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2007 Fall Newsletter

2007 Fall Newsletter

Farewell to Hurricane Noel and am I glad we didn’t get to know her any better than we did!  With mid-November approaching, it appears that we have made it through hurricane season unscathed.  Though I put my boat away for the season shortly after racing in the Gusto Cup on September 9 in order to catch up on long deferred house projects, I was able to get out for late season outings on friends’ boats and enjoyed some spectacular late summer and early fall sailing.

Those of you who don’t live in Rockport or on Cape Ann might have missed one of the big stories of the year as Rockport hosted a visit by the frigate USS Boone on the weekend of October 12-14.  The club played its part in the festivities, hosting the Captain and Executive Officer for a cocktail party on Friday evening.  Unfortunately, the rest of the ship’s officers were prevented from attending as a result of logistical problems. Nevertheless, all who were there had a nice evening.  I was pleased to present the Captain with a SBYC burgee and received a framed photo of the Boone in return.  I was assured by Commander Evans, with tongue firmly planted in cheek, that the photo he gave me for the club was “unique”, unlike any of the half dozen or so others that I just saw him give to the various dignitaries present.  Thanks to the many volunteers who contributed to putting together the cocktail party.


By now, the club is shipshape and ready for the winter, thanks to Ron’s hard work and conscientious care.  Others helped with the process, including Bill Lee, who made quick work of towing a string of floats over to Granite Pier with the Ocean Reporter – a far better vessel for that job than the committee boat!  Thanks also to Story Reed, Jake Fiumara, Norma Brettell and Frank Hassler for helping select and sign up a roofing contractor to re-roof the clubhouse.

I look forward to seeing you all next summer, if not before, as past-Commodore, and thankfully pass the Commodore’s patch over to Steve Fritch, in whose able hands the club will be well cared for.  

Have a safe and prosperous off-season!

Ned Jeffries


Treasurer – In the spring we reported that the club finances were in excellent shape and improving and that we had a solid financial foundation for the coming year.  The forecast has been borne out during the operating year.  Expenses to date are running right at expectations.

Given the success of the Capital Fund Drive, we have made a number of expenditures for capital items, including a Whaler Engine, the Committee Boat overhaul, a Water Cooler, an Office Copier, and the new roof.

On the revenue side, collections are running ahead of the benchmark.  In large part this good news is attributable to the fact that new membership has exceeded our expectations and the attrition of membership has been much lower than expected.

The club finances are in excellent shape.

Frank Hassler, Treasurer

House Committee – The summer season ended with the facilities and equipment in good shape going forward thanks to the efforts of several club members, the launch operators, and Ron. Taking the floats out of the water at Granite Pier was once again a successful team effort in early October.

Several capital projects were completed around the club this summer and fall. These included the overhaul of the committee boat engine, building a new float, and replacing a Whaler engine. The new float, built in May, completes the replacement of all floats with pressure treated wood. This fall we also put a much needed new roof on the club house. The roof now matches the locker roof, which was replaced a few years ago. The new roof was done with 50 year shingles.


We are currently prioritizing projects for 2008. Projects on the horizon include new lighting in the club house, new sliders upstairs, and window replacement downstairs. We continue to rely on the expertise and talent of our members to plan and complete many of these projects.

Please contact me with suggestions about any House Committee projects. I hope to see you all at Work Day in May!

Story Reed

Development and Planning – Our inaugural Thursday Talks Series was well-received, and we are planning another Series in 2008.  Please send your suggestions for topics, and let me know if you would like to host one of the Talks. Hosts bring some wine, seltzer, chips and salsa or something equivalent and do not need to select or organize the lecture or do set-up related to the lecture. Bill Lee is already recruited to run another amazing marine sciences presentation, and we hope to have Judd Smith on board for some exciting sailing tactics.  We are also considering a couple of seaman/womanship events like learning knots or for those who know some knots, mastering more at various stations managed by our knot gurus. You can guess who they are!

