Guest reporter for this week's column is Andrea Watson
Frostbiters have come out of hibernation. Last Sunday, under cloudy, threatening skies, with 8-10 knot NW wind, six teams of sailors completed three races. Just before 3 p.m., the race committee changed to a "no jibe" course, because of increasing wind conditions. Five minutes later, with wind blowing 16-18 knots with higher gusts, and 11/2 - 2 foot seas, racing was canceled for the rest of the day. Very impressive was the timing of the RC's decision to cancel. Just as all the boats arrived safely at the dock, the wind really started to blow. Top boats and sailors: 1. Steve Moore/Jerry Morea (#510), 2. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry (#536), 3. Jesse Waters/Allison Dinkel (#511). There was no crew race.
Last week's column mentioned the yacht Hyperion, (computer-driven sailing vessel) that was sighted at the Americas' Cup Finals. Also in Auckland watching Team New Zealand and Prada go at it, was Affinity, the new boat built by local sailors, John and Adrienne Thomson. This 151 foot custom yacht, built by Delta Marine, was the cover story in the May edition of ShowBoats International. Of interest is the time frame in which Affinity was built. With attention to detail that both the Thomsons and the owners of Delta Marine demanded, it is amazing that the boat was completed in 22 months, arriving in Aukland in December for the final rounds of America's Cup competition. To get a perspective of the size of Affinity: specs include the installation of a boat deck crane used to launch and retrieve the yacht's 29-foot, 7,000-pound Pursuit tender, a flybridge that features a large lap pool-cum-whirlpool spa, and a boat deck that is capable of allowing helicopter service. Wouldn't it be a treat to see Affinity in Manhasset Bay?
When one thinks of the sailors in the 18th and 19th centuries, an image that comes to mind may be of big, burly sailors embracing arduous and perilous travels on the high seas. The Seaman's Church Institute's current exhibit, called Woolies: Sailors' Embroidered Folk Art, adds another dimension to our thinking of these sailors of long ago. Using down time, sailors would spend their lonely hours embroidering British warships, people and historical events. Called woolies, these heirlooms of sailing history date from the 1850s to the 1880s and were the work of hands more familiar to rigging than to needle and thread. It follows, though, that sailors, who repair sails and mend their own clothing, could transfer their skills to produce these primitive, technically correct pictures. The exhibit is on display through May and is open to the public. Lunch is available on-site. The Seamen's Church Institute, 241 Water Street, New York City. The Seamen's Church Institute was founded in 1834 to advocate for the personal and professional well-being of merchant mariners from around the world.