One would think that come the fall, sailors would be content to say goodbye to the sailing season, prepare their boats for the boatyard and settle in for the cold days of the winter. Actually it is just the opposite, thanks to great winds on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound during these fall months (for the most part, let's not forget the "marathon" one design race last week). But it's much more fun to equate the fall with great sailing, possibly because sailors as a group just don't want to admit the summer has ended. In any case, the fall is a busy time for sailors. For example, this past week there was the Leukemia Cup at the Port Washington YC, the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Regatta over at Larchmont YC, a huge Star class regatta, also at Larchmont YC, the Columbus Day Race, and sailing on Mill Pond by members of the Mill Pond Model YC. Upcoming events include Manhasset Bay Fall Series which begins this weekend, continuing the following Saturday and Sunday. Also this Saturday is the dedication ceremony for the Star boat (11 am across from Tease Restaurant). And the frostbiters are getting ready for their dinghy sailing - their organizational meeting is on Wednesday, Oct. 13 at MBYC (7:30 p.m.). So there's lots going on, providing options for sailors to extend their season, and put off for a little more time their "to do" list, which we all know will get done eventually. But if given the choice between catching up at home or taking a sail out on Long Island Sound when the brilliant cloudless sky gives the sun a chance to turn the Sound into a sea of diamonds, and the wind ruffles your hair and gently touches your face, any rational human being would opt for spending the day on the water. Those pesky tasks can wait until the short winter days, unless of course, you happen to be a frostbiter, that group who really has difficulty saying goodbye to the summer, so much so that they race in the coldest and most severe weather imaginable, and in dinghies no less.
The Columbus Day Race took place on Sunday, October 10th, and it has been heard, on good authority, that Grace and Free-Fall provided some excitement fighting for the pin end of the start of the race. There were no entries for Division II and IV. The results for Division I (9.10 nm, Course X, 3 boats): 1. Free-Fall, Bill McFaul, 2. Grace, Gene Gold, and 3. EnGarde, Charlie Cannam. Division III results (5.88 nm, Course J, 3 boats): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Tootsie, Ron Fink, and 3. Sundance, Joel Ziev. Andy Ledins, on Renegade, in Division CATS (9.10 nm, Course X) was the only entry.
The Thirsty Thursday Fall Series results have become available. Boats not listed were DNQ (did not qualify). Winners in Division I (10 boats): 1. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, 2. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, 3. Free-Fall, Bill McFaul, 4. Grace, Gene Gold, and 5. EnGarde, Charlie Cannam. In Division II (12 boats): 1. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Vision, Marc Epstein, 3. Donna J, Jeff Wenger, 4. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen, 5. Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, and 6. Anticipation, Ed Veprovsky. Division III winners (9 boats): 1. Tootsie, Ron Fink, 2. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 3. Sundance, Joel Ziev, 4. Serenity, Jacques Blinbaum, 5. Second Wind, Anthony Viola, and 6. Enjoi, Jay Schecter. No boats qualified in Division IV, and Andy Ledins, in Division CATS on Renegade, came in first in his division.
The Sonar Fleet #11 Final Scores for the 2004 season have also become available. Results are the same for both the Championship Series for YRA, and Fleet #11 Championship Series. 1. #275, Housemartin, Beth and Greg Danilek, 2. #652, Sounder, Rick Jordan/Jeff Shane, 3. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, 4. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz, 5. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning, 6. #451, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon/Einar Haukland, 7. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener, 8. #573, Selhum, Bahar Gidwani, 9. #356, Laurie B, Bob Baskind/Steve Phillipson, 10. #316, Elusive, Alan Helman/Ed King, 11. #368, Tzuris, Stanley Rosenberg, and 12. #96, Free Spirit, Herb Schmidt/Bill Cornachio.
Mystic Seaport's exhibit Women and the Sea is the nation's first comprehensive exhibit on the active role that women have played and continue to play in maritime history. For centuries, the quest to sail the world's waters was depicted as a conflict between man and the sea. Truth be known, there were many a woman who sailed the high seas. Mary Patten was a young captain's wife who piloted a clipper ship around Cape Horn in 1865, and Anne Bonny and Mary Read, were legendary female pirates who roamed the Caribbean in 1719. While history highlights explorers, sailors and maritime merchants as men, women's experiences reveal that they have always played an active role in maritime affairs. In the last century, women served with pride in the US Navy and Coast Guard, explored the world as scientists, and worked in commercial fishing. Until the late 1800s, yacht racing was considered mainly as a spectator sport for women. But during the 20th century, women took a more active role, beginning with Gertrude Vanderbilt (US) and Phyllis Sopwith (England) who became the first women to compete against each other in an America's Cup race. The year was 1934 and Mrs. Vanderbilt was a member of the afterguard, while Mrs. Sopwith was the timekeeper for her husband's team. Today, the scene for women has changed dramatically, with women competing in all classes of racing, including Olympic sailing and windsurfing. In 1995, Dawn Riley captained the first all-female team in the America's Cup trials, and they won three out of seven races, only to lose the defender's spot to Dennis Conner. Suzy Leech who was on that historic team, has donated her racing gear to the museum and they are on display, along with several Rosenfeld photographs of interest. Mystic Seaport, 75 Greenmanville Avenue, Mystic, CT. For more information, call 860-572-5315 or visit www.mysticseaport.org.
There is an abandoned boat that is residing in the Manhasset Bay Boatyard that is free for the taking. She is a 1940's 42 foot Wheeler that needs immediate attention. She is all original but her interior and helm station is full of debris, she is in a state of disrepair, but there's a future for her with someone who would take the time to clean her up. Her twin engines work, and she is described in fair/good condition. Call George Martin at 767-7447 if interested.
Don't forget to stop by the waterfront across from Tease Restaurant, on the corner of Shore Road and Mill Pond Road for the Star boat dedication ceremony at 11 am this Saturday. And look for news about the PWYC Leukemia Cup Regatta next week.