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Winter Sailing Season Ends with a Blockbuster Brignoli!

Photo: Part of the fabulous contingent of women winter sailors. They always make the best photos!

Winter Sailing Season Ends
with a Blockbuster Brignoli!

by David Seabrook

I never met Richard Brignoli, who died in 2006, but quite a few of our sailors remember him. According to his obituary Richard was a passionate sailor, so I think he’d be proud of his eponymous regatta. This year participation was up 70% as sailors, friends, and guests raced or cruised to Little Captain Island to celebrate the end of our biggest winter sailing season in years.

Due to very light conditions, the racing was a close-run thing— with only ten minutes before the time limit there were still no finishers. Tensions ran high! Then, after one hour and 21 minutes, Roger van Loveren leapt ashore on Island Beach, winning the regatta and saving the race!

                                                                                 Photo: A beautiful day, but super light air.

It took eleven more minutes for the next boat to finish: Michael Millard, followed only two minutes later by EJ Haskell, with Kate van Loveren two minutes further back. In his first Brignoli in years Liam Hegarty took fifth, only moments ahead of Joe Gotch, Irene Willisch and Karen Lau. The second half of the fleet straggled in over the next twenty minutes, frustrated by wind shifts just off the beach. Two boats didn’t make the two-hour time limit and were helped in by the crash boats.

Things improved significantly on the island. Our incredible marine staff had lugged across IHYC china plates, cloth napkins, and tablecloths! We enjoyed barbeque chicken, sausage and pepper rolls, pasta salad, and Dark and Stormys. It was terrific to have guests join us, including Laurie Gotch, Gigi Gaudet, Robert and Dina Solomon, and an extremely popular Marco Hanig, aka “The guy with the bottle opener.”

                                                                                                Photo: A good-sized party!
The return race was abandoned, and the fleet sailed, paddled, or were towed back to the club. In a sign of the changing season, the Dyer Dhows returned to find Steven Levy’s Eagle dominating the 15 Minute Dock.  

The strong 2018-2019 season of winter sailing finished on a high note. Many thanks to Joel Labuzetta, Dustin Bruce, all the marine staff, all the kitchen staff, and all those race committee volunteers and supporters who made our season possible!