By Andrea Watson
The North Shore Yacht Club day race is this Saturday, June 19th. There are both spinnaker and non-spinnaker fully crewed divisions, an non-spinnaker double handed division and a "Cruising Canvas" division. Only boats with roller furling are eligible for the "Cruising Canvas" division and there is no crew limit for this division. The Race Committee will assigning a temporary rating certificate for this regatta if sailors don't already have one. All participants are invited back to the club after the race for complimentary refreshments and good cheer. So join the fun and be out on Manhasset Bay this Saturday.
Newport, RI will be the place to be this weekend and during the following week for two reasons: the Newport to Bermuda Race and the US Trophy Regatta. The start of the 2004 Newport- Bermuda race begins on Friday, June 18th. For the first time, Race Organizing Committee will present two "Family Participation Prizes", one for the Americap(tm) II Non-Spinnaker Division and one for the IMS Cruiser/Racer Divisions. Among a host of new and returning competitors, Skip Sheldon's St. David's Lighthouse winner Zaraffa and Bob Towse's Gibb's Hill Lighthouse winner Blue Yankee will be back to defend their 2002 titles. Ninety-two-year-old Jim Mertz will be back again in AMERICAP NS in the Beneteau 42 Allegra sailing his 30th thrash to the Onion Patch. Peter Ribovich will return to defend his Class 1 win in his Cal 40. Reeves Potts will return in his M&R 48 Carina to defend Class 3, John Santa will take his Swan 47 Galadriel to defend Class 4 and Frank Eberhart sailing his Neilson 60 Hound will defend his title in Class 6. The June 18th Newport Bermuda Race is a pivotal race of the Onion Patch Series, raced for the North American IMS Championship. For more information, visit: www.bermudarace.com
For the first time since 1983, Newport, Rhode Island is preparing for an onslaught of America's Cup style match racing with the UBS Trophy regatta, to be held June 19 to June 26. Organized by Team Alinghi, winner of the America's Cup 2003, and sponsored by UBS, the regatta promises to celebrate the spirit of the 153 year-old trophy in the historic home of the America's Cup during a week of world class yacht racing and festivities. The opening press conference on Friday June 18 will initiate the event, and racing will begin the following day, weather permitting. Two races will be sailed daily. The course will be short and will be sailed close to the shore in order to offer the best possible access to the public. Tuesday June 22 is scheduled as a lay day. To date, Oracle BMW Racing has confirmed its participation in the event. There will be a pro driver series, as well as an owner-driver series. The Newport Shipyard will serve as the base for the yachts competing. Located close to the racing course, from here the public will be able to easily see the boats and experience the surrounding activity. Other locations that will provide excellent viewing of the racing include Fort Adams and Goat Island, as well as some sites in Jamestown.
Dr. Robin Wallace, chairman of RISF (Rhode Island Sailing Foundation), agrees that among the challenges for the UBS Trophy will be on water spectator craft, and the fact that the proposed race course for the UBS Trophy will be sailed in a major shipping channel. Stated Wallace, "There's a great deal of excitement among the local clubs and the RISF has been fortunate to have the cooperation of members of the New York, Ida Lewis, Newport, Wickford and Barrington Yacht Clubs and Sail Newport who are volunteering their time and expertise to form the event 20-person Race Committee, while the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association will cover on water management with a spectator control flotilla of 40+ volunteers." A major goal of Team Alinghi is to bring sailing closer to the public and it's evident that these events do draw communities together, while providing unbeatable thrills on the water and spectator viewing that media cannot ignore. A full report next week.
On Thursday evening, 15 big boats were out for Thirsty Thursday. The results for Division I (Course DC, 5.83 nm): 1. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, 2. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, and 3. Grace, Gene Gold. Division II (Course DY, 4.71 nm): 1. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen, and 3. Happy Daze II, Tom Egan. Division III (Course MY, 3.87 nm): 1. Tootsie, Ron Fink, 2. Second Wind, Anthony Viola, and 3. En Passant, Bob Ebenau. Division CATS (Course DC, 5.83 nm) 1. Renegade, Andy Ledins.
Knickerbocker YC was Race Committee for the weekend of June 12-13. On Saturday, June 12 the eight Sonars and the four MBOs were on the starting line, with one race completed. The results for the Sonars: 1. #375, Housemartin, Beth and Greg Danilek, 2. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz, and 2. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland. Results for the MBOs: 1. #26, Malachite, Lou Lane/Nina Randall/Gina Sigal, 2. #5, Escapade, Ned Baker/Dick Moore, and 3. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling. On Sunday, there were ten Sonars on the starting line, plus two KOD's but one had a DNF and therefore the other KOD was not scored. The results for the Sonar fleet, Race #1: 1. Housemartin, 2. Delight, and 3. Puff. Race #2: 1. Housemartin, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon/Bill Simon, and 3. Puff. Race #3: 1. Housemartin, and 2. Puff. By the third race, all the other Sonars had returned to land, giving Housemartin and Puff a chance to duel it out in an exciting match race. Sailors and landlubbers alike will be able to see more match racing on Manhasset Bay this September when the Knickerbocker YC hosts their 22nd Knickerbocker Cup from September 1 - 6. Updates will be posted periodically about this exciting event.
Some America's Cup news. Team France has withdrawn from the America's Cup for several reasons. The first major player, which would make it possible to go ahead with the project, never materialized, and the financial risk to the team members just became too high. They have been working for a full year without financial support. Thus all the team members have been released from their moral engagement with Team France and are eligible to join other teams. This is a true disappointment for Bertrand Pace and Loick Peyron who formed Team France back in May of 2003, when the goals was not only to take part in the 2007 regatta, but to put forth the best image of France. But because they have attained only a third of their estimated total budget, the team decided to throw in the towel.