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Sailing News 2015

LYC Sweeps Podium At Sarasota Viper Winter Regatta

December 12-13, 2015

LYC sailors took the top three prizes at the first of three weekend regattas at the Sarasota Sailing Squadron in Sarasota, FL. Summer sailing member Zeke Horowitz, sailing with Brendan Healy and Ian Coleman took the eight-race event with three firsts and throwing out his lowest score (a fourth). Danny Pletsch, whose father was the event’s PRO, finished in second just three points behind Horowitz with a scoreline that also posted three seconds. Sailing with Danny was his wife Megan and Michael Zonnenberg. Rounding out the top three was Peter Beardsley sailing with his wife Rachel and Jay Rhame. 
The Sarasota Viper Winter Series is a growing event, with one regatta per month in December, January, and February. Any number of LYC Viper sailors will be traveling south this winter for subsequent events leaving their boats in Florida for the two major Miami Viper regattas in March, culminating in the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship sailed as part of Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, or Charleston Race Week in April. Coming off a 54-boat turnout at the 2015 North American Championship, nine LYC Vipers are among the 47 Vipers already registered for the 2016 North Americans, to be held in Bermuda in November 2016.
Click here for results. 

Danny Pletsch (sail 205) gets a jump on the fleet off the starting line in Sarasota. Photo courtesy of Jesse Brunsvold.


LYC's Jason Carroll Wins Melges 32
U.S. National Championship

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

LYC’s Jason Carroll won his third Melges 32 U.S. National Championship at Lauderdale Yacht Club December 4-6, 2015.

Over the eight-race regatta, Carroll’s team aboard Argo won three races, and added a second and three thirds. That consistency resulted in a 14-point total score and a margin of victory that allowed Argo to forgo the final race to avoid damage to his boat in the 20+ knot ocean conditions. Carroll has also won two Melges 32 World Championships and one European Championship.

Carroll’s victory this weekend was even sweeter than just his Nationals win. Working with other Melges 32 owners Dick and Doug DeVos, the trio created Project Sail—an opportunity for young sailors to get a taste of grand-prix sailing as a transition from junior and college sailing into big boats. Sailing as “Team Hydra.”

Among the Team Hydra crew were two LYC sailors: Matt Kaplan (mainsail trimmer) and Henry Fernberger (jib trimmer). Skippered by 2015-16 Female College Sailor of the Year Morgan Kiss; Team Hydra ended-up seventh out of eleven entries, completing all the races, including some with winds in the mid-20 knot range, and were the top amateur crew to win the Melges 32 Corinthian National Championship. When asked about this program, Carroll commented: “The youth team we sponsored at Key West Race Week 2015 had a great event and learned a lot. We decided to continue the initiative at the Nationals this year hoping to see the same alchemy happen. The team gelled and sailed at a high level, so our goals will have been met. We hope to continue with the youth initiative through the Worlds in Newport in 2016.” Click here for full results. For Melges 32 releases click here.

Photo by John Payne.

Photo by John Payne.

Growing the Sport beyond Youth Sailing

Sunday, November 15, 2015

In an effort to help bridge the gap between post-junior/college sailing and entering into a grand prix racing arena, Melges 32 class members Jason Carroll, an LYC member, and the DeVos family created an initiative called Project Sail. LYC members, Matt Kaplan and Henry Fernberger, are among eight young Team Hydra sailors who will be competing as part of this initiative at the Melges 32 U.S. National Championship in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on December 4-6. 

Read full story: Growing the Sport beyond Youth Sailing


Peter Beardsley and Gabe Jostrom Win the Club Championship

Larchmont Yacht Club
Saturday, November 14, 2015

LYC’s second annual Club Championship regatta was finally held on Saturday, November 14 after being postponed from October 3 due to the threat of Hurricane Joaquin. This Championship was reinstituted last year to bring together the best sailors at LYC for a one-day, winner-take-all day of highly competitive sailing. This year’s Championship proved to be that and more.

Those eligible to compete in this event are the 2015 season champions of the following classes and series: Viper 640, Etchells, IOD, Shields, S-Boat, Vanguard 15, IC Winter Sailing and the Ideal Wednesday Night Series.  Additional “at large” invitations are also extended by the Yachting Committee to add up to a 10 team maximum. 

Seven teams sailed Ideal 18's this year with reefed mainsails and no spinnakers in a cold, challenging Northwesterly breeze that ranged from 13 to 26 knots. With great work from the Event Chair, the Yachting Committee, Marine Facilities, and a terrific race committee, seven races were completed with no protests. The racing was exciting, with excellent starts, good boat handling, close racing, and thrills for participants and spectators (including broaches and a quick swim and self-rescue by one of the skippers).  

In these extreme Ideal 18 conditions, none of the sailors opted to set spinnakers but rather sailed downwind wing-on-wing. In some of the puffs that came through, that configuration was more than enough sail area. Upwind, some initially tried to sail with just the reefed main and no jib but found that the jib was necessary to produce enough forward motion (even if not pointing as high as would be liked) to get the keel and rudder to produce any lift. Also, in puffs, it was very difficult to tack the boats efficiently which kept the sailors on their toes during crossing situations.

Skippers and fleets represented (crews in brackets) were the Shields ‑ Com Crocker (Andrew Young), Viper 640 ‑ Peter Beardsley (Gabe Jostrom), Ideal 18 ‑ Teresa Laughlin (Peter Bauer), Vanguard 15 ‑ Mike O’Connor (Billy Rohman), IC Winter Sailing ‑ Jay Rhame (Buttons Padin), and two “at large” competitors, Ned Roseberry  (Nick DuBois) and Dan Ronan (Ryan Zupon).  After some delays to correct breakdowns, PRO Buddy Wolf and his team ran seven very competitive races.  

In the end, with the top three positions changing hands over the final few races, Peter Beardsley and Gabe Jostrom were first with 11 points, winning the Championship and a year’s worth of bragging rights, followed by Com Crocker with 14 and Jay Rhame with 15.  

Photo by Dick York.

Photo by Dick York.
Racing during the 2015 Club Championship was so close that the boats clustered tightly, making the finish look like a start.

LYC Finishes 7th in the Race for the Lipton Cup

San Diego Yacht Club
October 30-November 1, 2015

San Diego Yacht Club hosted the 101st Challenge for the Lipton Cup, from October 30-November 1, 2015. Larchmont Yacht Club finished seventh  among twelve of the most competitive teams from yacht clubs across the country who battled in J/105s in the stadium sailing of San Diego Bay.

News Archive | Teams | Results | Photos 

Viper 640 North American Championship Won Again By Brad Boston

October 18, 2015

The 2015 Viper 640 North American Championship set a lot of firsts.  The largest Viper regatta in Class history and the largest North American Championship.  It was also one of the windiest and one of the coldest. 
Larchmont Yacht Club, with its fleet of 19 Viper 640s, hosted the Class’s 2015 North American Championship. Sailed from Thursday, October 15 through Sunday, October 18, an even dozen races were completed off Larchmont Harbor. When planning the Championship, the decision was made to have a four-day event in mid-fall when winds on Long Island Sound don’t cooperate. As it turned out, the competitors were treated to four days of competitive and challenging races in puffy, shifty northwest breezes that gusted to 20 knots frequently, with each day slightly colder than the day before after starting the week in shorts and short sleeves, and ending in full fleece layers and winter hats.
In the end, it was Brad Boston (Sarnia, ON), sailing with long-time friend Curtis Florence and championship Viper crew Luke Lawrence, who will now put his name on the Championship trophy for the fifth time. Boston won four races with another pair of seconds for 45 points after 12 races. That put him 13 points ahead of Australian David Chapman. Chapman, sailing with Jack Jennings and Brendan Larrabee from the U.S., turned-in an extremely consistent performance with four seconds and 11 of 12 places in the top ten, winning the final day to jump from fourth to second overall. Given that there were 53 boats in the regatta, and that 25 boats had at least one top-10 finish, Chapman’s consistency was admirable. In third place, with 64 points, winning one race and getting two seconds, was the host club’s Cardwell Potts sailing with his wife Jennifer, Ted Ferrarone, and Kendra Emhiser. Potts’ boat also received the Corinthian Trophy as the top-performing amateur team. In fourth place for the Championship and receiving the Governor’s Trophy (best performance by a skipper over 55 years old) was Dave Nickerson (Noank, CT), 85 points, with Scott Leming and Tim Desmond as crew.
The Larchmont Yacht Club put on an exceptional regatta for the Viper Class. Operating out of the Club’s Victorian clubhouse overlooking the Long Island Sound, the full resources of the Club were made available to the sailors; those coming from Australia, the UK, Canada, and all corners of the U.S. quickly found that being ashore at LYC was as much fun as sailing the breezes in the high teens with relatively flat water. With uncharacteristically shifty northerlies dominating the regatta, the sailing was challenging and often presented opportunities to “get back into the race” by catching a shift. Boat speeds were often above 6 knots up wind and the downwind speeds would often exceed 16-17 knots. All in all, with the chilly temperatures on the final day (high of 50 the sun), the competitors welcomed the comfort food and beer that greeted the every afternoon as they arrived on shore and the three nights’ dinner.
There were many people involved in the race management, housing, hospitality, the Club’s Marine Facilities department and Catering staff, and logistical aspects of the regatta.  At the awards ceremony, Viper Class Administrator Buttons Padin thanked Event Chair Peter Beardsley for his extraordinary efforts in amassing a 50+ boat Championship fleet. Working tirelessly, Beardsley created the choreography and chemistry that got virtually all local Viper owners to sail as he matched out-of-towners looking for boats with prospective charterers and filling last minute crew needs. Sailing in a major regatta while trying to organize it is a Herculean task, yet Beardsley finished a very respectful 15th and garnered the gratitude of all involved.
With the Championship racing in the books, and dozens and dozens of Viper 640s packed-up and traveling back to their homes from Larchmont, the Viper Class is now looking ahead to its fall and winter sailing circuit including the Mid Atlantic Championship in Hampton, VA (November 7-8), the 2015 Bermuda International Race Week (November 19-21), and the Turkey Day Regatta at California’s Alamitos Bay Yacht Club (November 21-22), plus the 3-part Sarasota (FL) Viper Series spanning weekends in December, January, and February.
The Viper 640 North American Championship is a qualifier regatta for the EFG Viper Pan-American Championship. Also helping make this regatta a success are PwC, Bell’s Beer, Flintlock Construction, Gubinelli Wines, Rondar Raceboats, Doyle Sailmakers, Gulf Performance Sailing, North Sails, UK Sailmakers, Sail22, APS, Landfall Navigation, and JCD.
Click here for results.


