Port & Starboard Yacht Club

August 2011 Newsletter

Home Course Crew Log

Port & Starboard Yacht Club
Member Newsletter
August 2011


Summer fades even if it resists doing so gracefully as Tropical Storm Irene makes her imprint on the season. The club made its own imprint of a successful season with gatherings, productive meetings, and a great regatta. It was a season of great club participation and many hands working together to make the events come off so well.

Pre-regatta gathering The preceding days were often gloomy and brought badly needed rain but change of the right kind came on Friday August 5, 2011 when club members and guests gathered at the home of Percy and Michael Gwinn. It was a lovely evening as guests traveled down Seahaven Road in Jonesport and turned as indicated by the giant lobster balloon and a very pretty setting came into view. About 35 members and guests were warmly welcomed by our hosts to their lovely home. Some enjoyed being on the deck while others were inside with many changes of locations being made. The tables had heavy visitation as guests enjoyed a tempting array of finger foods, heavy appetizers and desserts. As usual culinary skills were in evidence and enjoyed by all. Lots of conversations flowed.

A very big thank you to the Gwinns for hosting us and a very warm welcome to club membership. You add new meaning to the phrase active members.

Commodore Sweeney called the business meeting to order at 7:45 pm. Her first order of business was to thank the Gwinns for hosting the gathering and it was seconded by a warm round of applause by all in attendance. Starr noted that the weather looked good for the race with expected gusts up to 15 mph. She reviewed preparations for the regatta. The Race Committee boat will be the Marmaini's boat, Sheer Pleasure, and the Gwinns will also be on the water in Wild Turkey. Red and green buoys have been purchased and will be set out 200 feet from the start line. There is some room on these boats if someone would like to come aboard. The boats will be leaving Jonesport harbor about 9:30 am. All must have safety gear. Spectators are also welcome. If no one is finished in 2.5 hours, the race will be called for light wind. A message will be sent on channel 67.

The plaque to honor founding members was the next item on the agenda. Richard Burman reported that he has spoken with David Freedberg, Chair of The Committee to Save Liberty Hall who in turn has spoken with the Machiasport selectmen. The selectmen were enthusiastic about having the plaque on display at Liberty Hall. They would like the plaque to be of nice quality and used as an example for other plaques which may be added later by others. Richard is looking for a brass plaque about 20 x 18 and estimates the cost at $250.00 to $500.00 and promised to shop hard. Following a short discussion it was decided to give Richard the authority to move ahead. It was requested that the club be consulted if the cost goes higher.

Starr noted that Allan Rennie, club treasurer, was unable to be present so she would collect dues payments and the $15.00 regatta fee. She also noted that she was wearing a Dana tribute shirt with the appropriate motif.

The meeting adjourned at 7:55 pm.

Regatta 2011 The following is the news release sent to the local newspapers.

The 'Port & Starboard Yacht Club's 44th Annual Commander Wally Kurz Memorial Regatta was held on August 6 on Chandler Bay in Jonesport.  The sun was shining onshore near the Sandy River Beach area but fog was on either end of the bay. The start time was moved up an hour to noon to allow participants time to make their way through the fog.  First on the scene near the start line was Dream II with Captain Arthur Hill and crewman Harper Dean.  Dream II is a 19.5 foot Bristol Corinthian built in 1965.  Aegir with Captain Bernie Sund  and Pisces with Captain Harry Fish, Jr.  were the next to emerge from the fog and approach the start line.  The Aegir is an Ericson 25 foot sloop and was crewed by Llina Beal.  Pisces is an Atlantic Class Sloop that is 29 feet 6 inches long with 376 square feet of sail area.  Soon a tall fast moving sail emerged from the fog and Prudence with Captain Sune Noreen was on site to defend his title which he earned last year in Thalassa.  Prudence is a 23 foot Herreshoff Prudence H-23 and was crewed by Twig Noreen and Jim Hunt.

The Race Committee had all in order and soon the flags came down, the horn sounded and they were off.  The breeze picked up and the boats were soon making good progress on their way to the Mark Island Bell and then turned northwesterly to the red nun off Squire's Point and then onto to the final leg back to the start point off Sandy River Beach. The last hour of the race had a stronger breeze and the sailors enjoyed the challenge.   First across the finish line in lapsed time was Pisces followed by Aegir, Prudence, and Dream II.  This being a handicapped race the winning order in corrected time was Pisces (76.61 minutes), Aegir (81.69), Dream II (97.83), and Prudence (98.86).

Pisces was captained by Harry Fish, Jr.,  an avid sailor from Jonesport.  He and his crew of Aaron Herzog, Jake Hunkler, and Kevin Bixby were in the spirit of the day flying the Jolly Roger and wearing pirate garb.  Pisces was built in 1929 and Harry has owned her since 1973.  Pisces has been in about 30 of the club's regattas and has always been the first across the finish line and has won several on the corrected time.  Harry gave his winning strategy as, "Go fast all the time and faster when we can".

The Race Commodore (and club commodore) Starr Sweeney and Race Committee members were aboard the Committee boat, Shared Pleasures, captained by Tony Marmaini and the chase boat was Wild Turkey owned by Michael and Percy Gwinn.   The Aaron Thomas with its crew of Rick Herzog, Sherry Fish, and Alice Bixby was the support vessel.

Sailors enjoyed the competition against each other and the elements while spectators also enjoyed the sights from shore and on the water.  The regatta is the main event of the summer season for the club which was founded in 1967 and was named for the nearby towns of Machiasport and Starboard.  For more information about membership please contact the Secretary at 255-8458.  Boat ownership is not required.

