Welcome – January 2010

Fleet 5 welcomes new member Joan Thayer and John Read. Joan comes to us from the Sonar fleet, and anyone who has spent any time around Marblehead sailing knows that she is the moving force behind the very successful annual Women’s Sailing Conference held each spring at the CYC. John reportedly also has a healthy one design pedigree involving several classes. The two plan to race Thursday nights to start, but will undoubtedly be unable to resist for long the temptations of Saturday racing. Fleet 5 also welcomes back Rick Saunders. Rick actively raced with us through the late 90s until about 2001, and returns now for another go. In case you weren’t around then or don’t remember, in August 2001, Rick treated us to one of the most impressive displays of seamanship it has been my privilege to witness. After losing his crew late Saturday morning and deciding he wouldn’t be denied, Rick set out to race by himself. In the first race, a standard windward-leeward, he single-handed himself to a 9th place finish out of 22 boats. With walkman blaring (no iPods back then), he started, he tacked, he set the chute, he jibed, he doused – all by himself, and he got a single digit finish. That’s amazing. Even more impressive, however, was his performance in the second race, which was an O-course. Single-handing a triangle course in 12-15 knots, he sailed to a 7th place finish. And to punctuate the day, he threw the chute up for the ride in. Wow! This guy is really good, and I couldn’t be happier that he’s back.

Speaking of really good, we have it on reasonably good authority that our starting line will once again be graced by Michael Carpenter and BJ Mansfield. Assuming that is so, welcome back? just doesn’t cut it. BJ and Michael’s historical contributions to Fleet 5 are legendary, as by the way, are their skills on the water. Their return is great news for the fleet, but a mixed blessing for all who have designs on winning races. Even more notable, though, is how they sail. No more gentlemanly a skipper has ever steered a R19 than Michael, whose approach to the game defines Corinthian.?

CYC member Scott Krypel, bought a boat about two years ago that is not quite race-ready, but moving in that direction. He did the bottom and the keel last spring, and now turns his attention to standing and running rigging. As is the case with many of us, carving out time is the issue. Assuming he gets it done, he’ll likely ease into things by sailing Thursday nights. Any fleet members who know Scott (and even those who don’t) might consider reaching out to help get him on the water this season.

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