By Gavin Menu
Liam and Steve Kenny sailed their 35-foot J-109 Gossip to victory Saturday in the 35th Annual Sag Harbor Cup Regatta, which stretched from Noyac Bay to Three Mile Harbor in East Hampton, before heading back through Shelter Island Bay, where participants returned to the host Breakwater Yacht Club for a benefit party to celebrate a new life for the event.
“We did a lot more marketing, a lot more contacting of area clubs and inviting them personally,” Breakwater sailing director Sean Elliott said about the event, which was traditionally held in August, but attracted just 11 boats last year. “We want this to be the spring version of the Whitebread Regatta, which happens every fall. Hopefully, we double the amount of boats again next year. I think over the next two years we’ll establish ourselves with this new date.”
Racing in the spinnaker division among boats with a PHRF rating of 105 or less, Sag Harbor-based Gossip finished with a corrected time of 2:50:19, just ahead of Boogie Van and captain Jody LoCascio, whose Express 27 finished with a corrected time of 2:51:15. Captain Lee Oldak, and his Henderson 30 Purple Haze, the lowest rated boat in the fleet, crossed the line first, but ultimately finished third with a corrected time of 2:56:20.
The event is the major fundraising effort at Breakwater, which just last week handed out 100 scholarships to 10 local schools. Each scholarship is for a full week of sailing instruction during the summer. At a cost of $395 per week that adds up to nearly $40,000 in sailing scholarships.
“I’ve already had some guidance counselors reach out who are dealing with it,” Elliott said. “They know the kids who are able to go.”
Conditions were ripe for good sailing on Saturday with 15-to-20-mile-per-hour winds gusting across the bay. The race began in a downpour in Noyac Bay, but the sun broke through the clouds for the remainder of the race and the post-race party back at Breakwater.
A complete list of results is available by searching “breakwater” online at yachtscoring.com.