MBYC Fall Regatta

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Bob Schwartz, Manhasset Bay YC member and skipper of Nordlys is seen here on the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series Race Course with Carl Olsson, Morning Glory, Larchmont YC.  (Photo by Doug Stebbins)
Bob Schwartz, Manhasset Bay YC member and skipper of Nordlys is seen here on the Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series Race Course with Carl Olsson, Morning Glory, Larchmont YC.
(Photo by Doug Stebbins)

Manhasset Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) has been busy these last few weeks. Their signature regatta, the 37th MBYC Fall Series, took place over three days: Oct. 18, 19 and 24. Thirty-six boats raced in five divisions: three divisions were for PHRF spinnaker boats, one division for PHRF non-spinnaker and one division for the J/105 boats. This year the wind was “honking” with white caps on the Sound, with winds gusting up to 25-30 knots. There was even a bit of snow, not surprising because everyone said that it was really, really cold on the Sound and felt more like Frostbiting. Two boats were damaged: one ripped a main sail and another broke a shroud.

For those readers unfamiliar with boats, shrouds are part of the standing rigging that holds up the mast from side to side. On some boats there are more than one shroud on each side of the boat. No one was injured and one boat was able to return to racing. Upon returning to the clubhouse, warm chili was served, and this winter staple was very much appreciated. The next day the wind was good, and there was no snow and no damages to boats. The last day of racing was the Long Distance Race and the PHRF spinnaker division was given a 20-mile course that took them out towards the Throgs Neck Bridge. The shorter course for the smaller boats was about 13.5 miles. Wind was great at the beginning of the race, then dropped off considerably, but reappeared so the boats could race home at a decent hour for the awards ceremony. Many thanks to Past Commodore Sue Miller, the principal race officer (PRO) for the event and her team.

Start of a division at the 37th Annual Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series.  (Photo by Doug Stebbins)
Start of a division at the 37th Annual Manhasset Bay YC Fall Series.
(Photo by Doug Stebbins)

Top boats in each division (Yacht Club affiliation included if known): PHRF1-Spinnaker: 1. Six Brothers, Chris Kramer, American YC/New York YC, 2. Avalanche, Craig Albrecht, Port Washington YC, 3. Andiamo, Paul Strauch, Manhasset Bay YC. PHRF2–Spinnaker: 1. Jazz, Douglas McKeige, American YC, 2. Morning Glory, Carl Olsson, Larchmont YC, 3. Deviation, Iris Vogel, Huguenot YC. J/105: Eclipse, Damian Emery, 2. Stratos, Marcus Wunderlich, and 3. Revelation, George and Alex Wilbanks. PHRF Spinnaker: 1. Smokin’ J, Tom & Julie Sinatra, 2. Loki3, Richard Correll, and 3. Upsetter, Jason Viseltear. PHRF-Non-Spinnaker: 1. Chieftain, Robert Chuda, City Island YC, 2. Minx, Robert Taylor, 3. FINN, Brian Finnerty, Oyster Bay.Manhasset Bay YC was busy again this past weekend with Sunday lunch called the Moosehead Lunch. This tradition has been around for 74 years and the real name of the organization is the International Society for the Perpetuation of Cruelty to Racing Yachtsman (ISPCRY). ISPCRY meets annually for this luncheon, an occasion when race committees from around Long Island Sound gather to celebrate the race management mistakes of others. This year the awards were hilarious, but to protect the not-so-innocent race committees, these awards are not published.

However, not all awards recognize the regrettable, and it was at this year’s luncheon when the Moosehead Committee Trophy was bestowed upon Storm Trysail Club for doing something well. On behalf of their efforts at 2015 Block Island Race Week on June 22 to 26, the citation reads: The best way to describe this year’s recipient of this year’s Moosehead Committee Trophy, given for overall excellence by an Race Committee team either for season long or a single over the top event, is by the following points: 167 boats from 16 states and 4 countries; 6 One design classes, 4 IRC classes, 6 PHRF classes, including Double handed, and 2 Cruising classes; three regional championships; three courses with 63 on water RC personnel on 13 borrowed boats; eight additional personnel on medical, safety, support, press and jury boats; 11 races in 5 days, including a distance race in 20 to 30 knots.

Some quotes and facts found in print capture the “feeling” of the event: Dawn on Tuesday brought a forecast of 20-25 mph winds from the SW with higher gusts. Some thought there might be an AP (race postponement) to wait for moderation. In a bold move worthy of this club, the on-the-water chairman sent the racers out in the kind of weather that grows new members, and called for the Around the Island Race. By sailing the longer course, with fewer turns it was a move that was safer than asking some less experienced crews to try to get around the buoys on short legs where they might be overpowered and get to the corners before they could properly prepare. This stroke of genius put a smile on the face of nearly every sailor there. Most hit the dock saying, “Wow! We hit a new high speed record for our boat on that run!”

This week has been the epitome of a well-scripted, weeklong regatta. All of the equipment and running craft needed to operate three courses were well-prepared for trouble-free service. That speaks volumes about the organization and attention to detail that preceded the week and set the stage for the on-water performance.

Sailing World’s survey of this event reported that 97 percent satisfied participants, the highest they have on record for any regatta. And on top of all that, the event earned a Silver Certificate from Sailors for the Sea for a Clean Regatta.

After the Around the Island Race, North Sails president Ken Read was effusive with praise: “I give the race committee heaps of credit for running that race today. It would’ve been easy for them to say it was too windy, but for many it was an epic day that they’ll remember forever.”

Visit www.stormtrysail.org for more information.

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Andrea Watson is a Port Washington-based maritime photographer and journalist. She writes Port Washington News' column On The Bay and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS).

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