American Yacht Club Fall Series LYC Winners

September 26-27

A classic two-weekend regatta on Long Island Sound every year is the American Yacht Club Fall Series. Sailed on two courses off of Mamaroneck and Rye, the AYC race committee hosts IRC, PHRF, and one-design divisions for four days of classic fall sailing. Usually some of the best sailing of the year, the 2015 edition had to be cut short by two days due to weather.

On the first weekend, September 26-27, the sailors got their fill of sailing. Saturday’s winds were in excess of 20-knots from the east creating blustery condition and huge swells rolling down the Sound. And, although Sunday’s winds were a bit lighter (15-knot range), the temperatures were still brisk and the sailors were treated to four races, the last a rare W6 event for IRC 1 and IRC 2.

The second weekend’s racing was questionable as early as Monday when Hurricane Joaquin was stirring in the Caribbean and headed north. With Joaquin’s track still unsettled but a nor’easter also predicted, the AYC Race Committee made the decision Thursday morning to cancel the weekend’s racing. This made it easy for boat owners concerned about the weather to have their boats hauled before any storm hit.

As we know, we were spared Joaquin’s wrath, but we still had nor’easter winds in the 30-knot range to shake things up in the area. That being said, three LYC boats were on the podium for the AYC Fall Series awards presentation Saturday evening October 3. Former Commodore Carl Olsson's J/109 Morning Glory finished third in his one-design division, Roger Widmann's Swan 42 Quintessence finished a strong second in IRC 1, and Andrew Weiss' Christopher Dragon won IRC 1 in a closely contested big-boat division.

Also sailing from LYC in the AYC Fall Series were Chris Sheehan on his Xp44 Warrior Won in IRC 2, Dave Florence sailing his Buzz in the J/70 one-design division, Harald Edegran and Jeremy Henderson on Conundrum in the J/105, and Corey Eaves on his Freedom in the J/109.

Click here for results.

Seen above from the left are Former Commodore Carl Olsson whose J/109 Morning Glory finished third in his one-design division, Roger Widmann, whose Swan 42 Quintessence finished a strong second in IRC 1, and Andrew Weiss, whose Christopher Dragon won IRC 1 in a closely contested big-boat division.

Fifth Annual Leukemia Cup

September 12, 2015

On Saturday, September 12, Larchmont Yacht Club hosted the Fifth Annual Leukemia Cup. Sponsored by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, the regatta raises funds to advance the mission of the Society “to cure leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families.”  Toward this goal, each entrant pays a minimum registration fee of $90 per boat and is invited to fundraise on behalf of LLS. This year’s top fundraisers were Tom and Lauren Spelman, who raised $9,000, with Hannah O’Shea as the top junior fundraiser with a total of $2,800.  The grand total has not yet been finalized, but the organizers happily anticipate approximately $100,000.

Racing was divided into PHRF, One Design and Opti fleets. The day began with a morning southeaster at around 4 – 5 knots, and built to finish the racing with about 12 knots from the southwest by the early afternoon.  In the PHRF fleet, with Jed Kelly as PRO, the spinnaker fleet sailed an 18.1 mile course to the mid-sound Buoy off Greenwich and back.  The non-spinnaker division sailed up to Port Chester, over to Long Island, back across the Sound to R42 off American YC then finished off LYC for a total of 12.13 miles.  First place in the PHRF spinnaker category went to the United States Merchant Marine Academy’s Melges 32 Steamboat, skippered by Midshipman John Kirk.  Larchmont’s Carl Olsson was second on his J109 Morning Glory.  In third place was Zetiana, another Melges 32 from the USMMA skippered by Midshipman Connor Sexton.   In the non-spinnaker fleet, LYC’s Chris Schoen was first on his J42 Atalanta, with Lauretta Abbott’s Quee Queg (NYAC YC), and Len Di Iorio’s Impulse (Huguenot YC) coming in second and third, respectively.

Cynthia Parthemos was PRO for the one design fleets, with 21 participants in the J70, IOD, Shields, Vipers, Laser Radial, 420s and Ideal 18 fleets.  The Viper 640s had the biggest fleet, with seven participants, all from Larchmont YC.  After four races, Cardwell Potts in Blackout Proposal was first, with Peter Beardsley and David Owen in Ghost Panda in second and Pierce Crosbie in Jester in third place.  Jennifer Miller (Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club) represented the IOD fleet in Topaz, while Fred Werblow (Larchmont YC) in Checkmate competed for the Shields and Reginald Imamura  in Ebisu (Larchmont YC) sailed his J70.  In the Laser Radials, Nicholas Chisari (Sea Cliff YC) was first and Brandon Liebnick was second.  Lily Mayer (Indian Harbor YC) sailed in a C420 while Ashton Borcherding and Kathryn Hall (Belle Haven YC) were first in the I420s followed by Emma Kaneti (Larchmont YC) in second place.  In the Ideal 18, Adam Theriault (Beach Point YC) was first with Peter Krow (Larchmont YC) coming in second.

The largest fleet by far was the Optis, with a total of 54 boats competing in Red, Blue, and White fleets. Co-PROs Vice Commodore Andrew Kaplan and Buddy Wolf ran five races for the fleet.  According to Buddy Wolf, “Every race was competitive, with excellent starts, competitive racing and good boat handling.  All the skippers should be proud of themselves, they had a great series, enjoyed themselves, and they (and their parents) helped raise money for a great cause.”  In the Red Fleet, Max Anker (Riverside YC) was first, followed by William Priebe (LISOT) and Gavin Meese (LISOT) in second and third.  In the 33-boat Blue Division, Thomas Hall (LISOT) was first, with Leyton Borcherding (Belle Haven YC) and Vanessa Lahrkamp (American YC) placing second and third.  First place for the White fleet was won by Benjamin Sheppard (Riverside YC), followed by Freddie Parkin (Riverside YC) and Lyles Bechtel (Chester YC) in second and third.   

Click here for complete results.  Pictures can be found here.

LYC Hosts Etchells Long Island Sound Championship 

September 6-7, 2015 

It has been many years since there were 25 of the majestic Etchells sloops on a single starting line for a Larchmont Yacht Club regatta. With the Etchells North Americans being hosted next weekend by American Yacht Club, 25 of these boats were on hand to race five heats vying for the LIS Champs. Competitors came from two Canadian boats, San Francisco, Texas, Florida, and Seattle.

PRO Cynthia Parthemos and team had their hands full when racing started Saturday. After sitting out a postponed, the breeze began to lighten up again as the boats were heading for the finish. It was only after a half hour postponement that the southwester filled-in giving the Etchells fleet a spectacular three-mile and then four-mile race to complete the day. Sunday had two races scheduled and the brisk southerly pushed the sailors to their limits...resulting in a great Championship regatta and a wonderful precursor of next week’s NAs.
In the end, it was often LYC Winter Sailing member Steve Benjamin (SCYC) dominating the fleet and taking the title with four firsts in five races (4 point total after throw out). Behind Benjamin with nine points was Jim Cunningham from San Francisco, and then American Yacht Club Commodore Peter Duncan winning a tie-breaker at 16 points for third.

Competing from the host club were Summer Sailing member Zeke Horowitz (sailing with Steve Girling – 5th place), Chris and Tom Marx with LYC Vice Commodore Andy Kaplan as crew as the top Corinthian team in 11th, Senet and Clay Bischoff (Sunday only) and Dave Smalley with Buttons Padin as crew (Saturday only).

Click here for results.  

