Southern Bay Racing News You Can Use #611

An independent weekly publication of southern Chesapeake Bay racing happenings.  Founded April 2000.

Try sailing -­‐ it’s NOT easy! -­‐ Bill Schanen, SAILING Magazine

 LANCASTER VA, Oct. 9 -­‐   Turkey Shoot Regatta 2012 is in the books.

William McClure sailed his San Juan Thistledowne to a berth at the Hospice Regattas National Championship at St Petersburg FL on April 13-­‐14, 2013.

Bill is one of 84 racers who had a bucket of fun racing for two days while supporting local hospices.

The Turkey Shoot, at award-­‐winning Yankee Point Marina, enjoyed a picture perfect day on Saturday. The racing on the Rappahannock River featured steady breezes in the low to mid-­‐teens.  Only at the end of the race that the building breezes was an indication of what was to come.

On Sunday rainy skies and dipping temperatures, but still great sailing wind, were the order of the day for the traditional staggered-­‐start pursuit race.  The hardy Turkey Shooters tore down the river toward the bridge and then up the river toward Urbanna, before heading back to the mouth of the Corrotoman and the finish line.

Both days, the tall ship Godspeed played among the fleet and sailed, yes, sailed, all day long with her “smaller friends.”  It was quite a demonstration of seamanship, a fitting Columbus Day tribute.

After the racing, music was played, food and drink partaken, and plenty of sea stories exchanged under the regatta tent.

William McClure (Troy VA)

C Fleet and Division: Peter Knight
(Lancaster VA) Salute.
D Fleet and Winner of the Wooden Boat competition: Ric and Sharon Bauer (Aylett VA) Desperado.
E Fleet: Joran Gendell (Williamsburg VA) Elixir.
F Fleet: Deidre McSweeney-­‐Tyson (Irvington VA) Curlew III.

G Fleet and Division: Frank Murphy (Norfolk VA) Last Boat III.
H Fleet: Mike Conroy (Weems VA) Cahoots.
I Fleet and winner of the Most Beautiful Boat Trophy: Mark Powell (Richmond VA) Lodestone
J Fleet: Tom Watkins (Irvington VA)

Event Chair Karen Knull; Principal Race Officer John McCarthy; Signal Boat Mike Thompson; Mark Boats Tommy Ash, Ed McChain and Jim Young;  Official Scorer Anna Mulvany.

Complete results at

Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta – Oct. 7 & 8, 2011 Rappahannock River, VA

Gorgeous Fall day and really bright moon. Bet the Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta’s first day was great!

Friday, October 7 with racing on Saturday,October 8 and Sunday, October 9. Yankee Point Marina is the regatta host. Details regarding accommodations, registration, entry, etc. are available at Event Chairman: Karen Knull; Principal Race Officer: John McCarthy Turkey Shoot Regatta is an official HOSPICE REGATTA.


This excerpt from e-newsletter Southern Bay Racing News You Can Use today:

HOSPICE TURKEY SHOOT REGATTA -  NEW  2011 SAILING INSTRUCTIONS POSTED AT  These Sailing Instructions apply to next month’s regatta which opens (welcome and check-in) on Friday, October 7 with racing on Saturday,October 8 and Sunday, October 9.  Yankee Point Marina is the regatta host.  Details regarding accommodations, registration, entry, etc. are available at Event Chairman: Karen Knull;   Principal Race Officer: John McCarthy     Turkey Shoot Regatta is an official HOSPICE REGATTA.

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Area Turkeys Flee Regatta –Turkey Shoot Hospice Regatta

Apparently afraid of being shot, hundreds of turkeys along the Rappahannock River flew inland as 140 skippers and crews competed in the 14th Annual Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta. According to gobbler spokesperson Gladys Feathers, reached at her roost in a small wooded area adjacent to the Yankee Point Marina in Lancaster, the birds’ unprecedented action was a direct result of stress. “We’re tired of living in fear” Ms. Feathers is said to have clucked. “And we don’t enjoy having our intelligence questioned.”

