2014 Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting Wrap-Up

We held the 2014 Fleet 50 Awards Banquet and Annual Meeting on Saturday, February 22.  Many thanks to Rose Gentile for once again hosting us in her home. Congratulations to Bobby Astrove and Team Pandora on their victory in the 2013 Fleet 50 Championship Series, and to Rick Welch and Team Sinistra for their runner-up position!

At the meeting we also considered several business items, approved a new slate of officers, and handed out awards from the 2013 season.  Here are a few additional details from the meeting:

2014 Fleet 50 Officers:

  • Fleet Captain: Aaron Boesenecker
  • Treasurer: Bob Gotthardt
  • Lieutenant for Racing: Chris Kozel
  • Scorer: Farley Will (PRSA Scorer)
  • Secretary: Will Phillippe
  • Webmaster: Lindsay Bach
  • Special Olympics Coordinator: Joe Warren
  • Training Coordinator: TBD
  • Potomac Cup Chair: TBD

Award Winners from the 2013 Racing Season:

  • High Impact Crew: Laura Lake
  • Best New Crew: Steve Nabors
  • Most Improved Crew: Lisa-Marie Lane
  • Team Spirit Skipper: Chris Kozel
  • Congeniality Award: Ron Buchanan
  • Skipper of the Year: Bob Gotthardt
  • Most Improved Skipper: Lindsay Bach
  • All Weather Sailor: Aaron Boesenecker
  • Iron Skipper Award: Nabeel Alsalam
  • Bloody Rudder: Ron Buchanan
  • Fleet 50 Helper: Rose Gentile
  • “Anti” Bungle-Bucket (for seamanship and sportsmanship: Nabeel Alsalam and Frank Gallagher.

Congratulations to all of our award winners!  Keep reading for all of the details, including the testimonials provided for our awards recipients and links to specific items from the business meeting.

Fleet Captain Summary of the 2013 Season

Established in 1943, Fleet 50 is proud to carry on the tradition of the Lightning as the longest enduring, most competitive and fun one-design racing class in the Washington DC metro area. We currently have about 35 active and semi-active boats. Our competitive racing schedule runs from early April through the first weekend of November each year. The 2013 racing season included a 9-week Sunday Spring Series and a 9-week Fall Series. In addition, we hold a number of 2-day weekend regattas each year, including the Doc Gilbert Potomac Cup in early May, the Memorial Day Spring Regatta, and the President’s/Leukemia Cup in September.  As many as 10 boats were out racing on any given Sunday, with more participating in our 2-day regattas.

Overall, Lightning Fleet 50 had an outstanding racing season, with a total of 60 races (wow!) completed in spring and fall Sunday racing series—and that is with part of our season impacted by the government shutdown!  Seventeen boats were active to qualify for 2013 Championship Series. This season, we continued a regular practice of gathering around the BBQ grill after the racing to trade stories about starts, mark roundings, and other tall tales from the racing.

Congratulations go to Bobby Astrove, Jonathan Karpatkin, and Brian Burk on Pandora (7603) for winning the overall Fleet Championship Series, with a season average of 2.5 over 60 races.   Rick Welch, Aaron Boesenecker, Piercarolo Brunino and Lisbet Kugler of Team Sinistra (14553) finished second with a 2.8 average for the season.  Team Resistance is Futile (14566 – Frank Gallagher, sailing with a mix of crew including Bob Gotthardt, Mladen Karcic, Will Summers, and Maryann Gallagher) placed third with a 3.7 average.  Chris Kozell took fourth place sailing String Theory (14395) with Nicole Didyk, Palmer Phillipps, and Liz Williams, and finishing with an average of 4.6.  In fifth place we were thrilled to see Lindsey Bach (14221) on Lil’ Lightning Bug!  This marks Lindsay’s first appearance in the top 5 for the Championship Series, after joining Fleet 50 last year!  Over the season, Lindsay sailed with a variety of crew, including Laura Lake, Tom Compton, and Piercarlo Brunino.

Fleet 50 was also pleased to welcome several new boat owners and active sailors into the fleet, including Bob Gotthard at co-owner of Anger Management (w/ John Pemberton), John VanVoorhies (the new owner of Shamrock) and the return of Thunder sailed by Harry Keith’s son.  We were excited to new boats on the water in 2013, and look forward to building on this momentum in 2014.

