LYRA 2013 at the National Yacht Club again!
It has been twenty years since we have last hosted the Lake Yacht Racing Association annual regatta at NYC. For those who don’t know, LYRA is the longest running international regatta in North America. Many of us who still sail classic boats will recall that this was THE regatta of the season that everyone looked forward to and bought sails for. Times have changed however LYRA still boasts a challenging schedule complete with long distance feeder races, overnight race and two and three day course racing events, not to mention some of the most lovely hardware to be found anywhere.
This year’s event was hosted by the Oswego Yacht Club at the far end of the lake and the NYC “R” fleet comprised of Fantome, Diana and Archer made the substantial journey to Oswego. The yacht Gypsy from Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club was also present and we were joined by Nayada and Vitesse from Sodus Bay Yacht Club. For the first time since 1994 we had six “R” Class Yachts on the line. Racing at the east end of the lake is always challenging and this year we had a grand time. The first two days were glorious but by the third, a huge front was rolling in and the “R” Class decided to stay at the dock joined by most of the fleets who after having a peek in the lake declined to risk their boats and crew. We were thrilled that the “R”s which were built in the 1920s to a boat design rule and are definitely not one design, were very close in performance and the deciding factor in the end was definitely decided by crew work and the skipper’s decisions. One mistake would cost you the race !
On a personal note, Vicki and I were relieved that FANTOME’s mast arrived from Klacko just in time for the departure to Oswego. Danny and Tim pulled all the stops out and performed a near miracle by delivering a new stick in less than four weeks. Everyone can see our new yellow mast for miles around and the boat was happy to be driven hard – 88 years young now and still going strong! The delivery back from Oswego was about 40 hours (sigh) and Vicki made it clear that Fantome will not do those long deliveries in the future unless we will have some sort of motorized assistance for the inevitable calm periods on the lake. Ahhh another challenge and opportunity ! I am gleefully planning for the future already.
Oswego Yacht Club must be heartily commended for putting on a fantastic regatta. Everyone thanked us repeatedly for coming, and one could easily feel the excitement made all the more memorable by the truly remarkable contribution of all the club members. They could not do enough for the competitors that had come from all around the lake. Great racing, great camaraderie and lots of fun at the end of each day!
For all of us at the NYC we will have the planning of an exciting regatta ahead of us. I am sure that the NYC membership is proud to show the sailing community what our club can create to keep the tradition of LYRA alive. As my term is up in November I wish the new board success in the endeavor to keep the NYC on the racing map and provide the competitors with a well organized memorable event.