www.LHYC.org July 2008
The objects of the Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club shall be to encourage and promote interest in, as well as to foster the art and enjoyment of, the sport of sailing by providing the opportunity and means for the development of individual skill and knowledge, encouraging excellence in seamanship and navigation, and by providing participative events wherein these qualities can be exercised under the aegis of the LHYC burgee.
Bermuda and Back: In the movie the “Bucket List” the protagonists got to outline their wish list of activities and then put them into action before they kick. Well, while I am not planning on leaving this mortal coil for a long time, I had the pleasure of indulging a wish I had thought about for years, scratching off the Newport Bermuda Race from my personal list of sailing wishes. How lucky was I to get a berth aboard the Rave brothers’ J-44 Resolute, with family and club members as crew, and do the race in the company of three other Lloyd Harbor boats and many other club members! As if being Commodore of our great club wasn’t enough, we had the pleasure of sailing a great race, pulling up to the dock ahead of three quarters of all the other racers, and got to fly our large cruising Lloyd Harbor burgee at the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club in Hamilton – How cool is that!
But the story certainly doesn’t start there. Don Rave, son Teddy, brother Rick and his son-in law Andrew Armstrong, with the mechanical expertise of Doug Berg started preparations, making lists and outfitting the boat at the beginning of the year. It should not seem surprising, but the breakneck pace in which it took to get the boat ready did not stop until all the way at the dock of the Newport Yachting Center. But the efforts certainly paid off. Resolute, in a 12 boat J-44 division, placed second in division and tenth overall of the 128 boats with IRC ratings (the winner of the division was Vamp, a sailor who is no stranger to our Stratford Shoal Race).
While everyone may have a theory or excuse as to how they perform in any sailing event, I assessed our finish to three things (NB, I will not cite them in any order of importance, because of the debatable nature of each). Preparation for all aspects of the race is integral in any race, but even more so over a 635 mile passage. Making sure all is up to the task and that the contingencies are considered, can be a dizzying task and I am certain that no one did that better than the Resolute team. As Buddy Melges writes in his book Sailing Smart, if you are certain that all the things are done on the boat within your powers, you have an edge, in both the race readiness of your boat and psychologically going into the race. Team morale, headed up by the watch captains, is what kept the boat moving at optimum speed at all times and maintained a pace so that the crew doesn’t burn out and is able sustain their performance over the four (or possibly more ) days at sea. This was capably handled by Teddy Rave and Rob Windsor, a six foot something of a sailor (and the local C & C/Tartan dealer) who is also no stranger to racing in our events as well as being on the winning Ensign in the nationals. With the grueling watch system of rotating pairs doing six hours on deck and four below for rest ( not recommended for the steady disruption and noise for the off watch team), the captains need to be on top of things, rotate drivers efficiently and keep everyone involved in the race. Rob’s story recounting his being rescued by helicopter from his dad’s foundering catamaran from a BVI delivery heading north, certainly added to his sailing mystique and made for a gripping tale on an otherwise mundane early morning watch.
Last, and by no means least, the Navigator, perhaps the real captain of the boat, directing the team in the direction needed to pick up the eddies and meanders, compiling the weather and wind data, and keeping track of the competition, so that maximum speed can be obtained. While this race was a bit of an anomaly, in that practically no one flew spinnakers in the upwind slog to Bermuda, our navigator, PC Bob Carballal, having done the race at least five or six times previously, nailed the Gulf Stream perfectly, heading west of the Rhumb line initially, called for us to tack to port in the main body of the stream, fighting initially adverse current, and then finding us all the favorable pushes that he foresaw in his charts, paperwork and computer. And similar to the grumblings of Columbus’ crew, Bob’s declaration, “if we could place this boat anywhere on the planet, it would be right here right now,” certainly squashed any misgivings the crew may have had and kept us racing towards ”happy valley.”
Finishing off the crew roster were PC Charlie Powers, Brian Coleman and Cathy Bontempo (cook and provisioner extraordinaire). The chemistry couldn’t have been better and once in Bermuda the celebrations were non-stop. What must have been especially rewarding was that upon making the grueling trip back home (perhaps we can get a future briefing from return trip navigator Walter Simendinger?) the boat was met by a welcoming brigade made up of the Rave women: Christy, Maureen, Tracy and Elizabeth and Don and Rick’s dad, Don Sr. Mr. Rave’s prediction after watching a particularity dicey start at Castle Hill, knowing that “we planned to do that,” was one more example of the powers of positive thinking and its effect on the racing sailboat. This experience was extremely rewarding and I’m not just talking about watching the award ceremony at the governor’s mansion. But being embraced by both family and team was a wonderful experience, and watching the Lloyd Harbor reputation grow yet again, through the hard work and success of one of our boats is something for which we can all be proud. You may have heard it before, and you’ll certainly hear it again, but I am extremely proud of our club, its members and especially proud to be part of the team.
