The Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) held their Annual Meeting last Sunday evening, Dec. 5 at Larchmont YC. The primary reason for the YRA, which was formed in April 15, 1895 with seventeen yacht clubs, is "to encourage and promote yacht racing on Long Island Sound." President Jim Farrell, from Riverside YC, presented annual awards to the one-design fleets from both sides of the Sound. The Sonar and MBO fleets represented our area and the top boats for the year:: Sonars: 1. Housemartin, Greg and Beth Danilek, 2. Sounder, Rick Jordan/Jeff Shane, and 3. Delight, Bob Kirtland. Top boats for the year in the MBO fleet: 1. Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling, 2. Olin Express, Jack Antinori/Bob Prokop, and 3. Escapade, Ned Baker/Dick Moore.
There were four YRA Special Awards given this year to very deserving recipients. All nominations for these awards are submitted by members at large, with the Executive Committee making final decision on recipients. The David Pryor Sportsmanship Trophy was originally awarded to the yacht with the best performance in the YRA One Design Championships (for the years 1988-90), and was rededicated in 1991 to honor outstanding sportsmanship. This year, the trophy, which has not been awarded every year, is awarded jointly to Adam Loory and Rich du Moulin. During Larchmont Race Week, these two competitors ceased racing to help a third boat whose crew fell overboard due to equipment failure. They received redress from the RC and ended up placing first and second in their class. During the Stamford Vineyard Race, this time sailing together, Loory and du Moulin suspended racing to answer a distress flare from another boat, and was able to rejoin the race within a half hour. They managed to come in first place in that race. Jim Farrell cautioned the audience not to confuse the moral of the story - that one would only render assistance if they have a really fast boat. For their sportsmanship and safety on the racecourse, Adam Loory and Rich du Moulin received the David Pryor Sportsmanship Award. In accepting the award, Rich du Moulin commented, "It gave me personally a lot of satisfaction to receive this award. I grew up with David Pryor in Manhasset Bay. He was a wonderful guy who died of cancer from Agent Orange in Vietnam. He was a great sportsman and a great person, and for us to win the Pryor Award is really very nice on a personal basis."
The Arthur P. Davis, Beach Point YC Trophy is awarded for yachting achievement of Long Island Sound by a YRA member club. This year the award was given to the Storm Trysail Club for running one of the biggest ever collegiate regatta. On October 9-10, 28 teams, with 200 sailors descended on Larchmont YC to attend the 2004 Intercollegiate Regatta to sail in big boats. Most college competition is sailed in dinghies, so this regatta was designed to expose intercollegiate sailors to a new dimension of the sport, and to learn the teamwork that is necessary to be successful in big boat racing. During the two-day event, six windward-leeward races were held in 8-18 knots, giving the 200 sailors some challenging conditions. Adam Loory, who is chair of this event, took over running it about six years ago, when the future of the event was in question. His idea was to capture college kids interest, get them hooked and go on to blue water competitions after graduating college. Obviously Loory is onto something good; next year the Storm Trysail Club expects to have over 40 boats participating. Rich du Moulin, vice president of the Storm Trysail Club, in accepting the award, thanked Adam Loory for all his dedication and hard work, and mentioned the hard work of Marcy Trenholm, from the Storm Trysail, and Butch Ulmer, who was PRO for the event.
The Roger H. Shope Trophy is presented yearly in memory of Roger Shope who was a well-know Principal Race Officer on Long Island Sound and a past Commodore of Manhasset Bay YC. Many readers will remember the boat, Resolute, which was owned by Roger and his wife, Jean. They sailed on Resolute for many years together, and she can be seen back on our bay each year during the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, serving as a Race Committee boat. The Roger H. Shope Trophy for excellence in Race Management was awarded this year to John Schultz, from Noroton YC, for his role as PRO for the 2004 Citibank J/24 World Championship, held from September 23-October 1. Over 400 sailors from 14 countries participated in this event, held at the Noroton YC. Many challenges were presented to this small club of only 265 members, not least of which was feeding them, getting their boats measured, and accommodating all the cars and boats in a small space. But it was the RC who rose to the challenges of days of no wind, to days with winds gusting to over 46 knots (remnants of Tropical Storm Jeanne). With a course set up with five legs, three legs had to be moved in each race because of shifting winds. But RC met the challenge. According to Jeff Johnstone, who came in 2nd overall, "Tremendous week, 74 boats, most global event in a long time, Noroton Yacht Club did a fantastic job, in very difficult conditions. With the fall frontal influences, one never knows if we can get racing in or not, but they (the RC) got a full series in."
The Ned Anderson Achievement Award, for outstanding service by an individual to yacht racing on Long Island Sound was awarded to Walton W. Alder for his leadership in the first ever YRA Championship Regatta. The original format for this regatta was just PHRF, but Alder added IMS boats and a host of one-design classes, spread over four separate racing venues. The competitor response was overwhelmingly enthusiastic, with 144 boats competing in this first year of the event. From the conception, organization, sponsorship, and trophy, Alter was the driving force behind this very successful event. Jim Farrell, in presenting the Ned Anderson Achievement Award, said of Alder, "This is for your tireless dedication to our sport and to the sailors of Long Island Sound."
Last Sunday, December 5, the frostbiters were out on Manhasset Bay for a beautiful day of racing. The results for the day: 1. Pedro Lorson/Yasu Kawahara, 2. Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. Ralf Steitz/Jamie Steitz. A new face was seen on the course this past Sunday. Not exactly an unknown face, though, for it was Chip Whipple, who grew up on our bay and has moved back to Port Washington with his wife, Lynn Giordan Whipple and their children. Chip's daughter, Elizabeth, was his crew last Sunday. Welcome back to the Whipple family.