New twist on an historic regatta

Published on July 20th, 2020

For over a century, Larchmont Race Week has been a crown jewel of racing on Long Island Sound with adults racing on the weekends, as many as 450 juniors sailing during the week, and the Storm Trysail Club’s Jr. Safety-at-Sea seminar on the Friday.

All that was to be accompanied by grand shoreside après sailing activities and dinner dances in the evening, but the reality of the pandemic required a rethink for the 122nd Larchmont Race Week as regatta organizers sought to continue the historic event in 2020.

The biggest change was the shift of our days of junior racing to a single day of racing (8/3, weather date 8/4) with on-the-water meet-ups in August. Adult sailing, however, did proceed over the four weekend days (7/11-12, 7/18-19) with 90 boats sailing in 13 classes on three circles.

The Sound is known for light winds during July, but the weather gods smiled on Larchmont Yacht Club (Larchmont, NY) by having Tropical Storm Fay depart Friday night before the first day of racing and a second weekend with great breezes enabling sporty racing.

But the “new norm” was clearly in place. Shoreside activities were cancelled. Those sailors who came ashore social distanced from each other. Even the awards ceremony was COVID-appropriate as it was recorded in the Club’s Library without a live audience.

In the end, it was Andrew Weiss and Laurence Cutler on their J/88 ONE TOO MANY who took home the Vincent J. Monte-Sano Trophy for the best overall record by an LYC cruising yacht. “Laurence and I have been sailing for many years on Christopher Dragon and this is our second season as boat partners in a J/88,” said Weiss. “The competition was keen, albeit a small fleet, and we believe we finally got the boat in gear earning the top podium position.”

The Anne Kathleen Cullen Memorial Trophy went to American Yacht Club’s Jean FIllion who ran the table in the 11-boat Laser division with nine first place finishes.

“Our 122nd Race Week was one for the records,” notes Rear Commodore Steve Leicht, Race Week’s event chair. “Our primary objective was to keep participating sailors, race committee, and members safe and compliant with prevailing COVID-19 guidelines.

“Although we had no shore side activities, we were able to retain the integrity of the event, competitive racing. We provided lots of racing, the traditional greetings and salutations on the water, and a one-of-a-kind virtual awards ceremony. Here’s to the 123rd Larchmont Race Week when, we all hope, we can return to the competition, camaraderie, and fun of years past.”

Results: https://yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eID=13059

Source: Buttons Padin, LYC

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