World Class News
As many of you know, the International Class, celebrates 80 years of continuous active boat racing in 2017 and predates World Sailing by many years, World Sailing being the successor to International Sailing Federation (ISAF), itself the successor the International Yacht Racing Union (IYRU). In any event, in the late 1980s and early 1990s, ISAF began to try to control the moniker “World Championships”. Today, there are about 150 different sailing World Champions. The sailing fraternity has been criticized for this explosion of superiority, as it seems like overkill when one considers baseball has only one per year and football (not American Football) has one every 4 years.
When confronted with the possibility of sanctions against IOD sailors who competed in our Worlds and then aimed for the Olympics, the class leaders worked with Star sailor and ISAF Board member Ding Schoonmaker who succeeded in persuading ISAF to grant the IOD status as a ‘Classic Class’. As such, we could host a World Championship as we have nearly every year since 1959 without fear of reprisals. This lasted until about 2013 when ISAF changes the rules, eliminated the Classic Classes and demanded adherence to stringent requirements on numbers of boats sailing in a Worlds that the IOD Class could not meet on a regular basis. There were other issues in the IOD-ISAF relationship and it was determined to part company.
Two years later discussions began with World Sailing VP Gary Jobson who sails IODs regularly. Gary said he believed that the IOD should have the honor and status of World Sailing membership and agreed to help us succeed if we thought it could work for us. At Gary’s suggestion, we opened discussions with World Sailing Equipment Committee. It is the Equipment Committee that must first vote favorably on any class application before the World Sailing Board can consider it for approval. With Dina, a small team discussed the application process, the requirement for membership, the benefits for glass growth of being recognized by World sailing, and a number of ways to comply with the World Sailing rules for classes. Several new strategies for complying with the minimum entries for a World Championship also came to light. As the Executive Committee learned more, it became clear that the benefits could outweigh the costs. We would have a better ability to grow and maintain the class as a member of World Sailing than as an outsider. In the spring of 2016 it was agreed to proceed with an application. The Formal Application is posted on the member only site for your reading pleasure: WS Application.
The filing of the application with World Sailing commenced several discussions about the numbers of active IOD Sailors around the world. With the strong efforts of Secretary Roy Weedon, the lists were compiled, notarized and submitted. While the WCA had historically focused on the fleets, there are many of our beautiful boats owned and sailed outside the scope of the registered fleets. Even our limited knowledge of these owners proved important in working with World Sailing. For example, members of the
Dina strongly suggested that an officer of the WCA travel to the World Sailing Annual Conference to support and defend our application. President Rugg agreed to take on this responsibility at no cost to the class, and attended the conference in Barcelona in November 2016. At the conference, a subcommittee of the class rules committee reviewed our class rules. Fortunately, two of the 3 members of the sub-committee were known to the President from other sailing organization activities and met with the President to discuss certain changes that would clarify the rules and make them better fit the World Sailing class rules template. These changes were discussed with our technical committee chairman and the President was able to confirm agreement to the scope of changes at the conference.
The process for the US Delegation to the conference was instructive. Two conference calls were held prior to the start of the meeting, and the members of the US delegation met early each morning to discuss the overall US strategy for the conference, each individual delegates objectives, and progress on a day-to-day basis. This process provided a large group of lobbyists who worked the halls and committee rooms to support our application. The President was also able to support several objectives of other delegates.
At the formal meeting of the Equipment Committee, the President presented a short review of the application and how the IOD Class and World Sailing could have a mutually beneficial association. The Equipment Committee was impressed with our superlative management of the transition from wood to fiberglass that has prevented obsolescence or lack of competitiveness of our elder boats. They also found our championship events with host club provided boats an important way to engage more sailors in higher-level international competition at an affordable cost. Several members of the committee spoke about their personal knowledge and respect for our class, including Kim Anderson, then Chairman of the Equipment Committee and now the newly elected President of World Sailing.
At the end of the conference, the World Sailing Board met for two days to vote on a very long list of submissions for changes to sailing administration, rules and regulations, including the re-election of Gary Jobson as Vice President of World Sailing. This was an important issue for the US delegation. The final vote on the IOD Class application approved unanimously.
