On Saturday night, January 14th, we held our 2023 Annual Meeting at Stamford Yacht Club. After the success of 2020’s virtual Annual Meeting and the Southern Station’s hosting of a hybrid meeting in 2022, we once again were able to use technology to reach our wider membership and plan for this to be the standard protocol going forward for our membership. (Of course, we’d prefer you come in person to join in the merrymaking and to meet new friends and old!)

Over 140 members attended the meeting in-person, and over 70 joined via Zoom. Outgoing Commodore Ed Cesare opened the meeting, and then turned the mic over to Incoming Commodore Ray Redniss. (The freshly minted Commodore’s remarks follow.)  Commodore Redniss then presented Past Commodore Ed Cesare with a framed set of burgees to mark the occasion. Commodore Redniss then introduced the newly elevated Vice-Commodore Andrew Weiss and presented him with his new flag.  Weiss is also the Event Chair for Block Island Race Week, and he was excited to announce that the regatta already has almost 160 boats registered. 

To complete the new slate of Flag Officers, James “Ty” Andersen was introduced as Rear Commodore, and presented with the appropriate flag.

Later, a number of Club racing awards were presented. See full awards photos and recipients below.

At the meeting’s conclusion, the festivities began in earnest.  Many members enjoyed the special tasting bar from Litchfield Distillery (a sponsor at several of our regattas) which offered almost 20 different variations of whiskey.  Additionally, there were a few Monte-Sanos and SYC provided a full bar, and there were plenty of hors-d’oeuvres.

The Flags would like to thank Stamford YC, Litchfield Distillery, Kate Somers/Rising T Media, and STC Executive Director Whitney Simon (nee Kneisley – she was recently married) for all their hard work and preparation in making the entire event a success. 

The full recording is linked on our website along with new Commodore Ray Redniss’ remarks and the list of Awards granted.

Exchanging of Flags

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Commodore Redniss’ Remarks

It is a rare gift to be able to face difficult challenges thoughtfully and professionally, and still manage to find some humor! Ed, your fellow officers – present and past, the governors, committee members, the membership at large, and our executive director – thank you for your outstanding leadership, camaraderie, and focused sense of purpose! I, on the other hand, want to remind you that you are still on the hook for two more years!!

My fellow members… my friends… thank you for being here both in-person and online. I’d like to specifically thank Commodore Storck for calling for a motion that the Secretary cast one ballot in favor of the slate. It would not have been fun to have the rest of the evening delayed for multiple recounts!

Now that the new slate is official, I believe a new piece of STC trivia was just created. In 2019 we elected the youngest commodore, AJ Evans.  Today we elected the oldest!  Not to worry… the graph will center out 2025!!

I’d like to congratulate and welcome aboard Ann, Sheila, and Ty!  I look forward to crewing with you!

As I was preparing for this meeting, I reflected back on my sailing experience and how I became a member. As a matter of sailing background, there is a 1948 picture (not that I remember it) of my mother and me on a wooden daysailer named Alibi 2. Rich, you’ll be happy to know that I was wearing a harness and my mother was holding the leash… uh, tether! For a short time after that, there was an Alibi 3 which was a raised deck sloop that disappeared when my brother was born.  Fast forward to the ‘60s and my father bought a Rhodes 41 named Ganymede and re-named it Alibi IV. That’s when the fun really began, and I got hooked. In 1967, we started sailing on weeknights with some of my father’s friends, one of whom would call around and figure out which night was best for everyone. The start and finish was between the Stamford breakwaters, and so was born the Breakwater Irregulars. Several years later we settled on Tuesday nights and are still going strong.  In 1969, a couple of years after that introduction to racing, I got a spot on a Whitby 45 for my first Vineyard Race. 

Many races and many life-years later, Jaime (my wife) and I graduated from a Seidelmann 25 to a J29. I think it was 1989 that we won our class at Larchmont Race Week and, wanting to duplicate the trophy for our boat partner, we looked at the bottom of the trophy, called the number, and met Penny and Nick Langone. That first encounter found us in Gifted of Larchmont’s storeroom… Vinny Monte-Sano’s basement. Not only were we able to duplicate the trophy, but I got a personal introduction to a Monte-Sano Cooler. When the Commodore asked me if I liked rum, Penny did all she could to stop the process. She failed… and part way through the second one, I handed the keys to Jaime. 

In 1991 we had a port-starboard incident in the Spring Series in which I sustained permanent damage to my right arm. Not willing to give up being on the water, I immediately volunteered for the race committee here at SYC. At the same time, my oldest son, Jesse, was a junior sailor so I was involved in what was then JYRA. That not being quite enough I found myself on the YRA PHRF committee and met Owen Torrey, with whom I wound up serving for several years on the YRA Nominating Committee. As many of you know, when you worked with Owen you didn’t have to do much! By the time he explained it to you, the job was done!  

