After a very long winter, Mother Nature proved that she did not forget us. The wait was worth every minute, as she outdid herself in providing a spectacular weekend. Both days were warm with sunny skies, and a wonderful breeze that caressed our faces. Thoughts of sailing in near and far harbors were utmost in every sailor's mind, and an impatience set in as we all were eager to finish preparing our boats and take that long-awaited first sail of the year. To add a final touch to the beautiful picture that Mother Nature provided us, several boats were seen sailing out on Manhasset Bay, and there were model boats sailing on the Mill Pond. Spring is finally here for good, bringing longer days, warmer weather, and hope for a safe, exciting and enjoyable sailing season with good winds on our bay and Long Island Sound.
The frostbiters at the start of one of the races. Seen on the right is #603 (Matt Kelley/Lynn Korchendorfer) who came in first for the day, #661 (Jonathan Siener/Eva Lund) who placed second, and on the left, #121 ("Fee" Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon) who captured third place.
Our frostbiters had a terrific day of sailing on Sunday, April 18. The wind was all over the bay, shifting frequently, giving our skippers and crews many challenges, one of which was staying upright. The wind was so shifty that the Race Committee changed the course from the standard windward-leeward course (for lighter wind) to a "no jibe" courses (for higher winds with gusts) for four races. Because of the diligence of the RC and the skills of our frostbite teams, there were no capsizes, although there were a few close calls. Teams could hear "stand by" after each race, as RC rushed to move marks around the bay to provide the best course. They did this in quick fashion, allowing eight races to be completed for the day. Hats off to the Race Committee who did such a fine job on Sunday, and to all the competitors who showed excellent skills in reading the wind shifts. The last day of racing under the Frostbite burgee will be the Long Distance Race on Saturday, April 24, with the rain date set for Sunday, April 25. After racing will be the annual picnic that officially ends frostbiting, and launches the beginning of the warm weather sailing season. Results for Sunday, April 18: 1. #603, Matt Kelley/Lynn Korchendorfer, 2. #661, Jonathan Siener/Eva Lund, and 3. #121, Philip "Fee" Mitropoulos/ Amelia Amon.
Mill Pond was abuzz with activity this past weekend. Young families enjoyed watching the ducks glide through the water, couples enjoyed strolling around the pond, and neighbors gathered on benches to catch up on the latest family news. Members of the Mill Pond Model Yacht Club provided a lovely backdrop to those who came to the pond on Saturday, as six members (Greg Danilek, Damian Devereaux, Davey James, George Huntington, Perry Lengton, Robert Ward) brought their Odoms to the pond for a "tune up" series, which will continue on next Saturday, April 24. Davey James was spotted doing what he does very well, helping a fellow racer, Robert Ward, fine tune his boat. Not surprising, Davey adjustments to the boat were just right, because Ward came in second for the day. Results for the first day of the tune-up series (7 races): 1. Greg Danilek, 2. Robert Ward, and 3. George Huntington.
Of interest are several dates: Don't forget the CBCA meeting tonight at North Shore YC. Your input is needed and during the meeting you will have a chance to register for the coming season. So don't miss your chance to plan the season, enjoy the camaraderie of fellow sailors, and secure your Thursday evening sail Another date that readers won't want to miss is Wednesday, May 5. Alan Dinn will be at the Port Washington YC to talk about the Purdy Boat Company, and discuss his book, Boats by Purdy. This should be an interesting evening, as Alan will become a nautical historian, relating stories from the Purdy Boatyard, and their close connection to local families familiar to Port residents. You won't want to miss this event which is open to the public. The evening begins at 8 p.m.
As a follow-up to last week's column that mentioned Phil Trinter, the Olympic hopeful in the Star Class who will be sailing with Paul Cayard. We have it on good word that these two have a good chance of winning a medal at the Olympics. According to Gary Jobson, who knows what he is talking about, "If he stays focused he's definitely a medal contender," said commentator Gary Jobson, who will cover the competition for NBC. "He's one of the few sailors to make the transition from small boats to big boats, then go back successfully. That's very rare." And Cayard, who after spending much of his career as a professional skipper competing in big boats around the world, finds being back in the Star boat very "satisfying." He continued, "I earn my living sailing big boats but I spend my own money to sail Stars, which shows how I feel. The Star for me represents where I learned my skills. It's a class that collects the best of the best, where winning the worlds represents perhaps the highest achievement in sailing. The boat is intriguing, with a very complex rig and a lot of sail to control with just two crew. They've changed the weight limits to make it more athletic, which plays to the younger sailors and makes it that much more challenging to a 44-year-old. I took it on, and with my training I'm stronger now than I was at 28 when I won the worlds."
Speaking of Gary Jobson, he won't be at the Congressional Cup to receive his honorary Crimson Blazer after all. Jobson, one of the sport's most respected international TV commentators and author, won't be in Long Beach, CA as he was forced to cancel because of recurring health problems associated with his battle with lymphoma. Jobson was to receive the blazer in recognition for his long-term contributions to the sport. Jobson in an e-mail to the committee wrote, "You can't imagine how disappointed I am to miss the Long Beach event. I was really touched that LBYC thought of me. This most recent setback has been the toughest of the past year because it was unexpected. I'm now working with a physical therapist to get walking again. What a tough road. But I fully intend to recover." In Jobson's absence, Bill Dalessi, himself an honorary recipient as one of the founders of the Congressional Cup, will received the blazer for him during the Skippers Dinner, held before the start of the Congressional Cup. Let's keep Gary in our thoughts and prayers as he struggles with this phase of his illness.