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Midway in May Cup

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Breakwater Yacht Club: Gossip leads the pack, but it ain’t over yet.

by Andrew Rudansky

For decades some of the most exciting sporting contests in Sag Harbor have not actually taken place in Sag Harbor, but instead just beyond the breakwater.

Each Wednesday, during the sailing season, members of the Breakwater Yacht Club test their piloting skills in the May Cup and Summer Cup spinnaker racing series.

The 13 skippers in the May Cup, along with their crews and boats each battle the elements to catch that little extra bit of wind.

“One of the most important things in any of these races is having a good, dependable crew,” said Chris DiSunno, the current chairman of the Breakwater Yacht Club racing committee, and former BYC commodore.

In addition to organizing the races this year, DiSunno competes with his boat Swan’s Way.

Each race is plotted out by DiSunno with the help of the racing committee and principal race officer Gordon Ryan. The tracks vary in size and location for each race due to the character of the wind.

Every race begins with the boats sailing into the wind, reaching a turning point and then finishing at the entrance of the breakwater.

“The start of the race really is the majority of the race,” said DiSunno, who described how each boat jockeys for position before the pistol fires, signaling the start of the race.

Midway through the Breakwater Yacht Club’s May Cup spinnaker series, and the race at the top of the leader board are tight.

Gossip, skippered by Steven Kenny and Greg Ames is currently leading the pack with 7 points. Kenny and Ames have consistently placed high, and won the May 16 race.

George Martin, and his boat Osprey, is right behind in second place with a total score of 10. Martin has finished in the top five in all three races so far, but has yet to capture a win.

Lee Oldak and Dan Kalish take the third spot with their boat Purple Haze. After winning the first race on May 2, the pair have faltered and now have 13 points.

The current leader board is by no means static, as the division still has one more race in the series. In addition after the series is over, all of the skippers throw out their two worst races and calculate only their top three performances.

DiSunno said that the May Cup is just a tune up for the real competition in the annual Summer Cup Series starting in June.

The Summer Cup, first run in 1987, is a 20 boat, 12 race series held throughout the months of June, July and August.

The first Summer Cup race will take place on Wednesday, June 6.

Osprey Takes Maycroft Cup

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web Maycroft Cup Race 2

Thirty-two sailboats, in five divisions, competed in the Sag Harbor Yacht Club’s thirteenth annual Maycroft Cup Regatta last Saturday. Starting along the North Haven shore with winds blowing 10-to-12 knots and oscillating from the east to southeast then south, all classes sailed windward, then leeward legs in Shelter Island Sound and raced past Cedar Point Light out into Gardiner’s Bay. 

With wind speeds building into the 10-to-15 knot range, Divisions 1,2, 3 & 5 sailed to Crow Shoals and Division 4 sailed to Three Mile Harbor against a flooding tide. All divisions then returned past Cedar Point to Sag Harbor finishing at the Breakwater.

Sag Harbor Yacht Club member George Martin at the helm of Osprey got the gun, finishing first in Division 2 and winning the overall Maycroft Cup trophy for best finish in both Spinnaker classes.

The top boats and captains in each class were, in order of finish: Division 1 (Spinnaker), Gossip, Stephen Kenny & Greg Ames; White Lightning, Russell Jim Smyth, Jr.; Purple Haze, Lee Oldak & Dan Kalish; Division 2 (Spinnaker), Osprey, George Martin; Spindrift, Bill Rich; Impromptu, Sean Leary; Division 3 (Non-Spinnaker), Loki, Mark Webber & Matt Ivans; Plurabelle, Andrea Bourel; Loose Fish, John & Audrey Niewenhous; Division 4 (Non-Spinnaker), Bellatrix, Joe Gaites & Joe Frizell; Windsong, Carlton Endemann; Fresh Start, Arthur Spanarkel; Division 5 (One Design J105), Buckaroo, Bruce Tait; Roxanne, Wayne Morse; Mambo, Sedgwick Ward.

The other overall perpetual trophy winners were Loki and Buckaroo, the Havens Cup going to Mark Webber & Matt Ivans for best finish in the Non-Spinnaker divisions and the Ron Lowe Cup going to Bruce Tait for best finish in One Design division.