On Sunday, Jan. 20, four boats raced on Manhasset Bay. The wind was "fluky", 4-10 knots out of the WNW, with the wind strong enough during one race to have crew hike to keep the IC dinghies flat. Winners for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/James O'Hanlon, 2. #531, John Browning/Louise Browning, and 3. #007, John Silbersack/Nichols Silbersack.
Information has become available about some local junior sailors who participated in the Orange Bowl Youth International Regatta held on December 27-30 on Biscayne Bay in Miami. Matt Himler, 15, competing in his third consecutive Orange Bowl Regatta, competed in the 65-sailor strong Laser Radial fleet. Teddy Himler, 12, also participating for the third consecutive time, and William Himler, 9, his second appearance, sailed for the Cow Harbor Sailing Team in the Championship Optimist Fleet of 138 sailors.
Several local sailors have migrated south to participate in the Terra Nova Trading/Yachting Key West Race Week, which started last Monday, Jan. 21 and will continue throughout the week. This year the current entry list consists of 324 boats--only two less than the record of 326 last year. Inshore racers from 24 to 70 feet are coming from 33 states--a Key West record, along with the total of 54 foreign entries. The first day's lack of wind forced the Race Committee to abandon racing for Division III and IV, but some fleets managed to complete races. Nan and Ben Hall, sailing on Wairere, a Thompson 30 came in first in class on Monday. Nan is the daughter of Claire Lowlicht, from Manhasset, who is married to Ben Hall, one of the owners of Hall Spars. Nan grew up sailing on Manhasset Bay and is a product of the Knickerbocker Junior Sailing Program. John Thomson, Manhasset Bay YC, sailing on Solution, a Farr 40, was 12th on the first day of sailing. Competition is fierce in the Farr 40 class, as the roster of celebrity tacticians include Terry Hutchinson, Robbie Haines, Chris Larson, Ed Baird, Tony Rey, Ed Adams, Thierry Peponnet and John Kolius. Ken Read, helmsman for Team Dennis Conner, and who has ties to our bay through his participation in the Knickerbocker Cup, is in first place on George David's Nelson/Marek 49, Idler. Final results next week.
For all the talk about a recession, the boating industry is doing just fine. Take for example, Joseph Vitorria, the former AVIS car rental CEO, who has recently commissioned the largest superyacht in the world. UK warship builder Vosper Thornycroft in Southampton is constructing the yacht. Mirabella V will be the biggest single-masted yacht ever constructed, measuring 75.2 meters (245 feet) and weighing 700 tons. The Mirabella V requires everything from new hi-tech sailcloth, new developments in rigging and captive hydraulic winches to be custom designed and built. And the boat shows are attracting record numbers this year. The next local show, the Long Island Boat Show, will be held at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, in Uniondale from Feb. 8-18. For those who don't mind traveling to Atlantic City, the Atlantic Sail Expo, which has been called the largest indoor display of sailboats and equipment on the East Coast, opens today, Thursday, Jan. 24 and runs through Sunday, Jan. 27 . More than 200 exhibitors will display boats ranging from 8- to 47 feet. Also on display will be a piece of the 110-foot catamaran Team Adventure, damaged last August in the North Atlantic during an attempt to set a speed record. The Team Adventure display is part of Atlantic Sail Expo's centerpiece exhibit on "Sailing into the Future." Cam Lewis and Larry Rosenfeld, co-founders of Team Adventure, will also be on hand to explain the educational efforts behind the vessel's voyage. Your reporter was fortunate to spend some time with Cam Lewis up in Bristol, RI, during the Herreshoff Marine Museum Annual Book Signing. If you attend the boat show, be sure you make time to speak to Cam. Also, the first plans for Operation Sail America will be announced Saturday morning at the show. The event is a "sailing extravaganza" planned for New York Harbor Sept. 14 to commemorate the Sept. 11 terrorist attack on the WTC.
Team Dennis Conner has announced two exciting developments. Perrotti Performance Design, LLC has joined forces with Team Dennis Conner in their bid to win the 2003 America's Cup. T.J. Perrotti, an accomplished naval architect and former America's Cup designer, will serve as Performance Manager for Team Dennis Conner and train with the crew on-site as they prepare for racing in Auckland, New Zealand. Also announced recently is the construction of a second Stars and Stripes, which is being built at New England Boatworks, in Portsmouth, RI. It is expected to join USA-66, the Reichel/Puch-designed yacht which was recently unveiled at the New York YC, in Long Beach by June 1. It is interesting to note that two major players in Team Dennis Conner's challenge for the America's Cup come from Long Island. Tom Rich, manager of New England Boatworks, grew up on the east end of Long Island in Southold, and Bill Trenkel, the president and chief operating officer of Team DC, hails from Garden City.
Calling all women sailors!! From February 21-24 the waters of Tampa Bay, off St. Petersburg, FL., will be the site of the Rolex Women's Match, an International Sailing Federation (ISAF) grade 4 women's match racing event. Organized to introduce women sailors to match racing, the regatta will feature a skills and rules clinic by match racing world champion and America's Cup skipper Ed Baird. Sailors of all skill levels are invited to apply at www.spyc.org. "Match racing is intoxicating," said Baird, a Rolex Yachtsman of the Year and St. Petersburg Yacht Club (SPYC) member. "I haven't met anyone who has tried match racing and not enjoyed it. Even the very best sailors will falter and make mistakes. With two boats there's going to be a winner. Everybody gets a chance to have a victory. Even if you don't win your race, all of your sailing skills improve and that makes it a satisfying experience." The SPYC will supply Sonar class keelboats. Baird, who has an enormous amount of match racing experience, has competed in the Knickerbocker Cup, a Grade 1 ISAF match racing regatta numerous times, winning the Cup in 1993, 1994, and again in 2000. He came in a close second to Peter Gilmour in 2001. Anyone involved with the Knickerbocker Cup would agree that Baird is a skilled sailor and a terrific competitor. His knowledge and enthusiasm for match racing should provide an excellent experience for all who plan to attend the Rolex Women's Match.