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Avalanche, owned by Al Albrecht, came in first in her division at the North Shore Annual Day Race on Saturday, June 4.

There is a lot to report about activity on Manhasset Bay over the past few weeks. In what seemed like an interminable wait for spring-like weather, we were finally rewarded for our patience with great weather. The Race Committee from Knickerbocker YC was able to give starts to racers all three days of Memorial Day weekend. On Saturday, May 28, the Sonars had two races. Top boats in Race #1 (eight boats): 1. #375, Housemartin, Beth and Greg Danilek, 2. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener, and 3. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland. Race #2 on Saturday (eight boats): 1. Housemartin, 2. Delight, and 3. Viento. On Sunday, May 29, there were nine Sonars on the starting line for three races. Top boat: Race #1: 1. Housemartin, 2. Delight, and 3. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz. Race #2: 1. Viento, 2. Housemartin, and 3. Puff. Race #3: 1. Puff, 2. #573, Selhun, Bahar Gidwani/Tao Dao, and 3. Viento. Memorial Day results for the Sonar fleet, Race #1 (4 boats): 1. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon/Bill Simon, 2. Delight, and 3. #316, Elusive, Ed King. Race 2: 1. Delight, 2. Weekend Warrior, and 3. #356, Laurie B, Robert Baskind. The Manhasset Bay One Designs (MBOs) had two races on Sunday, May 29, with two boats competing, and on the following day, one boat was given a start.

The following weekend was full of bright sunshine and warm temperatures, but very short on wind. Port Washington YC was Race Committee for the weekend, and cancelled races on Saturday, June 4. On Sunday, the conditions were very light and variable, with the RC able to give the Sonars one race. The MBO's race was abandoned. Top boats for the Sonars on Sunday, June 5 (6 boats): 1. Housemartin, 2. Viento, and 3.Puff.

On Saturday, June 4, the North Shore YC held their Annual Day Race. 15 boats in two divisions started the race in very light wind and four boats in Division II were DNF (did not finish). Top boats in Division I (six boats): 1. Whirlwind, Beneteau 36.7, William Purdy, 2. Vision, J/105, Marc Epstein, and 3. Promise Kept, Beneteau 36.7. Top boats in Division II (9 boats): 1. Avalanche, Farr 395, Al Albrecht, 2. Manitou, C&C 41, Gustav Carlson, and 3. Sans Coulettes, Beneteau 40.7, Robert Johnston.

The Port Sailing School has announced a new community sailboat racing program. The school will host this event on Manhasset Bay every Thursday evening from 5:30 to dusk, starting June 16 and continuing until Aug. 4. The program is designed for beginner sailors who would like to learn the fundamentals of sailboat racing. Chris Nihill, director of Port Sailing School says, "we look forward to providing the community the opportunity to learn how to race sailboats without having to own a boat or belong to a yacht club. Best of all, we will give the students the opportunity to skipper their own boat and race against each other." The program fee is $40 per session or $300 for the entire eight week program. Another program offered by the Port Sailing School is the Young Mariners Summer Program. Created by Dr. John Loret, executive director of The Science Museum of Long Island, participants will spend half their day aboard a Port Sailing School launch with a marine science instructor learning the skills used by commercial fishermen; the second half of their day will be spent sailing aboard sailing school sailboats. The program is open to students between the ages of 11-17. For more information, call the Science Museum of LI at 516-627-9400 or the Port Sailing School at 767-SAIL (7245).

An update on that great race across the pond: Wednesday, June 1, Mari-Cha IV crossed the finish line of the Rolex Transatlantic Race to break Charlie Barr's 100-year-old record of 12 days, four hours, one minute and 19 seconds. Mari Cha IV completed the almost 3,000 mile course in nine days, 15 hours, 55 minutes and 23 seconds, cutting off more than two days from the long-standing record. For information on the entire race, go to www.transatlantic.org.

In related news, an interesting email from the Storm Trysail Club has been made available in the form of an email from Pieter Brantjes, the captain of Clipper Stad Amsterdam in the Rolex Transatlantic Race. It gives readers a somewhat different perspective on the race. Stad Amsterdam is on her 12th day at sea. The email begins: "We start this morning with a nice westerly breeze, pushing us with a speed of about 10 knots in the proper direction. On board are a professional photographer and cameraman to cover the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge. Because I expect the wind to die out tomorrow, I take the chance to get some nice pictures of the Clipper under full sail at sea, with wind this time." The rest of the email is from world-renowned nautical photographer Daniel Foster: "With only four days to go to England Captain Pieter gave Mike, the cameraman, and me, photographer for Rolex, the chance of a lifetime: 11 days after the start of the Rolex Transatlantic Challenge in New York and 840 miles from England he hove to, slowed the ship down and launched the 15 foot dinghy with two crew members and the two media men. He hauled in the sheets on the 22 out of 26 sails hoisted and took off as soon as we got into position half a mile ahead. We were already soaking wet when we started to take the first shots. But what a majestic view to see the three masts barrelling down on us at 12 knots, sometimes the whole hull hidden behind a big swell. "Go, go", I yelled at Paul the dinghy driver, "we are getting swamped by the bow wave." We were just able to get out of the way of the 1,000 ton colossus before being squashed like a bug when Mike says: "Why did we move, this was exactly the angle I wanted." By that time we got spray in our faces whipped up by gusts of up to 30 knots. Captain Pieter gave us another chance, he slowed the ship down by bracing back the sails on the main mast and we jumped ahead again, being thrown around in the little dinghy like ice cubes in a martini shaker. Stad Amsterdam charged at us again. We were trying to go to leeward this time. The black hull closed in on us and I was glad to feel the life vest on my shoulder. When she past us we heard the Storm Trysail members cheering, they did not know that we did not feel cheerful at all. But as soon as we saw half of Stad Amsterdam disappear behind a swell framed by a blue sky tamed by small white clouds I let out a huge yodel! Being Swiss, that was my reaction to an awesome photo shoot, something that only happens every seven years in my 34-year career as a yachting photographer! When I finally hit the deck after being hauled onto the ship I kissed the ground." For information on the Storm Trysail Club, go to www.stormtrysail.org


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