From The Commodore

 Changing of the Guard

Report on the HdGYC Annual Meeting and Awards Dinner – Nov 9, 2014

About 65 club members and their families attended this event to celebrate the official end of the season with one another.  Some of the chat was about the Trip South that Betty and Al have underway, with their boat left at Norfolk for a few days while they returned for this event.  To have the continuing details of that trip, check out their blog HERE.

The enjoyable food and drinks were then set aside long enough to hold the annual business meeting, chaired by outgoing commodore, Al Caffo.  With the election of the new slate of officers and board members for 2015 completed, the changing of the guard became official with Chuck Kohlerman accepting the Commodore’s Flag, and then presenting Al Caffo with the Past Commodore’s Flag.

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Chuck recognized and thanked the outgoing Board members, Al, John Edwards and Betsy Kimmel.

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All attention was then focused on the awards presentations.  A sampling of the many awards include the J24 fleet Series trophy going to “Hard Cider” and skipper Steve Rowlands.

Steve Rowlands accepts the first place trophy for the Summer Series from Chuck Kohlerman. "Hard Cider" also won the overall J24 class perpetual award.

Steve Rowlands accepts the first place trophy for the Summer Series from Chuck Kohlerman. “Hard Cider” also won the overall J24 class perpetual award.

Spin Fleet boat “Casper” accepted with the full crew present.

Loren and Eric Pennypacker and crew accept Summer Series 1st Place trophy from Chuck Kohlerman

Loren and Eric Pennypacker and crew accept Summer Series 1st Place trophy from Chuck Kohlerman

The NonSpin PHRF class first place awards were collected by the J22 skippered by Garrett Pensell.

Garrett Pensell and Bruce Clarke accept one of the five first place awards for the Nonspin PHRF class.

Garrett Pensell and Bruce Clarke accept one of the five first place awards for the Nonspin PHRF class.

While the NonSpin Cruising class awards were split up among their fleet.

George Pease accepts his McVey Race trophy from Commodore Chuck Kohlerman

George Pease accepts his McVey Race trophy from Commodore Chuck Kohlerman

The new Overall award for NonSpin boats went to Garrett’s J22 and the Spin boat Overall to the crew of Summer Semester.

Summer Semester crew celebrate the Spin Class Overall trophy

Summer Semester crew celebrate the Spin Class Overall trophy

The Ligntning Fleet racers were also well represented with Patrick Phelan winning the first place overall award, and Kyle Hanson the second.

Kyle Hansen and crew accept overall Lightning Fleet awards

Kyle Hansen and crew accept overall Lightning Fleet awards

If you would like to see more pictures, or have copies of the above, please email Al.

Signing off and Stepping down,

Past Commodore Al Caffo



“What a Difference a Bay Makes”

Report on the HdGYC John Heffner, Jr. Memorial Invitational Regatta – Oct 4, 2014

Among sailors here in Havre de Grace, there’s an ongoing debate about where the Susquehanna River officially ends and the Chesapeake Bay begins. But it IS certain that our entire club racing is done on the relatively protected and calm waters just off the City of HdG.  So this year’s annual Invitational race held on the Bay below Turkey Point in a fresh breeze and the resulting waves offered an unusual advantage for the bigger HdGYC boats.

Nowhere was this more evident than in the nine boat Cruising class, which was swept by HdGYC racers (1st Mare Calmo, 2nd Stargazer, 3rd Vela), earning the coveted decoy trophies for David Arty, Mark Carlson and Bob Bossoli, their skippers respectively.  They all reported that hull speed was the order of the day over the 14 mile course, with the winning boat averaging 6.0 knots!

The PHRF Nonspin class of seven boats was sent on an even longer course of 18 nautical miles, but after three hours of tough racing, John Edwards on “Sleeper” corrected to 1st, to notch another class win for our HdGYC.

While HdGYC had no entries in the Multihull fleet of three boats, those sailors had a thrill ride over their 22.45 nm course, with the winning boat sailing an average speed of 9.5 knots!  No coincidence that the first place boat’s name is “Thrill Ride”, skippered by Jim Parrott.  Had I mentioned we had good wind??

The thirteen Spin boats were divided into three classes (A, B and C), with the B fleet line honors and 1st place belong to the HdGYC’s “Casper”, skippered by Loren Roos Pennypacker and kept on an even keel by family and friends on the rail for the upwind legs.  The Spin C class of four boats was closely raced, with the top three correcting to within 1.5 minutes of one another.  But the 15 foot length advantage went to the Bermuda 40 “Actaea” to finish 1st over our HdGYC skipper Rick McGregor and crew on his Capri 25 “Double Agent”, who all worked very hard to keep the boat under them, placing a close 2nd.  The Glenmar club boats dominated the Spin A fleet with 1st and 2nd places.

