District 1  Regatta Report

Fri Jul 14th, 2006 through Sun Jul 16th, 2006

Regatta Base

2006 1st District Championship


2006 First District Blue Star July 14-16, 2006 Boston Harbor Fleet, Cottage Park Yacht Club by winning crew Four Blue Bar Beek McCallum Cottage Park Yacht Club in Winthrop Massachusetts hosted the 2006 First District Blue and Green Star regattas. Racing began on Friday, July 14. For competitors such as ourselves coming from the south of the First District, the first big event of this regatta was the tunnel collapse. Boston’s Big Dig includes a tunnel that would normally make it fast and easy to get to Winthrop on Boston’s North Shore where Cottage Park Yacht Club is located, but two days before the regatta a portion of the tunnel roof fell in, killing a woman commuter, and all Boston traffic panicked and sought alternate routes, leading to a vast traffic jam surrounding Bean Town. On Thursday afternoon Will Swigart and I dauntless drove the boat straight into it, coming on the Mass Pike to meet the inner loop, Route 128, at 4:30 rush hour. We crept across town and four hours later were unhitching at Cottage Park in the twilight (at low tide, and feeling very grateful to Rich Gordon for remembering to bring insect repellant, to ward off the low tide no-see-ums). We were able to register and Peter Costa quickly found us housing that would save us having to drive anywhere for the rest of the weekend: on a yacht tied up in front of the club. We joined Rich Gordon for dinner at a very Italian restaurant on route 445 in the charming enclave of Winthrop, Mass. Next morning we discovered consternation and a jam at the hoist as the first boat launched hit bottom because of an extremely low tide. Everyone waited for the flood and in that interval many had a chance to chat with Boston’s great past World Champion, Joe Duplin. We launched and began to sail out but against the flood so we were grateful to catch a tow to the race area outside Deer Island in Boston’s outer harbor. The weather forecasts for very high temperatures and 4 to 5 knots of breeze were confounded each of the three days of the regatta as sea breezes developed bringing in cool air and 6 to 12 knots. For the first race on Friday there was a course 4 started in a 185 degree southerly. We started at the committee boat, not a very good start, under masses of boats, but suddenly a gap opened up and Will tacked through so we cleared our air and went to the right, which had been our plan. One effective use we’d made of our time while trying to get through Boston on Thursday had been to call my brother, Chuck Beek, to prick his memory about sailing out of Cottage Park. He told us only one thing: go right in a southwesterly. He remembered crewing for my father in the North Americans there and going into the last race four points in the lead. Then in a southwesterly breeze, they were forced out to the left side of the course and lost the regatta. Indeed, the right looked golden for us, so we kept going. Just above us Thorny Cook, with Mike Young, was moving like a house on fire. He was first around the first weather mark, we were second, then Bear Hovey/Lee Dayton, then Peter Cusick/Serge Leonidov, then David Bolles/Emilia Bolles also coming out of the right. Will stole the lead with a well timed jibe on the run and headed right up the second weather leg, covering Thorny, but Bear went further right and passed us. On the second run we tailed Bear to the finish, jibing several times just before the finish line, almost catching him but Bear and Lee won the first race and with it the coveted Marshall Brown trophy, a handsome half model of Marshall Brown’s blue boat. (All First District perpetual trophies go home with the winner for a year.) The second race was course 3, starting in the warm veered 260 degree breeze. Peter Costa, with his all time best crew and daughter Jessica, had a big lead at the first weather mark and never lost it. We tried to tack on shifts and go up the middle but, though we had good speed, finished in 9th place. Sailing in from the race was a lot of fun in the breeze that had come up. The currents around the point where the LNG facility is located were phenomenal and having the big jets on final approach to Logan Airport coming down over our masts was new and different. On Friday night the Star sailors were invited to join the Cottage Park Family-Night Dinner in the big ball room of the club, a dinner prepared and served by the very hospitable members of the club. After dinner the beautiful old bowling alley, located beside the bar, attracted several Star sailors into hot competition. Peter Cusick, Rich Gordon, Desmond Walsh and I played ten innings hosted by Steve Braverman and supervised by Rodrigo Meireles, Jock Kohlhas, Will Swigart and several experienced lady club members. I won with 72 points that included two innings of strikes, Peter had 