Regatta officials, surprised by the vehemence of the bird’s reaction, were at a loss to explain it. “We’re an avian-friendly group” they advised. “And the regatta has always been open to turkeys.” They noted that most participants admired turkeys, did not carry rifles onboard and, in fact, felt a special kinship toward the birds. “We think of turkeys as our friends,” one official noted. “Many of our captains party with them.”

As the controversy raged, regatta officials noted that participation – and fun levels – in this year’s Turkey Shoot had reached an all time high. Bob Fleck in Horizon and Frank Murphy in Last Boat III took the top spots and will have their names added to the prestigious Virginia Spirit Hospice Cup. As winner of the Lightning Division, skipper Fleck from Hardyville, VA, won the right to represent the Turkey Shoot next year at the National Hospice Regatta in Rochester, NY.

School children on Godspeed.

Initially, wind conditions trumped sailing skill and rigging, and more than one skipper had to withdraw from the race and limp back to shore on the first day. Successful captains, happily exhausted but eager to celebrate their survival, reported winds that were “crazy, intense, desperate, unpredictable, even scary – but oh so beautiful.” Officially, wind speed on the first race day ranged from 13 to 20 knots, with higher gusts.

The opening race also tested rescue skills of Yankee Point Marina’s Molly B and her gallant skipper Ken Knull who retrieved Dr. Lee Williams from the water. Dr. Williams tumbled in after successfully dodging the boom onboard his 24 foot Raven sloop Poe Bird. The 84 year-old doctor declined Knull’s offer of a blanket and proceeded to get back onboard Poe Bird and finish the race. (The next day when asked how he was, the now dry doctor quipped that he had put his swimsuit on.) Dr. Williams and his crew went on to prove that perseverance does pay by finishing second in Fleet F.

Vistors on Godspeed

The first-time sailing crew of Frenzy, an all-woman nursing team from Riverside Hospices under skipper Julie Austin of Merrypoint, also proved their mettle by returning to sail on day two after a crew member had succumbed to seasickness on day one. (Medical assistance on this boat was never an issue.) The Frenzy’s crew, Christel Earles, Ann Rubio and Anita White, did a fabulous job of fund raising and added over $3,000 to the regatta’s efforts, making them the top fund raising boat, followed by Jim Charbeneau in Mrs. C, and Charlie Costello in On Eagle’s Wings.

On day two of the race an early brisk wind died suddenly, stranding slower boats far enough away from the finish line to ensure that they couldn’t make it back across in the official time allotted. Emphasizing its power over man and canvas, Madame Wind then winked, smiled and blew harder so that ten boats did manage to finish.

Among these, skipper John Haracivet in Midnight Rider beat out David Alexander in Don’t Be Blue for a very close second place. It’s not known if skipper Alexander was indeed blue, but he shouldn’t have been. Also, it appeared as if Haracivet had the whole city of Gloucester onboard, and at least one Midnight Rider crew member had traded in his baseball cap for a lucky red and white afro wig. Another, possibly the captain himself, clad in bikini-imprinted tee shirt, did a crowd pleasing, half shimmy at the helm while circling the paddle wheeler Vivian Hannah.

Resplendently decked out in red, white and blue, the elegant Ms. Hannah steamed in from her home port of Dahlgren, VA, with owner and captain Stan Palivoda at the wheel. Inside, 26 imported Swarvoski crystal chandeliers sparkled in celebration as the split paddle wheeler transported regatta watchers back in time to the grand old days of steamship travel on the Mississippi. The Vivian Hannah was a joint gift to the spectator community from Captain Palivoda and Karen and Ken Knull, owners of the Yankee Point Marina.

Desparado, a 1953 Hinckley in mint condition, won the Most Beautiful Boat Trophy for skipper Ric Bauer of Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Unfortunately, the Wobbly Compass Trophy, sponsored by the Riverside Health System, could not be awarded because its contenders were among the boats unable to complete the pursuit race in time. (Some had to wobble in via motor.)

The Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta is for classic, monohull sailboats whose design is at least 25 years old. The race is held on the Rappahannock each year in October. It is the major fund raising event for Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck, Inc., and the Riverside Hospice Agencies of Tappahannock and Gloucester. To register for next year’s Turkey Shoot or to see more race details, go to–Ellen Dugan, Publicity Chair, Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

Cupid Bags Two at Turkey Shoot Hospice Regatta

Never a ship sails out of bay but carries my heart as a stowaway.
Georgia Poet Roselle Mercier Montgomery 

      As the warm, gentle breeze of romance replaced racing wind in this year’s pursuit race of the Hospice Turkey Shoot, Cupid took aim and fired at least two well-placed arrows.  One of them hit Linda Meneghini, a former crew member of Helen Quinby’s Avalon II.  The other lodged firmly in the heart of Captain Joe Waters, skipper of Birthday Party. 

      “It was his blue eyes that did it,” said Linda.  As she spoke she threw up her hands in a mock display of surrender to the inevitability and unpredictableness of love, as if to protest that there was truly nothing else a girl could do under the circumstances.

      The circumstances, like race results generally, are somewhat murky.  But apparently the romance was originally kindled by an unfavorable, or at least unprintable, story concerning Joe’s behavior during a previous Turkey Shoot. 

      It’s not known if the Avalon II was actively involved, but since the story’s narrator was Linda’s long time friend and sailing mate, Captain Quinby, one suspects that it was.  In any event it should be noted here that Turkey Shooters, no matter how high or low their PHRF rating, have been known to become seriously aggressive while racing, and occasionally even boisterous.  “It has something to do with their hair color and muscle tone as well as the size of their sails,” according to psychiatrists who study these things.

      Usually the aggression is not serious enough to warrant medical attention according to these experts, and it dissipates completely with a cold beer when the race is over.

      But to get back to Cupid’s mission.  Following the presumably unfavorable story, Linda contacted Joe, perhaps out of curiosity or maybe because she had seen his blue eyes?  We’re not sure of Linda’s motivation, but in this area we must respect her privacy.  Once contact was made, well, what is there left to say?  Like a jib and a mainsail, the couple clicked.  First on the Internet and then in real life. 

      Now the two will be sailing through life together as man and wife, captain and first mate onboard the Birthday Party.  According to Joe, Linda “controls the water.”  And according to Linda, Joe “controls the boat.”  So between them, everything will be under control on their way to Lexington, SC, Joe’s homeport.

      Linda and Joe were married following the conclusion of this year’s Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta at the Yankee Point Sailboat Marina in Lancaster.  Among the guests were friends from South Carolina and Virginia including long time race participant and a previous Turkey Shoot winner, Lee Williams.  Lee, you might remember, is the captain of Poe Bird who fell overboard in last year’s race.  “They duck taped me into the boat this year,” he said.

   While Linda and Joe were busy getting married, race officials under committee chair John McConnico, were even busier.  They worked steadily throughout the afternoon and well into the evening, tabulating, double-checking and then re-tabulating race results.  With eyelids held open with toothpicks, they continued working late into the night and well into the next day.  According to one bleary-eyed volunteer, no one had told him that shift work would be involved. 

      But when all was said and done, the results showed that Joe had won this year’s Lightening Division.  He will represent the Turkey Shoot in the National Hospice Regatta.  Skipper Bob Fleck in Horizon placed second, and Aerwana, skippered by Billy McCarty, was third.

      In the Flying Cloud Division Scuba Kat, skippered by Michael Chesser, placed first; Ladybug with Skipper Ned Crocket, second; and Skipper Peter Knight in Salute, third.

      Among long-term rivals, Skipper Wayland Rennie in Trilogy placed first in the Green Fleet less J-24s; and Poe Bird under Skipper Lee Williams won in the Blue Fleet.

