An old photo of the star boat that will be highlighted at the Tugboat Nautical Museum on the Town Dock during the 2007 HarborFest. This world-famous boat, one of the most successful boats ever built, was born right here in Port Washington.
The Port Washington Chamber of Commerce is again sponsoring a great waterfront celebration. It is called HarborFest and it is the community's chance to come down to the Town Dock and enjoy all that Manhasset Bay has to offer. Part of the festivities includes a change in the exhibit at the Tugboat Museum. So this is your last chance to see the Purdy Boat Company exhibit in the tugboat museum at the Town Dock. The new exhibit, which will start on Harbor Day, will be the first in a series of histories of the villages of Manhasset Bay-Port Washington North, where the first Star boats were built by the Ike Smith shipyard on Shore Road. So mark your calendars, and come down to the Town Dock on Friday, June 1 for the BBQ and again on Sunday, June 3 to join in all the fun activities. Don't forget to wander over to the Mill Pond for the Model Boat Regatta, where all the five elementary schools will be represented as they vie for top honors in a "real regatta" in boats the third-graders made out of recycled materials. Racing starts about 10:30 a.m.
Every August a great event happens right here on our bay. It is called the Knickerbocker Cup and it attracts world-renown match racers. News out of Lymington, England about the World Match Racing Tour mentions past skippers who have competed in the Knickerbocker Cup and are doing well on this competitive series of races. Team Pindar's Ian Williams continues to lead the World Tour with 62 points followed closely behind by Mathieu Richard and United Internet Team Germany's Jesper Bank. Also high on the leaderboard are Alinghi's Ed Baird, Peter Holmberg and the 2006 World Champion Peter Gilmour. Williams, Richard, Baird and Gilmour have all raced in our bay, which gave all of them fits with the wind shifts and the usual weather conditions that plague newcomers to our bay. For those who like following the events of the World Tour, they have added additional sites to the tour: Match Cup Sweden in Marstrand has rejoined the World Tour under new management and the Latium Match Cup in Fiumicino, Rome will take place in mid September. For more information on the World Match Racing Tour, competitors and events, visit the official World Tour Web site, www.worldmatchracingtour.com. World Match Racing Tour television programs may be viewed on demand by clicking on the television icon on the home page of the Web site or at www.sail.tv.
Calling all sailors - Block Island Race Week (BIRW) is coming up. From June 17-22, the population of tiny Block Island will swell by over 2,000 sailors while marinas fill with an extra 200 plus boats when the Storm Trysail Club arrives to coordinate--for its 22nd time--Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex. One of the most popular sailing weeks in America, the event has repeated itself here biennially since 1965, offering competitors impeccably managed competition on the water and famously friendly rivalry ashore. At press time, nearly half of the expected fleet had already signed up.
This year, the event serves as the first-ever Rolex US-IRC National Championship for boats certified under IRC, a relatively new rule in the U.S. for handicapping race boats of different kinds so that they can compete on equal footing. "Having the Nationals as part of Block Island Race Week proves that the IRC rating has come of age in the U.S.," said Steve De Voe (Stamford, Conn.), who will sail his Swan 45 Devocean in the event. "Before, handicapping had driven a lot of sailors to a single-class boat, but the IRC, for us in our 45-foot boat, is very fair and encourages us to race handicap." De Voe and his group of a dozen "hard-core amateurs" who have been sailing together since 2003 are typical of the teams that will be vying for the new national championship title.
Back in 2005, through contributions and a raffle, the BIRW raised in excess of $18,000 for three charities: Block Island Rescue Squad, Block Island Maritime Institute, and Block Island Community Playground. This year the raffle's grand prize again will be a Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner timepiece with additional prizes supplied by Mt. Gay, Gill, Vineyard Vines, Heineken and other Block Island Race Week sponsors. "For more than 40 years, Storm Trysail members, guest skippers, crews, and families have descended upon Block Island and, essentially, taken it over for an entire week," said Storm Trysail Club Commodore John Fisher. "Block Island, like many summer destinations, recognizes the importance of tourism to its local economy and embraces the economic contributions of Block Island Race Week. Conversely, we recognize the importance of Block Island to our club's heritage and want to give something back."
Block Island Race Week Headquarters will be located at the Oar Restaurant in the Block Island Boat Basin on the shore of the Great Salt Pond, also known locally as New Harbor. It is there, under a giant event tent, that racing will be complemented by socializing each evening and Race Week sponsors will host displays and special events. Compliments of Rolex, daily video shows of each day's racing, produced by Annapolis-based T2Productions, will be shown and broadcast on-line each night by 9 p.m. on www.t2p.tv. Race Week sponsors are Rolex, Jeep, Mt. Gay, Caithness Energy, Vineyard Vines, Lewmar, B&G, Gill, Hall Spars, J Boats, the Rhode Island State Yachting Committee, Sailing World, UKHalsey Sailmakers, West Marine, Gowrie, Barden & Brett, Summit Performance Yachts, WindCheck Magazine, Sailing World, Heineken and Yellow Tail wine. For raffle information and online entry, visit www.blockislandraceweek.com
Another interesting development, this one coming from the America's Cup.... The 32nd Cup can be seen live on your computer! Sail.tv, the world's internet sailing TV channel, working as an AmericasCupAnywhere licensee of Alcatel-Lucent, the Official New Media Provider for the 32nd America's Cup, is pleased to announce that its successful coverage of the 32nd America's Cup in Valencia is to be further expanded. Beginning on Monday, May 14, Sail TV will begin broadcasting the Semi-final stages of the Louis Vuitton Cup live on the internet at http://live.sail.tv. This will be offered as part of a subscription package to viewers, which will include live coverage of the Louis Vuitton Cup Semi-Finals and Finals, and the 32nd America's Cup Match by Louis Vuitton. To access the broadcast, go to www.sail.tv and click on the 32nd America's Cup 'logo' on the home page. If you happen to be busy during the live coverage, you can always go back and watch later 'On Demand.' Of course, there is a fee for this high tech accessibility, but for those of us who can't get to Valencia, this just might be the ticket to a front row seat.