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On The Bay: May 16, 2012

The boatyards are busy places this time of year. And if you happen to stroll along the waterfront on the beautiful walkway in Port Washington North, you will see boats of all kinds populating Manhasset Bay. Warm weather sailing and racing is upon us. Bay racing on the weekends has already started and Thirsty Thursday evening racing will begin tonight. So boat owners are happy, their boats are happy doing what they do best, and landlubbers have the increases waterscape of beautiful sail coming and going out to Long Island Sound. And don’t forget the kayakers who love to explore the nooks and crannies of the bay. This is just the beginning of yet another great season.

But before we leave the winter season behind, this column would be remiss if no mention was made of the frostbite fleet. While it cannot be said that these racers and the race committee were out braving extreme weather conditions that the first frostbiters experienced so long ago, when they raced in rain, sleet, snow and hail, they are still frostbiters even if the past winter was the warmest in recorded history! Kudos to the Race Committee, who, headed by Jeanne Miller and Rita Syracuse, and ably assisted by Sue Miller, Phyllis Giordan, Kathy Toombs, Charles Comer, Lynn Stebbins, ran 269 races during the season plus an additional 23 races on the two day New Year’s regatta. More than 60 sailors were out on the water at various times in three fleets: IC dinghies, Lasers and Ideal 18s. Without stats from past years, but with some anecdotal memories, this seems like a very good amount of racers. Could it have been the warm, sunny Sunday afternoons that attracted a record fleet and/or little to no ice forming on the bay to prevent racing? In any event, talk to any frostbiter and they will tell you it was a banner year.

The highlight of the season was the frostbite awards dinner at MBYC on May 12. In the Ideal 18 Fleet, Vince Syracuse and his crew Jon Bainton won the Brakman/Schwarz Perpetual Trophy for the 2011/2012 Ideal 18 season championship. John Bainton came in first for the Ideal 18 crew race. In the IC fleet, Pedro Lorsen and crew Coleen Stack won the Harry L. Powell trophy for their first place for the season. They also won the Wheeler Trophy for the IC Long distance race. Madeline Simms won the IC Frostbite Crew Championship Trophy. Leon Spethrie was the season winner in the Laser fleet. Amelia Amon was this year’s winner of the Howard G. Seymour Award in recognition of her 20-year participation in frostbiting on Manhasset Bay.

Final Scores for the 2011-2012 Frostbite Season: IC Dingies: Days: 15, Starts: 90: Season Championship: 1. Pedro Lorson. Coleen Stack. 2. Ted Toombs, Mariann Simms, 3. Dana Schnipper, Madeline Simms, 4. Philip Mitropoulos, Amelia Amon, 5. John Silbersack, Catryn Silbersack and 6. John Lobley, Deena Ashinsky. Fall Series: Days: 5, Starts: 28. 1. Pedro Lorsen, Collen Stack, 2. Ted Toombs, Marianne Simms, 3. Dana Schnipper, Madeline Simms, 4. Philip Mitropoulos, Amelia Amon, 5. John Silbersack, Catryn Silbersack, 6. Claude Chozotte, Flo Paterno, 7. John Lobley, Deena Ashinsky and 8. Claes Larsson, Flo Paterno. Winter Series: Days: 5, Starts: 27. 1. Pedro Lorson, Coleen Stack, 2. Ted Toombs, Mariann Simms, 3. Dana Schnipper, Madeline Simms, 4. John Silbersack, Catryn Silbersack and 5. John Lobley, Deena Ashinsky. Spring Series: Days: 5, Starts: 35. 1. Pedro Lorsen, Coleen Stack, 2. Ted Toombs, Mariann Simms, 3. Dana Schnipper, Madeline Simms, 4. Philip Mitropoulos, Amelia Amon, 5. John Silbersack, Catryn Silbersack and 6. John Lobley, Deena Askinsky. Crew races: Days: 8, Starts: 8. 1. Madeline Simms, 2. Amelia Amon, 3. Deena Ashinsky and 4. Mariann Simms.

Ideal 18 Final Scores for the season: Season Championship: Days: 14, Starts: 84. 1. Vince Syracuse, John Bainton, 2. Danielle Powers, Marco Prono, 3. Daniel Griffin, Andrew Feigin and 4. Robert Schwartz, Tom Powers. Fall Series: Days 4, Starts 23. 1. John Browning, Stephanie Baas, 2. Robert Schwartz, Tom Powers, 3. Daniel Griffin, Andrew Feigin, 4. Vince Syracuse, John Bainton, 5. Danielle Powers, Marco Prono. Winter Series: Days: 4, Starts: 20. 1. Vince Syracuse, John Bainton, 2. Daniel Griffin, Andrew Feigin, 3. Robert Schwartz, Tom Powers. Spring Series: Days: 6, Starts: 41. 1. Robert Kirtland, Alan Thompson, 2. Vince Syracuse, John Bainton, 3. Michael Silverman, Kelley Barstan, 4. Danielle Powers, Marco Prono, 5. Robert Schwartz, Tom Powers and 6. Daniel Griffin, Andrew Feigin. Crew Races: Days: 9, Starts: 9. 1. John Bainton, 2. Tom Powers and 3. Andrew Feigin.

Laser Fleet Final Scores: Championship Series: Days: 15, Starts: 80. 1. Leon Spethrie, 2. Dan Catanzaro and 3. Paul Quinn. Fall Series: Days: 5, Starts: 22. 1. Leon Spethrie, 2. Gregory Stebbins, 3. Dan Catanzaro and 4. Paul Quinn. Winter Series: Days: 5, Starts: 25. 1. Leon Spethrie, 2. Dan Catanzaro and 3. Paul Quinn. Spring Series: Days: 5, Starts: 33. 1. Dan Catanzaro and 2. Paul Quinn.

Now on to warm weather racing. The Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race, which has been held annually for 67 years, starts on Friday May 25 at 1400. It is notorious for the “fork in the road” decision that Plum Island forces after 60 miles of sailing: competitors must decide to take either Plum Gut, “The Race” or even Fishers Island Sound while leaving Long Island Sound. This decision often determines the outcome of the race.

Some new faces are expected at this year’s Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race with the announcement of a short course addition — the Plum Island Course (126 nautical miles all in Long Island Sound) — as a PHRF-class option to the event’s traditional 186 nautical mile course for both IRC and PHRF. The change for the Memorial Weekend event means starting at The Cows off Stamford, Conn. and rounding Red and White Whistle “PI” northwest of Plum Island before heading back while the rest of the Block Island Race fleet continues farther afield to circumnavigate Block Island.

With over 50 entries to date, the Block Island Race is easily on target to top last year’s fleet of 59 (in six IRC and two PHRF classes), and with the race preceding the biennial Newport Bermuda Race, organizers are expecting to host many of that distance race’s entrants who are preparing.

The Block Island Race was first held in 1946 and is a qualifier for the North Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the Double Handed Ocean Racing Trophy (IRC), the New England Lighthouse Series (PHRF), and the Gulf Stream Series (IRC). The Block Island Race is also a qualifier for the Caper, Sagola, and Windigo trophies awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound and the “Tuna” Trophy for the best combined IRC scores in the Edlu (40 percent) and the Block Island Race (60 percent).

For more information on the Storm Trysail Club Block Island Race or the Plum Island Course (Notice of Race Amendment #1), visit www.stormtrysail.org or contact The Storm Trysail Club (914) 834-8857.