by Steve Harris, Vice Commodore
Steve Harris photos

A regatta is a complex undertaking involving both power and sailboats, racers, and spectators. The 2017 Osprey Challenge Regatta (June 2-3) was, by all accounts, a resounding success, with social events and races going off without a hitch here at Albemarle Plantation.

The Organizers
Terry Facey served as Regatta Chair, and I backed Terry up this year as Co-Chair. Terry did all the hard work of organizing and shepherding the regatta committee. Terry was away at his daughter’s wedding on the weekend of the regatta, but everything was so well-organized that I just had to stand around and look pretty. (Not so easy, don’t you know!) Andy Coburn served as Race Chair. Kathy Hotz and Ron McCall and their committee handled all the myriad tasks for the social events, including preparation of hors d’oeuvres for the reception, tent erection, etc. Barry Marshall handled placement of sponsor banners. Barbara Mueller handled registrations and tickets. Nancy Escheman prepared the program and got it printed.

The Launch
Events got underway on Friday evening, June 2nd, with the Reception “Docktails” under the big tent at Marina Park. Well-represented racers renewed old acquaintances and made new ones. The OYC membership turned out in force (as always!) and the goodies were plentiful. Also attending were representatives from Biggs, one of the event’s six sponsors, and Laura Bush Jenkins from Albemarle Tradewinds. Music was by “Buddy the DJ.”

Saturday’s Skipper’s Breakfast at 0800 was provided by Kathy Hotz and her fantastic committee. How do they do it all the time? The spread was incredible! Fruit, juices, muffins, and such. As Regatta Co-Chair, it was my responsibility to sample all of the goodies, of course. Mmmm. (The Zucchini muffins were to die for!) The breakfast was well attended by the racers and much appreciated.

After breakfast, I led the Skipper’s Brief on the deck at Dockside, covering various topics, including an overview of the race course for each class, the weather brief (drink lots of fluids), safety, and our contingency plan for medical and other emergencies.

Race Assignments
Bluegrass, skippered by Buzz Savage, served admirably as the Committee Boat, crewed by Barbara Savage (brownies!), Micki Levine (Recorder), Pat Winter and Kathy Prewett (Spotters), Frank Kelly (Signals), and Commodore Jeff Winter as time-keeper and extra eyes. Barbara and Dan Clark helped with docking and related operational tasks.

The Mark/Chase Boats were Full Circle (skippered by Bob Burgess and Art Honeycutt aboard as Deck Hand), and Jet Powered (skippered by John “Jet” Powers, with Steve Hard aboard as Deck Hand).

John Glancy, a retired MD and trained EMT, served as our Medical Officer during the race. John and I stood watch ashore to provide weather advisories (none were required), traffic advisories (fast boats outbound from Yeopim Creek that might interfere with the race), and coordination with County Emergency Medical Services.

The Plantation provided a photographer on a pontoon boat to catch all the action. Check out the pix on the AP Facebook page.

Jim Ludwig set up his new drone to obtain video footage of the marina and some of the boats as they returned from the race. You can check out his work at this link on YouTube.

The Races

The first race on Saturday started shortly after 1000. Winds were light and variable. At 1100, winds were from the southwest at 2-3 knots. Pretty slow going. The race took about 3 hours to complete. One boat dropped out of the competition after the first race, leaving 18 boats in the running for trophies.

Winds picked up for the second race, which got underway at about 1345 with winds westerly at 10 knots. The first boats finished the race around 1440 and headed in.

The Awards
103 tickets were sold for Saturday’s Awards Dinner. Commodore Jeff Winter served as Master of Ceremonies and handed out the awards. This was the first major event for our new Chef Bobby Allen. He and his team performed admirably and got an ovation when Jeff pointed them out.

The OYC Trophies are highly prized by the racers–beer mugs etched with the OYC logo and the date of the regatta on one side, and the class and place on the other. In all, eleven trophies were awarded across the four classes.

OYC boats brought home four of them! Tax$ea skippered by Fred Levine won 1st Place in Cruising class; Tuff Mary, skippered by Janet Benton, placed Second on Non-Spinnaker class A. Janet was so surprised she said she almost protested the outcome. She just couldn’t believe it! Autumn Wind skippered by Courtney Young placed Third in Non-Spinnaker class B. And, last but not least, Bucco skippered by Larry Cohen placed Third in the Cruising class C.

All of the race results are available on the OYC website. Congratulations to the winners and a hearty thanks to all the OYC boats that participated in this year’s regatta. You did us proud.

Well done!