Spotlight: Peter Lorson

Back in the day (1970s) Employers like Sperry used to write about what their employees where do when not working in their newsletters. This piece is about Pedro’s Father who was also an IC sailor at MBYC.  


Remembering The Original Duxbury Frostbiters

My dad, Jack Clark, was one of the original frostbiters in Duxbury, MA in the 1950s. It was long before hi-tech clothing was developed to keep us dry and warm. As a child, I would crew for Dad dressed in my snowsuit and wool hat and mittens. I learned at a young age to feel a boat in the sensitive dinghy.

Every Sunday after church, the motley crew of fun loving enthusiastic sailors would push their Interclubs into the frigid waters of Duxbury Bay and with a beat-up Boston Whaler for the committee boat would set short triangular courses. If anyone flipped, the understanding was everyone would luff up b/c the committee boat could handle only one capsize at a time. As a child, I was delighted that the windward mark in December was a rowboat sporting a decorated Christmas tree.

The season started in late September with the Bug Light Race: that had a no-holds-barred le mans start in the Bluefish River to a mark set about 25 yards from the shore. The entire way out to the Bug Light at the entrance to Plymouth Harbor, the committee boat would serve champagne to the racers. My brother won one year because he was too young to partake and the other skippers had been overserved…
Eventually, Duxbury was hosting a well-attended spring regatta that attracted Finns as well as IC dinghies, and eventually 420s. I can remember traveling up the road a piece to Scituate, even Marblehead for regattas. A couple of times, we ventured as far away as Larchmont, NY and Essex, CT.

I loved listening to the clamor as the boats converged on the marks and the heated protest committee meetings at the Frostbite Shack afterward: a salt shaker for the mark and matchsticks to show the boats’ positions.

If anyone’s interested, I have a bunch of old clippings from the (hilarious and very witty) Frostbite Society column written by Lance Bennett for our local paper–the Duxbury Clipper.

— Carol Clark-Flanagan

2023 Nationals Results

PaulJon Patin and Felicity Ryan win the 2023 Nationals Presented by Patterson + Sheridan, LLP at Metedeconk Yacht Club. The regatta had some nice sailing conditions for the 14 teams. With the last regatta of the year, Ted Ferrarone came out on top of the Wharf Rat challenge in a three way tie with Simon Strauss and Bill Rothwell. See the full results and final Wharf Rat standings.

2022 Nationals is a go!

Update 5 2/21/2022

The 2020 2021 2022 Nationals are ON!! MBYC has rescheduled the nationals for April 9-10, 2022 and a planning a great event. Registration will be via Clubspot where you can find the Notice of Race and (eventually) Sailing Instructions. A few things to note:

  • Be ready to show that your Interclub meets the 240lbs IC National weight minimum.
  • Loaner boats will be made available upon an early request (contact Pedro).
  • Last day for early entry fee is MARCH 15.
  • There is some great looking swag that can be ordered through the Stoutgear Sailing Merchandise Store for IC Nationals.
  • Any IC Nationals swag will need to be pre ordered before the end of March for pick up at the event.
Two polar bears sailing an interclub dinghy emblazoned with the logo nor rain, nor snow, nor cold of day...

UPDATE 4 (1/3/2021)

MBYC has rescheduled the Interclub Nationals to April 17-18 and will hold the rescheduled New Years Regatta on April 10-11. The NOR for each will be available in the future.

Update 3 (9/18/2020)

MBYC has confirmed the 2020 2021 Nationals will be held April 9-11, 2021. Pending conditions at the time of course.

Update 2 (4/9/2020)

MBYC is looking to hold the regatta April 9-11, 2021 with the dates still to be confirmed later.

Update 1

Due to the ongoing Pandemic the Nationals Regatta will NOT take place on April 18-19, 2020.


The InterClub National Championship will take place on April 18-19, 2020 at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) in Port Washington, New York.

