Slaughter Beach Delaware

"A Horseshoe Crab Sanctuary"

A Certified Wildlife Habitat Community

July 4th/Labor Day Regatta Results and Recap

Date Posted: Thursday, September 21st, 2017

 Additional Pictures, by Beck Craft, of the Regatta can be found here.


So this year was a first for our July 4th regatta and festivities:

  • We tried to hold it on July 4th, but storms rolled in and we had to postpone until the 5th. The tides were not with us, so we only held the events not toed to sailing and rescheduled the catamaran race and the monohull race to September 2nd, during the Labor Day holiday. Storms were with us again on September 2nd and we pushed the once delayed sailboat races to September 3rd, where we were finally able to get them in – and in fine fashion.
  • So here are the results of the July 5th events:
    • Boogie Board race – Madeline Harris. A fine race but not without  controversy.  Seems her cousin didn’t like the idea of fins. Unfortunately, given the delayed nature of the contest, we did not have a full contingent of water referees and the “in the water” decision held. I am sure the winter will supply many hours of conversation on this topic for the Rules Committee (SBSCRC). Congratulations to my granddaughter and to my grandson for their fine showing. Next year we may have to move both up the ladder to the adult boogie board contest. Maddie, this is two in a row. Way to hold up the Ward household here!!
    • Kids Pie Eating Contest – Jackson Chickering. Amazing, how could a thin beach bum wolf down a pie in about 21 seconds. He had it from the start and didn’t even look back. A hardy congrats to the newest, young sailor on the beach.
    • Adult Pie Eating Contest – Roddy Foley, also known as Gerald Oley. Wow, I have never seen a half pound of pudding and cookies and cream move that fast. It was like Roddy had hooked up a shop vac to the pie. Not sure how well it went over with the hot dogs and Yeungling later. Congrats to Roddy, a fine showing, as no one was even close to him at the end. One particular competitor decided to eat one handed while holding a baby. This was considered an incredible handicap until I saw him shoving the baby’s face in the pie as well. Two on one, maybe?
    • Adult Kayak Race – Team Giampietro. Someone needs to put a stop to this kabal. Haven’t had this kind of beat down since the Donnell’s dominated a few years ago. Mike and son had a fine showing – maybe even better than the sons’ race the previous year. I beg all of you to make every effort over the next 11 months to work out and take these guys on. Mike is too hard (when he wins) to take and Leslie has already had to widen the doors at their house to allow the ego through. This coming year the Standards and Competition Committee (SBSCSCC) will be testing for steroids and human growth hormones. “Just saying”. BTW, it didn’t help the cause any that one particular competitor used his paddle backwards the entire time. Not saying who, but you know who you are.
    • Wet T-shirt Contest – Harry Ward. I didn’t know I had a penchant for this type of activity until this year. Maybe I could take it on the road. Who knows, a second career in the making?

So it was a bit of a disappointment that we couldn’t do the whole shebang on the 4th and the tides were against us and the storms, etc… Having said that, I was thoroughly heartened by the efforts of so many to set it all up and to do so, two different days in two different venues.
MIke, Jake(s), Jimmy, Marie, Jerry, Dave, Roddy, Linda (Lynn). Thanks for the help in so many ways. Jeff, Sarah, Jason, Krista, Dave, Fran, Sandy, Maddie, Jacob, and Gavin. Thanks for all your help with everything from planning, setting up, trophy creation and inspiration. A special thanks for putting up with the rantings of this mad sailor. Dave and Ian – thanks for tracking down buoy #1 in the storm, even though it came close to creating a coronary.

A special thanks to Bill McSpadden. Thanks so much for allowing us to use Bob’s Bar and Grill for the planned event and for allowing us to invade your space and drink your beer. Speaking of beer, a new record that had us killing the keg before we even had one event. I guess that means we all should be either in a twelve step program, or should buy bigger kegs. I think I know how this one ends.


A huge thanks to all that help, participate or just watch. We all take away something from it and mostly it is just simply fun.


We lost just two boats in the pre-event and ensuing storm. Dave lost a rudder and Andreas lost a rudder bracket. Seems that there is a theory going around that a certain middle of the beach sailor was seen at the stern of several boats on the eve of the 3rd of July. The SBSC Safety & Competition Committee and the investigatory arm of local WBOC are working hand in hand with the State Police to see if cameras can be found with any hard evidence. Otherwise, its just like any other meeting with the Russians. This investigation is known as the SBSCS&CC supported by WBOCSP. We expect that the investigation will last at least 6 months, depending upon how much press each of these entities can get out of it. Could go on until next year’s race if the bubble can support it.


And here are the results and commentary on the September3rd events:


  • So given the winds, waves and weather of September 2nd, we pushed it to a 2:30 gathering time on the 3rd. Tides weren’t friendly either, so the Start Committee (SBSCSC) kept pushing the start time back a bit, 15 minutes at a time.


