Jenny McCarthy, seen here with skipper Ted Toombs, in a recent frostbiting day. Jenny, who has only skippered once or twice in her life, won the crew race on Sunday, Jan. 14.
Now that we are in the throes of winter, readers might think that not much is going on in the sailing community. Au contraire! There is much to report on the comings and goings of our friends who consider the water their second home.
For starters, the frostbiters are still out there - and they have proved that they really are a hearty bunch. When the weather turned from the very unseasonable balmy "Florida" type weather in the beginning of January to more normal weather for this time of year, they were still out on the bay sailing on Sundays. It might have taken a little longer to dress, what with multiple layers that help fend off the cold and wet. But out there they were. And having a great time, as always. On Sunday, Jan.14, 9 InterClubs (IC dinghies) were on the starting line, plus 5 Ideal 18s. The Race Committee provided five races for the day, hoping for more, but the wind died and any more races would become "floaters." So everyone retired to the grillroom at MBYC for some much needed hot chocolate, and a dose of football on their big screen TV. Results for the day: InterClubs: There was a tie for first place between #17, Paul-Jon Patin/Anne Patin and #537, Matt Allen/Greer Ferguson, both with 9 points. Third place went to #536, Pedro Lorson/Felicity Ryan. In the Ideal 18s, the results were: 1. #171, Bob Kirtland/Alan Thompson, 2. Ed McLaughlin/Chris Shields, and 3. #44, Steve Moore/Andrew Syracuse. Andrew Syracuse won the crew race in the Ideal 18s. There was a very special crew race win on this Sunday. Jenny McCarthy, a new frostbiter who has sailed before, but never skippered during a race in her life, won the Interclub crew race. She had been at the tiller only one or two times before, so this is a big win for this talented young woman. Congrats to all our winners, and a very special congratulation to Jenny. Most likely, we will see more of her talents in the months ahead.
Due to space restraints in the column about the New Year Frostbite Regatta, the Officers of the Frostbite Club was not included. Here are the officers for 2007: Past Commodore: Mimi Berry; Commodore: Steve Benjamin; Vice Commodore: Stephanie Baas; Rear Commodore: Matt Kelley; Treasurer: Bob Mitchell; Secretary: Claude Chazotte; Measurer: John Browning; Fleet Captain: Matt Kelly; Dock Captain: John Silbersack; and Harbor Master: Lynne Whipple.
While we are on the subject of frostbiting, the Interclub Dinghy Midwinters will be held in Annapolis, MD Jan. 27-28. The format provides College-style racing with A division and B division sharing a boat and scores. Two people per boat, min weight dressed ready to sail is 315 lbs, with water ballast carried to make up the rest of the weight if you are under. Some boats are available for charter if needed. Contact Jesse Falsone for details at firstname.lastname@example.org. This regatta rescheduled their event so it would not conflict with the Super Bowl! And coming in April, the Manhasset Bay YC will host the InterClub nationals. More on this later, except that this is going to be one terrific regatta. Serious competitors raced in the MBYC New Year's Regatta just to "test" the waters of Manhasset Bay, as they heard how difficult (shifty) our wind can be. And considering how tight the scores are - see Interclub results above - this is going to be really competitive racing. Add to that a topnotch Race Committee and we have a formula for success.
Acura Key West Race Week has come and gone. ESPN commentator Gary Jobson said it all when he described the weather at Key West this year, "stuck on gorgeous." Whether that makes us northern folks green with envy, or just happy for the sailors who could be part of this 260-boat regatta, is a totally personal viewpoint. But for the teams that raced, it was nothing less than fabulous for this 20th rendition that brought out the cream of the international sailing community. Peter Craig, that mastermind that runs the regatta and keeps chaos at bay, outdid himself this year. One wonders what he has done to get Mother Nature to provide such a spectacular scene - steady 10-14 knot winds and flat water. (makes you move closer to the "green with envy" category, right?) To give you an idea of the talent this year, think America's Cup. Hamish Pepper, an America's Cup winner with Team New Zealand, and who just won the Star Worlds, was the tactician on Numbers, skippered by Dan Meyers of Newport, RI. Other teammates included veterans from the Volvo Ocean Race. Magic Glove, second place in IRC 2 class, had Robert Greenhalgh, a member of the victorious ABN AMRO crew in the last Volvo Ocean Race, calling tactics. In the Farr 40 class, skipper Ernesto Bartarelli and his crew, from Switzerland, the current America's Cup holder, clinched overall victory on Thursday and did not even need to sail on Friday, and returned to Dubai, Saudi Arabia for preparations for this year's Cup competition. While we had entrants in Key West from our area, none placed in the top of the leader board. Winners from the Long Island Sound area: Hunt Lawrence, Oyster Bay, captured third in PHRF 2 class on Peregrine; Kerry Klinger, Larchmont, Lifted, and John Storck, Jr., Huntington, Rumor, were the top two finishers in the J/80 class. Local sailor, John Thomson, won an award for the most times participating in Key West. John has competed in all the competitions except one, since its inception. Congrats to John. For more information, go to www.premier-racing.com. On March 11, ESPN 2 will air a special on Key West.
Perfect conditions welcomed more than 855 elite sailors form 49 countries on the first day of racing at US SAILING's 2007 Rolex Miami OCR. As with the Acura Key West Race Week, perfect weather conditions, with a steady southeasterly breeze and blue skies gave competitors a taste of Biscayne Bay. This is the 18th year of this regatta, and it is the only International Sailing Federation (ISAF) Grade One regatta in the United States for Olympic and Paralympic hopefuls. Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, NY) and Sarah Mergenthaler (Aberdeen, NJ) secured a third place finish after the first day of racing. Readers may recall that both of these talented women were in our area to give sailing seminars for juniors and adults over at MBYC. In the second of two races, the American team struck an object with their rudder on the downwind leg and lost some distance they needed to recover. "We never gave up," said Clark. "We concentrated on the small gains, and finished with some good results." Clark added: "We're lucky to have such tight competition on home waters." Another team from the US, Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, MI) and Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, NY), the number one-ranked Yngling team on the US Sailing Team, captured first place after day one, after a tie-breaker went in their favor. For complete and up-to-the-minute regatta news and results, visit www.RolexMiamiOCR.org. And this is really very cool - for nightly video reports from America's Cup Hall of Fame inductee, author and sailing broadcaster Gary Jobson (Annapolis, Md.), visit www.NBCSports.com. Great news that sailing is being aired on a national television network! For expanded video coverage, including more interviews and outtakes, visit www.RolexMiamiOCR.org. Stay tuned for more information next week- and good luck to Amanda and Sarah in the 470s and Carrie and Debbie in the Yngling class.
On Saturday, March 17, Manhasset Bay YC will host a Race Officer Training Certification Program called "Basic Race Management Seminar and Test." Save the date, more to follow in next week's column. In the meantime, go to www.manhassetbayyc.org, click on Sailing and Racing, to get the online registration form.
On a sad note: one of our special friends from the sailing community, Peter Lorson, the father of local sailor Pedro Lorson, died on New Year's day. Pedro and his sister, Mimi Berry, who now lives up north, but who has sailed here until a few years ago, were sailing at the Frostbite Regatta when they were notified. Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sally Lorson, his widow, and to both Peter's children and their families. Peter, one of those gentlemen who made sailing such a very special sport, will be missed.