The dinner party under the tents back at Tidewater Marina was catered by Laurrapin Grille with great music provided by our club members, Wallis and Company. Commodore Al Caffo welcomed our guests (numbering over 120) and thanked the club members who pulled the whole event together.  That included the Race Committee boats captained by Allan Vanderheyden and Robert Marley, the crew who worked both early and late to help set up and take down tents, lights, tables, chairs of Bossolis, Marleys, Caffos, Patrick Phenan and John Edwards.  Checking in of boats and guests was handled smoothly by Kathy and John Shirk and George Pease.  Raffle baskets were arranged by Jen and Robb Mellinger, with a fervent group of raffle ticket sales people helping out.  The hand-carved duck decoys in three sizes were awarded to the top three finishers in the six fleets, and a few extra decoys were auctioned off as an easier way to “win” one, so lots of folks went away happy.


Al Caffo, Commodore and Principle Race Officer


 July News:

After the thunderstorms kept us off the water for the first scheduled Summer Series race set for July 3rd, getting in some good racing this past Thursday was a real treat!  Next Thursday, July 17th we’ll hope for the same nice wind to go along with the July Social evening.  Club members are being treated to pulled pork sandwiches with baked beans, chips and dessert, so be sure you are signed up before then.  You can email either Al or Betsy to confirm your membership status, if you have any questions. 

The Lightning Fleet racers have also had several good Tuesday evenings for their racing.  Please email Patrick if you are interested in participating.

While the thunderstorms messed us up on July 3rd, the following Independence Day celebrations in Havre de Grace went off in fine style.  The crowd at the parade on Saturday had a chance to connect those rhythmic horns they hear on Tuesdays and Thursdays with our Havre de Grace Yacht Club racing, as the “Ollie” was sounding off from our HdGYC “float” as a parade entry.  We piled all the flags and signs the club has onto a red convertible fitted out with mast of sorts, and later learned that our entry won a first place prize!  Check out the pictures and details on our website at this LINK under the Schedule and Events tab.

Fair Winds,


HdGYC Update  June 13, 2014

The Hospice Regatta became a great race, after shifty, light air tormented sailors and the Race Committee alike for much of the afternoon last Saturday, June 7th.  Starting off with the Parade of Sail with memorial burgee’s flying from the rigging of each boat, everyone was reminded of the central purpose of this charity event – – support for the non-profit Hospice House in Harford County.  Follow this LINK for pictures, more details and the finishes from our website.

Next Thursday, June 19th, is the 9th race of the Spring Series, already!  It’s also the date for our June Social, where members can enjoy a dinner of meatball sandwiches, with salad and a side, plus dessert.

That same night, we will remember Tim Zimmerman, past club officer and racer who passed away last month.  With a zest for life, Tim believed that it didn’t get any better than a post-race cigar with red wine with his crew mates.  So please join us by bringing a cigar (if you can manage) and a bottle of red to share around, in his honor.

The Club Board has been looking for ways to connect skippers with open slots and interested crew.  As a start, listings for either can be posted on the club website at Classifieds under the Membership tab.  Suggested posting information is provided there.

Enjoy Life –

Commodore Al

Commodore’s Update

(Okay, in this case, from the wife of the Commodore)  June 12

All Tied Up at the Havre de Grace Hospice Regatta

by Betty Caffo

Sailors turning out to support the 15th Annual Bob Hooper House Hospice Regatta delivered something remarkable for the first time.  Spectacular June weather created a festive atmosphere, and over 600 guests were treated to a fast race among five classes of boats.  The Concord Point Lighthouse on the Havre de Grace waterfront was the setting for the Memorial Parade of Sail.  For this touching event, each boat flew burgees with the name of a person who had been in the care of Hospice.  As the boats sailed by a drop mark, each name was read on shore, and a family member was given a red carnation and invited to toss it into the Bay.  It was clear that the parade was part of the healing after the loss of a loved one.  Two of the burgees were in memory of Havre de Grace sailors, Dave Berry and Tim Zimmerman.

