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On the Bay: June 19, 2009

This year, 2009, is a very special year in the history of New York: Four hundred years ago, in 1609, a Dutch ship called de Halve Maen, from Holland’s then most prominent Company, the V.O.C. (de Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), under command of Captain Henry Hudson, arrived at the shores of what is now New York. The V.O.C.’s discovery led to the establishment of Nieuw Amsterdam on the southern tip of Manhattan, and the colony of Nieuw Nederland, all the way up the enormous river Hudson had found which, rather than the “Hudson River”, he called “de Maurits Rivier” (after H.R.H. Prince Maurits van Oranje, King of the Netherlands at that time).

One hundred sixty-seven years later, on July 4, 1776, the birthday of the Unites States of America, the Dutch were the first to salute the flag of the United States, a truly historic salute!!

Throughout 2009 the United States of America, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the cities of New York and Amsterdam, will together celebrate the spirit of entrepreneurship, freedom, openness, and tolerance those Dutch-American pioneers brought with them from the Netherlands, that still drives the USA today.

In this light, the Dutch Government has asked Job Sandberg to organize the center piece of these historic celebrations: two Flying Dutchman Championships in New York harbor, at the feet of the Statue of Liberty. The Championships will be held in the presence of the Dutch Navy, a replica of de Halve Maen, a flotilla of 20 ancient Dutch ships (beautiful Dutch “plat-bodems” with leeboards), and de Onrust, a copy of the first yacht ever built in America (by Adriaan Block, yes, as in “Block Island”, when the ship he came here with from Holland, burnt down, and he had to get back…). Even H.R.H the Crown Prince of the Netherlands, Prince Willem-Alexander van Oranje-Nassau will be in New York for the festivities.

According to Captain Hudson’s logbook it was during the second week of September, 1609 (September 11, 1609 actually…) that he dropped anchor in New York harbor for the first time, so our commemorative races will be held during that legendary week: from September 8 through 13, 2009. The first regatta is the 1609-2009 International Flying Dutchman Class, 400th Anniversary of New Amsterdam Championship. September 11 is reserved for a day of non-racing, reflection and respect toward the victims of 9/11. Racing will be on Sept. 12-13.

To make all this possible, the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs has graciously decided to award a large grant to allow for free transportation of at least 60 Flying Dutchman dinghies from the 2009 FD World Championships in August in Medemblik, to New York and back to the Netherlands. In addition, more than 20 Flying Dutchman dinghies will come in from the Americas, so there will be a fantastic fleet of 80 FDs in New York harbor.

Mayor Bloomberg, who plays a central role in the Celebrations, has kindly indicated that New York City will put up grand stands at the southernmost tip of Manhattan, at Battery Park, so hundreds of spectators can enjoy the spectacle right in front of them, with the Statue of Liberty as backdrop!

For more information and to download the NOR, go to: www.sailfd.org/USA, or contact Job B.B. Sandberg, Commodore for North and South America (ret.), 47 Pear Tree Point Road, Darien, CT, 06820.

Manhasset Bay has been busy since the start of the season. On the weekend of May 30-31, North Shore YC and Port Washington YC held day races. The results for NSYC Day Race: Division I (Spinnaker), 9 boats: 1. Pendragon, Quentin Thomas, X-41, Douglaston YS, 2. Hypnos, Merlin Suggs, J/35, USMMA, and 3. Vision, Marc Epstein, J/105, NSYC. Division II (Non-spinnaker), 10 boats: 1. Sans-culottes, Robert Johnson, Ben 40.7, Huguenot YC, 2. Chieftan, Robert Chuda, Frers 45 W, NYAC, and 3. Nordlys, Bob Schwartz, J/109, MBYC. The Port Washington Day Race was held on Sunday, May 31. The results: Division I (Non-spinnaker) 8 boats): 1. Snow Goose, Karph, 2. Sans-coulotte, Johnson, and 3. The Real Macaw, Kiwitt. Division II (Spinnaker) 7 boats: 1. Happy Daze, Eagan, 2. Renegade, USMMA, and 3. Wild Child, Stone. Division III (Spinnaker) 7 boats: 1. Sound Waves, Flamm, 2. Deviation, Vogel, and 3. Hypnos, USMMA. Division IV (Spinnaker), 4 boats: 1. Out of Reach, Nees, 2. Ricochet, USCG, and 3. Georgetown, Marks.

Thirsty Thursday had 17 boats on the starting line in three divisions on June 11, racing in thick fog and some rain. The results: all divisions were given course ZAU, 1.54 nm. Division I (5 boats): 1. Ripple, John Towers, 2. Leverage, Arthur Buhr, and 3. Nordlys, Bob Schwartz. Division II (3 boats): 1. Rosie, Ron Fink, 2. Vision, Marc Epstein, and 3. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan. Division III (9 boats): 1. Naked Dance, Adam Bleifeld, 2. Sundance, Joel Ziev, and 3. En Passant, Bob Ebenau. Note: This is the fourth first place finish for Adam Bleifeld, who seems to be on a roll. He has nailed every race for a first place finish since the beginning of the season. This is a boat to watch (and try to beat) as the season progresses.

Bob Ebenau, NSYC, served as Race Committee Chair for the weekend of June 13-14. The results for Saturday, June 13: Sonars: 1. #652, Sounder, Jonathan Siener/Rick Dominique, 2. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning, and 3. #421, Weekend Warrior, Bill Simon/Dan Simon/Einar Haukeland. On Sunday, June 14, the results for the Sonars: Race 1: 1. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, 2. Sounder, and 3. Ping. Race 2: 1. Sounder, 2. Weekend Warrior, and 3. Delight. Race 3: 1. #573, Selhum, Bahar Gidwani, 2. Sounder, and 3. #568, Laurie B2, Robert Baskind. Race 4: 1. Weekend Warrior, 2. #368, Tzuris, Stanley Rosenberg, and 3. Ping. Race 5: 1. Selhun, 2. Ping, and Laurie B 2. The results for the MBO fleet: Race 1 and 2: 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Ralph Heinzerling, 2. #14, Humdinger, John Silbersack/Jeffrey Rowland, and 3. #11, Silver Foxes, Jay Davenport/Curt Champlin. Race 3: 1. Miss B Haven, and 2. Silver Foxes.