A full clubhouse filled with an enthusiastic crowd included sailors of all stripes – Olympians and World Champions to evening buoy racing crews, cruisers on near and far waters and a many juniors – all of whom experienced memorable sailing adventures in 2019. With the bartenders keeping up with the demand, the stage was set for a fun-filled CYC Awards Party on Friday, January 17 celebrating a multitude of outstanding 2019 performances on the local, national and international stages, likely the most outstanding year in the Club’s history.
One notable comment came early in the night, when Olympian and multiple time World Champion Jonathan McKee was asked about how he won one of the Center Sound Races – he quickly replied that what was important was not that one race but rather the many races that CYC conducts each year on the Sound and Lake, likely more than any yacht club in the US if not the world. It is these races, he said, that provide the variety of experiences necessary for sailing and winning at all levels, and the Club should be congratulated and supported for providing these opportunities to Northwest sailors.
2020 Commodore David Barnes hosted the ceremony assisted by several other Officers and Board members.
Honor Roll of Champions
First off were the additions to the Honor Roll of Champions – 6 more individuals (three for two separate events) for winning national or international regattas or awards of similar nature in 2019:
- MATS ELF - winner, Race2Alaska
- MARK BRADNER - San Juan 24 North American Champion
- SHAWN DOUGHERTY – 1st overall, TransPac Race
- DALTON BERGAN – RS Aero North American Champion
- DALTON BERGAN - US Sailing Championship of Champions, 1st place
- MICHAEL GOLDFARB – J-70 United Kingdom Nationals Champion
- MICHAEL GOLDFARB – Melges 24 US Nationals Champion
- KEITH WHITTEMORE – J-24 Kiel Week Winner
- KEITH WHITTEMORE – J-24 World Champion
The remaining Awards came quickly, but not before Commodore Barnes emphasized that the true winners for the Discretionary Awards, as selected by the CYC Board in a secret ballot, were the Nominees, itself a true honor to be celebrated.
HANS OTTO GIESE – DICK ROSE was honored for his continued involvement in the development of the sailing rules, his extensive volunteer work explaining the rules to sailors around the country, and his contributions through The Sailing Foundation to the development of high school sailing around Puget Sound. Dick currently is Chairman of the Working Party of the World Sailing Racing Rules Committee, Secretary of the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee, Chairman of the World Sailing Case Book Working Party and a member of both the PIYA and US Sailing Appeals Committees and is a certified national sailing judge. In these various roles, Dick is a key (if not the key) person in drafting and interpretation of the Racing Rules of Sailing, and is busily involved in settling in on the revisions to the racing rules that will take effect after the 2020 Olympics (the 2021-2024 version).
The second nominee, Erin Timms, has been involved in youth sailing for many years. Although her efforts require traveling from Olympia to Seattle repeatedly, Erin was instrumental in organizing two successful 2019 youth events in Seattle: the Mallory Cup High School Double-Handed National Championships at Sail Sand Point in May with 20 teams from around the US attending, and later the Northwest Regional Optimist championships in September also at SSP (in 2018 she was a volunteer in helping putting on this Championship at CYC). As a member of the Sailing Foundation she works closely with the Foundation’s youth director, Andrew Nelson. Erin also is developing support for youth sailing in Olympia.
SAILOR OF THE YEAR – DALTON BERGAN won the RS Aero NorthAmericans at Cascade Locks with 7 bullets in 12 races and then proceded to win the US Sailing Championship of Champions, an invitational regatta among 20 winners of national championships. Sailed in the double-handed Ideal 18s, Dalton added Ben Glass as crew and they proceded to win with 6 bullets in 13 races. Dalton also had firsts at Frigid Digits, Turkey Bowl and two Thursday evening series, crewed on Blue, the winning Van Isle 360 boat, and was 5th overall in the Race to the Straits on Madrona.
There were three other outsanding nominees for this coveted award:
Michael Goldfarb, who had outstanding performances in four different boats, each named War Canoe, including winning the Melges 24 US Nationals on Mobile Bay and the J-70 UK Nationals on the English Channel and placing high in three world championships – the Melges 24 Worlds in Sardinia (4th) , the J-70 Worlds in England (14th) and the Etchells Worlds in Texas (9th); Michael was 2nd in class on his Farr 30 in Race to the Straits and placed highly on his Melges 24 and J-70 in regattas around the US.