LYC Labor Day Regatta

September 5, 2015 

On a sunny Saturday afternoon of Labor Day, LYC hosted its one-day Labor Day Regatta. Preceding the Etchells Long Island Sound Champs by one day, the Labor Day fleet enjoyed nine Etchells in addition to Vipers, IODs, Shields, and S Boats.

The Day started off with a light air race in a dying easterly only to have the wind pick-up for an exciting second race. In the end, it was Cardwell Potts with two firsts nipping Peter Bauer in the Viper class, multi-time World Champion and America’s Cup tactician Dave Dellenbaugh (RORC) beating Steve Girling (IHYC, NYYC, CPYC) in a tie-breaker in the Etchells, Jennifer Miller from Mamaroneck Yacht and Beach Club winning out over LYC’s Ed Briganti in the IODs, LYC’s Skip McGuire with two wins topping club mate Pete McWhinnie in the Shields, and Bob Mehlich and Rick Beck, both of the host club, coming in first and second in a three-way tiebreaker for the S Boats.

Thanks to PRO John May and his race committee for a great event.

Click here for results.

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Stamford Yacht Club's Vineyard Race 

September 4, 2015 

Two LYC boats had great Vineyard Races taking podium positions in Class 14 IRC (fast 40-footers). Finishing second in division and fifth overall was Christopher Dragon, Andrew and Linda Weiss’ Sydney 43. Andrew noted that he stayed too far off the Connecticut shore exiting the sound and ended-up outside a lift, ultimately costing him the win.  Also in the hunt was Chris Sheehan’s Warrior Won, an X-Yachts 44. Warrior Won finished just behind Christopher Dragon placing third in class and sixth overall.  25 boats retired from the race due to nasty seas kicked up by a 20+ knot easterly, causing the 238-mile race to be sailed 150+ miles to windward before turning around Buzzards Bay Tower.
Apart from the Weiss’s, LYC’s Butch Ulmer called tactics aboard Christopher Dragon.  LYC sailors aboard Warrior Won, in addition to Sheehan’s son Joost, were navigator H.L. DeVore, Doug Lynn, Roland Schulz, Ryan Zupon, Andres de Lasa, and Peter Carpenter.
The Vineyard Race is the start of the fall racing season so stand-by for more updates on the successes of Christopher Dragon and Warrior Won.


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Josh Reisberg: An Adventure of Miniature Proportions

August 14, 2015 

We write to report on an adventure of Miniature proportions. This past July, over just three weekends, Larchmont member Josh Reisberg sailed his 21-foot, pink and green Mini Transat 6.50 Abilyn nearly 600 miles as part of a bid to race in two, back-to-back offshore regattas.

Attempting to outdo last summer’s adventure—a 206-mile singlehanded offshore voyage that qualified Josh for the Bermuda 1-2—Josh entered his Mini in the New England Solo/Twin, and the Around Long Island Regatta—regattas held on consecutive weekends with starting lines about 150 miles apart.  In the Solo/Twin, Josh sailed singlehanded in an overnight race that took participants out of Narragansett Bay and around offshore marks.  With a finish off Castle Hill, Josh crossed the line first among the solo sailors and second on corrected time.
The very next weekend, Josh sailed double-handed in the ALIR, which started two miles southeast of Rockaway Point in Brooklyn.  Abilyn surfed under Code 5 spinnaker out to Montauk in wind speeds reaching nearly 30 knots, and hit a new top speed of 17.4 knots.  Although the gains Abilyn made offshore were vanquished when the second half of the race turned into an upwind drifter, Abilyn triumphed over the other Mini 6.50 entered in the race, and claimed local bragging rights.
Getting to the starting lines for these regattas was no small task. Sailing from Larchmont to Newport, and then from Newport to Brooklyn via the ocean consumed 255 of Josh’s nearly 600 miles, and sometimes required motoring on a 2.5 hp outboard with a quarter gallon inboard tank that had to be refueled every hour. Then, because of other “life” commitments, Josh had to “turn and burn” after finishing the Solo/Twin—not more than three hours after crossing the finish, Josh picked up a crewmember, popped the kite, and was on his way to Brooklyn to stage for the ALIR.  Even just to get to ALIR starting line, Josh had to be towed by Navy sailors as Abilyn’s outboard was no match for 25-knot headwinds.
Ask Josh and he’ll tell you:  the second-place victory in the Solo/Twin and beating the other Mini in the ALIR were sweet.  But the adventure was far sweeter.  Indeed, during a presentation on Mini sailing that Josh gave to junior sailors during the STC’s Safety at Sea seminar a day before his departure, Josh encouraged the young sailors to go explore, for the ocean never closes.
You can read more about Josh’s adventures at or on Facebook and Instagram (handle: abilynracing).

LYC Vangard 15 Team Race

August 8, 2015

54 sailors descended on LYC on August 8, to compete in the annual Vanguard 15 Team Race. This event is the last V15 team race still being run in the New England area, and consistently attracts many competitors. Most of the competitors are current or recently graduated college sailors who want to practice their dinghy team racing over the summer or after graduation.
Led by Buddy Wolf and John May, the Race Committee was able to complete over 50 races on a Digital N course for the nine teams. Conditions were excellent, with an easterly breeze both days. Competitors got lucky and only experienced about an hour of “Larchmont in August” weather when the breeze died to near 3 knots. After finishing a full round robin on Saturday, the fleet was split into a top-6 and bottom-3 round robin format on Sunday to determine final places. Team 5 (Ted Ferrarone/Kendra Emhiser, Ian Barrows/Max Nickbarg/Kate Gaumond, and Cam Cullman/Marlena Fauer) won the regatta with an impressive 10-3 record. 

Women's Invitational Regatta for the Commodore Mendez Trophy

August 8, 2015 

The annual Women’s Invitational Regatta for the Commodore Mendez Trophy was held on Saturday, August 8 at LYC. Twelve teams competed in Ideal 18’s, including six teams from LYC and six from neighboring clubs.
Glorious sailing weather marked the event as a 5-to-10-knot easterly held steady all day on choppy seas. PRO Paul Lennon, assisted by a skilled race committee, set 1¼ mile WLW courses, managing to fit in eight races before the breeze began to fade mid-afternoon.
In very tight racing, the top four teams all finished within three points of one another.  Teresa Laughlin and Carmen Cowles from LYC won the day with a total of 15 points, Katie Morgan and Chrissy Delfosse, the defending champions from Noroton Yacht Club, finished second with 17 points. The third and fourth place teams both had 18 points, with Mary and Sherry Desmond from Old Greenwich Yacht Club winning a tie breaker ahead of Carolyn Russell and Jenn Leary from American Yacht Club.
Full results can be found here.
Commodore Mendez, who created the event, and his wife Pauline were unable to attend, but were there in spirit, and PRO Paul Lennon welcomed everyone in their name.
Teresa Laughlin summed the day up this way: “This is always such a fun regatta, and this year was no exception. It was wonderful to have so many clubs represented, so many ages, and the very tight racing made for a really exciting day.  But the camaraderie both on and off the water is what makes this event so special.”  

39th Annual Around Long Island Race

July 30, 2015 

Last Thursday, Sea Cliff YC hosted its 39th Annual Around Long Island Race, sending a fleet of 63 boats on a 190 NM one-way "tour" from Rockaway Inlet, east to Montauk Point, and then back down the Sound to finish in Hempstead Harbor. Warrior Won, owned by LYC member Chris Sheehan, had a fantastic race, winning line honors and 1st place on corrected time in both PHRF and IRC divisions.
Along with Sheehan, Warrior Won's crew list included 4 Larchmont junior sailors: Jake Faiella, Jack Kneisley, Teddy Knowles, and Tim Marx; along with LYC members Andres de Lasa and Doug Lynn, plus Chris Simon and Wes Bemus.
The conditions varied wildly from an 18 to 20 knot roller coaster of a run up the South shore of Long Island, a squall-lined weather front, near drifting conditions approaching Montauk, to a gorgeous 8 to 12 knot Westerly beating back down the Sound. The breeze completely shut off minutes after Warrior Won finished and only lightly filled in many hours later, ensuring the fleet would have great difficulty correcting out over Warrior Won.  

LYC member Josh Reisberg was in the doublehanded division in his Mini 6.50 Meter Abilyn and had a screaming first half of the race downwind to Montauk before being passed by bigger boats in lighter air on the beat back to Sea Cliff YC.

Click here for results.

TransAtlantic Race Recap

July 2015 

As reported in earlier e-newsletters and the recent Mainsheet, LYC was well represented in the 2015 Trans Atlantic Race. Sailing as skipper on Rives Potts’ 48 Carina was LYC’s Rich duMoulin. Also aboard Carina from the Club was Peter Bauer. Together with a crew of nine they made the passage from Newport, RI, to The Lizard at the southwestern tip of the UK in 14 days and 12 hours. This solid performance placed them fourth in IRC Division 4 and ninth in IRC overall. Peter Bauer said, "It was a fast race, but wet. We were off the wind the majority of the race and blew out a number of our heavy spinnakers ending the race changing through the jib top, the blast reacher, and finishing with the #2 set.” Bauer also set the boat’s speed record in the midst of one blustery night recording 21.7 knots.
Speaking of going fast, just as Carina was finishing at The Lizard, out of the fog behind them appeared Jim & Kristy Clark’s 100-foot speedster Comanche. Going well over 25 knots, Comanche power reached below Carina with the crews giving each other rousing cheers during the “brief” moment the boats were together. Peter Fackler’s amazing video of their passing can be viewed here.
Both duMoulin and Bauer are home but Peter is about to return to the UK with his son, Matt, to do the Carina delivery back to the States. “We leave on Carina August 1,” noted Bauer, “with our first stop likely to be the Faroe Islands, which is north of Scotland. This will take us about 1/2 way to Iceland. Then we may or may not go to Greenland, Newfoundland and or Nova Scotia. All depends on the weather and our progress across the North Atlantic. Not sure if we will have email access via satellite, if we do, we'll keep you updated on the trip.” You can track Peter and Matt’s return voyage here.

