2016 East Coast Championship Results

Ben Richardson, Megan Watson and Chris Hufstader put on a dominating performance over 2 1/2 days of racing in beautiful weather at Rockport, MA  June 17-19, 2016.  Second was Tomas Hornos with his crew Kate Wysocki and Beanie Eisner.  Third was Jim Raisides, Charlie Pendleton and Elise Mazareas.  Congratulations to all and full results at the link below.

Also congratulations to the winning junior team of Hunter Zonnenberg, Jasper Westhoven, and Will Bedford.

Thanks to Rob Paterson and the whole team at Sandy Bay for a great regatta.

Full Regatta Results

Boyd Building Viking Ship

Class member Stuart Boyd has a fascinating project, building a viking ship.  The full story is here but you can read about it below as well!


Imagine A Viking Ship Off Crane Beach? This Guy Will Make It Happen

Imagine A Viking Ship Off Crane Beach. This Guy Will Make It Happen

Entrepreneur Stuart Boyd with images of his Viking ship
Entrepreneur Stuart Boyd with images of his Viking ship

Stuart Boyd can imagine what a sight a Viking boat would be from Crane Beach or sailing up the Essex River.

The Hamilton resident can picture it because he’s having one built.

“I can just imagine it at Crane Beach, the stares and the awe,” he said.

The boat, which will be 38 feet long, will then become the centerpiece for his new business, Norsvald, which was borne of a “flippant comment” he made while striving to solve a problem in the tech world.

Originally from Bangor, Co. Down, itself a sailing town in Northern Ireland, Boyd explained over coffee in Zumi’s how he went from working in consumer electronics to self-employment on a Viking boat.

“I’ve always been on the water,” he said. An experienced sailor and licensed captain, Boyd said he wouldn’t consider himself an expert on wooden boats.

Meanwhile, in his professional life, Boyd found himself working in tech companies and learning a lot about teams and putting together high-performing groups.

Casting his eye to the world of startup businesses — and it’s sky-high failure rate — Boyd wondered if he could build teams across the fledgling businesses to help them improve their odds.

While in Denmark “scouting around the tech scene there,” Boyd popped into a Viking museum to look around.

Looking at the old ships, including one that had been built in 1040 in the Viking settlement of Dublin, Boyd was struck by how the Vikings worked together on the sea in open boats to travel great distances.

Boat builder Jay Smith
Boat builder Jay Smith (Norsvald Instagram photo)

“I’d rather see a Viking ship sail up the back of Crane Beach and take small groups on that,” he said in the museum.

The Norvalds seed had been planted.

“The technology is so old, yet it’s relevant today,” he said.

All it needed now was an authentic Viking ship. Built from scratch. On the North Shore — that the U.S. Coast Guard would approve for commercial use.

Through his research, Boyd found Jay Smith, owner of Aspoya Boatyards in Anacortes, Wash.

A Midwesterner, Smith went to Norway as a young man and studied boat building in the Nordic tradition there. He has been in the business for 30 years now.

However, the vessel being built isn’t for a private owner. It will take 12 paying customers and two crew on team-building exercises. That requires permits and safety checks.

Boyd is liaising with the Coast Guard to ensure that happens.

He is working with Jim Taylor, who has his own yacht design company in Marblehead, to ensure the Coast Guard recognizes and approves the boat as seaworthy.

But Viking building techniques and materials are also being included, Boyd said. Over 1,000 hand-made rivets are being used, for example.

Made from old logging chains, the rivets had to be chemically analyzed and tested for strength in a lab to be approved as building materials.

But details like that will be important for people to experience living history while on the team-building exercises, Boyd thinks.

Finish work in Essex

Jay Smith (right) examines the keel (Susan Wood via Instagram)
Jay Smith (right) examines the keel (Susan Wood via Instagram)

The hull, built from oak carefully selected from forests of the Pacific Northwest, is almost half built, Boyd reported.

With the help of an arborist, trees were chosen where their natural crooks formed the boat’s shape.

Four “strakes” are already in place, and three more need to be added, Boyd said.

The Washington work should wind up later this year. The hull will then be loaded on a truck and driven across the country.

