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.
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.
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!