As you also know, in those days Marcy Trenholm was holding down the fort at both JYRA and STC. I think it was 1995 or 6 that I got a call from her asking if, as Fleet Captain of SYC, I could assist STC with the Block Island Race which was to start and finish at Stamford.  Before I knew what was happening, I get a call from the PRO, and so it began. When you start out working with Luigi, you have no idea where it’s going to go!  After a couple of years and the ensuing all-nighters on the finish boat together he says “I’ve got to get you into Storm Trysail.  Tell me about your offshore experience.” So, I gave him a brief list of Vineyards, Block Islands, Annapolis to Newports, Lauderdale to Key Wests, etc. He asked me how I liked my first Vineyard Race…so I told him “I’d like to tell you I remember it like it was yesterday, but I had just come back from Woodstock… and I simply don’t!”  Next thing I know, I’m a member, Luigi is gone, and I had inherited the event!  Then, in early 2003 I get another call from Luigi asking if I would like to run a course at BIRW and could I come to a meeting at Larchmont. Well… yeah!!  It was at that meeting that we all met this computer ringer brought in to help with scoring. Because I only had to run one race each day, I had time every afternoon to help Luiz Kahl check finish sheets and input times … and drink mudslides. And as you all know, any time spent with Luiz was special.

I have been amazed at just how rewarding it is to work with so many talented and dedicated friends. Even after a dozen years as Fleet Captain, I didn’t realize just how much energy, at all levels, goes in to making things happen. As has been reiterated in various reports today and over the past 4 years alone, STC is steadily gaining members, energy and momentum, and offering more and more in member value. Many new ideas and initiatives have been generated and ignited, and there are more to come!  Watch your emails for information coming to you, and requests for interests from you.

If there is one thing good that came out of the pandemic, it is the rapid growth and use of virtual meetings and the ease of having visual contact.  AJ started the practice of the flag officers meeting by Zoom every Wednesday morning, Ed continued it, and I intend to do the same. Even if there was nothing pressing at the moment, those consistent calls made for efficient use of time and a great way of all “staying in the loop.”  I first met AJ at BIRW either ’03 or ’05 but got to know him better while I was Fleet Captain and he was the Newport Station Captain.  I can’t even remember when I first met Ed, but we started really working together in 2016 when we got involved in the Miami to Palm Beach Race. Can’t remember when I first met Andrew, either. Probably just being in the same places at the same times… regattas.  And a hardy welcome to the bridge, Ty!  We started working together in 2010 on what was then the LIS IRC Championship & Fall PHRF Regatta run jointly with Riverside YC  

Thank you, Ed, Andrew, Rick, Bud, John, all the governors and committee members, and especially Whitney, for all y’all have done and continue to do. It is what makes this club great!  

Respectfully submitted,

Raymond L. Redniss

Commodore

Bermuda Race Trophies

The Boomerang Trophy for the quickest elapsed time by a Storm Trysail Club member’s yacht win the St. David’s Head Division in the Bermuda Race awarded to Jim and Kate Murray onboard the Pac 52 Callisto.

The William Snaith Memorial Trophy awarded to the designer of the yacht which finishes first on corrected time in the St. David’s Head division of the Bermuda Race. This year the Snaith was awarded posthumously to Bill Lapworth designer of the Cal 40.

The Mertz Trophy awarded to the best performance by a Storm Trysail Club member in the St. David’s Head division of the Bermuda Race. Won this year by Stan and Sally Honey aboard the Cal 40 Illusion.

Awards Recognizing Club Wide Excellence

The Richard M. Stimson Offshore Navigation Trophy awarded to a Storm Trysail Club member who has navigated a yacht or yachts with the best-combined fleet positions from among the races entered. This year 6 members were nominated by their fellow members any one of whom would have been a worthy winner. The award went to Dee Smith for an outstanding record on both sides of the Atlantic including an outstanding performance in the Bermuda Race and an even more outstanding performance in the Swedish Race known as the Gotlund Runt, a challenging 350 nm event amongst the narrow passages and rocks of the Gotland Archipelago.

The Commodore Vincent Monte-Sano for Racing Excellence is awarded to the Storm Trysail Club member whose racing record is the most outstanding at the local, regional and national levels bringing recognition and honor the Club. This year we had 5 outstanding nominations. After considering the records of each on a weighted average basis depending on the type of event the award goes to Jim and Kate Murray abroad for their Callisto — a Pac52 for offshore events and a J/109 for Great Lakes events.

The Torrey Trophy awarded annually to the person, who, in the opinion of the Governing Committee has rendered outstanding service to the Storm Trysail Club. The Torrey is awarded posthumously to Luiz Kahl. Luiz developed the widely used scoring program Yacht Scoring and served the club as Station Captain of the Eastern Great Lakes Station.

Recording:

https://stormtrysail-org.zoom.us/rec/play/P3k7gEHHRphJ3HQzA5S6wJvKycqKBa1DkbmQcLL3hdX4mjdd9FCWNrZtRSh1fAsiLZQ6j4LDcKkiRDhU.nNoIcZ0Pvt7i0Q3h
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