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

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

First Place
Second Place
Third Place
Fourth Place

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

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

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

2003 New Years Regatta

On The Bay

By Andrea Watson

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

No Cold Feet for Frostbite Lovers

By Jesse Falsone

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.”

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.

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

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

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!)


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

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

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.”

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

2000 Midwinters Wrapup

2000midwinterslogoThe 2000 InterClub Midwinters on February 5-6, 2000, was frostbiting at its finest. The ice covered waters of Spa Creek and the lower Severn River gave way last Saturday in a freshening Northwest breeze, leaving perfect conditions for the 26 IC teams from all over the Northeast. The IC Midwinters in Annapolis is famous for its collegiate format (i.e. two teams per boat, A and B divisions). The unique sailing area surrounding the Severn Sailing Association allows IC sailors to quickly switch out teams at the docks and return to the sailing area for racing. Twenty two races in total were run, 11 for each division.

A Northwester brings classic frostbite conditions to Annapolis – puffy and shifty. InterClub sailing is perhaps the most instinctual sailing one can imagine, and staying in phase with the shifts that these conditions bring is paramount. There’s no time to think in InterClub sailing when its this shifty, and a one second delay in making a decision can cost you a valuable lane or positioning for the next shift.

With no throw-out race in an eleven race series, consistency was the key to success. The Newport, RI team of Ed Adams and Carol Cronin, and Andy Pimental and Monique Gaylor won the regatta with an impressive display of consistency amidst an extremely talented field of sailors. Ed and Carol placed 2nd in A Division, losing by merely one point. Andy and Monique came from behind on Sunday to win B Division. The Winthrop, MA team of Jim Bowers and Myrna MacRae (1999 IC National Champions), and Jocko MacRae and Barb Evans were second. Both teams placed third in their respective divisions. Coast Guard Academy sailing coach, Bill Healy, and a team of cadets including Ty Reed, Rob Cotler, and Kate Sheahan were in the running to win the regatta up until the last series when a broken halyard forced them to withdraw from a race and miss the start of another. Bill Healy, a long-time IC sailor, had a remarkable series to place first in A division.

1999 News Years Regatta

This years New Years frostbite regatta went on, regardless of whatever the weather gods threw at it! The three day event that took place from Friday, January 1st through Sunday January 3rd on the pristine and icy waters of Manhasset Bay.

On Friday the sailors were greeted a “pounding” northwest breeze which ranged from 20-25 knots. Racing was cancelled for that day, however the annual meeting for the Frostbite Yacht Club was held at 4:30pm. Commodore Neil Litman did a fine job of running the meeting, and our special awards committee was outstanding as usual. The royal order of the “Bath, with master clusters” was awarded to veteran Bob Kirtland for his notable swim in the “refreshing” November waters of Manhasset Bay, and as always, wassel was served to all in attendance. Neil closed the meeting by passing on the responsibilities of Frostbite Yacht Club to incoming commodore Greg Danilek.

Saturday morning greeted the Past Commodores of the Frostbite Yacht Club to a frigid 20 degree day and ice filled docks. The “diehards”sailed in their annual Past Commodore race which was won by Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry in a very, light and streaky west northwest breeze.

After lunch, and a chance to warm up, the New Years Regatta began with, 13 ICS and 6 Penguins competing. Three races were sailed in frigid cold with a northerly breeze ranging from 0-4 knots. It is racing like this that gives a real name to frostbiting. Race 1 found high school “upstarts” Doug Morea and Jason Hill finding the first shift and probably the only real breeze of the day to finish first. Second was Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry with Ched Protor and Eva Burpee, from Larchmont, third. The second race found Ched Protor launched with an easy first and fellow Larchmonter Chris Browne and Anne Bensel second and Bill Heintz and Janet Mancini third. What was to be the final race of the day, and the regatta came to duel between the Proctor/Burpee and Lorson/Berry team. Both teams got a good start and were drifting their way together to the weather mark. Protor/Burpee rounded first with Lorson/Berry on their heels. However, what was to be a run became a beat again and the Lorson/Berry team seemed to the find the meager shafts of breeze and thereby took the lead and went on to win the race. They were followed by America Cup sailor Ralf Steitz with crew Felicity Ryan and the Poctor/Burpee team finished third. At this point the crews took it upon themselves to find refuge in the Race Committee’s 70 degree hut. Needless to say it was very difficult for the race committee to get the crews out of the tropical R.C. hut and into the ice covered boats for the start for 4th race. This race was a drifter that was cancelled about ½ hour after the start. The Lorson/Berry team won the regatta on a tie breaker. First in B division was Dan Coughlin and with crew Adam Bennett.