Going forward we will have a partner in World Sailing in keeping our constitution and rules up to date with best practices. The IODWAC will be better able to support each of our fleets with the underpinning of rules that promote fairness at both the fleet level and at our championships and other events. Based on our World Sailing status, we can now better support our builders and the IODs owners that are in locations distant from a recognized fleet. We will have a responsibility to work with World Sailing as a partner, and to maintain communications on changes and updates to our constitution and rules. We will also report the attendance and other information on our World Championships, and work with World Sailing to assist every fleet in hosting world class events.
Byline: Michael Fortenbaugh
[Excerpted from the Manhattan Yacht Club, December 2016 newsletter]
For many years, our Club has been looking for the next-level fleet for our more experienced racing and cruising Members. This would not replace our great J/24 fleet which does such a wonderful job in making sailing easy and accessible for all Members. The next-level fleet would be in addition to our J/24s.
Many years ago, we promoted a J/105 fleet but the costs and complexity of these boats ended up being too high. Since then, we have studied many other classes and have not yet found the one which is right for our Club. What we are looking for is a classic design, not the "latest & greatest" which could lose its luster and become a flash in the pan. We are looking for yachts which are well built, easy to maintain, and are proven to hold their value over the long haul. We are looking for a yacht which is easy to sail and where new sailors can participate alongside veterans.
In the end, we believe we have found the next level fleet for MYC - the International One Design class. Our Club was exposed to this fleet in Bermuda this past November. IODs personify beauty, grace and style. They are, in effect, miniature 12 Meters which are already hugely popular at our Club. And while 12 Meters are complex and a difficult production, IODs are simple and easy.
These boats will be great for racing! They will deliver an evenly matched fleet with tight racing so that skill and wind shifts determine the winner. The boats race with 5 people so your team can be made up of experienced as well as novice sailors. The boats are also forgiving. When a puff hits, they lean over but do not spin out of control like a more modern boat.
These boats will also be great for cruising in the harbor. They are distinguished and beautiful. They are more stable and comfortable than a J/24. They will make a perfect boat to cruise with friends and family. Because of their style and grace, they will also make an excellent boat for entertaining friends and co-workers. Sailing on an IOD past the Statue of Liberty will be breathtaking and memorable.
Our Club will announce soon the IOD vision and plan, including the prospectus to participate in this historic effort. Our fleet will be limited to 12 boats. They must all be Member-owned and you can buy an IOD as a single Member or build your own syndicate of Members. There are a few boats on the used market but they are hard to come by. There is also a builder in Chester, Nova Scotia who can deliver new boats at a reasonable cost. Racing in the IODs will be Member-only like our J/24s. For cruising, owners will be encouraged to invite non-members to participate and learn about the IOD history and vision.
Commodore Fortenbaugh and his Tuesday race team have already formed a syndicate and acquired the Club's first IOD, Black Arrow #103. Black Arrow had been racing at the Larchmont Yacht Club and will come to our Club this summer. The Syndicate behind Black Arrow will make her available for other Members to test sail.
It is hoped that the legacy of our 30th Anniversary season will include not just a second 12 Meter racing in the harbor (see below) but also the start of an IOD fleet which will begin racing at the Club in 2018.
Written by Chris Gould
This article was written for Nantucket Yacht Club's magazine "Soundings", and is presented here with permission of its author.
The 2016 International One Design “world” Championship, was held September 3-10 out of San Francisco Yacht Club, north of the Golden Gate Bridge in Tiburon. The event was unorthodox in nearly every respect. The sport’s international governing body had prohibited use of the term “World Championship”, in accordance with its new standards for fleet size and geographic representation. The IOD class governing body was itself at war with the local San Francisco Bay host fleet; the latter was in open conflict with one of its own members. The number of entering teams outnumbered available boats. Two consecutive non-cumulative scorecards were kept, one for “qualifier” series, one for “final” championship. No throw-outs. Protest hearings were replaced by on-course umpires. Tidal current on the race course matched that of Nantucket’s entrance channel. Courses featured starboard mark roundings.
And yet, despite all distractions and challenges, the event was competitive, legitimate, fun and worthy of the “class championship” moniker.
The field and format…
Eleven teams were present: three from Fishers Island, two from Norway, and one each from Bermuda, Long Island Sound, Nantucket, Northeast Harbor, San Francisco and Sweden. Four skippers were former World Champions, including 2015 defending champion Jonathan Farrar who won a year ago in Nantucket.
