As FBYC Historian, one of my responsibilities is the maintenance of our Dan Austin Memorial Library. Therefore, I am always on the lookout for quality maritime literature to place on its shelves.
Recently I received word that an old Richmond friend, Bill Westbrook, was retiring and returning to Irvington, Virginia where he had planted deep roots in the past. Bill had taken the reins as CEO of one of the largest and most successful advertising agencies in the Midwest, the Fallon agency in Minneapolis.
Now Bill has begun a new chapter in his life as an author of a series of historical sea novels that are set in the Caribbean during the late 18th Century. To create this series, Bill is drawing upon his extensive experience sailing and racing on the Rappahannock as a past member of the RRYC and cruising the Caribbean in his catamaran.
The first of the three novels in the series, The Bermuda Privateer, will soon be released at a book-signing event hosted by the Tides Inn at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 20. Inside the Privateer, you will be treated to the spellbinding adventures of Privateer Nicholas Fallon and other assorted heroes and villains on the high seas. In my opinion this series will rank in popularity alongside the works of Patrick O’Brien and C. F. Forester and other noted authors of this particular genre.
Follow the link below to register for the book signing at the Tides Inn:
Over 90 people attended our reception at the Deltaville Maritime Museum on Saturday evening of Memorial Day weekend. The reception inaugurated FBYC’s permanent exhibit and was a gesture of gratitude to the Museum and its Board Members for allowing us to highlight our historic role in the Deltaville community. For those who were not able to be there for the reception, a visit there is highly recommended to explore everything that the Deltaville Maritime Museum and Holly Point Nature Park have to offer. And for the price of admission, you can choose a membership option instead.
We are donating a major portion of the funds generated by the admission charge to the Museum in support of their mission in the local community. As a bonus, all attendees were pleasantly surprised to receive a complimentary ticket to Groovin’ in the Park, a blues concert scheduled for the same evening, and a ‘goody bag’ of items presented by the Museum.
Especial thanks to Commodore Ted Bennett and wife Myra who assembled and provided all the delectable food and drink for the reception. The Museum supplied a bartender and all the logistical support required to make this a memorable and convivial evening.
Your historian had the occasion recently to contemplate the swift passage of time, when, serendipitously, he received a parcel of old photos from member Evelyn Turner through member John Koedel. Among many club scenes worth preserving, there were several pictures of the interior of the old clubhouse, images of which have been notably absent from our archives.
Then it struck me that we still talk effusively about our ‘new’ clubhouse. Really…it has been an incredible 15 years since our old clubhouse came down to make way for the ‘new’ clubhouse in 2002. And many post-2002 members and certainly junior members through their teenage years have no recollection of our original clubhouse that served us so faithfully for over half a century. So the ‘new’ clubhouse ain’t so new anymore, and perhaps it’s time to reminisce ‘historically’ about the old one using Evelyn’s pictures as illustrations.
Your Memorial Day holiday weekend will not be complete without attending the FBYC reception at the Deltaville Maritime Museum in honor of our new permanent exhibit. The reception will include beverages and heavy hors d’oeuvres to delight the palate. The event is open to all members but you first must register online.
Cost to attend is $15/adult with juniors admitted free. $10 of each admission ticket will be donated to the Deltaville Maritime Museum which has partnered with us in the past to stage important sailing events, such as the Southern Chesapeake Leukemia Cup Regattas and the 2010 Optimist Nationals.
A full description of the event can be found online on our website. This event will symbolize our support for the Deltaville Maritime Museum and the Deltaville Community as well. Museum Board Members have also been invited to participate with us.
This spring visitors to the Deltaville Maritime Museum will see some familiar history on display among the nautical history of the area. Club historian Jere Dennison and several other volunteers have been working with the Deltaville Maritime Museum to include an exhibit on Fishing Bay Yacht Club that will include pictures, stories and other artifacts like an Opti and even one of old club signs.
