HarborFest Draws Record Crowd to Sag Harbor Waterfront - 27 East

Sag Harbor Express

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HarborFest Draws Record Crowd to Sag Harbor Waterfront

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Shelly Cottrell, Shawn Mitchell, Robyn Mott and Karin Schroeder of the John K. Ott Women's Team took the Whaleboat Race Cup at HarborFest on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

Shelly Cottrell, Shawn Mitchell, Robyn Mott and Karin Schroeder of the John K. Ott Women's Team took the Whaleboat Race Cup at HarborFest on Sunday. DANA SHAW

John Cottrell, Gene Garypie, Mike Daniels and Dave Schroeder of the John K. Ott Men's Teams with the Whaleboat Race cup.  DANA SHAW

John Cottrell, Gene Garypie, Mike Daniels and Dave Schroeder of the John K. Ott Men's Teams with the Whaleboat Race cup. DANA SHAW

John K. Ott team members Robyn Mott and Karin Schroeder celebrate after winning the cup in the women's division at HarborFest on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

John K. Ott team members Robyn Mott and Karin Schroeder celebrate after winning the cup in the women's division at HarborFest on Sunday. DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Women's Team clebrate after winning the cup.  DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Women's Team clebrate after winning the cup. DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Men's Team celebrate after winning the cup.  DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Men's Team celebrate after winning the cup. DANA SHAW

Gene Garypie and Mike Daniels of the John K. Ott Men's Team celebrate after winning the cup.  DANA SHAW

Gene Garypie and Mike Daniels of the John K. Ott Men's Team celebrate after winning the cup. DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Men's and Women's Teams swept the Whaleboat Races at HarborFest on Sunday. Left to right are John Cottrell, Shawn Mitchell, Gene Garypie, Shelly Cottrell, Mike Daniels, Karin Schroeder, Dave Schroeder and Robyn Mott.  DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Men's and Women's Teams swept the Whaleboat Races at HarborFest on Sunday. Left to right are John Cottrell, Shawn Mitchell, Gene Garypie, Shelly Cottrell, Mike Daniels, Karin Schroeder, Dave Schroeder and Robyn Mott. DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday.  The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up.   DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday. The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up. DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday.  The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up.   DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday. The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up. DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday.  The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up.   DANA SHAW

The crowd lines up to taste the offering of the Chowder Contest on Sunday. The Dock House took first place in the contest with Page coming in a runner up. DANA SHAW

Spectators watch the Whaleboat Race finals at HarborFest on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

Spectators watch the Whaleboat Race finals at HarborFest on Sunday. DANA SHAW

The crowd waits for the Whaleboat Race Finals to start at HarborFest on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

The crowd waits for the Whaleboat Race Finals to start at HarborFest on Sunday. DANA SHAW

Charlotte Whelan-Semkus and Maya Silva-Whelan during the tug-of-war on Sunday during HarborFest.   DANA SHAW

Charlotte Whelan-Semkus and Maya Silva-Whelan during the tug-of-war on Sunday during HarborFest. DANA SHAW

On the slide at HarborFest.  DANA SHAW

On the slide at HarborFest. DANA SHAW

Arianna Verzosa and Claire Chmielewski in the hula hoop contest at Windmill Beach during HarborFest.  DANA SHAW

Arianna Verzosa and Claire Chmielewski in the hula hoop contest at Windmill Beach during HarborFest. DANA SHAW

Alfredo Merat performs in Steinbeck Park on Sunday afternoon.  DANA SHAW

Alfredo Merat performs in Steinbeck Park on Sunday afternoon. DANA SHAW

The Sag Harbor Express team throws the harpoon.  DANA SHAW

The Sag Harbor Express team throws the harpoon. DANA SHAW

Rum Punch Mafia performs in Steinbeck Park on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

Rum Punch Mafia performs in Steinbeck Park on Sunday. DANA SHAW

The Arts and Crafts Fair in Marine Park.  DANA SHAW

The Arts and Crafts Fair in Marine Park. DANA SHAW

Long Wharf during HarborFest on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

Long Wharf during HarborFest on Sunday. DANA SHAW

Harper Mallow during the Corn Shucking Contest on Sunday at Windmill Beach.  DANA SHAW

Harper Mallow during the Corn Shucking Contest on Sunday at Windmill Beach. DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Women's team edges out the Brown Harris Stevens Team during the Whaleboat Women's Finals on Sunday.  DANA SHAW

The John K. Ott Women's team edges out the Brown Harris Stevens Team during the Whaleboat Women's Finals on Sunday. DANA SHAW

The Sag Harbor Community Band performs on Long Wharf on Saturday afternoon.  KYRIL BROMLEY

The Sag Harbor Community Band performs on Long Wharf on Saturday afternoon. KYRIL BROMLEY

Members of the Pierson Class of 1983 at HarborFest on Saturday.  KYRIL BROMLEY

Members of the Pierson Class of 1983 at HarborFest on Saturday. KYRIL BROMLEY

authorStephen J. Kotz on Sep 19, 2023

Sag Harbor’s annual HarborFest was held under sunny skies last weekend that brought thousands of people to Long Wharf to sample clam chowder, visit booths set up by businesses and nonprofits alike, and watch the traditional whaleboat races.

“Despite the challenge from the threat of strong winds from Hurricane Lee, this year’s HarborFest was another big success,” said Ellen Dioguardi, the president of the Sag Harbor Chamber of Commerce.

This year, teams from John K. Ott Cesspools took home the coveted Whalers Cup in both the men’s and women’s divisions.

The men’s team, which repeated as champion, included Gene Garypie as tiller, John Cotrell on harpoon and Dave Schroeder and Mike Daniels as rowers.

The women’s team was led by Robyn Mott and Shawn Mitchell as rowers, with Karin Schroder on the tiller and Shelly Cotrell throwing the harpoon.

There were a total of 16 teams, eight in both the men’s and women’s divisions, the highest number in years.

Besides the Ott teams, the competition included old stalwarts like The Corner Bar and new entrants including The “4 Amigos,” led by Ken Deeg, who runs the Sag Harbor Launch. The team competed in sombreros and ponchos and reached the finals of the men’s competition.

Team Lady Whalers, which won the women’s division in 2017, returned as the youngest group of competitors in this year’s race.

“We’re looking forward to continued growth in the whaleboat competition, which really is the backbone of the festival,” said Gavin Menu, co-publisher of The Sag Harbor Express and the president of the Whaleboat Competition Committee. “The decision to move the festival back a week was beneficial in attracting more teams, and with plans for the same weekend next year, we’re hoping to have more than 20 teams join the competition next year.”

The Dock House won the best clam chowder competition for the second year in a row. Page at 63 Main came in second place.

Dioguardi thanked all the participants in the tasting contest including Captain Jack’s in North Sea, Sen, K Pasa, Il Cappucino, and The Corner Bar.

“We went through all the soup in about 90 minutes,” she said. “Over 300 people participated in the tasting, which this year was sponsored directly by the chamber as a fundraiser toward HarborFest expenses.”

Dioguardi said the annual event was a success because members of the chamber of commerce “worked tirelessly on this event and with amazing support from the Sag Harbor Village Police Department, the Department of Public Works, the Sag Harbor Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and so many other community-minded helpers.”

Dioguardi offered a special thank-you to the HarborFest “whale team” for keeping the whale safe on Saturday night, but getting it back out in the harbor on Sunday morning.

“This year’s HarborFest saw record crowds enjoying themselves safely,” she said.

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