U. S. Vintage Model Yacht Group

2002 Vintage Traditional Watercraft Regatta

Solomons Island, Maryland
September 27-29, 2002

The Society co-hosted the 2002 Vintage Traditional Watercraft Regatta with the Solomons Island Model Boat Club at the Calvert Marine Museum. The Regatta attracted vintage model sailboats from around the country competing for both scale and racing awards. Competitors from as far away as Iowa brought an array of crowd-pleasing and seaworthy vessels modeled after tranditional watercraft.

Front Row (left to right): Richard Rogers, Bryon Rosenbaum, Jason Williams, Harry Mote, Mike Summers, George Dankers, Bob Jones, Herb Jones, Jose Medina

Back Row (left to right): Buck McClellan, Joseph Reiss, Richard Lamsfuss, Bob Seiden, Charles Trammell III, Marty Hayes, George Surgent, Richard Navickas, Ned Lakeman, Bob Ray, Charles Trammell, Jr., Charles Roden, Alan Suydam, Tom Younger, John Atwood, Homer Bowen, Charles Pelzer.

Not Pictured: Mel Conant, Founder and Commodore Emeritus of the Great Schooner Model Society, was unable to attend because of health reasons.



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There were plenty of captains and boats to see at the regatta, with a dozen or so displayed in one of the museum's outdoor boat shop. The boat shop is normally used to restored or build full-scale tradtional Bay craft. As such, it comes fully equiped with wood-chip flooring, and lots of tools laying about, a comfortable spot for any modeler.

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And even more boats on display out in the yard, underneath a restored Chesapeake Bay screw-pile lighthouse, the rather nautical overhead pavilion that hosted the regatta. Many captains (and, more importantly, their wives) commented that the surroundings really made the event something enjoyable. (Of course, temperatures in the upper 70's, with blue skies and a gentle breeze didn't hurt either!)

The schooner Emily, built and operated by Jose Medina, awaits her first-ever regatta race. Jose brought this large scale schooner (8.5 feet LOA) all the way from Des Moines, Iowa to attend the regatta. During the practice session Friday afternoon, when a good stiff breeze was blowing, Jose quickly learned the meaning of over-powered. He also got a lot of helpful suggestions from veteran sailors like Harry Mote, who helped him throughout the weekend.

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The 'V' in USVMYG means 'Vintage' and the Whitehaven, operated by Bob Jones (Silver Spring, MD), certainly hits the mark. The Whitehaven was built as a pond model in the 1930's by Bob's father in the classic plank-on-frame style. Robert's older brother Herb restored the boat a few years ago and converted it to radio control. And, after nearly 70 years, the boat still sails great. Quality lasts a lifetime!

Another classic schooner prepares for the first race of the day. The conditions on Saturday were strong and steady, with plenty of captains securing all hatches and bracing for action. On Sunday, the wind was light and variable, with occasional pockets of no-air, which made a number of races quite close. A little bit of something for everyone

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The standard Schooner class (50" or less) starts one of their races with Ned Lakeman's NY 50 off to another good start. Ned's boat was well suited for all of the wind conditions encountered and Ned rarely made a tactical mistake. And when you combine a good boat with good racing skills, the outcome is pretty certain, Ned took first place in the Schooner division with a comfortable cushion over the rest of the fleet.

The schooner class rounds the downwind mark with Bob Jones' Whitehaven in first, followed closely by Ned Lakeman's Pleione and Herb Jones' Chesapeake 50. Although Ned would eventually win the race, whenever any boat is between the Jones brothers it needs to be especially careful. Society racing traditions allow some very interesting tactics that may not always be fully appreciated by other racers, but are always add to the fun.

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Below: The Vintage Marblehead class had five entries, all of whom were experienced sailors. The conditions, however, were a little lighter than they normally experience on their home lake in Spring Lake, New Jersey. That made for some interesting and very close finishes, as some boats seemed to stop dead in their wakes, while others caught up and sometimes passed right by them.

Ned Lakeman's Vintage M is a copy of a Marblehead that his father built in the early 1930's. Ned was originally from Marblehead and has been racing models all of his life. (His wife mentioned that he started in 1932 --- experience clearly does matter!)



