January Newsletter

Greetings From The Prez

Happy New Year! Happy. New. Year. I say that every year, with sincerity, as New Year’s provides us opportunity to pause and reflect on the past year’s events and to look forward to those to come, but there is an undeniable gravity to the phrase this year. 2020 was an incredibly challenging year for so many people, on so many levels, and while we are by no means out of the woods yet, the simple notion of turning the page on 2020 allows for a small sigh of relief and gives renewed hope for better days ahead.

As I sit writing this, it occurs to me that 20 years ago this summer I sailed my first Rhodes regatta with none other than Norm Cressy and Heather (Cressy) Dalton aboard Fat Lady in Marblehead Raceweek. Little did I know at the time that that regatta would be my entry into the Fleet which has grown to become like family over the past two decades. From sailing with Kim Pandapas, when Christina Pandapas was pregnant with Christopher (who will be graduating from high school this spring!), to some unforgettable laughs with Jim Raisides and Charlie Pendleton aboard 1217 (now Timmy Dittrich’s boat), to convincing my college skipper and best friend Joe Fava that since we had sold our Interclub, we should buy a Rhodes, it’s been an incredible 20 years. I am grateful for all of the experiences and friendships that have come out of it. And while the list could go on (am I really going to leave out stalking Jimmy Spithill with Renee Heffernan and Christina Pandapas in Chicago?, or that Heather Dalton set me and Mike up on our first date?), I think it’s best to turn our sights forward to the good things on the horizon for 2021.

Before jumping into 2021, a few thoughts on 2020. Despite all the challenges, there was a fair amount of sailing that happened, and not surprisingly, a lot of participation from our Fleet 5 members. It goes without saying that MRA went above and beyond, finding ways to get us out racing despite ever changing restrictions. In addition to the 31 races between Saturday MRA racing and Twilights, Fleet 5 Members also participated in the CYC 2v2 Team Race, the Greenwich Cup Match Race, the CYC Club Championship, Laser racing, Dragon Flite 95 remote controlled racing and last but not least our newest fleet in town, Tech Dinghy racing – pretty amazing, right? And before shutting the door on 2020, I want to say a well-deserved thank you to Jim Taylor. As some of you know, I was due to take over as Fleet Captain in 2018, but upon becoming pregnant with our son, I decided that might not be the best thing for the Fleet. Jim graciously stepped up, leading the Fleet for the last several years while also serving on the CYC Sailing Committee. So Jim, from me and the rest of Fleet 5, thank you so much.

I would also like to thank the Fleet 5 Leadership Team, all of whom have signed on for another term, with the addition of Steve Uhl as VP. We met in early December to outline our goals for the year and will be meeting again in January to follow up on what we discussed that night. A brief summary of where things stand can be found on page 3.

While there is no doubt that we are facing a great bit of uncertainty in 2021, there are a lot of people working hard behind the scenes to make the 2021 sailing season the best that it can be. While the MRA Calendar as not been finalized yet, word on the street is that they are optimistically planning for a full summer schedule. Our good friends Charlie Thomas and Yati Harsono in Manchester have confirmed that they are moving ahead with planning to host the East Coast Championships on June 4-6th. We have not had an East Coasts

for a few years now, so please note that this date is a few weeks earlier than it has been in years past. June 4th-6th. Put it in your calendar and start planning your boat prep accordingly. The Marblehead NOODs are tentatively scheduled for July 22nd-25th, and last but not least, Kim Pandapas and I and the rest of the Nationals Planning Committee will be meeting again in February, to pick up where we left off last June. As of now the Corinthian Yacht Club will be hosting the Nationals the week of Monday August 16th – Friday August 20th. While it is a ways away, we are always looking for additional volunteers to help with a variety of things, so if you would like to be involved in any way, please let Kim or me know. Slightly further out on the horizon are some exciting plans that are taking shape at the hand of Jocelyn Cook and John Ashton as they work to develop a Community Boating Center at the former Parker’s site. The fact that we do not have something like this in town already is a bit mind blowing, so please check out page 6 for Jocelyn’s update on where things stand.

