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The Lois McClure, a replica of an 1862 Schooner that will be at the Town Dock from Thursday, Sept. 22 until Sunday, Sept. 25. Photo by Eric A. Bessette

The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum's Lois McClure and the tugboat C.L. Churchill will arrive at the Town Dock today and will remain there until Sunday, Sept. 25. She will be open to the public today and Friday from 3-6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 24-25 from 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. The Lois McClure is a replica of an 1862 schooner and was launched on July 3, 2004. This replica canal schooner was constructed by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in the Burlington, Vermont on Lake Champlain. The four-year project was a collaboration between boat builders, nautical archaeologists and community volunteers. The hull is built from more than 20,000 feet of white oak. White pine was used for the decks, while masts, booms and gaffs were hewn from white spruce. The replica, like the historic originals on which she is based, is 88 feet long, with a beam of 14.5 feet. Significant features that were re-created include the mast tabernacle (the box on deck into which the mast is secured), the moveable centerboard in its 18-foot-long centerboard trunk, and the hourglass-shaped stern. Lois McClure was launched in 2004, and has since proven to be a fine sailing vessel. Although the schooner is a box-shaped utilitarian cargo carrier, and lacks the fine lines associated with most sailing vessels, she handles surprisingly well. She tacks with certainty even on a light air, and with 11 tons of marble cargo on board, she is both responsive and stable.

Lois McClure allows the captain and crew to learn firsthand the unrecorded and long-forgotten practical operations of a 19th-century canal schooner. An ambassador for her era, Lois McClure has embarked on a two-year outreach mission. The 2004 "Inaugural Lake Tour" is visiting communities in Vermont and New York that have ties to the canal boat era. Before she arrived in Port Washington, she retraced the historic canal boat route through the Champlain Canal and down the Hudson River to New York City. Visitors who step aboard the canal schooner travel back in time to the dynamic historic period that transformed communities, commerce, and culture in the northeastern United States. Admission to the schooner is free and all visitors will be given a tour by the ship's captain and educated about trade during the 19th and 20th century. The captain and crew of the schooner and the Town of North Hempstead invite everyone to come to the Town Dock and enjoy a trip back in time. Why not bring the whole family - it promises to be a fun and educational experience. For more information on the history and production of the Lois McClure, visit www.lcmm.org.

The 20th Annual Race of the Cannonball Run will be held on Saturday, Oct. 1, and is sponsored by Manhasset Bay Marina, along with the Port Sailing School. The Race, which is open to all individuals with limited or no racing experience, promises to be as much fun as in years past. For those who have participated in the past, boats filled with pirates and other "disreputable" types were seen in and about LaMotta's at the designated Skippers Meeting last year. So if passers-by notice a different atmosphere over at the Manhasset Bay Marina come Oct. 1, don't think the managers have lost it - the day is devoted to fun and high jinx. So gather your favorite costume (please avoid another pirate costume!) and come down to LaMotta's for a day of fun, time on the water, and the chance to win a prize. Check in time for boat assignments is at 10:30 a.m., followed by a Skippers Meeting (with refreshments) is scheduled at 11 a.m. Actual racing begins at 1 p.m. with awards and a reception to follow at LaMotta's restaurant, which is located right at the Manhasset Bay Marina. The only requirement is that all sailors must wear a costume - and be prepared to be asked to perform such tasks as throwing a ring toss from your boat while sailing, a task that, depending you individual skills, may determine your eligibility for winning the race. You may be asked to perform other feats that flaunt your ability to multitask, which will also have a bearing in determining prize winners. The race administration emphasizes that all skippers must be sober while racing, but do not despair, for there will be a cocktail reception following the race at LaMotta's Tiki bar with live music and dancing. All skippers receive a complimentary dinner at LaMotta's and there will be door prizes and gifts for all. Reservations and payments must be made by Sept. 28 to Port Sailing School, at which time skippers will be required to sign a rental agreement. Crew are assembling now - so don't miss out on the action. Call Port Sailing School at 767- SAIL (7245). The Manhasset Bay Marina is located at 10 Matinecock Avenue. For those new to the area: the directions: From Shore Road, turn left at the light across from King Kullen onto Manhasset Avenue and take another left onto Matinecock Avenue. See you there in full costume!

Results are available for the last two Thursday evenings for our Thirsty Thursday group. Results for Sept. 1: All divisions were 5.88 nm, Course J). Division I (7 Boats): 1. Grace, Gene Gold, 2. Freedom (no name available), 3. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum. Division II (4 boats): 1. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, 2. Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, and 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen. Division III: 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Tootsie, Ron Fink, and 3. Sundance, Joel Ziev. Division IV: (1 boat): 1. Renegade, Andy Ledins. Results for Sept. 8: Division I (6 boats): 1. Promise Kept, 2. Grace, and 3. Avalanche, Al Albrecht. Division II (4 boats): 1. Vision, Marc Epstein, 2. Happy Daze II, and 3. Xcite. Division III (4 boats): 1. En Passant, 2. Tootsie, and 3. Second Wind, Viola. Division IV (1 boat): 1. Renegade, Andy Ledins. The Cow Bay Cruising Association has announced results for the Fall Series for Thirsty Thursday: Division I: 1. Promise Kept, 2. Avalanche, and 3. Grace. Division II: 1. Xcite, 2. Happy Daze II, and 3. Irish Blessing. Division III: 1. En Passant, 2. Tootsie, and 3. Sundance. Division IV: 1. Renegade. The Thirsty Thursday next race is the Columbus Day Weekend Race, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 9 at 1 p.m.

The Women's Racing Clinic (WRC) has had a very busy and fun season, and it's not over yet! These ladies are planning their annual Halloween Party which is always a blast and this year the group has decided to take up Platform Tennis. While this is not exactly an "on-the-water" activity, it demonstrates how close friendships can be formed from sailing together - friendships that extend to other sports and other activities. The WRC transcends just sailing - it is a supportive group of gals, with sailing as an excuse for getting together and getting to know each other. They are even planning a winter holiday someplace south to get together and enjoy a brief respite from the cold northern winds . Members who sailed in August include: Aviva Pinto, Vivien Shiah, Carol Allen, Rita Syracuse, Flo Paterno, Nan Berry, Jenny Aitken, Emily Browning, Betsy Gahagan, Mary Jane Whelan, Pat Aitken, John Barry, Nancy Morris, Lois Scaglione, Stephanie Baas, Paula Davis, Nancy Gurewitz, Kris Dorr, Trish Hodson, Mike Coriglione. The WRC had planned to sail during Manhasset Bay Race Week, but had to cancel due to lack of wind. The group has rescheduled the race and results will be posted when they become available. The Second Annual Mother/Child Regatta also met with no wind, but that did not stop the group. They enjoyed each other's company while feasting on take-out and discussed - what else - rules of racing.


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