Thank you Paul, Father Henry, Distinguished Commodores Mayor Feld, Larchmont Trustees, Former Commodores and Trustees, Race Committee Members, Junior Flag Officers, Fellow Members, Guests and Staff.
Welcome to Larchmont Yacht Club’s 128th Commissioning. And Thank you for sharing this wonderful tradition with us.
The club house and grounds look terrific. Our membership is vibrant and our committees are very active. It is easy to take these things for granted, until you see our club through the eyes of visitors. Just before Halloween, a number of boyhood friends visited from abroad and were deeply impressed. Not only with our facilities but also with all the activity that goes on in the club on a cold Sunday morning. The Masters were out racing Ideal 18s, Frostbiters were on the lawn rigging their IC Dinghies, Satan’s Toe was leaving for the Moosehead Luncheon and little kids were all over the lawn picking pumpkins for Halloween.
During the Winter we restored the Tap Room, renovated the Men’s Bar and freshened up the Founders Porch, which completes work on the west side of the house. I am sure you’ll agree that it was a worthwhile effort. My thanks go to Rob Snedeker for spearheading the project, Jim Fleming for his design and construction supervision and everyone else on the team: Libby Cameron, Ned Ferrarone, Nick and Penny Langone, Lucian Leone, John Barry and Fr. Carl Olsson. I also want to recognize the contractor, Mike Curtain, for the quality of his work and for completing the job on time and within budget. Extras resulting from unforeseen remedial structural work were easily covered by our contingency.
I am pleased to report that the club is in good financial condition. Although the closing of the Bar and Tap Room cut into our revenue, the decline was small due to the excellent job the staff did to serve the membership in the east side of the house, were they created a cozy bar in The Club Room. Arthur Maguire, John Wall and the entire staff are to be commended for a job well done.
Winter Sailing enjoyed a wonderful season, with good participation and only a few days lost due to weather. John and Molly Baxter won the Interclub National Championship for the second time and Larchmont swept the podium for the Wharf Rat Challenge, a perpetual trophy for the overall performance in the season’s Interclub Events.
It is with mixed emotions that I report that after 18 years on the Winter Sailing Committee George Parthemos decided to come in from the cold and retire as chairman. I want to thank him and his wife Cynthia for their years of selfless service on this important committee and to say that they will be missed, at least on the days they manage to stay away.
Not wanting to sit still over the winter, some of our junior sailors competed in Opti regattas in the US and around the world, Norfolk, Virginia; Paracas, Peru; Brassemermeer, Netherlands; Lake Garda, Italy and Palamos, Spain. A number of our 420 sailors traveled to Jensen Beach in Florida. You can follow their exploits on the website.
Looking ahead: Next Saturday is the 53rd Edlu Regatta. If you have a cruising boat, get it ready and come sail. It is only a 32 mile course, so you can be back in time for dinner or at least sleep in your own bed. And, if you win, you can impress your Mom with the trophy at the Mother’s Day Luncheon the following day. The Edlu is also a good warm-up for The Brassem on May 31st where we really would like to have broad member participation.
On June 8th, Mystic Seaport will visit Larchmont with the legendary, Olin Stephens designed schooner, Brilliant. Mystic Seaport will use the occasion to present Larchmont with a plaque commemorating our gift of the Nevins launches “Necessity” and “Service” to the museum. I am pleased to report that both launches have been completely restored and ply the waters of Mystic Seaport carrying over twenty thousand passengers a year while flying the Larchmont burgee.
June 14 and 15 we are hosting the Vanguard 15 National Championship Regatta. You may have noticed that we widened the ramp to the junior dock, which provides a second ramp for launching Vanguards and 420s from the dry sail area with the masts up, a major improvement.
We have five boats sailing in the Newport-Bermuda Race. Rich duMoulin is defending his three time win in the Double Handed Division on Lora-Ann, H. L. DeV ore’s Honahlee and my boat Bacchanal will sail in the St. David’s Division, Tom Carroll’s SirenSong and Mark Hanson’s Sweet Lorraine are sailing in the St. Gibbs Division. We wish them a great race and a safe return. Also, you may have noticed that we moved the Bermuda Race winner’s wall in the club house to the Men’s Bar where there is plenty of room for more winner. So, go get them!
We are increasingly working with other clubs to further our common goals: one example is the Independence Cup, the National Championship for Disabled Sailors. It will be hosted by American this year with our support. Our support comes in the form of the boundless energy of Buttons Padin and modifying our Ideal 18s so they can be used by the sailors without moving from side to side. Larchmont will host the same regatta in 2011, with the support from American.
We continue our cooperation with Storm Trysail, using Larchmont as the venue for the Junior Safety at Sea and cosponsoring the Intercollegiate Regatta. This regatta is growing by leaps and bounds due to the tireless effort of Storm Trysail’s Adam Loory to recruit new schools and more boats. It looks like there will be more than thirty schools competing this year in five classes.
On the Fourth of July the club will have its own fireworks. The display is made possible by the donations of members and the support of the Village and the Manor Park Society. The fireworks will be launched from a barge near the green bell. So please plan to come to the club for the festivities and stay after dinner to enjoy this extravaganza.
The Ideal 18 fleet welcomes back Lindsay Fletcher as Adult Sailing Director. Note worthy for this year is that the boats have bow bumpers, the teaching curriculum has been expanded to include performance racing and Women’s sailing is fully subscribed. The women will race against Riverside in July.
Nicole Marciano is returning as Program Director of Camp. Camp continues to be a big attraction for families with young children. 181 children are signed up, some for full days, some for half days. In addition to swimming, arts & crafts and games, camp is also familiarizing children with sailing, with great hilarity when the Optis are launched in the pool.
Our Junior Sailing program will be well attended this summer: approximately 20 kids in 420s, 6 in Lasers, 30 in Pixels and over a hundred in Optis, for a total of 160 sailors. The Junior Sailing Committee and our Sailing Director Lincoln White have done their usual fine job of hiring great instructors. In addition 18 children of members will help out in the Opti program.
For the Pool we are lucky to have Dom Galimi and Greg Lau return as coaches. I am also happy to report the Paul McNulty has returned for his third season as the Tennis Pro.
As soon as the weather turns warmer the Veranda will open for dining. Everything is in place for a great summer. I hope you will enjoy it and use the club to the fullest extent.
None of this is possible without our committees and our wonderful staff: General Manager Arthur Maguire, Banquet Manager John Wall, executive Chef Robert Rainone, Administrative Secretary Rosemarie Giuliani, Controller Kerry Risely, Maintenance Manager Mike Depass, Hotel Manager and Webmaster Lisa Schinella, Director of Marine Facilities Dave Sandoval, Sailing Director Lincoln White, Director of Security Ron Knudsen, whom I thank for their hard work and dedication to the welfare of the club.
The champagne is ready to be served, so without further ado, I declare the Larchmont Yacht Club open for the 128th Season and invite everyone to the reception in the Pandemonium.