News: Set sail :Hancock yacht club host races
Story by Lance Cpl. Cory D. Polom
MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT, N.C. — Strong wind gusts and rain made sailing difficult Saturday and Sunday, July 14-15, as 14 boats battled in four classes pursuing champion titles in the 48th Annual Hancock Yacht Club Regatta.
Regatta officials divided the vessels by boat length and sail type into the Spinnaker, Non-Spinnaker, Cruising and the Performance Handicap Racing Fleet classes. The first place victors were, by respective classes, Tom Tom Taxi, captained by Wiley Price; Compass Rose, captained by Mark Brennesholtz; Bifrost, captained by Newton Collyar; and Packer Tacker, captained by Chuck Thompson. PHRS is a special class for smaller sailboats that are given a higher set of handicap points due to their limited crew and size.
Each class participated in three races; a point scale based on finish times determined the winner. As each of the first races ended, officials made the successive races longer due to increasing winds that pushed the vessels faster through the Neuse River. As the races continued, the racers adapt to the wind and increasing lengths.
The Hancock Regatta is the largest sailboat race in the area; competitors travel from as far as Virginia, and represent several yacht clubs from the East Coast.
Ed Sanderson, the principle race officer for the Hancock Yacht Club, said the success of the regatta every year is due to the hard work of the volunteers from the yacht club.
Active duty military, civilians and retirees make up the members of the Hancock Yacht Club, which includes personnel of all ranks from active duty corporal to retired major general.
Collyar, captain of the winning boat Bifrost, said the military dynamic of the yacht club is what makes it unique. He looks forward to the regatta each year to share his knowledge of the sport with potential and up-and-coming nautical enthusiasts. As a retired Harrier pilot, Collyar said he most enjoys mentoring young Marines in the sport.