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On The Bay: November 29, 2011

The Sonar Fleet is a group of racers who have fun out on the race course and even more fun back on shore, where they spend a good bit of time going over what “actually” happened out on the water. It is amazing how many different stories come out of the exact same start, or mark rounding, or near collision. But all is done in the Corinthian spirit, in a gentlemanly (gentlelady?) manner. It is all part of belonging to a group of sailors who happen to like racing on the same boat, and are presented with the same challenges.

A few weeks ago, the Sonar Fleet had their annual awards dinner, which is always a lot of fun. This year, as in the past, Greg Danilek spent a lot of time on a slide show that entertained throughout the evening. And Bill Simon, race program director at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay, was the host for the evening, ably assisted by Mary Lu Palafox.

After really great appetizers and time to rehash the season, plus other various current topics, dinner was served. Bill and Mary Lu started the awards early so there would be plenty of time of the ice cream buffet that has become standard fare at this dinner. And, of course, there had to be time allotted at the bar after the conclusion of the event.

In another column, mention was made of the Moosehead Awards held over at Sea Cliff YC. Well, the Sonars have their own little “moosehead-like” award. Could it be that John Browning had something to do with the new Sonar Fleet Perpetual Trophy called “Order of the Bath”? The order went something like this:

“Twas minutes before racing, when all through the bay, Sonar Fleet 11 was stirring and ready to play. The courses were hung on the Worry Wart with care in hopes that the start soon would be there.” Astute readers will pick up on this seasonal poem…

The presenters continued, “The upwind was crazy and to some a real scare as Sonars crossed in real heavy air…. When off our port rail there arose such a clatter, I looked over there to see what was the matter. And what to my wondering eyes did appear but (boat name left out on purpose to protect the innocent) Jolly ole Skipper flying through the air. To add to the scene, Flame’s crew let out a squeal as (boat name) rolled over displaying full keel! It happened so fast with just one riddle so grand, what’s an airborne skipper doing with tiller extension in hand!” Readers, with this rather descriptive text, you can easily picture what was going out on the water that day, and how wet – and embarrassed – the skipper must have been. And how appropriate for him to receive the Order of the Bath! Oh, and our apologies the author of Twas the Night Before Christmas, but it was all in good fun.

Now for the awards: Neil Bercow, Dreadlox (#442): 2nd, Single-handed race, 5th Handicap Series. Bill McCollum, Bill Siener and Reed Whittemore, Windy (#470: 4th, Handicap Series. Ed King, Andy Weissman, Mary Lu Dempsey, Old Flame (#479): 5th Handicap Series. Bob Baskind, Laurie B (#568): 5th Saturday Series and 2nd Handicap Series. Bahar Gidwani, Selhun (#573): 4th Championship Series, 2nd Saturday Series, 4th Sunday Series, 4th Tune-up Series. Michael Aignorn, Ghostrider (#726): 5th Championship Series, 4th Saturday Series, 5th Sunday Series. Andrew Groody, USMMA (#816): 5th Tune-up Series. Bob Kirtland, Delight (#396): 3rd Championship Series, 3rd Saturday Series, 3rd Sunday Series, 1st Tune-up Series. Sue Miller and John Browning, Ping (#451): 2nd Championship Series, 1st Saturday Series, 2nd Sunday Series, 3rd Tune-up Series. Greg and Beth Danilek, Housemartin (375): 1st Championship Series, 1st Sunday Series, 2nd Tune-up Series. Rounding out the fleet: Stanley Rosenberg, Tzuris (#368), Bill Simon, Dan Simon and Einar Haukeland, Weekend Warrior (#421), Allyn Salomon, Serendipity (#677), Ed Adler, Whimsey (#678), Gibby Rachleff, La Fong (#781), and from USMMA, Kirk Wetzel and Evan Siepert.

Crew awards for 2011: David Ashinsky, Laurie B (#568): 3rd Crew Race #1, 3rd Crew Race #3. Alan Thompson, Delight (#396): 2nd Crew Race #1, 2nd Crew Race #2. John Lobley, Ping (#451): 1st, Crew Race #1, 1st Crew Race #2.

For those readers who have college-bound kids who sail and for anyone else interested in college sports: The US Naval Academy won the 2011 ISCA Match Race Nationals which took place November 18 – 20. This event was co-hosted by California Maritime Academy and St. Francis Yacht Club. Roger Williams took second place, and Stanford placed third overall. Racing took place in front of the Golden Gate Bridge under a range of weather conditions including light wind, rain and strong current. Ten teams representing all seven ICSA conferences sailed in J22s; each team had one skipper and two crewmembers aboard. Last year, the collegiate nationals were raced for the first time in match racing format and it was held at the US Merchant Marine Academy. The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) is the governing authority for sailing competition at colleges and universities throughout the United States and in some parts of Canada.

Final results: 1. U.S. Naval Academy, 2. Roger Williams University, 3. Stanford University, 4. University of Southern Florida, 5. Tufts University, 6. University of Wisconsin, 7. St. Mary’s College of Maryland. 8. University of Michigan, 9. University of Oregon, and Texas A&M University.

Frostbiting season is upon us and scores from Nov. 13 have been made available. The IC Dinghy division: (eight boats): 1. Ted Toombs and Mariann Simms, 2. Pedro Lorson and Coleen Stack, and 3. John Silbersack and Virginia Wilkimg. In the Ideal 18 division (three boats): 1. Rita and Vince Syracuse with John Bianton, 2. Bob Schwartz and Tom Powers, and 3. Dan Griffin and Andrew Feigin.