In the short term, a few important dates: Wednesday Jan 13th at 7pm is last year’s National Class Annual Meeting, which didn’t happen since the 2020 Nationals were canceled. The event will be held virtually via Zoom. Please click the following link for the Zoom link, passcode and agenda: Notice_of_Annual_Meeting_-_Jan_2021.pdf There are some important rule changes being voted on (2 versus 3 and weight limits at sanctioned events), which are explained in greater detail on pages 4-5 with a summary of the rules changes by National Class President Mike Lane and an assessment of the implications of those rules changes by Kim Pandapas. These changes will impact you if you plan to sail East Coasts and Nationals. So if you read nothing else in this newsletter, read those articles and make it a point to attend the Annual Meeting.

On a more fun note, Social Chair Larry Ehrhart will virtually host the Fleet 5 Winter Party on Saturday January 23rd at 5pm. So whether you are slope-side quarantining or cleaning out your closets, be sure to take a break to hop on the call and raise a glass with your fellow fleet mates. More details to follow including a signature cocktail for the event. Hope to see you there!

Upcoming Events

  • National Class Annual MeetingThe Annual Meeting will be held via Zoom Wed. Jan 13th at 7pm. There are some important rules changes being voted on so please plan to attend.
  • Winter PartyThe winter party will be held at 5 PM on Saturday January 23rd virtually by Larry and Rebecca Ehrhardt. Keep your eye out for the evite.
  • Spring ClinicMay TBD Fleet 5 will host an evening clinic in May. Exact date and location still to be determined.
  • Measurement DaysTBD With Nationals coming, expect at least two measurement days, likely late April and early May.
  • Spring Series – May 29th–30th Spring Series will kick off on the Saturday & Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
  • East CoastsJune 4th-6th At Manchester Sailing Association. Mark your calendars for this great local event.
  • Marblehead NOODsJuly 22nd-25th Hosted by BYC.
  • NationalsAugust 18th-20th at CYC.

Fleet Officers

  • Fleet President: Elise Mazareas Nash
  • Vice President: Steve Uhl
  • Treasurer: David Reynolds
  • Secretary: Martha Martini
  • Scorer: Kim Pandapas
  • Social: Larry Ehrhardt
  • Web Site: Nat Taylor
  • MRA Rep: Kim Pandapas
  • Measurer: Stefan Thibodeaux

Short Tacks

MRA Fleet Reps Meeting

The MRA held its Fall fleet reps meeting on Tuesday Dec 1st to solicit thoughts on the previous season and suggestions for next season. Kim Pandapas and Elise Nash attended for Fleet 5. Fleets were overwhelmingly appreciative of MRA’s efforts to get sailing in during the pandemic, as well as of the high-quality RC work done with skeleton crews and fewer resources. In addition to appreciation, Fleet 5 observed that the RC work was consistent across clubs, RC communication was great and the shorter courses were fun.  

Looking ahead, there was some discussion about lessons learned that we might apply going forward. For example, resource constraints resulted in no offsets marks last season, which worked out fine with the smaller fleet sizes. So the discussion was around not using offsets going forward unless the fleet size is more than some number of boats.  

If you have feedback or suggestions for MRA, please forward to kpandapas@comcast.net.

Looking Forward To The 2021 Season

Fleet 5 leadership meet via Zoom in early December to plan out the 2021 season. We will be meeting again to January to follow up on certain initiatives, but in the meantime here is a quick summary of where things stand to date:

Events We have tentatively finalized the event schedule for the 2021 season, knowing full well that we only have so much control over what will actually come to fruition. Stefan Thibodeaux has set aside several dates for Measurement Days, in late April and early May, vaccine pending and Kim Pandapas is working on a plan for the Spring Clinic, which will mostly likely be a virtual event. Our all important Social Chair Larry Ehrhardt has worked out our potential schedule of parties and hosts, with fingers crossed that we may be able to gather in person at some point. Due to the proximity of the Nationals to the Labor Day Regatta we figured that two Rhodes parties in three weeks might be a bit much and that perhaps we hold off on the Labor Day Party this year. In recent years we have done a joint party with the J-70 Fleet, and something tells me if they were to have a party, and invite the Rhodes, a few Fleet 5ers would likely show up.

