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2016 Nationals and Stanley Bell

The 2016 Nationals will be held this year at Larchmont YC in New York on April 9-10. In addition, two weeks earlier is the annual Stanley Bell regatta that is great as a warm up and you can leave your boat there in the interim.

Registration for IC Nationals is now open: http://www.larchmontyc.org/Yachting/Winter-Sailing/2016_IC_Nationals.aspx  The last time LYC hosted in 2009, there were 55 boats on the line and given there were just had 34 on the line for a random Sunday in February a few days ago, all signs are pointing to another large event.

A limited number of loaner boats and housing may be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  That said, if you own an IC, preference is not given as to loaner boats since we’d rather use the loaner boats to promote the regatta and class to non-IC sailors.

For those who want to come to LYC early, Apr. 2-3 is the Stanley Bell Regatta – NOR and online entry posted at http://www.larchmontyc.org/Yachting/Winter-Sailing/2016_Bell_Regatta.aspx — you can leave your boat at LYC in between the Bell and Nationals, free of charge.

If you have any questions about either or both events, please reach out to Jay Rhame (rhame – at – gmail – dot – com and or Peter Beardsley (wpbeardsley – at -gmail – dot – com).  Please encourage everyone in your area to attend — easy trip, big fleet, high quality racing, hopefully good weather (in 2009 the first day was sailed in shorts and had 14 races).

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2016 Midwinters is CANCELLED

Update: Blizzard Jonas was indeed a massive storm setting a record 30 inches of snow and 50 knot winds on the bay with a travel ban on local and state roads Saturday and Sunday, so this was without a doubt the right call. Instead of the regatta, enjoy a trip around downtown Annapolis in the snow as the eye of the storm passed on Saturday.

 

Original  Post: The Nor’easter weather situation for this coming weekend’s regatta has not improved and may have gotten worse if considering sailing conditions on both weekend days. Traveling to and from the event will be hazardous and the prognosis for sailing is poor. Therefore, we regret that the IC Midwinters will be canceled this year. Many thanks to everyone who has continually supported this event in the past and those planning on coming this year.

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2015 Stanley Bell Notice Of Race

The 2015 Stanley Bell Regatta will be held at LYC, March 7-8 March 21-22, 2015. The change is due to the icy conditions in Larchmont Harbor.  The NOR and online entry form are posted at http://www.larchmontyc.org/Yachting/Winter-Sailing/2015_Bell_Regatta.aspx There will be a chili cookoff Saturday night (if you don’t bring a chili, you can be one of the judges, don’t worry). Loaner boats will be available for visiting teams on a first-come, first-serve basis, and should be reserved in advance via email.

–Peter Beardsley

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2015 IC Nationals at Metedeconk River YC

Have you ever gone to an event that is draped with sponsor banners, yet it’s unclear what the sponsors are paying for? Keith Taboada reports that this won’t be a problem at an event he is organizing…

With many one-design fleets withering on the vine, we wanted to try something novel to encourage participation for the U.S. National Championships in a great traditional one-design class, the Interclub Dinghy. As a result of generous sponsorship by Medifast, Inc., we have organized the event to be held without an entry fee. Dinner, lunch and trophies included. Event dates are April 10-12.

Will Jim Bowers continue his recent dominance? Will Steve Benjamin unleash some new trickery? Do John and Molly Baxter really model for Vineyard Vines? To find out in person, there is plenty of time to dig out an IC and come down to Metedeconk River YC, located at Hurricane Sandy ground zero in Brick, NJ.

The Nationals are the climax of the IC winter season, attracting some of the best sailors on the East Coast. The event is guaranteed to be the best regatta money can’t buy. Get the notice of Race (NOR) at the MRYC Web site.

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Jim Bower’s Wins An 8th Nationals

The 2014 Interclub Nationals was a regatta of the extremes! Port Washington, New York, the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club hosted the 2014 Interclub Nationals on April 5th and 6th. A front greeted the sailors on Saturday morning with wind gusts pushing into the mid to upper 20 knot range so the Race Committee postponed until 1:30pm. At that time the RC found a small window of time to get in two races in before the return of the “20 plus” wind conditions.

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Jim Bowers and Alexa Shuler

Sunday’s conditions were quite different as the competitors sailed out to the race course in a light 5mph NW breeze only to see it die. A few waves of 2-4mph west/northwest breeze allowed the Race Committee to squeeze in two more races over the course of the day.

Jim Bowers/Alexa Schuler, from the Winthrop Frostbite fleet, were crowned the 2014 Interclub Nationals Champs. Dave Nelson /Julia Marsh, who are also from Winthrop, were 2nd and Paul-Jon Patin/Felicity Ryan, from Larchmont, were 3rd. Rounding out the top five were Steve Benjamin/Mac Christopher (Larchmont) in 4th and Pedro Lorson /Mimi Berry (Manhasset Bay) in 5th. Top Master (over 60) was Ted Toombs and Marianne Simms from Manhasset Bay.

Saturday night’s activities included a barbeque dinner followed by a showing from Emmy award winning Thurston Smith on his documentary about “Frostbiting.” Following this presentation and some Q&A, some IC sailors found it necessary to go out into cold dark night and reposition some their fellow competitor’s ICs. The next morning, Interclubs could found inside the yacht club’s MBO room right next to the morning breakfast.

Paul-Jon Patin and Felicity Ryan

Paul-Jon Patin and Felicity Ryan

The Interclub Nationals was also the last leg of the Wharf Rat Challenge, whereby your best two results from outside regattas are combined with your results at IC Nationals. The 2014 winners were Paul-Jon/Felicity Ryan, 2nd was Ted Ferrarone/Meredith Killion and 3rd was Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry.

Photos

Full Results

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2014 IC Nationals Information

The Nationals are the climax of the IC winter season, Manhasset Bay YC will host this year on April 5th and 6th.  The competition is fierce, with some of the best sailors on the East Coast attending.

Click here for the IC Nationals Notice of Race
Click here for the IC Nationals Entry Form
Click here for the IC Nationals Competitors List

Click here to view this year’s tech shirt design, to order, please click on the Entry Form.

After dinner, there will be 25 minute documentary on “Frostbiters” that explores the extreme sport of Frostbiting – where it’s done, who does it, and why.

See more at the MBYC Web site.

 

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2014 New Years Regatta NOR

Attached is the NOR for the 2014 MBYC New Year Regatta.  Please pass on to your IC fleet members and encourage them to come, as we are also the venue for this year’s IC Nationals.

For this regatta, as well as Nationals, loaner boats are available – at no charge.

Should you have anything for our Special Awards Committee for our New Years Regatta, please pass on to Peter Beadsley.

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2013 Stanley Bell Regatta Results

Larchmont YC hosted a spectacular Stanley Bell Memorial Regatta.  33 teams raced part or all of the weekend.  Sun and warmth into the 50s on Saturday, with wind from the NNE with lulls around 5-6 kts and puffs around 10-11 kts, allowing for 7 races.  John & Molly Baxter were launched in the standings after Saturday’s racing with a 17-point lead.  Eight teams participated in the chili cookoff post racing, which was won by long-time crew and expert cookoff trash talker Felicity Ryan in a close battle over Ted Ferrarone and Simon Strauss.  Sunday’s wind forecast was better than predicted on all fronts — a fluky, light SSE breeze never showed, and instead we had a solid easterly around 10 kts that clocked slightly to the right as the day went on, allowing for an additional 8 races, 15 in total.  Guest skipper Parker Shinn from San Diego YC and Coco Sprague narrowed the gap on Sunday to a single point going into the final race, but the Baxters held on for the regatta victory.

