This season of frostbiting marked my first as the Director of Adult Programs at Courageous, which meant that running the series passed from Dave's hands into mine. Over the past 5 years or so, Dave, along with the RC team and so many of you, have really reinvigorated this series, and the proof is in the numbers: for two years now all team spots have been filled and we've averaged 23 boats on the water, when not too long ago getting 16 boats on the water was a good day. Big thanks to Jesse, Luke, Kip, Carl, and I (along with all our awesome volunteers and substitutes - Andy, Ian, Jack, Nate, Hugh, Rosemary, Steve) for working so hard to uphold Dave's legacy and the progress of the past few years. Thanks to all for bearing with us through some of the rockier race management moments in this year's transition, and thank you all for showing up, racing your hearts out, and being part of this dynamic community of sailors. I had a blast, and I hope you all did too!
Mark Deshong and Russell Robinson scored 26 points over 5 races, beating Chris Palmieri & Co. by 2 points and the Wisch/Ciulla team by 5 to take first for the last day of frostbiting. Performance was inconsistent across the fleet from race to race - not a single boat made it through the day without scoring higher than 10 points at least once. The breeze was as fickle as ever, with huge shifts from both sides that didn't seem to have a predictable oscillation. RC had a hard time committing to the course, and finally gave in to the righty and reset the course. Of course, not only did the RC boat drift right onto the weather mark for the J/24 fleet, but we also managed to get the anchor thoroughly hooked on something when trying to reset for the third time. Regardless of these minor frustrations, our last day of racing was a beautiful afternoon on Boston Harbor.
Congratulations to Marty Gallagher and Cindy Olson for winning the spring series handily, followed by John Pratt and Bob Coyle in second and Matt Marston and Cheney Brand in third.
Over 15 days of the series, we ran a total of 71 races. Chris Palmieri hit the magic minimum number of races sailed(53), coming in at the winning high point percentage of 0.809. Mark Lindsay and Jim Watson took second place, just barely beating Matt Marston and Cheney Brand in third. Huge congratulations to Chris, Gretchen, Brooke, Mark, Jim, Matt and Cheney! Seriously, coming out on top in this fleet over a full 16 weeks is no small thing.
Last but not least, the first annual Paul Elvstrom Award went to our very own fleet captain/ instructor extraordinaire Jen Bodde! Congratulations, Jen!!!
Mark Deshong has ordered a beautiful wall trophy engraved with a R-19 plan, with 36 plates for personalization - I can't wait to see who is honored by the fleet in the 2047-2048 Frostbite series! This may be my favorite thing to have come out of this season. The values embodied by this award are not only the values that we treasure in our seasoned racers, but also the values that Courageous Sailing encourages and instills in our youth, our instructors, and our new adult sailors. The award will reside in a prominent spot on the walls of our boathouse, serving as an inspiration for generations of Courageous sailors to come.
At the end of the day on Saturday, Mark Lindsay pointed out to me that out of the 24 teams that signed up for this series, 20 teams had participated in 53 races or more. This means that we had a truly amazing 83% of our fleet qualify for final season scores. We even had 9 teams show up for 70 or 71 races - meaning that they came every single day. Way to go, Frostbiters!
Finally, as Dave said at the end of the day Saturday, by racing at Courageous each one of you is helping us deliver our mission and bring incredible sailing, and all the life skills that go with it, to over 1000 kids each year. Thank you!
See you on the water!