      The Hospice TSR is held each year to benefit Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck, Riverside Hospice Agencies, Inc. of Tappahannock and Walter Reed.  According to TSR committee member Karen Knull all monies raised in the Turkey Shoot go to support services for local hospice clients.  “Funds are raised locally and used locally,” she said.

      For a complete listing of race results, go to  For a report on how Linda and Joe are doing, wait until next year’s regatta.  “We have to come back for our anniversary,” they said. 

2010 Wedding bells at Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

Wedding bells at a hospice regatta? The first was a few years ago in Annapolis; another match originated at the first championship. Now, on October 10, after the Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta on Virginia’s Rappahannock River, S. Carolina sailor Joe Waters and Linda Minginini will tie the knot where they first met. Joe has competed in many of the East Coast hospice regattas as well as the national championship. They hope to include in the celebration the historic replica GODSPEED, which will “race” with the fleet that day. (Check your history books). Fair Winds to the regatta and to Linda and Joe!


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VA – Rappahannock River, Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta

Saturday153-1 r

Wild Goose, a Kenner Skipjack 35, churns ahead at 8 knots on a reach.

On Saturday and Sunday October 10 and 11, one hundred and forty boats competed in the 2009 Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta, an annual event on the Rappahannock River. Bob Fleck and Frank Murphy were overall Division winners. Their names will be engraved on the Virginia Spirit Hospice Cup.

Both boats and sailors found Saturday’s conditions challenging with winds from 13 to 20 knots and higher gusts. Several boats withdrew with equipment failures. The pursuit race Sunday was sailed in light winds. The slower boats, which started first, lost their advantage when the wind dropped to zero early in the race. Because of the light air only ten boats managed to completed the course before time expired at 4:00 P. M.

Saturday132-1 rWindblown, a Pearson 35, skippered by Carol Woodward leads a Cape Dory 33 and a Tartan 37 in Saturday’s race.

Desparado owned by Ric Bower of Aylett Virginia, won the Most Beautiful Boat Trophy. The winner was selected by vote of the sailors attending the Awards Ceremony Sunday afternoon.

Saturday117-1 r

Nereid, a Tartan 40, skippered by Eric Powers took second place in the Lightning Division.

The Wobbly Compass Trophy, sponsored by the Riverside Health System, was not awarded because none of the wooden boats crossed the finish line in the Sunday pursuit race. Reg Mason won the Riverside Health System Trophy for boats with Riverside staff members aboard.

As winner of the Lightning Division, Bob Fleck from Hardyville Virginia won the right to represent the Turkey Shoot in the National Hospice Regatta in spring 2010 in Rochester, New York. He will compete against winners from all thirty local Hospice Regattas held around the Nation.

The regatta is a major source of funds for Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck Inc. The other sponsoring Hospices are the Riverside Hospice Agencies of Tappahannock and Gloucester.

The top fund raising boat was crewed by Christel Earles, Ann Rubio and Anita White of the Riverside Hospices and was skippered by Julie Austin of Merrypoint. The boat was loaned by Premier Sailing. The crew raised over three thousand dollars from co-workers and friends.

OC0J0204 r

Pat Fincham crosses the finish line in Alaria, a Hereshoff Ketch.

The one hundred forty boats registered surpassed the previous record of one hundred thirty boats.

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October 20, 2009 – Goin’ to Rochester in 2010 -   When the Hospice Regattas National Championship  is sailed this coming spring at Rochester Yacht Club in New York, there will be three (3)  teams from the southern Bay and beyond.  Going from the Greater Hampton Roads Hospice Regatta will be Leroi Lissenden (Richmond, VA) and the Voodoo 2 team.  Invited from the Albemarle Hospice Regatta will be Chris Elliott (Edenton, NC), and the Matador  team.   The latest addition to the southern Bay contingent will be Robert Fleck (Hardyville, VA), Horizon,  who won the Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta Lightning fleet earlier this month.

Southern Bay Racing News You Can Use   # 465
SBRNYCU is an independent weekly publication of southern Chesapeake Bay racing happenings. Founded in April, 2000