With fewer boats than entrants, regatta organizers adopted a two-stage competition consisting of a qualification series followed by a championship (final) series. All teams rotated onto boats in the qualifiers, with six teams sailing, and five sitting out each race. The three day qualifier series would yield six finalists in a “Gold” fleet, and a five team “Silver” fleet.
Hurry up and wait…
Every book about sailboat racing advises, “Be on the water early. Sail to the race course in plenty of time to tune and get a feel for conditions -- especially when racing in unfamiliar waters, borrowed boats, or with crew that haven’t sailed together.”
Now picture Team Sierra, representing Nantucket. Skipper Roy Weedon, and crew Dan Faria (tactician), Phil Cox (foredeck), Linda Green (middle) and Chris Gould (middle) arrived the night before (and day of) the first race. As is customary to prevent damage, the fleet had been quarantined until commencement of racing.
Being one of the teams to draw a bye for the first two races, Nantucket’s team Sierra boarded a large motor yacht an hour after the IOD fleet left the dock. So much for practice time. Racing was already underway in the middle of the bay, with a start/finish line set a couple of hundred yards west of Alcatraz, and a weather mark half way to the Golden Gate, in the vicinity of the recent America’s Cup starting box. Watching the competition from the massive power cruiser, Weedon and company pulled on layers of gear for the Bay’s brisk conditions.
Initiation by fire…
A rigid inflatable launch whisked us to our assigned boat as soon as it had crossed the finish line. Within minutes, a voice on the VHF was asking all boats to raise their jibs to indicate readiness for a starting sequence.
Sierra’s crew was very experienced, not just in IOD’s. Roy is an IOD North Americans champion, and this was his fifth shot at the worlds. Dan is a Bermuda Race Week winner in IODs; he and Phil race a Shields in Newport. Linda is not only a skipper of the Echo syndicate in Nantucket; her name is also in the trophy case at San Francisco Yacht Club, where she first started sailing years ago. This author is a local to San Francisco Bay, has background in Olympic classes, and races IODs in Nantucket. Notwithstanding individual resumes, the five of us had never sailed as one team. We were still determining roles on our ride out to the race course.
Once finally aboard, we scrambled to figure out systems, identify strings, and organize the spinnaker. We got a quick look at the ferocious flood current on the starting line. The RC boat looked as if it were being towed by its anchor rode. The warning signal sounded before we had upwind compass bearings.
A river runs through it…
Over six days, almost every race was in flood tide. That meant tactics were simple, almost irrelevant. The name of the game was to start well, go left, and try to guess how much by which to overstand the port layline against the torrent of left to right set. In all but two or three of the twelve races we sailed, the Sierra team tacked twice – once per upwind leg.
Starting in the second row, or without clear air, or not being able to hold a lane almost certainly meant a fifth or sixth place finish. In this respect the course location, indeed most of San Francisco Bay, is not ideal for a major fleet championship. But that’s sailboat racing, and it was the same challenge for all entrants.
To grasp the magnitude and effect of the current on racing, consider that for the first four days, in race after race, the fleet took eighteen to twenty minutes to claw its way against the tide upwind, and as few as six minutes “downhill” with chutes up and current boiling from behind. In the 15-23 knot breeze, a slow spinnaker set, or even no spinnaker set, was unlikely to result in changed positions.
Knowing its flock would head toward the San Francisco city front, and thus would approach the weather mark on port layline, the race committee opted for starboard roundings in the flood tide conditions. That setup led to some nasty encounters, and at least one major collision involving two former world champions. The committee attempted unsuccessfully to set an offset mark, and every race became up-down-up-down finish. Only later in the week were there a few counterclockwise courses in the ebb tides.
Here come ‘da judge…
The fleet may have seen a glimpse of the future, with umpires on RIB craft watching every move. In lieu of Rule 61, a protesting boat would wave a “Y” flag, and instantly an on-water judge would either direct the offending boat to do a turn, or disallow the request. Moreover, the umpires were ready and willing to impose a penalties on their own, whether or not called by a competitor. There were no off-water protest hearings. Everyone we talked to was impressed and appreciated the real-time judicial process. Mistakes may have been made, but probably less so than after the fact, indoors, with biased perspectives and recall.
