Celebrating a Lido Legend: The Roy Woolsey Regatta
Celebrating the life of a Lido legend was all that was needed to get nine Lido sailors to cruise down to Lido Isle for the annual Roy Woolsey Regatta this past weekend. Roy was one of the original Lido sailors back in the day, a generation that has been lost to time, but their memory still lives on inside of us and whenever we share tall-tails of their adventures of decades past.
The Roy Woolsey Regatta is one of those regatta’s where we turn the clock back and think back to the generations of lido sailors before us and what a great time they had in our beloved little boats and how that legacy continues on to today! Roy was one of the best of the greatest generation, exemplifying the very best of sportsmanship and corinthian spirit both on and off the water for fifty years in the Lido Class! His legacy continues on with our annual celebration of his life that is the Roy Woolsey Regatta!
Out on the water saw the fleet chasing pressure and shifts all day long and sweeting bullets downwind. It was defiantly a shirt off kind of a day. The racing was close and action pack as the race committee decided to have both A’s and B’s start together, making for some crowded starts and mark roundings. The courses were simple windward and leewards either one lap or two laps around depending on how long you can stand the heat, especially sailing downwind! To make matters worse, a high school sailing event was taking place in the Newport turning basin making for a smaller race course for us lido sailors, but the race committee and its volunteers made the best of what they had to work with and gave us a great race course that was extremely challenging both mentally (very unpredictable wind shifts) and physically (should I take this shirt of and risk indecent exposure charges or just keep sweeting?).
The A fleet saw some action pack racing going on as it seemed that everybody had their moment of glory in the light and shifty conditions. The first race saw Steve/Riley Schupak leading John Gresham/Mandy and Mark/Julia around most of the race course. Race two saw Mark/Julia having an epic tacking duel battle with Steve/Riley to the finish line. Race three saw Walter/Andrea getting their own private puff and passing three boats downwind to take the lead! Race four saw John/Mandy giving the fleet a racing clinic on how to mop up and maintain a lead! All in all the race course was full of boat on boat action and nobody pulled away to a safe lead!
In the B fleet, Tony Lange and daughter Kelly Poly managed to keep the brother team of Dale and Scott Gronewold at bay by a point! In third was Denise and Paul Ogier who had their daughter Andrea crew for ‘Big’ Walter Johnson in the A’s. In forth was the husband and wife team of Marcel and Jennifer Hughers! The Hughes have been MIA from the lido racing scene for some time & it’s great to see them back again! Yew! In fifth was Travis VanDenBerg and Chris Wade.
All in all it was a great afternoon of sailing and time well spent catching up with new and old friends alike. Roy would’ve been proud! A big thanks to Fleet One, Bob Yates and the Lido Isle Yacht Club for putting on this special event year after year! Roy was one of a kind and it was great to have met him at the ’07 Lido Nationals where he even earned himself a bullet in a silver division race at the young age of 90! Wow! I just hope to be alive and somewhat moveable when I’m 90! Sail on sailor!