ALYSIA MACAULEY PHOTO | Deb Dowd on the tiller, Alicin Reidy (crew) and Reilly Bergin-Pugh in the the SIYC Ladies Race.
Sailing instructor Dona Bergin claims to be “secretly working on a plan for women to take over the world one Doughdish at a time.”
She just might be successful. Last Sunday, Dona organized a Ladies’ Race at the Shelter Island Yacht Club, encouraging female members of “all ages and skill levels” to compete using that boat.
The Doughdish, a fiberglass replica of the wooden Herreshoff 12 1/2, is a small sloop ideally suited for sailors of all ages. It’s perfect for racing or a pleasure sail. Twenty-eight women and two young girls participated: mothers and daughters sailed together, old friends reconnected and new bonds were formed.
The Skippers’ Meeting started promptly at 2:30 p.m. Race Committee Chair Courtney Luddecke along with Race Committee volunteer Jody Thompson used visual aids to clearly explain the “five minute starting sequence.” Thirteen boats were rigged quickly and sailed to the mouth of Dering Harbor to wait for the starting signal. Important on-the-water support was provided by Harry DiOrio, Ed Hydeman, Angus Macauley, Jim Pugh, Steve Schram and Reeves Thompson.
Cloudy skies and strong, shifty wind made for an exciting five-legged windward-leeward race. Afterwards, the SIYC provided a celebratory party, attended by family and friends. Jean Brechter, a longtime Yacht Club member and volunteer, did the honors: bestowing awards to skipper and crew up to fifth place. As always, SIYC sailing director Jeff Bresnahan was available for guidance before, during and after the race.
Kudos to all the sailors who participated in this special event. Although this race was just the second Ladies’ Race of this decade, the club’s archives include a photo of women racing in 1896!
Special thanks to Reilly Bergin-Pugh and Lisa Krekeler, who graciously agreed to be the onboard “safety net” allowing Deb Dowd and Sue Siegelbaum to compete on the tiller as skippers in their first race. Congratulations to all the ladies!
BOATS IN ORDER OF FINISHING
1. Whitney McCarthy, Mary Ward Beran
2. Lynn King, Diana Lawrence
3. Dona Bergin, Holly Bresnahan
4. Toni Landry, Mary Walker
5. Atlantic Brugman Cabot, Cristina Roig-Morris, Diana Duque Gruber
6. Becky Northey, Julia Broder
7. Claire, Chloe Macauley
8. Alice Goldman, grandaughter Jessica
9. Donna Goldman, Peg DiOrio
10. Jessica Jones, Paula Sessa*
11. Deb Dowd, Alicin Reidy, Reilly Bergin-Pugh
12. Sue Siegelbaum, Karen Kelsey, Lisa Krekeler
13. Deb Rouzee, Stephanie Pendleton, Renata de Dalmas
*Thanks also to Eliza Pile-Spellman for allowing her boat, Aztec Eagle, to participate.