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YRALIS 2016 Special Awards

At the 2016 YRA Annual Meeting and Awards, President Steve Cain awarded four YRA Special Awards.  These are given annually to deserving recipients. Please see below for the awardees and a description of their respective award. The Ned Anderson Achievement Award:  James Bishop, Sr.; The Arthur P. Davis Beach Point Yacht Club Trophy:  American YC; the Roger H. Shope Award: Christopher Schneider; and the David Pryor Sportsmanship Trophy: Wendy Walasek and Vince Nanni.  You can read the description by either clicking on READ MORE or clicking on the link provided.





As listed in the YRA-LIS Racing Program Book, the Ned Anderson Achievement Award reads as follows, and quote, “For outstanding service by an individual to yacht racing on Long Island Sound.” End quote. I have also read that this award is the highest honor that an individual may receive from the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound.   So with that in mind I wanted to develop the description of the award further. I reached out to many yachting luminaries, no one had any information, even some of the past recipients.  However, I was directed to the Grand Dame of Long Island Sound racing, Mary Savage.  There I was given the following information and background of the Award.

Here is what I learned and I will quote Mary.  “From the JSA of LIS yearbook:  Ned Anderson was one of the Founding Members of the JSA of LIS in 1924 and was the Chairman of the JSA in 1927 and 1928 - from an old (2006) YRA of LIS yearbook (the new yearbook is not correct) Ned Anderson was the Assistant Secretary of the YRA from 1948 to 1959 and then the Executive Secretary in 1960 - from Stan Ogilvy’s book “The Larchmont Yacht Club A History, 1880-1990”   Edmond G. (Ned) Anderson had been Chairman of LYC’s Race Committee in 1926-1926 and then again 25 years later in 1950 and 1951.  When he retired from business after World War II he became interested in the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound and was so immersed in what was practically a full time job.  First as its Assistant Secretary and then with the more appropriate title of Executive Secretary, he devoted his services to the YRA and the Junior YRA for 13 years.  At that time the YRA office kept all the scores for the one design classes, as well as managing the scheduling and other executive business that it still administers.  Ned Anderson was instrumental in putting junior racing and training on a secure footing on Long Island Sound.  Bill Taylor wrote in Yachting Magazine “No one has done more for the sport, or devoted as much time and effort to it, as Edmond G. Anderson.”  On his retirement, the YRA established the Ned Anderson Achievement Trophy, to be awarded annually “for outstanding service by an individual to yacht racing on Long Island Sound.”

The Ned Anderson Achievement Award is one of the few YRA trophies that has been awarded since 1961 to the present without missing a year.  Some notable recipients have been Briggs Cunningham, Cornelius Shields, Allegra Merts, her husband Jim Mertz, she was first, D.Verner Smythe, Butch Ulmer, Roger Shope, Owen Torry, Jr., June and Bob Kendrick, Rich du Moulin, Tuna Wallischeck and Carl Olsen. The list goes on and on, I have only mentioned a few. 

That is the history of this prestigious award.  And now let me tell me tell you about another yachting standard bearer.  In the early 1970’s there was one design racing on Long Island Sound, there were many classes.  There were 210 class and the 110 class, these were having the traditional problems that we all face today, participation.  However, IOD class like the 110 and the 210 class had the same problems.  Along came a competitor in the IOD Class.  He was determined not to let the IOD Class fail.  This gentleman revived a dying class got it going again for another twenty years.

In the fall of 1989 I had the pleasure to meet this individual.  On a cold fall day at American Yacht Club.  We had a cocktail to warm up, during our conversation I told him about my new boat, coming in the spring of 1990.  It was a J44, he quickly explained that he also had a new boat coming, a J44.  Would this be faith or a coincidence?  This was the start of experience that would last so far for 26 years.  He spoke about the problems with rating systems.  He told me that there is no system like one design, First, Second or Third, that’s it no handicapping, no one had to wait till the results were calculated.   

He also had ideas about saving money while racing, that is a different theory.  Saving money and still race.  A sailmakers nightmare. He developed a one design sail program, financed by the Class members, maintained by an Executive Director.  Everyone was equal, no pros on the boats, leveling the playing field even more.  The J44 Class was the first one design class to sail in the Newport to Bermuda Race, from 1990 to 2014.  The J44 Class also premiered in the Columbus Cup in Baltimore.  We did match racing in the J44’s crewed by all of the national and international America’s Cup Skippers.  These were the glory days.  The Class had one design starts for all the major distance races on Long Island Sound, on the Chesapeake Bay, in Florida for the winter series, Key West Race Week and the SORC.  All the major boat manufactures looked with envy at the J44 Class.

Here we are 26 seasons later, still going strong.  We are still one design.  The Class has looked to Jim Bishop for guidance.  We are now on the third generation of owners in the Class.  

Jim has been the Chief Executive Officer and Class President since 1990.  Jim has served on many US Sailing Committees, The Presidents’ Club, that were you get the USA 49 from.  Jim is a Past Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, Master and Commander of the Famous and Infamous Costal Queen. He is a member of just too many yacht club to mention.  He has promoted sailing on Long Island Sound, he is a great friend of the YRA.  Jim is the first person to volunteer. 

And now for the second time, Jim Bishop is the recipient of the Ned Anderson Achievement Award. 





The Arthur P. Davis Beach Point Yacht Club Trophy is awarded annually for yachting achievement on Long Island Sound by a member club. 

The winning club this year, American Yacht Club,  encourages and promotes yacht racing on the Sound in a number of ways.

This club runs arguably the most significant day racing  events of our season, the signature American Spring and Fall Series. 

They are vital partners in the support and running of One Design racing throughout the season, notably in the Viper, J70, Etchells, Shields and smaller boat fleets.