68, Desmond 61 and Rich 53. On Saturday (and again on Sunday) the low tide launching problem was solved by requiring that we start launching at 6 AM and that all boats be in the water before nine when maximum ebb occurred. Thus, after launching and securing the boat we had a nice interval for breakfast, which we found in a local café and where on one morning Rich Gordon found himself talking to Peter Costa’s brother. We caught a tow as we left the dock. Saturday, a course 4 was finally started in 130 degrees at 1:40 PM . Will got a great start at the committee boat and was able to go right and get out in front. Covering and staying to the right, he held the lead the whole race. At the leeward mark the heading to weather was changed to 160 degrees. The second race, course 3, started, after two false starts, in a 185 degree breeze that had built up to 12 knots. This was our worst race; the wind had picked up, we were tired, and didn’t change gears to the heavier air fast enough. John Lombard and Rodrigo Meireles won and sailed in leading the regatta with Peter Cusick, Will Swigart and Bear Hovey only points behind. John Lombard sported a yellow jersey that evening, which included a lobster dinner followed by a First District meeting. We ended the evening sitting in the armchairs in front of the CPYC hearth with Lombard and Cusick recalling stories from Patrick O’Brien and hearing real life tales of the high seas from ship owner Will Swigart. The last race, on Sunday, was a surprise finish as previous Blue Star winner Bill Watson, with Roger Sharp, jumped to the front on a lift out of the left on the third weather leg winning the race and rising to second place in the regatta. Will Swigart, sailing very fast downwind and sticking to our strategy of going right, so that we got full measure of the lift on the last leg, was third in the race. Before the race started we had noticed a 15 degree shift to the left, from 160 when we were tuning, to 145 which the race committee posted with a course 3. We expected the wind to veer west and we kept to the right side of the course on both the first and second weather legs. This had discouraging results both upwind legs as the wind steadily backed. But Will was fast downwind, sailing a little hotter than most and staying on port jibe longer so that we rounded the leeward mark both times among the top ten boats. After the second leeward mark we were forced to go right for a bit, unable to tack though by then we were seriously, and correctly, doubting our go-right strategy. But as we watched the compass on that last weather leg we saw the lefty lift us another 20 degrees so that we were sailing only about 5 to 10 degrees off the mark. We decided to sail on the closest angle to the mark. In the last third of that final weather leg we tacked finally on a little 5 degree header and then seeing how well we looked came back onto port to finish the race on the lift, the compass reading 140 on port tack, which was a wind backed about 40 degrees since the start. We could see that Cusick, Lombard and Hovey were not to our right or ahead of us, and Bill Watson, who won, Gary MacDonald, who was second, and John Manderson just behind us, didn’t have the points to threaten us so we were feeling somewhat elated. Given the throw-out of our 15th in the second race, Will won the Blue Star and I got my four bars. Peter Cusick sailed with the most consistent results, throwing out a 7th, and would have won the regatta if no throw-out had been allowed. We would have tied with Watson for third and behind Lombard. Bear Hovey and Gary MacDonald would have tied for fourth. The next eight places: John Manderson, Peter Costa, Steve Braverman, Jack Button, Ben Cesare, David Bolles, Thorny Cook and Joe Zambella would have been the same, with or without a throw-out. John Manderson, sailing Star 7866, “Rosebud” with Matt Semler, recently moved from the Chesapeake Bay to join the Mid-Connecticut fleet and Milford Yacht Club, was the highest placing novice, finishing 7th overall and winning the Green Star. Jim Kubik, with Mason Browne, won the Exalted Grand Master award. Will Swigart won the MacDonald trophy, for the Masters division and is possibly the first “Master” to win the First District Blue Star. The trophy presentation took place on the outdoor back porch of the club with food being served off the grill. Peter Costa and Jim Mullane presided. Jim’s father, Dan Mullane is the Race Committee Chairman of CPYC and ran an excellent regatta. Alan Pritchard served as PRO, providing superb race management, for which we are very grateful. We would also like to thank Pam and Josh Aranov who served on the race committee as well as letting us use their boat for housing. Hatch Brown, Donna Hanson, Ernie and Sue Hardy, John Koopman, and Bill Patten all served on the RC and we especially appreciated their expertise in giving us tows out to the races.

