Isn't this weather great! Even the frostbiters, who are used to sailing in the worst conditions, appreciated the gift of good wind that Mother Nature provided last Sunday, March 11. It was sunny and in the mid 40s, but with winds out of the NW at 10 knots gusting to 15 and sometimes higher, it was cold on the water. But there were no complaints heard as the Race Committee continued starting races well into the afternoon, finishing with eight races by the end of the day. There was a short interruption in the starting sequence to lend assistance to a capsized boat that got stuck on a mooring stake. The good news is both skipper and crew, while wet, were safe and transported quickly to land. Results for the day: Ideal 18s (6 boats): 1. #175, Ed McLaughlin and Chris Shields, 2. #171, Bob Kirtland and Alan Thompson, and 3. #12, Sandy Lindenbaum and Bob Schwartz. Top boats in the IC dinghies: 1. #17, Paul-Jon Patin and Donna Marie Cipollone, 2. #536, Pedro Lorson and Johanna Silbersack, and 3. #514, Ted Toombs and Jenny McCarthy.
The Frostbite Race Committee had an extra helper last weekend. She tested the water temperature for the committee, enjoyed the hot dogs and hamburgers, and in general added a nice touch to the regular group of RC members. She is the future of sailing and her name is Sabrina Lorson, daughter of IC dinghy sailor Pedro Lorson. With the gusty winds, Sabrina opted to help the RC - she is always a welcome addition on Kraus' Kastle.
The Stanley Bell regatta is being held at Larchmont YC on Saturday and Sunday, March 17-18. This event is considered a tune-up for the frostbite nationals. An added incentive to race in the Stanley Bell comes from Steve and Heide Benjamin, who founded the Wharf Rat Challenge. This award if for the skipper who receives the highest points over the 2006-2007 frostbite season. To be eligible for this trophy, skippers must compete in three of five regattas to earn point. The five regattas are the Massachusetts Bay Championships, the Manhasset Annual Bay New Year's Regatta, the IC Dinghy Mid-winters, the Stanley Bell and the IC Dinghy Nationals. We have several skippers and crew representing the Manhasset Bay frostbite fleet. We wish the skippers and crew well.
The IC Dinghy Nationals are the climax of the IC winter season and the competition is fierce, with some of the best sailors on the East Coast attending. This year the Nationals will be held at Manhasset Bay YC on April 14-15. So if the day is warm and you wander over to the shore of Manhasset Bay, take a look at all the little boats out on the horizon. There will be just about 60 of them, so the view should be lovely from shore.
Scuttlebutt, the online daily sailing newsletter, accepts comments and ideas in the form of emails from their readers. One recent one read as follows: "The Bacardi Cup results are fantastic. In the 'top ten', there were nine different countries. Isn't this what International Sailing is (supposedly) all about? The Stars have done a lot of things right!" The Stars the writer is referring to are the Star boats that are raced in the recently completed Bacardi Cup. New Zealand's Hamish Pepper and David Giles won the event, held on the waters of Biscayne Bay, near Miami. What is interesting about this regatta is its international flavor. The top ten crew hail from New Zealand, Sweden, Poland, Australia, Germany, Bermuda, Norway, Italy, and Switzerland, plus teams from even more countries, for a total of about 20 countries represented. And what is even more interesting are the ties to our little peninsula. According to the Bacardi Cup website, "In 1927, one year after the Mid-Winter Silver Star Championship for the Cup of Cuba began, a second series was inaugurated in Havana. The Bacardi family, the makers of Bacardi rum, created the Bacardi series. This series was used as a warm-up for the Mid-Winter's, and of course helped prolong the reason for staying in Havana, the better to enjoy the freedom of a prohibition-free environment! The first winner of the Bacardi Cup was the perennial winner of major regattas, Adrian Iselin with his Ace. He went on to win the regatta three more times: 1933, 1935 and 1936." So not only was this regatta sailed in the Star that was built right here, but the very first winner of the event was our own Adrian Iselin II, who was a member of the Port Washington YC and a well-known accomplished Star sailor. Iselin won the Star World's Championship in 1925 and again in 1936. For more information, see http://www.bacardicup.com and http://starclass.org.
The above information is a natural segue into mentioning the great nautical exhibit at the Port Washington Public Library. Sponsored by the Nautical Center at the library, the exhibit is called Port's Nautical History: The Role of the Yacht Clubs in the Community. The exhibit has been extended until March 31, so there is still time to get over to the library and enjoy the items on display. Don't forget to pick up the handout that describes each item in detail.
The VERSUS television network (formerly OLN) today announced its schedule of coverage for the 32nd America's Cup, which begins Saturday, June 23 from Valencia, Spain. Leading up to the America's Cup, VERSUS will air the America's Cup 11-team Challenger Series presented by Louis Vuitton. Beginning on April 16, the start of the Round Robin Series, VERSUS will air daily highlight shows, "Cup Dates", during the network's coverage of the National Hockey League (NHL) playoffs and will have live daily coverage of the semi-finals and finals starting in mid-May.
In addition to television coverage, VERSUS.com will provide 24-hour access to race information beginning with the Round Robin series. The site will feature video clips of race footage; sailing features; daily reports from VERSUS commentators and sailing experts; insider information about the races, teams and competitors; photo galleries and updates for overall race standings. The VERSUS team includes veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer as the host of the telecasts and former America's Cup sailors, Andy Green, who was a helmsman for England as the color analyst, and Tucker Thompson of t2p.tv as the on the water reporter. See the updated VERSUS schedule now posted on the Scuttlebutt website: http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/calendar/shows