I am considering an all day weather seminar on a Saturday before racing begins, and would like some feedback regarding your interest.  Unlike the talks the seminar will have a fee for the instructor–probably about $50 per person for all day including instruction, lunch and materials. It will be limited so the class can be a manageable size.   I would like to assess the interest among members–so please do send me your comments. Also if you would like to help with any of these events or participate in the planning, you are welcome! Email address below or telephone 781-259-8037.

Email using the format below:

Suggestions for Topics for Talks:
Interest in Hosting: Yes   No
Interest in Weather Seminar:   Yes   No
Or any other Seminar:  Topic?
Interest in Seaman/womanship events:  Yes  No
Your email address or telephone no.:

Development will continue to focus on providing interesting events, planning new initiatives, supporting the financial and other strategic objectives of the Club and the Sailing Program, and helping drive new membership.

Liz Kubik

Race Committee – We had another great season of racing in 2007. On balance the conditions were very good—we had some doldrums mid-season, but Memorial Day weekend was the best in recent memory (three superb days of racing), June was very good, and September was excellent!

Probably the highlight of the 2007 season was the first annual All Fleets pursuit race held on Labor Day. This seemed to generate a lot of excitement among racers and spectators alike (yes, we had a sizable spectator fleet!). The brainchild of Greg Wilkinson, this looks to be a keeper.

From the Race Committee Chairman’s point of view, another highlight is the growth, in number and capability, of the Race Committee itself. We enjoyed excellent race management from our volunteers and staff, without whom our racing program would not exist. Special thanks go to our volunteer PROs: Roger Lesch, Steve Ouellette, Russ Smith, Frank Hassler, and Greg Wilkinson. Our staff PRO Andrew Greely ably covered the days that volunteers weren’t available as well as serving as a second mark boat on Sundays. Andrew also spent time grooming a new staff PRO in Jon Morgan who showed significant promise for the future.


But a PRO can’t run a race by him or herself, so we must thank all the volunteers from the racing fleets and the club at large. I’d especially like to recognize the yeoman’s duty performed by Bobbie Paine, Dana Jorgensson, Emily Wick, and Jay O’Malley during holiday weekends and invitational regattas. And, of course, let’s not forget Ron Petoff, our exceptional mark boat captain, who spends a lot of time bouncing around in a small Whaler so we can race in the range of conditions typical of Cape Ann waters.

I hope you enjoyed the season as much as I did—see you in 2008!

Jim Lidington

Social Committee – The 2007 social season was full of functions for everyone.  We started out with the Spring dinner at the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem with a record breaking number of people!!    
The Lobster/Steak out dinner was a sell out.  We served 60 lobsters and 20 rib eye steaks.  The maximum seating capacity at the club is 80.  This has been the popular event. The lobsters have been cooked by Roy Moore’s.  We have been able to keep the price to $25 with members providing salads and brownies.  We served ice cream with the brownies for dessert. The 80 ears of corn have been husked by volunteers in the morning…. this has turned into just another social event!!
We can all go into weather casting when it comes to predicting the weather in March for the weekend of a dance held by SBYC.  HOT, HOT, HOT!!   Actually, someone wrote a song to those very words!  August 3rd was hot and sticky, but 125 people came out to dance to the music of a new band to us, COLOURS.  "Dancing under the Stars in Black and White" was the theme.  The decorations were magnificently done and so creative!  SBYC cooks provided the appetizers and desserts.  This organization never goes hungry.
The fall dinner this year was catered by Classic Cooks of Gloucester.  They did the cooking, Bob Prichard and Conrad Lavigne picked it up and it was served by the social committee.
These events are an important part of the yacht club, combining the sailing and social aspect of the organization.  Whether it is on the starting line on Saturday or Sunday or the dinner line for an event, you will often find many of the same people, as well as a different population of the club. It takes many hands to do the many aspects of an event.  For the decorations the past few years, I have relied very heavily on Shirley Preston and Jo-Ann Lavigne.  It would not have been possible for me to do the job of Social Chairman without them.  Many thanks.
Pam Prichard

Christmas Pageant Open House
SBYC will once again be hosting an open house following the Christmas pageant on December 22nd.  Please stop by after the pageant ends to enjoy some punch and holiday snacks.  (Please feel free to bring your favorite holiday snack, but remember, the water is off so bathrooms will not be open and dishes cannot be washed!)  
If you have any questions, or would like to help out, please feel free to contact us.  And if you are interested in being part of the social committee or would like to help with future events, be sure to let us know that as well.  Thanks and Happy Holidays!
Social Committee Co-Chairs,
Katy McGrath Fritch
Karen Ouellette     

Membership Committee – The Membership Committee had a productive and enjoyable summer. We all worked hard to make our new members feel welcome – in particular, Dana Jorgensson did a great job sending frequent emails to keep them informed of activities and events at the Club.  Special thanks also for everything they have done to Ellen Lidington and Ben Loiacono whose terms on the Committee expire this year.

With input from our Committee and the Board of Governors, Beth Leahy produced an entirely new membership brochure for the Club – one that we all feel represents the character and activities of the Club more accurately than the previous version.

This summer we again hosted two "Casual Fridays" for new members. Initiated by the Committee last year, the get-togethers give new members a chance to meet members of the Board of Governors, the Harbormasters, the Club staff and the Membership Committee. While they lacked the excitement of last year’s lightning storm over the harbor, they were well-attended and enjoyable nonetheless.

Best of all, for the first time in four years, the Club’s membership actually went up (and this despite the first significant increase in dues and fees in several years)!

We are all looking forward to the 2008 season, and welcome ideas or comments from all SBYC members.  Have a great winter – we look forward to seeing you in the Spring!

Ken Kaiser, Chairman
Lia Farel, Nancy Haas, Dana Jorgensson, Betsy Levick, Marilyn Thompson, Bob Visnick

SSP Oversight Committee – The SSP Committee recently met to wrap up the season. Jen Doyle is returning for the summer of 2008. She has wonderful ideas to grow the program, improve communication and understanding of the program and what it offers.

Jen will begin to search for the best possible sailing instructors to fill open positions. We have many familiar faces returning as well. If any juniors are interested in teaching or working in some capacity, please forward your interest to Jen in the form of a resume and cover letter,

The junior sailing program revenues for 2007 were off by $7,000 and the adult sailing program off by $2,000. This was offset by program costs being lower than budgeted as one instructor position was not filled and the Program Director was hired in the Spring.

The search for housing has begun. I have lined up a beautiful 2-story apartment for Jen at the same rate as we paid last year. We will need an apartment to house instructors, so if anyone knows of, or has, an apartment we could rent please contact Beth Leahy at 978-546-6571. Right now we believe we will need housing for two, but it may be three.

Charlie Clark has agreed to take on managing the Junior Olympics next summer which will be held at Sandy Bay. There are many positions to fill to make this event a wonderful success, so please send Charlie an email ( and get involved.

The committee lost two of its tireless and dedicated members this past summer as Greg Wilkinson and Joanne Levin chose to step down. We thank them for all their hard work on behalf of the sailing program. They gave us instructors, coaches, program directors, t-shirts, registration, beach parties and so much more. THANK YOU!!!

We look forward to an exciting summer of 2008. The Junior Olympics, regattas and the many fun events, will all make for a busy summer. We wish you all Happy Holidays and a healthy New Year.

Beth Leahy, SSP Committee Head and BOG Liason

Sailing Program – I hope everyone had a nice fall and is getting ready for the winter. It is getting cold! I cannot wait for summer already. I hope these months go by quickly and we are back in shorts and enjoying the weather.

We had a great summer 2007. The general feedback I received from parents, sailors, and families, was positive. We will be having many sailors move up as they became more experienced, opening the doors for new members to join our program. When the time comes to sign up for next year, please refer to the recommendation that was completed by the coaches for each sailor. This will also be available at registration.