Team Sierra learned the protocol first hand in the qualifier series. In one start, we were deemed not to have yielded to a leeward boat. In another race, at a downwind rounding we were nabbed for squeezing our nose inside a right-of-way boat. Justice was administered on the spot, and served to illustrate the enormously harsh consequence of a 360 degree turn in those circumstances.
Among the many unexpected twists of this regatta, the on-water jury added a surprise on the last day of racing. Judges boarded the boat of the eventual regatta winners, and busted them for “adding ballast”, i.e. pumping water into the bilge. That unfolding story maintained suspense for several hours after sailing was completed, and was finally settled with a penalty that left the overall result unchanged.
Charlie VanVoorhies of Fishers Island fleet demonstrated from the very first race that he was ready to rumble, and his team never let up. His crew was talented in every position, with good size for the windy conditions though not huge in overall weight. Neil Fowler, a veteran Celebrity Tactician in NRW IOD Celebrity Invitational called tactics. Jim Thompson was recognized at the awards ceremony as most-distinguished overall crew. Charlie’s son Lyon and Todd Wake completed their roster.
Defending champion Jonathan Farrar, also from Fishers Island fleet, kept it close all the way to the end. Going into the last race, they were still in position for a repeat win, but couldn’t quite pull it off in the end. The VanVoorhies and Farrar teams outsailed the rest of the fleet all week, and deserved to finish at the top of the board. John Burnham and team rounded out the Fishers Island podium sweep, substantiating the claim that theirs is the most competitive fleet in the class.
Sierra sailed well. One highlight of the week was winning the last race of the qualifier series, saving the team from Gold fleet elimination. Sierra was one of only two boats in the “championship” series without a former world champion at the helm; the other was the San Francisco entrant, Rich Pearce, who clearly had a local knowledge advantage over most visiting teams. Sierra finished strong in the final series as well, with a second and third on the last day. It wasn’t easy to step aboard all the different boats and dial things in right away. We mixed it up with the fast crowd, just not as consistently as the guys who came out on top.
Controversy surrounded this event for over a year. At the 2015 IOD class Annual General Meeting held during last year’s Worlds in Nantucket, a faction of the IOD World Class Association (WCA) leadership attempted to reassign this year’s hosting and venue to a fleet other than San Francisco. Over the winter, the WCA deemed the San Francisco fleet to be “not in good standing” due to an argument the fleet was having with a member regarding changing his rig. The WCA deemed the changes acceptable, and sanctioned the fleet for its handling of the matter. The battle continued in San Francisco, with procedural arguments in the skippers’ meeting, followed by tense and testy exchange during the Annual General meeting two days later. At mid-week the San Francisco fleet was still “not in good standing”, and decided to cancel the entire event following the qualifier series. Cooler heads prevailed, with both sides giving some credit to Roy Weedon as mediator. At this writing the matter is moving up sailing’s judicial system to the regional and perhaps national level.
Politics, pettiness and personalities aside, the core issue of the debate is relevant to all IOD fleets, including particularly Nantucket. It’s analogous to federal versus states’ rights in the U. S. constitution. Can the WCA force a fleet to accept a member and his boat if it deems the boat’s measurement certificate to be valid? Or should the local fleet have final say on its standards and their enforcement? No doubt, much more discussion will take place on the topic.
The 2016 IOD Class Championship was very successful, despite oddities and distractions. The San Francisco Bay IOD Fleet made huge effort and sacrificed greatly to make its boats available. The San Francisco Yacht Club, led by P.R.O. Forrest Gay and supported by a deep bench of volunteers, did a superb job on the water. Housing was well organized. Social activities were top notch. Parts of the format were experimental, but nearly everything worked. The competition was fair, and overall, teams finished in accordance with their performance. If the format is repeated, one might expect it to be tweaked to maintain interest and incentive for the Silver fleet.
Nantucket sailors benefit many ways by attending off island events. We learn by racing, observing event management on and off the water, and by interacting with members of all other fleets. We return to Nantucket with ideas, and with renewed appreciation for the uniformity, layout and condition of our own fleet of boats, our unmatched open waters for racing, and the spirit of cooperation within and among our syndicates.
