2020 Annual Awards Dinner and Meeting
Mark your calendar: Thursday, January 23 is the date for the annual class awards dinner and meeting. This year it will be held at Black Rock Yacht Club in Bridgeport, CT, a club with a strong connection to the origins of our class: in 1929, the first year of Atlantic sailing, BRYC had one of the original fleets, with eight boats.
The evening will begin with cocktails at 6.00, followed by a buffet dinner, the annual meeting and the awards presentation. Tickets are $60 each, and must be reserved in advance. Make your reservation here. Renew your class membership for 2020 at the same time - just add it to your cart and take advantage of the customary lower rate for early payment.
Black Rock Yacht Club, 80 Grovers Avenue, Bridgeport, CT 06605. Directions are here.
2019 Janeway Memorial Regatta
Due to logistical problems, the 2019 Ted Janeway Memorial Regatta was shortened to a one day affair, held off Sheffield Island in Long Island Sound on Saturday, September 28. It was a beautiful, clear sunny day with reliable south to southwest winds all day long. A73 and A148 were towed out from Cold Spring Harbor and met up promptly at 11:00 am with three Atlantics from Cedar Point (A102, A104 and A25). Principal Race Officer Gary Knapp and RC crew very efficiently ran off three four-leg races, and racing concluded about 2:30 pm. All the boats sailed home with a nice stiff breeze and beautiful clear skies.
Eli Hazan sailing A102 Querencia took the honors, winning the last two races. However, the racing was very close for the first four places in all four races, as reflected in the 1 point spread in scores. Thanks to all participants, and especially to Gary and our RC crew. Condolences to those who didn't come out -- hope to see you next year!
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.
2019 Annual Awards Dinner and Meeting
Our annual Awards Dinner was held in the Grill Room at Stamford Yacht Club, on January 24, with Class Chairman Rob Coster and Rules Committee Chairman Dick Morris presiding. Because of a slight misunderstanding in booking the venue (ahem) we had an open bar, which proved a popular feature. Some have expressed the hope that a similar misunderstanding will occur next year.
The annual meeting saw four rule changes approved. Of the two more important ones, the first removes the requirement to keep a boat in the water for at least 3 days before the start of the Nationals. Rob emphasized that this is not intended to invite dry-sailing, but eliminates a rule that has been consistently waived in recent years. The second significant rule change is to the method by which jibs are measured, bringing us into line with standard practice. The new method eliminates the guesswork and “fudging” previously necessary when using our old templates with modern jib designs.
Season prizes for 2018 were awarded, including two new trophies replacing those that were lost a couple of years ago. These were the Sewall Trophy for Race 2, and the Hinman for Race 5. In the first case, Dr. Sydney Sewall Jr., son of the original honoree, has generously replaced the lost trophy with an identical silver bowl. The Hinman has been replaced with the "Inflation" Trophy, a handsome silver ewer originally awarded in 1939 to CSHBC member Allan Klotz for finishing second at the Nationals, recently donated to the class.
The photo is of Steve Benjamin, 2018 National Champion, with the championship trophy.
Our Book Is Available
The Great Atlantic: the First 85 Years is available for purchase. Third-generation Atlantic sailor, yachting historian and award-winning author John Rousmaniere has written a fascinating history of the Atlantic. Starting with the birth of the class and its immediate success, John takes us through the years as the boat develops into the efficient fiberglass-hulled racing machine that we now enjoy. Each fleet has its own chapter, with anecdotes about some of the colorful characters that have populated the class. Fully illustrated with great images, from rare early Levicks and Rosenfelds to the color action photos and fun portraits of today.
Order your copy here (or click on the book cover picture).