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 5 Total
1 Ciao Bella   William Swigart   Carroll McCallum   7715   CLIS   2.0 9.0 1.0 15.0 3.0 15
2 Serendity   Bill Watson   Roger Sharp   8007   CLIS   13.0 5.0 8.0 3.0 1.0 17
3 Hayaku   John Lombard   Rodrigo Meireles   7728   Mid   5.0 8.0 4.0 1.0 10.0 18
4 Night Light   Gary Macdonald   Bob Mckie   7732   BH   9.0 6.0 2.0 17.0 2.0 19
5 Mona Lisa   Peter Cusick   Serge Leonidov   7951   Mid   4.0 2.0 7.0 7.0 6.0 19.0001
6 Team VioLight   Bear Hovey   Lee Dayton   7763   Mid   1.0 11.0 14.0 2.0 8.0 22
7 Rosebud   John Manderson   Matt Semler   7866   CR   3.0 12.0 10.0 9.0 4.0 26
8 Owl   Peter Costa   Jessica Costa   7621   BH   12.0 1.0 11.0 12.0 9.0 33
9 Don't Look Back   Steve Braverman   Ron Rezac   8052   BH   11.0 4.0 13.0 6.0 13.0 34
10 Telluride   Jack Button   Matt Sovis   7565   Mid   15.0 3.0 6.0 14.0 14.0 37
11 Kimmar   Ben Cesare   John Boone   7952   Mid   20.0 16.0 12.0 4.0 7.0 39
12 Impromptu   David Bolles   Emilia Wachter   8035   Mid   7.0 15.0 3.0 19.0 16.0 41
13 Bel Ami   Thorny Cook   Mike Young   7959   CLIS   6.0 17.0 22.0 18.0 5.0 46
14 Brillo   Joe Zambella   Joe Zambella Jr   7228   BH   8.0 14.0 19.0 5.0 25.0 [DNC] 46.0001
15 More Pressure!   Josh Phypers   Fritz Koopman   7265   CA   16.0 10.0 15.0 11.0 25.0 [DNF] 52
16 Ingrid Ekholm   Richard Gordon   Desmond Walsh   7604   CLIS   19.0 7.0 17.0 13.0 17.0 54
17 7629   Ken Woods   Howard Davis   7629   BH   22.0 20.0 5.0 8.0 25.0 [DNC] 55
18 7330   Michael Trotsky   Shimi Elkon   7330   CA   18.0 18.0 9.0 16.0 12.0 55.0001
19 7338   Jay O'Malley   Patrick Cushna   7338   CA   14.0 22.0 20.0 10.0 15.0 59
20 Speed Limit Infinity   Eric Larson   Paul McMahon   6767   BH   10.0 13.0 21.0 22.0 18.0 62
21 Connection   Jim Kubik   Mason Browne   7386   CA   21.0 19.0 18.0 20.0 11.0 68
22 Troika   Emil Karlovsky   David Schutz   7554   Mid   17.0 21.0 16.0 21.0 19.0 73
23 7650   Carlos Rivero   Jim Mullane   7650   BH   25.0 [RAF] 25.0 [RAF] 25.0 [RAF] 25.0 [DNC] 25.0 [DNC] 100
23 Pampero   Tomas Hornos   Luis Hornos   7793   BH   25.0 [DNC] 25.0 [DNC] 25.0 [DNC] 25.0 [DNC] 25.0 [DNC] 100

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