Scoring More to follow on this once we have a finalized MRA Calendar.

Finances We finished 2020 in virtually the same spot as 2019, opting not to collect dues last season and without the expense of parties and trophies. Our current balance stands at $9,500 and, provided we are able to open registration this spring, annual fleet dues will remain at the level originally planned for the 2020 season ($75). In 2019 we took in around $1,700 and spent somewhere on the order of $1,000-$1,200 on the Fleet Bar and end of the season awards. While it is too early to say what type of impact running the 2021 Nationals will have, hopefully a positive one, the slight surplus is always a good thing.

Communications Nat Taylor updated us on the status of the website, what pages see the most hits and how our new Fleet 5 Facebook page is performing. One of Nat’s goals for the 2021 season will be to update the photos portion of the website with new content. We will keep the same newsletter schedule (January, March, April, May & November). The Road To The Cup will be published weekly during the season and Nat will work with Steve Uhl and Christina Pandapas to coordinate all information regarding the Nationals and our Fleet 5 page.

Recruiting The group had a great discussion regarding recruiting and some new ways of opening up our fleet to new sailors. More to come on that once the details have been worked out. In the meantime, know anyone who wants to buy a J-70? Peter Pappas has expressed interest in joining Fleet 5, but is reluctant to buy a boat until he has sold his 70. We would sure love to see him out on our line in a Rhodes this summer, so anything we can do to help him sell that boat would be a good thing. While it should go without saying, recruiting is really the job of everyone in the Fleet. Attrition is natural so in order to maintain, we need to grow. We should all be thinking, as we plan for days when our boat partner may be out of town or as we consider a third for a sanctioned event, who might we bring in to the Fleet 5 family. You never know, they could end up as Fleet Captain 20 years later…

New Event for 2021 Season

The Corinthian Yacht Club will host a new invitational women’s team racing regatta to be sailed in Sonars with spinnakers June 26-27, 2021. Teams from yacht clubs and college alumni sailing associations across the US will be invited to compete in the Corinthian Yacht Club National Women’s Invitational Team Race for the Thayer Trophy.

Competing teams will be vying for a trophy honoring Fleet 5’s own Joan Thayer and Elynore “Elli” Thayer, two Corinthian members who made a significant contribution to women’s sailing. Joan, a passionate one-design racer, established the National Women’s Sailing Association Sailing Conference and co-chaired the event for more than a decade. Her mother, Elli who passed in 2013, just shy of her 100th birthday, was the first woman skipper in the 110 class and helped establish Marblehead Racing Association going on to serve as its scorer for more than 20 years. Both Joan and Elli are Marblehead Yachting Hall of Fame inductees.

For the full press release please see: https://www.facebook.com/Corinthian-Yacht-Club-National-Womens-Invitation-Team-Race-Thayer-Trophy

National Class Rules Changes by Mike Lane

You may have noticed in the recent Mainsheet, that there are 3 proposed rule changes. As you consider how you might like to vote on each, I thought I would provide you with some context on each.

·        B 12.00.02 – Clarifies the qualification for helming a boat in a class sanctioned regatta. This change allows junior sailors to automatically qualify to compete. In the past this has always been an exception that has been made. We are now adding it to the class rules. In addition, the proposal stipulates that if you intend to helm a boat in a class sanctioned regatta, then you must have qualified as a helmsperson, not as crew.

·        Following B 12.00.03 – This so-called “ringer rule” defines the criteria under which a professional sailor can qualify to participate in class sanctioned regattas.

·        B 12.02 – A proposal to address the 2 vs. 3 crew requirement in class sanctioned regattas. This is a surprisingly complex issue with no easy solution. There are many pro’s and con’s to be considered and Kim Pandapas will attempt to address these in a separate article.