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Great weather, great boats and a great venue attracted a good number of visitors to the regatta. Fortunately, all modelers love to show off their work and provide plenty of stories to keep everyone entertained on and off the water. The Calvert Marine Museum pulled out all of the stops to help make the Regatta a success for everyone, captains and visitors alike.

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No, you're not seeing double, you're seeing just two of the four large scale Bluenose models brought by Andrew Charters (include Bluenose, Puritan, Columbia and Elizabeth Silsbee), as well as the cutter Gloriana. Andrew not only built all of these large models, but he also allowed other captains to operate them in close quarters during the races. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the models is their mode of transportation: a standard horse trailer. Andrew rolls all five of the models into the trailer, fully rigged, and simply raises the gate - a simple solution to every large scale modeler's transportation problem.

Large scale schooners are unquestionably the best looking models on the water, as seen by this Bluenose class model underway. At over 6 feet long and 8 feet high, they move through the water with all the majesty of their namesakes. But, unlike their full-scale predecessors, these boats can be enjoyed by everyone on shore as they drive around the course.

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Above: The large scale Schooner class (over 50" LOD) prepares to start one of their races. The starting line was a little cramped for such large boats (and light breezes), but they all got away without too much trouble.

The schooner Emily finishes her first-ever race, with a proud smile displayed by the captain as he said, "Just finishing this race was worth the trip out here". Those are pretty strong words considering that he drove from Iowa to Maryland to attend the Regatta. But, every schooner captain, first-timer or veteran, feels the same way whenever they get to see the object of all of their time and effort sailing on the water.

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When it came to the business of the Regatta, the buck stopped with Buck McClellan. Buck had lots of help from lots of people, but that's what a great leader does ... gets everyone to help. The 2002 Regatta was fun for everyone and at least one captain had some pretty nice things to say after it was all over (see "The VMYG Regatta" for more details).

The official results of the 2002 US Vintage Model Yacht Group Traditional Watercraft Regatta were as follows:

Vintage Marblehead: (50" long with 800 square inches of sail area)
  1. Alan Suydam (Sail #35)
  2. Ned Lakeman (Sail #17)
  3. Harry Mote (Sail #25)
  4. Tom Younger (Sail #20)
  5. Charles Roden (Sail #55)
  6. Joseph Reiss (Sail #301)
Skipjack 48: (Skipjack design developed by the late Pepper Langley at the Calvert Marine Museum)
  1. George Dankers (Sail #C14)
  2. Tom Younger (Sail #8)
  3. Bob Ray (Sail #00)
  4. John Atwood (Sail #97)
  5. Mike Summers (Sail #39)
  6. Richard Rogers (Sail #33)
  7. Charles Trammell, III (Sail #30)
  8. George Surgent (Sail #77)
  9. Richard Navickas (Sail #9)
  10. Bob Seiden (No #)
  11. Charles Trammell, Jr. (Sail #C7)
  12. Andrew Charters (No #)
Schooners, 50" or less on deck:
  1. Ned Lakeman (Sail #2)
  2. Alan Suydam (Sail #31)
  3. Charles Roden (Sail #007)
  4. Herb Jones (Sail #00)
  5. John Atwood (No #)
  6. Richard Lamsfuss (Sail #2)
  7. Byron Rosenbaum (Sail #555)
  8. Bob Jones (No #)
  9. Marty Hayes (No #)
  10. Bob Ray (Sail #1)
Schooners, over 50" on deck:
  1. Andrew Charters (COLUMBIA) (No #)
  2. George Surgent (No #)
  3. Richard Lamsfuss (Sail #665)
  4. Marty Hayes (No #)
  5. Andrew Charters (PURITAN) (No #)
  6. Andrew Charters (ELIZABETH) (No #)
  7. Jose Medina (EMILY) (No #)
  8. Andrew Charters (BLUENOSE) (No #)
Open Class:
  1. Richard Rogers (Sail #3)
  2. Andrew Charters (GLORIANA) (No #)
  3. Richard Lamsfuss (Sail #665)
  4. Homer Bowen (No #)
Farthest Distance Traveled:
  1. Jose Medina (Des Moines, Iowa)


And The Winners Are ...

Front Row (left to right): Richard Rogers, Harry Mote, George Dankers, Jose Medina, Bob Ray.

Back Row (left to right): Richard Lamsfuss, Tom Younger, George Surgent, Alan Suydam, Ned Lakeman, Charles Roden, Andrew Charters.


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