John Thomson, Jr. on Solution at last year's Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series. Thomson founded the "big boat" series in 1979 to take advantage of the good winds that are prevalent during the fall.
The Manhasset Bay Fall Series is a two-weekend, big boat series started back in 1979 when John Thomson, Jr. thought it might be a good idea to enjoy racing on Long Island Sound when the wind was at its best - during the fall. Over the years, the wind has been good for the series, but last weekend, even the big boats were sidelined on Sunday when wind was predicted to be in the 40 knot range with gusts above 50 knots. Competitors were given two good races on Saturday, and are now hoping to get back on the race course on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 22-23. Almost 90 boats in nine divisions sailed two races on Saturday. Some of the top boats to watch next weekend: Division 1A - IRC: Rush, Tom Stark and Trader, Fred Detwiler. Division 1B - IRC: Solution, John Thomson, Jr., High Noon, D. Collins, S & H Benjamin, and Nimbus, Mark Levis. Division 2 - IRC: Wanderer, Bill Cushman, Hell Hound, Brendan Brownyard, Christopher Dragon, Andrew Weiss. Division 3-IRC: Soulmates, Adam Loory, Lora Ann, Rich du Moulin, and Troubador, Mort Weintraub. Division 4 - J/44: Challenge IV, Jeffrey Willis, Brown-eyed Girl, Scott Dinhofer, Vamp, Leonard Sitar, and Gold Digger, James Bishop. Division 5 - J/109: Relentless, Al Minella, Sundari, P. Carpenter and Bb. Gold, Rogue, Ed Dole. Division 6 - PHRF: Deviation, Iris Vogel, Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, Sleepy Head, Jeffrey Epstein, and Arcturus, Claude Chazotte. Division 7 - J/015: Kinscem, Joerg Esdorn, Andiamo, Paul Strauch, Gumption, Kevin Granger, and Eclipse, Damien Emery. Division 8 - PHRF: Borderline, J. Asch and S. Bishop, Exhilaration, Chris Hubbard, Chaika, Coar Judson. Division 9 - J/80: Angry Chameleon, Kristen Robinson, Rumor, John Storck, Jr. Division 9A - PHRF: Dreadlocks, Jeff Hammer, Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, Arcadia, Quentin Thomas.
Now that the rain has stopped, those nine days of drenching rain seem like a distant memory. But the folks over at the Port Washington YC will probably never forget their 2005 Charity Cup Regatta that was held on Saturday, Oct. 8 - right in the middle of the deluge. Just about 35 boats had registered for the regatta, but because of the inclement weather, only 11 boats actually started the race. Top boats for the day (names included when known); Division I: 1. Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, 2. Freedom, 3. Out of Reach II, Louis Nees, and 4. Avalanche, Al Albrecht. Division II: 1. Golden-Eye, 2. Second Wind, Anthony Viola, 3. Escape, 4. Swan of Zwijn. Congratulations to all the racers, Peter Christie, Charity Cup Regatta PRO and his Race Committee, and the members of the Port Washington YC who held a successful charity regatta in spite of the challenging conditions. All proceeds of the event went to the Ronald McDonald House at North Shore - Long Island Jewish Hospital.
Three legends of America's Cup sailing - George "Fritz" Jewett Jr. (San Francisco, Calif.), Alan Payne (1921-1995, Australia), and Jack Sutphen (San Diego, Calif.) were inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame last Friday, Oct. 14 at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, CA. Each of this year's inductees played a crucial role in America's Cup campaigns during much of the modern era of the Cup, respectfully as syndicate head, designer, and sailor. Halsey C. Herreshoff, President of the America's Cup Hall of Fame presided over the Induction Ceremony. "These three individuals fit the greatest traditions of America's Cup racing and thus should be in the America's Cup Hall of Fame," said Herreshoff. "San Francisco in 2005 is appropriate both because we shall induct two Californians and also because of the strong Cup role of St. Francis and its members."
From 1974 until 2000, Fritz Jewett played a pivotal shoreside role in making the United States' America's Cup teams competitive. Besides chairing five defense and challenge syndicates, Jewett was a key participant in four Stars & Stripes campaigns, from 1987 until 1995. His final Cup role in 2000 was as chairman of the America One Challenge syndicate on behalf of the St. Francis Yacht Club. Alan Payne, a brilliant naval architect designed Gretel and Gretel II, two of Australia's first America's Cup challengers. When Australians decided to venture into the America's Cup, there were few Australian naval architects capable of designing 12 Meters: no boat of this type had ever been designed and built in that country. Jack Sutphen began his America's Cup career in 1958 as a sailmaker with Ratsey & Lapthorn on City Island, NY. He was with the Weatherly campaign that year. Sutphen had made a name for himself racing against East Coast legends Cornelius Shields and Arthur Knapp out of Larchmont Y.C. When Conner brought together his own Freedom Syndicate for the 1980 Cup, he needed someone to skipper his trial horse in a two year campaign and felt Sutphen had great credentials. Thus began a pattern of many successive campaigns including the great Freedom triumph of 1980, the U.S. defeat in 1983, and the monumental comeback in 1986-87 in Australia. It was out of Hawaii and Fremantle that year that Sutphen sailed daily with the backup crew on the trial horse to Stars & Stripes as Conner worked toward regaining the Cup. Sutphen's crew was labeled "The Mushrooms," because it was kept in the dark and could be pulled out and "canned" at any moment.
There are 21 members of the Hall of Fame Selection Committee who bring a wealth of knowledge to the selection process. This illustrious international group is made up of persons intimate with the America's Cup traditions of yacht racing and committed to the integrity of the Hall of Fame. Local sailor, Ed du Moulin, is a member of the selection committee, and in 2000, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with such other notables as Sir Peter Blake, Baron Bich, Dennis Conner, Russell Coutts, Gary Jobson, Arthur Knapp, Sir Thomas Lipton, Emil "Bus" Mosbacher, Jr. (a member of the Knickerbocker YC Junior Sailing Program), Victor Romagna (from Port Washington YC), Olin Stephens, Ted Turner, Harold Vanderbilt and Thomas Whidden.
Betsy Alison and Sally Barkow (USA) have made it to the semifinals in the Women's Match Racing World Championships that are being held in Hamilton, Bermuda and will sail the final rounds early next week. Betsy Alison beat out Marie Bjorling (SWE) who had sailed a near flawless regatta, but received a penalty during the pre-start sequence in her final race, and Alison went on to win the race and a place in the semifinals. Sally Barkow managed a terrific comeback to hold onto fourth place and a chance in the semifinals when her teammate Carrie Howe fell overboard during their race against Alison. Just as Howe was ready to let go of the boat, Barkow plucked her out of the water, continued sailing and went on to take fourth place. Once the semifinals and final rounds are over, and the winner of the Virtual Spectator ISAF Women's Match Racing World Championship is determined, she will compete against the top seed men skippers for a shot at winning the Investor's Guaranty presentation of the King Edward VII Gold Cup and a share of the #100,000 prize money. Standings going into the semifinals: Claire Leroy (FRA) 4-0; Nina Braestrup (DEN) 32; Betsy Alison (USA) 3-2; Sally Barkow (USA) 2-2; Marie Bjorling (SWE) 2-3; and Nicky Souter (AUS) 0-5. For more information, www.vssailing.com.