Last week this column reported on the 75th Annual New Year's Frostbite Regatta and promised to report the Perpetual Award winners this week. Steve Benjamin won the Sam Wetherill Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding skipper in the regatta. Upon receiving his award, Steve thanked Herb Schmidt and the committee "for doing their normal fantastic job of running the races." He continued by thanking John Barry, commodore of Manhasset Bay YC and the rest of the committee manning the crash boats, John Tuscano, the MBYC club manager for the great food and facilities and concluded with thanking James Whitcomb, his crew, for "making the extra effort to come back from the Orange Bowl. He got in at 4 a.m. on Saturday after his flight was delayed" Steve also promised to bring more boats from Larchmont next year to the regatta.
Other Perpetual Trophy winners: Einar Haukland won the Henry A. Alker Perpetual Trophy, which is given to the outstanding Manhasset Bay YC skipper. Einar sailed in a Ideal 18 with his wife Ruth. Malcolm Hendry, from Southampton YC, won both the Baker-Taylor Founders Trophy and the Geoffrey C. Hazard Frostbite Trophy. The Baker-Taylor is awarded for the highest percentage in any class sailing in the Annual New Year's Frostbite YC Regatta and the Hazard Trophy is for outstanding performance in the Penguin Class. A new trophy started in 2005 called the Anchor Light Trophy was awarded to Greg Corkett and George Tung for participation in the regatta. This award is to reward those skippers and crew who do not make the top of the leader board, but come out year after year to support the event.
There are many skeptics in this world, and the sailing community has their share of them. There have been discussions in sailing magazines, and in Scuttlebutt, the online daily sailing newsletter, that the youth of the United States have forsaken junior sailing for other sports more exciting. Well, the final week in 2005 put a lie to such allegations, as the 27th Annual Orange Bowl Youth Regatta broke all records for the seventh year in a row when just under 700 kids from around the world gathered in Miami. There are so many sailors that three venues shared race committee duties: the Optimist class sailed out of Coral Reef YC, the 420s out of Biscayne Bay YC, and the Laser, Laser Radial, and Laser 4.7 out of the U.S. Sailing Center. The entire regatta is run by volunteers at the Coral Reef YC, and welcomed sailors from 8-18 years of age from 28 states and from countries such as Denmark, Venezuela, France, Malaysia and Mexico. The winds were good for the first part of the week, but by Friday, Mother Nature decided to take a rest. While the younger sailors commenced water fights to pass the time, the older teenagers rested on their boats, probably figuring out their chances for trophies if the winds didn't give them a race on the last day of sailing. The event was fun and competitive for all the sailors, as they got to participate in educational clinics followed by a few days of racing. The only program of its kind in the country, the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival program, organized by US SAILING was created to help young sailors develop their sailing skills while enjoying educational clinics and good racing. According to a quote found in the Miami Herald last week, one sailor, Tommy Fink, 15, who has sailed in South Africa, Chile and Sweden, said, "It's so cool to talk to kids from other cultures and compete against them but still be friends afterward." There were no entries from the Manhasset Bay area, but several youth sailors participated from the Connecticut side of Long Island Sound.
US SAILING is currently accepting nominations for the Harman Hawkins Trophy, which will be accepted until Jan. 15. The Harmon Hawkins Trophy is awarded yearly (the first award was presented at the 2005 Spring Meeting in Newport, RI) to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the field of Race Administration (Judging, Race Management, Appeals and Racing Rules). Selection of the recipient will be made by the Race Administration Committee from nominees submitted to the Committee. Ron Ward, from Annapolis, MD, won the first Harman Hawkins Trophy in April, 2005 at the awards dinner at US SAILING's Spring Meeting in Newport. Ward has a record of service that is truly outstanding, including a non-stop 42-year membership in US SAILING, 12 years on US SAILING's Judges Committee, 25 years service as a US SAILING Senior Judge (no one has served longer), Chairman of the US SAILING Umpires Committee. In addition, Ward has served 18 years at American YC Race Committee, and four America's Cups on the NYYC Race Committee. Ward continues to contribute to race committee administration by giving training sessions to current and future race officials.
Harman Hawkins (1919-2002) was a well-know figure in sailing circles, both locally and nationally. Harman was a past president of the United States Yacht Racing Union (now United States Sailing Association), a commodore of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, a president of the YRA of Long Island Sound, and a commodore of the Storm Trysail Club. His extraordinary involvement in sailing and his numerous chairmanships of the Appeals, Judges and Legal Committees brought him many honors and awards including the Nathanael H. Herreshoff Trophy, US SAILING's highest award. It is most fitting that this award be named after Harman, a man that gave back so much to the sport he loved.
Last April, Race Committee Chair Jim Capron had this to say about Harman, "The Mystic Seaport Museum remembers Harman Hawkins as the 'consummate yachtsman.' Many of you may remember Harman as a past president of the United States Yacht Racing Union in the early 1980's (from 1980 to 1982) before the USYRU changed its name to US SAILING. I remember Harman from the first time I met him. Mary Savage invited me to judge at Shelter Island with the "venerable" one. Venerable indeed. Harman Hawkins was an active sailor, cruising with his family all over the world, and competing in one designs and offshore events, including 8 Bermuda races and 3 Halifax races. Harman lent his professional skills as a legal advisor to several Americas Cup syndicates and to various yacht clubs running the Cup around the world. Last year, Harman's family, his wife Janet and sons Christopher and Jonathan, donated this beautiful trophy in Harman's name, in honor of his huge contribution to the sport." For those who would like to submit a name in nomination, please visit: http://www.ussailing.org/raceadmin/hhawkins.htm.