2020 Ted Janeway Memorial Series
Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club contrived to host a one-day Janeway Series despite Covid-19 restrictions on housing, communal dining, and generally hanging out. Saturday, September 19 dawned with a beautiful clear day, with NE winds gusting from 15 up to 25 knots and more. The CSHBC and Cedar Point Yacht Club fleets met off the Norwalk Islands – about 15 miles from CSH and maybe 12 miles from Westport. With NE winds and a westbound flood tide, the Cold Spring Harbor fleet had a serious uphill climb to get there. Luckily, the CSHBC Race Committee boat, Captain Bonnell, is a powerful workhorse, and was able to tow three Atlantics through the chop to get there on time. It was a rough, wet ride, and the CSH crews arrived somewhat shaken and already tired of pumping, but excited to have made it.
PRO Gary Knapp with Ken Commons and Mike Kolodner on RC support did a magnificent job of efficiently firing off three races in about three hours. Five boats sailed out from CPYC. Defending Janeway champion Eli Hazan unfortunately suffered an equipment failure before the first start, but the rest of the fleet bashed their way up toward Sheffield Island and twice around a short windward-leeward course – the first race finished in 25 minutes! Rodrigo Meireles in A129 Xangô took the honors in that race, but Lindsay Doyle (in the orange hat), skippering A141 Ghost with her dad Jim and Julia Knowlton crewing, aced the next two races and won the series. By the third race, the conditions had moderated and the winds were fluky, flaky and sometimes not as powerful as the chop and the current – but it was still good, close racing.
Cold Spring Harbor sailors had a nice downwind sail back, and a number of support craft came out from CPYC to escort their fleet home. It was a pretty wonderful day of sailing all around. God (and the CDC) willing, we will be able to award Lindsay her prize and share all our stories of the day together in January at the class dinner.
Sailing Hall of Fame Inducts Atlantic Sailors
What a night for the Atlantic Class at the U.S. National Sailing Hall of Fame 2020 induction event! Three of the eight honorees had ties to the class. Dave Perry mentioned sailing Atlantics at Pequot with his dad, and then showed a photo of himself at a very young age at the helm of the Atlantic. John Rousmaniere, author of The Great Atlantic, mentioned sailing Atlantics in Oyster Bay and Cold Spring Harbor as part of his development. And then Briggs Cunningham, four time National Champion of the Atlantic Class, who was largely responsible for saving the class by commissioning the first fibreglass mold.
Check out these biographies at the website — and tell all your friends that the way you get into the Sailing Hall of Fame is to start off in an Atlantic! — George Lindsay
Charlotte Perry Barringer, 1925-2020
It’s very sad to report the passing of an Atlantic class legend, Charlotte Barringer, aged 94. Sharlie famously won the 1944 Nationals at Larchmont as Charlotte Perry, the only woman to have done so, sailing against a competitive field of mostly male skippers. Here is a recent photo of her at a class event, and the well-known Rosenfeld picture of her relaxing between races during the 1944 Nationals. A great lady whom we will miss very much.
Click here to read George Lindsay's 2010 interview with Sharlie.
2020 Nationals Cancelled
The 2020 National Championship, scheduled to be held at Cold Spring Harbor on August 20-22, has been cancelled. Please read a message from Class Chairman Rob Coster, here.
Good Things Come In Threes
Three popular elder statesmen of the class were seen socializing at the recent annual dinner. Left to right, George Reichhelm, John Foster and Norm Peck Jr. were the best of the best not long ago. Incredibly, these three can claim no fewer than 30 National Championship victories between them. And they all have sons and daughters now Atlantic racing and carrying on the family tradition of excellence.
Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner
There was a healthy turnout of 70 Atlantic sailors and friends for our annual class awards dinner and meeting at Black Rock Yacht Club in Bridgeport, CT, on January 23. The club proved to be a popular choice for its great food and service, convenient location, and longtime connection to the Atlantic Class: Black Rock was one of the original clubs to adopt the class in 1929, and a member of BRYC’s original eight-boat fleet, John Field’s Margot, A47, won the 1935 Nationals.
The 2019 Nationals, held at nearby Cedar Point YC, were of course totally dominated by the ever-gracious Dave Peck and his crew, consisting of his sister Diane Rothman, uncle Tom Peck, and Bill Healy. Having picked up a boatful of silverware, they can look forward to a lot of polishing in their future.
Another Niantic Bay YC member, Hal Peatfield, was presented with the Annie Award in recognition of his sustained participation and support of the class. Hal claims to have raced in every Nationals since Class Chairman Rob Coster “was nine years old,” which as we know was a really long time ago. He originally raced A36, then later built A136 which he continues to sail competitively to this day. He has also been much appreciated for his contributions to the success of the Nationals when held at Niantic.
National Championship Trophy: Dave Peck, NBYC
NBYC Founders Trophy (Nationals Race 1): Dave Peck
Sewall Trophy (Race 2): Dave Peck
YRA East of Rye Trophy (Race 3): Rodrigo Meireles, CPYC
Wells Curtis Trophy (Race 4): Dave Peck
Inflation Trophy (Race 5): Scott Reichhelm, CPYC
Goodwin Trophy (Race 6): Dave Peck
Olson Trophy (highest-placed first-time Nationals skipper): Rodrigo Meireles
Williams Trophy (most season participation): Norm Peck III, NBYC
Janeway Trophy: Eli Hazan, CPYC
Annie Award: Hal Peatfield, NBYC
Posthumous award to Hank Mergenthaler
Last winter the Rules Committee chose to present the Annie Award for 2018 to Hank Mergenthaler, but he was away at the time of the annual dinner so it was decided to wait and present it instead during the 2019 Nationals. We missed our chance because, very sadly, Hank passed away on July 30.
Hank was a stalwart of the class and a great enthusiast, owning first A107, then A139. Over the years he had been a National Champion (in 1979) and served terms as Class Chairman and as Chairman of the Rules Committee. During the recent Nationals, Eric Mergenthaler received the Annie on his father’s behalf from Class Chairman Rob Coster.
The 91st Atlantic National Championship was held at Cedar Point Yacht Club from August 15 to 17. Clear winners in the fleet of 27 boats were David Peck, Tom Peck, Diane Peck Rothman and Bill Healy from Niantic Bay Yacht Club, aboard Miss April. They won four of the six races, throwing out a fifth! Second was Steve Benjamin in Cassidy, a constant threat as always, and third Rodrigo Meireles with Èlan. Conditions were almost as good as it gets on Long Island Sound, with light to moderate easterlies.
It must have been sweet for the Pecks, who have been narrowly beaten by Benjamin at recent Nationals, last year on a tie-breaker. This time Miss April seemed to have a little something extra in speed and pointing ability. Rodrigo Meireles, sailing his first Atlantic Nationals as skipper, was very consistent, as was Scott Reichhelm in Shucks who finished close behind in fourth. These were the first two of a big Cedar Point contingent, numbering 14 boats, the entire club fleet.
A memorable moment came when Tom Davidson, from Madison, arrived at CPYC the morning of the first race to find Magic had sunk overnight at the dock. The electric pump hose had been left hanging overboard with its end in the water, and a siphon effect had filled up the boat. After a slick lifting operation the boat was recovered, and Tom bounced back with a seventh in the first race the next day.
The photo of the fleet returning after racing was taken by John Kantor.