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This was a weekend of contrasts. Saturday was rainy and cold for a mid-summer day, but Sunday, defying forecasters' predictions, was partly sunny with variable winds that made for a pleasant day for outdoor activity. Racing also provided a sharp contrast, this time between the "big boats" competing in the weekly Thirsty Thursday competition, and the model boats participating in the Mill Pond Model YC's annual Ned Wagner Regatta.

Your reporter joined Kelly Barry, Thirsty Thursday RC chair, on the Worry Wart to watch the eighth race of the spring-summer series. With a spectacular sunset as a backdrop, the PHRF-rated boats were beautiful with their large sails glistening in the early evening sun. Even in fairly light breeze, the power of these magnificent boats was exciting to watch. The results: Course BDC. Division I: 1. Xcite, 40774. Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Promise Kept, #260, Sandy Lindenbaum, and 3. Rainmaker, #777, Bill McFaul. Division II results: 1. Happy Daze II, #216, Tom Egan, 2. Beowulf, #41736, David Deutsch, and 3. Irish Blessing, #466, Ed Gillen. Division III results: 1. Tootsie, 18, Ron Fink, 2. En Passant, #244, Bob Ebenau, and 3. Eden, #930, Klaus Marreck. Thirsty Thursday competitors are looking forward to their annual Hawaiian Night, which will be held on Thursday, July 20. Skippers, crew, family and friends will gather at the Port Washington YC for the festivities and receive the results of the Spring-Summer Series. Series results next week.

Sunday, July 16, was a terrific day to be outside and enjoy the various leisure-time activities that Port Washingon has to offer. One such activity was the Mill Pond Model YC's annual Ned Wagner Regatta, named after the well-known model boat sailor, Ned Wagner, who died in 1996. Nine boats competed in the regatta this year, representing several model yacht clubs in the metropolitan NY area, and one sailor, David Coode, representing the Guildford Model YC, located in Thorpe Park, near Heathrow Airport, London, England. The regatta was restricted to Marblehead boats, also called M5800, because they are 50 inches long and have a sail area limited to 800 sq. inches. Weighing between 10-12 pounds, these boats are considered a developmental class because the owners can modify all parts of the boat except for the length and the sail area. Nicknamed by some as the "boat of the week," owners can experiment with things like keel depth and keel weight to see if changing the design of the boat will make the boat more competitive. Thus winners in the Marblehead class demonstrate not only boat-handling skills (as with the one design boats) but also design expertise. Even though they are small, these boats have all the adjustments that a large boat sports, and are considered "highly sophisticated boats." After a full morning of nine races, during which time several bikers and parents strolling with infants in prams and older children in tow stopped to enjoy the view, the competitors gathered for lunch and the awards ceremony. The group warmly greeted Helen Wagner, daughter of the late Ned Wagner, along with her 10-year-old son, Albert and her 4-month-old infant, Luke. The top three winners received a navy cap and will have their names inscribed on a plaque that remains with the Mill Pond Model YC. The winners: 1. Lech Arciszewski (Mill Pond Model YC), 2. Jon Elmaleh (Central Park Model YC) and 3. Herman Estevez (Central Park Model YC). Of added interest: Lech Arciszewski built both the first and third place boats.

Readers may enjoy traveling to Mystic Seaport on the weekend of July 28-30 to watch the Championship Model Yacht Regatta and the "J" Challenge Cup Model Yacht Regatta, an American Model Yachting Association (AMYA) and US Vintage Model Yacht Group (VMYG) event. Beginning at 10 a.m. on Saturday, the Model Yacht Fleet Championship decides the national champion of model yachts. And on Sunday, from noon to 3 p.m., races re-create the 1930s America's Cup races such as Shamrock V vs. Enterprise (1930) and Endeavour vs. Ranger (1937). Six of the expected dozen radio-controlled sailing models will represent six of the original ten "J" boats. Throughout the weekend, the museum will exhibit a number of America's Cup model yachts outside of the "J" class era, including the wooden model of Columbia, America's Cup defender in 1899 and 1901. Other models representing 1980s and 1990s high-tech racing designs are expected along with eight-and-one-half foot, R/C (radio-controlled) model yacht of Intrepid. This model was converted from an actual 12-meter 1974 tow tank hull to a sailing model. Mystic Seaport is located at 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, Connecticut (860-572-5315).


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