The Sunday of Thanksgiving weekend brought interesting sailing conditions to Manhasset Bay. The day started out warm and sunny with little breeze, but once the boats were out on the bay, the wind picked up and racing was cancelled after three races. There were several capsizes, but all sailors and boats were rescued quickly and returned to safety on shore. The top boats for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson, 2. #514, Ted Toombs, and 3. #121, Fee Metropoulos. Crew names were unavailable at press time. The Scituate Frostbite Association, in conjunction with the Duxbury YC and the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, will host the Frostbite National Championship. Scheduled for next weekend, December 1-2 , sailing will take place on the waters of Duxbury Bay, approximately 30 miles south of Boston. For more information, contact the Event Chairman, Chad Demarest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those readers who are interested in college sailing, last weekend was a major regatta at the Chicago Yacht Club. The Timme Angsten Memorial Regatta offering three days of competitive double-handed racing, attracts college teams from across the country and is one of the premier events in collegiate sailing. Since 1947, more than half of college All-Americans have sailed in this regatta. Famous sailing alumni include America's Cup sailors Ted Turner, Gary Jobson (ESPN's Sailing Analyst) and Peter Isler. What is nice about this regatta is that all races are sailed in Belmont Harbor and can be viewed from shore. Doug Morea, who grew up in Port Washington, and was part of our local frostbite fleet until he left home for college, is a second year Midshipman at the U.S. Naval Academy. He, and his crew Lydia Pearson, from Poughkeepsie, NY, also a second year Midshipman, were in Chicago November 23-25, representing the Navy Sailing Team. Eighteen College teams competed in 36 races over the three-day holiday weekend. The first two days of sailing brought steady southerlies but Sunday was more typical harbor conditions, with gusty winds from multiple directions. Commenting on the wind, Doug said, " The wind coming down from the top of the buildings was as if a helicopter was on top of us. Wind would hit the water and shoot out in every direction."
Final results: 1. Washington, 149; 2. University of Rhode Island, 159; 3. Boston College, 160; 4. Brown, 165; 5. Navy, 256; 6. South Florida, 317; 7. UC - Berkeley, 325; 8. Kansas, 341; 9. Michigan, 343; 10. Queen's, 364. More info: http://www.chicagoyachtclub.org/
On November 13 in Lisbon, Portugal, the ISAF announced that Ellen MacArthur has been named the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year 2001 in recognition of her extraordinary successes in the 2000-2001 Vendée Globe single-handed circumnavigation. She proved that size doesn't matter by trouncing all except the winner to become the fastest single-handed female circumnavigator (second fastest sailor ever), completing the Vendée on her Open 60 Kingfisher in 94 days, having sailed 25,780 nautical miles, breaking the previous record by just over 30 days. After the Vendée, Ellen went on to be co-skipper on "Kingfisher" to win the EDS Atlantic Challenge (a five-leg race including transatlantic) and navigator on the winning 60-foot trimaran Foncia-Kingfisher for the Challenge Mondial Assistance (a 2700 mile race from Cherbourg, around the Azores, to Tarragona on the east coast of Spain). The renowned Brazilian Laser sailor, Robert Scheidt was named the ISAF Rolex World Sailor title in the male category. He has dominated the Laser Class over the years to such an extent that any sailor would be hard pushed to match across any other class, winning his fifth Laser World Championship title in 2001 (1995, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2001), alongside bullets at other major championships during the year, including the Central and South American Championships. These successes sit alongside his collection of Olympic Medals, a Gold in 1996 and Silver in 2000.
Peter Montgomery, a well-known British commentator, when referring to the America's Cup Jubilee, said, "the world will never see another sailing regatta like it again." For those of us who did not make it to Cowes last August to see the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the first America's Cup in 1851, the next best thing is the official video of the event that will take you to the Solent and the events of the historical regatta around the Isle of Wight. For more information, visit www.americascupjubilee.com.
Have you ever wondered why sailors seem to need to be on or near the water? President John F. Kennedy shared his thoughts on this conundrum in a September 1962 speech at the America's Cup races in Newport, RI. He said, "I really don't know why it is that all of us are so committed to the sea, except I think it's because in addition to the fact that the sea changes, and the light changes, and ships change, it's because we all came from the sea. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea - whether it is to sail or to watch it - we are going back from whence we came."