The sailors and race committee were treated a very nice party at the home of Cathy & Ted Toombs Saturday night.

The last day of racing was cancelled on Sunday due to serve winds and rain.

Do not miss the next years New Years regatta, scheduled for Saturday January 1st and Sunday January 2nd in the year 2000, and then you too can say that you sailed the first regatta of the new millenium!

–Pedro Lorson

Final Results:

			                        	Race 1	Race 2	Race 3	Pts.
1	IC	536	Pedro Lorson/ Mimi ,Berry	2	4	1	7
2	IC	94	Ched Protor/Eva Burpee		3	1	3	7
3	IC	537	Ralf Steitz/ Felicity Ryan	4	7	2	13
4	IC	653	Doug Morea/Jason Hill		1	9	5	15
5	IC	29	Dan Coughlin/ Adam Bennett	5	5	6	16
6	IC	513	Bill Heintz/Janet Mancini	9	3	8	20
7	IC	516	Peter Lorson/Kelly Barry	6	13	4	22
8	IC	514	Ted Toombs/Monique Gaylor	10	6	7	23
9	IC	510	Steve Moore/Jerry Morea	7 	11	10	28
10 	IC	538	Greg Corkett/Deena Jeschner	12	8	9	29
11	IC	508	Chris Browne/Anne Bensel	DNC	2	DNF	30
12	IC	531	John Browning/?			8	12	12	32
13	IC	661	John Siener/Mark Corachio	11	10	11	32

1999 Nationals Wrapup

99NationalsLogoJim 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.

— Allan Freedman

Full Results

Article in The Capital

1999 Midwinters Wrapup

February 13-14
Larchmont YC

The IC Dinghy MidWinter Championship Regatta travelled from its home in Annapolis for the first time this year, but little was lost by the change of locale. Fleet racing in three fleets, instead of the A/B format, took place at the Larchmont YC in Larchmont, NY on Long Island Sound, home to an active Interclub fleet since the boat was originally commissioned in 1946.

Forty teams braved small craft warnings and forecasts of near southern ocean wind conditions for the event. Saturday was sunny and cold with a westerly breeze of 15-18 knots with stronger gusts and much higher winds forecast with a coming frontal line in the afternoon. Stanley Bell’s Larchmont Race Committee determined that an effort should be made to get in some racing while conditions still allowed it and the fleet set out in the shifty, puffy conditions.

The Committee set a windward leeward course with a wide offset that had the effect of reducing the number of jibes downwind. A strong contrary tide on the beat made for additional tactical challenges. The first two races were completed without serious mishap and resulted in a trade of 1st and 3rd places between 1998 National Champion Neal Fowler of Hyannis and Jim Bowers of the Winthrop (MA) Fleet. Bill Tripp of Larchmont held third at this point.

In the third race, chaos began to break loose. A strong puff on the run set many of the boats as close to a plane as the venerable design will come, however several of the boats which had held high on port jibe found themselves in trouble and several capsizes ensured, including a spectacular crash jibe flip by Larchmont skipper Anthony Law during which his boom snapped in half. Neal Fowler put another bullet on the board in this race and began to put a stranglehold on the regatta.

The fourth and fifth races saw a slight decrease in the chaos. Former Sunfish Class Champion Paul-Jon Patin won the fourth with Fowler second, however Patin was never able to become a factor in the regatta because he found himself rendering assistance to swimmers in several races. Ed Adams of Newport won the fifth race (Fowler’s only double digit performance) to press Bowers in second. The top three were closely followed by Tripp, Kerry Klingler of Larchmont and Bill Lynn of Marblehead who had seconds in race two and three.

The sixth race once again saw the fleet pummelled by some spectacular puffs. Bill Lynn was one of the victims when an out of control competitor caused him to capsize at the leeward mark. Two other boats had already flipped on the run and several others escaped from close shaves. Bill Tripp won the race, but with Adams in second and Fowler in fourth there was no room to move up. With all of the crashboats occupied and fully 25% fleet retired due either to capsize or breakdown, the Race Committee elected to call it a day and try to save something for Sunday’s predicted lighter winds.

