Charles Robertson 1947-2020
We are sad to report that Charlie Robertson, Atlantic National Champion of 1993 sailing A142, has passed away. He only raced in the class for one year, but made a strong impression, not only with his sailing ability but with the thoroughness of his boat preparation: his boat was the first to incorporate the center console for mainsheet and control lines that is now a common feature on many Atlantics. An obituary may be found 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
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.
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).