The sailing community knows that sailing is a sport that can be enjoyed at any age. It is also a great family sport. There was not a better demonstration of this than the recent Manhasset Bay Race Week. Helen Browning, 86, sailed an Ideal 18 with her granddaughter, Laura Browning. They just didn't sail around the course, they beat just about everyone and took home an armful of silver to prove it. They were not the only family group out on the water. Emily, Lynn (mom) and Elizabeth Whipple sailed an Ideal 18 together on Friday with the Women's Racing Clinic (WRC). John Silbersack, co-chair of the MBYC Junior Sailing Program, was out on an MBO with his daughter Catryn. Even Race Committee had family members together - Bill Scaglione and his daughters were helping out Race Committee Chairs, John Barry and Bill Brakman. So if anyone ever doubts that 1. you have to give up sailing at a certain age, or 2. sailing takes too much time away from the family, all you have to do is remember the 2006 Manhasset Bay Race Week!
The event was held over an extended weekend, commencing Friday, Aug. 11 and ending with the Awards Ceremony late Sunday afternoon, Aug. 13. As is typical of Manhasset Bay weather in August, the wind was a challenge for all involved, both those sailing and the good people running the races. Twelve races were completed over the three-day event. Friday when the wind was good, RC got off five races. In fact, the chop on the bay was considerable, and two unlucky individuals went for an unintentional swim. Both were rescued quickly. There was enough wind to sail the next two days, but Saturday's sailing got started a little late, and on Sunday there was a postponement of the Harbor Start.
Friday's racing brought out the Women's Racing Clinic (WRC) sailing in Ideal 18s. These are the ladies who started sailing together about five or six years ago when they wanted to improve their sailing skills. Remember the ad that said, "you've come a long way, baby!". This describes perfectly this fun-loving group of women. Not only do they sail on Manhasset Bay, they are now competing in regattas in harbors on Long Island Sound. And they have been know to even vacation together. Things don't get much better than that - except maybe their annual Halloween party. Five boats competed on Friday: 1. Emily Whipple, Lynn Whipple (mom) and Elizabeth Whipple (MBYC); 2. Stephanie Baas and Lois Scaglione (MBYC); 3. Aviva Pinto and Roxanne Lehman (Sea Cliff YC); 4. Cecelia Gardner and Leah Feldman (Knickerbocker YC) and Pat Aitken (MBYC); and 5. Flo Paterno with Rita Syracuse and Carolyn Corkett (MBYC).
Winners in each of the divisions: Sonars: 1. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Bill and Dan Simon, and 3. #451, Ping, John Browning/Sue Miller. Manhasset Bay One Designs (MBO): 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Pedro Lorson, 2. #3, Olin Express, Pam Prokop, and 3. #5, Escapade, Dick Moore/Ned Baker. Knickerbocker One Design (KOD): 1. #14, Phoenix, Danielle Powers/Donna Powers/Tom Powers, 2. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, and 3. #12, Sonic, Wermuth (first name unavailable). PHRF: 1. En Garde, Charlie Cannam, and 2. Aquila, Keith Dorman. Ideal 18s: 1. Helen Browning/Laura Browning, and 2. Vince Syracuse/Andy Bastone.
Juniors who picked up silver: Opti Division: 1. N. Lobley, 2. P. Hoban, and 3. K. Brown. Asher Feldman (KYC) won the Laser Radial Class, A. Hein won in his Pixel and Laura Browning/Wilkie Jordan won in the 420 class. B. Lobley won the Blue Jay division.
Race Week perpetual trophies and the winners: Helen Browning sailing on an Ideal 18 with her granddaughter Laura, won the Louise T. Haney Memorial Trophy, for the best performance in an Ideal 18. For those who may remember, Louise Haney was the On the Bay columnist for 25 years until her death in 2000. She is most remembered for sailing her LewLou on Manhasset Bay until disease kept her housebound. One could almost see her, with her white hair, cane and huge smile, standing next to Commodore Prokop as the trophy was handed to a team of women representing two generations of women sailors - an older woman who has sailed all her life, and a young sailor who has a lifetime of sailing ahead of her. When the crowd heard who the winner was, and this phenomenal sailor approached the MBYC Commodore to receive her prize, flanked by her granddaughter, the crowd went wild. Hoots, hollers, applause - the din was just about deafening. Congratulations to both women, not just for doing so well on the race course, but for being a model of what sailing is all about - having fun in a sport that is for all ages.
Another woman, Stephanie Baas - and the daughter-in-law of Helen Browning and the mother of Laura, along with crew Lois Scaglione won the David Craig Trophy (for best performance in Women's Race Week). Stephanie is considered the founder of the WRC (Women's Racing Clinic) and has been instrumental in keeping it going.
Ralf Steitz, with his crew of Cindy Jordan, Robbie Jordan, Jaime Steitz and Ted Toombs won three top awards: the Black Jack Trophy (keel type boat from a YRALIS member club with the best percentage in a division with at least five yachts who sailed 60 percent of the races); the Edward P. Alker Trophy (a MBYC member, sailing a boat with waterline length not less than 15'6", with highest percentage performance in a division with at least five yachts which started 60 percent of the races); and the Lure Trophy (keel type boat winning the most competitive class by achieving the smallest total percentage point margin over the next three boats in her class in a division with a minimum of 10 boats, and three racer sailed). The Arthur E. Barnard Crew Trophy (crew sailing a boat with waterline length of not less than 15'6", showing highest percentage performance in Race Week, with at least five yachts starting in at least 60 percent of races) went to Ralf Steitz' crew: Cindy Jordan, Robbie Jordan, Ted Toombs.
Danielle Powers (KCY) and her parents, Donna and Tom, as crew won the Robert Harvey Wessmann, Jr. Trophy (to a skipper enrolled in any member club of the YRA of LIS whose age is under 25 years old and who, in the opinion of the Regatta Committee has made the best showing throughout Race Week, both in competitive standing and sportsmanship). Danielle also won the George H. Wicke Trophy (to the female skipper making the best percentage performance in Race Week, provided at least five yachts in her class started at least 60 percent of races).
Weekend racing and Thursday results will be reported next week.