Comanche does a flyby at the Finish of Transatlantic Race 2015. The Lizard, England.


LYC's Cowles Sisters Stand Out at USODA National Championship

Pensacola, FL
July 22, 2015 

Emma and Carmen Cowles have been dominating Optimist regattas for the past few seasons and have done it again—this time with a twist. On Wednesday, July 22, sailing in the 82-boat USODA Girls National Championship regatta held in Pensacola, FL, the LYC/LISOT identical twins made their presence known yet again. At the one-day, three-race regatta, it was Carmen beating her sister Emma by a single point. Carmen’s line score was an impressive 2-1-2 for five points while Emma’s 3-2-1 totaled six points. The twins were also part of the LISOT Black team that won the USODA Team Racing National Championship over the same weekend.
Fast forward a few days to this past weekend’s USODA National Championship sailed among the best youth sailors age 15 or younger in the country. The four-day Optimist US National Championship concluded Sunday with Luke Arnone (Bay Head, NJ) narrowly edging out Emma placing second overall, only one point behind Luke Arnone (Bay Head, NJ), with Justin Callahan (Cape Coral, FL) finishing third. The top ten had a twin theme with Carmen finishing sixth while Justin Callahan’s twin brother Mitchell Callahan finished fifth.
Their parents, all of LYC, and their fellow LISOT team members are extremely proud of these girls’ ongoing accomplishments.
Spoiler Alert: It looks as though LYC members will be reading about Cowles Opti successes for many years to come. It turns out that the youngest Cowles sister, Margaux, finished 114th in the silver fleet, giving notice to all Opti sailors that the Cowles dynasty will continue well into the future.
Girls Championship results, click here.  

Video featuring Emma Cowles in Scuttlebutt, click here


LISOT Black wins USODA Team Race Nationals

Larchmont Yacht Club's 117th Race Week
Ends With Solid Breeze

July 20, 2015 

After a tough stretch with some of the lightest winds Race Week has seen in recent years, sailors enjoyed the best conditions of the event on the final day to end in style. Saturday saw a 3-5 knot southwesterly breeze and after a 2-hour on shore postponement for all classes on Sunday, a 7-12 knot southwesterly filled on Sunday.

30 boats sailed on the Cruising Circle with 18 in the PHRF spinnaker division and 12 in the non-spinnaker group. Three races were completed in each fleet, with a brand new “Around the Rocks Race” on Sunday with all Cruising Circle divisions on the same starting line with a single gun for a sprint around Execution Rocks Lighthouse. Cruising Circle PRO Jed Kelly noted that, “The addition of the distance race to the Race Week format added some fun and variety.” On an elapsed-time basis, the winner of the sprint around the rocks was LYC member Jason Carroll’s Gunboat 62, Elvis. Because there was a new course record of 43 minutes in Year 1, Carroll and team took home a case of Mt. Gay Rum. However, on corrected time, LYC’s Bud Heerde won the overall title and a brand new perpetual that was recommissioned from a Rainbow class event at the 1938 edition of Race Week. Coming out victorious in the cruising classes overall are Paul Strauch from Manhasset Bay Yacht Club in the spinnaker division with his C&C 30 One Design Andiamo, and Len Di Iorio from Huguenot Yacht Club in the non-spinnaker division aboard Impulse.

The Senior One Design Circle added J/70s to the mix the second weekend, along with additional competitors in the Viper 640 and Etchells classes who took the first weekend off. PRO Nick Langone was able to run seven races for the fleets, four on the second weekend. Winning each class were Paul Beaudin from Harlem Yacht Club (J/105), Danny Pletsch and Cardwell Potts from Larchmont Yacht Club (Viper 640), Scott Bursor from American Yacht Club (J/70), Com Crocker and Kurt Weisenfluh from Larchmont Yacht Club (Shields), Dave Smalley from Larchmont Yacht Club (Etchells), William Simmons from Horseshoe Harbor Yacht Club (S Boat), Jennifer Miller from Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club (IOD), Lou Casolo from Old Greenwich Yacht Club (Ideal 18), and Will Haeger and Tori Porter from Larchmont Yacht Club (Vanguard 15).

Vanguard 15s joined the fray on a separate circle this weekend for their two-day regatta. 26 boats sailed 10 races, with Ward Young and Katie Walker from Larchmont Yacht Club emerging as the leaders at the end of Saturday and Will Haeger and Tori Porter from Larchmont Yacht Club winning the event on a tiebreaker over Ward Young and Katie Walker.

Perpetual trophies were presented to the winners of various fleets:
  • The Anne Kathleen Cullen Memorial Trophy was awarded to Danny Pletsch and Cardwell Potts from Larchmont Yacht Club, winners of the Viper 640 class, for best overall performance at Race Week;
  • The Vincent Monte-Sano Trophy was awarded to Bud Heerde from Larchmont Yacht Club for best Larchmont Yacht Club member’s cruising class performance;
  • The Charles Vanderlaan Trophy was awarded to Paul Strauch from Manhasset Bay Yacht Club for best overall cruising class performance;
  • The Stanley King Turner, Jr. Memorial Trophy was awarded to Dave Smalley from Larchmont Yacht Club for best Etchells 22 class performance;
  • The Joseph J. Weed Memorial Trophy was awarded to Jennifer Miller from Mamaroneck Beach and Yacht Club for best International One-Design class performance;
  • The Thomas L. Fitzsimmons Trophy was awarded to Com Crocker and Kurt Weisenfluh from Larchmont Yacht Club for best Shields class performance.
As reported earlier, Larchmont Yacht Club made a concerted effort this year to provide a casual, gracious, and welcoming experience for the sailors returning ashore, including complementary ice cream, hot snacks, beer, and music. The result was that Larchmont Race Week’s after-race participation ashore returned to the glory days of its past.

For cumulative results, click here.


Start of the Execution Rock Race
Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

Junior Race Week Opti Day
Larchmont Yacht Club

July 16, 2015 

Opti Day, the final leg of Larchmont Yacht Club’s 89th Junior Race Week, with more than 175 Opti sailors from around the northeast participating, was sailed on Thursday, July 16 in the best conditions of the four day Junior Regatta. Red, white and blue color fleets competed on a crystal clear day in a Northerly breeze of 5 to 6 knots.

The White Fleet, consisting of the youngest Opti sailors, with 63 boats divided into Yellow and Blue divisions, sailed in the vicinity of Bell #1 outside of Larchmont Harbor. PRO Dave Smalley and his Committee managed three races. Benjamin Sheppard from Riverside Yacht Club won with three first place finishes. Tyler Nash from Pequot Yacht Club was second, and William Clark from Riverside Yacht Club was third. In the Blue division, Tomas Zaleski from Stamford Yacht Club was first, with Jean-Luc Depardieu from Norwalk Yacht Club in second and Witt Lindau from Cedar Point Yacht Club in third.

On the Red and Blue circles, PRO Jan Smeets and his Race Committee also ran three races just East of the Larchmont breakwater. Twenty-one boats competed on the Red circle. First place was won by Max Anker from Riverside Yacht Club, with firsts in all three races. Charles Roseberry from Larchmont Yacht Club was second, while Jaime Pujadas, also from Larchmont Yacht Club, was third.

The 93 remaining boats competed on the Blue circle and were divided into Black and Green fleets. In the Green fleet, Griffin Gigliotti from Noroton Yacht Club was first with three bullets. Jacqueline Quirke from American Yacht Club was second with a trio of thirds, and Sophie Brett, also from American Yacht Club came in third. Leyton Borcherding from Belle Haven Club was first in the Black fleet, with Vanessa Lahrkamp from American Yacht Club in second and Sofia Segalla from Stamford Yacht Club in third.

For the first time since 2009, there were two winners of The William LeBoutillier Trophy for the best performance in the Opti Regatta. Max Anker from Riverside Yacht Club and Griffin Gigliotti from Noroton Yacht Club were both awarded this perpetual trophy for their perfect scorelines.

For results, click here.

While the juniors have put away their boats, there was more action on Friday as the Larchmont Yacht Club again hosted the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar with over 300 juniors learning and practicing safety-at-sea techniques on shore and on the water in borrowed keelboats. Senior Race Week resumes on Saturday with sailors on the One Design and Cruising Circles competing for the 117th Race Week trophies.