Charlie Van Voorhis, of Fishers Island, NY, sailed to a convincing win at the 2016 International One-Design Class Championship, a six-day regatta held on San Francisco Bay in September. The fleet included teams representing Norway, Sweden, Bermuda, and the U.S. In winning the title for the fourth time, Van Voorhis easily finished first in a six-race qualifying series, which split the 11 teams into gold and silver fleets of six and five boats, respectively. [http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13361]
Sailing with Jim Thompson, Neal Fowler, Todd Wake and his son Lyon, Van Voorhis then won four of the six races in the final series. After the racing concluded, his margin of victory was reduced 3 points by a jury penalty for adding ballast water in the bilge before the penultimate race, which he subsequently sailed and won without the water.
The defending champion, Jonathan Farrar, also from Fishers Island, scored consistent top finishes and took second overall, one point behind Van Voorhis. Another Fishers Island team, skippered by John Burnham, won the final race to beat Nantucket's Roy Weedon and San Francisco's Rich Pearce for third, making it a sweep of the top positions for Fishers Island. The event was sailed from San Francisco Yacht Club in Tiburon, with races taking place just west of Alcatraz Island in consistent 12-18 knot winds and typically flooding tide, which kept the Bay’s often choppy sea state moderate. Finishing ahead in the Silver fleet and 7th overall was Rob Van Alen of Northeast Harbor, Maine. [http://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_regatta_results.php?regatta_id=13387] The 33-foot IODs racing in the event were originally designed in the mid-1930s by Norwegian designer Bjarne Aas and as in many IOD fleets include wood and fiberglass hulls built in the 80 years since. Sailors in the event qualified for the regatta in their home fleets and then sailed in borrowed boats generously loaned by members of the local San Francisco fleet. Putting some of the older and less-used boats in shape to sail in the regatta was a significant volunteer effort by several members of the local fleet.
Under the leadership of regatta chair Paul Zupan, the event used an experimental format intended to make it possible for smaller fleets to host the championship with the same borrowed-boat format. Eight boats were sailed in three races per day; each team competed in two races daily and received a bye in the third during the first three days of the regatta. At that point, the fleet was split into gold and silver divisions for three more days of racing, with the gold competing for the overall title. Silver fleet sailors chose to sail only one day and then by consensus spent the last two days sight-seeing while the gold fleet carried on racing. A total of 17 races were run by principal race officer Forrest Gregg and his San Francisco Yacht Club team.
Umpires were also employed for the first time at a class championship, with chief umpire Luca Babini leading an international team of officials. Some on-water penalties were meted out, typically requiring a 360-degree turn by the boat found guilty. Both the split-fleet format and the use of umpires will be reviewed by the IOD World Class Association and the IOD fleets to consider whether to use and/or modify the systems for use at future championships.
Both San Francisco IOD Fleet and San Francisco Yacht Club members provided housing for many of the visiting sailors, a class tradition that stretches back to the early days of the regatta, which was first run in 1959.
Normally, the event includes one and sometimes two representatives of any single fleet, but Fishers Island was in the unusual position of having three teams racing because Farrar won 2015 title and thereby received an automatic invitation. In 2017, Van Voorhis will receive the defending champion invitation to the next class championship, scheduled for Northeast Harbor, Maine, in August.
July 29, 2016
By Eric Gullickson
NORTHEAST HARBOR (WABI TV5/CW) On Somes Sound near Northeast Harbor a sailing race is going on. The Northeast Harbor Fleet is hosting the International One Design North American Invitational Regatta… Incredible history with the boats and watching them race is impressive… The Fleet’s Commodore and Vice Commodore took us out and break down the event…
The 16th running of the Nantucket IOD Invitational was held June 24-26. This edition of the event included many past champions of this event two of which are multiple IOD World Champions and three teams that had little or no experience sailing the IOD. These three hailed from Royal Thames Yacht Club, UK, Gibson Island Yacht Club, MD, and Hyannis Yacht Club, MA.
The weather conditions for all three days were glorious but atypical for Nantucket at this time of the year as we were treated with mainly North Easterly winds which in large part negated any tactical advantage the Nantucket teams may have had as we typically sail in Strong South Westerlies.