Many of the sailors enjoyed the fine party at Larchmont that evening with beer provided by sponsor Sam Adams (no relation to Ed!) and raffle prizes donated by Harken, Douglas Gill, Guck and The Layline.

Unfortunately, forecasts are notoriously innacurate, and Sunday, far from bringing more sailable conditions brought – in addition to frigid temperatures – a gusty northerly with puffs in the mid-30’s and shifts all over. The Race Committee postponed for an hour, but with no sign of a decrease in the wind, packed it in and called it a regatta, giving Neal Fowler an additional feather to add to last spring’s National Championship.

Andrew Besheer


(all fleets on same start)

Boat # Skipper Crew Fleet Points
A-Fleet (18 boats)
755 Neal Fowler Mike Collins Hyannis 11
717 Jim Bowers Myrna Fong Macrae Winthrop 20
693 Ed Adams Carol Newman Cronin Newport 22
B-Fleet (16 boats)
690 Chad Corning Larchmont 65
801 Matt Cotrell Cicily Natunewicz Annapolis 78
675 Alex Pline Sherry Eldridge Annapolis 84
C-Fleet (5 boats)
270 Ross Dierdorff Ian Mutnick Annapolis 120
653 Feehan Wray Larchmont 152
88 Peter Daniels Mike Marrero Larchmont 163

Full Results: page1 page2 page3

1998 Nationals Wrapup

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.

— Stephen Braverman

Full Results


1997 Midwinters Wrapup

The Annapolis InterClub Fleet hosted its annual InterClub Midwinter’s Regatta February 8 & 9 at the Severn Sailing Association. Nineteen boats and nearly 80 sailors competed to almost triple last year’s turnout. The increased participation in the regatta comes as no surprise. The Annapolis InterClub Fleet now boasts 17 local boats on the docks compared with only 7 just a year ago. What’s more is the average weekly participation is now at 10 boats. Renewed interest in this classic 1945 Sparkman & Stephens design has been seen throughout the northeast.

The regatta was held in its customary format – collegiate style with 2 teams per boat. The idea is to promote the class by giving those people without a boat the opportunity to sail. The fleet has also utilized this format at its Opening Day Regatta in November. Spending half the time on the water and half in the clubhouse by the fire is very appealing to many sailors. While off the water, frostbiters viewed the racing action while warming their insides with chili, soup and hot chocolate prepared by fleet members. The Bagel Connection (Arnold Station and Bestgate Rd.) again sponsored the event, supplying plenty of fresh bagels and cream cheese.

In the true spirit of the frostbite tradition, sailors were met on the first day with driving snow and a gusty northeast wind. The sailors were perhaps the lucky ones in these conditions. They were able to rest in the clubhouse while the other division sailed. The race committee, headed by Kathy Coxe, was not so fortunate and stayed on station to run the races for over three hours as snow piled up in their boats. Kathy was assisted by Delrie Hobbs, Diane Burton, Trevor Thurston, Peter Gleitz and John Potter. They were successful in running 16 races in total over the weekend.

The competition was truly awesome. The ranks were filled with champions in various classes and more than a few past and present collegiate All-Americans. The aggressive nature of Division A was met with three black flag starts by the race committee. In spite of all the starting line tension, Division A was dominated by the cool head of long-time InterClub guru Neal Fowler and crew, Mike Collins. Together, they easily won 5 of eight races and never finished worse than third. Collegiate All-American Bill Hardesty and Anna Strang from Kings Point USMMA won two races and sailed well in the others to place a strong second in the division. Pete Spaulding also sailed extremely well winning one race and finishing second in 3 others to claim third place in the Division A. Macy Nelson and Lorie Stout of the Annapolis IC Fleet finished fourth. Division B turned into a shoot-out between Ray Wulff sailing with SpinSheet’s own Mary Iliff and Barney Harris who teamed up with Kim Couranz. The two teams won 7 of eight races with Wulff/Iliff winning the last race to claim the B Division crown. Tim Dawson and Kara Shadwick won a race and were never far behind in any of the others to place an overall third in B Division.

The 1997 InterClub Midwinters was a success due largely in part to the combined effort of fleet members, volunteers, and sailors who made the trip. The Annapolis InterClub Fleet would also like to thank Banks Sails Chesapeake for being a generous sponsor of the event.

-Jesse Falsone