89th Junior Race Week
Larchmont Yacht Club

July 13-15, 2015 

The first part of Larchmont Yacht Club’s 89th Junior Race Week saw over 400 sailors from around the northeast participating on three circles consisting of Lasers, 420s, and Pixels. After light to moderate winds Monday and Tuesday, all sailing on day three was cancelled due to strong storm cells in the area. Kudos to the Race Committees, Safety Patrols, and Instructors who were able to get the participants off the course and back on land in less than half an hour! Regatta Chairman John May commented, “It was a shame they couldn’t get more racing in, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.”

On the Laser circle, 95 boats competed in a total of four races. The boats were divided into four color groups for the 80 boat Laser Radial group, consisting of green, red, yellow and blue divisions raced round robin style. In the Green Fleet first place was won by Sam Morrell from American YC, with Jack Glenn from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC placing second and Tucker Hersam from Noroton YC in third. Jack Briano from Indian Harbor won first in the Red Fleet, followed by Katherine O’Donnell from Niantic Boat Club and Brendan McCormack from Port Washington YC in second and third place, respectively.  First honors in the Yellow Fleet went to Nicholas Chisari from Seacliff YC, with Andrew Rochat from American YC and Katarina Catallo from Port Washington YC coming in second and third, respectively.  In the Blue Fleet, Lindsay Powers from American YC won first, with Matthew Priebe from Seawanhaka Corinthian YC and Carina Becker from American YC second and third, respectively.

In the Black Fleet, consisting of 15 Laser Standard Competitors, first prize was won by Collin Alexander from American YC, who took four first place finishes, with Richard O’Leary of American YC coming in second and Richard Hoge from Norwalk YC in third.

On the 420 circle 112 boats, also divided into four color fleets – Green, Red, Yellow, and Blue – competed in a round robin competition with a total of three races. In the Green Fleet first place was won by Lew Hobi and Julia Reynolds from Pequot YC, with Oliver Parsons and Caroline MacCauley from Wadawanuck YC placing second and Sam Tobin and Madeleine Keane from Noroton YC in third.  Brook McGoldrick and Cameron Nash from Pequot YC won first in the Red Fleet, followed by John Schinto and Peter Dunay from Riverside YC and Eric Hansen and John Faiella from Larchmont YC in second and third place, respectively.  First honors in the Yellow Fleet went to Will Gallagher and Ana Schonander from Larchmont YC, with Tim Greenhouse and Jack DeNatale from Wadawanuck YC and Corey Sabia and Scott Jonker from Norwalk YC coming in second and third, respectively. In the Blue Fleet, Parker Colantuono and Nancy Harrington from Niantic YC placing first with Emma Jakobson and Hugh Reynolds from American YC and Nina Reichhelm and Alex Berg from Pequot YC second and third, respectively.

On the Pixel circle, 37 entrants sailed a total of five races in one division. First place was won by Charlotte Costikyan and Isabel Infurma from Noroton YC, with four firsts and a discarded second place finish. Second went to Niall Sheridan and Skyler Risom from Norwalk YC, with Devin Hart and Madeline Dwyer from Noroton YC placing third.

A number of special perpetual trophies are also awarded annually at Junior Race Week. The Commodore’s Trophy is awarded to that participant age 18 or under who is a winner in his/her class and who, in the judgment of the Race Committee and the Commodore has made the “best performance.”  This year’s winner is Will Gallagher from Larchmont YC. The Windjammer Trophy is presented by the Norwegian Consulate to the Junior Sailor who best exemplifies seamanship and sportsmanship. Jonas Schneider from Horseshoe Harbor YC sailing in the Pixel class brought this trophy home after losing his boom and manually holding the sail while steering with the tiller between his legs. The O’Donnell Trophy, awarded annually to the girl under age 18 who has consistently shown to be outstanding in seamanship and sportsmanship, was won by Lindsay Powers from American YC sailing in the Laser Radial Blue Fleet. The William S. Luckett Trophy given to the overall winner of the 420 class went to Will Gallagher and Ana Schonander from Larchmont YC.

The Al Bamberger Trophy is awarded to the best scorer among either the Pixel or Blue Jay Class, who in the judgment of the Regatta Committee and the Commodore has shown best performance.  This year’s winner is Charlotte Costikyan from Noroton YC. The Crew Prize, awarded to the sailor who in the judgment of the Regatta Committee and the Commodore made the best performance, was won by Ana Schonander, sailing with Will Gallagher from Larchmont YC.  Finally, The George S. Hills Trophy, awarded to the winner of the Laser division, went to Sam Morrell from American Yacht Club.

For results, click here.

117th Larchmont Race Week Underway
Larchmont Yacht Club

July 13, 2015 

The first weekend of senior one-design and cruiser/racer competition of Larchmont Yacht Club’s 117th Race Week is now in the books. After two days of sailing with light to moderate winds, sailors competed on two circles completing the first half of their Race Week experience. LYC Commodore Tim Porter noted that, “In addition to some fine summer sailing on the water, the Club’s renewed focus on the sailor experience ashore, that we’re calling ‘Sailors Welcome Ashore,’ proved to be a huge success with as much going on ashore as on the water.”

This year’s Larchmont Race Week has taken a fresh approach, especially for the racer/cruisers. Starting later in the afternoon when winds are historically better, this year’s big boat racing combines traditional windward/leeward courses with a pursuit race planned for the first Sunday (but not run due to little wind) and a distance race (“The Around Execution Light Race”) scheduled for the final Sunday.

On the cruising circle, 20 boats competed in the PHRF spinnaker division, non-spinnaker, and classic divisions. Cruising PRO Jed Kelly reported that Paul Strauch was leading in the spinnaker division on his new C&C One-design 30 ANDIAMO while Robert Taylor’s J/34 Minx and Ted and Shelia Graves Alden Q boat currently lead in the non-spinnaker and classic divisions, respectively.

Seven J/105s joined the one-design circle with 17 Viper 640s, 11 J70s, 14 Shields, 4 Etchells, and quintet of S Boats and a trio of IODs. Leading after three races in the Viper fleet is GHOST PANDA, sailed by Peter Beardsley and David Owen, with Danny Pletsch and Cardwell Potts’ BLACKOUT PROPOSAL in second. For the J/105s it’s George and Alex Wilbanks’ REVELATION atop the leader board, Alex Curtiss and a crew of LYC junior sailing instructors are winning the Shields, Dave Smalley’s TITHONUS is ahead for the Etchells, Jennifer Miller’s TOPAZ leads the IODs and Bill Simmons ALLEGRO is leading the S Boats.

One-design PRO Nick Langone noted that “With the Vipers gliding around the course joined by the J/105s, Etchells, Shields, and more, the flavor of the one-design circle has been greatly enhanced. It’s great to see these newer asymmetrical boats racing on the same course as the more traditional boats like the Etchells and Shields.”

For results, click here.

Senior racing resumes next Saturday and Sunday, July 18-19. Larchmont Junior Race Week, with over a thousand junior sailors participating from around the east coast, will be sailed Monday-Wednesday, July 13-15 and with Opti Day and the influx of 140+ Optimist prams scheduled for Thursday, July 16. Friday is a no-race day, but that doesn’t mean the Club will be quiet. Larchmont Yacht Club will again be hosting the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar Friday, July 17 with over 300 juniors learning and practicing safety-at-sea techniques on shore and on the water.

Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

Photo Credit: Maureen Koeppel

LYC Boats Excel in Marblehead to Halifax Race

July 5, 2015 

Two LYC boats performed extremely well in this week’s Marblehead to Halifax Race. Chris Sheehan’s XP44 WARRIOR WON placed first in its IRC 2 division and second in IRC overall. Andrew and Linda Weiss’ Sydney 43 CHRISTOPHER DRAGON placed second in IRC 1 and third in IRC overall behind LYC winter member Steve Benjamin’s  Carkeek HP 40 SPOOKIE (first in IRC 1 and third in IRC overall).
The Boston Yacht Club and Royal Nova Scotia Yacht Squadron hosted the regatta, the 36th running of this biannual event. Starting off in Marblehead Harbor on Sunday, July 5, the boats raced 360 miles northeast to a finish line inside the entry passage to Nova Scotia’s Halifax Harbor. This year’s race started quickly with a brisk breeze, however, the wind faded Monday night, resulting in many of the smaller boats catching the larger ones off the southwestern tip of Nova Scotia.
In the end, SPOOKIE, WARRIOR WON, and CHRISTOPHER DRAGON were able to beat their competitors on corrected time, making it a banner win for LYC.

When asked about his win, Sheehan said, "I am so proud of the accomplishment we just achieved and pleased to have done it with so many fellow LYC members. I look forward to continuing to campaign Warrior Won and to compete in more races this year and next year's Newport-Bermuda race."
According to H.L. DeVore, navigator aboard WARRIOR WON, the winds were generally light for the majority of the race but reached 18+ knots near the finish. “We sailed the majority of the race under spinnaker. It was an epic downwind battle with tough tactical decisions. Most exciting was entering the busy Halifax port in the dark and the dense fog with competitors close aboard, while sailing under spinnaker at 12 knots!”

