The first night of the every-Tuesday-in-June Summer Solstice Team Race Series saw 16 yacht clubs in the northeast start the round-robin regatta at seven different host clubs. The formula of team racing allows different abilities to compete on the same course using a local fleet, with experienced and less experienced sailors participating in a half dozen fun, "instructional/competitive" races followed by a rules and tactics debrief over pizza and beer. Participating yacht clubs this season include: American YC, Centerport YC, Indian Harbor YC, Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, Manhasset Bay YC, Larchmont YC, New York YC, Noroton YC, Norwalk YC, Northport YC, Pequot YC, Riverside YC, Seawanhaka YC, Sea Cliff YC, Stamford YC and the Storm Trysail Clubs. As results become available, they will be posted.
Results of Thirsty Thursday evening third race of the season, June 7: Division I (Course: UC, 5.51 nm, 6 boats): 1. Avalanche (Farr 395), Al Albrecht, 2. Freedom (J109), Mario Fichera, and 3. Free-Fall (Swan 44 II), Bill McFaul. Division II (Course: UC, 5.51 nm, 3 boats): 1. Vision (J105), Marc Epstein, 2. Xcite (XBoat 33), Yalcin Tarhan, and 3. Irish Blessing (J30), Ed Gillen. Division III: (Course: UYM, 4.25 nm, 7 boats): 1. Naked Dance (Colgate), Adam Bleifeld, 2. Escape (Catalina 320), George McCarthy, and 3. Serenity (Catalina 34), Jacques Blinbaum, Division IV (Course UYM, 4.25 nm, 2 boats): 1. Aquila (Catalina 25), Keith Dorman, and 2. Oy (Oday 240), Eric Weinraub.
Manhasset Bay YC was Race Committee for the weekend of June 9-10. The wind was up which always makes the sailors happy. Race 1 on Saturday for the Sonars: 1. #451, Ping, Sue Miller and John Browning, 2. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, and 3. #682, Puff, Ralf Steitz and Ted Toombs. Race 2: 1. Puff, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon, Bill Simon and Einar Haukeland, 3. Ping. Race 3: 1. Puff, 2. Weekend Warrior, and 3. Ping. Race 4: 1. Puff, 2. Delight, and 3. Weekend Warrior. One lone MBO was given a start on Saturday, MBO #5, Escapade, Ned Baker and Dick Moore. On Sunday, June 10, there were three races for the Sonar and KOD fleets, and two races for the MBOs. Race 1, Sonars: #753, Rick Dominique, 2. Puff, and 3. Ping. Race 2: 1. Rick Dominique, 2. Puff, and 3. Weekend Warrior. Race 3: 1. Puff, 2. Ping, and 3. Weekend Warrior. Results for the MBOs on Sunday: 1. #26, Malachite, Lew Lane, Nina Randall and Gina Sigal, 2. #17, Frolic, Bill Martin, and 3. #5. Escapade, Ned Baker and Dick Moore. Race 2: 1. Frolic, 2. Malachite, and 3. Escapade. Results for the KODs on Sunday: Race 1 and 2: 1. #14, Phoenix, Tom and Donna Powers, 2. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, and 3. #12, Sonic, Michael Aingorn and Peter Wermuth. Race 3: 1. Phoenix, 2. Sonic, and 3. Dybbuk.
Port Washington YC had their annual Day Race on Sunday, June 3. The course was 17 nm commencing at Execution Rock then to Willets Pt. (Nun 2) then to South Hens and Chickens (R 2) then to Hart Island (Gong 1) with a finish along the Great Neck Shore inside the mouth of Manhasset Bay. The wind was 12-15 knots with some higher gusts. A party followed at the PWYC where the results were announced. The winning captain in Division 2, Louis Nees, was sailing his brand new X-35. The Race Committee was aboard Don Wefer's trawler Fidelity. Results for the PWYC Day Race (first names and club affiliations included when available): Division 1 (non-spinnaker): 1. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, PWYC, 2. Real Macaw, Kiwitt, 3. En Passant, Bob Ebenau (NSYC) and 4. Sundance, Joel Ziev, NSYC. Division 2: 1. Out of Reach, Louis Nees, PWYC, 2. Arcadia, Thomas, 3. Sans Coulottes, Johnston, and 4. Happy Daze, Tom Egan, PWYC.
Ladies skippers and crew, take note: The sixth annual Women's Sailing Conference, sponsored by BoatUS at the Corinthian YC in Marblehead, MA was a resounding success. Many reading this might want to make plans now to attend the conference next year. Here's what took place. There were lively day long series of classes geared for the novice to experts. Topics included diesel engines, knots, anchoring, marine electronics and cruising preparation. With nearly 100 percent female instructors, many of them U.S. Coast Guard-licensed operators, this year's students showed the same enthusiasm as in past years. Then it was out to the water for hands-on training sessions in man overboard drills, racing skills, spinnaker and up the mast.
A highlight of the day's events was the presentation of the Leadership in Women's Sailing Award to Janet Baxter, a Chicago-based racer, sailing judge and the first woman to be elected president of United States Sailing Association, the national governing body of the sport in the U.S. Baxter was instrumental in preparing U.S. SAILING for the 21st century with a comprehensive reorganization of the group. In accepting the award, Baxter spoke graciously about how sailing has enriched her life and cemented friendships that last a lifetime. She's raced in 27 Chicago-to-Mackinac races and excelled in racing Lasers, Etchells, as well as offshore boats. She is a member of the Chicago Yacht Club.
"Janet Baxter, in taking such a high-profile leadership position at U.S. SAILING, shows that women can excel at every level - both on the water and in the board rooms," said Elaine Dickinson of BoatUS.
Following a gala dinner, featured speaker Maureen McKinnon-Tucker described how she found a way to hold onto her passion for sailboat racing even after she suffered a paralyzing accident. She is the first woman named to the U.S. Disabled Sailing Team and is vying for a berth in the 2008 Paralympic Games in China. Some 60 prizes were raffled off, including an inflatable boat donated by West Marine. The raffle raised $2,500 for the AdventureSail program for at-risk girls and boys.
Emirates Team New Zealand won its fifth consecutive race of the Final to sweep the Louis Vuitton Cup (LVC) 5-0 and advance to the America's Cup Match. Italy's Luna Rossa Challenge put up a brave fight in this final contest but were no match for the mighty Kiwis. The fifth and what turned out to be the last contest in the LVC was postponed for a short time to allow the light sea breeze to stabilize and when racing began there was only an eight knot southerly. The Kiwi team returned to Port America's Cup to a heroes welcome, settling in for the prize giving ceremony where the coveted Louis Vuitton Cup trophy was to be presented to a triumphant Emirates Team New Zealand. In typical Cup fashion, the Louis Vuitton Cup arrived in style as spirals of red smoke trailed two paragliders who danced and tumbled through the sky. The crowd excitedly leapt up and down, shouting and pointing as the stuntmen glided to a stage perched in the center of the Port America's Cup canal with the trophy nestled safely in a Louis Vuitton suitcase. The America's Cup series, pitting the Kiwis against the Swiss defender, Alinghi, will start on June 23.