Quantum Key West Race Week took place last week, while we up north had a snow storm, high winds and all the weather that winter brings to the northeast United States. So, for readers who happen to be sailor/racers, don’t get too bummed out looking at the dreary rainy day, I thought it would brighten everyone’s spirits to take a look at this perennial favorite regatta down south.
According to press releases, the regatta was a huge success, with a frantic finish as several boats snatched victory with strong performances on the fifth and final day.
Barking Mad, who has sailed in Western Long Island Sound at the Manhasset Bay Fall Series in years past, pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in the 25-year history of the regatta, winning the Farr 40 class despite suffering a dreaded DNF. Barking Mad, skippered by Jim Richardson of Newport, R.I., did not finish Race 2 after a scary man overboard incident. That type of result usually proves fatal in a no-throwout series, but the Barking Mad team kept plugging away - winning three of the final five races to pull out an improbable one-point victory. “I wasn’t too optimistic that we could win the regatta after what happened in that second race, but we just had to keep sailing with the understanding that every point was crucial,” Richardson said. “We got better as the week went along and everything just sort of fell into place at the end.” Local sailor/racer John Thomson, Jr. was the motivation behind the launch of the Farr 40 class back when racers were looking for the great racing boat. One has to believe that he is quite proud of the accomplishments of the class and the individuals who have made the fleet a force in any regatta they attend.
The midterm week off will get our teams ready for the final stretch of the winter season. With three more weeks to go, all of our teams are vying for post-season position.
Kicking off this Friday will be a rematch of the girls basketball game vs. Hicksville. The Lady Vikings lost by two the first time these teams played. It is PYA night, so let’s pack the gym and get our girls a win.
The wrestling team has been the winter’s shining team. Currently holding a 15-4 dual meet record, the team has two second-place tournament finishes, Wheatley Cup Champions and have qualified as the top seed in the Division A Tournament this weekend.
The Annual Frostbite New Year’s Regatta is always the highlight of the holiday season. Not only is the on-the-water competition really good, but the festivities connected with the event are great fun. Last week, this column highlighted one of the “awards” given to the Race Committee for their superior demonstration on how to try to burn down Kraus’ Kastle. What readers need to know is that they really didn’t want to burn down the float, but because they grill yummy lunch each Sunday out on the bay (in freezing temperatures, mind you) they may have gotten just a tad bit lax in watching the burgers. Oh, well, these awards are all in good fun, like the Mooseheads that are given out at the end of each season. Come to think of it, both events are aimed at Race Committees…. Maybe we need to have a seasonal roast of the racers and their teams… I am sure we could come up with some really “dopey” things that go on in a race… you know, those things that are never mentioned at the bar after racing.
A group of local sixth grade girls are a part of a U-12 travel soccer team called the Piranhas. This past fall, the Piranhas finished an undefeated season, going 10-0, finishing in first place in their division. This team has come a long way, in that just a short two years ago, when the girls were just starting out in travel soccer as fourth graders, their record was 0-8-1. Congratulations to the Piranhas on their hard work and well-earned, successful season!
While the New Year holiday brings out the celebratory nature in even the most reclusive, there is a group of sailors who tone down their celebrations because they have a date to keep – on the water. Yes, they would be our frostbiters who sail during the “off season” out in small boats when the weather turns really cold. Known as the Annual Frostbite Regatta, teams from up and down Long Island Sound show up to launch their boat off of the Manhasset Bay YC dock. MBYC is the organizing authority for this event, and has been for the past 80 years when the first event took place back in 1932 with a group of men over at Knickerbocker YC on January 2. That first regatta was a very different one than what took place this past New Year’s. In 1932, it rained, it hailed and it snowed; grog and chowder was served all day. The first day of this year’s regatta saw little wind, but on the second day, after a delayed start, the wind came in just fine – but no rain, hail or snow.
Does it get any better than a packed gym on a Friday night watching basketball teams play for a cause? Last Friday night the girls and boys varsity basketball teams played Plainview JFK in a Coaches vs. Cancer league game. With a raucous full house, the boys team defeated Plainview 40-37 holding off a last minute run. The girls used 40 points as their magic number to win 40-25. The teams raised well over $1,000 in the evening to donate to the American Cancer Society. Great job by the student body and the Port community for showing support of the teams and this worthy cause.
The wrestling team has been quietly racking up impressive matches. They hold a 6-2 record going into the toughest part of their season. Last week Port held a quad meet with Baldwin, Oceanside and Hempstead. Port came away 2-1 in this match and scored 80 points against Hempstead. The next big match is this Friday, Jan. 13 at home and it’s Alumni night. The meet starts at 5 p.m.
As the year draws to a close, I thought it might be fun to take a look back at some of the highlights of the sailing year here on Manhasset Bay with a sprinkling of activity across the country and around the world that have either had impact on our corner of the world or merit repeating just because….
January, that month of cold weather and freezing temperatures, does not stop a group of intrepid sailors who can’t seem to stay home each Sunday afternoon, no matter what the temperature. Some think it may be due to those “honey do” lists, but that, of course, would never be admitted. We are talking about our local frostbiters who sail in little boats in all kinds of weather, and sometimes capsize. The year starts with the Annual New Year’s Regatta and continues until the end of April. Last year’s season was especially harsh…remember all that snow? Past Commodore, Claude Chazotte, reminds us of what frostbiting is all about, “Yesterday, with ice inside the launching area and extending 25 feet out from the dock, with WNW breeze at 15-18 knots, and a temp of 33 degrees, two Interclubs and two Lasers still managed to have a great time sailing! It was a sight to see: dinghies and Whalers getting soaked while beating through waves, and IC dinghies skillfully avoiding death rolls. After some truly exhilarating racing, everyone was back in time for the game. Now THAT’s a great day!” One has to wonder about the sanity of this sport, but it really is fun.
Nearly 200 participants came together on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Port Indoor Rowing Center, to participate in the first annual Million Meter Row-A-Thon organized by the Friends of Port Rowing. Sixteen teams each rowed 62,500 meters to reach the goal of one million meters in 4 hours 46 minutes and 7 seconds.
The teams for the event were evenly matched with all the student teams containing boys and girls, experienced and novice rowers, middle and high schoolers. This kept the event competitive throughout the evening. More than 150 members of the rowing team came to support the organization. Ari Kramer, one Schreiber freshman, said: “My favorite part of the row-a-thon was that the whole team was there showing support. I participated because, like everyone else, I want this team to become the best rowing team we can be.” In the end, the parent team, with a great deal of help from the coaches, came in second by six seconds to the top teen boat.
The sun shined down, bathing the record crowd of over 260 runners and walkers gathered at Heckscher State Park for the Mary Newman “Can’t Means Won’t” (CMW) 5K Run/Walk in unseasonably warm temperatures this Thanksgiving Saturday. Now in its fourth year, the annual CMW Run/Walk was initiated by the Kinane-Newman family in tribute to mother and grandmother, Mary Newman, after her passing in 2008. This year, the family selected LIAF (The Long Island Alzheimer’s Foundation) as one of the beneficiaries of its fundraising efforts, in recognition of Newman’s inspirational dedication to her husband during his years living with young-onset Alzheimer’s disease. PAWS Animal Rescue of Sayville was also an event beneficiary. Each charity is expected to receive over $1,000 from CMW event proceeds.
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