Here is the text is each proposed change:


Change B 12.00.02

§  From – The Person in Charge either a) must have campaigned a Rhodes 19 either during 25% of the current racing season within the territory of the fleet they represent, b) have been a Member of the Rhodes 19 Class Association for two consecutive years prior to the current year, or c) have been a past district or national champion. If the Person in Charge is not the Helmsman, then the Helmsman is subject to the same criteria.

§  To – The Person in Charge either a) must have campaigned a Rhodes 19 either during 25% of the current racing season within the territory of the fleet they represent as helmsman, b) have been a Member of the Rhodes 19 Class Association for two consecutive years immediately prior to the current

year, or c) have been a past district or national champion as helmsman, or d) not yet reached their 25th birthday by the first day of the regatta. If the Person in Charge is not the Helmsman, then the Helmsman is subject to the same criteria.

Following B 12.00.03, add:

§  Any ISAF Sailor Classification (http://www.worldsailingywc.org/tools/documents/classificationcode-%5B432%5D.pdf) Category 3 sailor participating in a class sanctioned event either a) must have sailed a Rhodes 19 either during 25% of the current racing season within the territory of the fleet they represent, b) have been a Member of the Rhodes 19 Class Association for two consecutive years immediately prior to the current year, or c) have been part of the winning team (helmsman or crew) of a past Rhodes 19 district or national championship.

§  Neither helmsman nor crew shall accept a payment or fee specifically for participating in a race.

Change B 12.02

§  From – The minimum total crew complement per boat shall be three for all races.

§  To – The minimum combined weight of all crew and helmsman shall be 425 pounds.

Why We Should Vote No on The Crew Proposal by Kim Pandapas

In case you missed it, the Class Association Annual Meeting which was to have been held at nationals, is scheduled for Wednesday Jan 13th at 7pm. One of the agenda items is to consider a change to the current 3-person crew requirement for sanctioned events, which was published in the recent Mainsheet. The proposal, if passed, would change the rule from, “The minimum total crew complement per boat shall be three for all races,” to “The minimum combined weight of all crew and helmsman is 425 pounds.” I hope you’ll join me in voting this down.

First a little context. The 3 v 2 controversy has been raging in our class since long before I joined 25 years ago. It’s been the third rail. It was contentious during my years as class president back in the early 2000s, and remains a hot button today. The class historically has been pretty evenly split on the topic, which is why no change has ever been ratified. Here are the arguments.

Those favoring sailing with three typically point to three arguments: weight, participation and recruitment. As we all know, our boat is weight sensitive, and less crew weight provides an advantage in light-to-moderate conditions. Two-person crews typically have a weight advantage over those who prefer or need to sail with three. Mandating three in the boat eliminates that issue and evens things out. The participation and recruitment arguments hold that three in the boat would bring more people to our sanctioned events, upping participation, making for better parties and ultimately introducing new folks to our class. All reasonable points.

Those favoring two have similarly legit arguments, the biggest again pertaining to weight. Some of our larger two person-teams can weigh in at up to 400 pounds, which is a little heavy for light conditions and possibly a tad light for heavy conditions, but on balance a good weight. Adding a 3rd for those teams is a significant disadvantage, particularly in a light-air regatta. The second argument is that many of us sail all season with two in the boat, and it’s disruptive and ultimately a disadvantage to change it up and work in a third for the biggest event of the year. Finally, those favoring two argue that it’s easier to pull together a nationals program with two, which would result in more boats showing up.

The new proposal attempts to provide a simple solution by introducing a minimum weight instead of number of crew. While I love the elegance of the solution, it’s still flawed. The biggest problem is that some of our lighter all-women teams, like Team Cook, already sail with three and would not meet that minimum. This rule would force them either to change out their regular crew or sail with four, both of which are suboptimal. We’ve long been a class welcoming to women crews (who tend to be lighter), and this rule disproportionately disadvantages them, creating a disincentive to recruiting more women teams. That’s out of step with our current social progress and frankly, just not who we are. Beyond the social issue, I don’t think any class today can afford to disenfranchise any group.

