The Great Schooner Model Society

Event Reports

Surgent Spring Regatta - April 4, 2004

The Society's racing season began, as always, with the Surgent Spring Regatta, held at the home of George and Marla Surgent. Unfortunately, the wind was blowing at gale forces (even harder in scale) so no races were held. Instead, the skippers sat around telling tall tales, eating too much good food and generally had a relaxed time ... what's with that?

Calvert Marine Museum - May 16, 2004

The first real racing of 2004 took place at the Calvert Marine Museum under threatening skies and abnormally warm conditions. The rain never came, but neither did the real breezes, so the races were primarily won by the boats that drifted best or could take advantage of the sporatic puffs around the course.

This regatta officially welcomed Al Suydam to our ranks. Al recently moved from Detroit to the Land of Pleasant Living. He has become a welcomed volunteer at the Museum and has been a first-class modeler and racer for quite a while. Al has attended all of the schooner events over the past years and has won many of the awards that are available. Society members vowed to teach Al some of the more subtle aspects of Society racing, but it might just be the other way around!!

Marty Hayes brought out his new Malabar schooner, Vivian for its first races. The boat performed quite well considering it had never been raced before and Marty was very pleased with the outing. The only tense moments came before the races even started. Due to a frequency conflict with Al Suydam (see, he's already starting to take over) Marty had to change his radio frequency. No problem though, because Marty had a fancy computerized transmitter and receiver that can be set to any channel. Unfortunately, Marty forgot to bring the manual and he couldn't remember what buttons to press to get to the magic mode needed to set the channel. After a few minutes of "hacking", the magic sequence was eventually pressed and the radio was re-programmed.

Ed Gera also brought out a new racing boat, which was a cross between a Sharpie and a spaceship!! A sleek, all-white Sharpie hull sat low on the water, with a deep fin and bulb keel. The rig consisted of two free-standing, rotating wing shaped masts, with high-aspect-ratio sails. The masts and sails were scavenged off of the ill-fated catamaran that Ed built last year but abandoned without racing it. Unfortunately, the winds needed to be a little stronger for Ed's high-tech Sharpie to show its stuff and some mechanical problems forced him out of some of the races.

The official race results were as follows:

  1st 2nd 3rd
Race #1 Marty Hayes John Atwood Al Suydam
Race #2 Buck McClellan John Atwood Al Suydam
Race #3 Al Suydam Buck McClellan Marty Hayes
Race #4 Buck McClellan Al Suydam John Atwood
Race #5 Marty Hayes George Surgent John Atwood
Race #6 Buck McClellan Al Suydam Marty Hayes
Race #7 John Atwood George Surgent Marty Hayes

Maritime Museum - June 6, 2004

There was no schooner racing held on this day because of a complete lack of wind and excessive tidal flow. Nonetheless, all captains had a good time telling tall stories.

Jones' Regatta - July 18, 2004

With threatening clouds all day and light rain in the morning, a small number of Society members (Herb, George and Frank) braved the conditions to compete in what turned out to be a very nice set of races. Ed Gera also attended but did not compete because of medical reasons.

Wind conditions on the Columbia lake ranged from light to medium, with just enough puffs and shifts to make the racing interesting. The change in wind velocity kept George on his toes operating the Sharpie (which is particularly sensitive to heavy air), while the shifting direction kept Herb and Frank constantly searching out the best course for their equally matched Chesapeake 50's. The racing was close all day, with each captain scoring at least two bullets in the seven races held.

The official race results were as follows:

  1st 2nd 3rd
Race #1 George Surgent Herb Jones Frank Pittelli
Race #2 George Surgent Herb Jones Frank Pittelli
Race #3 Frank Pittelli Herb Jones George Surgent
Race #4 Frank Pittelli Herb Jones George Surgent
Race #5 George Surgent Frank Pittelli Herb Jones
Race #6 Herb Jones George Surgent Frank Pittelli
Race #7 Herb Jones George Surgent Frank Pittelli

Task Force 50 Precision Steering - August 15, 2004

A couple of Society members attended the annual scale judging and precision steering event at Lake Redmond, Pennsylvania. Marty Hayes came away as a big winner, with a first place in the sailboat precision steering. His Lady Jane sailboat also won the Masters trophy for scale and steering combined high points. And, to top it all off, he won a 6 channel Futaba radio in the raffle.

USVMYG Vintage Traditional Watercraft Regatta - September 18-19, 2004

Despite lots of hurricane activity this year, a number of Society members traveled to the Norfolk to attend the Vintage Traditional Watercraft Regatta and came home with lots of prizes and fun stories. Al Suydam took 3rd place in the 50" Schooner division, with Marty Hayes close behind in 4th place. Al Suydam also took 1st place in the VM Nationals. Buck McClellan won the Skipjack division, with George Surgent placing 3rd. Finally, George Surgent won 3rd place in the Over 50" Schooner division with his Sharpie.

Surgent Fall Regatta - October 31, 2004

The schooner season ended, as always, with a nice day of sailing at Surgent's Cove, home of George and Marla Surgent. Although the late season race usually is fought in gale force winds, this year the conditions were quite nice, with a medium breeze. As can be seen in the following scores, most of the races were won by either Herb or Marty, who were both sailing well the whole day.

The official race results were as follows:

  1st 2nd 3rd
Race #1 Marty Hayes Herb Jones Al Suydam
Race #2 Herb Jones Al Suydam Marty Hayes
Race #3 Herb Jones Julian Marty Hayes
Race #4 Marty Hayes Frank Pittelli Herb Jones
Race #5 Al Suydam Julian Herb Jones

Based on his strong showing in the last two regattas, Herb Jones once again won the Commodore's Cup for the best yearly results.