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On The Bay: July 5, 2013

It’s the 25th Anniversary of Block Island Race Week, that iconic race the Storm Trysail Club holds every other year.  It is known for great wind, unbelievable competition, terrific tent parties each night, the best race management going – all of which create a loyal following that brings teams coming back year after year (on the off years) to race. After 5 decades of racing, the event is only getting better.  First held in 1965, the five-day competition, originally patterned after Cowes Week, is one of the few weeklong regattas that still exist.  Over 1500 sailors competing on 182 teams, BIRWXXV has something for everyone.  To celebrate this special edition of BIRW, the powers that be reinstated post-race revelry with gusto – that is in addition to the tent party, of course. So in addition to the “usual” festivities at the post-racing party, teams were playing Cornhole (kind of like a ring toss using a 16 oz. sack aimed at a mark). Volleyball, badminton, jousting are also available each day and are free.  

There are six teams in Block that hail from the Manhasset Bay area:  Bob Schwartz, Nordlys, J109, Manhasset Bay YC; Paul Strauch, Andiamo, J111, Manhasset Bay YC; Craig Albrecht, Avalanche, Farr 395, Port Washington YC; Arthur Buhr, Leverage, Schock 40, Port Washington YC; Gary Panariello, Courageous, J80, North Shore YC; and Chris Brady, Speedway Boogie, Colgate 26.  After three days of racing, Andiamo is in first place in the J111 class, with a five-point lead over the boat in second place.  Avalanche ended the first two days of racing with a commanding lead, only to see it taken away on Wednesday when they were over the line early and had some other difficulties.  The leader in their division is Andrew and Linda Weiss on Christopher Dragon VIII, who hold a small 3-point advantage.  Courageous is in 3rd place in the J80 fleet.  Nordlys, Leverage and Speedway Boogie are about mid-fleet – but there are still two more days of racing and anything can happen!

Bob Schwartz, besides campaigning his Nordlys to most of the big championships on the east coast, is also the National J109 Class Association President.  And he knows how to throw a great party.  Since the J109 fleet is competing for their East Coast Championship here on Block, there’s got to be a party. So on Tuesday, June 25, about 150 – 200 racers gathered under and around Bob’s Tiki bar for an evening of barbeque, libation and camaraderie.  He had this to say about BIRWXXV, “The J109 is the largest one-design fleet at Block for boats over 30 feet.  And the competition is fierce. We were really pleased with the J109 turnout this week; the first J109 popped out the mold 10 years ago and we are still a strong racing class.  We attribute that to good management of the class rules to ensure safety, fairness, and reasonable expenses, which helps to maintain a competitive fleet. We have many families racing their boats creating strong sense of camaraderie amongst the team.  Sailing conditions at Block are great with terrific race management by Storm Trysail.  And the Mudslides are not bad, too.”

This column is brought to you by the generosity of the Storm Trysail Club, specifically Dick Neville, On-the-water Co-chair for BIRWXXV, who lent your columnist his office space (with Wi-Fi) to complete this column.  Many thanks to Dick and the Storm Trysail Club!

Stay tuned – there will be more information in the next column about the final results on Block.

News

Gould A. ‘Stretch’ Ryder III, accomplished sailor, pilot, businessman, civic leader, and steward of the beautiful waterfront of Port Washington, passed away Oct. 24 at The Amsterdam at Harborside Hospice Center in Port Washington.

Stretch, as he was known to all, was well known as part of the crew on Ted Turner’s “Courageous” when it won the America’s Cup in 1977. Turner stayed in touch and visited Stretch last week.

Stretch’s life was marked by numerous personal contributions and accomplishments.

Parents concerned about classroom sizes spoke up at the Port Washington Board of Education meeting, as the board passed an approval of the larger sizes.

Parents spoke of class sizes at the district’s elementary being in the mid 20s, an amount they felt compromised the quality of their children’s education.

“The board of education changed our children’s education for the worse,” said one mother of larger average class sizes the board had approved last year. The comment drew clapping from the audience.


Sports

The Port Washington Soccer Club has presented Schreiber High School graduate and captain of the Port Washington Blue Knights, Cameron Boroumand, with the annual $1,000 Joe Cohen Scholarship.

The award, which has been presented annually for over 10 years, was established by the Port Washington Soccer Club to honor Joseph Cohen, a gifted athlete who attended college on a soccer scholarship. He went on to achieve outstanding success, first academically, and then in his professional life.  He gave his time fully and with great heart to innumerable charitable endeavors.

The tough and talented Port Washington volleyball team defeated Hicksville at an away game this past Friday in all three sets.

With strong returning players who also play on club teams year round, the Port Washington team plays with a certain level of chemistry. Megan Murphy and Kelly Nardone led the way with 12 assists and Mia Walker had six kills.


Calendar

Schreiber Symphony Orchestra - November 6

Port Summer Show - November 6

Residents For A More Beautiful Port Washington Meeting - November 7


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com