Tampa Bay area sailors finish off successful year
By DAVE ELLIS, Sailing
Published January 9, 2008
Each year, the keelboats racing in various events around the bay are scored for boat of the year.
For the year ending May 2007, Tampa Bay area winners were George Hanie on Time Bandit, Rafael Paris on Tango III, Steve and Scott Liebel on Stars & Stripes and James Meyers on Renegade.
In the fun category, Boca Ciega Yacht Club had more than 60 boats in its annual Raft-Up, and many clubs had organized cruises to destinations around the bay.
The SPYC Isla Mujeres Mexico race was a success, leading to a record fleet signing up for this year's event. With a limit of 50 slips at the Mexican port, more than 70 are ready to go. A mooring field is planned.
John Wallace won the Laser Radial Canadians; John Jennings won the San Francisco Masters; Jen French won the Gruson-Milam trophy; Robby Brown won the J/24 regatta; Zeke Durica won the Ensign Midwinters; and Ian Heausler won the Laser Radial Youth Nationals.
Rachel Silverstein along with Jee Lee, Kristen Harman, Kelsee Connon and Becca Thomas achieved status in match racing. Gene Hinkle was the technical director at the Disabled Sailing Worlds and chief measurer at other events, and Serge Jorgensen served as the international president of the disabled sailors organization. Team FOR with coach Eric Bardes won the SE Team Racing Championship and placed in the worlds with sailors Michael Booker, Mary Kate Hall, Dodge Rees, Michael Zonnenberg and Michael Popp.
None of these events could occur without the skilled volunteers who help run them. Competitors may have a bad start to a race, make errors in navigation or sail trim - but they expect the race committee to run a perfect race.
The St. Petersburg Yacht Club has won the national trophy emblematic of excellence in race organization for 2007. From SPYC, the race committee team includes Judy Altenhoff, William Ballard, Carole Bardes, Paul Bardes, Bob Birkenstock, Mike Boom, Gloria Davis, Dan Driscoll, Barbara Farquhar, Tom Farquhar, Carole Johnson, Robert Johnson, Karen Park, Elizabeth Pennington, George Pennington, Baird Resener, Betty Resener, Tom Rinda, Fran Stevens, Selga Sakss, Patricia Seidenspinner, Barbara Shaffer, David Shaffer, Janet Walker, Maridell Weaver, Joy Wissing, Larry Wissing, Mateo Vargas and Todd Fedyszyn.
Many members of the Salty Sisters have contributed heavily to the regattas over the years as well. This year we lost Colin Park, a man admired for his success in sailing, in business, in life.
The Clearwater Yacht Club stages several high-profile regattas each year. Race officers are David Billing, Dick Boblenz, Fairlie Brinkley and Dave Ellis. Organizers were Judy Widger and Theresa Kreske. Scorers were Brenda Hanson and Anne Unger. Ann Newton and Henry Moore served as judges.
Treasure Island Tennis and Yacht Club has had Les Lathrop for three decades, keeping its sailing and docks in order, now with a new clubhouse.
Dave and Joye Swisher ran the Boca Ciega Yacht Club events.
Gulfport Yacht Club was the catamaran capitol in 2007. "Hobie" Bob Johnson, Beth Hesselton, Mike Kasper, Tony Kruse, Ron Leppold, Kat Maruhnic, Linda Jo Nickolson, Gordon Isco, Dave Ellis and Mary Ann Roberson were volunteers.