- Michael McAllister, Crew Member on the 41 ft. Kaos With Andres Stern, skipper of 23 ft. Amparo – An Award Winner!
By Carol McCracken
County Girl, Honalee, Pit Party, Fiddlers’ Dream, Amparo, T’kela and Andromeda were all there – seven of the biggest and best of the racing yachs on the Maine coast – that participated in yesterday’s first SAILMAINE – the Gulf of Maine Ocean Racing circuit.
Peter Price, president of “GMORA” approached Jeff Cumming, sailing master of SAILMAINE, last year about collaborating on a Regatta that would match students of the school with owners of large, racing boats. It would give students who have learned to sail on small boats experience on large racing yachts – an experience which is quite different from what they know. Racing is much more competitive and the atmosphere, depending on the skipper, can be stressful. In the end, the two matched 25 students with 16 raching yachts for the day of racing yesterday.
At a pig roast, on the adjoining Portland Yacaht Services property in the evening, skippers were enthusiastic about the first day of racing as well as the students who’d signed up with them. Annette Newberry co-owns the 36 ft. sloop, County Cirl, with her husband. (The couple is from Aroostook County.) Their student was 14 year old Sophie Solomon. The Newberry’s invited her to sail with them every Thursday evening this summer and she enthusiastically accepted the invitation. Annette said the couple was just getting back into racing since her husband Bill had been a race official at Portland Yacht Club for the past 3 years and therefore unable to race. She described him as a “hardcore” racer! The couple has been a long-time supporter of the program and this was one more way in which to continue that traditon.
Dick Stevens, who was scorekeeper for yesterday’s Regatta was skipper aboard his 34 ft. Honalee as well. He took two students from the program with him. He’s invited both students to race with him this summer. Dick said he stays involved with the program because it’s a great way to find crew members. “This event is a good way to do some networking,” he said. “It can be hard to find crew members.”
At the end of the pig roast for 125 people, awards were handed out to the winnters. Peter Price, president of GMORA summed the day up: “This was a great shakedown race for the season. We did everything wrong today, but fortunately there were no lawsuits for the day!”
Sarah H., speaking on behalf of SAILMAINE, thanked the sailing community for its wonderful response to this Regatta.