2013 Stanley Bell Results

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Frostbiting Documentary

Perhaps some of you have seen the frostbiting documentary trailer by Thurston Smith? Well, Thurston will be down in Annapolis for the IC Nationals and he’s looking for more great footage. He’s looking to have two additional videographers on the water. If you know anyone that might be interested (and has access to a decent HD camera), please let me know (jessefalsone@gmail.com). Additionally, if anyone has a Go Pro video camera that they would be willing to mount on their boat, Thurston would love to get this type of footage.

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New IC Midwinters Perpetual Trophy!

The Annapolis InterClub Fleet is pleased to announce the construction of a new IC Midwinters Perpetual Trophy. The large plaque is being constructed by High Tech Engraving and will be presented to the current winner at the Nationals this year. Nameplates for past winners will be added. The large trophy will reside at Severn Sailing Association.

We are trying to assemble an accurate list of past winners. If you have any information or corrections, please contact Jesse Falsone (jessefalsone@gmail.com)

Midwinters Winners Spreadsheet

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2013 Stanley Bell Regatta Info

The 2013 Stanley Bell Regatta will be on Saturday March 9 and Sunday March 10.

SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Saturday, March 9
1100 – 1230  Registration –on the Veranda
1245    Skippers’ Meeting on the front lawn
1300    Harbor Start
1330    First warning
1800    Event Dinner – Chili Cook-off in the Junior Clubhouse
Sunday, March 10
1300    Harbor Start
1330    First Warning
Award ceremony following the completion of racing

The 2013 Entry Form  and 2013 Notice of Race are are posted.

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Annapolis Local Knowledge for the 2013 Nationals

A strong Northerly will delay high tide at the Severn and will cause a stronger, longer duration ebb. The current may vary significantly over the course. Watch for foam on the water running from the Naval Academy breakwater going southeast . This is a current sheer, and the current on the east side of this line will be stronger. In a Northwesterly during an ebb tide, you must decide if its better to go for stronger wind and more adverse current on the right or less current and less wind on the left. The left tends to have larger, more frequent shifts, especially as you approach Spa Creek. The wind can also get light on the left as you approach the breakwater. Either side could be favored in these conditions. The left can win out when a strong left shift filters down Spa Creek. The right can pay big with more wind and more predictable wind shifts. The key is to watch the water for the puffs. If there is consistent wind on the left, that is the way to go as you approach Spa Creek. This rule applies more at the end of the beat when the Creek is a factor.
What should you wear??

With the air temperatures in the 60’s, water temperature at 51, strong winds and a long day of sailing, I’m inclined to vote for the dry suit over a wet suit on Saturday. The call will probably be the same on Sunday with an early start before things heat up. A wet suit will still work well, but I would wear a spray top to keep the wind off. I don’t think you will need frostbite gloves unless you have poor circulation or get cold easily.

Some good references for the regatta:

Map of the course

Annapolis Buoy – On the course real time conditions

Weather Bug Web Cam at USNA that looks out the Severn River to the course.

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Frosbite Documentary Trailer

I couple years ago, I got a call from a guy named Thurston Smith who was doing a documentary on frostbite sailing. He interviewed me and got a number of contacts for Interclub (and other class) sailors on the east coast. He just let us know that the “FROSTBITERS” trailer (90 seconds) is now ready to be watched!

The documentary will be released soon with interviews and footage of many of you – until then enjoy this short trailer…

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2013 Midwinters Wrapup

Despite freezing temperatures all weekend, with wind chills in the low teens on Saturday, 2013 Midwinters26 teams braved the 2013 Interclub Midwinter Championship at Larchmont YC. The 104 sailors (52 skippers, 52 crews) arrived on Saturday to find snow on the ground, ice in some boats and temperatures in the low 20s. After deploying rock salt, heat guns and boiling water to free stuck lines and centerboards, teams were able to hit the water and get in four races per division, despite salty icicles that began forming on bow covers, mast partners and turning marks.

The Interclub Midwinters features “college-style” racing — competitors team with friends to form “A” and “B” teams, with the lowest combined score winning the regatta. Each race is 10-15 minutes in length and there are no discards, placing a premium on consistency and short course strategy. Sailors rotated divisions every two races on Saturday to keep warm, and when the mercury inched above 32 degrees on Sunday, the race committee was able to get in a three-race set along with an additional two-race series to allow for a total of nine races per division. Large helpings of clam chowder and hot chocolate kept competitors warm in between races. Northerlies both days caused shifty winds but were strong enough to allow for minimal delays and the sunny skies and racing close to shore allowed for brisk rotations.

Reigning IC Midwinter champions John and Molly Baxter, Danny Pletsch and Emily Anderson dominated the weekend, never finishing a race outside of the top six overall to win the overall title by 56 points over Clay Bischoff, Kendra Emhiser, Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion. David Dowd, Maeve Judge, Ben Cesare and Coco Sprague finished third overall despite missing the podium in both A and B fleets.

The Midwinters counts toward the Wharf Rat Challenge, a trophy donated by Steve and Heidi Benjamin for overall performance during the winter IC circuit. The next Wharf Rat event is the Stanley Bell Memorial at Larchmont March 9-10, followed by the Tally Cup at Cottage Park YC (Winthrop, Mass.) in late March, culminating with the nationals April 13-14 at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis.

Full Results

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2013 Wharf Rat Challenge

To create more competition, enthusiasm, and participation at InterClub regattas Heidi and Steve Benjamin deeded two new trophies in 2006 called The Wharf Rat Challenge and the Wharf Rat Challenge/Top Team From Larchmont.

Scoring for the Wharf Rat Challenge to be based on results in six events in 2012/2013:

  1. Mass. Bay Championship: December 8, 2012 (Cottage Park YC, Winthrop, MA)
  2. New Years Regatta: December 30, 2012 and January 1, 2013 (no racing Dec. 31)
  3. Manhasset Bay YC, Port Washington, NY)
  4. Midwinters: January 26-27, 2013 (Larchmont YC, Larchmont NY)
  5. Stanley Bell Memorial Regatta: March 9-10, 2013 (Larchmont YC, Larchmont, NY)
  6. Tally Cup/Marty Bowl: March 23 – 24, 2013 (Cottage Park YC, Winthrop, MA)
  7. Nationals: April 13-14, 2013 (Severn Sailing Association, Eastport, MD)
  • Scoring is the sum of the three best scores (high point wins), with the Nationals mandatory.
  • If there is a tie, the Team with the best score at the Nationals wins.
  • All events scored 30 points for first, 29 second, 28 third and so on, except Nationals scored
  • 40 points for first, 39 second, 38 third and so on.
  • Midwinters score may be from A or B division.
  • Scoring for an event not attended still to count at 00 points.
  • Scoring to be by skipper, not boat.

Trophies:

  • Wharf Rat Trophy to be presented at the National Championship prize awards, awards for top 3 overall in standings.
  • The Best Team From Larchmont will be determined as the Larchmont Team with the highest points score in the Wharf Rat Challenge. Trophy to be presented at the Larchmont Fleet
  • Annual Prize Awards

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2012 Midwinters Wrapup

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Howie McMichael photo.

A record 35 teams turned out for the 2012 Interclub Midwinter Championship at Larchmont YC on January 28 & 29, 2012. The 146 sailors (70 skippers, 76 crews) represented the largest gathering at an IC regatta in nearly 16 years, and those who attended were not disappointed. A rare January southwester filled after the first race on Saturday at 8-14 knots with stiff chop, followed by a shifty, puffy westerly on Sunday of similar velocity to allow for 20 races over two days.

The Interclub Midwinters features “college-style” racing — competitors team with friends to form “A” and “B” teams, with the lowest combined score winning the regatta. Each race is 10-15 minutes in length and there are no discards, placing a premium on consistency and short course strategy. Sailors rotate divisions every three to four races to keep warm, though the warm weather allowed everyone to spectate from the lawn and porch while sipping soup between sets.

