On Saturday, March 24, six teams of sailors enjoyed a glorious afternoon on Manhasset Bay. The sun was bright, the sky blue with scattered white clouds adding interest and the winds varying from 6-8, with higher gusts. It was a great day to be on the water. Race Committee kept the sailors happy (translate busy) with seven races and one crew race. Results for the day: 1. Fee Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon (#121), 2. Matt Kelly/Susan Kinsey (#769) and 3. Bob Kirtland/David Cornachio (#707). Susan Kinsey won the crew race.
The Race Committee hard at work. Left to right: Lynn Kochendorfer, Ed du Moulin, Dick Field, Peter Bergen, Alan Wofford, Herb Schmidt and Bill Brakman. Not shown (as they were manning the race course): Sue Miller, George Graf, Gerhard Weber, John Barry and Michael Yorke.
It seems hard to believe that the frostbiting spring series is almost over, and the final sail of the season - the Long Distance race - is just around the corner. As predictable as night turning into day, sailors thoughts turn to preparing their boats for the upcoming season, and conversations are sprinkled with debates on the best boat paint, getting their boat launched and finding good crew. As this column is finalized for the Port News Monday deadline, snow is falling and worse yet, accumulating on the ground. So what might be more difficult to fathom is the concept of warmer weather, and when it might arrive on Manhasset Bay. But in spite of the wintry weather, sailors are getting organized for the summer. The Cow Bay Cruising Association (CBCA), more commonly known as Thirsty Thursdays, will hold an organizational and awards meeting at the Port Washington YC at 7:30 p.m. on April 19. Racing will begin with a Warm Up series (May 3, 10, 17) a Spring Series (May 25 - July 12), followed by their Fall Series (July 19 - Sept. 6.)
There were seven Americas' Cup crews among the 12 teams that competed in the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup, on Perth's Swan River, held this past week, from March 21 through the 25th. Peter Gilmour and his Pazza La Team, representing the One World America's Cup challenge, won the Sun Microsystems Australia Cup for a record fifth time. The Perth born and bred skipper made it look easy, as he demolished Gavin Brady sailing for Italy's Prada Challenge, in two straight races. He has produced the most dominant performance by any skipper in the 18 year history of the event, winning 25 races from 26 starts, over the five days. American skipper Ken Read sailing for Dennis Conner's Stars & Stripes Cup campaign through the New York Yacht Club, who is competing in his first grand prix match racing event, gave a particularly impressive performance. He took third place after a shoot out with Magnus Holmberg, who finishes fourth for the second week in a row. Explaining his success, Read praised his tactician, "Terry Hutchinson is awesome at seeing the water, so we feel like in shifty conditions that we have a strength," he said. The competition on the water has been fearsome, and it is an indication of the depth of talent in the field, that big names like Gilmour Dickson and Gavin Brady are on the bottom half of the ladder. Results: 1. Peter Gilmour (USA) 2. Gavin Brady (ITA) 3. Ken Read (USA) 4. Magnus Holmberg (SWE) 5. Luc Pillot (FRA) 6. Chris Dickson (USA) 7. Jes-Gram Hansen (DEN) 8. Neville Wittey (AUS) 9. Jesper Radich (DEN) 10. James Spithill (USA) 11. Andy Beadsworth (GBR) 12. Nicola Celon (ITA). Event website www.rpyc.com.au; Swedish Match Tour website: www.swedishmatchgp.com.
Following the results of the Swedish Match Grand Prix sailing tour may or may not give readers an edge on who might be the ultimate winner of the next America's Cup. According to Gavin Brady, who is 4th overall in the tour after five events, with three more to go, said "Going out and doing 20 Grade 2 regattas isn't going to win you the America's Cup. You might become a good match racer in small boats, but once you can compete and have a good feel for the rules, it really comes down to being able to sail those 80-foot, 25-ton boats. It's a completely different story. You have all the other elements: 16 guys to manage, as well as the risk that every time you luff you could break three pieces of equipment."
A terrific book by Sidney Bressler, titled Reynolds Beal: Impressionist Landscapes and Seascapes was loaned to your reporter last week. Beal is a contemporary of American Impressionist painter Frederick Childe Hassam, J. Dudley Murphy and Ernest Lawson and was influenced by his mentor, William Merrit Chase. Much of Beal's work has gone unrecognized until recently, because Beal's wealth afforded him the luxury of painting for the pure pleasure of artistic expression, rather than for commercial purposes. Beal's passion for the sea and all things nautical inspired him to create paintings that capture the play of light and shadow on the sea in all its moods.
Born in the Morrisania section of the Bronx, Beal painted seascapes in New York, including several of Manhasset Bay and Plum Beach Point. Other paintings depict scenes from the east end of Long Island Sound, Block Island, the coast of Maine and Rockport, where he retired later in life, Newport, RI, Key West, the Bahamas, Egypt, Africa, Singapore. A favorite titled High Seas, South Atlantic (1934) depicts two individuals on the deck of a ship as she progresses through huge waves. The diminutive figures juxtaposed against enormous waves serves as yet another reminder of the power and beauty of the sea. Reynolds Beal: Impressionist Landscapes and Seascapes is a treasure.