Notice of Race, Registration and other information is located on the event website hosted on ClubSpot.

2020 New Years Regatta

UPDATE: The regatta has been rescheduled to April 11, 2020. It was feast or famine, too much wind on 1/1 and no wind on 1/4.  Hopefully it will be a “Goldilocks” breeze on 4/11.

The 2020 MBYC New Years Regatta will be held on January 1 and 4. The Notice of Race and Sailing Instructions are available.

Also save the date for the 2020 Nationals which will also be held at MBYC on April 18-19.

Jim Bowers and Lydia Brown Win Nationals Number 12

Jim Bowers, with Lydia Brown as crew, eeked out the team of Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion by 2 points to once again claim the season finale of the Interclub frostbite season. Not far behind was Bill Rothwell / Linda Epstein in third, followed by Simon Strauss / Annie Paton who came on strong on Sunday to get by the top local tandem of Doug Kaukeinen / Adam Gesner to round out the top five. Conditions were light on Saturday under cloudy skies with crews only able to sit on the (windward) rail in parts of the final races on Sunday. One redeeming factor was that the fleet had all of the well-protected Irondequoit Bay to themselves all day Saturday and with a few exceptions Sunday so the only waves were from the busy-as-beavers mark boats who set meticulous courses – both long and short – both days under the discerning eye of PRO Robert Mendenhall and his RC team.

Led by regatta chair Ralph Simpson, the seemingly bottomless cast of support volunteers of the Rochester Canoe Club pulled out all the hospitality stops to welcome the small but energetic group of 12 teams. Food and sailing beverages flowed from morning to night time. I think I can speak for all those who attended that everyone went home, tired-yet-energized, nourished and entertained.

Back to the sailing, two highlights come to mind. One was watching the slug-fest of the two front-runners all weekend which was fun to watch from not far behind (don’t tell my skipper Jennifer I was watching it all). Back and forth Jim / Lydia and Ted / Meredith went, sometimes leading the other wire to wire but mostly playing close-quarters leapfrog in each race. Then there was the Bill / Linda pair, who were always close and in the fray, looking to sprint past the leaders like a horse on the stretch at the Derby as the front-runners beat each other up.

The other highlight was watching the local fleet improve over the course of the regatta. Remember that the Rochester Fleet sails IC’s single-handedly the rest of the year so you could see the rusticles of how to play the double-handed game flake off with each race. Signs of skippers standing up on downwind legs (a typical technique for single-handing these high-performance boats) early in the series gave way to more traditional positions. And the pack got tighter as the weekend progressed.

As has been the custom for over a dozen years, the Wharf Rat trophy was awarded to the team with the highest finishes in a series of pre-selected regattas including the Nationals. This year it was Ted Ferrarone who took home the trophy by barely a 2% margin of total points over Simon Strauss.

–Report by Art Rousmaniere

2019 Nationals Information

The 2019 Nationals will be held at the Rochester Canoe Club on May 3-5.

The Notice of Race is here.

The Sailing Instructions are here.

For more information, contact:

Ralph Simpson:


Friday May 3, 2019

1200 – 1500 Registration & Measurement (Boat and crew weight)

1530 – 1700 Practice races

1730 – Welcome dinner

Saturday May 4, 2019

0800 – 0900 Breakfast, Registration & Measurement (Boat and crew weight)

0900 Skippers’ Meeting

1000 Warning, First Race

1200 (approximate) Lunch (back in the RCC clubhouse) 1300 (approximate) Resume Racing

1530 Last race to not start after

1600 – 1800 happy hour and racing debrief

1800 – Dinner

Sunday May 5, 2019

0800 – 0900 Breakfast

0930 Warning, First Race

1200 Last race to not start after

1300 (approximate) Lunch, Refreshments and Awards (back in the RCC clubhouse)

2018 Midwinters Results

It’s a wrap! The final  – for now anyway – Interclub Midwinters at SSA is done. We had a beautiful day of sailing Saturday with temps in the 50s, sunshine and a shifty SE-SW breeze. We shared some great new and old Interclub Midwinters stories after dinner. Unfortunately, Sunday brought rain, thick fog and zero wind and we abandoned for the regatta at 12:30. Thanks to all that came to help us officially close out the latest incarnation of the SSA IC fleet, it was a great final hurrah. Many thanks to Jesse Falsone for keeping the torch lit all these years and – as Jonathan Lange put it – carrying the rest of us along, sometimes against our will.

