local knowledge


Boston Interclub Regatta 2009, Nov. 7, 2009, Courageous Sailing
Center, Boston Harbor

From LNG tankers to duck boats, rogue tugs to high-speed, stop-for-no-
one ferries, ADD-addled breeze to Charles- and Mystic River-driven
crosscurrents, sailing in Boston always takes a little extra. Which is a big
part of what makes it such great sailing town and makes its sailors so

The other reason Boston sailing rocks, frankly, is that unlike other sailing
towns with ten-year wait lists on mooring balls–sailing here isn’t about
the glamour, the attitude, or the pedigree. In fact, there’s probably no
other city in the world where getting started is so easy and outgrowing the
competition is so hard. Boston is home to no fewer than four amazing
community sailing centers, two great sailing clubs, and some of the
coolest, friendliest (and least uptight) yacht clubs around. And it goes
without saying that some of the best college sailors anywhere are here.
Whatever your budget, whatever your background, whatever type of sailing
appeals to you, Boston delivers.

And 2009 was quite the year. The VOR stopped over and served up two
weeks of front row seats to bleeding edge sailing technology, and the Tall
Ships out navigated threats of bureaucratic shutdown to return and remind
us of jaw-dropping, awe-inspiring, maritime legacies gone by. The early
season dished out some of the worst sailing weather in a while, while
Sept/Oct served up some of the best. Our big fleet regatta circuit kept the
big boats busy, and whatever night of the week, there was always
somewhere to go for good one design racing. Now, headed into winter,
this city will once again be home to not one or two, but three frostbiting

Celebrating Boston sailing is what the first (and now annual, most likely)
Boston Interclub Regatta was all about. On Saturday, November 7th, we
brought together top teams from seven of the best sailing clubs around to
sail head to head. Not club against club: just some of Boston’s best sailors
getting together to sail in a single fleet and celebrate our collective efforts
to support the sport.

Sailing in November here means being ready for anything, but somehow we
lucked into some high pressure, full sun, and temps in the 50s. The
breeze was a light 6-12 knots but always enough to keep the boats
moving. Typically enough, the direction clocked West a bit rather than
backing SSW as forecast, and so instead of a long straight shot down the
harbor, the race course was compressed and sometimes skewed between
Rowes Wharf and Piers Park. With the breeze coming straight out of
downtown, weird shifts were the norm–in other words, true Boston

The fleet consisted of one team from Piers Park Sailing Center, one from
South Boston Yacht Club, two teams each from Cottage Park YC and Boston
Sailing Center, and three teams each from Boston Harbor Sailing Club,
Community Boating, and Courageous Sailing Center. Courageous hosted,
using its fleet of Rhodes 19s, all freshly hauled, faired, painted and tuned
for the event and their upcoming winter frostbite series.

Favorites going in the event were Ron Sandstrom, former Olympic Star
sailor, representing Community Boating; Finn sailor and Boston Sailing
Center instructor Ken Luczynski, and a strong lineup from Courageous:
Miguel Corti, multiple Argentinean national and South American champion,
and current Courageous sailing director; John Murphy, 210 sailor and
Courageous frostbiting rock star.

Sure enough, Corti demonstrated some home field advantage by taking a
bullet in the first race. And Sandstrom took a strong position early,
winning the second race and finishing in the top 5 in all but one. Alan
Palevsky from Boston Harbor Sailing got off to a fast start, finishing second
in the first two races, but settled into some mid-fleet struggles before
finishing strong with a bullet in the final race.

The Rhodes 19–a boat that requires keelboat moves and dinghy finesse to
sail fast–took a little getting used to for some. Pinch too much or slam a
tack and you’ve lost big ground. With short courses and slow-to-accelerate
boats, good starts were key, with a crowded front row always set up on the
line like a bunch of lasers. Windshifts provided plenty of opportunity, but
more often peril for those who tacked too often or went out to the corners-
-the leaders picked sides but didn’t gamble.

In the end, after 8 races it was Courageous instructors Chris Palmieri and
Judy Krimski who owned first place with an incredible 12 points (after the
drop), dominating the fleet with four bullets, a second and two third place
finishes. Sandstrom and Perryn McLaughlin took second with 23 points,
followed by Corti and Alec Snyder in third with 28 points. The depth of the
fleet showed, with Hans Tiefenthaler from Boston Sailing Center taking
fourth (37), Palevsky fifth (40), and just 4 points of separation between the
5th and 8th position finishers.

Afterward, everyone got together for a barbecue and party back at the
Courageous boathouse on Pier 4 in Charlestown. Scott Sheffer, the Boston
sailor whose enthusiasm and hard work made this event possible,
presented a silver cup trophy to Palmieri and Krimski, along with jackets by
Atlantis, emblazoned with the words "Boston Sailors’ Champion 2009",
which may be the perfect name for the regatta in years to come. In
addition to Atlantis, over 30 North End businesses sponsored the event,
providing a bonanza of awards for not only the second- and third-place
teams, but also the last place team, the youngest (Sam Madden, from CBI)
and oldest sailors, and the all-women team. Our favorite award, for best
sportsmanship, went to Ron Sandstrom by a unanimous vote.

Thanks to all our sponsors and participants for being part of great event.
We’re already looking forward to doing all over again next year! Results.

Dave DiLorenzo
Director of Adult Programs
Courageous Sailing Center