The annual New Year's Frostbiting Regatta was held over Dec. 30, 31, and Jan. 1. Due to snow, ice and high winds, the first two days of the regatta were cancelled. The last day of the regatta was spectacular, and well worth waiting for. Bright sunshine, good winds, and cold weather characterized the day - perfect for the nine races that were completed. Because there was ice surrounding Kraus' Kastle, the race committee ran the races off the western float of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club dock. The fleet was somewhat diminished in numbers compared to last year, when the weather was not so severe. Six teams of IC dinghy sailors and two teams of Penguin sailors competed, with three lasers joining the fleet for their first appearance in the regatta. The winners in the IC Dinghy class: 1. Steve Benjamin/Dave Bosa (Larchmont), 2. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry (MBYC), and 3. Paul-Jon Patin/Anne Patin (Larchmont). The winner in the Penguin class was Malcolm Hendry/Nick Nilsen (Centerport). The winner of the Laser class was Rick Dominique from North Shore. Following are the winners of the perpetual awards with a short description of the award: Pedro Lorson - Robert W. Fraser Memorial Trophy (winner of the Past Commodores' Race) and the Hemry A. Alker Perpetual Trophy (outstanding MBYC skipper), Steve Benjamin - the Sam Wetherill Trophy (outstanding interclub skipper), Malcolm B. Hendry - the Geoffrey C. Hazzard Frostbite Trophy (outstanding performance in the penguin class), and Rick Dominique sailing a Laser #166 won the Baker-Tayler Founders Trophy (highest percentage in any class).
The annual meeting of the Frostbite Yacht Club took place in the Grill Room at MBYC after the conclusion of sailing. Malcolm Hendry, commodore of the Frostbite Yacht Club, opened the meeting and requested eight bells in honor of Louise Haney who passed away during the past year. While Louise did not actually sail in the small boats, she was an active advocate for the frostbiters and each member was very dear to her. Next on the agenda was the traditional Wassail Bowl and Commodore Hendry offered a toast to all frostbiters. Then the fun began. Reports from Secretary Bob Black, Treasurer Steve Moore for Bob Mitchell (Mr. Mitchell was in Miami Beach attending a lecture of election procedures), and Chief Measurer John Browning were enjoyed by all. Special awards were next - an example of their serious nature follows: Chief Boat Wrecker. This coveted award has a long history in the Frostbite Yacht Club. Not only is today's winner an enthusiastic member of one of the greatest Frostbiting families, but also, she is the first crew ever to receive this honor. Indeed, having reached an age when most crews (including her mother) have long since decided to trade in the high rail for the brass rail, she remains the most ardent of Frostbiters. The episode in question occurred last year when, despite her slight frame, Mimi gave such a vigorous tug on the shroud of Lunatic Express, that Pedro's (Lorson) treasured gold mast snapped off at the gooseneck. Therefore, on this first day of January, 2001, for destroying her brother's irreplaceable heavy weather mast, Mimi Lorson Berry is named: Chief Boat Wrecker, Family Bliss Division, with Gold Anodized Clusters. She is to be accorded all the rights accruing thereto forever.
On a more serious note, new officers were elected to the board of the Frostbite Yacht Club for the year 2001: Paul-Jon Patin, commodore; Teresa Bouchard, vice commodore; Philip Mitropoulos, rear commodore; Bob Black, fleet captain; harbor master, Dan Coughlin; dock captain, Mimi Berry; secretary, Steve Benjamin; treasurer, Bob Mitchell; and measurer, John Browning.
Other news. A very interesting international race is taking place that readers may like to follow. It is simply called The Race, a 27,000-mile, nonstop sail around the world. With crews of 12 to 15 sailors on each boat, ranging in length from 88 to 125 feet, six mega-catamarans left Barcelona, Spain on Dec. 31, and will attempt to finish off Marseille, France with a world record of at least a week less than the previous record of 71 days 14 hours. According to Herb McCormick of The New York Times "in the 30-year history of globe-circling sailboat racing, no one has seen anything quite so audacious or ambitious as the race." Boats/skippers are: Club Med/Grant Dalton, Playstation/Steve Fossett, Innovation Explorer/Skip Novak and Loick Peyron, Team Legato/Tony Bullimore, Warta Polpharma/Roman Paszke and Team Adventure/Cam Lewis. Many may recall that Cam Lewis was in Port Washington to speak for the Nautical Center at the library. He will be filing periodic reports of life at sea in the sports section of The NY Times until the scheduled finish in Marseille at the end of February. On January first, Team Adventure was in first place, but leader positions are constantly changing. Positions as of Jan. 7 at 8:30 GMT: 1. Club Med, 2. Innovation Explorer, 3. Team Adventure, 4. Playstation, 5. Warta Polpharma, and 6. Team Legato.
Readers will be able to watch the race on Virtual Spectator on a special version available for download from the official website courtesy of France Telecom. This version is available free of charge and includes the leaderboard and 3D animation allowing you to zoom in and out on the fleet, change your camera angles and select the boats you want to watch. For the first time in an offshore race, the data will be updated every four hours so spectators will be able to be right with the boats and watch their every move. Go to www.therace.org for more information.
New Year's Regatta winners (l. - r.): Paul-Jon Patin, Anne Patin, Dave Bosa, Steve Benjamin, Mimi Berry holding her daughter and future frostbiter, Courtney and Pedro Lorson.