FAIR HAVEN – Some 34 sailboats came to the starting line on the Shrewsbury River July 5, for the fourth annual Fair Haven Mayor’s Cup at the Shrewsbury River Yacht Club (SRYC). With sailors from six different sailing clubs spanning the ages from 8 to 80, the event was a lively success.
The Mayor’s Cup held its inaugural race in 2012 as a part of Fair Haven’s centennial festivities. The annual race has become a celebration of the sport of sailing, the Shrewsbury River, its heritage and the boat clubs along it – and this year’s race lived up to expectations yet again.
Fair Haven Mayor Benjamin Lucarelli, a sailor himself though he didn’t race on this day, said, “Yacht racing turned off for a little bit, and this race brings sailing back to this part of the river in a fun way. It celebrates the river and ties together the towns and boat clubs along it. Fair Haven has a deep history with the river and this day focuses on tradition and community.”
Sailor Stuart Van Winkle of Shrewsbury Sailing and Yacht Club, said “It’s always fun to get sailors – kids and adults – from all over to race together, and it only happens once a year – here, at the Mayor’s Cup.”
Of course, the day was still a competition and the sailors treated it as such. Every boat came out to win, and have Lucarelli present them with the Mayor’s Cup, which lives in the SRYC clubhouse.
In the end, Jeff Senkeleski’s and Mike Bosi’s boat “Warhorse” won the cruising class, Team Harrington won the one design class on their Lighting cleverly named “Bolt,” Tyler Katt took first place in the Optimist Green class, Daniel Raphael won the Optimist class and Will Hilfiker and Mitchell Quinn took home the trophy for the 420 class.
With light and variable winds, the race started out slowly. As the sailors were waiting for the horn to sound, signifying the start, the breeze could barely move a hair out of its place. Miraculously, as the committee boat blared the starting horn, the winds picked up, which many sailors described as “perfect.” The course was about five miles the sailors estimated, and over the course of the race the winds shifted often. Winning skipper of the one design fleet Kerri Harrington, of Fair Haven, said, “There was definitely enough wind to sail, but the variability made for a more interesting race.”
Sophie Harrington, an 11-year old crewmember of “Bolt,” raced with her mother and father and said, “It was a great feeling to cross the finish line. It made me feel good inside and it made my family happy.” “I don’t picture myself being a professional sailor, but I’ll probably keep it as a hobby,” Sophie continued. “I’m definitely going to make my kids do it though, stuff like this is super fun.”
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