1-Welcome 2017 Racers

                      Regatta Race 1& 2 results can be viewed by going to: 

                                Hospice Turkey Shoot Summary


                  2017 Turkey Shoot Regatta, Benefit for local Hospice: Great Sail Racing, Food, Entertainment, and Fellowship

 Although Hurricane Maria threatened, she headed east leaving strong winds but sunny weather for this year’s annual Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta, Saturday Oct 1-2, on the Rappahannock.  Sponsored by Rappahannock River YC, Yankee Pt. Racing and Cruising and Rappahannock Yachts, this year’s event with 76 boats was exciting and colorful, both for the large well-organized fleets racing and for the valiant efforts of individual boats.  Seen on the western side of the Norris Bridge, the fleets under full sail were picture perfect under blue skies.

 According to Jerry Latell, Co-Race Chair (and owner Ullman Sails of Deltaville and Hampton), Saturday racing started out with sunny skies and 14-18 knots of wind, gusting to 24, coming from the NNE, resulting in very challenging racing conditions with 2-3 foot waves. Sailing a 6.3 nautical mile (nm) triangular course with a windward finish, the larger A Fleet boats raced twice around while the smaller B Fleet boats completed one circuit.  Sunday winds were more enjoyable at 8-12 kts going from N to NE over the course of the race, with racing as a 10 nm pursuit (where boats starting times were based on their PHRF handicaps). The course was from the north shore of the river going around Towles point to a mark up the river towards Urbanna and then return to the finish line located at the same position as the starting line.

 Although these skilled sailors are mindful that these races are real-life with attendant risks and accordingly they and their boats are fully prepared, two incidents still occurred. One, a man-overboard just before the start of racing Saturday, with a minor injury, and the other, a knock-down during the race Sunday, fortunately with no injury. 

In both cases racing continued.  Co-race chair Tom Chapman noted that these rescues and the lack of breakdowns in Saturday’s heavy weather showed the preparation and seaworthiness of the boats and crews of the fleet.

 ·       In the first case, a crewman got knocked off a boat on the way to the starting line whereupon he was promptly picked up by a competing sailboat and, despite a minor bloody nose and being wet and salty, he gamely bandaged his nose, had his wife on shore notified, continued the race with his former foe, now rescuer since they were short-handed for those windy conditions! 

 ·       The second case on Sunday was more dramatic, needing more time and effort to right the boat. Two miles into the Pursuit Race, Ed Johnson’s Rasta, a boat he designed and built, suffered a knock-down (overturn) in the high winds after deploying extra sail.   With the mast under water, caught on the river-bottom, a passing boat and RRYC’s safety boat Doug Power with Pete Clay worked with Ed and his son Casey to right the sailboat.  After 45 minutes of unsuccessful efforts, they offered Ed and Casey a chance to rest, warm up and get some dry clothes before the Safety boat, now with Tom Armstrong added, along with the RRYC Signal or Committee boat Wildfire with George Kuper and Dr. Bob Westbrook, then headed back to the overturned Rasta. After 2 more hours of diligent effort, they righted Rasta and towed her back to Custom Yachts in Irvington. 

 On to the results: 

Overall Winner of the Regatta was Jim Engle in Grey Fox, his 1981 Alajuela 38 with crew of David Kovacs and Greg Lynn. John McConnico, chairmen emeritus and a regatta founder, presented Jim with the Virginia Spirit Trophy silver bowl and a certificate for a room and slip at The Tides Inn for next year's Regatta courtesy of Gordon Slatford, Tides Inn General Manager.   

First place in Division 1 was Timothy Scheid in L’eaudanse, with second going to Tommy Asch in Moya, and third went to William Haynie in Serene Zelda. In Division 2, first place went to William Morgan in Skylark, Leslie Newman in Puffin was second and Pedro Pimentel in Shades of Grey was third. Wayland Rennie, the oldest but still one of the best skippers in the Turkey Shoot won first place in Division 3 in Trilogy, with J. Peter Doherty in Plover second and Norman Faulkner in Country Woman, third.  Lew Thatcher in Catitude was first place in the highly competitive Division 4 with Warren Ryan in Whistler second and Dennis Hannick, last year’s overall winner in Goin, in third. First in Division 5 was Joran Gendell in Elixir, second Russ Seltzer in Joie de Vivre and third Randy Alderks in Eroica.  Division 6 was won by overall winner Jim Engle, second Richard Hazlegrove in Quest and third Eddy Whichard in Life of Riley. Jim Harding in Sea Gal once again won Division 7 with Robin Meigel’s Pacem second and Mark Geigel in Seabird third.  Division 8 was won by Michael Chesser in Scuba Kat, second Frank Murphy in Last Boat III and third Bill McClure in Thistledowne.  See below for the results of the three-boat Division 9, the classics.  The 15-boat Typhoon Division 10 was won by Roger and Scott Lawson in Sweet Pea with Sissy Crowther and Arabella Denvir in Ad Astra second, Chuck Carmichael in Pygmalion third and Mike Kennedy in Radio Flyer fourth.   See the website https://yachtscoring.com/event for more results.