The racing that ensued over the three days was the closest I have ever witnessed in the IOD class with positions changing constantly while all the time the fleet was tightly bunched. After the nine scheduled races were completed, four points separated the top five boats and as eventual winner, John Burnham from Fishers Island said, “We had more than a few good breaks that helped us to the top finish, and clearly there were several teams that deserved to take home top honors. Our thanks to those who didn't tack directly on our air as we approached the weather mark on more than one occasion. If we'd had to take a couple more tacks in a single race, we might well have been fifth”.
by Guy Venables
The King Edward VII Gold Cup, now the Argo Group Gold Cup, is the oldest match racing trophy for one-design yachts in the world. The actual cup was awarded by Edward VII in 1907 during Jamestown, Virginia’s Tri-Centenary Regatta, held in commemoration of the 300th anniversary of the first permanent settlement in America.
BEN COUSINS STAFF REPORTER
Published May 12, 2016 - 3:13pm
Peter Wickwire and his crew have won the International One Design Class at the Bermuda International Invitational Regatta.
Wickwire, representing the Chester, Nova Scotia IOD fleet, beat two IOD world champions, including seven-time world champion Bill Widnall, on the way to his third consecutive win at the event.
“It’s a pretty exciting result for a Nova Scotia-based team,” said Wickwire in a phone interview.
The race featured 65 sailors, making up 13 teams from across the globe, including the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Norway, Sweden and Bermuda.
“They’re all invited as the top representatives of their respective fleets, so it was a good result,” Wickwire said.
The competitors raced 10 times at varying distances, where each team is permitted to ignore their worst two scores from the results. Wickwire’s team took home the title, beating Martin Rygh of Norway by four points and winning four of the ten races outright.
Wickwire’s team of Peter Soosalu, Dan MacMillan, Emily Merry and Peter Dixon is the youngest crew he’s ever brought to Bermuda for the event.
Wickwire made the trip to Bermuda with two recent Dalhousie University graduates and one current student in the engineering school.
“I’m the only one who I don’t refer to as a kid on board,” Wickwire said jokingly. “I’m very fortunate I have this group of outstanding young sailors on my team. We’ve had great success in Nova Scotia and abroad.”
Wickwire won Nova Scotia Sailor of the Year by Sail Nova Scotia last year, but credits the award to his young crew.
“My team came with me to the awards and it’s a shared thing,” he said. “My success hinges greatly on the talent of these young, excellent sailors.”
Wickwire has been together with this crew for four years and has seen these young adults grow up in front of his eyes.
The International One Design, is a class of race where competitors are provided with the boats, take turns racing each boat to make it fair, and then decide a winner based on total finishes for the races.
The Bermuda International Invitational, in Bermuda’s Great Sound, took place on the exact area as the 2017 America’s Cup, the oldest event in sailing.
“It was amazing sailing,” he said.
Wickwire said the rest of his 2016 schedule will circle around Halifax and Mahone Bay.
Dear IOD Sailors,
decisions to boost popularity and interest in ‘ICs’ or IODs as we now often call them.
the 1960s and 70s. Corny Shields Sr. taught him how to rig his boat. He pulled a non-sailor,
Dick York onto the boat one day and turned Dick into one of the best crew ever, and a
lifelong sailor who has completed a circumnavigation in a J46. This skipper sailed well, beat
Corny Shields Jr. in the fleet championship several years running and qualified for a Worlds
in San Francisco and another in Marblehead. He won the Bermuda Gold Cup in 1971 with
some match racing coaching from Corny. He also won a number of other major events in
other classes. This is a case that shows why the Executive has established the IOD Class Hall
of Fame. This sailor, Dayton Carr, is now a nominee for our Hall of Fame. A new page on the
class website describes the HoF nomination process. Our class Historian, Herb Motley
presently chairs the selection committee with able assistance from Bob Duffy, John Henry,
and Gil Manuel. Please take a few minutes to review the process and nominate present or
former IOD sailors who have given back to sailing and done great things for IODs or in other
classes and events.
of South Shore Marine in Chester, NS, Canada, and transferred the class owned North
American molds to him. Shawn has restored many wooden boats and is an avid IOD sailor.