Past IC national champions John and Molly Baxter, and Danny Pletsch and Jane Delashmutt, all St. Mary’s College alums racing for the home LYC club, sailed consistently to finish seventeen point ahead of Team 21, Ben Cesare, Dorsey Roseberry, David Dowd and Tricia Leicht to win the title. Clay Bischoff and Kendra Emhiser won the A division, and finished third overall with teammates Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion. Despite the overall win, Baxter and Pletsch each scored at least one race of 16th or worse in the competitive fleet that featured three former college sailors of the year, 18 former collegiate All Americans, and several national and world champions from a variety of classes.

The Midwinters counts toward the Wharf Rat Challenge, a trophy donated by Steve and Heidi Benjamin for overall performance during the winter IC circuit. The next Wharf Rat event is the Stanley Bell Memorial at Larchmont March 17-18, followed by the Tally Cup at Cottage Park YC (Winthrop, Mass.) in early April, culminating with the nationals April 28-29 at Rochester YC. Thank you to Heineken for its continued support of IC class regattas at Larchmont.

Full Results

Howie McMichael Photos

Tom Spelman Photos

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2011 InterClub Atlantic Coast Championship

2011acc1Often times a new regatta comes about as the product of one man’s vision. Making the vision into reality is usually that which requires the most effort, starting with convincing his significant other that it’s a good idea. Presumably, Steve “Benj” Benjamin didn’t have too much trouble talking his wife, Heidi, into the notion that an InterClub regatta hosted from their beautiful home in Minnesott Beach, North Carolina had merit. After all, the Benjamin’s won three InterClub national championship titles together, and Heidi comes from a rich sailing heritage and competitive background herself. Gazing upon their expansive new dream home, it’s hard to imagine that events like the inaugural InterClub Atlantic Coast Championship was not rooted in their initial planning. The accommodations for visitors is plush and plentiful, the views of the racing area spectacular, and the waters perfect for nearly any inland racing boat. It comes as a bit of a surprise that Benjamin claims that the regatta this past weekend is the first organized sailboat race ever to be held
off Minnesott Beach. Strike one in the record books for the “Benj Yacht Club”.

2011acc3Perfect regatta destinations usually come with a catch, and the catch here is that Minnessott Beach is 350 miles from the nearest IC frostbite fleet in Annapolis, and over 500 miles from others in New York. Realistically, these distances are a bit stretched for a weekend regatta, but the Benjamin’s saw to it that the participants were well attended to. In return for the entry fee (a 12-pack of beer), we were treated to as much racing as we could reasonably handle on Saturday in 10-18 knots of wind, followed by copious good cheer and nourishment. The Benjamin’s had professional race management on staff, comprised of some fine young gentlemen that until last weekend had never witnessed a sailboat race in person. I do believe that their race committee boat was well-provisioned for the task at hand, and they did an admirable job keeping us moving on the water.

While competition clearly drives Benj, it was obvious to me that his vision of this regatta has less to do with determining a winner and more to do with bringing friends together to share in the brotherhood of frostbite sailing. Touring the grounds with him, I could see the
calculus taking place in his head (and indeed mine)… 30+ IC’s racing off the beach, spectators calling puffs and predicting winners from their perch ashore, his favorite band (The Grateful Dead) pumping out the tunes, and good times lasting far into the evening
beside the pool house. In fact, excepting the numbers, that’s exactly what happened.

2011acc2It was fitting that Benj won this inaugural event with his crew of three years, Jason Raymond. They sailed remarkably well, with nary a mistake. Just as joyous the victory was the obvious pleasure Benj took in having his longtime friend, Dee Smith, jump into the little boat to test his skill and balance, acquitting himself well. It must’ve been a curious site to unsuspecting onlookers in the surrounding homes to see small boats racing about big day-glow orange buoys in the dead of winter. But maybe they’ll become accustomed to it. Another local North Carolinian has four old ICs in his possession, and may now have the impetus to get them all sailing.

Is it possible? Will people buy into the vision? Will they come? From this humble beginning, I will predict that yes, the InterClub ACCs will happen again and it’s going to be good – real good. Some changes will follow, beginning with a “collegiate” racing format
so that two teams can race in a single boat (as is practiced at the InterClub Midwinters). This provides flexibility for travelers so that fewer people need to drive. Otherwise, the formula is perfect: little boats, lots of short races, great hospitality, in a gorgeous venue.
Just be sure you like the Grateful Dead.

Standing on the moon
With nothing else to do
A lovely view of heaven
But I’d rather be with you

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2009 Nationals Wrapup

Danny Pletsch and Kari Sachs turned in a virtuoso performance to win the 2009 Interclub Nationals, Presented by ACE Recreational Marine Insurance on April 18-19, 2009, by 49 points over two-time defending champions John and Molly Baxter. Conditions were picture perfect for the 14-race series with a warm, puffy westerly gusting to 18 knots on Saturday followed by a lighter, lumpier easterly on Sunday. A 55-boat fleet made this the largest Interclub Nationals since the regatta was last held at LYC in 2003.

Principal Race Officer Charlie Ulmer was all business and got the talented fleet off in a light southwester to start the regatta. Three-time national champion Steve Benjamin started with a bang, winning the first race while Pletsch/Sachs showed good early form coming a close second. The wind then abandoned the south and made a gradual right turn, finally settling in out of the WNW with some big puffs coming off the land. Positioning in the puffs was very tough and most of the top teams found themselves caught on the wrong side of the course at least once. Pletsch/Sachs were one of the few teams to avoid these pitfalls and rattled off four firsts and two seconds in eight races to take a commanding lead after day one.

The sailors enjoyed a great regatta dinner party in the junior clubhouse where regatta sponsor Heineken’s product helped to soothe achy bodies from a full day’s racing. Regatta chair Peter Beardsley presided over the regatta raffle where lucky sailors took home loot from regatta sponsors North Sails, Quantum Sails, Kinder Industries, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Burgeestar, Phil’s Foils, Doyle Sails and the Dinghy Locker.

Sunday’s racing brought light and lumpy conditions as a strong outgoing tide flowed against the easterly breeze. Keeping the boat powered up and moving was absolutely essential, as was not over standing the starboard layline in the strong current. Though they would not win another race, Pletsch/Sachs finished in the top 10 in all but one of the day’s heats to take the title. The nationals win also netted Pletsch/Sachs the Wharf Rat Challenge Trophy, which rewards the best score in a series of Interclub regattas in Annapolis, Massachusetts, Long Island and Larchmont.

Class stalwarts Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry from Manhasset had a strong Sunday to move from seventh to third overall in the final standings. David Dowd/Trisha Leicht were fourth and Paul-Jon and Anne Patin finished fifth to give LYC four of the top five placings in the event. In B division, Larchmont’s Peter Strothman and Kendra Emhiser took top honors, followed by Ward Young/Julia Werb and Andrew Davis/Sarah Henley.

National champion Danny Pletsch attributed his success to getting off the starting line cleanly. “We felt very comfortable with our bow down speed and were able put our self in that mode by starting near the pin.”

Overall, regatta chairman Peter Beardsley was pleased with the event. “It’s easy to have a good time when there’s a large fleet of Interclubs and ‘frostbiting’ weather warm enough to sail in shorts. It was a great way to end the winter sailing season.”

2008 Nationals Writeup

Thirty-five boats competed at the 2008 Interclub National Championships hosted out of Metedeconk River Yacht Club in Brick, New Jersey on April 19-20. Sailors were welcomed with excellent conditions, where many opted to race in shorts for the mostly sunny days with breeze ranging from 5-15 knots.

The race committee ran 12 exciting races and competition was tight since the breeze was shifty. Due to consistent finishes, Larchmont YC’s John and Molly Baxter won the event, the only team to have one score out of the top ten. In second place was Steve Benjamin and Charlie McHugh from Larchmont YC, third place was Jim Bowers and Sarah Hitchcock from Winthrop, fourth place was Danny Pletsch and Heather Switlik from Stamford and fifth place was Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry from Manhasset Bay.

