Cancelling the 2020 Architects Regatta was tough. It’s my favorite professional networking event of the year. It is also a significant source of support for our Charity Partners, and cancelling our event in a year when they were all being faced with unprecedented challenges just didn’t feel right.
To offset that, at least a little, the NYARC Committee formed a team to race in the HRCS annual Sailing for Scholars regatta. We all know that HRCS runs a great event – they have run the sailing portion of our regatta for years. This year, they faced the added challenge of organizing a socially distanced event. It all started with a pre-race Zoom Gala and Auction, that included amazing interviews by Sail Academy Students. They spoke to Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, Deputy Borough President Matthew Washington and Sailing Rockstar Tracy Edwards of The Maiden Factor.
Then – the big event – the sailing. HRCS organized two days of racing off out of their Inwood location. NYARC participants are familiar with the Chelsea boathouse, but the northern Manhattan outpost is another great facility – boats are launched from a dock (no need to climb in and out of the launch), and there is noticeably less commercial traffic north of the GWB. Plus, the Palisades provide an exceptional backdrop to the event.
The NYARC team – which we named “A Confusion of Architects,” got lucky in the boat draw, and raced J-80 #7 “Fallingwater” – the boat that we had funded with out previous donations. HRCS President and Skipper Dan Allen drove her like he knew what he was doing, and a crew consisting of Charles Prettyman, Christopher LaSala and Dmitry Kushnirsky backed him up to take first place for the day, advancing the team to the “Gold Fleet” on day 2.
The second day saw close sailing, and a consistent performance from the confusion. We didn’t win any one race, but a 4, 2, 2 sequence, ending with a photo finish where we beat another boat by an estimated 12 inches, put us in first place overall.
And that wraps up the year. We look forward to a return to normal, and our own event in 2021. Until then, stay well.