David Rogers exemplifies excellent sailing on his own boat and as crew on other boats. Shortly after to moving to Seattle, he joined CYC in 2017; he is now sailing on his own RS Aero with middle of the pack finishes in a very competitive fleet at PSSC and the RS Aero North Americans. David also was the main trimmer and tactitian on Crazy Ivan, a J-80, with wins at the West Coast Championship and Grand Prix, and served as tactitcian on Hamachi for its overall first place in the TansPac race from LA to Honolulu.
Keith Whittemore skippered two different J-24s, each named Furio, to outstainding wins, including Kiel Week in Germany, the largest sailboat regatta in the world, where Furio won both the J-24 class and was named the outstanding boat of the regatta (which featured some 4,000 sailors on 1,870 boats racing in 36 different classes), and in a new boat the J-24 World Championships in Miiami against 78 other boats featuring 5 previous J-24 World Champions. His crew in both regattas included CYC members Shelby Milne and Mark Rodgers, and Brian Thomas and Willem Van Waay.
BOAT OF THE YEAR – HAMACHI, a J-125 skippered by Shawn Dougherty, was first overall in the 50th running of the TransPac race from LA to Honolulu, besting 85 boats ranging from 33’ to over 100’. After 8 days of racing, Hamachi finished 44 minutes ahead of the 2nd place boat. Shawn noted in accepting the award that his crew (CYC member David Rogers along with Jason Andrews, Frederic and Lucas Lafitte, and Matt Pistay) used aggressive jibing techniques honed on Puget Sound to protect its lead going into the finish. The large model Polynesian Proa they get to keep for winning is on display in the CYC Trophy case.
Other nominees, each with many firsts and other top finishes throughout 2019: ABSOLUTELY, skippered by Charlie Macaulay with firsts in class at Center Sound, and PSSR; ELUSIVE, skippered by Jeff Whitney with firsts in class at Blakely Rocks, Scatchet Head, Whidbey Race Week and Summer evenings; and MORE JUBILEE, skippered by Erik Kristen with first in class at Center Sound, PSSR, Spring Wednesday evenings and SYC Tri-Island Short course.
The evening featured two special presentations.
Special Sailing Recognition. Junior Staff Commodore Jakob Lichtenbeg remarked that over the years CYC sailors had won Olympic Gold Medals and 13 World Championships, and as demonstrated tonight there were many championships in 2019 at the highest levels from the mid-Pacific to the Baltic Sea.
Nevertheless, the Club wanted to recognize the performance of one crew that raced in one regatta some 3,000 miles away from CYC and yet, in this day of internet and social media, had the Seattle sailing community abuzz with their performance. Jakob asked the crew of the J-24 Furio to come forward and talk about their J-24 World Championship win in Miami. Skipper Keith Whittemore was sailing on warm waters but Brian Thomas, Shelby Milne and Mark Rodgers came forward. Brian said that the regatta featured light, medium and strong winds, which the crew handled well - they could switch gears quickly to maintain consistent speed, due in large part to their experiences sailing in the very competitive Seattle J-24 fleet on the Lake and Sound.
Keith had provided a video of the start of the key 9th (and next to last) race of the regatta with Furio defending a small 8 point lead over 78 other competitors, including 5 past J-24 World Champions and numerous national and regional champions. Brian Thomas narrated the video, noting that Keith had said earlier that day was all they had to do was win that race and the rest would be easy. No pressure!
The video, which was used to mark the starting line, showed Furio down toward the pin end of the line within two minutes of the start – turning to create room to maneuver and gain speed. As the voice on the video counted down the last 10 seconds, Furio was fast approaching the line, the second boat from the pin, and timed its start with speed exactly as the gun went off! Brian noted the wind had been heading during the pre-start, and then with a bit more of a header, Furio was first to tack to port and crossed the entire 78-boat fleet! A second video showed Furio’s commanding lead at the weather mark. It was an exciting event that had everyone in the Clubhouse glued to the video screen.
Jacob said the Club would create a suitable recognition of this event and in the meanwhile presented a photograph of the winning crew that would be hung in the Clubhouse. He also urged CYC members and guests to see the plaques hanging on the wall outside of the Office that the crew get to keep until the 2020 J-24 Worlds in England.