Full Results

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2008 Midwinters Wrapup

January 26-27, 2008
Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis, MD

Reigning InterClub National Champions John and Molly Baxter representing Larchmont Yacht Club (NY) dominated their A Division rivals at the 2008 InterClub Midwinters. Eleven races were sailed in each division of this classic college-style regatta, with the Baxters winning 7 of them in the light to moderate conditions. The contest was tighter in the B division, with “Dans” Pletsch and Maggie Lumkes a bit deeper in the standings, but staying close enough in points to secure the regatta win for the Larchmont team. Annapolitans Matt and Lori Schubert won B division with a 13 point margin and consistent sailing to pull their team, which included Brian Bissell and Alexis Rubin, into second place. The Manhasset Bay Yacht Club team, consisting of Pedro Lorson, Mimi Berry, PJ Patin, and Donna Marie Cipollone finished third.

This year’s regatta was noteworthy for the greater number of junior sailors on the water, teaming with friends, fathers, and coaches for some old-fashioned frostbiting action. Now in its 8th decade, the tradition of dinghy frostbiting continues, and is a great way to teach kids the basics of sailboat racing.

With the win, John and Molly move one point ahead of Benj/Charlie in the Wharf Rat standings with two regattas to go.  If you haven’t sailed at least one of the three regattas to date, you’re out of luck in the battle for the Wharf Rat this year, and teams who have only sailed one event so far need to sail the final two events (Stanley Bell at LYC March 15-16 and Nationals at Metedeconk River April 19-20) to have a chance.

–Jesse Falsone

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First Place

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Second Place

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Third Place

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Fourth Place

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2006 Nationals Wrapup

Jim Bowers, sailing with Bridgid Murphy, won the 2006 IC Nationals on March 25-26, 2006 in convincing fashion. Bowers and Murphy posted single-digit finishes in 14 of 16 races in the no-drop series to win by a comfortable 30-point margin over Ben and Kim Cesare from Larchmont, NY. The Cesare’s won the title back in 2003, but never engraved the perpetual trophy, which now reads “Kim and Ben Cesare” courtesy of 2004 winner Mike Funsch. Such is the commaraderie in the IC Class. With this 5th IC Nationals title, Bowers needs only one more win to tie class legend, Jack Slattery. Asked if he would beat the record, the self-effacing Bowers just smiled and shook his head, saying “I don’t know”, seemingly belying the ease in which he has won most of these championships. Many figured Slattery’s record was unbeatable with so many great sailors competing in the class, but at 37 years old, Bowers has many competitive years ahead of him. Ed Adams can attest to that fact, having posted a third at the event. Adams is a perennial competitor in the IC class, having sailed the last few Nationals with his son, Luke. Adams is just one of many 50-somethings competing well in the IC, and having a great time sailing with kids. “It’s tough when they are young because you are essentially single-handing the boat, but then when they turn 11 or 12, and have some experience and size, it all starts coming together. It’s been very rewarding sailing with my son and finishing so strong.” Steve Benjamin has been chasing Slattery’s record for a few decades, amassing three IC National titles, and countless runners-up results. However, consistency evaded Benjamin last weekend, who has a real passion for making the “tubs” go just a little faster. Once look at his tricked-out wooden IC is testament to that fact, and Benjamin owns a “syndicate” of five actively sailed ICs.

Regatta Chairman, Ian Mutnick, was extremely pleased with the regatta. “Sixteen races might just be a record for the IC Nationals, and I’m very thankful to SSA and the regatta staff for working some magic.”

At this point, it’s been well over a decade since Slattery last made his presence known in the InterClub. Maybe now he’ll have a reason to suit up in the frostbite dinghy once again.

Full Results

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2005 Midwinters Wrapup

Jim Bowers/Bridgid Murphy and Paul Adam/Gaelen Phyfe win the uncharacteristically light air InterClub Midwinters. A high pressure system sat over the area all weekend producing light winds of 3-10 knots from the NE. Nonetheless, we raced 10 races on Saturday and 4 more on Sunday morning before the breeze finally shut off for the day. At least this year it was really warm and sunny and felt more like a typical April day.

Full Results

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2004 Midwinters Wrapup

Temperature hovering around freezing caused Lots of ice buildup on the boats! (Jan Walker photo).

Temperatures hovering around freezing caused lots of ice buildup on the boats! (Jan Walker photo).

With much of the water in the Northeast better suited to DN sailing than InterClub frostbiting, it came as a surprise to many that the annual InterClub Midwinters would indeed be contested in Annapolis on February 7 &8.

However, the IC Midwinters has had a charmed existence, and at the last minute the frozen tundra broke up and washed out into the Chesapeake. Twenty-five teams came from all over the New England, New York, New Jersey, and even Ohio to compete in this unique event which is run like a collegiate regatta. Sailing and socializing in equal proportions is the theme of this classic event. Twenty races in total (ten in each division) were completed in blustry Northwest winds, but the short fetch off the Naval Academy breakwater kept the seas relatively flat. The temperature was cold on Sunday despite abundant sunshine, and icing on hulls and rigs added to the regatta’s mistique.

With no drops races, consistency and risk management were vital to ultimate success. The lead changed many times between four teams, and the title came down to the last series. Steve and Jane Kirkpatrick were not having a stellar regatta, but they delivered the goods when it mattered most in the penultimate race by forcing the leading B Division team of Simon Stauss and Lisa Pline into a poor start. In doing so, the Scituate-based team won their third consecutive IC Midwinters by merely three points. Chad Demarest and Whitney Besse sailed a fantastic regatta to capture A Division honors and pull the Scituate team up into the winner’s circle.

Saturday morning at 9:30 am Thomas Point had 30 knots from the WNW and there were some real green meanies rolling down Spa Creek. However, after a one hour postponement, we had 10 races in a quintessential 10-20 knot northwester. On Sunday the breeze was down slightly from Saturday (WNW 5-15) but despite lots of sunshine it was a bit colder with temperatures in the 30s), really nice racing.

Alden Bugly’s Writeup in the Capital

Full Results

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2003 New Years Regatta

On The Bay

By Andrea Watson

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Pedro Lorson and Mimi Lorson Berry in their IC Dinghy #536. This team won the Frostbite YC Past Commodore’s Race, came in first place in the Frostbite YC Annual New Year’s Regatta, and won four out of the five perpetual trophies.

The new year arrived in Port Washington and Manhasset like a lamb, with weather in the mid – 50s range, light winds and great sunshine that glistened over Manhasset Bay. While landlubbers with the exception of skiers were delighted, it was worrisome to those who sail in the frostbite fleet – how would they ever live up to the expectations of a Frostbite Sailor if the weather was denying them the opportunity to sail in hail, wind, snow and sleet, as was mandated by those sailors of yesteryear who started all this back in 1932? Last year the weather was perfect for frostbiting, as the weather was wretched and cold, causing one sailor to comment, “it was one of the most miserable days of sailing ever.” But Sunday, January 4th, saved the day. It was overcast, raining, cold, damp and generally not a lot of fun to be on the water. Not that anyone noticed, as everyone was having a great time, sailors and Race Committee alike.