Congratulations one and all,
Rick, Don, Christy, Maureen, Cathy (the Cook) and Janet at the awards ceremony Governor's mansion. The obvious omission of proper stockings for the men was certainly noticed.
The Challenge IV 2008 Newport – Bermuda Race, by Dave Willis
Shortly after the start of the 2008 Newport – Bermuda Race, we were hard on the wind in 15 knots of breeze off Castle Hill making our way out of Newport. We had a reasonable start and with a forecast for breeze all the way, were looking forward to a quick trip to Bermuda. Approximately ten minutes after the start, the tuff luff head foil exploded into a thousand pieces and our #1 genoa was suddenly trailing behind the boat attached only at the head and clew. Our crew reacted quickly, got the #1 down and assessed the head foil problem. It appears that the tack strap let go and in turn exploded the head foil.
With 635 miles to go, it was clear that we could not continue without a head foil. We made the decision to sail back into Newport under mainsail and make repairs. On the way in, we were able to locate a new Harken Carbo Foil, decided that the Newport Yachting Center fuel dock was the most logical place to sail in and install it at their dock. The breeze was such that we could make an upwind, port side landing, with the breeze blowing us on the dock. It also afforded a large area on the dock to layout and cut the new head foil. When we approached the dock under sail, the dockhands all wanted to help us and they were quite puzzled when we hollered at them to stand back and not touch the boat or the dock lines. At first they thought we were crazy, but we explained that as soon as anyone touched the boat it would be considered “outside assistance” and we would be disqualified from the race.
What happened next would make NASCAR pit crews proud. We had a crew member up the mast on the way in to get a measurement for the new head foil. Normally, we don’t carry a 100’ tape measurer on board, so we used one of the asymmetrical spinnaker sheets as a ruler to take our measurement. Unfortunately the head foils don’t come “off the shelf” and you have to cut it to fit. Since we were cutting it, we used the old adage of measuring twice (in this case 3 times) and cutting once. We had a crew member up the mast three different times to make sure that everything was right before we cut the foil and once more to inspect it once it was up. The instructions say to stretch out the foil and let it sit for 24 hours prior to cutting and installing. Twenty-four hours is something we didn’t have, so we counted to two, cut it and starting fitting it over the rod head stay! The actual repair was completed in about 30 minutes.
As all of this was going on, Jeff Willis was in contact with the race committee to confirm that we had not started our engine, had not received any outside assistance and intended to be back on the course shortly. Once the new head foil was fit, we used a forward spring line to get the bow off the dock as it was now blowing about 17 knots off the starboard bow and we were being blown on the dock. As the bow went through the breeze the main went up and the #3 was being loaded up. Once off the dock, we hoisted the # 3 and sailed through the mooring field. Two tacks and we were laying the break wall at Fort Adams. As we rounded Fort Adams, we could see that the big guys – Speedboat, Puma, Rambler, etc., who are last to start, had just crossed the starting line.
As the spectator boats were making their way back into Newport, we were taken by surprise at how many of the spectators had seen our problem and were cheering us on as we beat back out toward the starting line. What happened next is something we will all remember as a very special moment in our sailing careers. When we sailed past the committee boat, the entire race committee lined the rail and gave us a standing ovation. We had the honor of being the absolute last boat in the fleet! Luckily that did not last long. We started passing boats quickly and had a respectable finish in the J/44 class, but we couldn’t quite catch the 100’ Speedboat!
The 2008 Bermuda Race will definitely be remembered fondly by the Challenge IV crew. Jeff Willis did his first Bermuda Race in 1968, so this marked 40 years of Bermuda Races and there was no way this crew was going to retire from this race! We were going to get to Bermuda come hell, high water, or broken head foil. After sailing in, making repairs, and sailing back out, we gave our competition a two hour head start. This was certainly not our game plan for the race, but for some reason when we got to Bermuda the Dark n’ Stormy’s tasted a little better than usual. Editor’s Note: Not only did the Challenge IV team come through this trial with flying colors , but they managed to work their way back to seventh place, teaching a few of us about not giving up.
