Stonington Borough, CT
Mystic Chamber of Commerce
Noank Historical Society
A 9-foot dinghy honoring a beloved local sailor who died a year ago will officially join Mystic Seaport’s 50-plus Dyer Dhow fleet next weekend.
Arrow, a new boat donated by family and friends in memory of Bruce Lockwood from Groton Long Point, is one of two boats scheduled to be dedicated Saturday morning at the Seaport, just before the start of the sea museum’s 64th Dyer Dhow Derby – perennially a colorful spectator event.
The Seaport each fall invites Dyer donors, including yacht clubs, families and friends, to spend an afternoon racing the single-handed boats. Sail colors often match those of yacht club burgees or have significance for the person being honored.
Arrow’s sail will be red on top and white on the bottom. “Those were the colors of all of Bruce’s spinnakers,” explained Paul “Woody” Bergendahl of Noank, one of Lockwood’s stepsons.
Lockwood, who began sailing at age 4, had more than 40 boats over the years, many of them named after ski trails. Arrow is a green-hulled J/36 he raced often – and a ski trail at Okemo Mountain Resort in Ludlow, Vt.
At age 90, four weeks before his death, Lockwood sailed on Arrow to a first in class in an Off Soundings Fall Series, with Woody at the helm. He estimated he had sailed more than 7,000 races in his lifetime.
Even while stationed in the Philippines in the Navy in the ‘40s during WWII, Lockwood managed to sail. He and several other sailors commandeered some Dyer dinghies and began racing them.
What were Dyers doing in the Philippines?
Anna Jones, granddaughter of company founder Bill Dyer, explained: “The War Department came to us and wanted a boat that would fit in 9 feet of space on a PT boat and hold nine men.” (Somewhere In her office there is a photo of nine men standing in a Dyer.)
Back then, the boats were made of molded plywood and, Jones said, Lockwood and his friends would have had to rig sails.
The Warren-based company has been building boats since 1930, and started making them out of fiberglass in 1948, she explained.
Also being dedicated will be Gowrie, a restored Dyer adopted by the Gowrie Group, an insurance agency with offices in Westbrook and Darien, Conn., and Newport.
The boat’s new light and dark blue sail reflects the company’s logo colors, according to Nancy Sprigg of Essex, Conn., Gowrie’s yacht department manager.
The adoption, she explained, was a Christmas gift to the company’s owners from its employees.
Carter Gowrie of Old Saybrook, Conn., a former world-class sailor who founded the company, is expected to sail the boat.
The boats are used in Mystic Seaport’s community and youth sail training programs.
A skippers’ meeting for the derby starts at noon. The event is being hosted by the Maxwells and Fields of Stonington and Noank, who won the 2012 event on a dinghy named Eddie Maxwell.
Last year’s derby was raced in memory of Lockwood, who had died a few days before.
Six of Watch Hill Yacht Club’s Watch Hill 15s and their seven Highlander guests got in two late-season races in light air Oct. 5 on Little Narragansett Bay.
“The boats were lucky to finish the shortened second race,” said Principal Race Officer Dianne Stamm in regard to the vanishing breeze.
Back at the clubhouse, Stamm announced WH15 winners as follows:
First race: Bob Audette, West Thompson, Conn., sailing with Lisa Horrigan of West Thompson and Tom Lloyd of Shelter Harbor on Goose, first; Bruce Avery, Noank, Bahama Gal, second; Dwight Ellis, Westerly, Empyrean, third.
Second race: Avery, sailing with Sher Hertzler Pfund of Weekapaug and Justin Dieckerhoff of Mystic on Bahama Gal, first; Audette, Goose, second; Scott Schneider, Watch Hill, Hi Toots, third.
Stamm’s race committee, which offered separate starts for the Greenhaven Sailing Club Highlanders, included Bud Brooks of Weekapaug and Tom Donoghue of Avondale.
The WH15 fleet finished its Wednesday-night series with a four-boat 5 p.m. race in a 12-knot northeast breeze on the bay.
Results follow: Avery, sailing with Chuck Delamater of Weekapaug and Steve Frazier of Matunuck on Bahama Gal, first; Audette, with Kearsley Lloyd of Shelter Harbor at the helm of Goose, second; Schneider, Hi Toots, third.
John and Almedia Livingston were assisted on race committee by Rich Lefebvre and Grant Simmons.
The Greenhaven Sailing Club’s Highlander fleet consistently finished both Oct. 5 races as follows: Jeff Curtin of Westerly, sailing with Dick Steadman and Mike Lanphere, both of Pawcatuck, on Al, first; Chris Hansen, Charlestown, Skye, second; and Mark Steinmetz, Pawcatuck, Git er Dun, third.
In the second race, only three of the boats managed to make it across the finish line. “When you can’t finish a race in a Highlander, you know the wind is light,” commented fleet secretary Mac Cooper of Westerly, who missed the races.
WHYC’s Stamm said having the two fleets share a course and race committee “is working well.
“It’s very nice to have them out with us,” the PRO added.
In the past, the fleets scheduled their racing at separate times on the bay to avoid overlap.
Thirteen-year-old Parker Colantuono of Portsmouth edged out 10 other Lasers to win Stonington Harbor Yacht Club’s (SHYC) six-race frostbite series Oct. 5 on Stonington Harbor.
Colantuono scored 53 points, followed by Rick Dugan of Pawcatuck in second with 50 points and, despite missing the first race, Alexis Michas of Stonington in third with 48.
PRO Jack Gorby and his race committee gave the Lasers and four Ideal 18s six fast-paced afternoon races.
The light-to-nonexistent south wind that had earlier plagued WH15s and Highlanders on neighboring Little Narragansett Bay built to around 8 knots as the afternoon progressed.
On Ideal 18s, Tucker Bragdon and Allegra Griffiths won a clear first with a low-points scored of 8, followed by Eric Irwin, Brenda Mitchell and Mary Beth Marshall in second with 13 points, and Bob Scala and Ed Dear in third with 19.
Tamara Gorski, race committee co-chairperson, scored aboard Galatea while Mari Ann Blatch and Brian Barnard handled the support boat, Acis.
Sailors gathered afterward at the clubhouse.
Two brothers and their cousin who grew up in Noank and Stonington were among the competitors in the 30th J/22 World Championship hosted by Sail Newport in Newport on Oct. 1-5.
“We had a great time,” said J.R. Maxwell, 32, of Washington, D.C., who skippered Scooby, a 1985 boat bought two years ago and restored by the three young men and friends, including Sean Horrigan of Middletown, formerly of Pawcatuck.
Maxwell’s brother, Henry, 29, who lives in Newport and is project manager of Hall Spars, and Jack Field, 27, a rocket scientist from Washington, D.C., were crew.
Scooby’s 14th-place finish in the 10-race Worlds included one first place in the 71-boat fleet led by Allan Terhune of Arnold, Md., the new world champion.
“We beat a couple of people who had won the worlds in the past,” noted J.R., who works for a global management consulting firm.
Scooby had placed second in mid-September in a 15-boat International J/22 Class East Coast Championship out of Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, Md., finishing just behind Terhune.
The trio, said the Maxwells’ mom, Mary Anne Stets of Stonington, “grew up sailing and all sailed in college. It’s kind of in their blood.”
Helen Jankoski lives in Pawcatuck and may be reached at 860-599-3014 or firstname.lastname@example.org.