Special Volunteer Recognition. Commodore David Barnes noted that although the Club does not have an award for outstanding volunteers, the Club indeed requires many volunteers for it to succeed, and the Board wanted to recognize certain individuals who services were vital to the Club, including two recent CYC members:
- ALLEN HUGHES joined CYC in February 2019 and started with volunteering as a coach for the High School Racing Team; he also helped review the condition of the FJs for purchase, has since continued to provide maintenance for the FJs, V15s and whalers and has also done considerable work on the floating docks, helping them stay safe and usable for the Junior Program. Along with several others, Al has provided his time to instructing women and volunteering his J105 Creative to the Women's Sailing Series.
- LAURIE McRAE joined CYC in January 2019, got her sailing introduction on a miserable cold wet day in which the wind died and yet was hooked; she has since helped by consistently volunteering as an assistant bartender for many evenings and weekends, and was behind the bar during the Awards Ceremony.
Finally, several people have been coming out on for evening races on the Sound and Lake and most of the big regattas for many years with little recognition despite their key role in the racing program, and our racing PROs wanted them to be recognized: DEB PRINCE, CHRISTINE BOUNDS-POULIN, ANN CRONIN, LANGELY SEARS, CATLIN GIBSON, JEN FOX, CATHERINE PICA AND BRIAN MILLER.
In addition, David recognized Jakob Lichtenberg's successful tenure as Commodore and presented him with a J-24 model for his significant efforts.
GARY HORDER AWARD for outstanding Junior Sailor – DIETER CREITZ, who dominated Northwest Optimist sailing, winning the Northwest Youth Racing Circuit with 7 wins in 7 regattas, and was first overall at the USODA Northwest Regionals (4th consecutive year), the Pumpkin Bowl regatta in Vancouver BC and in the CYC Turkey regatta, 2nd overall in the San Francisco Heavy Weather Regatta and Slalom Regatta, and had good finishes in other national and international Optimist events. Dieter skippered his Dad’s boat, Three Ring Circus, an Olson 25, in Down the Sound, and crewed on Pickled Beets, a Melges 24, in several CYC evening series, and on Smoke, a TP 52, at Grand Prix.
The two other junior nominees were:
Jaedon Bott has been racing catamarans since she was 11; now 15, she participated in the 2019 Hobie 16 North American Championships in BC where it rained 4 inches and everything in her tent was soaking wet before the racing even started. She finished 16th of 38 boats. In November Jaedon competed as an adult in the 2019 Hobie 16 Womens World Championships in Florida, where she finished 16th out of 25 boats overall. This past summer, Jaedon raced with her younger sister, Kaia, on an FJ.
Jacob Posner and his family had a 8-month trip to Europe in 2019 but he managed to sail in the Lake Garda regatta in Italy featuring some 1,300 Optimists (Jacob noted that each race contained 150 boats and “Overall, I finished 72nd in Silver fleet and my best finish was a 22nd. It was a good feeling to round the weather mark and see 130 boats behind me!”); Jacob returned to Seattle to take several firsts in class in Opti regattas and place high in other events;
BOATING FAMILY OF THE YEAR – Geoff and Allison Pease with sons Nathan, Gary and Konrad. Geoff has been active at CYC for a long time and consistently volunteers to help the office, to help the Junior Program and to be the PRO for many of CYC's races. Son Nathan has been racing Optis for several years. Next year, Nathan plans to bring his friends to CYC and start a Lynnwood High School Sailing Team. Gary is also now racing Optis, and Konrad helps out wherever he can. Allison supports all of these sailing activities and has volunteered to cook many times at CYC in 2019.
CRUISING BOAT OF THE YEAR – COQUETTE. a Jeaneau SO 45, owned by Cathy Sherwood and Kent Powley; they left Seattle in August 2018, traveled south to Mexico, and in 2019 cruised to El Salvador and Panama (taking a break to line-handle friends to transit the Panama Canal), and have made their way to the Galapagos, French Polynesia, the Marquesas, Tuamotus, and Society Islands before heading to remote Palmerston in the Cook Island Group. They have left Coquette on the hard in Tonga for the cyclone season and will return for more South Pacific cruising. Cathy and Kent recently spoke at the Monday lunch about their cruising adventures.
The other nominee, SOLSTICE owned by Ron and Peggy Watt, spent 9 weeks sailing on the inside of Vancouver Island and crossed over to Haida Gwaii (the Queen Charlottes) where they explored many areas of the Park before returning to Seattle. Ron and Peggy also participated in several CYC cruises and organized others; the Watts attended most of the 2nd Thursday Cruisers potlucks and in November talked about their Haida Gwaii trip.
