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The last day of frostbiting took place last Saturday on a beautiful, sunny day that reminded one more of the early summer months than a late day in April. This year in addition to the traditional Long Distance Race that ends the frostbite season, the Frostbite Fleet hosted the YRA Frostbite Championships.

Sue Miller, commodore of Manhasset Bay YC, served as Race Committee chair for both events. The Long Distance Race started early, about 9:30 a.m. in light wind. Results for the IC Dinghy class: 1. Pedro Lorson/Maua Berry/Johanna Silbersack, 2. Ted Toombs/Jenny McCarthy, 3. John Silbersack/Mimi Lorson, and 4. Fee Mitropoulos/Sophia Mitropoulos. In the Ideal 18 fleet: 1. Bob Kirtland/Alan Thompson, and 2. Vince Syracuse/Steve Moore.

Once the Long Distance Race was completed, the wind died so, instead of just waiting around for the wind, the Annual Clam Bake started a little early. And what a feast it was! Not only is the food outstanding, but enjoying the first outdoor BBQ of the season puts everyone in a great mood. And just as the last morsel was consumed, a southerly appears as if on command, and the teams that came from around Long Island Sound to compete in this year's Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) Frostbite Championships hopped in boats and had a great time competing in four races. The teams were competing for the YRA Dyer Trophy and the Mermaid Trophy. Many thanks to the four IC Dinghy owners who loaned their boats in true Corinthian spirit: Pedro Lorson (#536), Ted Toombs (#514), John Silbersack (#007), and Fee Mitropoulos (#121). Since the boats were not equalized, each team raced one race on each of the four boats. Winners of the 2009 YRA of LIS Frostbite Championship: 1. Pedro Lorson/Johanna Silbersack, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Peter Beardsley/Stefanie Badwey, Larchmont YC, 3. Bill Hall/Laurence Vigeant-Langlois, Riverside Dyer Dinghy Association, and 4. Ed Cesare/Annie Walsh, Norwalk YC.

With less than two months before the first starting gun sounds at Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex, organizer Storm Trysail Club announced that over 125 boats have entered in advance of the June 1 deadline. Crediting Regatta Chairman Eric Kreuter's (Riverside, Conn.) ingenious plan to "register early, pay later" for the early bump in registrants, On-the-Water Co-Chair Dick Neville (Annapolis, Md.) projects at least 14 class divisions based on the entry list, to date. "We will accept entries up until June 11, with an additional late fee, however we're asking everyone who plans to compete to register soon so we can stock up on the Mt. Gay Rum." The completed entry process is due by June 1 via the event website www.blockislandraceweek.com.

For the first time in the regatta's history, one lucky sailor will win an invitation to compete in the Bitter End Yacht Club's Pro Am Regatta, scheduled for Oct. 31 - Nov. 7. "The top Corinthian owner/driver in each class will be entered into a drawing at the Awards Ceremony on Friday, June 26," explained Kreuter. "The winner will receive an invitation to the Bitter End Yacht Club, in Virgin Gorda, BVI, including eight days and seven nights' accommodation, all meals and, best of all, the chance go head-to-head against Paul Cayard, Ed Baird and Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe."

Based on current projections, over 150 boats and 1,500 sailors are expected to compete, June 22-26, on the waters off of Block Island. The racing format for the week allows for three fleets on three different race courses. Sailors will be gunning for individual class trophies, with fleets vying for Rolex watches as overall prizes for the top-performing yachts. A traditional around-the-island distance race (with an option of a second distance race) will be included. For those with endorsed IRC ratings, the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week XXIII presented by Rolex is a qualifier for the US-IRC Gulf Stream Series http://www.us-irc.org.

Headquarters for the 2009 Block Island Race Week presented by Rolex will be located at The Oar Restaurant, while evening social activities and daily awards take place in the event tent. Overall trophies for the week, as well as drawing for the Bitter End Pro Am Regatta, will be presented on Friday, June 26. Compliments of Rolex, daily video shows of each day's racing will be produced by Annapolis-based T2Productions and broadcast online each night by 9 p.m. on www.t2p.tv. The videos also will be shown each day under the "Big Top" tent where all of Race Week's sponsors will have a presence. Sponsors are Rolex, Caithness Energy, Mt. Gay, Lewmar, Bitter End Yacht Club, Gill, Gowrie Barden & Brett, Hall Spars, Heineken, Sailing World magazine, Summit Yachts, UKHalsey Sailmakers and Vineyard Vines. For more information, visit www.blockislandraceweek.com.

Lynn Fitzpatrick, who has raced in our local frostbiting fleet in years past, is now a journalist traveling around the international sailing community to report on interesting events. She posted the following on the online sailing newsletter, Scuttlebutt: World Regattas Dr. Steve Horwitz has been an active PHRF, Lightning and Etchells sailor for quite awhile. While most sailors on Biscayne Bay are used to seeing him at the helm of Widespread Panic, he crewed for years before he became a dermatologist. "I used to wear this sunscreen that would discolor the decks of every boat I sailed on. I wore it because I have pretty fair skin and I just hated the feeling of getting a sunburn," said Horwitz before he recited his indispensable tenets of sun protection (Fitzpatrick added the rhyme). 1. From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. are peak UV hours. Avoid them with all of your power. This is obviously a problem for sailors, which is why 2 through 4 must be strictly followed. 2. If out between dawn and dusk, applying sunscreen is a must. Even if not sunbathing or sailing the sun you must not trust. 3. Put sunscreen on a half- hour before you leave the house. If you wait, it could be too late. 4. Make sure your skin is dry before you apply. 5. Always wear a hat to cover your head. It doesn't have to be Mount Gay red. 6. Long-sleeved shirts are the answer for protecting your forearms from more skin cancers. 7. Always cover the tops of your feet; it's dangerous for them to turn red as a beet.

The SPF (sun protection factor) is a calculated number indicating the time a person with sunscreen applied can be exposed to sunlight before getting sunburn relative to the time a person without sunscreen can be exposed. In theory, an SPF of 15 will protect the average person for a seven-hour day. The SPF value is not the only measure to select a sunscreen. Sunscreens that are effective on some people may not be effective on others. To read what Dr. Horwitz recommends which sunscreen works best for you, go to: http://www.worldregattas.com/ViewInfo.php?ContentID=218


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