It’s an easy enough ride, Boyd laughed. “It’s literally one left turn” off Route 5 in Washington, then it’s I-90 all the way east.

The vessel will then be completed — and launched from — the Burnham Boatyard in Essex.

That business, itself, is famous because Harold Burnham is an 11th-generation boatbuilder. Boyd is not worried the bi-coastal experts will clash. “Boat builders warm to each other,” he said.

When complete, the craft will be around 10 feet tall from top to bottom. Viking ships had very shallow drafts, and just under two feet will be under water.


Ship taking shape (Stuart Boyd photo)
Ship taking shape (Stuart Boyd photo)

Referring to the experiential and outdoor-education business, Boyd describes Norsvald as “Outward Bound for busy people.” Right now, his intention is to sail from Gloucester, and groups will sail for a day or half-day, he said.

Another element will deal with education, where technical, mathematical, or scientific concepts are shown in practice. “We’re taking the concepts taught in school and applying them in a non-classroom environment,” Boyd said.

Four people are working on the project, including Boyd, who is full-time on it.

Asked how much all of this was costing, he declined to disclose the number. Smiling, he replied, “It’s a scary enough project.”

But his goal is to build a business, educate people and form teams. “I want the folks in Denmark to be proud of this,” he said.

Outboard Advice Wanted

New member with a CB Stuart – looking for advice on adding an outboard.  Type: Gas, propane, or electric?  Power and size needed? Which brands are most reliable?  Bracket types that would be most suitable, and not an eyesore?  Are there removable brackets?  Suggested locations for mounting bracket?  Any and all outboard advice is appreciated.  Mark Rager ragermark@yahoo.com

Upgraded R19 Website

An upgraded R19 website is now launched.  Check it out at www.rhodes19.org.  If you use a ‘newsreader’ you can get the R19 news feed at www.rhodes19.org/feed.  Or – get weekly latest info via email if you are a 2015 or 2016 member, or sign up on the sidebar of the website….

2nd Quarter Mainsheet

Hello Fleet Captains and Officers,

We are planning now for our 2nd quarter Mainsheet, so please submit your articles and material.  Please forward material to me and Meredith (me so I know what’s coming). Meredith is : proofread@gmail.com  We would like to have your input by May 24th.

Looking forward to hearing from you!


Rick McGregor


Bob Taber

A troika can give a group dynamic, productive leadership. One did that for the Class and San Francisco’s Fleet 17 in the ’70’s with Kirk Smith, Jim McCray and Joe Madrigali supplying elbow grease. Now, the other coast has a similar triumvirate at Fleet 35 on Narragansett Bay. Bob Taber is the official lifetime Fleet Captain, and at 83, he delegates a portion of the heavy administrative process and propaganda to Fred Bieberbach and Paul Bestoso so that he can concentrate on what he has done so well for the past 25 years, creating an environment where everyone, young, old, competitive and laid back can meet on an equal, low cost basis to enjoy the water.

As Chairman of his Narragansett Terrace Yacht Club’s junior sailing program, which he helped organize and fund, he has introduced as many as 35 youngsters a year into a lifetime sport. He served as prime mover and builder for the club’s White Horse Dinghy frostbite fleet. The White Horse, designed by another club regular, Justin Wood, sails every winter Sunday with all ages, including Bob who can still jump in and out of the eight footer. He was instrumental in establishing several special cruising, fun type races to a number of Narragansett Bay locations, at two of which, Comminute Lighthouse and Prudence Island, his club maintains moorings.

Bob enjoys a constant hunt for ‘fixer-upper’ Rhodes to add to the fleet. One of the prime conditions for introduction to his finds is that the potential owner agrees to race.

Bob’s creed that sailing should occupy every spare moment of one’s idle time was acquired over three quarters of a century on or near the water. With the exception of a WWII hitch in the Navy, keeping B-24s flying in the Pacific, the lifetime has been spent on the upper reaches of Narragansett Bay. At eight, off Pomham Light, in a wooden skiff with a blanket for a sail, he taught himself how to use wind and current to move a boat. Another introduction of this era was the Thompson sub-machine gun, seen by moonlight in the hands of local law men as they supervised the off loading of the region’s prohibition era products. Fortunately for future generations of sailors, no one spotted the awed eight year old as he peered through bushes.