 The John and Carole Jean McConnico Trophy, awarded to the Yacht Club or Marina based on the sum of their three best finishers, was won by Fishing Bay Yacht Club on a tiebreaker for the second year in a row.  Rappahannock River Yacht Club won this trophy in 2014 and 2015.

 The Doug Power Wobbly Compass trophy, awarded to the winning wooden boat, was won by Charles Shaffner, in his 1926, 27.5 ft Herreshoff “S” Dolcefariente (Ital.: Sweet Idleness).  In addition to winning the Wooden Boat division.  Dolcefariente was also 2nd to finish the Pursuit Race, and second overall in the regatta, the best-ever performance by someone in the wooden boat fleet. Finishing second in the wooden boat fleet was Bill Dickenson in Victorious, a McGruer custom 24, who with his fourth place finish in the Pursuit race finished Third Overall in the regatta. Richard Williams in Ricochet, his 1953, 34 foot Atkins ketch, (2016’s wooden boat division winner) finished third.

 The “Most Beautiful Boat” award voted on by passengers on the Faded Glory, (Hope and Glory’s 42 foot deadrise) was Randy Alderks’ Eroica a 1968 36 foot C&C Invader.

 The Race Committee, responsible for setting the courses, running the races, rescuing and recovering boats, water taxis, registration and scoring was led by Tom Chapman and Jerry Latell and included Kimberly Vail (registration), Burke Johnson (historic ships) George Kuper, Lloyd Redlin, Pete Clay, Tom Armstrong, Bob Westbrook, Debbie Cycotte, Doug Lyle, Kathy Bearden and Lynn Richardson.  Karl and Nancy Hamm’s Karibbe Kat served as the Signal boat. Ed Johnson led the group of volunteers providing water taxi service in Bob Damon’s and Doug Jayne’s boats to the many racing boats anchored in Carters Creek. Lance Franke skippered his launch as an extra safety boat on Saturday and the finished the weekend as a substitute water taxi after some gear failure.  Carter Sommers and the family skiff was also pressed into emergency taxi service. The land side activities were supervised by George Bott and included Frank Martin, Joel Dugan and many volunteers from Yankee Point Racing and Cruising Club and Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck. Publicity was by Catherine Crable. Frances Bernard and volunteers from Riverside Hospice Services provided all the food services.    Entertainment this year featured the “Grateful Dads” Dr Greg Shivers band from Riverside Hospital who kept the party going after dinner Saturday night encouraging some great dancing after a long day on the water.

According to George Bott co-event chair, The Hospice Turkey Shoot Regatta is jointly sponsored by Rappahannock River Yacht Club and Yankee Point Racing and Cruising Club, Ullman Sails and hosted by Rappahannock Yachts at their marina in Irvington.  He thanked Bruce Sanders, owner of the Rappahannock Yachts marina in Irvington, VA for hosting the land-side venue for the last five years.  All proceeds go to Hospice Support Services of the Northern Neck in Warsaw, VA and Riverside Hospice Agencies serving Tappahannock and Gloucester.  George also noted that although a final accounting has not been completed proceeds from the regatta could be the best ever and thanked all sponsors and contributors.


1. Jim Engle and crew David Kovacs and Greg Lynn receiving the Virginia Spirit Cup from John McConnico
2. Ed Johnson’s Rasta being righted by RRYC support boats.
3. Charles Shaffner’s 1926 Herreshoff S, Dolcefariente going to weather in 18 kts of wind
4. Jim Engle’s Grey Fox, an Alajuela 38 reaching in Sunday’s Pursuit race
All Photo Credits: Jerry Latell