Sunday, Sept 4th Winds 7-10 SW, light chop. 7 boats on the line.
Ben Forman – 1st
Jeff Morgan – 2nd
Bryan Sherbacow – 3rd
With the exception of Ben Forman, who delivered a dominant 6pt performance over 4 races, results were wonderfully mixed and included a first place finish in race 3 for Mr. Edward Steiger.
Jeff Haley, a historical fleet member, made a rare race course appearance for one race and turned in a solid third, besting his son, JP, and brother in the family standings.
It was a glorious morning, sufficient wind, sun bright, sky clear. One of those days that amidst all of the internal struggles we carry with us, we are reminded to be grateful. On the grateful scale, those of us gathered saw the last of the Wheeler family sailors set out from the Lighthouse on the last day of a perfect summer, bringing to a close just about 80 years of sailors who have set out from 10 Harbor Road to participate on the race course. While we know we will continue to see Gary, and the next generation of Hayes and Sikes sailors at some point down the line, we have developed no small attachment to the idea of walking by the well-varnished flagpole and greeting them on our way to the docks. Gary Hayes’ maternal grandfather, Frederick Steele Blackall, acquired the property in the 1940’s and it has been well occupied ever since. Those of us fortunate to have been at the club in the 1970’s found ourselves surrounded and befriended by Gary and her brothers Greg and Doug. Gary was the first winner of the Richard M. Kimball Trophy for the Flying Scot Season Championship in 1971, Greg followed as champion in 1974. Doug crewed the championship boat in 1976, 1977 and 1978. Gary would go on to win the Prosser Cup - the Southern Massachusetts Womens sailing championship - in 1972 and again in 1990. The house has been home to two Commodores. Gary’s father Ken Wheeler was the Commodore of the club in 1978-1979 and her husband, Rick Hayes, was the Commodore from 1998-1999. Ken Wheeler was the owner of Roulette, a great sailing yacht and constant presence in the harbor from the 1960’s through the 1980’s. In addition to her presence on the Laser fleet line, Gary and Rick successfully campaigned a J-22 for a number of years. It has always been a house of those actively engaged in the life of the Club and the Club members. The three Wheelers were all great athletes and great competitors and no place was that more evident than on the water. It is hard to convey how constant and reassuring a presence their parents, Ken and Mimi Wheeler, were for all of us for so many years. It is a great marker of time to transit from late nights in the yacht club parking lot filled with trepidation about the lights coming on over there and someone asking how necessary it really was to be making all that noise to sitting at a meeting in the Club House and feeling just a little better that Ken Wheeler was still looking on with an eye out for you. It is also hard to convey how meaningful Rick Hayes’ involvement was as a flag officer at a club that indulged in fifty plus years of gentlemen accounting that was centered on the concept of rounding up, to being graced at the exact right moment with someone who took control of the finances as treasurer and ably guided us through a series of badly needed physical plant improvements and the introduction of appropriate sinking funds to insure our longevity as an institution. Ken and Rick were both great leaders of the Club. More than anything though, the Wheelers seemed to approach sailing with some inbred aptitude not just for sailing fast, but also an ability to do so while respecting and honoring the place they sailed out of, acting in a sportsmanlike manner to all and being ready to reach out to you to lend a hand when you needed one. We know that real estate is just real estate and that we will welcome the new owners of 10 Harbor Road in the same way the Wheelers would welcome us, but as we marked the end of an era by watching Gary roll her Laser out of the garage for the day, it was worth remembering beyond the size and beauty of the property, the real human qualities that made it special. Finally, a note of well earned gratitude for John King, Judy Howard and Linda Wiseman who lend just the right note of organization and formality to the best three and a half hours of every week. Have a great winter. Stay safe. The Committee