Business Meeting Items

  • Financial Report (Bobby Astrove, Fleet Treasurer)
    • 2013 Beginning Balance: $3983
    • 2013 Closing Balance: $4391
  • Motions for Consideration
    • Motion 1: Use of Technology in local fleet racing passed
    • Motion 2: Requirement for each Fleet 50 skipper to serve (personally) on Race Committee at least once in a season passed
  • Officers: see above for 2014 slate of officers.  Many thanks to the 2013 officers who served, especially Bobby Astrove, who is stepping down after many years of service as Fleet 50 Treasurer, and Jeff Storck, who is stepping down after many years of service as Fleet 50 Scorer.


High Impact Crew: Laura Lake
Recipients of the High-impact Crew award must have sailed for one or more Fleet 50 skippers in Fleet 50 racing events.  Winners will be determined based on strength of nominators’ citations, for making a significant difference in the racing performance of the boat or boats, commitment to racing, and support of the fleet.  The winners may not also receive awards for Best New Crew; Most Improved Crew; or Fleet Helper.

From Lindsay: Laura Lake — Laura skill and expertise help Team Lightning Bug significantly improve our position in the fleet during the spring series, for which we took a 3rd place.


Best New Crew: Steve Nabors
Recipients of the Best New Crew award must have completed their first season of racing for Fleet 50 skippers in Fleet 50 racing events.  Winners will be determined based on strength of nominators’ citations, for commitment to racing; sailing skill; and support of the Fleet.  The winners may not also receive awards for High-impact Crew; Most Improved Crew; or Fleet Helper.

From Chris: Steve, although someone who often gets sea sick, began racing with me at the Potomac Cup in Leesylvania. The first day, Steve was all but hurling over the side of the deck while trying to man the foredeck. The next day, with the aid of dramamine we moved him to spin trimmer and took many spots back in the competition. This was his 3rd time on a sailboat and first time racing in that type of competition. Steve continued to crew for me, as spin trimmer throughout the remainder of the season, quickly learning the ins and outs of racing, especially with me. Thanks to Steve’s hard work, dedication and willingness to lean, we were able to secure a very high ranking in the overall standings.


Most Improved Crew: Lisa-Marie Lane
Recipients of the Most Improved Crew award must have completed their second or subsequent season of racing for Fleet 50 skippers in Fleet 50 racing events.  Winners will be determined based on strength of nominators’ citations, for improved sailing skill, commitment to racing; and support of the Fleet.  The winners may not also receive awards for High-impact Crew; Best New Crew; or Fleet Helper.

From Aaron: Lisa-Marie Lane — although Lisa-Marie is also a boat owner and skipper, she spent most of the season crewing on various boats in order to familiarize herself with the Lightning and with one-design racing. Her passion and intensity are unmatched, her energy level is incredible, and her thirst for knowledge and drive for self-improvement are simply amazing. Lisa-Marie was always asking the right questions, seeking advice on improvement, taking feedback to heart, and seeking to improve her “game” on the boat. A fantastic job…and soon she’ll be a skipper to be feared on the racecourse as well.


Team Spirit Skipper: Chris Kozel
The recipient of the Team Spirit Skipper award will be the skipper that makes racing/regattas a fun experience and does a great job fostering a team spirit on board, improving skills, encouraging participation. This has to do with competitive spirit but also patience on board and ability to make it a pleasant rather than stressful learning experience for the team as a whole, regularly attending races/going out there and doing their best regardless of performance.

From Aaron: Chris is always up for racing, always encouraging new crew members to come out and race, and is always a positive and enthusiastic person on the water and off the water. It’s great to have him in the fleet! He also demonstrated amazing seamanship and determination after recovering from his wipeout in the spring and just continuing on sailing, ready for the next race!


Congeniality Award: Ron Buchanan
The recipient of the Mr. Hospitality/Congeniality award will be the Fleet 50 skipper who always seems ready to share a smile, some advice over a beer, makes people feel especially welcomed in the fleet, at the marina, and on their boat – and even better if they provide great lunches/refreshments/beer for their crew, or something to share on the grill after racing.

From Lisa-Marie: Ron has taken me under his wing crew and really helped me learn more about forward crew & my first out of state regatta. Ron has really encouraged me to become a more confident sailor. He has shown patience, given guidance and always encouraged me to be an active part of the racing tactics.

