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On the Bay: October 30, 2009

“Be careful what you wish for.” Mother Nature took pleas for good wind for the Manhasset Bay Fall Series quite seriously this year and gave all she could. She not only gave wind, she threw in some rain and gusts that kept the competitors duking it out in all kinds of weather. On Saturday, Oct. 17, the predicted winds of 30+ knot gusts did not appear and teams raced in a much more manageable NE to NNE 15-20 knots. Race Committee Chair and PRO, MBYC Commodore Sue Miller took advantage of the great weather and gave the IRC and J/44 classes three windward-leeward races, with the J/105s and the PHRF boats getting in two good races. By end of day, the teams gathered back at MBYC were a tired, but happy bunch. You can just imagine the stories they shared with each other – tales of a close mark roundings, broaches, men overboard, equipment damage… but this time, these weren’t fishermen’s tall tales, but very close to fact, with maybe a little enhancement. Rest assured, readers, that the men overboard were safely picked up by their teams. But there was a lot of laughter and discussion of the Racing Rules of Sailing that requires a team to complete the race with the same number of crew as they had on board when they crossed the starting line! Thus began the 31st Annual MBYC Fall Series.

On Sunday, Mother Nature outdid herself and, with reported winds gusting as high as 50 knots, all racing was cancelled.

Competitors awoke to another rainy day the second Saturday, Oct. 24, with winds from the South at 15–25 knots. This weekend, the RC set up two circles: The IRC and One-design classes raced on the Red Circle, with John Thomson’s Seafood as the committee boat and Sue Miller as PRO. Pam’s Tram with Bob Prokop as PRO raced the PHRF classes, getting in two races on the White Circle. Greg Danilek on weather mark boat, Salad Days, got some great photos which he turned into a slide show for the competitors. Sunday was a beautiful, sunny day with NW breeze at 8 – 15 knots. The IRC and PHRF classes sailed a distance race to the Westchester shore and into Hempstead Harbor while the J/44s and J/105s raced two more windward-leeward courses. All the competitors were able to enjoy a great party on the terrace in the sun before the prize giving on Sunday afternoon.

Local Racers included: Class 1 IRC: Avalanche, Craig Albrecht, PWYC, (2nd place) Georgetown III, George Marks, NSYC (4th place); Class 3B IRC: Out of Reach III, Louis Nees, PWYC (3rd Place), Nordlys, Bob Schwartz, MBYC, and Class 5 J/105: Andiamo, Paul Strauch, MBYC.

The Class winners: 1. IRC, 45-50: Peacemaker, Leo Vasiliev, Oak Cliff YC, 2. J/44: Challenge IV, Jeffrey Willis, Lloyd Harbor YC; 3. IRC 40: Christopher Dragon, Andrew Weiss, Storm Trysail Club/Indian Harbor YC; 0/3B IRC 35: Soulmates, Adam Loory, Huguenot YC; 4 PHRF: Deviation, Iris Vogel, Huguenot YC; 5. J/105: Gumption 3, Kevin Grainger, American YC; 6. PHRF, Hustler, John Esposito, City Island YC; and 7. PHRF: Kinsale, Michael White, Cresthaven YC.

The John B. Thomson Sr. Memorial Trophy, awarded for the best overall performance in the Fall Series, went to Peacemaker, Leo Vasiliev, Oak Cliff YC. The Ted Clark Trophy for best overall performance in PHRF divisions went to Hustler, John Esposito, City Island YC. Esposito is on a winning streak, having won this trophy in 2007 and 2008. Adam Loory, Huguenot YC, presented the 2009 Huguenot Challenge Cup. He said, “This trophy goes to the yacht club with the three best finishes in the Fall Series. For the third time out of the four times this trophy has been awarded, this trophy goes to… Lloyd Harbor YC.” The three teams from Lloyd Harbor that made up the winning entry were: Challenge IV, Jeff Willis, Vex, Dough Vaughn, and Dreadlocks, Chris Arleo.

In other news… US SAILING held its Annual General Meeting on Saturday, Oct. 17. Gary Jobson was elected by the new board of directors as the next president of the sport’s national governing body. In his acceptance speech at the board of directors meeting, Jobson highlighted his plans for US SAILING. He discussed the philosophy of the organization and explained US SAILING’s goal to create opportunities for more people to sail and encourage participation, especially among youth. “We want to make sailing safe, easy, and fair,” said Jobson. “We’ll work to make sailing available to everyone.” Increased visibility for US SAILING and awareness of the sport is a high priority for Jobson. He also put an emphasis on elevating US SAILING’s National Championships. Jobson is focusing on creating value for the US SAILING membership. “We will not make a US SAILING membership mandatory,” Jobson stated. “We want people and organizations to become members of US SAILING because we provide a great service for sailors, and we want to inspire others to get involved with the sport.”

During the meeting, several awards were presented, one of which was the Harman Hawkins, which is awarded yearly to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the field of race administration (judging, race management, appeals and racing rules). This year’s winners are Barbara and Tom Farquhar. Together and separately, Barbara and Tom Farquhar have been involved in all aspects of race management. The Farquhars have been extraordinarily influential in the areas of race management, from running races, to judging and umpiring, to teaching race management, and judging and umpiring seminars extensively around the world.

The trophy is named after Harman Hawkins (1919-2002), whose extraordinary involvement in sailing and numerous chairmanships of the Appeals, Judges, and Legal Committees brought him many honors and awards, including US SAILING’s prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy. In his lifetime, Hawkins served as a president of US SAILING, commodore of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club and president of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound.