If I had any doubt upon arriving at Mantoloking Yacht Club Friday
morning, that this regatta was going to be a celebration of a bygone,
yet re-energized class of wooden sailboats, I would have been
immediately re-assured by the sight of this old Ford coupe.
Stop for a second. Breathe in the air. Smell the Bayberry bushes
and the faint ocean breeze. The coffee. The doughnuts.
The sun-block. Somebody smells terrible already! I think
I know exactly who it is. The anticipation of competition.
I've got cottonmouth. I'm so frickin thirsty. I need to
go to the bathroom. I check, re-check, and check my
pockets again to make sure my car keys are there
before locking the doors. I feel slightly jittery, like I've
definitely forgotten something. I've been here on these
grounds so, so many times before as a younger person.
And often late, under the gun, and in a hurry.
But today I am merely a bystander. All I gotta do
is find a boat to go out on and watch the races.
And I am relishing every second of it. Even though
I already want to change my shirt.
My ride, which turned out to be the best possible choice, although
I had only one, was on Peter Kellogg's RIB. This gentleman has
single-handedly (no pun intended) brought this Duckboat class
back from almost certain extinction. Please, if you have a few
minutes, read this great article, for it does him and the Duckboat
far more justice than I could ever.
I can't remember if I've ever mentioned Beaton's Boatyard,
which is conveniently located directly west, across the bay
from the Mantoloking Yacht Club.
The spectator boats for the World Ducks are not your garden-
varieties. You'll probably not see Sea Rays, Bayliners, or Scarabs
scurrying about from mark to mark. Instead one will see beauties
and Suzanne. A while back, I wondered if the Beaton family was
able to appreciate this boat considering how many long hours Tom
and his workers put in. Tom is holding up the bow pulpit, by the
way. They were all smiling when we cruised by. A good sign.
Hobo is a lapstrake sweetie, and the bimini and personalized
director's chairs close the deal.
Willow is a unique boat. I'm not sure what else I could say,
other than I would have been happy on her as well!
Meow, man. Gracious living.
Nimbus was the RC nonpareil. My old friend Russ Lucas is a
world-class sailor, and a race organizer of the same caliber.
We enjoyed listening to his officiating, course directions,
and candid commentary on the radio all day long
Gary Jobson graced us today. A son of Barnegat Bay, he's become
one of the most recognized figures in sailing world-wide. Henry
Colie, who was driving the RIB along with Stan Switlik,
lent Gary his gorgeous Duckboat, "Yard Bird" for the day.
A little adjustment for the President of US Sailing and..........
off to the next start.
Someone recently asked for 10 good reasons to come sailing
in New Jersey. There are 71 in this picture alone.
Russ Manheimer from Hove to off Swan Point had his duck
refurbished at Beaton's over the winter. His "PC" designation
is an homage to the man who built "Speedwell", Phil Clarke.
Later, Russ took an unscheduled swim after the start. Good
effort though, from one of the saltiest people I know.
Who's the winner?
Downwind leg to the finish and he death-rolled. With sheer
determination, he righted the boat and sailed across the line!
He was bailed out and ready for the next start.
Gary Jobson (M-62) and Glen Dickson (M-8) go to
the right, right out of the gate and make out like bandits.
Hopefully, my gorgeous Beaton's rowing skiff. I'll find out
on September 27th.
The long wait for the ramp. Quick, go get a beer,
it makes the wait go by faster.
Mine. Don't touch!
Second last year, local Andy Goetting took top honors.
Please check out Charley Best's blog for many
additional photos of these beautiful sailboats.
This regatta is truly a Barnegat Bay original.
I'm honored to have watched it and I feel that I was
a participant as well. It's a tradition that is stronger
now than it ever was, and as long as I'm still
standing, I'll happily witness #43 next year.