On Sunday, June 7, your Historian visited Yorktown to board the Hermione, the magnificent recreation of Lafayette’s frigate that conveyed him to America in 1780 to support General Washington in the defeat of Cornwallis which virtually ended the Revolutionary War. The accompanying picture shows the scale of the frigate in comparison with the Godspeed nearbythat looks like a dinghy in comparison. While there was a two and a half hour wait before boarding, it was certainly worth the time and effort to do so. I was in the company of member Owen Davidson who drove all the way from Christiansburg for the tour and happily ran into David Porter, one of our accomplished Laser Masters, who is in the process of becoming active again at the club after recovering from some frightening health issues over the past few years. Hopefully Alain Vincey was also able to visit the Hermione over its three-day stay at Yorktown because he certainly would be proud of this historic vessel constructed by his native country. The Hermione stops at Alexandria, Mount Vernon, Annapolis, Baltimore before heading to New York and New England later this month. So there are still opportunities to see her before she returns to Europe by the end of the summer.
Portsmouth, RI (April 1, 2015) – Due to the long term decline in sailing as a sport in the United States, US Sailing, the national governing body for the sport of sailing, has announced cost cutting measures to remain solvent with its current membership size.
No longer will the organization support youth sailing events, recognizing that the current youth sailing model is not growing the sport. “The pussification of our culture has made it easy on kids, so we felt it was time for US Sailing to stop contributing to this issue,” explained Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing.
The organization has also revised its outlook on education. “While we have derived significant income for the instructional material we have devised, the feedback we have gotten from active sailors is that the sport is evolving into extinction,” said Training Director Stu Gilfillen. “We have learned that our effort to improve the sport has turned it into a dull game that fewer people want to play.”
Among the organization’s new pursuits, explains Gierhart, is online gaming. “We have partnered with a porn site, and by promoting virtual regattas, we anticipate creating a whole new level of interest in sailing.” Gierhart believes this partnership will generate new income that could take the organization to a new level.
Additionally, US Sailing will be sponsoring an America’s Cup boat comprised of US Sailing Team members. Given the Cup’s new commercial model, it is hoped that this campaign will fund the Olympic program while giving the athletes needed experience in sailing technical boats.
To support the newly formed syndicate, US Sailing will be moving their headquarters from Portsmouth, R.I. to Bermuda. “This is a great opportunity for us as an organization as well as for our potential Olympic athletes,” said Gierhart. “These New England winters have taken their toll on our staff. We want to reward their patience and hard work by improving their lifestyle with access to year-round sailing.”
Did you know that our CBYRA Delegate, Tom Roberts, was actually Dr. Lyman Hall, signer of the Declaration of Independence as the Georgia Delegate to the 1776 Continental Congress!! Tom/Dr. Hall in full regalia after the sold-out closing performance last night of "1776, America's Musical", at the Kimball Theatre in Colonial Williamsburg. Ask Tom to show you a little minuet two step.
"For much of the year, I live on the Chesapeake Bay. The view from our house on Stove Point is unencumbered by land—just a jut of Gwynn Island to the right and Stingray Point to the left. In the distance almost directly in front of the house is Marker Number 6, a small black channel marker that blinks a red light at night. This marker is a beacon—a constant in an expanse of ever-changing light, wind, and color. Several years ago I decided to take a photo of this panorama every morning at dawn. While undertaking this project, I found that my long-time fascination with observing water and weather and sky turned into a fixation. This particular scene was shot early on a September morning. Several years ago in late summer, the morning skies were spectacular. But then, most mornings on the Bay are gorgeous, no matter the season.”
Interesting NY Times article about the technology expected on the TV in the upcoming America's Cup races.
The Americas Cup, Translated for Television
By ANNE EISENBERG
THE yacht-club crowd may turn out to cheer at regattas, but sailboat racing hasnt been a big hit with mainstream television audiences perhaps because they have trouble following whats happening on the waves.
Experts in the sport may appreciate a helmsmans split-second tactical decisions or a crews athleticism, yet the drama often goes over the heads of landlubbers who dont know how points are scored, or even who is ahead.
Now technology may change that. Starting in August, a two-year series of regattas, culminating in the 34th Americas Cup in 2013 at San Francisco, will have a feature intended to demystify the sport for television and Web audiences. Live footage will be superimposed with ingenious graphics including lines and pointers that show who is ahead or behind in the welter of foam and hulls, and tags that identify yachts as they race to coveted positions.
When we started the new Fishing Bay Yacht Club web site around 2001, Mark Wensell, a FBYC member had just founded bayMountain, a new data center in Richmond. Mark offered to help us out by hosting the site and also did the initial set up of the computer, the software, and the database that even today still runs the site.
