Sailors To Compete For Continent Title

By NORMAN E. WRIGHT, Sports Editor
Return to NA History index

 A virtual armada of Star class sailboats will invade Milford September 12 to 17 for the 1960 sailing of the International Star Class Yacht Racing Association's North American Championships. Skippers and crews of Star boats from throughout the United States, Canada, Cuba, Nassau and Mexico will descend upon the city and "go down to the sea in their ships" to compete for the regatta's coveted Silver Star.

Last year's champion, Gary Comer of Jackson Park, Ill., is not expected to be present to defend his title, since he has been spending part of the Summer in Europe.

Comer won the North American title last year at the Chicago Yacht Club as an elimination for the Pan American Games. He went on to represent the United States in the Pan Americans.

 Star boats are regarded as the most competitive one-design racing class in the world - only one honor higher than the North American's Silver Star can be won by a Star sailor. That award is the Gold Star, which is bestowed on the annual winner of the class' world championship, being sailed this year in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

The 60 boats expected to participate in the spectacular sailing out in Long Island Sound off Milford will be competing for even another award - a year's possession of the Royal Canadian Yacht Club Trophy, presented to the ISCYRA in Toronto in 1952 as a perpetual trophy to commemorate the centennial of that club. The trophy was first won that year by C. Stanley Ogilvy, of the Western Long Island Sound Fleet, in "Flame."

The even here is being sponsored by the Milford based Mid-Connecticut Fleet, the Milford Yacht Club and the yacht club's Past Commodores' Club. It will be the highest level Star class regatta ever staged in Milford, although the yacht club was host to the Atlantic Coast Championships in 1956 and 1958, bringing contestants here from Boston to Raritan River, N.J.

 The championship series will consist of five daily races, Monday through Friday, all of which will start at 2 p.m. In the event the series is held over because of inclement weather, the race events will move into the week end.

 All courses will be well off shore, south of Charles Island. Therefore, regatta officials say, residents who hope to observe any or all of the races should make plans to go to the racing spots by boat. Spectator areas will be designated.

Trophies will be presented to the winners at the final banquet at 7 p.m. Friday, in the yacht club. In addition to the Royal Canadian Trophy, silver cups or mugs of various sizes will be given to the skipper and crew of the first five boats in the series and to the skipper and crew of the first three boats in each of the daily races.

 To provide mooring and docking facilities for the visiting boats, a third hoist has been installed at the yacht club's Star dock on Milford Harbor. Each competing boat will be hauled from the water every other night during the series, remaining at dock in the water on the alternate nights. 

An extensive social program has been planned by the entertainment committee, headed by Mrs. Mead W. Batchelor Jr., chairman. Highlight of the week will be a banquet at 7 p.m. Thursday at Mory's (of Yale Whiffenpoof fame), 306 York St., New Haven. Mrs. Batchelor warned that reservations for this are limited; and must be made by the contestants when they register.

Other attractions on the week's social calendar include a get acquainted party at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Batchelor, 56 Rogers Ave., 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11; a lobster boil on the yacht club beach, 7 p.m. Monday; a cocktail dance at the yacht club, 6:36 p.m. Tuesday, and a beach roast at 6 p.m. Wednesday. If the series is held over, a spaghetti supper will be served at the club Friday Evening, with the final banquet at 7 p.m. on the day of the last race.

Wallace E. Sigler, fleet captain of the Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet is general chairman of the regatta, and Richard Gordon is vice-chairman. Donald F. Spengler is chairman of the race committee, and Bertram L. Knopf is in charge of launching and mooring. Milford Yacht Club Commodore Wayne M. Pierce Jr. is chairman of the protest committee, assisted by Rear Commodore Charles Correll Jr. and Fleet Measurer Richard Evarts.

Other segments of Milford's waterfront community will play parts in the overall drama of the regatta.

The "Shang Wheeler," floating laboratory of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Milford marine biology station, and the State of Connecticut's 65-foot water survey boat, "Shell Fish," will act as committee and spectator boats.

Milford Flotilla 73, U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, will cast its search and rescue craft as regatta patrol boat, and Dr. Stanley M. Lund, in his role as a special state police officer, will be cruising the sound in his specially equipped police launch, keeping both eyes open for violators or potential hazards to water safety.

Off stage, Milford Boat Works, 1 High St.; Nichols Yacht Yard, 164 Rogers Ave., Spencers Boat Yard and Marina, 44 Rose St., and the new Wepawaug Marina at the foot of High St., will provide nautical facilities for the visiting boating people.