Oldak and Purple Haze Win the Whitebread

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Lee Oldak, far right, skippered Purple Haze to victory in the 25th running of the Whitebread Regatta. Ed Gifford photos

A pair of boats from the Breakwater Yacht Club were the top two finishers over the weekend in the 25th running of the Whitebread Regatta, widely considered to be the top sailing event in Peconic Bay each year.

Lee Oldak captained Purple Haze to victory with a corrected time of 4 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds, his first-ever win in the event after 10 appearances. The wind died off later in the race, which circumnavigated Shelter Island, providing favorable conditions for Oldak’s 30-foot Henderson 30.

“It started in the 10- to 12-knot range and picked up a little bit, and then died down on the backside of the island,” Oldak said. “My boat is very light, only 3,800 pounds. And we take a penalty for that lightness. We gave time to every other boat except one. We win a lot of races boat for boat. At about 12 knots, the other boats equal our performance.”

Gossip, captained by Steve Kenny out of Breakwater, finished second in 4:28:58, while Calli and captain Kevin Horne from the Ocean City Yacht Club in New Jersey finished third in 4:31:54. A total of 70 boats competed in six divisions grouped according to their PHRF ratings.

Complete results are available online by clicking the “Results Archive” tab at regattanetwork.com. Below is a photo story from photographer Ed Gifford.

Purple Haze glides past Sachem, a Sabre 38, and ultimately won the regatta.
As the fleet bottlenecks on the north side of Shelter Island, Sachem, at right, a Sabre 38 skippered by Jonathan Russo, has the right of way. In search of a more favorable current, Sachem has cut in front of the pack, forcing all those near by to “get the heck out of her way”
In search of the wind and the current and trying not to run into anything, the fleet tacks up the narrow waterway between Shelter Island and the North Fork of Long Island.
Sailing east into Gardiners Bay, the fleet passes Long Beach Bar Light affectionately know as Bug Light, which has been welcoming Greenport-bound mariners returning from sea for almost 150 years.
Spindrift — a Herreshoff Fishers Island 31, captained by William Rich, if not the most beautiful boat in the fleet, at ninety-one years old, is certainly the oldest.
David Esseks’s Twiga, A J80, flys the spinnaker and is pictured sailing into Gardiners Bay.
Easterly, The Sparkman + Stevens 45 foot sloop sails under spinnaker. Easterly is owned by David Kriegel out of Shelter Island.
Fantasy Captained by Scott Matthews out of Shelter Island, is a 1958 Sparkman + Stevens Yawl.

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