Spring is finally here. Several boats have been sighted sailing on the bay, the boat yards are full of activity, the Thirsty Thursday series has begun, and sailors and landlubbers alike are hoping for good breezes to carry us throughout the warm season ahead.
Several teams of local sailors competed in the American YC Spring Series over the last two weekends, April 29, 30 and May 6, 7. John Browning (Manhasset Bay YC) sailed on Wonder, an ILC 46 designed by Bill Tripp. Skipper Steve Van Dyke and crew came in fifth overall. Sandy Lindenbaum, from Knickerbocker YC, sailed with his 13-year-old son David and other crew on their boat, Promises Kept, coming in fourth for the series. Other boats from our bay: R Waves (Knickerbocker YC), More War Stories (Knickerbocker YC), Kamikaze (Port Washington YC) and Avalanche (Port Washington YC). John Thomson (Manhasset Bay YC) sailed the first weekend on Infinity.
When we think of the sailing season on Manhasset Bay, pictures of one-design boats or the larger PHRF rated boats come to mind. Our area has another group of sailors who sail remote-controlled model boats on the Mill Pond. Your reporter spoke to two model boat owners, who are new to model boat competition, but are seasoned sailors. Greg Danilek and Mike McAllister launched their newly built models off the dock where the Frostbite YC Race Committee had set up a finish line for the Long Distance Race. These two friends practiced starts and completed several races until the big boats (IC dinghies) arrived at the finish line and threatened their safety. Model boats compete on Saturday (Odom class) and Sundays (Marblehead class) from approximately 10 a.m.-1 p.m. Readers may enjoy taking a stroll down by the water to the Mill Pond to watch these miniature, but completely outfitted, boats compete.
The June issue of Soundings has an article of interest. Alder Allensworth, a hospice counselor from St. Petersburg, Florida, was diagnosed in 1990 with a rare form of cancer, adno cystic carcinoma, and given a 10 percent chance of survival. Ten years later she is cancer-free and is cruising 2,000 miles from Florida to Maine in a 12-foot dinghy, a modified Bauer 12. Her purpose is to spread the word that there is life after a severe trauma. According to Allensworth, "You have to get out there and live," and sailing has helped her do that. She will also raise money for SAlt (Sailing Alternatives) programs. SAlt is a 7-year-old education program that uses sailing to help the disabled recover their lives. Modified for the disabled, the program uses 2.4 meter solo sailboats and Sonars. Expected to arrive in Maine sometime in July or August, Allensworth will sail the 12,000 miles the same way she advises others getting back into life after severe injury or disease "...get out there and do it one step at a time." Our thoughts are with this incredible woman - may she have good wind, fair weather and arrive safely in Maine.