Over the ensuing years, he helmed a gamut of craft ranging from RI Governor William H. Vanderbilt’s 72-foot motor yacht through large cruising schooners; various small one designs such as the Rhodes and Newport 24s; hot boats such as trimirans and wind surfers; DN Ice Boats and, finally, the White Horse. He gained the knowledge and elusive touch that have enabled him to maintain a distinctive competitive sailing edge well into his eighties.

Competition is just one contribution he makes to sailing. For years, he has acted as a sentinel from his home on a spot looking out on Bullock Cove and upper Narragansett Bay. When spying a boater in trouble, he scrambles into his skiff to lend a hand. His caring concern for others is operable on land as well. A gauge of a man’s esteem is the number and quality of personal anecdotes that his peers circulate about him. The following will give one an accurate reading.

Back when the Class ok’d racing without jumpers, Bob was noticed sailing Butterfly with empty upper sockets. Someone asked if he did it to save weight or to cut windage, and he replied, “The damn overhead door caught em and knocked em off.” Recently, his pals’ curiosity was fired by a newly acquired Mazda RX7 of dubious vintage. When asked if he was going cruising for chicks, he replied, “Heck no, I’m going to use its Wankel Engine to power the seaplane I’m building.”

Such a treasured Swamp Yankee cannot be evolved by the simple interaction of peers, the service and the sea. A catalyst to forge these into a finished being is needed. In Bob’s case, she was Alicia, his wife of 51 years, whose loss during a Thursday evening race was chronicled in the Providence Journal. A reprint can be found in the Spring 2001 Mainsheet. The first woman commodore in Rhode Island, she enjoyed sailing as much as Bob. He feels her absence deeply , but continues the sport they enjoyed together. To abandon it would be disrespectful.

John and Denise Economides

Believe it or not, Fleet 45’s soft spoken captain, John Economides, has a few traits in common with California’s new, flamboyant governor. They both serve as the CEO of a diverse, atypical organization, they appreciate the guitar and both owe much to their wives. Blessedly, this is where their similarities end.

Economides1_smallJohn actually played the guitar, he doesn’t bulge from years of enhanced body building and he hasn’t terminated anyone, yet. Most importantly, his wife stands with him rather than behind him and in fact, he insisted on a guarantee of “equal billing” for Denise as a precondition for this profile.

Children of the sixties, she from Winthrop, he from East Boston, they met at a Winthrop party where John was playing a rock and roll guitar gig in 1969. They realized that they shared interests in the life sciences and the belief in education as the path to personal growth and married in 1973. At that time, John had completed a BA in Biology at UMass Boston by way of Boston Latin secondary school. Denise had completed her primary and secondary education in the Winthrop Public Schools. Post marriage, the pace picked up. They soon had two children and they continued their formal educations.

Denise pursued and gained a BS in Health Science from Northeastern University. She Economides2graduated Magna Cum Laude with membership in Northeastern’s Sigma Epsilon Rho honor society while working part time and providing primary care for their son and daughter. She also gained an Early Childhood Education Certificate from Salem State in her spare time. She is putting this training to use as a Senior Medical Technologist at Lahey Clinic’s Burlington facility.

Not to be outdone, John attained a MBA in Finance and a Masters in Computer Science from Boston University. He works as Principal Financial Systems Analyst for MFS Investment Management in Boston.

In 1993, after 20 years together, they found time for basic keelboat lessons in Solings and Sonars at the Boston Sailing Center. With a residence in Winthrop, they gravitated to the Cottage Park Yacht Club which they joined in 1998. Mike Gahan, a Fleet 45 founder, helped them pick the Rhodes 19 as an affordable racer/cruiser. The boat met Mike’s advanced publicity and as a plus, they have been pleased by the friendship of their fellow Rhodes 19 sailors.

They began racing and actively supporting the fleet soon after they acquired Ghost Dog, number 1118. They participated in the 2001 Nationals and John was elected East Coast Vice President at the Annual Class Meeting on the fateful day, 9/11/01. The following year, they convoyed to New Orleans with Trees-MacAdoo and were awarded their club’s Tranfaglia award for promoting CPYC sailing by sporting the club burgee during their 70 hours on the road.

