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On the Bay: October 16, 2009

Two very special events happened this weekend on the water – one on our bay and the other over at Larchmont YC. The event here, the Port Washington YC Charity Regatta, will be reported on next week when information and results are available.

The 2009 Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, hosted by Larchmont YC, attracted 40 college teams from around the country, who competed in five divisions: IRC 40, IRC 35, J/44, J/109 and J/105. The overall winner, who also was division winner, was the University of Rhode Island team racing with Rich du Moulin on his Express 37, Lora Ann.

 

The Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) is the largest collegiate regatta in North America. Since most college sailors race in dinghies, having a big boat regatta for them made sense. The regatta introduces college sailors to the challenges and teamwork of big boat racing and it gives those who already sail big boats a chance to race evenly-matched boats. That the regatta has grown in size from 8 boats in 2001 to 40 this year is due to the efforts of Adam Loory who made the decision to recruit classes of borrowed one-designs to keep the racing close and more interesting for those not used to calculating handicaps. According to Bob Behringer, the owner of the Express 37, Draco, who has participated as a boat owner in every intercollegiate regatta since 1978, the early days of the regatta acquiring boats was, “a catch as catch can.” When the regatta moved from The Corinthians to Storm Trysail Club (STC), Loory was The Corinthians’ regatta chair and a new member of STC. And when the regatta moved to Larchmont YC, the event really took off.

The regatta is sailed in boats that the boat owners share with the college sailing teams, and the boat owners or their representatives race with the teams. “We want the boat owners to be involved as coaches, teachers and safety officers,” said Loory. “They know their boats intimately and we want them to help the collegiate sailors who may or may not have a lot of big boat experience. Big boat sailing is a team sport; it takes a lot of people working together to pull off a good spinnaker jibe and those positions and techniques have to be taught. On the other hand, we ask that the adults leave the tactical decisions up to the kids since tactics are universal.”

Local boats participating in the regatta include: Georgetown III, George Marks, NSYC; Nordlys, Bob Schwartz, MBYC; Andiamo, Paul Strauch, MBYC. Other boats readers may be familiar with: Hypnos, USMMA; Diogenes, USMMA; Lora Ann, Rich du Moulin; Soulmates, Adam Loory; Charlie V, Dr. Norman Schulman; Gold Digger, James Bishop; Eclipse, USMMA; Morning Glory, Carl Olsson.

Now that the weather is turning colder and the leaves are starting to give us their autumn show and the wind is up, it is time for the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series. Started in 1979 by John B. Thomson, Jr., the idea was to race big boats on western Long Island Sound when the wind was favorable. This year the Fall Series will be Oct. 17-18 and 24-25. For further information, contact Susan R. Miller, MBYC Fall Series chair, 516-767-2150 or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Look for results of this big regatta in upcoming columns.

The Calling All Manhasset Bay Race Committees – the Moosehead Luncheon will be held at Northport YC this year on Sunday, Nov. 1 at noon. Last year, Stamford YC was host to over 200 race committee members from around Long Island Sound. For those unfamiliar with this event, the Moosehead Luncheon is actually the meeting of the International Society for the Perpetuation of Cruelty to Racing Yachtsman (ISPCRY). The sole purpose of this group is to recognize some of the biggest blunders in race management, as well as the rare times a group manages to get it right. There are 10 awards for failure and two for success.

An article written for last year’s Mooseheads started with the following, “With a Vice-Presidential candidate representing the virtual home of the moose, there was no lack of innovations to add to previous years’ successes. Each participant’s placemat was a cartoon of a moose saying, “Be afraid. Be very afraid.” In addition, each club was given a cartoon with Governor Palin riding a bucking moose and asked to fill in a campaign slogan. The answers would not be appropriate to print in a family newspaper but Larchmont YC won the day and were rewarded for their efforts with a bottle of 3 Blind Moose Chardonnay.” Readers can guess that the afternoon was filled with skewering fellow race committees, which is all in fun – especially because those handing out the various “moose antlers” have been recipients in past years.

There are several “goodness” awards for those who managed to rise above the fray of the frenetic schedule of Long Island Sound regattas and find time to help others. One such person was Butch Ulmer, Larchmont YC, who won the Donald B. King trophy for individual excellence for the running of the Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta. In 2008, 36 college teams with over 300 collegiate sailors participated. The second “good” award went to American and Larchmont Yacht Club for team excellence for the impeccable job they did running the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championships in June 2008. The competitors were glowing in their praise, perhaps the nicest comment being that they had never been made to feel so welcome. A positive offshoot of the event is the creation of an annual disabled regatta to be sailed in Ideal 18s. American will host the first event in June next year and LYC will follow in 2010.

Dispensing with all niceness (but truly meant) accolades, the rest of the afternoon was spent highlighting every Race Committee’s nightmares- and there was a plethora of “mishaps” to keep the audience in stitches. So Race Committees won’t want to miss this very fun event – held on our side of the Sound this year. Gather your forces and make a group reservation by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .