The 29th Manhasset Bay Fall Series took place on two consecutive weekends, Oct.13-14, and Oct.20-21. John B. Thomson, Jr., a successful blue water competitive sailor, and his wife Adrienne, also an excellent sailor, who are well-known in sailing circles locally and internationally, thought that a late fall distance event would develop a high level of big boat competition in our area and promote enjoyment of Long Island Sound racing under the best weather conditions of the year. The first fall series was held in 1979 and was organized by Roger Priem, chairman of Distance Events at MBYC, and Chip Whipple, regatta coordinator. Now 29 years later, the event still attracts some of the best competitors on Long Island Sound. The Thomsons had it right about the fall being the best weather conditions of the year. As most boats are being hauled for the season, about 80 boats competed in this year's event. And they were treated to the best sailing Long Island Sound could offer. Mother Nature smiled on the fall series this year, as she has done in the past, and provided good winds on the first three days of sailing, keeping the sailors, RC and spectators happy. Sunday, Oct. 21 the wind was light but the RC still managed to get a race in. Local competitors in the Fall Series included: Andiamo, Paul Strauch (MBYC), Avalanche, Craig Albrecht (PWYC), Georgetown, George Marks, (NSYC), and Out of Reach, Louis Nees (PWYC).
The MBYC ballroom was packed with skippers, crews, family and friends to witness the awards ceremony and cheer for the winners and give solace to those who must wait until next year to reach their goals, be it to move up on the leader board or capture first-place honors. What was especially wonderful to see were all the very young children at MBYC for it made the ceremony a truly family affair. Commodore Don Richardson, with the help of PROs (Principal Race Officers) Vice-Commodore Sue Miller and Past Commodore John Barry gave the awards to their rightful owners. Happy but tired sailors left MBYC, vowing to come back next year. Thanks are due to the people who volunteered many hours to make this event such a success. Special thanks are due to the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy for lending the Dottie J for RC duty and to Past Commodore Bob Prokop for the use of Pam's Tram, also for RC.
Final results of the 25th Manhasset Bay Fall Series: Class 0 - IRC: 1. Quintessence, Roger Widmann (New York YC), 2. High Noon, Steve Benjamin (Seawanhaka Corinthian YC), and 3. Barleycorn, Brenden Brownyard (Sea Cliff YC). Class 1 - IRC: 1. Christopher Dragon, Andrew Weiss, (Indian Harbor YC), 2. Ageless, Kenneth Rothaus (Larchmont YC) and 3. SirenSong, Tom Carroll (Larchmont YC). Class 2 - J/44: 1. Challenge IV, Jeffrey Willis (Lloyd Harbor YC), 2. Resolute, D & R Rave, (Lloyd Harbor YC) and 3. Glory, Jack Neades (U.S. Coast Guard Academy). Class 3 - IRC: 1. Lora Ann, Rich du Moulin (Larchmont YC), 2. Troubador, Mort Weintraub (New York YC), and 3. Afterglow, Bill Walker (Cedar Point YC). Class 4 - J/109: 1. Relentess, Al Minella (Huguenot YC), 2. Mad Dogs & Englishmen, Adrian Begley (Atlantic Highlands YC) and 3. Melody, Alan Tannous. Class 5 - J/105: 1. Indefatigable, Philip Lotz (New York YC), 2. Kincsem, Joerg Esdorn (American YC) and Peregrina, Josh Burack, YRALIS. Class 6 - PHRF: 1. Hustler, John Esposito (City Island YC), 2. Tenacious, Julien Dougherty, and 3. Deviation, Iris Vogel (Huguenot YC). Class 7 - PHRF: 1. Dreadlocks, Dave Kellogg (Lloyd Harbor YC), 2. Borderline, Jonathan Asch (Old Greenwich YC) and 3. Letting Go, Art Rich (Breakwater Irregulars).
Jeff Willis on Challenge IV, from Lloyd Harbor YC and the Storm Trysail Club, sIOR, IMS or one-design divisions, a repeat from his stellar performances in 2004 and 2001 when he won the same award. Other past winners include: 2005-2006 - Relentless, Al Minella, 2003- Eclipse, Damien Emery, 2002 - Hilaria David Florencea and the late Joe Schultz-Heik (Larchmont YC), and 2000 - Blue Yankee, Robert Towse/Steve Benjamin (Storm Trysail Club). John B. Thomson, Jr. was on hand to present the trophy, which he donated to the fall series 25 years ago in memory of his father. Accompanying him to the ceremony were his son John, his wife Jennifer and their three young children. John Esposito, on Hustler (City Island YC) won the Ted Clark Trophy for the best overall performance in the PHRF division. This is the fifth time that Esposito has won the Ted Clark Trophy, having won in 2003, 2002, 1997 and 1993. The trophy is named after Ted Clark who was a member of Manhasset Bay YC from 1928-66 and was an active frostbiter and sailed in many distance races. The Huguenot Challenge Trophy was won by the New York YC, just beating out Lloyd Harbor YC. This trophy is awarded to the team of boats that has the best performance in the Fall Series.