article & photos by Ron Jenkins
The 16th Annual Adult Optimist Regatta was held September 26. Though this regatta is a fund-raiser for the National Yacht Club’s Sailing and Racing School, the real reason people sail this event is because it is so much fun. And some people consider this regatta the toughest to win in the year’s sailing calendar. Others consider it the best spectator regatta anywhere: all racing is easily visible from the Club balcony, with beer in hand.
This year, although generally light winds prevented any of the sailors from capturing the Captain Nemo Award (a self-explanatory title), a full schedule of races was completed. The first round of races started in the NYC basin, racing out and around the inner channel mark and back to return near the white crane. Ferocious currents of one whole knot right at the opening from the basin to the lake created a serious challenge to competitors, and as the wind dropped, made leaving the basin virtually impossible.
The second round of racing pitted the losers of the first round against each other in a fierce battle for the single consolation berth in the final round. This round was sailed completely inside the basin, starting near the white crane, circling the steel wall in the middle of the basin, and returning to finish. The hairpin turn at the Coronation Park end of the steel wall has no equivalent anywhere else in yacht racing. The third and final round sailed the same course.
The championship round was very tight racing with the lead changing hands several times, but with Sarah Foscarini eventually capturing the title for the second year running. Second place was taken by Magnus Sandberg, and Ron Jenkins taking the bronze.
Thanks to all competitors as well as to those who supported the regatta without actually sailing. The NYC Sailing and Racing School is stronger thanks to your assistance.