From Aaron: Ron Buchanan — always happy to share a drink, help out, or just chat, Ron is a great person to have in the fleet. We wish he’d sail up in DC a bit more often, but everybody is always happy to see him around and he certainly fits the bill for a Congeniality award!


Skipper of the Year: Bob Gotthardt
The recipient of the Skipper of the Year award will be a Fleet 50 skipper who has demonstrated exceptional instances of support of the fleet, bravery, good judgment, and commitment to racing.  The nomination has no correlation to how good of a skipper they are.  This has to do w/ personality, fun, skill — basically a popularity vote. In addition to the appropriate merchandise award, there is a perpetual trophy of a wood-framed mirror.

From Lisa-Marie: I choose Bob because he has been very instrumental in continuing to help me learn as much as possible in racing and getting my boat race ready. Not only is he a excellent skipper, but he is extremely easy going, patient and a great person. But the biggest reason I am nominating him is during one of the last races of the season I fell over board. He very quickly “heaved” me our of the drink and was willing to drop everything to bring me back to shore. Of course he didn’t mind that I wanted to finish the race before going in 😉

From Aaron: Bob only became a partner in a boat in the latter half of the season, but his dedication to the fleet and commitment to racing and sailing and supporting the fleet are unparalleled. When he is not racing, he is always ready to lend a hand in volunteering or helping out — on RC duty, around the BBQ, or whatever else might be needed. It is great to have Bob in the fleet, and there is no doubt that he’ll continue to be a much loved fleet member and a challenging foe on the racecourse!


Bungle Bucket: Not Awarded in 2013
The recipient of the Bungle Bucket award will be the Fleet 50 skipper who has demonstrated exceptional instances of lapses of sailing judgment that resulted in humorous or entertaining outcomes.

Instead of the Bungle Bucket Award, I’d like to present the “anti-Bungle Bucket” award to two skippers in recognition of good sportsmanship and outstanding seamanship.  You might remember that Rose Maryann, and Anne took a spill on a nasty puff in the 2013 President’s Cup.  Seeing the difficulty they were having in recovering the boat, both Frank and Nabeel dropped out of the race to assist them.  I watched Frank jump in the water and scale the side of Jeff’s overturned boat like a ninja, and Nabeel backed his boat up so that one of his crew could just step off of the transom and onto the centerboard (without even getting wet!) to help Frank right the boat.   

From Anne: This is probably not the correct award category but I don’t see another that fits. I would like to nominate Frank Gallagher and Nabeel both for dropping out of a race in the President’s Cup to assist Rose Gentile, Mary Ann Gallagher and myself when we capsized. How generous of them both to sacrifice their standings to help us.


Most Improved Skipper: Lindsay Bach
The recipient of the Most Improved Skipper award will be the skipper who has improved their cumulative score in the Championship Series from the prior year by the largest number of positions.

This was actually a tie, with both Lindsay Bach and John Kircher moving up 3 overall spots in the 2013 Championship series as compared to their 2012 finishes.  Lindsay wins the tiebreaker on points, improving by an average of 6.8 points, whereas John improved by an average of 5.1 points.


Bloody Rudder Award: Ron Buchanan
Awarded to the Fleet 50 member who scores the highest in the qualifying traveling regattas for a season.

  1. Ron Buchanan: 10.6 average
  2. Nabeel Alsalam: 12 average


All Weather Sailor Award: Aaron Boesenecker
Awarded to the crew who sails the most days on a Lightning

  1. Aaron Boesenecker: 24 race days
  2. Lisbet Kugler: 19 race days
  3. Jess Harrington: 18 race days


Fleet 50 Helper Award: Rose Gentile
Awarded to a fleet member who helps the fleet in unique or special ways.

From Aaron: in recognition of all of the work that she does behind the scenes (registration work, setup/cleanup, etc.) as well as the fact that she opens her home to us each year for the Fleet 50 Party.


Iron Skipper Award: Rick Welch
The recipient of the Iron Skipper award will be the skipper who has had the most race days on the water, including local and out-of-town events and days on the water serving on Race Committee.

  1. Nabeel Alsalam: 23 race days
  2. Bobby Astrove: 20 race days
  3. Ron Buchanan: 17 race days

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *