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Move over frostbiters, there's another group competing for headlines during the winter sailing season. This group doesn't sail on Manhasset Bay, but over at the Mill Pond and they are part of those model boat sailors from the Mill Pond Model YC. And not only do they sail in the winter, some of them actually wade into the waters of the Mill Pond to make adjustments on their boat. Whether or not this maneuver is legal while racing is another issue, but they must have been pretty cold last Saturday, Nov. 20. It was an incredibly damp, raw kind of day, with rain heavy at times - though this didn't seem to bother the 11 sailors who stuck around for five races. At least frostbiters have a slight chance of keeping warm as they sail in their IC dinghies, for they hike out to keep the boat flat (very important if you don't want to take a swim in Manhasset Bay), and they move about the boat. The hardy souls sailing their models, are relegated to walking (slowly) up and down the shore of the pond, and use hand motions to sail their boat - not nearly enough motion to stave off the cold. This didn't seem to matter, for the stakes were high. This was not just any weekend racing for the model boats - this was the Millennium Cup, the annual competition for the Odom Class of model boats, which was inaugurated in 2000. The ODOM class name comes from the description of the boat - One Design/One Meter. The one meter refers to the hull of the model, which is equal to 39.375 inches. The 11 hardy model boat sailors included Greg Danilek, Damian Devereaux, Jamie Ebenau, George Huntington, Dave James, Widge James, Gary Kassl, Mike Kurnides, Jim Rachleff, Robert Ward, and Jim Wood. Final results after five races: 1. Dave James, 2. Jamie Ebenau, and 3. Greg Danilek. And this might not be the last we hear of the model boats, for there is talk of continuing racing during the winter months.

Six of the eleven boats racing on Mill Pond on Saturday, Nov. 20 in the Annual Millennium Cup, which was won by Dave James.

Speaking of winter sailing, the frostbiters have been out the last several weeks and having a great time. What a start to the season they had, with winds gusting to 25 or so knots, and one capsize. Racing had to be cancelled that first day because of weather conditions. Sunday, Nov. 14 seemed to make up for the "no sail" day the week before. Race Committee completed eight races and a crew race for the seven teams that were on the starting line. Results for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson,/Carter Booth, 2. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio and 3. #007 John Silbersack/Catryn Silbersack. Congratulations to Matt Cornachio for winning the first crew race of the year. There was little to no wind on Sunday Nov. 21 for the ten teams that wanted to race. Only two races were completed before the Race Committee gave up. Top boats for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/crew name unavailable, 2. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. #512, Dennis Morgan/crew name unavailable.

The recent Star Boat Keel Dedication ceremony brought to mind Aphrodite, that elegant and sleek 74- footer that was dubbed the "Commuter Yacht." One might ask what this huge boat would have to do with the one-design Star boat. It happens that the Star boat from which this particular keel was built by the Purdy Boat Company here in Port Washington, as was Aphrodite. The history of Aphrodite is interesting, and a short summary is included here. She was launched in May of 1937 for Wall Street financier and later Ambassador to the Court of St. James, John Hay (Jock) Whitney of Manhasset, who would sail her each morning to his Wall Street office. Aphrodite's list of guests included Fred Astaire, Sir Laurence Olivier, Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn, Henry Ford II, FDR advisor Harry Hopkins and Nelson Rockefeller. She also was the site for a birthday party for Shirley Temple. Whitney offered Aphrodite to the government after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and spent much of her time ferrying dignitaries up and down the Atlantic coast. In the late 60's she was renamed Moonfire and went through a series of owners who let her condition deteriorate. In 1977, a man from New Jersey approached John Pannel of Harbor View Marine (on the site of the original Purdy Boat Yard) who believed he had Aphrodite. She was brought back to Port Washington where restoration work was begun. Unfortunately, the man from New Jersey died shortly thereafter, but eventually Pannel accepted ownership of Aphrodite from the heirs as payment for work in progress. In 2000 Pannel sold her to her present owner, a true classic boat enthusiast. In the fall of 2003, Aphrodite was delivered to Brooklyn Boat Yard where a complete restoration of the boat is planned to bring her back to her original appearance and to bring her up to today's standards. When the restoration is done, Aphrodite will be a brand new boat, designed using the original boat as a template. She is scheduled to be completed and launched in the summer of 2005. For more information, www.brooklinboatyard.com/aphrodite.htm.

For all of you sailors who have time to read during this off season, you may be interested in Dave Dellenbaugh's Speed&Smarts. This publication is aimed at racers and is 100 percent instructional. Each issue is jam-packed with go-fast information, practical tips and techniques to help the racer-sailor sail faster and smarter. Each issue is 16 pages and written so it's logical, systematic and easy to understand. Some topics covered include starting strategy, heavy-air racing, upwind tactics, mark roundings, downwind speed, and winning psychology. For skippers, Speed&Smarts will help you improve your steering, strategic planning, rule understanding, tactical moves, mental preparations, tacking technique, wind prediction, protests, plus other topics of interest For those who crew, there is spinnaker handling, strategic thinking, jib and genoa trimming, roll tacking, communication with team members, etc. For more information, www.SpeedandSmarts.com, or 800-356-2200.


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