GEORGE SPALDING AWARD for most inspirational junior –SAM AIRHART. Now 15, Sam took sailing lessons from CYC when he was 10. He was one of the first to join CYC's racing team when he was 12. He has volunteered every day as an instructor's assistant for the last three summers for a total of at least 1200 hours; showing up at 8:30 in the morning and would often staying until after 9:00 at night - that is how much he loves sailing. Both older and younger kids look up to Sam as he is knowledgeable, caring, and fun to be around.
Also nominated was JACOB POSNER, an 12 year old very successful Opti sailor (Jacob was also nominated for the Gary Horder award for outstanding Junior sailor) who is noted for his excellent conduct on and off the race course, with a nominator saying: “ Jacob is a great winner, never arrogant about his performance and demonstrably pleased with the good results of his teammates.”
DOG HOUSE AWARD for an unseaman-like activity – MIKE TAFT, for “Cooking Chili on the Rum Run Race with No Fiddles on the Stove.” The nominator reported: “After rounding Meadow Point and heading across the Sound to the finish, the wind had started to pick up and the boat was heeling over. The crew was having a good time and a tall pot of chili was on the stove waiting lunch when we finished at Port Madison. Ever generous, Mike was letting a newer sailor drive. We were hit with a bigger puff and the boat rounded up. Gravity overtook the tall pot of chili and it quickly slid off the gimbled stove and landed on the main halyard flaked on the cabin sole! Chili was splashed everywhere on the port side of the cabin, including the head. The head was the easiest to clean as we hosed down the plastic interior with the hand held shower; the halyard -- not so easy to clean!. It turns out that Mike had taken those pesky fiddles off the front of the stove.”
The other Nominees (and happy non-winners):
COMMODORE DAVID BARNES, on a family trip to Desolation Sound, they anchored in Tenedos Bay. They took their dinghy to an Island for a hike and swim, not noticing a slight hit on a submerged rock covered with very sharp oysters. Fortunately only one chamber lost air, and they were able to return to their boat in two trips, made more difficult when their outboard stopped working! While they were able to eventually fix the motor, they found out their dinghy repair kit was 5 years old and the glue had long gone dry. Fortunately two of their cruising neighbors overheard a telephone call to the Refuge Cove Store seeking a working dinghy repair kit, and brought their tenders by with good glue!
FLEET CAPTIAIN CRUISE CHRIS MCMURDOCH was cruising this summer with his wife Jennifer Lathrop on their Tartan 3800 Wind Dancer; one day they went into a cozy harbor somewhere off the Straits of Georgia to watch birds. They were using the cockpit plotter to chart their course, which they had set on a large scale – zoomed pretty far out ---so unfortunately they did not see some smaller scale (but large enough) rocks. Wind Dancer hit the rocks solidly, suffering significant damage to its keel and hull. After some safety dive checks, Chris and Jennifer were able to nurse Wind Dancer back to Seattle over the course of several days. Wind Dancer spent the whole summer at CSR getting rebuilt. It is every sailor’s nightmare, but in the end Chris, Jennifer and Wind Dancer survived and are back on the water.
Heart of CYC
WAYNE BALSIGER gave a brief update on the Heart of CYC Fundraising Campaign, noting that although sufficient funds had been raised to pay for the September haul-out of the Clubhouse, more needed to be raised to meet all of the Campaign’s goals. He received pledges for more than $5,000 from the crowd; any member willing to contribute for the first or multiple times can contact Wayne or the Club Office.
Other Awards and Trophies: Commodore’s Trophy
Performance Awards – for winning specific races/regattas:
Blakely Rocks Trophy (Blakely Rocks Race):
- Al & Jane Johnson on Charlotte, CYC
Possession Point Trophy (Scatchet Head Race):
- PHRF: Brad Butler on Dos, Port Madison YC
- IRM: John Buchan on Glory, SYC
Pulley Point Trophy (Three Tree Point Race)
- PHRF: Tom Ward on Anarchy, CYC
- IRM: John Buchan on Glory, SYC
- PHRF: Charley Macaulay on Absolutely, CYC
- IRM: Jonathan McKee on Dark Star, CYC
Werner Ohmes Foghorn Trophy– best Center Sound performance:
- Brad Butler on Dos, Port Madison YC
Northwest Challenge Cup – best overall in Center Sound, PSSR and PSSC:
- Phillip Dean on Rush, Sloop Tavern YC
Bill Lieberman Trophy – top CYC junior in USODA NW Optimist Regionals: