On May 8, Wednesday night sailboat racing returns to Oyster Bay Harbor. The racing is sponsored by the Sagamore Yacht Club, and is open to sailors who want to join in the fun and sail. This year, there is a small fee to help cover the cost of a race committee and the year -nd awards. Everyone is welcome to participate in a few races without charge before committing to the full season.
There is also a weekend series starting as well. After each Wednesday evening race, the Sagamore Yacht Club bar is open to all racers. This year, the Harborside Deli will be offering casual waterfront food service after each race. These Wednesday night races have a long tradition of great racing just for the fun of it. The bar afterwards has always been a great place to rehash the race, and soon it will be the only waterfront dining in Oyster Bay.
A few weeks ago, Sagamore had a pre-race meeting that drew more than 50 participants. The signs are pointing towards another exciting racing season for this summer in Oyster Bay. We have 20 boats registered already, with more to come. The racing fee for whole season is only $60 per participating boat, and you don't have to be a member to participate. If you missed the meeting and would like to register, please make your check out to Sagamore Yacht Club and send it to Horst Ankermann, 29 Oakpoint Drive West, Bayville, N.Y. 11709. Or for more information, you can reach Horst at 516-628-0171 or e-mail him at email@example.com
Recently another article of ours was published, featuring the Wednesday night racing. It can be found on the following website www.antonnews.com (Oyster Bay Enterprise Pilot Jan. 31, 2002). In this article, we discuss racing with Charlie O'Connor, one of Oyster Bay's legends. On the racecourse a common call of "Get Charlie" can be heard - usually from the crew and captain of the sailing vessel Luff Story.
The captain of Luff Story, Jack Bernstein, is a well known local attorney and another local sailing legend. But an even bigger legend is the rivalry between Jack and Charlie. There is a longtime feud between the two, as they fight it out on the racecourse year after year, for Sagamore's top honor as Sailor of the Year.
Last year, after a season of racing, the final race scores had Jack and Charlie tied. The feud continues even in the off-season. At last year's awards dinner, I asked Charlie how he felt sharing the award with Jack. Charlie was quick to say "he was very happy to tie with Jack, considering Jack has the faster boat." This winter, when Charlie gave a several-week course on racing tactics, to Charlie's dismay, Jack showed up -could it be to learn some of Charlie's tactics?
Over the years, Bob has been lucky enough to have crewed for both of these competitive captains. The one thing they have in common is, that every race is an all out, nothing held back competition.
All of the racing boats are rated with a handicap. Theoretically speaking, the faster boats owe time to the slower boats. So, even if you cross the finish line before someone else, you can lose after the race is adjusted for the boat's rating. But regardless, finishing in front of the fleet even if you lose, is better than following all of the other boats in. Besides, the first boats to finish the race get to the bar before the others.
If you are a captain looking for crew, or a crew member looking for a captain, stop at Sagamore Yacht Club or e-mail Horst Ankerman at the above address and he will match you with other sailors. We look forward to seeing you on the racecourse.
Bob & Shelley-Sue can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org