Last Thursday night on April 17, the Port Washington Yacht Club hosted the meeting of the Cow Bay Cruising Association, aka Thirsty Thursday. This was a membership meeting and awards ceremony, with enough time to enjoy each other's company and plan for the upcoming racing season. Commodore Yalcin Tarhan presented an agenda, with lively discussion on a number of topics. After the business part of the meeting was completed, he turned the meeting over to the incoming commodore, Al Albrecht. Both commodores then gave recipients their awards for the 2007 season.
2007 Division I winners: First Overall (spring and fall series): Avalanche, Al Albrecht, Farr 395; Second Overall (spring and fall series): Free-Fall, Bill McFaul, Swan 44 II; Second (spring series): Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, Beneteau 36.7; Second (fall series), Grace, Gene Gold, Swan 53 cb. Division II winners: First Overall & Season Winner, X-Cite, Yalcin Tarhan, XBoat 33; Second Overall (spring and fall series): Vision, Marc Epstein, J/105; Third Overall (spring and fall series): Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen J/30. Div. III: First Overall (spring and fall series): Tootsie, Ron Fink, Scampi 30; Second Overall (spring and fall series): En Passant, Bob Ebenau, Islander B30; Third Overall (spring and fall series): Sundance, Joel Ziev, Pearson 30. Div IV: First Overall, Oy, Eric Weintraub. The Robert Wolfe Memorial Trophy 2007 for Crewman of the Season was awarded to Richard Predmore.
Thirsty Thursday Spring Series begins in the middle of May and from the information gathered at the meeting, it looks like it will be another great season for this group. Newcomers are always welcome.
After a week of sailing in challenging conditions, the Rolex Farr 40 World Championship Awards Party took place at the Paris Studio in Miami Beach. Vincenzo Onorato, owner/helmsman of Mascalzone Latino, was awarded the Farr 40 World Cup trophy and a Rolex Yacht-Master timepiece. Onorato and his team achieved a first in the sailing world - three back-to-back victories in this ultra-competitive one design class.
Barking Mad (USA), Jim Richardson's two-time world champion, finished in eighth. "It was a very, very light and pretty shifty day," said Richardson (Boston, Mass./Newport, R.I.). "The conditions were challenging and we didn't meet the challenge of our boat. We weren't going well. We had some good starts and we were up there at the beginning, but we didn't finish up there. Every time we seemed to be on the right, the left paid off. It was frustrating to get good starts and all of a sudden not be in a good position."
Richardson not only helms his boat, but he is at the helm of the Farr 40 Class as president. "This has been a great world championship," he said. "It's been a terrific venue and everyone is happy to meet after the races. The cordiality of the event has been very high, and the sailing has been challenging and it's been fair. As for planning for future regattas, the class will travel to Europe to Porto Cervo, Sardinia for the 2009 Rolex Farr 40 World Championship. "Next year we return to the Yacht Club Costa Smeralda," said Richardson. "It's one of the really beautiful jewels of the sailing world. It's a fabulous yacht club in a beautiful setting. I'm sure they'll do a great job for us as they usually do. Hopefully the wind will be more stable than here." The top 10 boats out of 33: 1. Mascalzone (ITA), Vincenzo Onorato, 2. Joe Fly (ITA), Giovanni Maspero, 3. Mean Machine (MON), Peter de Ridder, 4. Nanoq (DEN), HRH Crown Prince Frederik, 5. Calvi Network (ITA), Carlo Alberni, 6. Alinghi (SUI), Ernesto Bertarelli, 7. Ramrod (USA), Rodrick Jabin, 8. Barking Mad (USA), Jim Richardson, 9. Opus One (GER), Wolfgang Stolz, 10. Nerone (ITA), Massimo Mezzaroma/ Antonio Sodo Migliori.
A story has appeared on Scuttlebutt, the daily online sailing newsletter that has good information for those embarking on a season of sailing on Manhasset Bay, Long Island Sound and any long distance sailing/racing. The story goes something like this: Last year during a West Coast beer can race, one boat sank, four people ended up in the water and one person died. The host club and other local clubs in an effort to help history from repeating, took some action. And this is where the information can be helpful to our local sailors.
From the perspective of a manufacturer's representative for marine accessories, learning about man overboard techniques, without practice, renders the safety gear to just another tool onboard a boat. According to one presenter at the seminar out west, the emphasis should be on each boat owner knowing how the gear operates, and instructing his or her crew about techniques for deployment, activation and use. Sometimes we all forget that sailing "around the buoys" is just as dangerous as offshore events. Skippers need to consider the variety of skill levels onboard, and think of the list of maneuvers requiring crew movement and coordination that may result in a man overboard. In planning for, and practicing for any kind of sailing, be it an afternoon out with the family or a fiercely fought race, skippers need to include rescue techniques as part of their practice session. Get your crew comfortable with all the gear for a man overboard - and make sure they know how to use it all properly. One never knows when you may need it.