It's difficult to think "frostbiting" when the weather is warm, families are out cruising in their boats, and trips to the beach or a pool is the norm for the day. But last Friday evening, our die-hard frostbite sailors gathered together for an evening of laughs, dinner and awards for the 2001-2002 winter frostbite season. Fee Mitropoulos, who organized the evening, took over as master of ceremonies during the dessert portion of the evening to hand out the much-earned awards for the past winter's sailing season. He began by recognizing each member of the Race Committee, who each Sunday, be it cold, rainy or sometimes mild, set race courses that optimized wind conditions and pulled those unfortunate few out of the waters of Manhasset Bay after a capsize. RC members were delighted to receive a Frostbite burgee with the familiar white polar bear on a background of light blue, an identical burgee that is flown from the flagpole at MBYC each Sunday afternoon during the frostbite season. The winners of the 2002 Championship Series are: 1st Place Division A Championship Series (Fall, Winter and Spring): Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry. 2nd Place Division A Championship Series (Fall and Winter), and 3rd Place Division A (Spring): Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio. 3rd Place Division A Championship Series (Fall) and 2nd Place Division A (Spring): John Browning/Louise Browning. 1st Place Division B Championship Series (Winter): Fee Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon. 2nd Place Division B Championship Series (Winter and Spring): John Silbersack/Nichols Silbersack. 3rd Place Division B Championship Series (Fall): Stephanie Baas/Loretta Chiofolo/Dana Schnipper. 1st Place Division B Championship Series (Spring): Bob Kirtland/David Cornachio. 1st Place Division B Championship Series (Fall): Greg Corkett/Lynn Kochendorfer. 2nd Place Division B Championship Series (Fall): Laura Browning/Brian Kutner. 3rd Place Division B Championship Series (Spring): S. Kohlhaas. 1st Place, Crew Series: Mimi Berry. The last award was called "Rookie Season 2002" and was awarded to Laura Browning, the youngest skipper in the frostbite fleet. Once the "official" awards ceremony was completed, Herb Schmidt, Race Committee chairperson, awarded a very special (and important) award - The Culinary Expert Award. For those who have never spent a freezing Sunday afternoon on Kraus' Kastle in the middle of winter, this award loses some of its meaning. But every frostbiter in attendance last Friday evening, instantly agreed that Reed Whittemore, the recipient of this award, more than deserved the accolades. Reed, week after week, stood over the hot coals of the grill and made sure that the lunch was cooked to perfection and everyone was well fed. While Reed was appreciative of his newest honor, he most likely will not be quitting his day job to have a career in feeding the hungry masses in the metropolitan New York area. Congratulations to all.
Last Wednesday, July 10, Sail for America announced plans for their September 11 event at a press conference at the Ritz-Carlton New York, in Battery Park. According to Michael Fortenbaugh, chairman of the Organizing Committee, "Sail for America will be three things. First, it will be a memorial to the people who were lost. Second, it will be a symbolic rebirth for the City of New York. Third, it will be a tribute to the soaring spirit of America - out of great tragedy and destruction, we create a symbol of hope and beauty." Sail for America is being organized by a volunteer committee of more than 80 yacht clubs and other organizations. This committee has come together under the umbrella of the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation.
Sail for America is endorsed by US SAILING, the National Governing Body of the Sport of Sailing. Dave Rosekrans, president writes, "We at US SAILING, the National governing Body for the Sport of Sailing, would like to thank you and the other volunteers who are making 'Sail for America' a possibility... I encourage all US sailors, yacht clubs, and sailing organizations to make this gathering of sailboats a monumental experience for all."
Boats will arrive in three parades on Saturday, September 14, and will meet off Ground Zero. These parades will meet off Ground Zero at noon. Sailors are coming from all over the nation, and include many people who lost loved ones on 9/11 and wish to sail in their memory. Another parade is being considered to honor the rescue boats of 9/11. These are tugs, ferries, police boats, fireboats, charter boats and other vessels, which helped evacuated people last September in lower Manhattan.
Racing sailors will also be staging several memorial competitions in the harbor on this day. The Third Lady Liberty Regatta will bring some of the top women sailors in the nation to compete near the Statue of Liberty. The 35th Annual Mayors Cup Schooner Race organized by the South Street Seaport Museum will bring many historic boats to the harbor. And the Sail for America Organizing Committee will be running races for other keelboat classes including PHRF, IMS and One-Design boat categories.
Around Alone, the single-handed round-the-world race, will arrive in New York Harbor on Friday, September 13. The Intrepid Sea Air Space Museum will serve as host for the fleet of 20 state-of-the-art single-handed racing machines, which will be available for viewing until their start from Ground Zero at noon on Sunday, September 15. Brad Van Liew, one of American entries in Around Alone said, "This act of solidarity and support for New York's Sail for America project will be a special moment for us all. I feel fortunate to be able to take this message of unity and strength with me as I circumnavigate the globe."
Sail for America is supported by the New York Stock Exchange and Beneteau USA, a manufacturer of luxury sailboat, who is offering a new 361 Model sailboat which will be raffled off to help raise money for this event. Sail America, the nonprofit marketing arm of the sailing industry is helping Sail for America by asking companies to donate products for a silent auction. The items donated will be auctioned off to raise money to organize Sail for America. The Organizing Committee is inviting additional corporations to join Sail for America as a sponsor. "We are trying to create a gift to the nation. This event will remember and help to heal. Any corporations that wish to help make this vision happen are welcomed to join our effort," said Fortenbaugh.
Thirsty Thursday racing was cancelled on Thursday, July 11 due to lack of wind. Bay racing took place on the weekend of July 13-14, with a beautiful southerly on Saturday, but Sunday brought light, flukey winds for the sailors. Results were unavailable at press time.