From the early days on the Chesapeake Bay to the yacht races held all along the Bay today, the Chesapeake’s winds have played an outsized role in the region’s economy and culture.
But some scientists have concluded that those wind patterns have undergone a historic shift. And this change in average wind direction has had an impact not only on sailing, but also on water quality in the Bay. Until about 30 years ago, the prevailing winds that blew up the Bay in the summertime came mostly from the south, according to Dr. Michael Kemp, a professor at the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.
These southerly winds would sweep the 200-mile length of the Bay. Winds that run in this direction are unobstructed by trees or land masses, which allows them to build up speed, make waves, and stir oxygen into the Bay’s waters. But then this mixing machine broke down.
“Starting probably in the mid 1980s to the present, we’ve seen the winds moving around primarily from…the west,” Dr. Kemp said. “We still get southerly winds. But we get a much higher frequency of winds out of the
west, which has a very different impact.” The Bay is narrow from west to east—about 4 miles across near the Bay Bridge. So winds from the west do not have much room to make waves and stir the high-oxygen
surface water into the oxygen poor depths. This reduced circulation of oxygen makes it harder for oysters, clams, worms, and other critters on the bottom to survive. Low-oxygen “dead zones” are caused by
water pollution—nitrogen and phosphorus from sewage plants, farms, lawns, and other
sources. But the right kinds of winds and currents can help breathe life back into suffocating
US Sailing has announced that FBYC Member and Bermuda Race winner Rives Potts is Sailor of the Week. Their announcement follows:
With a victory margin of over three and half hours, Rives Potts sailed Carina, a 48-foot sloop, to victory at last months Newport Bermuda Race. Fifteen years ago Rives bought Carina, built in 1969, and has competed in the Newport Bermuda Races with her since 2000. During this stretch, Carina has won her individual class four times and the race once.
After winning the St. Davids Lighthouse Division, Rives attributes his success to a good boat, good crew and good lucky. In addition, Rives had a distinct plan when he set out for the race. After the start, he stayed near the rhumb line while many other boats worked to the west. This initial strategic decision, along with tactical decisions made during a line of black squalls, and a strong crew led Carina to an impressive victory.
Please vote for Murray Fisher at http://thegentlemensfund.com/final_vote.asp GQ asked readers to nominate an agent of change striving for the betterment of society through charitable work, volunteerism, and/or community involvementsomeone who is working hard to make this a better world. GQ selected the five best submissions as finalists and readers have determined the potential winner by popular vote.
One if the five finalists of the 2009 Better Men Better World Search is an old Friend of FBYC. Vote now.
Murray Fisher has dedicated his life to the environment and education. His greatest and proudest achievement is the New York Harbor School, a public New York City high school he started at the age of 28.
Murray comes from a family of organic farmers outside Richmond, Virginia. Clearly influenced by his upbringing, after college Murray went directly to work for Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. at Waterkeeper Alliance, a worldwide environmental organization. For four years he was responsible starting 60 new Waterkeeper programs. He left full-time work at Waterkeeper in 2002 to serve on its Board and to explore other ways of broadening the reach and efficacy of the environmental movement.
We congratulae former FBYC member and Stove Point resident on the following:
August 30, 2007 - Nantucket, MA - Great Harbor Yacht Club proudly announces the appointment of its first Commodore, Norwood H. Davis, Jr. of Richmond, Virginia and Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Davis, a founding member of the Great Harbor Yacht Club (GHYC) in 2003, has been instrumental in establishing GHYC as a competitive sailing club. He created the celebrity Pro-Am Regatta during Nantucket Race Week and chaired the event for 3 years. He also enlisted Gary Jobson, the pre-eminent ambassador for sailing in the U.S., as GHYC Executive Director of Sailing and Honorary Chairman of Nantucket Race Week.
GHYC is destined to be one of the premier yacht clubs in the northeast. We have a magnificent 3 ½ acre site on Nantucket harbor, a beautiful club house under construction and a terrific membership that is 300 strong. Davis continues, Blake Drexler and Gary McCarthy, founders of the club, had a clear vision of what they want GHYC to be and are doing a great job executing on that vision. I am pleased and proud to be the first commodore for GHYC.