August 27th, 2013
nother year has passed and it is time to reflect on events concerning the fleet over the last 12 months and what we are looking forward to for the future.
Our fleet numbers remain at 11 boats although Zephyr and Enigma did not race this year as the former was on the hard waiting for a major refit this summer. Steve Bush has not been able to spend much time in Chester this year because of other commitments resulting in Enigma not getting into the water. The others however have been having a great time sailing and racing in Mahone Bay. The season started with 4 boats competing but during the past few weeks this has grown to 7 boats on the line for our Wednesday fleet races in Chester. The early winners were Shawn Mulrooney sailing La Diva followed by Terry Schnare sailing Squall. As the summer progressed the fleet numbers increased as Mike Kelly brought his boat Aileen to Chester from Indian Point, Rick Thompson arrived from Bermuda to helm Mighty Mo and the other participants consisting of Tony Merck in Ibis, Jay Nadelson in Elida and Steve Bond sailing the new fiberglass boat rounding out the fleet. The boats have created quite a sight as they start in front of the Chester Yacht Club each Wednesday and return later under spinnaker.
Aside from our Wednesday fleet racing, the IODs have been competing in a number of regattas and CYC PHRF events. Steve Moody in O2 has been winning races in the Thursday evening series while the other IODs participating – Mighty Mo, La Diva and Elida – have been consistently placed among the top finishers. There were 3 major regattas this summer that we participated in: The Chester Classic Cup, the Mahone Bay Regatta and Chester Race Week. In the Chester Classic Cup we race against all the Classic boats in Chester on PHRF handicap. This year Mighty Mo came out on top and won it. In Mahone Bay we had 5 IODs competing over their weekend regatta: Mighty Mo, La Diva, the new fibreglass boat (no name as yet), Aileen and Ghost, the later 2 boats coming from Indian Point. Great weather and great racing in another part of Mahone Bay. In the end there was a tie for first place but Mighty Mo was declared the winner on retrogression.
Chester Race Week saw 5 IODs again racing with the Classic Fleet. However, they also raced as a separate class within the fleet for their own prizes. The first day was a nonevent as lack of wind finally cancelled the race. A navigational error dashed the hopes of Mighty Mo wining the week and the IOD class. Mike Kelly in Aileen was top IOD for the week. Next year, we expect at least 7 boats competing in Chester Race Week which will allow us a separate start on the racecourse. The IODs will continue racing until the end of September at which time we expect 5 boats to participate in an inaugural IOD regatta sponsored by the new Indian Point Yacht Club to close out the season.
Social events are a part of the fun of sailing. This year we have sponsored the Classics Race Week party held at Rick Thompson’s house and co-sponsored an hors d’oeuvres night at the Chester Yacht Club as well as participated in the Mahone Bay Regatta evening. On and off the water, it has been a full year for us.
The Chester Fleet is looking forward to next year. We expect the addition of Zephyr and Enigma to add to the strength of our sailing events. Our request to the IOD World Association to host the IOD North American Regatta has been accepted and we are eagerly looking forward to hosting the event over the Labour Day weekend. Our boats will be weighted this winter when they are hauled out and standardization of rigging and sails will be done before the regatta. This year, new red and white spinnakers were purchased, and they look fantastic! I believe the fleet is moving forward and has been widely accepted in Chester and Mahone Bay. I expect our growth to continue slowly over the next couple of years and hopefully we will be hosting the Worlds in the not to distant future.
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