Congratulations to the winning team of Steve Benjamin/Trevor Davis and Jim Bowers/Lydia Brown for a consistent regatta to edge out the team of Simon Strauss/Julie Lelek and Jesse Falsone/Erika Seamon by 3 points.

Summary Scores

Full Results

Team Div. 1 2 3 TOT
1 Benjamin/Bowers (60) A 1 1 6 8
B 1 1 2 4
2 4 12 12
2 Falsone/Strauss (802) A 2 4 1 7
B 2 2 4 8
4 10 15 15
3 Patin/Lorson (17) A 6 2 2 10
B 6 5 5 16
12 19 26 26
4 Davis/Becker (171) A 7 5 5 17
B 4 4 3 11
11 20 28 28
5 Ferrone/Monro (74) A 4 3 3 10
B 7 6 7 20
11 20 30 30
6 Fernberger/Fernberger (753) A 3 6 4 13
B 3 7 8 18
6 19 31 31
7 Smit/Ewenson (31) A 5 9 9 23
B 5 3 1 9
10 22 32 32
8 Brady/Herzog (701/614) A 9 8 8 25
B 8 9 6 23
17 34 48 48
9 McCloskey/McCloskey (699) A 8 7 7 22
B 9 8 9 26
17 32 48 48
10 Lange/ (779/37) A 10 10 10 30
21 42 63 63

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

Fourth Place

Fifth Place

2018 Nationals In Hyannis

The Interclub Nationals will be held at the Hyannis Yacht Club on April 28th and 29th. The NOR and Registration Form are online at the HYC web site.


  • The registration fee is $125.00 per boat and you can register and pay online
  • All entries after midnight Tuesday, April 24, 2018 will be assessed a late fee of $25.00
  • This is a beach launch regatta, so make sure you have a dolly that is suitable for sand

2018 Midwinters

The 2018 Interclub Midwinters will be held at SSA on January 27-28, 2018. This will be THE BIG ONE as we no longer have an active fleet and want to have one last big blowout regatta and party a la an Irish Wake. This is the standard A/B collegiate style regatta we have always run. There is only a nominal fee of $20 per division ($40/team) that includes the racing, dinner and party. We want all the old regulars to come and celebrate this regatta with us.

You can register online at SSA – please note each registration is for an A OR B team. If you are registering both, please register each separately:

See the Midwinters NOR for additional details.

We look forward to seeing everyone in January with some great frostbiting weather!

2017 Nationals Report and Results

Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop Massachusetts was host to this year’s Interclub Dinghy National Championship on April 8 th and 9 th . 27 boats made the trek to battle it out among some of the best dinghy sailors in the Northeast.

With sailing taking place right off of Logan Airport, Saturday greeted the teams with a strong breeze from the Northwest which continued to build throughout the day toping out at 25+. Although many teams were hoping the wind would die down enough to sail in the afternoon, the Race Committee smartly made the decision to cancel racing and looked for a better day on Sunday.

The forecast proved correct for Sunday and with temperatures reaching the mid 60’s, the race committee under the direction of PRO Sue Hardy knocked out 10 great races in a shifty 10-15 knot breeze.

10 time National Champion Jim Bowers and crew Lydia Brown started strong and were looking good with 3 wins in the first 5 races only to fall victim to a capsize in race 6 caused by the “down draft” of an incoming plane to Logan Airport. In the ‘no-throw-out’ regatta, Bowers/Brown had to count a “29” to their scores and all hopes for an 11th National Championship were all but gone in the tight fleet.

