points. Madeline Simms won the Interclub crew race and John Bainton won the Ideal 18 crew race.

An interesting story crossed your columnist’s desk recently from the website called Clever Pig, via Scuttlebutt. It was a story about Lanee Beashel, an accomplished Olympian who has competed in four Olympic Games (1992, 1996, 2000, and 2004 in the Women’s Windsurf division). This is most likely a name that many in Port Washington would not recognize. But some over at Port Washington YC might remember the name because Lanee learned to sail on a Blue Jay out of Port Washington when she was 10 years old and living in Manhasset. The family moved to California when Lanee was 5, but her parents sent her and her sister back to New York every summer to live with their aunt and uncle so they could grow up sailing with their cousins at Port Washington YC.

Today, Lanee is the mother of two young children and the wife of pro-sailor Adam Beashel. She spent some time recently in an interview, sharing her passion for the sport and gave some advice to young sailors and parents. Her advice to young sailors at the beginning of their careers is to have a plan. If your goal is to make a career out of sailing or embark on an Olympic campaign, or sail at the college level you need to make a plan. Define your goals: Do you want to do an Olympic campaign? Do you want to sail in college? Do you want to be a sailmaker, boatbuilder, pro, navigator, or coach? Do you want to be a match racer?

Read more about Lanee at http://www .cleverpig.org/index.php.