Things are moving along on the Eastern Waterfront. On Jan. 27, the new Eastern Waterfront Plan is expected to be released at Town Hall but things are already happening there.
John McGrane, manager of the Oyster Bay Marine Center said, "Hunt Lawrence, who owns both classic boats and Match 40s, is renting the former Oyster Bay Boat Shop at 2 South Street. He is storing some of his boats across the street at the Commander Oil parking lot. He is also renting space at 4 South Street where he has a downstairs shop to work on the boats.
"It's a great use of the Eastern Waterfront. Maritime usage of the waterfront is what was wanted. It's worked out well. It's just a great place to keep the business," said John McGrane.
Mr. McGrane said he is looking forward to the release of the Eastern Waterfront Plan on Jan. 27. "I've worked with them on the advisory committee, and have been doing it for a lot of years. A lot of good people have been working on it and luckily, there will be some movement down here," he said.
Things have been happening at the OBMC too. "We're moving along. We have another facility on Bayview Avenue: we have another storage yard with a new service building to work in where the old Lumber Yard was located. It is owned by Rennaisance Properties and we fixed up the building and now have a great facility. It was their warehouse and now it is heated and fixed up and it is used for servicing boats both inside and outside. There is more storage area for boats there also," said Mr. McGrane.
The WaterFront Center hosted a lecture at the home of Mrs. Richard Storrs as John McGrane presented a two-hour slide show on antique boats. About 35 people attended the slide lecture.
These huge, beautiful teak boats are having fleet races. That was added to the Match Races held at the 2008 Oyster Festival by the Oyster Bay Sailing Center and sponsored by the Oak Cliff Yacht Club and Renaissance Properties, together. Oak Cliff is located in Geenport and is owned by Don Castanza. Boats come from everywhere for the races, said Mr. McGrane.
One of those boats, the Alera, comes down from Maine in the spring and stays until the fall to take part in the classic races.
Mr. McGrane explained that, "The Classic races start at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club and go to Lloyd Point to the middle of the Sound and back over a 14-mile course. There is a staggered start. It is a handicap start so everyone finishes about the same time. It's usually a fairly close finish so it's a great battle at the end of the race."
The Match 40s races are done on Tuesday nights during the summer in West Harbor and can be seen from the road. It is always two boats fighting for first place.
On Friday nights the Shields 30 race in West Harbor.
"The beauty of the Match race is that all you need is two boats. If you have three boats, you do another race. The Match Race is a shorter course and so there are more races possible. It is always one boat against another in a rotating system," he said.
One caveat: "It depends on how much wind there is on how many races you can have," he said. So things are truly moving on the Eastern Waterfront even without the wind blowing!