They are one of the key participants, along with Riverside and Indian Harbor  in the YRALIS Championship Regatta, an event that has become a midsummer regatta of meaning with well over 100 boats on three racing circles.

American Yacht Club also runs one of the more esoteric regattas on the Sound, the High Performance Dinghy Open every Fall. 

The club has very active and successful junior sailing programs, has shown a long history of support for Women’s sailing, winning the Queen’s Cup recently from 2010 to 2015, and its members participate around the world at all levels of the sport-one of their own, Peter Duncan, is in Miami this week campaigning a Melges 24 in the Worlds and, last I looked, was 10th in a fleet of 74 boats.

And this year we want to acknowledge in a special way the club’s support and development of the wildly successful  Young American racing team. Through donated boats and a unique big boat coaching staff made up primarily of volunteer parents, they have shown yacht clubs all over the country the winning formula for getting our Opti kids out of the dinghies and onto big keelboats.

 For this foresight and leadership, it is our pleasure to award, for the 7th time in 61 years, the 2016 Arthur P. Davis Beach Point Trophy to American Yacht Club.    




The Roger H. Shope Trophy, named after the YRA’s 34th President, was established in 1998 to honor outstanding achievement in race management.  Nominees must be amateur sailors or race committee personnel, their service must primarily be for a YRALIS member club and they should be a member of the YRA.  Looking back at the award’s relatively short history, it is not surprising to see many past recipients from both the Lloyd Harbor and Centerport Yacht Clubs.  This year’s recipient, Christopher Schneider, a Past Commodore of Lloyd Harbor and Centerport YC member, also fits this bill and is hereby awarded the 2016 Roger H. Shope Trophy for the past dozen years of service and contributions to race management for both clubs.

From Huntington and throughout the Sound, Chris’ beloved Ericson 39, Rascal has plied the waters and competes in every race that Centerport and Lloyd Harbor run, not to mention the many YRA events which garnered him the Kings Point, Henry Abbot Memorial and Stratford Shoals trophies.  There’s nary a Wednesday night that Rascal is not on the line, also making sure that his turn as PRO is capably handled while his boat may still be on the line.  With so much sailing one would think there would be little time for anything else.   

Not so.  As the primary PRO for Centerport’s Frostbite program, for approximately 15 of the club’s 20 year history of racing JY 15’s, Chris was responsible for the race management of nearly 100 races a season, i.e., sitting atop a 13’ Boston Whaler in less than comfortable conditions.  In all of those races his voice never wavered and his constituents never complained of shoddy RC work.  Why else would a stand-in seek to replicate his booming baritone in barking out course directions, or even his brilliant red suspenders and hunting cap as part of the normal frostbite protocols.

For the other seven months of the sailing season, Chris is similarly engaged.  In the past year it’s been calculated that Chris has run dozens of races from CYC’s Lady Hawke for the area’s best one design sailing, the beloved Ensign fleet.  CYC also runs its share of regional junior sailing events and the only PRO to be heard above the din is Chris Schneider.   He serves as PRO for our local high school sailing programs and it’s no mystery why he always steps up as PRO for the well-attended Jr Sailing Ice Cream Cup.   But most importantly, with the goal of improving the area’s racing: Chris has chaired the Vanderbilt Cup (marketing it for new cruising canvas sailors), staffed Lloyd Harbor’s and CYC’s protest committees, rolls up his sleeves to help assist in the clandestine shoveling at the bottom of the club hoist, helped in the fabrication of parts for the new club hoist, gets greasy fixing RC outboard engines and an old Ford Lehman diesel, all of which was recently recognized with his winning the Moosehead’s Donald B. King Award for individual excellence.  

In a nutshell, this jolly Corinthian (did I fail to mention he also plays Santa at club events) with the hands on experience and can do attitude is a boon to sailboat racing in Huntington and beyond.  It is for all this and more that Chris is awarded the 2016 Roger H. Shope Trophy.  




The David Pryor Sportsmanship Trophy is awarded by the YRA of Long Island Sound to honor outstanding sportsmanship.  This year’s winners, chosen from a group of notable nominees, are Wendy Walasek and Vince Nanni of the yacht Fantasy Girl.

To paraphrase the nominating letter from a member of the Stamford Yacht Club, at Stamford’s annual awards dinner, Vince and Wendy were presented with the first place trophy for Stamford’s annual Great Pursuit Race to Port Jefferson and back.  As we all know, in a pursuit race, the boat that finishes first, wins the race. 

This year, John and Tina Greifzu and crew on Growth Spurt passed Fantasy Girl just before the finish but did not cross the finish line correctly. The Race Committee signaled as Growth Spurt finished but shortly after, the crew on Growth Spurt felt something was not quite right so they turned around, sailed back through the line and were signaled again as having finished the race. They then sailed towards the club and their mooring. It turns out they did not “unwind” so they ended up scored a DNF even though the boat had been signaled twice as a finisher. (Sounds like some Moosehead material here on the RC’s part but we will let other, far smarter sailors decide that fate.)

Fantasy Girl then finished and is later scored the winner.  Vince and Wendy observe Growth Spurt’s efforts but also hear the signals and everyone is confused.

Fantasy Girl is awarded the trophy at the Stamford dinner and Vince calls up John and family and gives it to them because he knows Growth Spurt actually won the race boat for boat and would have had time to correctly finish had they never had the two confusing finishing signals. 

Vince and Wendy did the honorable thing by giving the trophy to the boat that was ahead of them and only “beaten” by the Race Committee and it is for that action, one  that exemplifies the Corinthian ideals that define our sport, that we present them with the 2016 David Pryor Sportsmanship Award.