84th Race Week A Huge Success

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Midshipman Charlie Lomas, USMMA, was the overall winner and captured three prestigious Perpetual Trophies at the MBYC Race Week.
Midshipman Charlie Lomas, USMMA, was the overall winner and captured three prestigious Perpetual Trophies at the MBYC Race Week.

Manhasset Bay Yacht Club (MBYC) hosted its 84th Annual Race Week on Aug. 24, 26, 27 and 28. Wednesday night, Aug. 24, was reserved for Ladies Sailing and three teams competed in club Ideal 18s. Aviva Pinto and Roxanne Leamon, MBYC (#173) with 6 points (1,1,1,3), were followed by PWYC team of Dawn Serignese, skipper, Regina Marino and Marlene Fried Berg (8 points). Third place went to PWYC team with Josefina Jervis as co-skipper, Tara Zickerman, co-skipper, and Maryann Ressa (10 points). Congratulations to these ladies who race all season on Wednesday evenings. And a big thanks for keeping Ladies Sailing alive on Manhasset Bay. Back in the day, Ladies Sailing was rip-roaring fun, with teams from both yacht clubs eagerly awaiting MBYC Race Week to show their stuff. Times have changed a bit since then, but there is always next year.

Racing resumed on Friday evening with a First Warning at 3 p.m. With two races completed on Friday, the teams were geared up and ready to go on Saturday morning with a 10 a.m. start. Fourteen Sonar teams comprised Division 1, with four boats each in Division 2 (Manhasset Bay One Design) and Division 3 (Ideal 18s). The United States Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) sent six teams of midshipmen and one team skippered by Rick Dominique, director of Varsity Programs.

Saturday was a long day of racing, with challenging wind shifts. At one point in the day, racing was postponed so the Race Committee could reset the racecourse as Mother Nature decided a 180-degree shift might be fun for the racers. By end of day, the tired teams headed for shore with seven more races under their belt. Sunday brought beautiful weather with sunny skies but absolutely no wind. Teams hung out on the MBYC patio and front lawn at MBYC hoping for a start. While there was some indication of wind, it wasn’t sufficient to begin a race. By mid-afternoon all racing was abandoned, and the awards ceremony took place at 2:30 p.m.

There were more than enough races to complete the regatta nine in all, thanks to the efforts of the Race Committee, headed by Bill Siener, principal race officer, who struggled with keeping a square course for the competitors through shifting winds. At the end of the day, the results were in: the team of Midshipman Charlie Lomax (Annapolis, MD, ‘18), skipper, Cooper Siepert (Cape Elizabeth, MA, ‘20), main trimmer, Devin Keister (Slidell, LA, ‘18), bowman, and Max Haubrich (Grayslake, IL, ‘20), floater, were the overall regatta winners. They nailed it this year and after two days of racing, picked up three very prestigious Perpetual Trophies. It is interesting to note that Midn. Max Haubrich, who was not a sailor, much less a racer, sailed for the first time on Thursday before the regatta. Friday afternoon was his first day ever racing, and on Saturday, he was part of the crew, assisting Midn. Devin Keister. Not a bad way to begin racing, right? And on the winning boat no less.

The amazing win by Lomax and company, with a performance percentage of 0.963, prompted the MBYC vice commodore to comment that this team was the “most consistent win in MBYC Race Week history.” So what was their winning strategy that gave them 7 wins out of 9 races? For starters, their focus was getting the boat to “go fast,” knowing their positions on the boat and sticking to them (skipper, bow, trimmer), communicating effectively, and trusting their teammates to get their designated job completed. They also “sailed their own race.” Rather than follow the veteran racers who have competed on Manhasset Bay for years, they kept it simple and just looked for pressure. Add to this mix, planning ahead (i.e. where they wanted to be four minutes out, which end is favored?), plus a large dose of fun and you have a winning formula. Midn. Cooper Siepert summed it up nicely, “We had a lot of fun, even in the most stressful situation, we had fun.”

All photos are available on www.sailingpress.com, and look for the Perpetual Award winners in next column.

North Shore Yacht Club presentation Sailing to Patagonia by Richard Hudson will be on Wednesday, Sept. 14, at 7:30 p.m. RSVP at abernstein@albernconslting.com or www.nsyc.net.

Race Results

Division 1 Sonars:
1. Midn. Charlie Lomax, USMMA (#817)
2. Ted Toombs, MBYC, #678
3. Sue Miller, MBYC, #451
4. Bahar Gidwani, YRALIS, #781
5. Midn. Connor Sexton, USMMA, #815
6. Bob Baskind, YRALIS, #568
7. Rick Dominique, USMMA, #772
8. (Tie): Midn. Ben Manning, #816 and Midn. Ethan Neubelt, USMMA, #820
10. Midn. Scott Johnston, USMMA, #819
11. Midn. Ben White, USMMA, #818
12. Bob Kirtland, MBYC, #396
13. Neil Berkow, YRALIS, #442
14. Bill Palafox, North Shore YC, #479

Division 2: Manhasset Bay
One Design (MBOD):
1. John Silbersack, #1
2. Claus Larsson, #9
3. Don Richardson, #23
4. Lewis Lane, #26.

Division 3: Ideal 18s:
1. Vince Syracuse, #113
2. Guy Crawford, #174
3. Adam Hess, #176
4. Joe Cwietniewicz, #177
Crew names unavailable.

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Andrea Watson is a Port Washington-based maritime photographer and journalist. She writes Manhasset Press' column On The Bay and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS).

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