Below are emails from members with their comments on the regatta. They add to the event and I thought they should be part of our permanent record.

From Starr: Yahoo!  What a nice race day.

    Thanks goes out to all the race support people.....The Gwinnns, Terri and Jim Miner, Karen and Tony Mermaini, Richard Burman, Ray Jones et als.
    Bouys went down about 1130 and then picked up and moved farther apart.  The mushroom anchors worked nicely.
    The flags went up in correct order, we were sitting right on the line and the start was clean.
    The race results are as follows:

    Pisces with corrected time of 76.61
    Aegir with corrected time of 81.69
    Dream II with corrected time 97.83 and
    Prudence with corrected time 98.86

    Ray was able to do the math and create the final standings while we were being towed into Jonesport.  Yes "Shared Pleasures" had alternator/battery problems and we were towed with great dignity to Jonesport by the "Wild Turkey".  Interest in the event was lively with one Maine State Marine Patrol visiting the catboat "Who", a lobster boat wanting to know what channel the race was on and many waves from passing boats.  Thank you Pisces for the passing salute from the crew.
    Again thank you all that participated in the event- including those who were watching from the shore!
    We are hoping to be in the local paper with a photo taken by Richard or Percy.

    Starr Sweeney

From Karyn and Tony Marmiani:

What a great Experience !!!

Karyn and I would like to thank all the members of the Port & Starboard Yacht Club for a wonderful weekend of boating and a magnificent display of good sportsmanship and camaraderie. We both had a memorable weekend. The pre-regatta party was a perfect opportunity to meet many of the members. Thanks to the Gwinns for opening their beautiful home for the occasion.


Jim Miner and I had a fun time motoring over from Machiasport to Jonesport, Friday afternoon. Sune was kind enough to provide us an over-night mooring at the Jonesport Shipyard. Commodore Sweeny was right on time to row out and pick us up so that we could enjoy the festivities along with Terri and Karyn. The food and libations were delicious. Later, Starr drove Jim and I back to the marina, where we would spend the night aboard. Getting back aboard "Shared Pleasures" proved to be a challenge due to the tide; as there was more mud than water available. The moon and stars were bright and clear in the sky at midnight. This led to a major surprise when arising at 5 AM to see no land in any direction. Dense fog, typical Maine coast.


In the morning we had enough water in the harbor to motor over to the public dock where we were to meet the Regatta committee and a small contingent of helpers. The fog lifted somewhat and we were on our way to the "Starting line". By the time we arrived, it was clear and sunny and the Buoys we promptly set. Commodore Sweeny and her crew methodically executed the start sequence. Good sportsmanship abounded as the competitors made sure all  who wanted to compete were able. All boats away, the committee boat had an opportunity to enjoy a nice lunch and some good conversation. The race was beautiful to watch as the sails appeared and disappeared at the far points in the race. The finish was exciting, as one by one, the boats, sails full, crossed the finish line.


After the perfect day was complete, Shared Pleasures experienced battery problems. Wild Turkey came to the rescue and towed the crew safely into the harbor. A great big "thank you" to Michael and Percy Gwinn for their help. I would also like to thank Richard Burman for his help on the boat and his support dealing with the battery issues on shore. Many thanks also to Sune and Patricia Noreen for the use of their facilities. And a final thanks to the race winner, Harry Fish. Harry, using his skiff, moved our boat from the dock to the launch ramp where she was secured on the trailer for a safe ride back to Machiasport. So many good deeds by so many club members. Finally, to Jim Miner and Steve Woolsey thanks for you help and making it a great weekend, in spite of the "small stuff".


Tony and Karyn Marmiani

Other members sent notes of congratulations on the well run regatta and thank yous for all who made the day come off so well. Club members and others enjoyed being spectators from shore and were thrilled to see the sailboats moving across the course.

A big thank you to all who made this prime event of the club happen in such a great fashion. Thank you to the captains, crews, Race Commodore, Race Committee members, chase boat, support vessels, handicapper, photographers, and everyone else who made it happen. An extra, extra large thank you goes to Commodore Starr Sweeney who worked very hard to correct problem areas that she saw last year and to Harry Fish for conducting the skippers meeting. Everyone seems to agree that it was very well organized and participants understood the rules and requirements.

Skippers Meeting Harry Fish conducted a Skipper's meeting on July 28th at the Jonesport Public Library. The meeting was open to skippers whether or not they planned to race this year. Topics covered included basic safety, start line (buoys), right of way, give way and stand off boats, race course and direction of course, and the 360/720 rule.

Handicapping system Handicapping for the regatta has long been a subject of discussion. Starr investigated handicapping systems and found a computer program that looked promising. US Sailing , the national governing body of sailing, has developed the PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet). It is a locally administrated handicapping system that uses the perceived speed potential of a yacht as the basis for the handicap. At our dinner in June, Ray Jones volunteered to run the data. After spending time becoming familiar with the program, he was able to run the data and give us the results.

Scholarship Art Totman, Scholarship Committee chair, reported on the work of the committee at our June meeting. The scholarship is slated to be presented at The Boat School on August 29, 2011. The committee report is attached. My apologies to Art and the committee for not including it with the earlier newsletter.

Fall Gathering The club sometimes has a fall gathering if a volunteer host comes forward. The time, place, and menu are up to the host and the club helps with some expenses. It has been a picnic, a barbeque, a potluck, but it could be something else. If no one is able to volunteer, is there an interest in going to a restaurant?

Wishing you all smooth sailing and safe harbors until we meet again.

Faith Merriman, Secretary 255-8458 wodahs362@gmail.com

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