Olin Stephens, who is 100 years old this year, designed the Manhasset Bay One Design (MBO). He is seen with Pam Prokop, one of the owners of Olin Express, the longest continually sailed Olin Stephens-designed boat in existence.
You just have to give credit to the ladies - one in particular who hails from San Rafael, CA. Her name is Liz Baylis and she has become the first undefeated and first two-time winner Saturday in the 2008 Mayor's Cup presented by St. Mary Medical Center and part of the 2008 City of Long Beach Sea Festival presented by Charter Communications. Eight skippers representing the United States, New Zealand, Brazil and Sweden sailed the ISAF Grade 2 match race in identically prepared Catalina 37s owned and managed by the Long Beach Yacht Club Sailing Foundation, which performed perfectly under sunny skies and a consistent breeze of 10-12 knots. Baylis dominated the three days of double round-robins, semi-finals and finals... a total of 18 races in which rarely was there a chink in their armor. According to Baylis, "The crew work was incredible. They did everything perfectly. Even when I made a mistake on the leeward mark [rounding] in the Final, they pulled me out of it and we came back. Their performance gives me confidence." Summing up the event as a whole, two-time winner Baylis said, "It's a great regatta encouraging people to come. The Long Beach Yacht Club and the people are incredible. The way they make you feel, the great boats and great sailing... it's like sailing a home game."
This dynamite skipper will have another chance to "sail a home game," right here in Port Washington. Baylis is one of the competitors in the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup, held this year from Aug. 20 - 24. She will have her work cut out for her racing against a strong line-up of international entries. Top on the list is last year's winner, Chris Van Tol, Van Tol Racing, USA, with an ISAF ranking of 36. This rather young team, who call themselves the "zero to hero" team, have made it big time on the international match racing circuit. These two skippers alone have everyone excited about this year's match race, but it gets even better. It won't be any walk in the park for either Van Tol or Baylis because the rest of the skippers are no slouches: Andrew Arbuzov, RUS; Keith Swinton, Black Swan Match Racing, AUS; Sergey Musikhin, RUS; Evan Walker, AUS; Phil Robertson, NZ; Juan Ignacio Grimaldi, ARG; Robbie Allam, GBR; Blythe Walker, BER; and Francesco Bruni, Joe Fly Match Racing Team, ITA.
This year the Knickerbocker Cup is part of the World Tour Qualification Series (TQS) which means that the winner of the 2008 Knickerbocker Cup will receive an invitation to the Bermuda Gold Cup. So in addition to racing on Manhasset Bay, which always gives the competitors trouble with shifty winds and strong currents - a challenge skippers seem to relish - they will have an added benefit of a chance to get an invite to one of the most prestigious match racing events on the World Tour. For more information about the Knickerbocker Cup, see www.kyc.net and for information about the World Match Racing Tour, go to www.worldmatchracingtour.com.
The New York Yacht Club's (NYYC) sixth biennial Race Week at Newport presented by Rolex starts off with a bang on July 18, when some of the world's most notable classic yachts and their owners and crews gather to participate in the club's 100th birthday celebration of America's legendary yacht designer Olin J. Stephens. Stephens, of Sparkman & Stephens design fame, will have the pleasure of watching several S&S designs compete among the large fleet of classics expected over July 18-20. They will include Dorade, one of his very first boats off the drawing board (at the ripe young age of 21), now owned by Edgar Cato (Charlotte, N.C.), as well as Sonny, Joe Dockery's (Newport, R.I./Greenwich, Conn.) 1935 cutter sloop, which was rammed by a German submarine in WWII, then refloated and repaired.
"Every classic yacht has a unique story behind it, it seems," said Dockery, who also is officially the chair of the classics event that serves as the first half of Race Week. "And Olin, of course, has a story for every one of his designs," he added, noting that when Dorade was launched in 1931 it sparked a revolution in sailboat design. "It's very special and quite an honor to be chosen to chair an event that celebrates his life."
Dockery said that in addition to the "standard" things like a huge tent on the lawn at Harbour Court and 250 people gathered under it for social functions, there will be S&S designs--both old and new--on display at the dock and ashore. A special Bolero-themed birthday cake will be part of the celebration for Stephens at a sit-down dinner under the tent on Saturday night. Bolero, an S&S design owned by Edward Kane (Concord, Mass.), belonged to John Nicholas Brown, commodore of the NYYC (1952-54), who owned Harbour Court, now the NYYC's on-the-water clubhouse.
Olin Stephens is no stranger to Manhasset Bay. A few years before he designed Dorade, he designed the Manhasset Bay One Design (MBOD). It was his first boat, designed in 1928 and originally called the Sound Junior Class, for the junior sailors at Larchmont YC. Stephens came to Manhasset Bay YC several times over the years, one, because he has been a member of MBYC since 1933, and because he takes an active interest in the MBO fleet. He celebrated the fleet's 60th birthday and was again part of the celebration a few years ago of the launching of Olin Express, hull #3, the longest continually sailed Olin Stephens-designed boat in existence.
A little history of the MBOs: In 1929, when Yachting Magazine wrote a review of Mr. Stephens' first design, she was described as "a well modeled little craft with nice sheer and moderate overhangs. The iron keel and buoyant flaring sections indicates stiffness and dryness. The modern efficient rig should make for good speed and ease of handling in all weathers". According to Francis S. Kinney, in his book, You Are First: The Story of Olin and Rod Stephens of Sparkman & Stephens (1978), this design gave Mr. Stephens "the greatest pleasure to know that when she was first launched she floated exactly on her designed waterline".
Race results for Thirsty Thursday: Race 7 on July 10. Division I (Course DJ, 6.03 nm, 8 boats): 1. Out of Reach III, Louis Nees, 2. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, and 3. Ripple, John Towers. Division II (Course DC, 5.73 nm, 12 boats): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Happy Daze II, Tom Egan, 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen, and 4. Naked Dance, Adam Bleifeld.
North Shore YC served as Race Committee for July 12-13. Results for July 12: Sonars (one race): 1. #375, Housemartin, Beth and Greg Danilek, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Bill Simon/Dan Simon/Einar Haukeland, and 3. #451. Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning. Results for the Sonars on Sunday, July 13: Race 1: 1. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener, 2. Weekend Warrior, and 3. Ping. Race 2: 1. Viento, 2. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, and 3. Weekend Warrior. Results for the MBOs: 1. #17, Frolic, Bill Martin, 2. #23, 23 Skidoo, Carole Alexander/Don Richardson, and 3. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling. Sunday scores for MBOs: 1. Frolic, 2. #24, no information available. The KOD results for Sunday: 1. #15, Dybbuk, Roy Israel, 2. #14, Phoenix, Tom and Donna Powers, and 3. #12, Sonic, Michael Aingorn/Peter Wermuth.