So why not make it 400 pounds instead of 425? I’m sure that has been considered, and I’m sure thoughtful people can make compelling arguments for various limits. But in my view, the weight limit approach isn’t right for our class. Running nationals is hard enough without introducing scales, monitoring who gets on them, what they are wearing, and policing crew swapping. Weight requirements (minimum and maximum) have introduced an unwelcome dimension to recreational racing across a lot of classes, and in my view, are a contributor to the downward spiral in participation across our sport.

I agree that the time has come to settle this debate once and for all, and offer this alternative proposal. Why don’t we mandate a declaration to sail with either two or three, and once you commit to one or the other, you’re stuck with it for the entire regatta? Two-person teams get to sail as two, and three-persons teams get to sail as three. If the regatta proves to be light air, the lighter boats will have an advantage, as they always do. If it blows, the heavy boats will prevail while the lighter boats go sideways, as they always do.

Tech Dinghy Racing by Steve Uhl

So according to Jud, it has been 40 years since there has been dinghy frostbite racing at BYC.  But this year it is on – thanks to a small group of organizers including Jay Watt and past R19 National Champions Tomas Hornos and Jud Smith.  MIT was upgrading their fleet of tech dinghies and put up their old ones for sale for a great price.  They were snapped up within a few days.  In addition to Jud and Tomas, R19ers Ben Richardson (yet a 3rd R19 champ) and Larry Ehrhardt bought boats, as did a Tom Dailey/Steve Uhl partnership.

There have been 2 Sundays of racing so far, with 5-8 races per day, started in the harbor right off BYC.  The boats are being sailed singlehanded which works well in these times.  Fleet volunteers built a hut on a float to help the RC volunteers stay warm and keep civilized.  It’s a bit early to pontificate about score results, except the results of fun and enthusiasm are rampant.  So far Tomas has been the guy to beat, but all Fleet 5ers have been contenders at the top of the fleet.

A Vision for Community Boating by Jocelyn Cook

As many of you know, James Ashton, a local captain and Sailing Instructor, and I have been working for the last two years to create a Marblehead Community Boating Center (link to www.mhdboating.org), to keep dry sailing alive for non-club members after Parker’s was taken off-line. With a lot of listening, research and planning, traction is starting to build as we now move forward with a proposal for consideration to the Harbormaster / HWB. The ultimate aim of the envisioned Community Boating Center would be to provide enhanced public access that is also universal (ADA compliant) to Marblehead Harbor for small sail, motor and paddle vessels (kayak/SUP).  Those enjoying MCBC could utilize craft storage, vessel launching and MCBC boats. In addition, the aim is to provide youth & adult educational opportunities related to safe boating, sailing, seamanship and environmental stewardship. This is a really exciting idea, and meets a long overdue (in our opinion) need in Marblehead.  A robust community boating center, would help to combat the decline in one design racing, in addition to providing another access point for new sailors/boaters to build their skills and confidence on the water. By growing the sport through enhanced access, this will undoubtedly open a pathway for filtering new active boating memberships to the yacht clubs as well. We can list many strong relationships in other harbor communities between Yacht Clubs and Community Boating Centers and are excited for the many ways this vision could enrich Marblehead Harbor.  We hope you all will be as enthusiastic as we are and seek out ways to support this vision and help bring it to life. A next step is administering a needs assessment survey and your participation would be helpful. Please keep an eye on the MCBC website (link to www.mhdboating.org) or signup for their newsletter to receive. (Jocelyn’s email: jocelyn.n.cook@gmail.com)


Got News? Let’s hear from you. Send your gossip, rumors and embarrassing tidbits to elise.mazareas@gmail.com and kpandapas@comcast.net

Congratulations to Rob and Kara Pascal who welcomed their second child this December. Rob wrote “Crazy year but the silver lining was this little guy, Miles, born 3 weeks ago. He and Kara are doing great and Claire is adjusting nicely.”

