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Scenes From New Years 2017 Regatta
Wind A No Show. 33 Boats Do
January 5, 2017
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he wind was a no-blow. Yet more than 30 sailboats did turn put, and helped continue Oriental’s New Year’s Day tradition with the 2017 Instead of Football Regatta. Aka the 24th Annual. instead of football regatta 2017
Sailboats came out for the 2017 Instead of Football Regatta but with little wind, some boats chose not to raise their sails. (Photo: Sherri Hommé)

Organizer Tom Lathrop provided this account:

The beautiful Neuse River provided a great place to prove that intrepid sailors don’t really need wind to have a good time on the water. 33 sailboats and two kayaks ventured out to take part in the 24th annual sailing event that takes the place of watching football bowls on TV all day. Many calories and added girth are thus avoided without the usual sweat in the gym required to combat the increase.

(Over the time that the regatta has been a fixture on New Year’s Day, television has taken control of football to the extent that, from a time when all major college bowls were played on January 1, now none are actually taking place that day and professional football has slipped into that time slot. No matter, sailors still fill their boats with ample or more in crew and enjoy the day.)

instead of football regatta 2017
Though there wasn’t much wind, some crews did sail. Caroline James and Alexis Edwards.

This January first was the only one that had practically zero wind for the whole day as the entire Atlantic seaboard rested in a null zone awaiting the next line of rain squalls.

instead of football regatta 2017
Pollywog and crew, Jennifer Smart and Tim Balfour.

Not to be thwarted by perfidy of Mother Nature’s whims, the intrepid Race Committee sent all boats toward Garbacon Shoal Mark under power, being paddled or towed by other boats with engines. Bill Hines and Larry Summers paddled the length of the course in their Kayaks and finished ahead of some boats under power.

instead of football regatta 2017
Larry Summers was one of 2 kayakers. On the wind-poor New Years Day he could out-paddle a sailboat.

In this manner, every one preserved their honor of claiming to sail on New Year’s Day regardless of rain, snow, cold or gloom of day. On this day, only a bit of cold and gloom was all the elements had to offer.

instead of football regatta 2017
Winning form.Ken and Carol Small’s boat, Miranda, had one of the largest crews. In a drawing after the regatta, it was picked to be the winner.

All then gathered at O’Town Restaurant for the mandatory Skipper’s Meeting to get their prizes, have a few libations and adjust attitudes for whatever the New Year of 2017 brings. In the long established, honored and fair tradition, winners of major prizes were judged by pulling names from a bowl. Race organizer Tom Lathrop had to leave at this point so prize distribution duties were taken over by Nelda Coats, Dick Mannion and Art Tierney.

instead of football regatta 2017
Skippers’ Meeting – after the race – at O’Town.

First, Second and Third prizes of gift certificates from Chris Daniels of O’Town restaurant were awarded to Ken Small, George Midyette and Manfred Rott.

instead of football regatta 2017
Luck of the draw – and years of sailing. IOFR 2017 winners Carol and Ken Small.

Jim Edwards of Bow to Stern Sailing donated 6 Kayak rental certificates that were won by David White, Carl Crothers, Alice Petree, Bill Hines, Dan and Leslie Allen and Sherry and George Homme. There was also a large barrel of gifts brought in by everyone that were chosen in turn by the rest of the crowd. Many thanks to Chris Daniels for providing the venue at O’Town for our gathering following the event on the water.

Many more photos, ahead.

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Posted Thursday January 5, 2017 by Melinda Penkava

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