It has been said that anyone completing the 635-mile classic known as the Newport-Bermuda Race are winners. If so, we have lots of winners from our area, whether or not they scored high on the leader board. Just sailing to Bermuda is quite a feat, but to add the dimension of racing, which entails a sharp navigator, plus good team work, some help from the wind gods, make this race live up to its reputation as one of the most interesting and challenging ocean courses anywhere. Depending on weather conditions the race can be won by big boats, small boats or boats in the middle of the fleet. This year's race was no different as the wind ranged from zero to gusts of over 40 knots. This year's competitors from our area includes those who still live in the Port -Manhasset area or who grew up here and sailed in local junior programs. One such skipper from the latter group is Rich du Moulin who won the two-handed division by 3 minutes 11 seconds. Hard to imagine that such a small amount of time separated the top two boats after a five-day race across the ocean. No one was more surprised than du Moulin and his crew, Chris Reyling, whose Lora Ann, an Express 37, beat out Mirelle, a J-120 once handicap times were calculated. It is one of the closest race finishes yet for this Corinthian class. "We really thought we had lost this one. Their (Mirelle) J-120 is a faster boat than ours and has to give us around 6 hours in time, but we had an awful last day, and though we worked real hard to make best of the wind, we didn't think we had done enough to win.' This is the second Bermuda race in a row that du Moulin has won and this America's Cup veteran is already planning for the 2006 Newport-Bermuda to try for three consecutive division wins, which would set a new record. Results for the 2004 Newport-Bermuda Race: Antipodes, Jim Miller, New York, 2nd; Caberet, Bob Limoggio, PWYC, 6th; Free Fall, Bill McFaul, PWYC, 9th; Juggernaut, Musetti (with John Browning), 8th; Kodiak, Green, NYYC (Couper Duerr, John Storck), 8th; Bombardino, Sykes, AYC, 3rd; Charlie V, Schulman, SCYC, 2nd; and Jim Mertz, 92 years old, sailing in his 30th Newport-Bermuda Race on his Allegra, came in 10th.
Knickerbocker YC was Race Committee over the holiday weekend. Race results are for Sunday July 4th only. Two races were held for the Sonar fleet and top boats: 1. #652, Sounder, Rick Jordan and Jeff Shane, 2., #451, Ping, Sue Miller and John Browning, and 3. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland. Second race on July 4th for the Sonars: 1. Delight, 2. Sounder, and 3. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener. The MBOs had one race on the 4th: 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen and Ralph Heinzerling, 2. #5, Escapade, Ned Baker and Dick Moore, and 3. #26, Malachite, Lew Lane, Nina Randall and Gina Sigal. Five KODs were on the starting line for two races on Sunday. Winners of the first race: 1. #8, Second Chance, Perry Lengton, 2. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, and 3. #14, Phoenix, Donna and Tom Powers. Race #2 for the KODs: 1. Second Chance, 2. Phoenix, and 3. Dybbuk.
On Thursday, July 1st, 13 boats raced in 4 divisions. Division IV had no competitors. Results for Division I (6.42 nm, Course UJD, 5 boats): 1. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindebaum, 2. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, and 3. Grace, Gene Gold. Division II (6.10 nm, Course UDC, 3 boats): 1. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Donna J, Jeff Wenger, and 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen. Division III (6.10 nm, Course UDC, 4 boats): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Sundance, Joel Ziev, and 3. Tootsie, Ron Fink. Division CATS (6.42 nm, Course UJD, one boat): 1. Renegade, Andy Ledins.
The Manhasset Bay Challenge Cup, the oldest annual sailing event in the United States, will be hosted by Eastern YC in Marblehead, MA in Sonars during the weekend of September 11-12. Since 1902, the Challenge Cup has been won by 26 different clubs from places such as New York, Chicago, Marblehead, and Bermuda. The event is open to a single representative from any number of challenging clubs. More information is available at the Eastern YC web site. - http://www.eycrc.org/mbcc.htm
Many sailors have noticed posters around town with the words Port Sailing School followed by a number to call for information. Well, it is not a figment of your imagination. The Port Sailing School was begun by Chris Nihill, who is a U.S. Sailing Certified Instructor and licensed Coast Guard captain with over 20 years of sailing experience. Until recently, he ran a sailing school in Oyster Bay. His mission is "to offer the general public the opportunity to learn to sail with a focus on boating safety and having fun." The school offers classes for both adults and children. The adult learn-to-sail classes are held over two consecutive weekends, and will be sailed in 23-foot keel sailboats. Upon completion of the basic course, students can rent the sailboats from the school. The junior program offers instructional classes in sailing as well as other maritime activities. The two-week Monday to Friday sessions start July 5, July 19, August 2 and August 16, and a one-week course is available starting on August 23rd. They offer sailing classes for both adults and children and the two-week children's junior programs are open to ages 11-16. Also available are sailing classes on larger cruising boats, this summer or during the winter months in the British Virgin Islands on board a 50-ft sailing yacht. For more information, to www.portsailing.com or call 516-767-SAIL.