Because New Years Day this year fell on a Thursday, the schedule for racing in this year’s regatta was altered from previous years. Only the Past Commodore’s Race was held on New Year’s Day, followed by informal racing. The next days of racing were on Saturday and Sunday, with the traditional Wassail Bowl and 73rd Annual Meeting on Saturday and the Awards Ceremony at the end of racing on Sunday. As usual, the Frostbite elected officials were up to their usual high jinks at the annual meeting. After a moment of silence for “sailors who have sailed their last race”, Sabrina Lorson, daughter of Sheilah and Pedro Lorson, along with a few other “volunteers”, helped distribute cups of cheer for the Wassail Bowl. Then the three officials at the head table, Steve Moore, Fee Mitropoulos and Malcolm Hendry, raised their cup high and toasted the Race Committee and all those participating in the regatta, and offered thanks that “we didn’t get hit by the skeet shooters.” Robert E. Mitchell gave his usual hilarious Treasure’s Report, in absentia – people are beginning to believe he is either afraid to show his face after all these past years of reports, or that he is a phantom of someone’s imagination. After a few other very important reports, it was time for the Special Awards, those spurious tomes usually written by one Steve Moore. Well, this year it was Mr. Moore’s turn to receive his very own award. Called the Supreme Order of the Loon with Saboteur Clusters, it seems that Mr. Moore executed a terrific back dive into the chilly waters of Manhasset Bay on New Years Day. The story goes somewhat like this (keep in mind who wrote this award): Commodore Pedro Lorson wanted to recreated Chip Whipple’s perfectly executed back dive last summer while sailing with the MBO fleet. But whose boat could he sabotage and how could he accomplish his goals? The Supreme Order of the Loon continues, ” What better excuse than gear failure? Who would ever suspect that? But whose gear? Captain Lorson considered which boat to sabotage and quickly realized that Captain Moore was the perfect foil. With all his complaining about no awards, Pedro knew there would be so sympathy for him. Pedro chose well. Steve was in second place at the leeward mark of the Past Commodore’s Race, right on Pedro’s heels, when suddenly his mainsheet parted and he plunged backwards into the chilly waters of Manhasset Bay. Incidentally, the judges gave his dive a 5.5. Therefore, on this Third Day of January, 2004, Commodore Stephen W.(for wet) Moore is awarded The Supreme Order of The Loon with Saboteur Cluster.” Readers do not be too concerned about poor Steve Moore and his ability to keep his boat rigged safely. Ed du Moulin, a member of the Frostbite Race Committee, presented Steve with a new mainsheet to prevent a reoccurrence of his moment of glory. Time will only tell if the new mainsheet will bring success to Steve and his crew on IC Dinghy #510. In concluding the Special Award section of the meeting, Past Commodore Fee Mitropoulos commented “the truth has little to do with the Special Awards.” No surprise there!

The IC Dinghies after one of the starts at the 73rd Annual Frostbite YC New Year's Regatta

The IC Dinghies after one of the starts at the 73rd Annual Frostbite YC New Year’s Regatta

There were a few moments of serious business at the Annual Meeting, one of which was the election of officers for next year. Ted Toombs, who served as the Nominating Committee, presented the following slate to the membership, which was quickly approved. Elected were: Commodore: Bob Black; Vice Commodore: Dan Coughlin; Rear Commodore: Mimi Berry; Fleet Captain: Steve Benjamin; Dock Captain: Stephanie Baas; Treasurer: Robert Mitchell; Measurer: John Browning; and Secretary: Matt Kelley.

After the conclusion of racing on Sunday, January 4th, all skippers, crew, family, friends, and the Race Committee gathered at Manhasset Bay YC to await the results of the three days of sailing. A note to all readers: awards for sailing accomplishments are taken very seriously and are not to be confused with the aforementioned Special Awards, whose dubious research is legendary. Winner of the Past Commodore’s Race: Pedro Lorson/Mimi Lorson Berry. Top of the leader board for the 72nd Frostbite Annual New Year’s Regatta: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, 2. #603, Matt Kelley/Lynn Kochendefer, 3. #514, Ted Toombs/Dave Cornachio/Matt Cornachio, and 4. #661, Jonathan Siener/Yasu Kawahara.

The following perpetual trophies were awarded; The Baker-Taylor Founders Trophy for the highest percentage in any class sailing in the Annual New Yea’s Frostbite Yacht Club Regatta went to Pedro Lorson.. William Taylor, for whom the award is named, joined in 1934 and was a small boat sailor. While he was sports editor of the Herald Tribune, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his coverage of the 1934 America’s Cup Race. He became the managing editor for Yachting Magazine, and was one of the founders of the Frostbite YC. The Henry A. Alker Perpetual Trophy is awarded to the outstanding Manhasset Bay YC skipper and was awarded this year to Pedro Lorson. Henry A. Alker was a member from 1910-1952 and owned a power boat Aradus and a sloop Chicks. Pedro also won the Sam Wetherill Trophy, which is awarded to the outstanding skipper in the Annual Frostbite Dinghy Regatta. Sam Wetherill was one of the original group of frostbiters in 1933. Pedro also won the Commodore Robert W. Fraser Memorial Trophy for winning the Past Commodore’s Race. Robert Fraser joined in 1913. He was a Commodore, Secretary and Race Committee Chairman. As Race Committee Chairman he initiated a Fall Regatta which later became MBYC Race Week. He was a Delegate to the YRA, and was on their Nominating Committee. While he was a Trustee of MBYC, he negotiated the purchase of a Naval Assault Barge, the first Worry Wart. He sailed the schooner Sirene, a Victory Class boat. The last award, Geoffrey C. Hazard Frostbite Award, went to Malcolm B. Hendry for his outstanding performance in the Penguin Class in the Annual New Year’s Frostbite Regatta. Upon accepting his award, Malcolm said “I have been here since I was 14 years old and am glad to be here with all of you today.” Final comments belonged to Steve Moore who thanked the Race Committee members who were manning the crash boat that picked him out of Manhasset Bay on New Year’s Day. And this time, Moore was serious, and his praise truly meant.

Final Results

Sail #	Helmsperson	Crew		Club/Affilication	Total
536       Pedro Lorson	Mimi Berry		MBYC	20
603       Matt Kelley	Lynn Kochenderfer		MBYC	39
514       Ted Toombs	Dave/Matt Cornachio		MBYC	60
661       Jonathan Siener	Yasu Kawahara		MBYC	80
539/53    Pete Kallman	Lenny Berke		Sea Cliff	86
121       Philip Mitropoulos	Amelia Amon		MBYC	88
43        Steve Benjamin	Rob Kane			LYC	94
512       Dan Coughlin	Carol Snow		SCYC	124
707       Bob Kirtland	Mark Cornachio		MBYC	128
90        Claude Chazotte	Florencann Paterno		MBYC	132
511       Dana Schnipper	Scott Schnipper		Sea Cliff	138
7         John Silbersack	Johanna Silbersack		MBYC	141
510       Steve Moore/Dan Coughlin/Carol Snow		MBYC	148

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No Cold Feet for Frostbite Lovers

By Jesse Falsone

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Ben and Kim (21) near the top of the fleet at the finish.

Ben and Kim Cesare were married in 1994, one year after they met while sailing InterClub dinghies together at Larchmont Yacht Club. Many frostbite dinghy skippers might tell you that once their better half slipped on the wedding band, the drysuit went into mothballs. However, Kim and Ben continued to sail the tub-like boat together through thick and thin ice flows, and with the vision that one year they would be crowned champions at the annual InterClub Dinghy National Championship. That vision was to become a reality on a cold, blustery weekend in early April 2003 when the Cesare’s finally topped the 62-boat fleet in a nine-race round-robin series at their home club.

Ben and Kim obviously believed in themselves. “We’ve known for a few years that we have good enough boat handling and speed to win the Nationals”, says Ben. “Two years ago, after we finished 3rd for the second time, Neal Fowler (1997 IC National Champion) said to me ‘just keep showing up, eventually you guys will win this thing’.”

The IC Nationals is almost always a dogfight, and the difference between winning and being the runner-up is usually a scant few points.

