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Graham Byrnes Wins Whortonsville Cup
Light winds favor the small boats
June 24, 2007

G
raham Byrnes has circumnavigated the globe under sail. A naval architect, he has designed dozens of sail, power and even paddle vessels. In March of last year he took a new 22 foot design of his to Florida and won the 300 mile Everglades Challenge.

Saturday he got to add a new honor to his resume – winner of The Whortonsville Cup.

Graham Byrnes 22’ Cat Ketch “Southern Skimmer”
This cup will be in residence for a year at the Byrnes home.

Byrnes gets the classic Whortonsville Cup honors. The WYTC Cup will adorn his shelf for a year. It is given to the winner full of cookies, and with instructions to return it with fresh cookies for the 2008 race. (Graham should have received the Cup filled with cookies, but, it turned out, about half of them had been eaten by an unidentified cookie thief. There were several suspicious looking youngsters in attendance, but none of them would admit to this act of sabotage.)

Graham Byrnes will also get the other award all winners get – a “special” handicap next year.

Byrnes also continued a nearly two decade tradition. For the 18th time in the race’s 18 year history – there was a new winner of the Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club Summer Solstice Sailebration.

No one has ever won this race twice. It may be partly due to the variable conditions on the lower Neuse in late June, but the WYTC ratings book is likely the key to the difficulty of winning the race twice. Yacht & Tractor Club Commodore Nick Santoro is known to give first place finishers an extra handicap in future races, using a formula only Nick knows.

Simply stated, they have to start later. Late enough to make winning twice an extra challenge.

Preparation is part of every race, and Byrnes was unusually thorough. He pulled his boat around behind a tractor before the race, getting it used to the psychology of the WYTC event.
Light 5 – 10 mph winds favored the smaller boats in Saturday’s racing. Graham Byrnes sailed to victory in a boat of his own design – a Southern Skimmer 22. Brian Brown finished second in his Moore 24. Simon Whitehead (a previous winner) finished 3rd, and Margaret Alexander (also a previous winner) finished fourth in her San Juan 21.
The design of the 2007 Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club t-shirt.
The Yacht & Tractor Club doesn’t just honor those whose finish first – special attention is also paid to those who bring up the rear.

Bob Dales finished last aboard his Island Packet 27 and was awarded a giant zucchini. Melidia Edge finished second to last aboard her Pacific Seacraft 30 – she received a slightly smaller zucchini.



In this file photo Yacht & Tractor Commodore Nick Santoro shows off a WYTC burgee just like the one that Ed Bliss won Saturday.

Don Scales came in 17th – but he won the “other” first place award in the event. Don was the first skipper to register for the 2007 race – he received a screened hatch tent made by Jeannette Santoro.

Just before the start it was reported to the Race Committee that the turning mark was drifting away and it looked like the Race Committee boat was going to have to up anchor and go and fix it, but Ed Bliss who was one of the last to start volunteered to fix it on the way out to the race course and he did. He was awarded an official WYTC burgee for his efforts.

The first six finishers were awarded home baked breads, and the top three received a special reward:




The first three finishers were awarded tiny plastic tractors with 1st, 2nd, or 3rd numerals on them. While the cup must be returned every year, you get to keep the plastic tractor.

2007 Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club Summer Solstice Sailebration Results
Race Saturday June 23, 2007

1- Graham Byrnes, Southern Skimmer 22

2- Brian Brown, Nevermoore

3- Simon Whitehead, Capri 25

4- Margaret Alexander, San Juan 21

5- Mike Craig, Etchells 22

6- Skip Fenner, Tartan 37

7- Art Tierney, Bristol 35.5

8- Ed Lieberman, Pearson 35

9- Ed Bliss, Sabre 36

10- Bill Arndt, Sabre 36

11- Kevin Bryan, Tartan 34

12- Paul Bogardus, Catalina 27

13- Rob Gennings, Tartan 34

14- George Duffie, Tartan 34

15- Gerry Crowley, Rhodes Reliant

16- Roger Bates, MacGregor 25

17- Don Scales, Catalina 34

18- Nick Santoro, Endeavour 32

19- Keith Payne, Islander 36

20- Ned Ferris, Marshal Cat

21- Jim Miller, O’Day 34

22- Bill Deighton, Catalina 27

23- Jim Gray, Americat 30

24- Eric Lind, Bristol 29.9

25- Stefan Ufer, Sabre 30

26- Roger Cordes, Catalina 27

27- Earl Evens, Watkins 33

28- Chuck Nintzel, Hunter 37

29- Melydia Edge, Pacific Seacraft 30

30- Bob Dales, Island Packet 27


Underway under light winds, the race as viewed from the cockpit of "Snowbird"

Related Links:

The 2006 WYTC Race

The 2003 WYTC Race


Ensign Harbor, home of the Whortonsville Yacht & Tractor Club

Posted Sunday June 24, 2007 by Keith N. Smith