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Spring appears to have arrived on Manhasset Bay. As gardeners search for evidence of new growth on trees and shrubs, boaters are populating local boatyards, preparing their boats for launch. It is a busy and exciting time by the water, as thoughts turn to the first sail of the season. This year that first sail will be especially sweet after the long and harsh winter we have endured.

Welcome to our new Bay Constable. Standing on the Town of North Hempstead Town Dock, left to right: Andrew Hyman, Mallory Nathan, Tony D'Urso.

There was no frostbiting over the weekend due to the holiday. The last day of frostbiting will be the Long Distance Race on April 28, followed by the annual clambake after the conclusion of racing. Several members of the Manhasset Bay frostbite fleet will participate in the Interclub Dinghy National Championship, held this year at Indian Harbor YC, in Greenwich CT on April 21-22. Results to follow.

A while ago, this column carried the Town of North Hempstead's announcement that Jimmy Flemings, our Bay Constable of 25 years, was planning to retire. After an extensive search for a new Bay Constable, the town is very pleased to announce that they have located a successor to Jimmy: Mallory Nathan of Williston Park, New York. Mr. Nathan is no stranger to North Hempstead waters. He has worked as a part-time bay constable for the town since June 1999, and has run the town pumpout boat, which services vessels in Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay, and portions of Little Neck Bay. He has also skippered and maintained a Montauk charter vessel for the past 13 years, and a 35-foot sportfishing boat since 1990.

"We conducted an extensive search, receiving over 30 resumes and interviewing 10 candidates, and we found none of them had the experience that Mallory Nathan had patrolling North Hempstead's baywaters and maintaining our fleet of four vessels," commented Andrew Hyman, North Hempstead's commissioner of public safety and harbor master. Town Supervisor, May Newburger was also pleased with the selection. "I have every confidence that Mr. Nathan will fill the shoes that Jimmy Flemings so capably filled for 25 years," she said. "With Mr. Nathan as bay constable, the boaters of Hempstead Harbor, Manhasset Bay, and the North Hempstead side of Little Neck Bay will be in good hands."

The 37-year-old Nathan, is a graduate of Hicksville High School and Nassau Community College, former maintenance engineer for the Helen Keller School in Sands Point, and is married with three children. This spring, when the weather is warm and the breezes cool off the bay, readers may enjoy strolling down by our beautiful waterfront. Why not take a moment to stop by the town dock and extend a warm welcome to Mr. Nathan.

There are rumors that Craig McCaw, of OracleRacing, and his OneWorld Americas Cup campaign may be close to foundering. Last week, McCaw was looking for commercial partners for his syndicate, as his financial base has been hard hit by the downturn in the US technology stock sector. They need to raise $20 million in the near future to continue their challenge, and begin the planned four-boat testing in the waters off Ventura. To complicate matters, OneWorld is not yet an official challenger because they have not partnered with a yacht club as required by the deed of gift. They missed the initial deadline, and will be assessed a late fee of an additional $150,000. Part of the problem with finding a yacht club to sponsor OneWorld is Ellison's insistence on significantly more control for the challenge, which most yacht clubs are reluctant to give.

While the McCaw group may be manufacturing a financial crisis to attract potential sponsors, it appears that there is a strong chance that the project will fold. Updates to follow as information becomes available.

With the Congressional Cup planned for April 25-29 on the west coast, it is great to report that women sailors have a similar event. The Newport Harbor YC (Balboa, CA) hosted the four-day event for the Bettina Bents Memorial Regatta, which this year is sailed for the first time as a match racing event. Called the Women's Match Race Invitational for the Bettina Bents Memorial, Karen Johnson and her crew Cynthia desBrisay and Cathy McPherson came in first by winning the last race in the best of three finals over Pease Glaser. Johnson's margin of victory was seven seconds in a tightly contested match. Glaser's crew included Ruth Paulling and Beth Marangola. Dawn Riley and her crew of Krysia Pohl and Ashley Perrin came in third place. The semifinals and finals took place Sunday, April 8, in 6-10 knot winds in the ocean off Newport Beach. Wouldn't it be great to have a similar event on the east coast?


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