THE NEMA ANNUAL DINNER was a success. Louisa Chafee gave a great presentation on what it takes to get into U.S. Olympic sailing and how to get a NACRA 17 up on foils and keep it there while hanging from a dyneema trapeze wire (until the wire breaks--as it did twice in the Rio Olympics).
Race Chair Dave Lussier handed the 50-year old perpetual Season Trophy to Steve Parks, whose Flying Fish beat out Banshee and Final Gravity. And Alex Bocconcelli took home the Distance Trophy-- having sailed Blackbird in about 13 events and racked up the most miles sailed over the season.
We had a great bunch of slides from Laurent Apollon, and Fran Grenon from Spectrum Photo lent us a photo sequence from the start of the first day of the Buzzards Bay Regatta, which featured a multi-boat collision that knocked Swamp Fox out of the Regatta with a substantial crack in the port float. To commemorate that event we introduced the "Fender Awards," given to boats that sustained collision damage in the racing season. Final Gravity got a Little Fender for a little love tap from Skedaddle (sorry again Jeff!); Alex Bocconcelli got a Full Fender for Blackbird's troubles at the BBR start; and Don Watson got the Big Fender award for Swamp Fox --plus a roll of duct tape.
NEMA sailors also opened their checkbooks and credit cards and gave generously to the Sandra Tartaglino Memorial Fund, created in the memory of Sandra who was killed in a boating accident last summer while racing her F18 in Newport. Dave Lussier led the way with an offer to match the first $500 in contributions and so far the fund drive has raised over $1600. We urge you to continue making contributions; find the "Donate" button on our Home Page, click on it and add a little more. The fund is designed to support youth sailing programs and boat safety awareness.
It was great to see old friends and meet new members. The sailing and racing season is just around the corner, and we will soon announce a spring social/educational event.
If you haven't done so already, you may want to check out the NEMA Sailors FaceBook group, it's another way to keep in touch and we have some great photos there, check it out.
Thanks to all who joined us at the dinner, and special thanks to the NEMA Board members who worked hard to make it a success. For those who couldn't join us: you missed out! So make plans to be there next year.