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!
Jim 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.
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.
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.
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).
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 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.
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.
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.
Jim Bowers and Alexa Schuler win the 2013 Nationals. With win number 7, Jim surpasses Jack Slattery for the most nationals wins. The regatta was a 15 race series held in beautiful Annapolis spring conditions.
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 (email@example.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.
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.
The 2013 Nationals will be held at Severn Sailing Association, Annapolis, MD on April 13-14, 2013. Regatta chair Jesse Falsone is planning a great event as usual. The Notice of Race and Entry Form are now available. Don’t delay!
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.”
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.
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.
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.”
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’.”
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.
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.
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.
Jim Bowers bested a talented field of 56 sailors Sunday to take top honors at the Interclub national championships, held this year at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis Md. This is a first time win for Bowers, a 1991 graduate of Harvard College where he gained All-American status as a top intercollegiate racer. Bowers, who sails in the Winthrop, Mass., based fleet, had flirted with wins at the IC nationals before, taking a 5th in 1998, 3rd in 1997 and a 6th in 1996. But this year he could not be denied in a two day 12 race regatta that saw everything from light and shifty breezes on day one to a steady, choppy 15-20 knots on day two.
After six challenging races Saturday sailed in shifty conditions just off the U.S. Naval Acadamy, long-time Interclub sailor Steve Benjamin and long-time crew Adam Walsh jumped into the lead. Benjamin, a three time former IC national champion, showed superior speed and masterfully picked his way through the shifts. But by Sunday, a low front had ripped through Annapolis, bringing with it a classic northerly breeze. The breeze held strong for much of the day, putting a premium on hiking hard and hitting massive shifts, often 30 degrees.
Benjamin proved no slouch and fought hard into the final heat. Going into the last race Benjamin and Bowers were one point apart. Also in the fight were Larchmont-based Ben Cesare and Kim Cesare, a husband and wife team. Cesare took five firsts, more than either Benjamin or Bowers could come up with on their own. But Cesare’s downfall: His worst race was a 17th, which he discarded, but he had to keep a devastating 13th, putting him out of the running. In the last race, Bowers took a 2nd and Benjamin fell back to 7th, giving Bowers a six point win over Benjamin.
The cracker jack SSA race committee ran 24 races in all, that’s 12 races for each competitor under the round robin two division system used for large dinghy fleets. Racers came as far as Hyannis, Massachusetts, Boston and Rochester, N.Y. The IC nationals has their usual flavor of former collegiate sailors, husband and wife teams and father and son and daughter combinations. The field was incredibly talented, and included such luminaries as former Rolex sailor of the year Susan Dierdorff Taylor, Tornado Olympic hopeful Lars Guck and America Cup sailor Ralf Steitz.
Tim Healy and Samantha Rosemont toped the 60 boat fleet at the 1998 Interclub Nationals. Sailing in Boston Harbor adjacent to Logan Airport, Saturday’s 15-25 knot west wind, with higher gusts off the runway, gave us seven truly exhausting races in very trying conditions. Several boats capsized each race but were quickly rescued and pumped out in time for the next one.
Ed Adams/Carol Newman lead the charge through Saturday’s gusty winds and choppy seas. Tim Healy/Samantha Rosemont followed in a close second, only four points behind, while Neal Fowler/Mike Collins, last year’s Nationals winner in Hyannis, took third for the day.
After a 30 minute postponement, the fleet was finally able to sail one race on Sunday before the race committee called it a day. The race started in about ten knots of breeze, but the wind diminished, and the race had barely completed before the wind vanished for the day. Healy/Rosemont were able to put enough boats between themselves and Adams/Newman placing sixth in the final race to win the regatta. Geoff Moore/Kara Shadwick placed third in the last race to move up two places to third.