Marblehead IOD Fleet celebrated the 78th year of competition in October, along with Halloween, at the Nahant Dory Club. A delicious dinner was prepared by Tom Hunter and Michelle Brown for the crews on hand. For this repeat performance, they were awarded the Somerby Bowl for service to the fleet.
As I reported to the World Class General Meeting, 2016 has been a quiet year for the Sons of General Glover. We seem to be stuck at eight boats who are diligent and loyal. Many Saturdays that is a bigger turnout than the Etchells, which is a mild source of pride, but may not speak well for the state of the sport as a whole.
Matt and Weatherly Emans have produced another child which is a source of joy, but has kept Small Hotel on the hard for the season. Eden is getting a new deck and sadly, a coat of paint over her lovely varnished mahogany seems likely. Greg has kept Elektra on the line however. Commodore Dyson’s rank and responsibilities have prevented Gypsy from receiving her new garboards, but he leaves office November first! Bruce has also bought Pompano from Fred Callori and is looking for a new leader to bring the green boat back into competition. Lurking even further back in the weeds are the two glass boats, Teddy Cook’s Saga and Todd Sparling’s Cetius.
Those six boats, if added to the eight on the line this summer, would make a very respectable fourteen. Each one has its own tale. But each also represents opportunity for a new team to step up and join our distinguished class of sailboats.
Even with our reduced numbers it doesn’t seem to get any easier to win a boat race in Marblehead. Ian and Rachel Morrison have been pushing Bill Widnall hard. But when Bill took a “family break” during Race Week and offered the boat to the Cressy and Dyson team, they proceeded to win all but one of those races! So William once again carried our flag to San Francisco.
The San Francisco Fleet developed a split fleet format this year to permit more teams to participate than they had active boats. Half way through the week the fleet was divided into Gold and Silver divisions with the Gold racing for the Championship. Our Bill made the gold division cut but wound up as anchor boat there. Charlie Van Voorhis led three Fishers Island boats to another championship at the top of the pack.
Race Week also provided the fleet with three great parties—one each night-- so the new young members of the fleet have set another very important level of friendship and fun, while the rest of us smile and enjoy the fun! Thanks to Greg and Jennifer for Thursday night, The Morrisons for Friday night and Tom and Michelle for Saturday night.
Hannah Vincent gives a big smile for winning the Kungsornen Bowl for sportsmanship and persistence. She brought a young team from the MIT stable to campaign the beautiful #1 boat she called Vagabond. Since the boat hadn’t been raced regularly during her intensive re-fit, Hannah’s team persisted through a series of small breakdowns early in the summer to qualify for an invitation to Bermuda Invitational International Race Week in early May.
Each summer, we designate a race in July to be sailed by a crew member, not the boat’s regular skipper, and not someone who has won a race the previous year. This year the Joseph Crosby Crew Trophy was won by Chris Greeley at the helm of Timmy Dittrich’s Sagacious.
On a lighter note is the “Damned if you Do…” trophy. Each year there is a crew member who tries too hard to please his skipper and leads to disaster. Gary Bonhiver took this year’s “honors” in recognition of falling overboard, not once, but twice in the heat of combat.
The fleet honors the Wales Brothers, Jon and Steve, whose skill around the course and in the Worlds drove their competitors crazy trying to beat them. Those who couldn’t do so presented a perpetual trophy for the four race Labor Day series which is scored without throw-outs. Fleet Captain Herb Motley’s Kungsornen team climbed steadily up the finish order during the season and finally achieved not one, but two bullets on the Saturday. Weather prevented racing on the Sunday, so Kungsornen smiled broadly and secured the Chelsea Barometer trophy for the year.
John O’Day was a dedicated crew member who would commute from Framingham early each Saturday morning to prepare the boat for racing ahead of her skipper’s arrival each week. When said skippers realized that he had been keeping the boat afloat by pumping each morning, they honored John with a half model trophy to honor the top crew member of the year. Charlie Richter has been a regular crew with Bill Widnall’s Javelin team, both in Marblehead and in many World Championships. He was presented with this prestigious trophy in absentia.
And speaking of Javelin, we have mentioned that Bill led most of us through most of the summer, when he was here. Once again, his team won the Rowen Bowl as season champion. A random question raised during the presentation led us to look at the trophy to discover he had first won it in 1966! While many others have also put their names on the Bowl, this season marked the 50th Anniversary of his first win. Combined with his regular participation in the Class’ World Championship leading to ten victories for the Bjarne Aas Trophy, we celebrate his long pattern of excellence in our sport!
Looking forward to 2017, we anticipate that Bill Widnall (once again) and Ian and Rachel Morrison will represent the Marblehead Fleet at the Worlds in Northeast Harbor, ME in August. Hannah Vincent will go to the spring Bermuda Race Week.
Herb Motley will attend the Nantucket Invitational Regatta in June, and Timmy Dittrich will carry the flag at the North American Invitational Regatta at Fishers Island.
The International One Design Class is that rarity, a classic boat worthy of the term, with an 80-year history of continuous racing in 12 fleets around the world. This fact was recognized again by World Sailing, the governing body of the sport during 2016. Racing is very competitive in each fleet leading up to the annual World Championship and other regattas which are hosted among the fleets on a rotating basis. Teams compete in boats loaned by the host fleet and rotate boats during the event to ensure fair sailing. Each fleet purchases one sail each year, which makes the fleet even, and scores are based only on the skills of the skipper and crew. This is truly Corinthian sport.