Two of the local yacht clubs held their annual awards ceremony recently. The Port Washington YC awarded two of their most prestigious awards at the Commodore's Ball on Saturday, Nov. 4. Sharon and Joe Abruzzo won the Martin F. Stein Trophy for Participation In Club Activities. Norman Geller won the Everett B. Morris Trophy for Overall Contribution to Yachting. The following Saturday, Nov. 11, PWYC held their annual awards dinner. The awards: The Commodore's Bowl for the best competitive performance by a PWYC yacht was awarded to Al Albrecht. The Nor'easter Bowl for the best one design performance over the season was awarded to Bob Schmidt. Bob Limoggio won the Rainbow Bowl, awarded to the PWYC yacht with the best performance in an YRA sanctioned event, for his Around Long Island Race Performance. Carol and Bill McFaul won the Luther B. Beck Trophy, for Outstanding Sportsmanship in yachting. Al Albrecht won the Buccaneer Trophy, awarded to the skipper with the best-corrected time performance in the annual PWYC YRA Day Race. The Breakaway Crew Trophy, awarded to the crew member who best demonstrated outstanding skill and spirit was awarded to Dan Hanley. The Mayero Race Committee Awards for excellence in regatta management was awarded to Joan and Duncan MacInnes, for their handling of Blue Jay Race week.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, the Knickerbocker YC held its annual awards ceremony presided over by Race Committee Chairman Arthur Kass, and Junior Sailing Chairman Perry Lengton. Junior sailors David Lindenbaum and Brian Kutner, Leah and Asher Feldman were honored, as well as active woman racers Leslie Lindenbaum (Promise Kept) and Susan Wong (R Wave). Awards for the annual Knickerbocker Day race went to Kevin Lowes, and Jon Helfat, as well as yachts Matriarch, Avalanche and Zero Gravity. Perpetual awards for excellence went to Ira Futterman (R Wave), Sandy Lindenbaum (Promise Kept) one design sailors Jerry Morea (Sonars) and Bernie Shore (KOD's). The Bonnie Laurie trophy awarded annually to a woman sailor for yachting achievements was presented to P/C Ed du Moulin in memory of Eleanor du Moulin. David Lindenbaum won the Knickerbocker Yacht Club Board of Governors Trophy for outstanding performance by a KYC Junior sailor.
On Sunday, Nov. 19, nine frostbite skippers and crew completed four races and one crew race in their IC dinghies. The finishers: A Division: 1. Bob Kirtland/David Cornachio (#707), 2. Ted Tombs/Monique Gaylor (#514), and 3. John Browning/Laura Browning (#531). The day's racing was quite competitive as the score difference between first and second, and between second and third place was only one point. Kelly Barry/Adam (last name unavailable) was first in B Division. Matt Himmler won the crew race.
For those readers who think winter frostbiting is an edge sport, take note. One of the most radical ideas to hit the dinghy races began at the Houston Yacht Club last weekend; the first-ever Vanguard 15 Lunar Regatta. Tower stadium lights were trucked in to line a jetty as 13 Vanguard-15's adorned with glow sticks and flashlights competed in over 20 knots of cold, winter breeze. As if things were not challenging enough, the course required starboard mark roundings for the benefit of the over 100 spectators. Spectators lined the jetty avoiding the biting cold by remaining in their cars, honking their horns as boats screamed within 20 yards before flying around the jibe mark. 1999 Vanguard National Champion, Kevin Funsch, described crossing the fleet on port as truly frightening, but a blast." Baylor U. College sailor Brent Marsden won the 5-race event, second place went to ICYRA North American Singlehanded Champion, Bruce Mahoney.
On Saturday, Nov. 25 at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Technical Representative Hans-Kurt Andersen officially welcomed teams representing the U.S., Australia, Bermuda, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and The Netherlands to the Rolex 2000 ISAF Women's World Match Racing Championship. Unfortunately, the recent controversy with the I.S.A.F. to drop match racing for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens in favor of fleet racing has put somewhat of a damper on this year's competitors. And to add to this astonishing announcement, the first day of racing had to be cancelled due to black skies, pouring rain, and no sign of wind for the better part of the afternoon. "It's only a slight delay in the schedule. We have a half-day of racing to make up," said event Co-Chair Pat Seidenspinner (St. Petersburg, Fla.). "It's very doable to complete a full round in one day, but it will take a lot of stamina by the teams." Maybe the stamina displayed by these top women sailors can be channeled to encourage the I.S.A.F. to reconsider their decision. Two competitors in St. Petersburg for the regatta commented on the unexpected decision by the I.S.A.F. Dawn Riley, who was in Port Washington for the Knickerbocker Cup in early October, commented, "match racing brought visibility to women sailors, it brought sponsors, and it brought Olympic-level sailing to a lot of women who couldn't find it elsewhere." Betsy Alison (Newport, RI), #2 in the world and the winner of the 1998 Women's World Match Racing Championship, agrees with Riley. "Match racing is great for spectators. There are lots of quick races with very close, exciting matches ... It seems a shame to lose that opportunity to make sailing more publicly accessible." To be continued.