2014 Massapoag Yacht Club 65th Annual Regatta - Sharon, MA

2014 MYC 65th Pic1

           Got Water?  We Had Just Enough at the MYC 65th Annual Regatta - full results are here

When the time approached for the 2014 Massapoag Yacht Club 65th Annual Regatta in Sharon, MA, as regatta chairperson, I knew we had some hard decision to make.  There had been some unexpected lowering of the lake this summer, followed by a very dry spell resulting in no recovery of the lake level.  As the beach got bigger and bigger, we thought it would be great for the Sunfish and Lasers because they would have more room to rig their boats.  But the lower the water got, the harder it got to launch and retrieve dry sailed boats and the more worried we got about getting our motor boats and moored sailboats out of the water at the end of the season.  . 

Yeoman’s work was done continuously by our members to dig out the ramp and launch area.  When the time came to make the final decision, we decided that due to the ongoing work, it would be possible to include the Flying Scots and Day Sailers in our regatta.  As boats arrived, we stationed Gene Neault, John Day, Harvey Davidson and other folks willing to help, on the ramp and in the water to assist in launching boats and ensure they did not hit bottom, get scraped by the dock chains or get damaged in any way.  We truly lucked out, because just one week later we reluctantly cancelled  Flying Scot and Day Sailer racing for the remainder of the season because there was just no more we could do to safely launch boats.

Now back to the regatta, on Friday 9/5/2014 was our welcome party hosted by Margy Davidson and crew with hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill and lots of yummy appetizers and snacks and lots of tasty beverages.  Many good friends joined us along with some new friends that most of us had not met before.  We were thrilled to have 16 Flying Scots, 2 Day Sailers, 16 Lasers and 24 Sunfish registered for the regatta.  Now the challenge was how to keep this many boats racing on the water with less water than we usually have. 

On a sunny 80-degree+ Saturday, with 20 MPH west winds and some heavy gusts, the PRO agreed to run Windward-Leewards, and  Gold Cup courses, but on the water we had all Windward-Leewards.  The W-L courses were great for us but not so great for the board boats, and we believe there were more near misses than there should have been – an area for improvement for sure.  While we traditionally race a few races in the morning, come in for lunch and go back out for more racing after lunch, the forecast called for major thunderstorms later in the day.  At the skippers’ meeting we agreed to stay out and have up to 4 races for the day and come back in for lunch later than usual.  We got in all 4 races, three 6-leg and one 8-leg W-L courses, with 2 Flying Scot capsizes, both needing rescue support, and several capsizes and self-rescues by the board boats. 

Because of the unexpectedly warm day - over 80 degrees and sunny in September in Eastern Massachusetts is not the norm - we had plenty of cold water for people to take out with them, plus a support boat with a huge cooler full of cold water.  Between the 86 sailors, the on-the-water support team and the onshore support crew, we went through 700+ bottles of water in one day!   I know many regattas we go to give you one bottle of water when you go out and if you want more you supply it yourself, but we strongly feel it is the right thing to supply as much water as people need since we might be out for several hours at a time on a really hot day.  We anticipated a warm day and bought lots of water and had our shore crew ready to buy more for the evening and the next day.

We all came back in exhausted and glad to be done for the day and ready to relax and enjoy lunch and visit with each other.  In yet another break from tradition, we usually don’t tap the keg for lunch since we are going back out to race more, but knowing we were not going back out, there was just no reason to wait!  And our shore crew did not disappoint with the buffet lunch – it was waiting for us when we came in.  Whole a few people ate lunch then went home to freshen up for dinner, most of us stayed around and chatted about the escapades on the water and discussed improvements that could be made by the Race Committee on the following day.  Due to scheduling conflicts we had different PROs for the two days and we wanted to make sure the PRO for Sunday got a decent report of what happened on Saturday.

Our cocktail party followed hosted by Marjorie Newman and her crew, and every time I think we cannot outdo ourselves, this crew proves me wrong.  There was beer and wine, shrimp, chips and dips, crackers and cheese, veggies and many hors d’oeuvres that were too pretty to eat, but of course we polished them off!  Meanwhile, the caterer arrived with the lobster, chicken and steak tip dinner with tons of fixings.  We had our traditional moment of silence to remember those who lost their lives in the 9/11 tragedy 13 years ago.  We recalled how lucky we were to enjoy each other’s company on 9/8 and 9/9/2001 for this regatta and how we are still so lucky to still be able to do so.

We all enjoyed the dinner and some people even wanted seconds!  But wait, wait, there’s more!  In another tradition we are fortunate to repeat, my Mom, Kay Wilson was there, this time celebrating her 89th birthday.  We sand Happy Birthday and then shared her birthday cake and our famous all you can eat ice cream sundae bar.  St one point, the rains came down furiously and we hoped it would last a while and help fill the lake, but it lasted just long enough to chase some people away.  Those of us who stayed were treated to a lightening show across the lake, the likes of which most of us had never seen.  Luckily the campers were able to sleep in their tents without too much interruption by the storm.

Sunday was a totally different day, much more civilized.  The storm had cooled things off considerably and we had another beautiful sunny day, this time in the low seventies with 10-12 MPH northerly winds.  This day’s PRO ran W-L courses for us and triangles for the board boats which kept the fleets a little more separated.  That did not keep all incidents from happening because as we know, if there are 2 boats on the water, there is a chance they will meet at some point.  But it was much better than the day before when we were always on the same course.  The Flying Scots and Day Sailers raced 2 more races and went back in and the board boats stayed out for 5 more races. 

Thanks to our shore crew, we once again enjoyed a great lunch, including some leftovers from the night before.  In one more break with tradition, we had decided that even the Flying Scots would have a throw-out, so we really had no idea who the winners actually were.  When the Race Committee came in and tallied the results and once everyone had an opportunity to get lunch we awarded some really nice steins to the winners and their crews.  In the Flying Scot fleet, Jim Cavanagh and John Houstle won, Randy and Scot Rubinstein were 2nd and John and Connie Eckart were 3rd.    In the Flying Scot B fleet, Harvey Davidson and David Levy were 1st, Wally and Carl Lueders were 2nd and new Flying Scot owners Jeff Kink and Corey Lake were 3rd sailing their boat for the very first time.

As you would imagine, we are hoping the water level rises before the next event at our club.  We do expect that the winter will bring us enough snow and perhaps the spring will be good to us as well.  We invite you all to come have a blast with us on 9/11-9/13/2015 at our 66th.  And for those who came this year, y’all come back, okay?

 

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