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On The Bay: October 25, 2011

Once the fall season begins in earnest, many people think that sailing is over and done with. But one quick look at the bay (which can be viewed at the newly dedicated Nautical Museum Bay Walk in Port Washington North), there are still many boats at their moorings. There is a good reason for this. The Manhasset Bay Fall Series is a prestigious event that many boat owners like to watch. Usually this event takes place out on Long Island Sound, which was the main venue this year again. But a new racing circle was added right here in the bay. The Melges 24, all six of them, came over to race from the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay. It was great to see this support from our friends at Oakcliff, and even better was that not only those who owned boats could watch the racing out on the Sound, but strollers along our beautiful waterfront, could watch the racing on the bay. Thanks for this additional racing circle go to the great people at Oakcliff and Manhasset Bay YC for improving on an event that has long been a tradition in our area.

Manhasset Bay Fall Series is a four-day event, taking place on Saturday and Sunday on two consecutive weekends. The idea of racing when the wind was the best for racing came from John Thomson III way back in 1979, who thought it would be great fun to race out on the sound in really good wind. Well, with the wind conditions this year, at least on the first weekend of racing, the thought had to cross several skippers minds… be careful what you wish for. The first day of racing brought winds of 20-25 knots and the racing on the bay was cancelled, as this wind was just too much for the smaller Melges 24s. But out on the sound, it was ripping and several spinnakers were blown out and lots of broaches were seen, so Race Committee called it a day. Winds lessened considerably for Sunday’s long distance race. The following weekend the winds were much lighter than the previous weekend and so light that on Sunday, all racing was cancelled on the Sound. Mother Nature really needs a good talking to…what is so hard about averaging the wind conditions so that the teams can have a full four days of racing. One has to wonder what she isn’t getting.

Results of the 33rd Manhasset Bay Fall Series:

IRC-Zero (two boats): 1. Steve & Heidi Benjamin, High Noon and 2. Stephen Murray, Decision. IRC (10 boats): 1. Todd LaBaugh, Excelsior, 2. Quentin Thomas, Pendragon, and 3. George Marks, Georgetown III, North Shore YC. J/105 (14 boats): 1. Joerg Esdorn/Duncan Hennes, Kincsem, 2. Paul Beaudin Loulou, 3. Norman Kilarjian, Tolo and 4. Jeremy Henderson, Conundrum. PHRF A (10 boats): 1. Paul Strauch, Andiamo, Manhasset Bay YC, 2. Adam Loory, Soulmates, and 3. Iris Vogel, Deviation and 4. Bob Schwartz, Nordlys, Manhasset Bay YC. PHRF B (6 boats): 1. John & Tony Esposito, Hustler, 2. Chris Arleo, Dreadlocks, and 3. Todd Aven, Thin Man. Melges 24 (6 boats): 1. Vadim Shablinski, 2. Rick Dominique, and 3. Mark DiSanti. PHRF, Non-Spinnaker (5 boats): 1. Joe Nakelski, Zzzooom, 2. Robert Chuda, Chieftain, 3. Sid Kiwitt, The Real Macaw.

The winners of the Perpetual Trophies: John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy (best performance in a One-design or IRC class): Joerg Esdorn/Duncan Hennes, American YC; the Ted Clark Trophy (best performance in PHRF): John Esposito, City Island YC, who has won this trophy for the fifth year in a row! The Hugeunot Trophy (the best performing club team, dedicated by Huguenot YC): American YC came out on top with a first place in IRC (Excelsior), 1st in J/105 (Kincsem) and 6th place in IRC (Avra).

For more information and complete race results, see: and

It’s that time of year again to start the nominating process for the 2011 Rolex Yachtsman & Yachtswoman of the Year Awards. These are the best male and female sailors in 2011 who are recognized for their outstanding achievements within the calendar and year and are viewed as the nation’s top sailing honors. Sailing greats Betsy Alison, Paul Cayard, Dennis Conner, Courtney Dey, J.J. Fetter, Allison Jolly, John Kostecki, Buddy Melges, Ken Read, Cory Sertl, Jody Swanson, Ted Turner and other legends have held this honor. US SAILING members can submit nominations for these awards through Wed., Nov. 30. Once these nominations have been received, a slate is presented to a panel of accomplished sailing journalists, who together discuss the merits of each and then vote to determine the ultimate winners. Nominees must be U.S. citizens who are currently eligible to represent the U.S.A. in international competition. This award was established in 1961 by US SAILING and has been sponsored by Rolex Watch U.S.A. since 1980.

Before we get into the frostbite season, which will be in the next few weeks, race results for the Summer Series for Thirsty Thursday racing have become available. Division I (7 boats): 1. Andiamo Paul Strauch, 2. Ripple, John Towers, 3. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, and 4. Nordlys, Bob Schwartz. Division II (7 boats): 1. Rosie, Ron Fink, 2. Vision, Marc Epstein, 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen and 4. En Garde, Charlie Cannam. Division III (11 boats): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. Escape, Chuck McCarthy, 3. Evelyn, Bob Dryer and 4. Naked Dance, Adam Bleifeld. Division III Cruising: 1. Escape, 2. Eudaimonia, Dan Catanzaro, 3. Serenity, Jacques Blinbaum and 4. Second Wind, Anthony Viola. Readers should note that Paul Strauch, in his new J/111 won the PHRF division in the Manhasset Bay Fall Series and the Summer Series in Division I for Thirsty Thursday racing. Congratulations to Paul and his crew for a great racing season!