This year was no different, and the Cesare’s won the regatta in a tie-breaker with three-time class champion Steve Benjamin. Benjamin, a perennial top finisher in the class for many years, seems to be on a mission to catch IC class legend, Jack Slattery, whose mastery of the tricky dinghy earned him 6 class championships before he retired. As for the competition, according to Ben, its “the best dinghy racing on the East Coast, period, but I’m sure sailors from fleets such as Newport or Cedar Point’s frostbite Laser Fleets would take issue with that statement. I do love the preponderance of former collegiate sailors, the sheer number of past All-Americans, many of who have turned national, world champions or Olympians. But there are also the many, many excellent sailors who didn’t get to sail in college but sail InterClubs, and routinely beat the former All-Americans! If during college sailing, you get a BA in shorter course dinghy racing, then in IC sailing, you get your masters. Some sailors simply elect to skip the BA and go right to grad school.”

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A typical tight weather mark rounding.

Ben says his key to success in the very shifty spring breeze was positioning yourself to be in the top few boats on the side you picked. “You’re positioned to not necessarily win your side but be in the top three if its the correct one. More importantly, you need to be able to round in the top ten if your side did not work out.

So if we’re in the hunt, our downwind speed and Kim’s ability to call the breeze allowed us to convert our position into a good finish by the end of the race. This strategy works well in IC sailing when 20 out of the 30 boats on the line are capable of winning a race.”

Contrary to what some people think, the IC crew contributes to success in multiple ways. Kim says, “The key to being a good IC crew is to view yourself as more than ballast. I think the crew can make a big contribution in terms of trying to call the breeze and help with the shifts. It’s also extremely important to keep the skipper focused on the big picture, and to stick to the plan that we lay out before the start.” Ben adds, “Speaking of keeping focused, crews who are spouses of skippers can also motivate in other ways; ‘we really need to win this next one because I really, really need to use the head on the floating dock parked 200 yards from the starting line’.”

The Cesares, still happily married after a hard fought regatta.

The Cesares, still happily married after a hard fought regatta.

So, is sailing with your spouse a good thing, even in the winter? “It’s not for everyone”, says Ben. “For example, if you can’t handle the occasional conversation between races about the next vacation, living room furniture, or refinancing the mortgage, then don’t sail with your spouse!” Despite some past threats to hang up her drysuit, Kim cherishes the friends they have made sailing each Sunday from November to April, and says she’s in for another year – that is “as long as I get a day on a Caribbean Island for every day I crew!” That’s a small price to pay for a crew as good as Kim.

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2003 Nationals Wrapup

The calendar said April 5 and 6, but the weather said February as a fleet of 63 boats gathered at the Larchmont Yacht Club on Long Island Sound to contest the 2003 IC Dinghy National Championship. Saturday brought the second day of a hard wet easterly that had already caused the cancellation of Friday’s practice sailing. While it never poured, the sky was as grey as the combers marching down the Sound and the fleet was lucky to be able to sail in the relative shelter provided by the Larchmont breakwater. Past champions Neal Fowler of Hyannis sailing with Mike Collins and Jim Bowers and longtime crew  Myrna MacRae of Winthrop (MA) each won their respective flights in the first race and it looked as if the very strong Massachusetts contingent would be vying for the title. Bowers went on to win his flight in the second race as the breeze began to lose just a little of its punch and settle into a fairly predictable pattern.

However after a slow start, a trio of boats from the home fleet found their groove and began to take control of the regatta. Former Sunfish World Champion Paul-Jon Patin sailing with his wife Anne came back from an opening race 10 (his throwout) to put bullets on the board in his second and third races. Olympic Silver Medalist Steve Benjamin and Rob Kane opened with a second, were OCS in the second race but came back with a 2,4,5 before doing a horizon job on the competition in winning their flight of Race 6. While both of these crews were putting up strong results, last year’s UBS Challenge winner Ben Cesare and wife Kim caught fire in the middle of the day and ran off 3 wins in a row in dominating fashion. As the afternoon wore on the cold and raw conditions began to take a toll on the racers. A strong outbound tide and the very competitive fleet led to a series of general recalls prior to the 7th race, which prolonged the frozen crews’ agony. However after about 45 minutes of recalls and line resets the final race of the day got off with the respective flights won by veteran Steve Kirkpatrick of Scituate and newcomer Mike Funsch of Larchmont.

The large contingent of sailors enjoyed an outstanding dinner party at the Larchmont Yacht Club and every team present went home the a winner of a prize in the raffle that was supported by event sponsors UK Sailmakers, Dirty Dog Eyewear, Harken, New England Ropes, Thule, North Sails, Douglas Gill, Cape Cod Shipbuilding and Karl’s Boat Shop of Harwich MA (the IC’s new builder).

Sunday’s weather – while sunnier and possibly less raw – brought a new front and 35 kts of rapidly oscillating northerly breeze. The 9:30 start was clearly not going to happen, much to the relief of some of the crews who had partied late into the daylight savings shortened prior night! However the morning dragged on with little more than teases that there would be enough of a drop in the breeze to sail. Early in the afternoon, some of the travellers began packing up, however George Parthemos’ LYC Race Committee patiently waited out the weather. Finally, at 1:30 the RC signaled that they would give the fleet a go. A rush to get boats re-rigged ensued and the first race was finally started around 2:30. Jim Bowers again proved that he was fast off the dock, winning his first race for the second day running. A 6th in the second race was good enough to bring home 4th overall. Paul-Jon Patin sailed a consistent 3,5 in the heavy air to take 3rd. Ben Cesare opened with a 4th to Steve Benjamin’s 5th to put some daylight between them, however, Cesare had a throwout in the final race while Benji came home with a 2nd. After 9 races the two were tied at 29 points, however with their 3 wins on Saturday, Ben and Kim Cesare were crowned the 2003 IC Dinghy National Champions.

Also read Jesse Falsone’s interview after the 2003 Nationals that Sailingworld didn’t print! No Cold Feet for Frostbite Lovers: The Ben and Kim Interview.

Full Results

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2003 Midwinters Wrapup

Another Great Regatta was held on February 8-9, 2002!

“The InterClub Midwinters has built quite a reputation for itself. That reputation is one of great sailing and socializing in equal proportions made possible by the regatta format, called “collegiate style”. Each boat is shared among sailors from two divisions who form a team for scoring purposes – just like in college sailing. First one division sails a few races, then the other. Alternating between racing and socializing is even tempting for those sailors that normally consider frostbiting as part of the lunatic fringe. As one new frostbiter described, ‘I thought I’d get pretty cold out there, but I was pleasantly surprised that these little tubs keep you moving, and before you know it, your round is over and you’re back in the club eating soup!'”

How much better can you state the essence of this regatta? This year’s event is stacking up to carry on this tradition. As we have bragged about in the past, we have not lost a midwinter’s race due to bad weather in the last 5 years. You are virtually guaranteed two days of great sailing, and with the borrowed boat program (see the NOR), and air fares reaching rock bottom, you can now get here with a minimum of fuss.

A Great Regatta = Good Management + Great Location + Fun Atmosphere

29 boats braved the freakish snow storm that hit the Mid Atlantic with 8 inches of snow. We completed 18 races in two days in shifty NW-SW breezes. Team Scituate consisting of Steve/Jane Kirkpatrick and Chad/Kelly Demarest repeat as Midwinter Champions.

Alden Bugly’s Writeup in the Capital

Full Results

2002 Nationals Wrapup

60 boats descended on Duxbury Bay Maritime School and Duxbury Yacht Club for this year’s Interclub Dinghy National Championships, held mid season on December 1-2, 2001. The event was hosted by the Scituate Frostbite Association, and competitors included over a dozen past and current collegiate All-Americans, National and World Champions and Olympic Medalists. After 12 very tight races, MIT sailing coach Mike Kalin and Ariya Dararutana, a member of the MIT sailing team emerged victorious.

Saturday’s 70 degree weather and 12 to 20 knot southwesterly featured six windward leeward races. Olympic Silver Medalist and past IC National Champion Steve Benjamin and crew Adam Walsh came out on top of Saturday’s racing, yet were closely tailed by a pack of eight boats, all within 15 points of the lead. The competitors knew that with the expert race management of Fran Charles, MIT’s sailing master and past Interclub National Champion, the regatta would feature a full day on Sunday if the weather permitted.