Aboard WARRIOR WON, seven of the ten crew were LYC members including: Chris Sheehan, navigator H.L. DeVore, Andres de Lasa, Roland Schulz, Ryan Zupon, Peter Carpenter, and Doug Lynn. Weiss was the only LYC representative on DRAGON and Steve Benjamin represented the Club on SPOOKIE.  Other LYC members involved in the race were Alison and Mike Puleo aboard Scott Bearse’ Beneteau First 44.7 SLIDE RULE, which finished third in IRC 2 and fifth in IRC overall, and Pat Slattery on John Mele’s TRIPLE LINDY, which placed a solid second in OOR 1.

For full results, click here.

LYC Members at Helm for TransAtlantic Race

June 28, 2015 

LYC’s Rich duMoulin and Peter Bauer have been part of the crew for NYYC Commodore Rives Potts 48’ Carina all season as they have practiced for their journey from Newport to the Lizard off the southern tip of England. Potts had to withdraw from the race due to business conflicts so duMoulin was promoted to skipper from co-skipper and Bauer became a watch captain. Both moves recognize the extensive blue water experience of these two LYC members and their overall sailboat racing credentials. Also on the boat are many faces familiar to LYC: Peter Fackler who grew up at the club, former Summer Member Neil McLaughlin, Chris Reyling—long-time bowman for duMoulin’s LORA ANN, Storm Trysail Club Commodore Lee Reichert, Barrett Holby who grew-up at the Club, and Gerard Girstl who sails on SOULMATES out of neighboring Huguenot Yacht Club.

The 3,000 mile race is started in three heats with the smaller boats leaving this past Sunday, June 28, at 1400. Starting off Castle Hill, their next stop is The Lizard with nothing but two iceberg exclusion zones to avoid. You can track the progress of CARINA and all the entries by clicking here.

We’ll keep you posted as the race progresses. It is anticipated that it will take approximately three weeks to complete.

Danny and Megan Pletsch Finish Second at Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship

June 27-28, 2015 

Tom Loutrel (Charleston, SC), sailing with John Bowden and Carson Turowski, won the 2015 Viper 640 Atlantic Coast Championship over the weekend of June 27-28. Sailing their Viper CHOPPY SEAS, Loutrel and crew were able to beat by a single point LYC’s Danny Pletsch (Greenwich, CT) sailing BLACKOUT PROPOSAL with Megan Pletsch and Nick and Meredith Ewenson aboard. Both boats won two of the five races sailed with neither having scores lower that fourth. In third place sailing CELERITAS, was Malcolm Gefter (Palm Beach, FL), a mere three points off the pace. Sailing with Malcolm were Jeremy Wilmot and Jonny Goldsberry. In his words said with a grin on his face, Malcolm commented, “Old farts like me require great studs like Wilmot and Goldsberry to be competitive. I just turn the boat when they say to!” Ah, youth!

This year’s ACC was sailed as part of Bacardi Newport Sailing Week presented by EFG. Operating primarily out of the Newport Yacht Club with the assistance of a race committee from Sail Newport, PRO Mike Levesque pushed for a fifth race on Saturday knowing that Sunday’s forecast was not promising. Racing out of Potter’s Bay north of the Newport Pell Bridge, courses of 1.2 miles were set with the shifty breeze ranging between 15-10 knots from the southeast. The seas were relatively flat but staying in phase through the many oscillations made the difference. With temperatures in the 60s and periods of rain and constant drizzle resulted in some wet, cold sailors returning ashore after 1700.

Also sailing at the Viper ACCs from LYC were Ted Ferrarone and Clay Bischoff finishing fourth, and Buttons Padin on WILD HOGS with Chris Foley at the helm and Lou Magarelli finishing ninth. LYC Summer Justin Bauer also sailed on his MORE COW BELLS finishing 12th.

In addition to the dozen Vipers (the largest fleet in attendance) were VX Ones, J/70s, and a classic division comprised mostly of S Boats. The RC wisely started the Vipers first and that allow the faster boats to separate from the following divisions minimizing overtaking situations on the course.

The Viper Class’ friends at STUDIOMILANO who treat us so well during Bacardi Miami Sailing Week, Gabriele Pedone and Sara Zanobini, were on hand as was Eddie Cutillas from Bacardi USA and Kenia Naves Rocha from EFG’s Miami office.

We all look forward to seeing the EFG, Bacardi, and STUDIOMILANO team next winter at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week!

For results, click here.
For event website and photo gallery, click here

Photo Credit: Corey Silken

LYC's Christopher Dragon Wins Again

Block Island Race Week
June 22-26, 2015 

At the Storm Trysail Club’s Block Island Race Week XXVI, sailed on Block Island Sound from June 22-26, 2015, Andrew and Linda Weiss’ Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon proved unbeatable again, this time winning the hotly contested IRC 2 Division. Over the five days the fleets sailed 11 races including the Around the Island Race on Tuesday. Dragon started the week with four consecutive first place finishes, including the wild and wooly ATI Race where they not only blew out a spinnaker in a puff but also hit speed through the water of over 22 knots in the 20 knot breeze. Andrew’s quote going out that morning was, “This is going to be either scary or fun!” In the end, it was probably a bit of both.
Ending the week with five first place finishes and six second place finishes, Christopher Dragon was one of the “talked about” boats on the Island that week. In addition to Andrew and Linda Weiss, LYC members aboard were Butch Ulmer, who served as tactician, and Buttons Padin.
Other LYC boats up at Block were Dr. Carl Olsson’s J/109 MORNING GLORY that finished seventh in the 25 boat J/109 division, Roger Widmann’s Swan 42 QUINTESSENCE with LYC’s Allie Padin and Justin Bauer crewing (fourth in IRC 3/Swan 42), and Bud and Betsy Heerde’s X-24 MAUDELAYNE, finishing fourth in the strong PHRF 2 division. LYC’s John Baxter sailed as tactician on the Swan 42 IMPETUOUS placing first in IRC 3 / Swan 42 division, and Dave Florence sailed on the J/105 Peregrina that broke its mast during the ATI race and had to retire for the regatta.
Of note was a presentation made Wednesday night at the STC’s Member Party. LYC’s Marcy Trenholm has been the Executive Director of the STC in recent years having worked for the club twenty-five years. At Wednesday’s event, STC Commodore Lee Reichert presented to Marcy the Abrams Family Trophy given to individuals who have made significant contributions to BIRW. Marcy has been the major gear that drove the BIRW machine for years. Now retiring, LYC’s Whitney Kneisley will be assuming the position of STC Executive Director continuing the close tie between our two clubs.

Duane Farrar First Blind Sailor to Win Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta

May 29-31, 2015

Over the May 29-31 weekend, 17 crews of sailors with disabilities sailed specially adapted Ideal 18s in the Seventh Annual Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta. Hosted jointly by the American and Larchmont Yacht Clubs, the Robie continues to be the only major adaptive regatta on western Long Island Sound. This year, Duane Farrar (Watertown, MA) and Amy Bower (Falmouth, MA), blind sailors sailing with Sol Marini as their sighted guide, bested the fleet with a final point total of 18 points after ten races. The trio, striving to compete in the next Blind Sailing World Championship in Chicago, IL, beat out last year’s Robie Pierce winning combination of Mike Hersey (Hyannis, MA) and 2008 Paralympic Gold Medalist Maureen McKinnon (Marblehead, MA) with Hersey’s son Matt reprieving his role as AB (able-body sailor). Rounding out the top three were Craig Wilson (Holden, MA) and Charles McClure (Brookline, MA) sailing with Paula Schaefer and Roger King sharing the AB duties. For full results click here.
The Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta was started in 2009, with the objective of expanding the footprint of adaptive sailing in western Long Island Sound. The Robie strives to be as inclusive as possible, including sailors with physical disabilities, neuromuscular diseases, visual impairments, and other disabilities. It is also one of the few adaptive events that has 17-20 one-design boats starting at the same time. From the beginning, Heineken has been the lead sponsor for the Robie Pierce Regatta providing generous financial support for adaptive sailing and Heineken beverages onshore. Dolf van de Brink, Heineken CEO of the Americas, was out on the water with his family to cheer on the competitors.
For the second year, Burke Rehabilitation and Research, the area’s major rehabilitation hospital, was a sponsor of the Robie. Burke has been a source for new participants, many serving as crew for experienced disabled skippers. Catherine Evins, a Burke outpatient, sailed with skipper Tracy Schmitt (Toronto, ON), Cathy’s first time on the water ever. In the second race they finished second and she was beside herself with joy. After meeting 2012 Paralympic Silver Medalist Jen French (St. Petersburg, FL) and Betsy Alison, U.S. Sailing’s Paralympic Coach, Evins said “Today was my day of miracles!” She wasn’t the only first-time sailor thanks to Burke.
Of the 40 disabled sailors participating, and the numerous accompanying family members and aides, one in five were new to the Robie. This statistic shows how the regatta has established its place as a favorite adaptive sailing regatta—with so many repeat participants—while also attracting new people from the area and across the country and Canada. This year, the crop of first time Robie sailors included five members of the Warrior Sailing Program, all disabled veterans who are pursuing sailing as a part of their post-service life. This program is underwritten by the Kings Point Foundation and benefits from the leadership of both Jen French and Betsy Allison. These five individuals traveled to the Robie from five different states as far away as MI.
Competing again in the Robie this year were two LYC members, former Rear Commodore Bill Blanchard and Peter O’Hara. In addition, Marion Glennon and Mary Jo Mitchell were part of the registration team, Chris Allen, Beth Dowd, Roger King, Lucian Leone, Bud Heerde, John Feldtmose, and Alison Puleo sailed as ABs while Peter Gable, Jack Regan, and Ed Yocum served as part of the Safety & Rescue patrol. In addition, another dozen members helped move the boats to and from AYC, and hosted sailors in their homes. If you see anyone at the Club with a snappy orange Robie 2015 shirt on, thank them for their service to this inspiring event.
This year’s Robie was sailed out of American Yacht Club in Rye, NY, with AYC’s Siobhan Reilly as the lead chairperson with AYC’s Bill Sandberg and Larchmont Yacht Club’s Buttons Padin as Co-Chairs. Together, the three managed all aspects of recruitment, registration, crew composition, race management, and the provisioning of adapted Ideal 18 sailboats to be raced. While these three do much of the work, were it not for the ongoing support of the Robie underwriting sponsors, the event would not be possible. Heineken USA has been the Robie’s lead sponsor since its inception. For the past four years, the Keurig Green Mountain community outreach foundation has supported the event.  Repeat sponsors included Subaru, Burke, Magnum Bars, Gill North America, and the Sailing Foundation of New York.
After receiving the perpetual trophy presented by AYC Commodore, Peter Duncan, top skipper Farrar commented that his “regatta haircut had done the trick.” As a blind sailor, Farrar looks aft when sailing downwind and keeps his hair short to “sense the wind” as he steers. Apparently he was right.
The 2016 Robie Pierce One-Design Regatta will be held at Larchmont Yacht Club, Friday, June 3–Sunday, June 5, with the Robie Pierce Women’s Invitational returning on Thursday, June 2.

