|District 1 Regatta Report|| |
Sat Aug 23rd, 2003 through Sun Aug 24th, 2003
Austin Sperry, Nelson Stephenson, Will Wagner, Tom Price, Bert Collins, John Sherwood, Harry Walker, Tony Rey, Dan Ronan Thierry de la Villehuchet, and Jack Button
| by Chris Rogers and Harry Walker|
35 Boats from 11 Fleets
The Atlantic Coast Masters for 2003 was hosted by the Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet and the Milford Yacht Club. Everyone enjoyed celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the Milford Yacht Club with some terrific racing, great camaraderie and weather conditions that made for a real test. Special thanks to the Bolles family (at least 8 in attendance!) for providing beautiful trophies, race committee work and a venue centerpiece. (A perfectly restored Etchells Star #3855).
Special kudos to Alan Pritchard and John Lombard for great race committee work and organization.
This was an event that should be considered a tribute to the Star Class, its members and all that good competitive sailing is all about. It was great to see the young and old(er) family members and the new fleet members having such a good time. Special welcome to Thierry de La Villehuchet, a new fleet member.
Friday afternoon we rigged with distant thunder and thick muggy air as a cold front to our north prepared to come through later that night. It did. Saturday dawned crisp and cool, less humidity, cloudless sky, and a good 10-14 kts out of the northwest. The forecast called for building wind. It did soon after the first weather leg. There were gusts of 18-20.
The first race was delayed 15 minutes for some boats to make their 2 ½ miles out from the harbor. Harry Walker / Tony Rey nailed the start at the Committee Boat for the perceived favored end. Shifts and pressure brought 12 boats into the first mark closely bunched. The center-left paid off on the run and the leaders had become four. Nelson Stephenson / Austin Sperry took the lead at the leeward mark and held it for the rest of the course 4, with Walker / Rey in second.
The breeze increased in the second race to a solid 17-18 kts. John Sherwood and Bert Collins were first at every mark of this race with Walker / Rey second until 300 yards from the finish. Sherwood covered #8000 allowing Joe Bainton / Todd Raynor to come second and Tom Price / Will Wagner third. The first 4 boats finished in a tight bunch.
After two races, skillful maneuvers and lots of position changes, Grand Master John Sherwood with Bert Collins led the series with finishes of 4, 1. Harry Walker, a VEGM (over 80!) with Tony Rey showed us all how to do it with finishes of 2, 4. Tom Price with Will Wagner brought home a pair of 3's. Despite one broken spar and a few competitors that made that ever-smart decision to retire, two thrilling races were successfully completed. A great day in the water was followed by daily prize giving ceremony poolside and later, a scrumptious buffet dinner in the Club Dining Room.
Sunday was another gloriously cool day that had a forecast much the same as Saturday. Breeze building. It did. Yes, the smart decision was made by a few not to go out, but 30 competitors successfully completed the third and final race of the series with a course 3 thriller in a gusty 12-20. Trapper Lippincott with Barb Vosbury led for quite a while until some aggressive "tillerwork" rendered the tiller unusable. (It broke off!) They managed to finish the race (10th) and at least one weather leg with no tiller! The Star and its sailors can accomplish amazing feats!
Nelson Stephenson with Austin Sperry, as they did in race 1, won race 3. Tom Price and Will Wagner finished 2nd and Roger Sharp with son Brian crewing finished 3rd.
With a consistent 3-3-2 Tom Price and Will Wagner won the series. Nelson Stephenson / Austin Sperry and John Sherwood / Bert Collins were tied on points with Stephenson / Sperry taking second on a tiebreaker.
The four age divisions of the Masters were represented in the top seven final positions! A statistic maybe no one noticed, but at one point or another during the racing, the two oldest skippers (Dr. Emil Karlovsky and Harry Walker, both 80+) actually had their boats in regatta leading positions! What a sport! Don't miss next year's event, reportedly being planned for a Chesapeake venue!
"You don't quit playing because you grow old. You grow old because you quit playing!
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San Diego, California 92106 USA
Phone: +1 619 222 0252
Fax: +1 619 222 0528
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