Monohull Race

  • Ended up with about a 4:15 start for the monohulls, which gave us plenty of time for libations, sailing stories and some wonderful food.
  • We had 9 participants including; Chip (threw Gail off the boat again), Charlie, Bob, Wendy, Heather, John P, Claire, Jackson G. and the Commode Ore. A smaller group than usual, but might I say – a very talented group.
  • Jackson started us off with a smart dinghy start, and from there it was a mishmash of about 6 or 7 boats all pretty well timed on the start.
  • Charlie was out front (maybe because he spent all afternoon practicing the course, with or without a daggerboard) going into and through the first mark. Bob attempted to push the Commode Ore up the course off the start, but Commode Ore wisely tucked in behind and was able to gain a bit and steal Bob’s wind. Wendy and Heather were right there, while I don’t know where Claire and Jackson were, as I was attempting to gain a few boat lengths on the guy who threw Gail off his boat.
  • Chip and I came off the 1st mark neck and neck and he shifted his sail west and I east for the downward run (it could gave been the other way around – I honestly don’t remember).
  • All of a sudden the race leader (Charlie) was off course and headed west for the southern run. Seems his mainsheet let loose and he was scrambling while trying to stay the course, or at least stay in irons. Somehow he had a miraculous recovery and Chip and he were neck and neck for the lead at the 3rd mark, but just long enough to crash into each other. This wonderful move allowed the Commode Ore to swing inside of them and take what seemed like a narrow lead. All three decided on different tacks for the last leg with Charlie heading west, Chip heading east and the Commode Ore attempting to pinch it north as tight to the wind as could be. Seemed like a good idea at the time, but soon found himself using the rudder as an oar to sneak inside the finish buoy at stall speed. Barely made it for the Commode Ore’s first ever monohull race win in the “July 4th Regatta”.

A wonderful race by all – Charlie, Chip, John P., Bob, Wendy, Heather, Claire and Jackson.

  • I know there are a whole lot more stories here to tell. Mike, thanks for lending John your new boat. He did an incredible job on a boat that he had never been on before. Claire, we just need to keep you going over that whole “coming about thing”. Bob, you keep threatening to trade yours for a Sunfish and maybe it’s time. Chip, karma may have kicked in here, as I could clearly hear Gail saying on the beach when I snuck past you at the 3rd mark; “serves him right”. Charlie, I hope your hands have healed up from having to work the sheets without any pulleys. I am still wondering what happened to the Rust contingent after the 1st or second mark. Has anyone seen them since? Oh yes, Jimmy saw them in the Cat race start – to be continued. Jackson – we will never forget you coming across the finish line – several times while you spun around the buoy that you had hooked. You win the award for crossing the finish more times than anyone else. We had named a buoy for you previously in the kayak race and we may just name another for you here!


Catamaran Race

  • So 5 entries, all with two men crews. Craig and Bob, Ben and John P., Jimmy and Nick, John and Chris W., Harry and Abu.
  • Started the race with another fine dinghy start by Jackson. Craig & Bob quickly took the lead with a near perfect start and a beautiful line to the first mark. Ben & John were about even with Harry and Abu through that first leg, but managed to sneak out a 2nd after that first turn. Jimmy and Nick were not that far back, especially given that they had an interesting start with the Rusts. Seems that the Rusts were headed back to the homestead and went through the start zone during the cat start. I know the Rules Committee (SBSCRC) has listened to both sides of the story and candidly, couldn’t stop laughing, so no infractions were handed out. John & Chris W. were the early favorite of the crowd. Pushed up wind too far on the start and crossed the buoy outside of the course. I know the crowd was so disappointed as I could hear the collective sigh from the crowd, even out on the water. They did the stand up thing and worked their way around the buoy and were off.
  • From here it all gets a bit fuzzy, as rumor has it that Captain Craig forgot he had Bob on the boat and let go of the helm to unhang his jib that had hung up. Somehow got off tack with that, which allowed Ben and John P. to sneak past. From there it was Ben and John P., all the way across the finish with Craig and Bob not too far back. Harry and Abu enjoyed the cruise with a respectable 3rd.
  • It is often said that the winner of the race is the crew that made the fewest mistakes and that certainly applies here. Ben and John P. were almost picture perfect all the way around this course.
  • The best drama really was happening for 4th and 5th. Jimmy and Nick rounded the 3rd mark and stalled out. They were on a for sure 4th until that moment as John and Chris W’s. start had put them far back. Hold on a minute here. Jimmy and Nick’s stall closed this up – a lot!. Jimmy and Nick get it going and head upwind for the finish line but seem to have the same issue that Commode Ore had in the monohull race which was they were pinching it too tight. This whole time, John and Chris W. are gaining on them – a lot!
  • It ends with a lot of tacking and jibing at the finish line and Jimmy and Nick sneak out a 4th. Fun time for all participating and all the spectators. There was even some singing going on in the crowd.


If anyone finds a black and white buoy, please return it to the Commode Ore. Lost 3 in the storm from the day before, and recovered 2. One had been bitten by a shark and the other was in good stead.

A bit of rebuilding before the race on a few boats, one of which didn’t take – sorry Ben. I know we have Mike’s boat back in shape and Jackson’s seems to be up to snuff.

To everyone who participated, to everyone who brought a dish (was that food good, or what), to all who just hung out and to anyone else – thank you. This is one of the things that makes our community so great to live in – a group of fun loving and caring people.


Until next time (2018 is the 10th anniversary of SBSC’s Regatta), which I expect to be the best ever.


Harry Ward

Commode Ore

Slaughter Beach Sail Club