A very special ceremony will take place on Saturday, October 16th and the sailing community is invited to attend. On a small piece of land abutting Manhasset Bay, across from Tease (the restaurant), on Shore Road, there will be a dedication ceremony to the Star class at 11 a.m. The Star is one of the most successful one-design boats in history-there are over 8,135 boats in 180 fleets internationally, and she got her start right here on our peninsula. Prior to 1920, one-design class organizations did not exist. In 1906, the "Bug," a small 17 ft. boat was seen on Manhasset Bay. It was designed by William Gardner but conceived by George "Pop" Corry, vice commodore of the Manhasset Bay YC. In the beginning, they were not too popular as "they were too small, too wet and much too uncomfortable." So "Pop" went to Francis Sweisguth, in William Gardner's office, to see if they could improve on the design. What emerged was what was to be known as the Star boat. The original design included a gaff-rig with a long boom, which changed to a Marconi rig in the 1920s, measures 22'-7" and carried 280 square feet of sail. The Isaac E. Smith shipyard on Shore Road built the first 22 Stars and another 11 Stars were built in Chelsea, MA, with the Purdy Boat Company of Port Washington building 32 Stars during the 1930s. George W. Elder, JR, commodore of the Port Washington YC and a friend of Corry's, owned Star #14 and #15 and thought up the idea of a Star Class organization, and the International Star Class Yacht Racing Associations was established on January 20, 1922. Corry is known today as the "Father of the Stars" and George Elder as the Father of the Star Class Association. Many readers may be familiar with this boat as an Olympic racing boat. This year, Phil Trinter, Port Washington resident, and Paul Cayard represented the United States in the Star class and came in 5th overall. The first Star boat, owned by "Pop" Corry, was called Little Dipper, and its transom, stem and tiller are on display at the Manhasset Bay YC. So plan on attending this historic dedication to the Star class, and its humble beginnings right here on Manhasset Bay - on the very spot where the first Star was built at the Isaac E. Smith Shipyard.
The one-design long distance race was held on Sunday, October 3. This annual event was labeled a "marathon" this year, and for good reason. The wind was so light on Manhasset Bay and puffy out on Long Island Sound, that the 11 boats thought they could not meet the race's time limit. But after 6.5 hours, the lead boat crossed the line with a whopping 1.5 minutes to spare. The race began at approximately 10:20 in a moderate NNE breeze, taking the racers on a beat against the incoming tide in a dying breeze. Rumor has it that "You can't get there from here" was muttered on Ping more than once. Bill Simon, on Weekend Warrior, took the start and lead at Gangway, was still in the lead at Gangway and Prospect Point, followed closely by Jeff Shane in Sounder, Bob Kirtland in Delight, and Sue Miller in Ping. The light wind played havoc with the race, and Sounder took the lead off Larchmont, and on the long spinnaker reach toward Kings Point, Delight lost some ground, and now only three boats were in contention for top billing. In what could be described only as a "drifter under spinnaker", the three boats managed to get back to Manhasset Bay, just to be greeted by nearly a non-existent southerly, and the three top boats fought for position. Ping was in the lead 30 minutes before the 4:30 time limit, but Weekend Warrior took line honors with just 1.5 minutes before the time limit expired, with Ping finishing 90 seconds later. Back further in the fleet, Selsun, Bahar Gidwani, and Whimsey, (Ed Adler and Jeff Kovner) had an overlap at the finish, with Selsun ahead by just a foot. All this after more than six hours of sailing! Final standings: 1/ #421, Weekend Warrior, Bill and Dan Simon, 2. #451, Ping, Sue Miller and John Browning, and 3. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland.
US SAILING has announced that the production of The Racing Rules of Sailing 2005-2008 Including US SAILING Prescriptions is on schedule and will be available before the end of the year. The Racing Rules are effective on Jan. 1, 2005. Members of US SAILING will receive a free copy of the new rules before the end of the year and additional copies will be available for purchase through US SAILING's online store. Dave Perry's Understanding the Racing Rules Through 2008, a companion to The Racing Rules of Sailing, is currently being produced and will also be available by the end of the year. The Racing Rules of Sailing are revised and published every four years by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and the U.S. rulebook includes rules adopted by US SAILING for events held in the U.S. More information about the rules and the US SAILING Racing Rules Committee is available at www.ussailing.org/rules.
The model boats were out on Mill Pond on Saturday, Oct. 2. At least they had some wind. Dave James, George Huntington, Rob Ward, Gib Rachleff and Widge James all brought their boats down in the morning to enjoy the fall-like weather and hone their skills as racers. Rob Ward's daughter, Christine, took the helm a few times during the races. Results for the day were not available at press time.
Don't forget! The Port Washington Leukemia Cup Regatta is this Saturday, Oct. 2. This worthwhile event is dedicated to our sailing friend, Norman Geller, who passed away last August. Let's hope for a huge crowd to honor all the wonderful memories we have of this man who died much too soon, and who loved the waterfront so very much. See you out on the water. If you can't make it during the day, there's a awards ceremony and dinner after the racing, which should be great fun. Call the PWYC for more information (767-1614). And bring your checkbooks - we want to do our best to support Leukemia research and stop this dreaded disease.