This year's dates for the Cigna Knickerbocker Cup were Sept. 23-27. The venue was New York Harbor with the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island in plain sight encouraging thoughts of ancestors who had courageously come to our shores. The sights of the city were breathtaking.
All agreed that the weather on the last day was outstanding with the breeze southwest 15-18 knots. The sea was described as "confused." (Your reporter was there that day.)
In all, 12 J 105s were entered. In the semifinals, Peter Gilmour of Australia beat Bertrand Pace of France and Chris Law an Englishman (also associated with Australia) beat Ed Baird, an American. Gilmour, described as "sailing for Japan with a Japanese crew" won the finals. He is heading for the Nippon Challenge in America's Cup 2000. Ed Baird will be the NYYC skipper in that event.
There were other boats to behold. Noticed especially were a huge ketch, schooner and freighter.
The KYC Committee Boat was Irving Oldak's Estrellita, a 42-foot Brewer. Other club members contributed many hours of devoted work. On the race committee besides KYC members were "beyond the club" authorities, e.g., international umpires and judges.
From Jean Shope - I look forward to the Knickerbocker Cup match races every fall. I am a score recorder for the committee in this intense event.
Running match races demands a complex and intricate sequence of horn signals, gun signals, flag signals with precise timing of each.
Each race involved two boats lasting about 20 minutes per race in a round robin of eight boats for five days ending with the finals Sunday afternoon. Each pair of boats was pursued by a team of judges on a separate power boat on the course judging. We had winds for all five days - usually light in the morning and filling in the afternoon.
For the first time since 1984, Mill Pond MYC hosted the Marblehead Annual Class Championship Regatta. Marbleheads are radio controlled boats, 50 inches long and can carry a maximum of 800 square inches of sail.
The race was held on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 26 and 27. The race arbitrator was Sue Miller, and jurors were Greg and Beth Danilek and Mike McAllister. All (except Mike who became ill) were present continuously and observed every race. Only one jury hearing was required, and the jury was able to meet on the Danilek's porch across from Mill Pond.
The wind on both days was from the southwest. On Saturday, the winds were light and variable. Sunday winds were moderate and steady.
The top five finishers were as follows: first, John Cleave, Ryde MYC, Isle of Wright, UK, 37 points; second, Bob Twombly, Marblehead MYC, MA, 45 1/2 points; third, Peter Allen, Barbados, West Indies, 64 1/2 points, fourth, Lech Arciszewski, Mill Pond MYC Port Washington, 79 points; fifth, Roy Langbord, Central Park MYC, 70 points.