Magnus Pedersen Regatta/Metropolitan District Championships

  • Posted on: 10 June 2017
  • By: Bob Sengstacken
The Lightning fleet starts in a brisk breeze on the Tappan Zee of the Hudson River off of Nyack, New York.
It was more than a handful. Most sailors seemed to settle on using "challenging" to describe the conditions of the Magnus Pedersen Regatta and Metropolitan District Championships June 3 & 4 at Nyack, NY. The wind shot up into the low 20's now and then, and shut down to less than ten at other times. There were shifts of 60 degrees recorded by the Race Committee. And the changes were not gradual, either! Head out of the boat, be on your toes, communicate to anticipate, no time for thought--you need to react, it was a fluid situation. My experienced crew were invaluable. 
Ten boats registered, and PRO Ozman Kurtulus gave us 5 exciting races on Saturday. It all blends together, I do not have clear recollections of individual races, but a few moments stand out. My spinnaker crew was working hard, eased back in the boat to keep the bow up, when a momentary header collapsed the 'chute. He went over backwards, and all I saw were his ankles so I leaned over onto them. Well, the spinnaker must have filled again at that point, because he pulled himself up back into the boat. He claims to have been submerged. In another race, we sailed by a leeward mark with the spinnaker still up, letting Gary and Joan Hurban get past us. You can't do that, they're too hard to catch. Hugh Hutchison's team was always a threat, too.
It was so hectic that one boat that dropped out of a race was at the dock before the crew realized they did not even finish. They did come back out later.  Peter Browne sailed with his sister and a newbie, and I wonder if Gary Merten will be back. A lot of moxie was on display in all quarters. There was one capsize. Their middle crew climbed over, straight to the board. They, too, re-joined us in later races. I don't think I'll tell most of these stories to prospective members.
We shared the course and the race committee with our local Thistle fleet, who also hosted their District Championships concurrent with ours. They had at least 3 capsizes. But, most of them completed all 5 races. It was great to have the extra people at the dinner and party, and no hardship on the race course. Our portion of the event was coordinated by Bill Mayo and Dick Leonard: thank you very much! The food was excellent. The beer was well appreciated. 
There was a lot of agreement that it was time to quit after 5 races. It was exhausting, and stupid mistakes were getting more likely and more consequential. Having five races in the bank was good, because by Sunday it had blown itself out and there was no more wind, no sailing to be had. Thanks to the visitors who made it that much more fun. It was good to see you!
We heard back from one visitor:  "The 2017 Magnus was a total treat.  Admittedly part of the attraction of sailing in Nyack is racing under PRO Ozman Kurtulus.  He is very communicative, never wimps out to the I, U, or Z flags, and his courses are just the right length.  Another attraction is the conditions.  Who can argue with sailing in a breeze, sun, 75, and fresh water?  Nyack also has a great facility.  6 lifts means no lift lines.  And to top it off Nyack offers the best spread.  I counted 4 taps, 4 different salads, chicken, steak, two pastas, and the desserts were well above par. Our 14 year old crew was highly satisfied.  This was the third time in three years we made the trek to Nyack, and 'we will be back.' "  Thanks, Grant!
Come to the Last Blast, our Fall regatta. This year it will be on October 1, 2017 a Sunday!

Bob Sengstacken

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