Luckily for Kara there was not a 4-day regatta shortly thereafter this time around…

Heather Kaznoski, Christina Pandapas and Jennifer Uhl enjoyed some socially distant time together at the DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park this fall.


Several Fleet 5 members wrote in with praise for the Holiday Edition of the RTTC: Joan Thayer wrote “Wonderful newsletter to end the year.  KP’s enthusiasm and wit is never ending. Thank you.” Mark Toso wrote “Good Morning Kim and Happy New Year; You are a prolific writer!  We need people like you in every fleet.  Thanks for all you do!” From VP Steve Uhl “Awesome RTTC, as always.” And from Heather Kaznoski “Always a great read.  Thank you.” And my personal favorite, from anonymous “Kim was pretty restrained in the letter to Santa…maybe the fun stuff got edited out?”

From Past President Jim Taylor, who fully cooperated in the transition of power “Attached is a photo of the ‘trophies’ promised to our Covid Award winners, that I plan to deliver in the next week or so.  Also shown are custom crafted keepers for our last three Hacker Award winners.  I’ll get plaques engraved, put them on crooked, and deliver those, too.

I hope that Santa was good to you guys.  Among other things here, he brought Ellis baby’s first hiking stick, sized to suit.  Can’t start ‘em too young.”

We agree entirely, and can’t wait to see Ellis out in 1926 in the near future!

Racer’s Resource Board

Dave Whittier of Stuart Marine in Rockland Maine is the exclusive builder of Rhodes 19s. Call Dave at 207-594-5515 for pricing on new boats, used boats, repairs and parts.

Doyle Sails at (978) 740-5950 for new sails and repairs.

Chris Small – Full restorations and glass work- csmall9021@yahoo.com, (978) 500-9021.

Seacoast Specialty Marine Call Greg Dolan at 978-255-2769, click on seacoastspecialtymarine.com, or visit on Facebook @seacoastspecialtymarine.

Neal Lewanda – Repairs, fiberglass/gel coat, rudders, keel work, etc. – neal@lewandamarine.com, 978-525-2700

Benjamin Parker of Aequoris Yachts and does glass work and boat repair. Contact Ben at 58 Gregory Street, Marblehead (207) 319-3583 or benjamin.parker@aequorisyachts.com.

Waterline Systems provides a complete range of services. Call at (401) 682-1661.

Cape Cod Shipbuilding makes Zephyr extrusions and a full range of mast and boom hardware and fittings. Call Dick Landis at (508) 295-2240.

The Trailer Shop – Located on 87 High St. in Danvers for any trailer repairs. Call Dan Sullivan at (978) 750-6799

Sailor’s Tailor www.sailortailors.com for boat covers, rudder bags and marine stitching.

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Notice Board

Please mail postings and updates to elise.mazareas@gmail.com

Clear Out Those Old Sails – Reclaim all that space in your garage, attic or sail locker. Please consider a tax deductible donation of your old sails to either Sail Salem at www.sailsalem.org or Courageous at www.courageoussailing.org.

Nahant Fleet Needs Sails – The Nahant Sailing Program (NSP) has 6 Rhodes 19s that are used to teach kids and a twilight program for adults. The majority of funding comes from an annual fund raiser by The Friends of Nahant Sailing. The Rhodes sails need replacement, so if you have or are purchasing new sails, please consider donating your old ones to “The Friends of Nahant Sailing.” Not only will it help the program grow, but the donation is tax deductible. Please contact Bob Cusack at (781) 581-1159 or rjcusack@verizon.net if you are interested.

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The next Fleet 5 Newsletter will be published in March. Newsletters are distributed by email. To request being added to (or removed from) Fleet 5’s distribution list, please contact Martha Martini at martini1466@gmail.com. To respond with comments, suggestions, and/or news, email Elise Nash at elise.mazareas@gmail.com

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