Short Tacks – September 2010

Thanks Tom Despite three years on the job and in need of a rest, class president Tom Despres announced at the class annual meeting that he would serve an unprecedented fourth year. Four years! Tom is a saint, which makes his wife Judy Despres something close to a deity. Running a fleet is a walk in the park compared to managing the day care center that is our class. It requires leadership, patience and a really good sense of humor, and Tom has those qualities in abundance. Many thanks to Tom and Judy.

Kudos to Fred Class President Tom Despres awarded the coveted class 2010 President’s Trophy to Fred Brehob, which marks the second time Fred has been so honored – he also won in 1999. Newer members may not know Fred (and his wife Barbara), but Fred has been a member, supporter and unfailing advocate of the Rhodes Class since before some of us were born. Fred served as Class President from 1995 to 1997, as well as a couple of stints as Fleet 5 fleet captain. He’s also won the fleet President’s Trophy at least once. Long story short, he’s the man. Congratulations Fred, and thanks for all you’ve done. Brehob’s 2010 Debut Foiled Speaking of Tom and Fred, Fred sailed his first race of 2010 in the Nationals practice race. Crewing for the maestro was none other than the Class President himself. Regrettably, the team shot itself in the foot when Fred’s crew mistook the X-flag for a general recall and ordered his skipper back to the line.

New Fleet 5 Web Site Goes Live Thanks to the efforts of Rick Berliner, our fleet web site has a new look. Rick has been working in his limited spare time all spring and summer to improve the look, feel and organization of our site, and he’s done a terrific job. Thanks Rick.

Nationals Going to Chicago The 2011 Rhodes 19 Nationals will be held next August on Lake Michigan. Start your planning today.

Will the Champs Defend? With Nationals going to Chicago, the Heffernans will have to travel to defend their title, and traveling isn’t something they historically done. If they go (and the current Las Vegas line is 100 to 1 against), it would mark the first time in memory that they hauled their boat beyond state lines. Stay tuned.

Shannon Shannon Shannon Mike Lane lost one of his crew the day before Nationals was to begin. Just after the practice race, Mike’s sister Shannon Lane sought to protect Mike’s boat from a surging towed boat by inserting her wrist between them. Though lost for the regatta, and despite a morphine drip, Shannon was determined to make the Raisides’ party on Wednesday night despite facing surgery scheduled for early the next morning. Now that’s spirit! So how did she deal with having a new plate in her arm and cast to her elbow? She did what most of us would do in that situation – she got a haircut. Sorry About That In our report about Fleet 5 kids in Junior RW, we somehow neglected to mention Matthew Adam, Mike Lane’s son. Matthew sailed Laser Radials and finished 15th in a class of 29.

Brian Bones Takes Over the TC Class President Tom Despres announced that Brian Bones will chair the class technical committee. It will now fall to Brian, to work through a docket of several unresolved technical issues, and in so doing to strike the right balance between our needs today and what is best for the long-term interest of the class. The list of issues includes relatively minor stuff like allow electronic compasses, to major changes such as allowing the introduction of a new composite keel. We don’t envy Brian, but note that he embraces the job with positive energy and no apparent personal agenda.

Christina’s a PR Machine In case you hadn’t noticed, Fleet 5 and the Rhodes class have been getting a lot of press lately. Christina Pandapas, who is a PR professional and writer by trade, has been an ongoing contributor this season to the Marblehead Reporter, writing feature articles about a variety of sailing topics and making sure the MRA scores are listed. She’s also been a regular contributor to this distinguished periodical. But on top of all that, this season she trained her energy and talents on promoting our Nationals, generally working to make sure we get the press (we so richly deserve), and she’s done a great job. Several articles about us (featuring Fleet 5, Race Week, Nationals and our new Nationals champs) have found their way in Scuttlebutt and the Marblehead Reporter. Great job – thanks to Christina.

Sailing World Takes Notice – Who are These Guys? And in case you missed it, one bit of PR Christina didn’t have a hand in was the feature column by Dave Reed about Jim Raisides and Charlie Pendleton in this month’s Sailing World. What a feather in the cap of our 2-time consecutive Race Week winners. Through this article, they demonstrated how to build a successful program and what a good partnership can be. And at the same time they brought national attention to our fleet and our class. Congratulations Jim and Charlie (or is it Charlie and Jim).

Clark Uhl Wins the R19 Junior Keelboat Regatta In breezy conditions our Nationals organizers might have sold their souls for, Clark Uhl, sailing with his dad Steve Uhl, who dominated a field of four boats. In the four races sailed, he scored 1-1-2-1. James Collins & Cameron Holley, sailing with Jamie Holley, finished second. Nicholas Pandapas took third and Wilson Kaznoski; Isabella, Miles & Malcolm Renney took fourth. Congratulations to all.

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