Women Skippers’ Race: The annual Women Skippers’ Race was held on Saturday, July 12, on a hot and windy afternoon. Two races were held for the six boats (four non-spin and two spin boats) that made it out for the event, followed by a little cocktail party raft-up, courtesy of the club. Previously, this race was run on simple “beer can” triangle course, but as of late, the charge was to run the races as we would any of our other races, i.e., windward- leeward courses, should the conditions warrant. With approximately 15 kns. out of the south, and corresponding seas for the wind and Saturday power boat traffic, the blustery conditions made for an exciting start. Unfortunately, many of the sailors, women and men alike, had not read the sailing instructions properly, if at all, and had questions regarding the number of laps and the method of finishing. The racers ultimately were able to figure out their respective courses, and “unwind the string” at the finish pin, and then finish properly. For VC Joe Scarpulla and myself, serving as the intrepid race committee, we had our hands full, but enjoyed the spectacle of watching the races and seeing our fleet get turned over to the fairer sex ( I know I’ll get letters or jeers about that one!). Afterwards, Joe hosted a raft-up at our waterside club house, and no doubt heard tales and or a few choice words about the day’s exploits. Congratulations to the ladies for coming out to race and for keeping the grand traditions of the Women Skippers’ Race alive.
Stratford Shoals Make a Wish Distance Race: With heat advisories in the forecast we were either going to fry or fly; fortunately we did a little of both. The day started out as many of these races do, light winds N-NW breezes in Huntington Bay, with a southerly building and possibly stalling each other out. PRO PC Greg Letica, accompanied by wife Linda, and Dan and Alison Wolfe had quite the job ahead of them figuring out what breeze the fleet would start on. But with 40 boats milling around, some barely able to keep any motion on, the Race Committee’s friend was flown – The AP flag. However within minutes the committee started the race and the JAM boats were off. Subsequent sequences followed, with the majority of the fleet heading out to the sound, riding the NW breeze, while the Olsens’ Salient and scant few others strove to get into the southerly that was struggling to reach the fleet. What I was to later learn was that some confusion ensued with the double handed and multi-hull fleet, all but one starting with prior divisions, and one of our boats noticing and then restarting properly. But that, and the threat of protest and redress is the subject for another story.
But as in years past, the southerly came in beautifully giving us anywhere from 15- 22 kns. making for the greatest sail to the flasher (south of the lighthouse) and back. Ron & Sandy Prior, stepping up once again, were on hand in their power boat to take finish times and were afforded a grand spectacle catching the biggest of our fleet, Flyway ll, a custom Tripp 55 and a new entry, Magic, a Santa Cruz 52, beat up the harbor to the finish line at bell 8. Close behind was the contest between a J-120, J-44, finishing in the vicinity of 7:00 PM. It was a beautiful day, albeit a bit hot on the water, but for a good cause, netting the Make A Wish Foundation approximately $3,000. And should you ever have the chance, the chilled washcloths on Salient are a thing to behold.
Below are the finishes for some of the LHYC fleet:
JAM – Rascal 2nd place; Cruising Canvas – Whitehawk 1st place; Spin I – Solution 3rd place;
Spin II – This Is It 2nd place, American Dream 3rd place.
Condolences to the Corso family on the passing of Bob’s father on July 19. The family has requested that any donations be made to the “Corso Family Fund for Diabetes Research, C/O the Mayo Clinic, Att. Dept. of Development – Paul Harkess, Rochester, MN. (800) 297-1185. We extend out sympathies to Bob and Cindy during this difficult period. ~~__/) Joe Nakelski’s mother died peacefully on July 18 and the family held a brief service to celebrate her rich life of 94 years. The family requested that in lieu of flowers, those who wish may make a donation in her name to St. Judes Hospital for Children (log on to: www.StJude.org and look for the menu at the top for donations.). ~~__/) A fund raiser is being sponsored by a few members of the GHCYBC for Congressmen Steve Israel at the Huntington Yacht Club on Wednesday August 6, at 6:30 pm. Some of you may have received invitations in the mail. Steve has supported the boating community on many occasions and has recently supported us in pushing hard for Congress to pass the Clean Boating Act 2008 in our behalf. We heard that the bill has now passed in the House and Senate and is now just waiting for the president’s signature. Steve is working on a number of new initiatives to lower the fuel and home heating oil prices, which we all desperately need. I know as a group the GHC does not sponsor any single candidate, but individually we can show are support for someone who has shown continued support for boaters, who has helped us resolve key issues and who always has an open door to the boating public. ~~__/) Congratulations to the Willis family for the July 26 nuptials of Todd Willis.~~__/) The Clash of Champions and accompanying post race raft –up party was moved to Friday night to facilitate greater festivities and when launch service runs later in the evening. What do you think about the venue’s change of day- your input is important to us!
Little Brown Jug Race/Picnic
Party: Huntington Bay Hills Beach, Shore Drive. – 1700 hrs. - $15 per person, Children under 12 $5
Please send your reservation requests, accompanied by a check made out to LHYC to:
Joe Scarpulla, 2 Harvard Ct., Huntington, NY 11743
# of adults_______ # of children________
Type:________________________________ PHRF Rating:_________
March & April 2008