The top spot became a battle between multiple IC National Champion Steve Benjamin and Brooks Daley; 2011 IC National Champion Paul-Jon Patin and Felicity Ryan; and long-time Larchmont sailor Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion.

In the end, it was Ferrarone/Killion who pulled away to win their first IC National Championship by 19 points. Ferrarone/Killion were by far the most consistent in the fleet with no race worse than a 6 th and finished with 37 points. Benjamin/Daley finished 2nd with 56 points and close behind was Patin/Ryan with 57 points.

Rounding out the top 5 was the husband/wife team of Art and Jen Rousmaniere in 4th place with 60 points and Bowers/Brown in 5th with 66 points.

–Bill Rothwell

Full results: 2017 Nationals Results

Great photos: here and here

Regatta Site:

2017 Nationals Regatta Announcement

The NOR for the 2017 IC Nationals hosted by Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop MA on April 8-9, 2017 has been posted and registration is now open. We are working to make this as easy as possible for visiting teams to participate by having housing, loaner boats available and even airport pick ups at Logan airport (10 minutes from the club) should you be flying in.

And you won’t want to miss the Saturday night dinner with great raffle prizes!! More information will be forthcoming but if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact any of the regatta organizers below. We hope you can make it!

Bill Rothwell
Dave Nelson
Linda Epstein
Steve Braverman

For more information:

2017 Midwinters Announcement

Sadly, for the foreseeable future, the Midwinters has left it’s home base in Annapolis. But don’t despair, the 2017 Interclub Midwinters will be held at Larchmont Yacht Club January 28-29, 2017 in all it’s “collegiate style” goodness. Each team shall have two skippers and crews, who will sail in ‘A’ or ‘B’ division. Teams will be able to stay warm in between sets in the clubhouse with food and hot chocolate.

Refreshments and dinner will be provided Saturday evening. Discounted entry fees are available for junior and college teams. The link for sign up and Notice of Race is:

2017 New Years Regatta Results

The 86th Annual New York’s Frostbite Regatta was hosted on December 31 and January 1 by the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club of Port Washington, New York. We reviewed the Notice of Race for any mention of air or water temperature parameters that might limit racing. There were none, which can only mean that if you have to ask, than perhaps frostbiting isn’t for you. The name of the event should be sufficient. Wining the Interclub class was Simon Straus with crew Anne Patin, followed by Paul-Jon Patin with Felicity Ryan with Steve Benjamin with Daley Brooks in third.

Read the rest on Scuttlebutt…

Full Results (pdf)

2016 Nationals – Yet Another Unprecedented Win for Jim Bowers

ic-nationals-day-2-start-620x350Jim Bowers and Gaelen Adam won a record tenth Interclub Dinghy National Championship on April 9-10, hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY.

The weather ran the gamut, with a puffy easterly on Saturday causing the Race Committee to tuck the 44-boat fleet inside the breakwater to allow for seven chilly races in the rain on short courses, with Sunday’s sunnier skies and longer courses featuring large wind shifts and 1.5 knots of flood tide to keep competitors and the race committee on their toes over the remaining five races.

Larchmont teams took spots two through eight on the podium, with Paul-Jon Patin and Felicity Ryan in second, and event chairman Jay Rhame and Katie Murphy in third. Henry Fernberger, with dad Peter as crew, won the B division, Brouck Anderson and Jack Kneisley won the C division, Ben Cesare and Nicholas Patin won the Masters division, and Jen Rousmaniere of the Winthrop fleet was named the top women’s skipper.

Full Results

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:  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 — 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).

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.

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 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

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.

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.

IMG_5785 Cropped
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.


Full Results

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.


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.

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

2013 Stanley Bell Regatta Info

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

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.

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.

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…

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

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.


  • 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

2012 Midwinters Wrapup

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

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