Newport, August 12-13, 2017. Report by John Dentinger
At the beginning of the summer, it didn’t look good for holding a regatta–in fact, the Laser regatta at our club, Newport YC, was canceled. Why? The highest water level in Lake Ontario history–and our club, on Irondequoit Bay, was severely impacted–what was even worse, many homeowners on the bay suffered thousands of dollars in damage, or even lost their homes. Just look at the photo of the tree near the end of the road to our club; actually, it was only “partially” flooded.
Luckily for us, the water had abated enough in late July for our hoist to operate, and the regatta was on, and with one massive bonus–a no wake zone for the entire bay, meaning no powerboat chop for the first time in more than 20 years!
Sailors started arriving on Friday–Michigan, Ohio, and of course our Canadian friends from Ontario. They stayed in local housing, or camped on the NYC grounds–check out the photo of “Chez Canada” by our NYC Lighthouse. It was especially great to see all the juniors from Canada: Ryan Perry, Simon & Gordon Milley, Connor Smith, Hunter Tucker and Leo Arsenault, and Owen Durocher, who sailed with his dad Daniel. They need to practice their cornhole technique, though–just sayin’.
When our PRO, Bill Topping, got things going on Saturday, the wind was from the worst possible direction, right down the SW “Slot” between the bluffs, which meant shifty winds from zero to 12 or 15. Harri Palm, sailing with Hunter, got the best of the fleet in the first race, with Jno Dish and his son Ryan, and Chris Hains, sailing with local Newporter Dmitri Vorobiev, close behind.
After a rain delay, which gave everyone the opportunity to sail in and eat pizza from Mozzeroni’s, the second race saw even crazier wind, if possible, but Gord Richards and his crew Ryan found the right lanes through the holes, and took the first of what was to be three firsts on the weekend. How crazy was it? Matt Heywood and Chris Bickley from Ann Arbor started in third, dropped to last, and then fought back to third again by the end of the race.
The third race saw our thermal breeze trying to come in, fighting it out with the prevailing, and the race became a series of reaches, with John Dentinger and Jen Perena edging out Gord & Ryan by the narrowest of margins. In the last race of the day, with the thermal firmly in place with a steady 9-11, Gord & Ryan won again.
As usual, the Saturday dinner at the club was catered by Dinosaur BBQ, with appetizers & desserts contributed by NYC members. Now is the time to thank all of our NYC volunteers–we’re a small, DYI club, and we could never pull off a regatta with just Snipe Fleet 103 members–thanks to Charlie, Andy, Kev, Delos, both Johns, Barb, Joanne, Virginia, Peggy, Jillian, Brian, Renee, Julie, Phil, Hannah, Bob, Madhu, Bill–and of course Race Chairman Emeritus & Chief Judge Norm Dahl–and all the others I’ve forgotten.
Sunday turned out to be a great day with a steady thermal–not powerful, but great sailing. Gord pretty much wrapped it up with a bullet in the first race, and even though Harri took the last two races of the day (he said he was “doin’ a Gord”), it wasn’t quite enough, as Gord edged him out by 3 points: congrats to Gord Richards, winner of the Briody Memorial, for 2017. Jno, Chris, and Matt took the remaining 3 “Keeper” slots.
It was then time for pizza from Salvatore’s, and naturally, local NYC sailors had a great time, even though we lost out on all the good stuff–but next year . . . well, probably the same result, but hey! you never know!
–submitted by John Dentinger