FYBOR XIII on 4/2/2023

2023 EC12 50th Anniversary of the Liberty Bell Regatta REPORT Submitted, April 3, 2023
By Dave Branning, Regatta Chairman and Race Director
The Mid-Atlantic Model Yacht Club is one of the oldest RC clubs in AMYA and on April 1 & 2, 2023, we celebrated hosting the 50th Anniversary of the Liberty Bell Regatta, the longest running AMYA regatta.

This was a regatta our club was pointing to as it was always a fantastic event hosted by our leader, David Brawner, for many years at Laurel Acres Park in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, home of the Brawner family. Sadly, David passed away in 2019 and the treasured memories of his positive leadership was strongly evident throughout the weekend. Lisa Brawner was kind to donate David's half hull trophies to David Ramos who repurposed them, added new inscription plates, and made them into our 50th anniversary trophies. We also recovered the championship perpetual trophy and Jamey Betz, master woodworker and third place winner, created a new base giving the trophy a new extended life for years to come.

On Day one, mother nature started the day with a horrendous forecast of rain and wind gusts to 40 knots. Oddly, she was a tad wrong. Ok, we delayed the start a bit due to bothersome rain, but were able to get under way at 11:00 AM in a slight off-and-on drizzle but no one put on a heavy A sail. I guess we all expected the worst was coming so B and C sails were in use the rest of the day but we never saw big winds and the sun blessed us for the last two hours.

Day two, Sunday, brought blue skies, bright sunshine, and a bit more wind for the entire day and a rare A sail appeared. The B sail was the overwhelming favorite for the day and we had some great sailing coping with the strong puffs.

Sound bites for the weekend's events:
  • David Ramos and his son, Alex, each won three of the 14 races and David defeated Alex by ten points. They were the only two competitors in the 22-boat fleet that didn't have any race out of the top ten. These guys are so talented that I am convinced they could make a Sunfish go upwind without a daggerboard.
  • The eight remaining races were spread among Scott Graf (2 wins), Jamey Betz (2 wins), Danny Thomas (2 wins), Don Barker (1 win) and Brian Kerrigan (1 win). A lot of balance in this great class.
  • Of note, perennial top skipper, Mark Rinehart, decided on the C-sail the whole regatta and he was quite serious enjoying its capability with 7 top ten finishes. Yes, Mark did take a few trips to the B fleet but managed a tenth-place finish overall and outwardly enjoyed the whole experience.
  • Danny Thomas, a former Liberty Bell Regatta multiple winner, could not be with us on Saturday but arrived Sunday to join the action for the seven races. If the regatta were just Sunday, with one throw out calculated, Danny's performance was good enough for first place for the day.
  • The fleet welcomed two new EC12 owners from the Jersey shore, sailing their first EC12 regatta: Sean Bradley and Stuart Challoner. Sean had only two scores in the B fleet and finished a credible 6th for the regatta with 12 races in the top ten. These two will be competing at the top in future events, I am sure.
  • The Saturday night cocktails and banquet at the DoubleTree Suites featured Scott Todd's slide talk about his history in our hobby and his fascination for the early Americas Cup yachts and the iconic designers, builders, and skippers from that great era.
  • Thanks to the New England guys, Tim Stone (Vermont), Brian Kerrigan (Connecticut), and Kevin MacLellan (Connecticut), for coming a long way. The real trouper was former EC12 Class Secretary (affectionately known as Poobah), who drove 2900 miles from Pacifica, CA, to join us as he has many times over thirteen years. It was great to share David Brawner memories with Rick.
  • Appreciation to Skip Hall, who ran all 28 heats without a general recall or a penalty flag deployed. Our Sxxt-show supervisor, Judy Bonanno always enthusiastically does triple duty. She brings a lot of refreshments, takes a ton of regatta pictures for all to enjoy and keeps fastidious scorekeeping notes. We cannot do these great events without Judy, always the MVP.

    Here are the two-day links to Judy's pictures: Day 1 Day 2

    Summary of the 2023 50th Annual Liberty Bell EC12 Regatta (R2 Championship)
    Date: April 1 & 2, 2023
    Location: Laurel Acres Park, Mt. Laurel, NJ
    Host Club: Mid-Atlantic Model Yacht Club, AMYA # 24
    Entries: 22
    Winds 12 20+ mph
    Races Completed: 28 P/R heats equaling 14 races
    Scoring: low point w/ two throw outs.
    Race Committee: RD: Dave Branning; Starter/Course Manager: Skip Hall; Buoys: Domenick Bonanno; Finish Line/Scoring: Dave Branning & Judy Bonanno; Lunches: Michele Sysyn and Martin Besant. Trophies: David Ramos & Jamey Betz
  • Race Results for FYBOR XIII
    Type  Place  Skipper Sail#  Points  City  St  Home Club 
    Single 1 James Betz  34 10 Meadowbrook PA MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 2 Daniel Thomas  405 10 Highland MD MARYLAND MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 3 Jarl Wathne  188 21 Falling Waters WV CUMBERLAND VALLEY MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 4 David Ramos  5 23 Stevensville MD CHESAPEAKE BAY MODEL RACING ASSOCIATION
    Single 5 Fred DeSantis  50 32 Ocean City NJ MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 6 Stuart Challoner  (Stu) 93 37 Toms River NJ METEDECONK RIVER YACHT CLUB
    Single 7 Douglas Wotring  1762 39 CAMP HILL PA  
    Single 8 Drew Beach  1686 41 Annapolis MD  
    Single 9 Domenick Bonanno  (Dom) 888 45 Shrewsbury NJ Marbleheaders of Spring Lake
    Single 10 Ray Szulczewski  2216 57 Cape May NJ MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 11 Roger Baldwin  2178 62 Park City UT MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 12 Martin Besant  1870 65 Piscataway NJ MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 13 Rick Boulay  (Boulay) 35 70 Queenstown MD  
    Single 14 William Sysyn  (Bill) 2019 71 Forked River NJ MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 99 Mark Rinehart  166 0 Dover DE MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 99 James Flach  2092 0 Norristown PA  
    Single 99 D. Scott Todd  78 0 Woolford MD MID-ATLANTIC MODEL YACHT CLUB
    Single 99 Sean Bradley  (Sean) 1808 0 Point Pleasant NJ TWILIGHT LAKE MODEL BOAT CLUB