Regatta coordinators “negotiated” with Jim Albert’s race committee to run a course in front of the party tent rather than setting up ideal sailing legs.  The initial fluky winds challenged the committee, but finally a south wind settled in, and a course was set that would show the shore party the start, tight roundings, spinnaker hoists, and even a speedy reach on a last leg.  The J 24 class put on quite a show, as they were racing so closely; only 15 seconds separated the first and last place finisher.

Dinner was provided (and donated) by Texas Roadhouse, and there was even a specialty rum drink, Jamaican Sailor, for guests and sailors to enjoy.  First and second place trophies were awarded in each of five classes.  First place winners were Doug Wright and John Vanderhoff on Star 8038; Special Olympian Adam Sheets and his father, Chuck, on the J 24, Bad Habit; Woody Woodford on Latika for the Non-Spin Cruising class; Garrett Pensell skippering J 22 for the PHRF Non-Spin; and Al Caffo on Summer Semester in the Spin class.

So what happened for the first time in this annual regatta? The perpetual trophy for first-place overall will need to be shared this year because two boats from two different classes had exactly the same corrected times!  Bad Habit, the J 24 winner, with Chuck Sheets at the helm tied with the spin boat, Summer Semester, which Al Caffo skippered.  So the perpetual trophy permanently displayed at the Hooper Hospice House will have two names inscribed.  Either of the skippers is now eligible to participate in the National Hospice Regatta in April 2015.  That decision will prove to be interesting, since both sailors have previously competed in the national event.

The Hospice Regatta raises funds to offset the cost of hospice care in Harford County, MD.  The Senator Bob Hooper Hospice House is an assisted living home that specializes in end-of-life care.

More pictures at HERE.  Finishes HERE and HERE.

"Bad Habit" skipper and crew accept First Place J24 Fleet
“Bad Habit” skipper and crew accept First Place J24 Fleet

June 1, 2014

Scuttlebutt on some of our regular racers whom you may have missed so far this season.

Boats getting underway are:

N’Titled 2 is having her electronics tuned up, after replacing about all of them over the winter, due to the lightning strike last year.  She will be a strong NonSpin PHRF competitor soon, I trust.

There is strong interest by a few club members in getting a Lightning for racing in the Tuesday night series.  Here’s hoping that the one for sale will stay in the fleet with a new owner. Update:  That boat was sold to be shipped to Greece!

After a season off, Mistral has competed her repairs to engine and prop, and is back in HdG for racing in the Spin fleet, as early as this week.  It will be great to see her on the water again.

Sea Quest has been sold, but the family is bringing their new boat, a Beneteau, to HdG later this week.  She’ll likely be a welcome addition the NonSpin Cruising fleet, as they learn the ropes on her.

Lily B has been absent so far this year, but George is close to getting his doctor’s okay to be back on the water, at least some time this season.  Stay off the ski slopes next winter, please!

Some of the Star fleet regulars have yet to be seen, as new skippers are being sorted out.  We hope Big Bug will stay in the fleet with a new owner, as Dick has decided to step aside after many years at the helm.

There’s rumors of a J30 joining the fleet, either in NonSpin or Spin, as an experienced racer and his family have joined the club.  Be sure to introduce yourself and welcome the new members, even if they start winning races!

Take 2 is in the water, and expecting to get out for some NonSpin PHRF racing, as soon as all the crew gets back into town, sometime over the next few weeks.

Latika is now in good shape, out on her mooring ball and ready to race after a tough bunch of repairs needed this season.  She’s likely to sail NonSpin Cruising, to beef up that fleet.


March 23, 2014

Spring is officially here, at least on the calendars, and your HdGYC Board has been hard at work preparing for the sailing season.  Our unofficial kickoff was held this weekend, the closest Saturday to the Spring Equinox.  Check out details of the fun at Sock Burning 2014.

Also, individual emails have been sent to club members from 2013, allowing them to access an on-line application form and Pay Pal payment option.  So no need to hunt up the checkbook, an envelope and a stamp!  The standard paper application is still available, of course under the Membership page of this website.

The 2014 Calendar of Events is up on the website, too.  Please “save the date” for the Harford Hospice Regatta on Saturday afternoon, June 7th.

Can’t get out on the water quickly enough??  See the article on Frost Bite sailing, as one of our many sailing options throughout the seasons.

Warm Weather Will Win-out!  Really!

Commodore Al


November 19, 2013

If you missed your copy of the November SpinSheet, here’s a link to the article covering the HdGYC John Heffner, Jr. Invitational Regatta.  Please enjoy reading about the Annual Meeting HERE.

Take Good Care,

Al Caffo






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