Sunday’s racing began in a 6 to 12 knot northwesterly with Kalin and Dararutana jumping out to to win the first. Steve Kirkpatrick and Craig Fagan displayed good starts and solid speed to win both the second and third races of the day and to slide past Benjamin and Adams into second. In race four Kalin and Dararutana popped off another bullet, while Benjamin, Kirkpatrick and three time National Champions Jim Bowers and crew Myrna Chen MacCrae were slightly further back. In race five, Benjamin and Adams battled back with a second just ahead of the Bowers/MacRae team followed by Kalin and Dararutana in fourth. At this point Kalin and Dararutana had the regatta won, however there was still debate as to the rest of the positions.

The final race featured the largest windshifts and velocity changes of the 12 race series. At the first mark all the players vying for the top five spots were doing well. Downwind a pack of boats including contenders Ed Adams, Steve Benjamin, Geoff Moore and Neal Fowler all gybed and headed left while Steve Kirkpatrick, Chad Demarest and Jim Bowers continued on starboard. As the breeze gradually shut down, the boats on the right maintained better breeze with Kirkpatrick, Demarest and Bowers hanging on to finish first through third.

A great time was had by all the competitors, who will continue to frostbite throughout the winter.

Full Results

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Chad Demarest’s 2002 Midwinters Report

Written for the Scituate Frostbite Association Fleet and used with permission (sort of).

Steve, Jane, Whitney and I had the pleasure of competing in the IC Midwinters this past weekend. The Annapolis IC fleet runs it “college style” with A and B division teams splitting time in the same boat. This year saw 27 teams–pretty amazing given the conflict with Miami OCR. The A/B thing makes it very social, as there’s plenty of time shore-side to get to know your fellow competitors. Seeing a lot of old friends and making new ones over copious (though not Berkeley-esque) quantities of free beer is always a good thing. The “boat loan program,” which ensures that traveling sailors are matched with a free charter boat, free housing, and free ride to/from the airport, attracts non-IC sailors…a fantastic thing for the health of the class and an ingenious fleet-building plan. As Annapolis has had the largest average turnout of any IC fleet this season, it also appears to be working. True hardcore IC sailors, like Jim/Suzie Bowers and Jocko/Myrna MacRae, also took advantage of the program–they got hooked up with a gucci Menkart. Mike Birman and Galen Phyfe got to sail a Vanguard for free. All of them were back home in Boston in time for the game.

Racing started on Saturday at the very civilized hour of 11:00, which was good because the front that had almost blown Steve/Jane off I-95 the night before was still kicking up a meaty northerly at 9:30 when we got to the club. When Steve/Jane hit the water an hour later, it was down to probably 15 or so, and the course was set up at the mouth of the Severn right off the USNA field in a flat, breezy, very shifty northerly. Steve and Jane got off to a good start with a 4/3/1 and, at the rotation, Steve’s advice to me was “dude, it’s shifty.” And dude, it was. There was a funneling breeze at the middle of the mouth of the Severn, but there were also huge lefties coming from the mouth of the harbor 90 degrees left of the weather mark. To complicate matters, the current was ripping out but you could duck it on the far left corner. What’s a sailor to do? We tried to tack on every shift and never commit to a side, and it worked pretty well. We lost boat a boat or two on the first beats when we committed to a side rather than taking smaller shifts. We posted a 1/3/5 and turned the reins back over to Steve and Jane. After going back on an OCS, they pulled a 10 in the first race. You all know what happens next, right? They win the next two going away. Law of averages. Whit and I were crucified by a port tacker on the first start of our set, but we clawed back to a 6. The next one was worse, as we were over at a messy pin and never established a lane on the beat. A sweet low-road on the run caught us 6 or 7 boats, and we finished 4th. The last race was strange. Good start, good lanes, great speed, bad finish. We end with a 6/4/8. John Pratt/Kristina Roussel (A) and Paul Adam/Kim Queene (B) from Winthrop sailed an amazingly consistent day, and were 5 points up on us in the overall. Steve/Jane were winning A, but Whit and I were a distant third in B…16 points behind Paul/Kim’s highly impressive 2/2/2/1/3/1. Former Midwinter Champ Bill Healy’s team was close behind us, as was Jim/Suzie/Jocko/Myrna.

SSA hosted a dinner, but the only thing anyone will remember was the desert. Words cannot do the desert justice, so I won’t even try. It was the best food with sugar any of us have ever eaten. The main course could have been *&^% on a shingle and it still would have been an unbelievable meal. There was beer, too, but we lit out for a night on the town that turned ugly and ended in Hearts and Sammy’s in the hotel.

Sunday dawned cloudy with a light SW’ly that built to a solid 10 when A hit the water for a cold, hard and uncivilized 9:30 first gun. It was clearly very wavy and getting windier. We knew the breeze was up when two boats Bruce-ed on the last run. Steve/Jane were deep on the first race after missing a lefty, but powered back to a 5. 808, in case you’re wondering, is very, VERY good at powering back. That boat is NOT speed-deficient. Anyway, they were winning the second race for a while, but they had to chose between covering the correct side and covering the correct competition…they finished 3rd, ahead of Billy, Jim and Pratto. The last race they played the middle and survived a 20 degree lefty to finish 5th. When Whit and I got out to the starting area, we were almost planing in 16 knot puffs, surfing down 2-foot waves. Our only goal, after watching the left pay consistently in the A set, was to be towards the pin and play the left. At 15 seconds we got nervous and bailed from the pin, starting on port behind everyone, and were soon the furthest boat right. And then we got headed. We tacked and never looked back. We came from behind to win the next race on the last beat. We couldn’t get by Jock/Myrna in our last race, and were happy to post a 1/1/2 set. It was only noon, but they sent us in ’cause of the PHRF frostbiters, who, we were told, “play by different rules” than we do. Curiously, this was deemed sound logic.

We finished up with a comfortable combined win, and managed to win both divisions to boot. We were all proud to represent SFA, and I think the rest of the world is starting to see that we’ve got the most competitive frostbiting in the country. Scituate on Sundays is the most intesive learning session you’ll find, anywhere, and it lasts all winter long. What a bargain!

A quick plug: the Annapolis IC fleet really goes all-out for this event. There was hot food between every set, the kegs were always tapped, and the RC work (though not Charles-esque) was damn good. The competitors were all very nice and very social (and very lubricated). The hot water in the showers worked. The raffle was good (not quite Kirkp…oh, you get the idea) and the Winthrop crowd absolutely cleaned up (they had 4 teams) on tee-shirts and hats. Someone not named Jim or Suzie won the sail. It was a first-class regatta.

The four of us had an absolute blast. We will all do everything we can to go back next year, and we encourage anyone else interested in a really great regatta to come down and give it a shot. Skill levels are totally irrelevant…the sailing is good, but the atmosphere is what makes it such a fun weekend.

Useless Stats:

1 – Guck (808) w/ Ched North

2 – Menkart (699) w/ Benj North

3 – Original woody (34?) w/ Ched North

4 – Menkart (672) w/ Ched North

5 – Vanguard (757) w/ New Doyle (–these guys were blazing fast in the flat water Sat!)

-Chad

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2002 Midwinters Wrapup

The InterClub Midwinters has built quite a reputation for itself. That reputation is one of great sailing and socializing in equal proportions made possible by the regatta format, called “collegiate style”. Each boat is shared among sailors from two divisions who form a team for scoring purposes – just like in college sailing. First one division sails a few races, then the other. Alternating between racing and socializing is even tempting for those sailors that normally consider frostbiting as part of the lunatic fringe. As one new frostbiter described, “I thought I’d get pretty cold out there, but I was pleasantly surprised that these little tubs keep you moving, and before you know it, your round is over and you’re back in the club eating soup!”

