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Aug 7, 2018 12:59 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Westhampton Yacht Squadron Held A Boatload Of Races This Past Weekend

Westhampton Yacht Squadron in Remsenburg hosted a number of races from Friday through Monday. DREW BUDD
Aug 7, 2018 1:15 PM

The Westhampton Yacht Squadron in Remsenburg certainly made good use of the waters of Moriches Bay, where it resides, this past weekend with a number of races, starting on Friday and concluding on Monday.

The action started with the Great South Bay Yacht Racing Association’s Junior Regatta, a weekly event held at a different GSBYRA member yacht club throughout the summer, and Westhampton Yacht Squadron happened to be the host on Friday. On Saturday, despite tough weather conditions, Westhampton hosted the GSBYRA Invitational and the GSBYRA Triple-Handed Adult Championships for men, otherwise known as the Fenner Championship Bowl. The Triple-Handed Adult Championships for women for the Henry Morgan Trophy was contested on Sunday, then the GSBYRA Midget Championships were held on Monday.

Nicholas Patin and Sarah Jane O’Connor of Point O’ Woods Yacht Club on Fire Island won the 420 races as part of the junior regatta on Friday. There were two separate divisions for the optimist fleet. The youngest and least experienced group competed in the green fleet. Brady Schultz of Westhampton Yacht Squadron won that division. The red, white and blue optis competed against each other. Brendan Cameron of the blue fleet, and Sayville Yacht Club, was the overall winner of that division. While Friday, Sunday and Monday saw near perfect summer sailing conditions, Saturday was quite the opposite. With storms coming through the area around noon, it pushed the start time back to 1 p.m., but sailors still had to deal with heavy rain at times along with very windy conditions. It made for a competitive day for the Fenner Trophy.

Norm Wentworth, racing director at Westhampton, said that the only thing that will cancel sailing is lightning, which there was none.

“There was a delayed start because it was pouring like mad, so we were supposed to start at noon but we started at one,” he explained. “But we got four races in. At the end of the first race, into the start of the second, there was another bad bout of weather that came through. It was very windy and raining to the point where you couldn’t see the next mark on the course. I actually wound up following a government buoy thinking it was a mark.

“That weather carried into the third race a bit,” he continued, “but by the fourth race, the rain went through and it was still overcast, but it was nice and windy and made for beautiful sailing conditions.”

In that race, three crew were required in the Flying Scots, for sailors age 19 and over. The skipper must be male, but other two crew members may be male or female.

Cole, Macklin and Nicholas Fluehr and Michael DiSario, Chris Dundon, John Zambriski—all of Westhampton Yacht Squadron—tied for first place with 13 points apiece and will share the Fenner Trophy. It was the first time since 2013 that the trophy was up for grabs.

Also on Saturday was the GSBYRA Invitational. Due to the weather, only four 420s and five sunfish competed, and the Narrasketuck’s that were expected to make the trip up island didn’t come out. Jack Schultz of Westhampton Yacht Squadron won the 420 races, while Griffin Sisk, also of Westhampton, won the sunfish races.

Complete opposite weather conditions were had on Sunday, as a very light breeze delayed the start of the women’s triple-handed championships for the Henry Morgan Trophy, which have similar rules and restrictions to the men’s championship—three crew are required for the flying scots, age 19 and over, and the skipper and other two crew members must be female.

Eventually more wind picked up, though, and at the end of five races, Janet and Julia Jurgielewicz and Jesse Stoller won the trophy for the first time since 2011. Wentworth explained that there are multiple reasons for the number of years between when the Fenner and Morgan trophies are up for grabs, but mainly it depends each year on how many boats sign up for those specific races. Sometimes people just simply don’t want to make the trip to the club that is hosting the event, Wentworth said, but that GSBYRA is trying to revive them.

Terrance Byrnes of Sayville Yacht Club won three of the five races competed in the Midget Singlehanded Championships on Monday. All 13 boats in the race were Optimists. Emma Strebel and Laurel Wilcenski won the Midget Double-handed Championships in their 420.

Both races served as a qualifier for the U.S. Sailing Mid-Atlantic Championships at Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford, Maryland, this weekend. The top three Optis and the top two 420s qualified. Byrnes will be joined by his Sayville mates, Brendan and Connor Cameron. Since Emma Strebel and Laurel Wilcenski cannot attend the regional event, Kai Kromhout and Rebecca Runyon of Moriches Yacht Club and Lilly Jette and Olivia Brooks of Babylon Yacht Club, who finished second and third, respectively, will make the trip.

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