This week's reporter is Andrea Watson
The IC Dinghy National Championships always attracts the top sailors from ports along the eastern seaboard. This year was no exception. Sixty-three teams of competitors descended on our harbor last Friday, Saturday and Sunday, April 21-16, to test their small boat racing skills against the best of the best. Sailors who sail many one-design boats (Snipes, Vanguards, Lasers, 470s) and larger boats during the spring, summer and fall seasons, turn to the IC dinghy class to maintain their competitive edge through the winter months. Held this year at the Manhasset Bay YC, the regatta felt like a very large family reunion. There were father/son, father/daughter teams, as well as teams made up of brother/sister, husband/wife and cousins. Rich duMoulin, well-known sailor from this bay who now sails out of Larchmont YC, crewed for his son. Three Hobart College sailing teammates, Jonathan Siener, Hobart '96 (from Manhasset Bay), Chad Corning, Hobart '94, and Ryan Donahue, Hobart '97 stayed at the home of the Siener family but competed on different boats. Graham Siener, who sails on the Brown University sailing team, also participated in the regatta. Especially delightful was the number of young children sighted in the area before and after racing. Sailors, who were in junior sailing programs not that long ago, were seen with children in tow as they readied their boats for the day's competition.
Each of the 63 boats was assigned to one of four divisions - the white, blue, orange or yellow and asked to display their division banner on the forestay of the boat. Teams compete in a round robin so that all competitors would sail against every other competitor. For example, the first race was white vs. blue, then orange vs. yellow, white vs. orange, etc. One complete round robin of six races would complete the regatta and allow awards to be presented.
Saturday brought rain, fog and very light wind. Under the expert direction of Principle Race Officer (PRO) Peter Lorson, the race committee managed to finish one round robin on Saturday, assuring the completion of the regatta. Indicative of the competitiveness of this group of sailors, and almost predictable, so many boats were over early at the start of the first race that two general recalls were called. This forced the RC to put I and Z rules in effect, which basically keeps the sailors behind the line until the race starts. Subsequent starts necessitated the use of I and Z rules. The lack of wind and the way it shifted all day was frustrating to both sailors and RC. Races were delayed, courses changed, start lines moved forward or aft depending on the wind shifts. But each race beat the time limit and by end of day, six races were completed.
Sunday's weather was worse. Fog that wouldn't lift and no wind delayed racing until 1 p.m., at which time the RC canceled racing for the day. The awards ceremony began shortly after the decision to cancel racing. Jim Bowers was the overall winner of the regatta, a repeat performance of last year. Top sailors and crews: 1. Jim Bowers/Myrna Chan MacRae (Winthrop), 2 Paul Adam/Kim Queene (Winthrop), 3. Steve Benjamin/Adam Walsh (Larchmont), 4. Ned Roseberry/Felicity Ryan (Larchmont), 5. Chad Demarest/Chick Fagan (Scituate), 6. Ben Cesare/Kim Cesare (Larchmont), 7. Dan Ronan/Storm Snaith(Larchmont), and 8. Bob Monro/Francesca Monro (Larchmont). The B-Fleet winners: Bill Heintz/Anthony Law (Larchmont), and 2. Philip Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon (Manhasset Bay). John Browning/Laura Browning (Manhasset Bay) won in the Master division. Doug Morea/Jason Hill (Manhasset Bay) won the top junior award. Most improved was Stephen Braverman/Kyung Byun (Winthrop). For complete results, visit the IC Dinghy National Championship website at www.mbycic.org.