Lots of New Englanders consider the IC Midwinters a “must do” regatta. As its name implies, the InterClub was originally conceived as a class of boat that could be shared among sailors from different clubs. Annapolis IC Fleet members have always been extremely generous in loaning their boats out to frostbite brethren from up north. With no boat to bring, these travelers usually hop a shuttle flight from Boston, Providence, or New York for the weekend. Boston’s frostbite ace, Jim Bowers, says “coming to the IC Midwinters is a no-brainer each year because the sailing is as great as the party, and it’s just so easy”. This formula also drew sailors from New Jersey, Buffalo, and, and even New Orleans.

For most sailors in this regatta, college is a fading memory, but the sailing skills that make All-Americans are the very ones that make winners at the IC Midwinters. The winning team this year consisted of Steve & Jane Kirkpatrick, Chad Demarest, and Whitney Besse from Scituate, MA. Both crews won their respective divisions with the skills that earned them All-American status in college. Those skills include crisp boat handling and accurate split-second decision making. In second place were Jim & Susie Bowers and Jocko & Myrna MacRae from Winthrop, MA. In third were Bill Healy, Leah Anderson, Brent Jansen, and Paige Hannon. Healy, a fixture at this regatta since 1998, put a team together with Saint Mary’s College sailing team members. The top local team consisted of Wayne Pignolet, JoAnn Jones, Hal Gilreath, and Lisa Pline in fourth place.

Saturday’s racing was held in a typical winter Northwester ushered in by building high pressure. Winds ranging from 5 to 15 knots with quick oscillations made lead changes in each race inevitable. At the end of the day, Paul Adam and Kim Queen (Winthrop, MA) held a commanding lead in B Division and a respectable overall lead with teammates John Pratt and Kristina Roussel. However, skippers Kirkpatrick and Demarest rallied on Sunday in a difficult southwesterly that added a nasty chop to the equation. Demarest and Besse sealed the regatta win with a resounding 1,1,2 in the final three races.

Once again, PRO John Potter and the SSA race committee team defined race management efficiency by firing off 12 perfect races on Saturday and 6 on Sunday. After the event Potter said “sometimes when a regatta goes off this well, I don’t know what to do with myself afterward”. But Potter knows all too well that there will always be another regatta to run, and TESOD is just around the corner.

Demarest put it nicely when he addressed the crowd while accepting his championship trophy; “The IC Midwinters is a great regatta for the class because it gets so many new people involved each year. The class needs more fun events like this, and more sailors to fill the ranks”.

The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would like to thank our suppliers; Phillips Seafood, The Bagel Connection, Fawcett’s Boat Supplies, Kinder Industries, Harken, Guck, Inc., Ronstan, Annapolis Performance Sailing, Sailing Magazine, Layline, Seitech, North Sails, and Riff Raff Graphics.

Alden Bugly’s Writeup in the Capital

Full Results

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2001 Midwinters Wrapup

The 2001 InterClub Midwinters held at Severn Sailing Association on February 10-11 was a resounding success. Some of the best frostbite sailors in the northeast and mid-Atlantic region gathered for the annual event, with a few guest “rock stars” sprinkled in adding to an already eclectic mix. Conditions were trying for the 24 teams of sailors and race committee alike on Saturday, with westerly winds blowing from 15-25 knots. The shifty and gusty nature of these winds made staying upright the priority, and approximately one dozen crews took a dip in the 30 degree Chesapeake waters during the day. The winds on Sunday were ideal at 10-15 from the northwest, but an early 0930 start and colder temperatures gave real meaning to “frostbite” sailing as ice formations on sheets and hardware were common.

The InterClub Midwinters has become a premier one-design event. Past regatta chairman, Jesse Falsone, says “we attract some incredible talent to this regatta including multiple world and national champions, Rolex winners and nominees, college All-Americans, America’s Cup veterans, and a host of very talented dinghy sailors who can beat the pros on any given Sunday”. This year’s regatta chairman, Alex Pline, boasts that “we give the sailors a lot of bang for their buck – some great sailing combined with a fantastic social atmosphere.”

Pline is referring to the regatta format – dubbed “collegiate style” by the regatta organizers. Sailors form a team by having two separate crews in each boat, one crew sailing the “A” division and the other sailing the “B” division. Only one crew is on the water at a time, giving the other crew a chance to warm by the fire in the clubhouse, eat a hot snack, and talk with friends and competitors.

Unlike all other midwinters regattas, this one is run smack in the middle of winter and in a cold mid-Atlantic climate. For frostbite sailors, cold is relative. Annapolis is the southern-most InterClub frostbite fleet, and the sailing area here rarely freezes, although a northerly blew the ice out just in time for the regatta last year. In Rochester, NY and Hyannis, MA frostbiters usually stop sailing in January and February, and wait for the thaw in March before continuing. Rochester frostbiter, Ryan Walsh, says “we rarely get above freezing when we sail, and we were racing around ice floes and through the slushies in the Genesee River during the fall.” Other fleets like the Larchmont, NY and Winthrop, MA frequently ice over causing weeks of cancelled sailing, so traveling to “balmy” Annapolis is a welcome change for those frostbiters used to rigging their boats with a pick-ax.

For the second year running, the Newport, RI team of Ed Adams, Carol Newman-Cronin, Andy Pimental, and Monique Gaylor won the event. Mr. Adams is ubiquitous in the sailing world, having recently coached Mark Reynolds and Magnus Liljedahl to their Olympic Gold in Australia. Ms. Cronin is an active Snipe sailor and match racer, and was recently recognized as a nominee for the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year. Mr. Pimental owns a small boat building business, and often teams with Ms. Gaylor (New York, NY) for big events. Annapolis sailors didn’t fair so well, with the top team finish going to Jesse Falsone, Dina Temple-Raston, Macy Nelson, and Jeff Janos in 6th place. Professional sailors from Annapolis Andy Horton and Terry Hutchinson took a break from their busy schedules to compete, finishing 6th and 7th respectively in B division showing the depth of talent in the IC fleet.

The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would like to thank our suppliers; Phillips Seafood, The Bagel Connection, Fawcett’s Boat Supplies, UK Sails Annapolis, Kinder Industries, Harken, Guck, Inc., Ronstan, SpinSheet Magazine, Sailing Magazine, Layline, SailingCentral.com and Riff Raff Graphics.

Alden Bugly’s Report in the Capital

Full Results

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A Bit of Midwinters History

Doug Clark, former coach at the Naval Academy, was one of the founding members of the Annapolis InterClub Fleet. He’ll be coming down to the regatta this year with sailors from the Merchant Marine Academy. I asked him about the “old” days, and this is what he had to say:

“I believe the first IC Midwinters was 1989, Pete McChesney and I were the instigators. I sold a Soling we had at Navy and purchased 3 new IC’s from Menkart. At SSA we found some 100 series boats in Rochester for $500 a piece – instant fleet. Alex’s (Stout) boat the “pig” I think is the only surviving member. We had 12 teams that 1st year. The funniest thing was when Gary Jobson was sailing and came into the basin to rotate and got his sail wrapped up in a piling and tore it to shreads. Good laughs for all the spectators. Thanks for all the hard work.”

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Midwinters Factoid

Is it too cold and windy to frostbite in February?

Since 1996, frostbite regattas in Annapolis (4 Midwinters and 1 Nationals) have never missed a single day’s racing. On average, the Annapolis IC Fleet misses less than 2 days racing per year due to bad weather. These statistics make Annapolis the most reliable location for frostbiting on the East Coast. The Annapolis Midwinter’s regattas generally run over 20 races in a weekend, or 10 races per division.

A few past winning skippers of the IC Midwinters include:

  • Ed Adams
  • Andy Pimental
  • Neal Fowler
  • Bill Hardesty
  • Jim Bowers
  • Tim Healy
  • Bill Healy