Shelter Island Yacht Club Optimist Invitational Regatta Recap

Shelter Island Yacht Club hosted the 2016 SIYC Open Optimist Invitational Regatta on July 6.  Shelter Island is a JSA Area A qualifier event and the first large Optimist regatta of the season for the Eastern Long Island Sound area.  This year SIYC, along with regatta co-Chairs Mary Beran and Jonathan Arnold, were pleased to welcome over 100 entrants with a 17-strong Red Fleet, 63 sailors in Blue Fleet and 24 in White Fleet.  SIYC Junior Program chairs Heather and Andrew Wolf counted some 40 sailors from the SIYC Junior Sailing program, along with participants from nine other JSA clubs, Centerport Yacht Club, Cold Spring Harbor Beach Club, Manhasset Bay Yacht Club, Northport Yacht Club, Orient Yacht Club, Port Washington Yacht Club, Sea Cliff Yacht Club, Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club, and The WaterFront Center. Also represented were three PGJSA clubs, Old Cove Yacht Club, Shinnecock Yacht Club and Southampton Yacht Club.

The day started with boats being unloaded and sailors greeting each other with smiles, meanwhile SIYC Instructors were finishing safety checks and preparing coach boats. Pipes Cove, the racing area does not usually get breeze until later in the day so SIYC plans to have lunch on land before sending the kids out into the hot sun. The SIYC kitchen staff prepared an amazing lunch for sailors, which were set out under the awning after the skippers meeting. After registration, safety checks, skippers briefing and lunch on land, SIYC Junior Sailing Director Jeff Bresnahan sent the fleets out for the 11.30am Harbor Start without delay. After being towed across the Shelter Island Sound ferry channel the fleets arrived at the race course in Pipe’s Cove to be met by a promising, if light, northerly breeze. Race Committee got the first Red and Blue fleet start away promptly only to be forced to abandon the race as the northerly petered out with half of the fleet mid-way to the windward mark and the other half becalmed and drifting back towards the line.  There followed a long wait where 100+ competitors, ranging in age from 8-year old first-timers to old-hand 14-year olds, patiently waited out the calm while organizers hoped the wind forecast would come through.

At 2:30 a Southerly finally emerged, the RC sprung into action, setting a course with the hope that the breeze would remain consistent. Luckily it did, and the red and blue fleet had their first start. The left seemed to pay in most of the races however the starting line continued to be squared up with plenty of room on either side of the line. The white fleet was able to get three races while the red and blue fleet got four. That made a series, and kids were happy with the quality and length of the races.

Red Fleet was won by Francesca Edmands from Old Cove Yacht Club with 10 points from four races including a first place in Race 1.  Victoria Chisari of Seacliff Yacht Club placed second on 12 points with AC Manning of Orient Yacht Club taking third on 16 points and placing first in Race 4.  Other race winners in Red Fleet were William Priebe of Seawanhaka and Charlotte Keil of Old Cove.

Caleb Cogan of SIYC took the honors in a solid 63-boat Blue Fleet with 15 points, edging out Lucas Woodworth from Cold Spring Harbor and Zachary Klusky of Seawanhaka, both on 16.  Mathias Reimer of Shinnecock Yacht Club took fourth overall on 26 points with a first place in Race 1.  In a highly competitive field Woolworth, Cogan and Klusky each took one first place in Races 2, 3 and 4 respectively.

White Fleet was won by Brendan O’Connor of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club with 5 points from three races, including firsts in Race 2 and Race 3.  Loic Freeman of SIYC placed second on 9 points and took the win in Race 1.  Rounding out the top three was Riley Heidenry from SIYC, also on 9 points.

Once the boats got back to shore, all of the kids and instructors were happy to see watermelon slices and other snacks waiting for them. SIYC Junior Sailing and the regatta co-chairs are grateful to the Shelter Island Yacht Club and membership for helping to facilitate an enjoyable day of competition on the water for all. Particular thanks to Junior Sailing Director Jeff Bresnahan along with Program Administrator Karen Panarella; Club Manager Alan Garrison; Race Committee under the direction of John Kenney; Safety Officer Jim Preston and his crew; along with the many other SIYC members and Junior Sailing parents who volunteered their time so generously to make for a successful event.

For results click here

For photos from Shelter Island – click here

Report by Jonathan Arnold and Mary Beran

Edited by Cooper Nefsky