Photos by James Rielly

Zeke Horowitz Wins First Larchmont Yacht Club Sport Boat Grand Prix

May 23-24, 2015

Over the Saturday and Sunday of the Memorial Day Weekend, 20 Viper 640s battled at the inaugural LYC Sport Boat Grand Prix. After nine races over two glorious late spring days, it was LYC Summer Member and new North Sails rep Zeke Horowitz who took home the first Grand Prix title. Sailing with an all-star team of College All-American Graham Landy, Sammy Stokes, and Alyssa Aitken, Horowitz won five races, finished second three times, and had a fifth place finish for his throw-out. With his 11 point total, he won handily with LYC’s Nick Buc, Sarah Gillman, and former Danish 49er national team member Simon Karstoft on the tiller in second with 33 points. The host club’s Ghost Panda team of Peter and Rachel Beardsley with David and James Owen took third-place honors beating in a tie-breaker fellow club members Ted Ferrarone and Jamie Anderson sailing with Ted’s regular dinghy crew Meredith Killion, each with 42 points. For full results click here
Event Chairman Bob Matthews, who by the way finished the regatta in eighth, shared the following about the Grand Prix, “It was a great, early season Viper event: great competition in a wide range of conditions, excellent race committee, great facilities, and beautiful weather to boot. What a way to kick off the summer sailing season! The Larchmont Sportboat Grand Prix is sure to become a mainstay on the calendar of the Viper and other sport boat classes.”
The LYC Yachting Committee conceived of this new event as a way to build upon the strength of the LYC Viper Class—now 18 strong—while attracting Viper and other sport boat sailors from the northeast. It was scheduled separately from the traditional LYC Memorial Day Regatta in an effort to give the sport boat sailors more races. As such, Saturday’s first warning was at 1230 and Sunday’s was at 1100. Due to light and shifty winds on Saturday, only three races could be run, but Sunday’s 10-15 knot sea breeze allowed the Race Committee to take advantage of its 1600 last race cut-off. As the southerly was still blowing briskly, the sixth race of the day began at approximately 1530. While some of the more “mature” sailors found the sixth heat of the day a bit of a challenge, everyone arrived ashore having received a full dose of sailing for one weekend.
Zeke Horowitz noted, “The renowned LYC race committee did an outstanding job managing tricky conditions to set up nine races over the weekend that were remarkably square and fair given some challenging wind shifts and current. As always, the hospitality shown from LYC was unparalleled, as sailors were greeted each evening with friendly smiles, a beautiful view, and plenty of adult beverages and hot dogs to go around after racing.”

Photo slideshow by Maureen Koeppel

Andrew and Linda Weiss' Christopher Dragon
Wins 60th Annual Edlu Race

May 9, 2015

Larchmont Yacht Club’s 60th Annual Edlu distance race was held on Saturday May 9, in pea soup fog with visibility of only about one-quarter mile. Thirty-seven yachts from fourteen yacht clubs competed in six divisions of IRC and PHRF ratings. The course for The IRC and PHRF spinnaker boats was approximately 32 miles to Buoy 11B off Eton’s Neck/Stamford. The non-spinnaker division sailed a 16.4-mile course to the red bell off Lloyd’s Neck. The first start went off at 0911 in an easterly breeze of 8-10 knots with a flooding tide. The final boat crossed the finish line off the Larchmont breakwater just a few minutes before the time limit of 7 p.m. to hearty cheers from the Race Committee.

In this year’s race, the fog was the real challenge – several boats withdrew after reporting to the Race Committee that they had rounded the wrong mark due to poor visibility.  According to Butch Ulmer, sailing on LYC’s Linda and Andrew Weiss’ Sydney 43 Christopher Dragon, “Navigation became the key since every boat was sailing in a 200-yard bubble with no sense of what was going on around them.”

The Edlu Trophy, awarded to the yacht with the best time adjusted performance overall was won by Christopher Dragon from LYC skippered by Andrew Weiss in the IRC Division. This was the fourth Edlu victory for Christopher Dragon since Weiss’ father raced the first Christopher Dragon in the 1970s.  The Black Watch Bowl for the best elapsed time overall, the Henry Sayers Trophy for the best elapsed time in Division I (IRC), and the Nyala Trophy for the Division I yacht with the best corrected time were all won by Weiss and his crew aboard Christopher Dragon. In addition to Butch Ulmer, other LYC members aboard Christopher Dragon for the Edlu were Vice Commodore Andy Kaplan, Buttons Padin, Lizzy Kaplan, and Eliza Crocker.

The Ruth McKay Memorial Trophy for the best elapsed time in the PHRF Division went to Skye, skippered by Ty Anderson from Riverside Yacht Club. The Commodore Wilfred Kluss Trophy for the PHRF yacht with the best corrected time went to Young American and the American Yacht Club’s Junior Big Boat team. 

In the separate results for the six divisions, Christopher Dragon won IRC Division I.  Former LYC Commodore Carl Olsson won first place in Division II in his new J109 Morning Glory.  He also won the AYC Spring series in his first outing in the new boat.  Dr. Olsson has won the Edlu trophy twice, in 2005 and 2013. Division III honors went to American Yacht Club’s Junior Big Boat Team in Young American, always a formidable competitor. Division IV and V were awarded to Twiga, skippered by David Esseks ,  while Ty Anderson of Riverside Yacht Club took the prize for the double handed category  in Skye . Finally, the non-spinnaker division was awarded to Lawrence Rouen from Huguenot Yacht Club in Nepenthe, a Dawn 41.  For full results click here

As a coda to the story, Andrew Weiss’ take on the 60th Edlu is as follows: “It’s a fun race and, with the early morning start, the wind usually fills in later in the morning giving tactical decisions. With 11B in high current area there are many current issues also. Add in fog and this becomes a real race. We had thought we had sailed a great race and were really surprised when finishing we saw another boat had beat us. For a few hours it was a huge disappointment for our team. It didn’t appear possible that a boat we saw a few miles from 11B had put 40 minutes of corrected time on us during the 16-mile run home. It turned out we were correct—in the fog they had rounded the wrong mark. Showing the honesty of sailors they withdrew from the race.”

Charleston Race Week
LYC Members Place 1-2 in Viper 640 Class

Charleston, SC
April 19, 2015

LYC members took the top two podium spots at Charleston Race Week in the Viper 640 class, with Jason Carroll, Chad Corning and John Baxter winning the division for the second time in four years. 

Argo won three of the eight races and clinched the title with a race to spare.  Prospective summer sailing member Zeke Horowitz, with LYC’s Danny Pletsch manning the middle of Viper 205, needed to win the final two races to secure second overall.  Gabe Jostrom and Patrick Mauro placed 11th.  Ryan Zupon and Chris Foley sailed aboard the J70 Loki, placing 59th in the 83-boat division, and 19th out of 32 amateur teams. 

The multiclass regatta has become one of the largest in the United States, attracting nearly 300 teams to South Carolina for an uncharacteristically rainy and light air event in 2015. Results.

Argo blasts downwind on Sunday en route to the Viper 640 title. Photo courtesy Sander van der Borch

John Baxter, Chad Corning and Jim Condon at the awards.  Not pictured: Jason Carroll.  Photo courtesy Brian Carlin.