The program ran smoothly. It is a very busy program. Every week (we tried at least) the younger sailors had theme Thursday or Friday. The racers participated in weekly race days with cookouts, which were sponsored by generous donations of some of the senior members. Our optimist race team, while they are relatively young and new to racing, represented Sandy Bay in many events during the summer gaining valuable experience while having a lot of fun. I hope to see this enthusiasm carry on into next year and I hope to see some new members on this race team. The 420 team also represented Sandy Bay in a few regattas during the summer. Their biggest regatta of the summer was Mass Bay Junior Olympics, which they traveled to Hingham with the Opti Race team. Sandy Bay will be hosting this event this summer! Get ready.


If you are interested in reading more about last summer’s programs you can still view the weekly newsletters that are on the web at

I am happy to say I will be returning next summer. I have many new ideas and am very excited about coming back to Rockport and Sandy Bay.  I hope many of the instructors will be joining me as well. We are already about to start planning for next year’s courses and improvements that can be made.  

Have a great winter and spring.

See you soon.
Jen Doyle

Junior Yacht Club – What exactly were the junior members of Sandy Bay up to throughout the 2007 sailing season? Beach Cookouts, “Unsinkable” Boat Races and Watermelon Eating Contests were among the many highlights of another sunny summer on T-Wharf in Rockport. Junior sailors enjoyed another season at sea; whether in 420s or in Optimists, many sailors participated in regattas like the local Tim Baker Regatta, or just cruised to learn and have fun.

Frisbee, surfing, and baseball were only a few of the activities at both of the Beach Cookouts at Cape Hedge Beach, delightful summer evenings with hamburgers and soda on the side. These successful, fun-filled events were opportunities for both junior sailors and their families to relax and socialize.

Throughout the season, there were many SBYC T-shirt sales, serving both to raise money and outfit junior members in memorable attire. There should be a new T-shirt design available for the summer of 2008, as well as potentially other clothing bearing the Sandy Bay star.

At the end of the summer, junior members gathered together for one last hurrah; the Labor Day games and competitions, run in part by the newly elected junior officers, Amelia Quinn, Alexa Jorgensson, and Gil Clark. There were events for all ages, including a Candy Hunt for smaller children, an “Unsinkable” Boat Race for those brave enough to face the ocean on handmade, precariously built rafts, and a Rowing Race that became quite competitive. For the grand finale, sailors of all ages separated into groups by age and, for adults, by gender, and battled it out in a series of fierce Watermelon-Eating Contests. Winners in every event received both a ribbon and a chocolate bar, and runner-ups earned a second place prize.


As the new junior commodores, Alexa Jorgensson and Amelia Quinn hope to organize even more activities for the upcoming summer. Some of their ideas include an elaborate 4th of July float, as well as more social gatherings for the junior sailors, such as semi-formal dances and movie nights in addition to the cook-outs. But these are only a few of the ideas the pair hope to employ this season, as they can’t wait to begin a new year at Sandy Bay.

Amelia Quinn, Co-Commodore

Website – Please enjoy the 2007 Fall On-Line Newsletter. Also, check out the photos from the 2007 season.

Story Reed

Rockport Harbor Department – The 2007 season has successfully come to a close at the Sandy Bay Yacht Club thanks to all the members who participate in the club’s activities, from racing on the weekends to rocking on the deck.

The Rockport Harbor Department and Sandy Bay Yacht Club’s year ended on a high note with the visit of the Navy frigate USS Boone in mid October. With all hands on deck the Navy port-guard station was successfully constructed in heavy winds on T-Wharf with the ingenuity and supplies provided by SBYC and the harbor department. The Navy personnel enjoyed the hospitality and use of the club which was left open for their use for the entire visit. The interaction of the harbormasters, which includes Ron Petoff, SBYC manager, and Story Reed, house committee chairman brought years of experience and dedication to the waterfront visitors. The sailors of the USS Boone will be talking about their experiences in Rockport for years to come!

Rockport Harbormasters
Rosemary Lesch, Scott Story, Ron Petoff and Story Reed


Posted on December 8th, 2007 by Administrator in General News