Again, they were besieged by larger events as they transited the D.C. environs during the height of the sniper attacks. Frequent gas stops with the great white shape in tow provoked a certain measure of anxiety.

They attended the 2003 Nationals in Marblehead and continue their drive to spur Fleet 45’s participation. In this effort, they have been aided by Cottage Park pros Costa and Zambella who selected the Rhodes 19 for a new club adult sailing program. This past summer, they gained three new members plus their daughter who is a frequent crew for MacAdoo-Trees in three person events.

In bringing the Economides style of togetherness to the Class on the water and in the shore side administration activities, they have given the boat’s family tradition a big boost. We can only hope that other families of all ages observe and follow their excellent example.

Steve Uhl

Steve Uhl of Fleet 5

By Fred Brehob

So you’re wondering how that mild mannered guy with the winning smile plopped down in our midst and immediately began jumping over the competitive buildings with a single bound. Well friends, Fleet Five members and others, your days of wondering are over. Now it can be told. Fleet Five Captain Steve Uhl has an immense sailing pedigree.

His dad, Bill Uhl, with Steve’s mom as crew, cut a swath in the Lightning Class during the 1950s, ‘60s and ‘70s. The highlight of their competitions was a second place at the International Lightning Class Worlds in 1958. Steve was born in 1962 when they were still tearing up the waters of Great Peconic Bay, so there is little doubt that his introduction to the sport was in utero. This is certainly a more comfortable and safe platform than an Opti.


We don’t want to trigger an investigation, but the word is that after Steve’s 1962 launching, mom and dad would solve the late or missing third crew problem by strapping in their prize forward of the centerboard trunk where he got his introduction to sail trim, and weaned himself on belaying pins used to secure the Lightning’s halyards. Steve’s earliest memories are of trailing the boat to various regattas around the country to places like Milwaukee, Schenectady, Red Bank, Quantico, Buffalo, etc. from their Port Washington, New York home.

Upon reaching the ripe old age of nine, he found himself in a more formal setting, the junior sailing program at the Cold Springs Harbor Beach Club on Long Island. There, he began his formal training in Blue Jays. At eleven, he won the last Long Island Sound Novice Open Championship in this boat. Subsequently, he moved up to Lasers. If all of the preceding weren’t enough, his sailing touch was further polished when he began flying lessons in 1980. This second hobby continues to the present out of Beverly Airport.

At college decision time, there was only one choice, MIT. The academics in Aeronautics and Astronautics were his prime interest, but the real clincher was the sailing program under the inspirational leadership of Hatch Brown. It was great fun to finish classes each weekday at four and then beat it down to the Institute’s Charles River boathouse for two and a half hours of intense sailing competition.

Steve’s parents moved to New Hampshire. There, he spent a summer as a sailing coach at Sunapee Yacht Club. After graduating from MIT, he accepted a position with Pratt and Whitney at Hartford, Connecticut where he enjoyed frostbiting in Lasers and a brief stint distance racing. In 1987, he enrolled at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck business school and after graduating, moved to San Francisco. While establishing himself in consulting work, he let sailing slide.

UhlThorntonA 1992 opportunity to move back east with his company was a godsend with Marblehead as a magnet. There he met wife Jennifer, a non-sailing college dance professor. Their romance survived a January Interclub Dinghy dunking at Essex, Connecticut and they became parents to two delightful sons,Thornton and Clark who at 7 and 6 are continuing the Uhl sailing tradition by crewing.

Steve’s interest in the Rhodes 19 as an affordable, more forgiving, family friendly Marblehead class with an active racing fleet blossomed in 1999. And thanks to Bill and Kera Dalton and Kim Pandapas he found the good ship Woodstock. In addition to his challenging Fleet 5 Captain’s duties of finding and welcoming new members, he is chairing the 2003 National Regatta Committee.

For those keeping score, he has endured a 29 year regatta championship drought. So look out for him in August if the rest of the committee can shoulder enough of the Regatta planning load to allow him to think a little about the actual competition.