LYC Finishes Second at Baldwin Cup

April 13, 2015

The LYC team at the Baldwin Cup Team Race at Newport Harbor Yacht Club placed second in the regatta, which finished on Sunday, April 12. The eight LYC sailors (John Baxter/ Molly Baxter, Cardwell Potts/ Megan Pletsch, Clay Bischoff/ Jennifer Potts, Danny Pletsch/ Jason Carroll) sailed four Harbor 20’s in a “stadium-style” set up, which enabled easy spectating and commentary from land. The 4-on-4 team racing was a departure from the 3-on-3 style that most sailors are used to. Team captain Danny Pletsch noted that “the extra two boats on the course create many more combinations and more confusion.” In total, ninety-six sailors competed on twelve teams in over one hundred and twenty races during the three-day regatta held in Balboa, California.  Sunny skies, flat water, and a 6-10 knot breeze made for ideal team racing conditions.
LYC was in second place with a 5-2 record after Day 1 of the regatta, with home team NHYC Thunder in first. Both teams kept these places after the Gold Series on Day 2, which NHYC finished with a 16-1 record and LYC with an 11-5 record.
After placing second in the Gold Series, LYC advanced straight to the Semifinal Series, where they beat Southern Yacht Club 2-1.  At the same time, NHYC sailed against Yale, whom they beat 2-0. NHYC and LYC met in the Final Series, where LYC won the first race but lost the next two. Danny summarized the last race and whole regatta by saying “unfortunately when the regatta was on the line we had our worst start of the event and didn’t have enough time to catch up. Newport Harbor Yacht Club sailed great and the Club put on an amazing event.” Scoring, recap videos, blog posts, and photos from the event can be found on the Baldwin Cup website.

Team LYC Returns to Baldwin Cup

April 2015

Eight LYC sailors will represent the Club at the annual Baldwin Cup Team Race held from April 10th-12th at Newport Harbor Yacht Club in Balboa, CA. Team members John and Molly Baxter, Cardwell Potts and Megan Pletsch, Clay Bischoff and Jennifer Potts, and Danny Pletsch and Jason Carroll will sail Harbor 20’s in a 4-on-4 competition and compete against nine teams from across the country. Fellow East Coast teams include New York Yacht Club (New York, NY), Pequot Yacht Club (Southport, CT), Eastern Yacht Club (Marblehead, MA), Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club (Oyster Bay, NY), and Yale Corinthian Yacht Club (Branford, CT). 

The LYC team won the regatta in 2013, the last time they competed in the event. Returning to California from that 2013 team are John, Molly, Clay, Cardwell, Danny, and Jason. You can follow the action and cheer on Team LYC in real-time: NHYC has a comprehensive regatta website with features including an HD regatta camera, live scoring updates, photos, videos, and even detailed pages explaining team racing strategy and lingo. 

Go Team LYC!

Stanley P. Bell Regatta

Larchmont, NY
March 22, 2015

Paul-Jon Patin, sailing with his son Nicholas as crew, won the thirteenth annual Stanley Bell Regatta at the Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY. Patin beat LYC’s Jamie Anderson, who was sailing with fourteen-year-old Opti star Emma Cowles, by nine points. LYC’s Ted Ferrarone and Meredith Killion finished third.

The Bell Regatta was originally scheduled to be raced over the weekend of March 7-8 but the severe winter caused the entire Larchmont Harbor to be covered by a thick layer of ice from early February. The Yacht Club brought in an aluminum launch during a temporary thaw to break-up the ice pack a week prior to the event. Even with the ice gone, the “first Sunday back” had to be cancelled due to winds in the 30-knot range. This winter has not been kind to LYC’s Winter Sailing program.
The weather for the Bell Regatta only cooperated partially.  Saturday found temperatures in the 40s with breezes in the low to mid-teens. The Race Committee, headed by PRO and LYC Winter Sailing Chairman Nick Langone, ran eight races for the 23 competing boats. That was fortunate as Sunday found temperatures back below the freezing point with northerly winds in the 20+ knot range. A cold front was forecast to move in during the afternoon bringing with it even higher winds. As it turned out, the fleet only got in a single race on Sunday. By the completion of that ninth race, the winds were gusting to 25 knots and multiple boats capsized. Prudently, the RC cancelled racing early and concluded the regatta.
Other divisional winners were Will Hutchings and Sally Levinson (B), Lizzie Kaplan sailing with her father, LYC Vice Commodore Andy Kaplan, as crew (C), and Simon Strauss and Ellen Leonforte (Masters).

PRO Langone commended his mark setting team who executed mark resets expertly as Saturday’s wind continued to swing across 90 degrees. “By getting the marks moved quickly and accurately, we were able to continue sailing and maximize the number of races run.”
The Bell Regatta is named in memory of Stanley P. Bell who was the long-standing chairman of LYC’s Winter Sailing Program. Interestingly, Stanley Bell was only the second LYC Winter Sailing chair over a 70-year period, having succeeded his father, Clinton Bell. For more about Stanley P. Bell, please visit the Interclub Class website.

Full Results.

LYC Viper Sailors Compete in Miami

March 2015

Four LYC Viper 640 teams traveled to Miami to cap off a winter of racing in Florida at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week. LYC members Peter Beardsley and Patrick Slattery, sailing with Steve Keen aboard Ghost Panda, finished second overall in the 32-boat fleet and second in the EFG Viper 640 Pan American Championship, only two points out of first place in the nine-race series.  Four-time North American Champion and two-time Olympian Brad Boston from Canada took the overall title.  Peter Bauer, Buttons Padin and Doug Lynn had several top finishes aboard Wild Hogs and placed 13th, with Bob Matthews in 17th and Andrew Weiss in 18th.  Results.  A few days earlier, 20 Vipers competed at the EFG Winter Cup in Miami, with Wild Hogs tying for third on points but losing a tiebreaker to place fourth overall.  A few teams will bring their Vipers to Charleston Race Week in mid April before the Western Long Island Sound season begins in late May with the Larchmont Sportboat Grand Prix, ending with the Viper 640 North American Championship hosted by LYC in mid October.

Sail Magazine Article
Jason Carroll Melges 32 World Champion

February 2015

Please read this follow-up article in Sail Magazine discussing Jason Carroll’s repeat performance winning the prestigious Melges 32 World Championship. LYC’s Chad Corning was the project manager for Jason and was coaching for the Argo team during the championship.

Click here to read...

Viper 640 Sarasota Winter Circuit

Sarasota, FL
February 9, 2015

Peter Beardsley and Danny Pletsch Win Viper 640 Sarasota Winter Circuit Title.
Amidst snowstorms and freezing rain in the northeast U.S., 15 Viper 640 sport boat teams made the trip south to sail in sunny conditions with green water. This was the final installment of the three-part Viper 640 Sarasota (FL) Winter Circuit that included weekend regattas in December and January. The Race Committee at Sarasota Sailing Squadron squeezed in 9 races in conditions that never reached more than 10 knots, with large shifts, managing the seemingly impossible as fleets at other one design regattas in Tampa and St. Petersburg a few miles north struggled to get in 3 races in similar conditions.
The hybrid Blackout Panda team of Peter Beardsley, Rachel Beardsley, and Danny Pletsch improved on their January performance, winning 6 races and scoring no worse than a second to win the event by 15 points over the Amthor-Eberwine team from Hampton YC. Blackout Panda Larchmont Yacht Club stablemates Dragon Fire finished strong with a 3-3 to leapfrog Peter Denton’s Newport team by a point for third place.
The event also marked the conclusion of the Sarasota Winter Circuit, with an outstanding 28 races completed over 3 events in December, January and February. The circuit scored each race individually, with teams dropping their worst 30%. Blackout Panda discarded all but one of their DNCs from December to edge the Amthor-Eberwine team by five points for the circuit title, with Peter Denton’s Toriffic team finishing third, just ahead of event chair Travis Yates and his Sidewinder team, and Executive Committee member Steve Chapman from Ottawa, Ontario in fifth. The teams now prepare for two Miami March events, with the EFG Winter Cup March 1-2, and the EFG Viper 640 Pan-American Championship at Bacardi Miami Sailing Week sponsored by EFG International March 5-7 with a record 37 teams registered.
Please click here for results

420 North American Championships

Miami, FL
January 17-19, 2015

Congratulations to LYC Member Merrill Ulmer's daughter, Christine Klingler, and her teammate, Victoria Thompson, for winning the 2015 420 North American Championships in Miami, FL. Please click here for full news article.

Sid Doren Memorial Regatta

Miami, FL
January 11-12, 2015

Congratulations to LYC Member Senet Bischoff and his team, Benjamin Kinney and LYC Member Clay Bischoff, for winning the 2015 Jaguar Sid Doren Memorial Regatta in Miami, FL, sailing their boat KGB. Please click here for the full regatta recap.


Sarasota Viper Winter Series

Sarasota, FL
January 11-12, 2015

Congratulations to LYC Members Peter Beardsley, Danny Pletsch, and Megan Magill Pletsch for winning the second Sarasota Winter Viper regatta. Click here for full article