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2015 YRA Frostbite Championship

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Fotis Boliakis, Norwalk YC wins the 2015 YRA Frostbite Championship

The Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS) held their 2015 Frostbite Championship on Saturday, April 18 at the Beach Point Yacht Club in Mamaroneck, NY, in weather that was definitely not your typical frostbiting weather.  Eleven teams from Long Island, Westchester and Connecticut raced in oscillating winds under bright blue skies, a warm sun and temperatures in the 60’s.  What a wonderful respite from the harsh winter that kept many of our frostbiters from racing this past season.

This regatta was first held in 1954 and is sailed in a one-person, 9-foot boat called the Dyer Dhows.  The first winner of the perpetual W.J.H. Dyer Frostbite Trophy was awarded to the late Jack Sutphen, who raced over at Larchmont YC for many years before moving out west.

It was the Mamaroneck Frostbite Association that, once again, organized and ran this regatta.  Hats off to Race Committee Chair, Bahar Gidwani, and his team who did an excellent job of getting 10 races completed in very difficult wind conditions with lots of big shifts to challenge the skippers.

Competitors are invited to race in the Frostbite Championship based on their racing record and a nomination from home yacht club or association.  Each Frostbite Club in the YRALIS received a notice inviting their top male and top female to entry the regatta. This qualification requirement assures the entrants a chance to race against the top frostbiters for the season. And this year, even with the harsh winter, the competition was top-notch.

Fotis Boliakis, Norwalk Yacht Club, won the championship for the second year in a row, with four firsts in this 10 race series, but was only two points ahead of the runner-up, Mike Calman of Indian Harbor YC.  In 3rd place was Fred Treffeisen, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association.  Pedro Lorson, Manhasset Bay Frostbite YC, came in 4th in this very competitive fleet.  Eva Burpee, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association, was awarded the top female finisher, who was in a 3-way tie for 4th place. 

It was Boliakis’ expertise in anticipating several wind shifts that gave him the podium finish.  Several times he started next to the committee boat when the rest of the fleet were starting at the pin end.  And he was in great shape when the racers faced a 60% westerly shift late in the day. 

The Awards Ceremony took place at the Beach Point Club.  Skippers, family and friends gathered for a sumptuous light dinner in a dining room overlooking the harbor. The 2015 YRALIS Frostbite Championship Winners:  1. Fotis Boliakis, Norwalk YC, 2. Michael Calman, Indian Harbor YC, 3. Fred Treffeisen, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association, 4. Pedro Lorson, Manhasset Bay Frostbite YC, 5. Paul Beaudin, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association, 6. Eva Burpee, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association, 7. Michael Millard, Indian Harbor YC, 8. Kara Licata, Mamaroneck Frostbite Association, 9. Teresa Laughlin, Larchmont YC, 10.  Allison Puelo, Larchmont YC, and 11. Deborah Wressell, Indian Harbor YC.

Special thanks to Event Co-chairs Sandy Waters and Daniel Margues and Rob Simonfy who organized the boats and a “whole lot of other stuff.”  Bahar Gidwani, PRO, and his team of Rocco Campanelli, Dee Dee Simmons, Jeff Haviland, Robert DiVincenzo set up good courses and kept the action going.  Crash boat operators Rick Auman and Rick Kasel on one boat,  Xorissa (no last name available) and Will Tifft on a second boat, and Dan Marques and Tracy Kinpley on a third crash boat, kept the teams safe out on the water.  And a big round of applause goes to the Beach Point Club for hosting the event and presenting such a gracious and delicious conclusion to a fine day of racing.  They also loaned their Dyer Dhows for the event.

The Mamaroneck Frostbite Association has been racing at the Beach Point Club since 2003 and currently they have 55 active sailors, racing in two divisions.  They use two sizes of sails, which have given the racers the opportunity to race in a variety of conditions. And if the 2015 YRALIS Frostbite Championship is any indication, the Mamaroneck Harbor has quite the variety of wind conditions.

PHOTOS of the event are posted on the YRA Facebook page.  Click HERE