His keen business sense saw the opportunity to move into fiberglass boats at a time when
Canada has a favorable exchange rate and low wage rates, and oil prices are making resin
more affordable. He has always done high quality work, and we will continue to support
him to the best of our ability. I, for one, cannot wait to sail one of his new glass boats.
Sailing over their claim of name rights on all sailing world championships. We have
continued discussion with IOD friends on the World Sailing board, and may have an
opportunity to re-establish our position as an International Class. This effort is not meant to
be onerous, but to permit all IOD sailors to compete and use the same championship
terminology that we have used since 1958.
All the best for the 2016 season
1 April 2016
Fredric Close Towers
January 9, 1934 – January 20, 2016
Frederic Close Towers died at his home in Naples, Florida on January 20th, 2016. Born in Washington, D.C. on January 9, 1934, he was a graduate of St. Albans School in Washington, D.C. He was also a graduate of Williams College and Harvard Business School. He served in the U.S. Navy, first as an intelligence officer with the seventh fleet, and later at the Pentagon as aide to CNO Admiral Arleigh Burke, who gave him the nickname "Tiger Towers".
Affectionately called Freddy by family and friends, he will be remembered for his engaging smile, generous spirit, love of life and his caring nature. Freddy's innate love of people made everyone he met feel embraced by the friendly warmth of his personality. He was an enthusiastic sailor, lover of choral music, and model trains. He was an innovator and had an insatiable curiosity about new technology, and he tried to learn something new every day.
In 1958, he married Kay Heffernan. Freddy and Kay were known for their warm hospitality. One could always find a welcoming smile, good food and lively conversation at their homes in Maryland and Maine. Kay Towers passed away in 2000. They had one son, Frederic Jr., who died in 1979 as the result of an auto accident.
Freddy was one of the first people to write software for the financial services industry. In 1971, while a successful stockbroker at Johnston, Lemon & Company, he decided to explore the use of the computer in his work. He believed that, with the right software, computers could revolutionize the way stocks were valued and tracked. Working from his home office, as one of the nation's first telecommuters, he became one of IBM's first time-sharing customers. His programs "Valport" and "Hypo" hold two of the first software patents ever issued in the financial services industry and were licensed to major brokerage firms throughout the country.
Freddy was the ambassador of the Great Harbor, bringing everyone on MDI together to race. He was a devoted member of the Northeast Harbor Fleet, the Southwest Harbor Fleet, and a passionate supporter of youth sailing in the Great Harbor. When Freddy and Kay started coming to Maine in the mid-1970s, Freddy took an interest in the IOD Class, and, in 1978, purchased Humlen #10. He was instrumental in reviving the IOD Class and was a driving force in hosting the first World Class Championship in Northeast Harbor in 1984. Many of the current skippers in the IOD Class established a keen interest in the class by crewing for Freddy. He would hand them the helm, compliment them on their ability to skipper the boat, and, at the appropriate moment, encourage them to buy an IOD. He served as chairman of the IOD World Class Association, as chairman of the NEH Fleet race committee for many years, and as Commodore of the Southwest Harbor Fleet. He will be fondly remembered and missed by sailors from around the world.
In 2004, he married Laurel ("Laurie") Chamberlain Hinckley. It was Laurie's father George who taught Freddy how to sail. In 2005, they moved from Maryland to Naples, Florida and quickly became involved in their new community. As long time summer residents of Maine, they divided their time between homes in Southwest Harbor and Naples. In both communities, they continued the Towers tradition of entertaining family and friends and participating in civic and sporting activities.
Freddy served as chairman of the governing board of St. Albans School, where he endowed the chair in Computer Science. He was a trustee of the Washington Cathedral Choral Society, Arena Stage, and National Maritime Heritage Foundation. He was a member of the Naples Yacht Club, Royal Poinciana Golf Club, Chevy Chase Club, Northeast Harbor Fleet, Southwest Harbor Fleet, Causeway Club and Pot & Kettle Club.
He is survived by his wife, the former Laurie Hinckley, two sisters, Judy Towers Reemtsma and Dorcy Towers Burns, two stepdaughters, Betsy Mulligan and Amy Breckon, nine nieces and nephews, and two grandchildren.
The family will receive visitors on January 27, 2016, 3 to 5 p.m. at Fuller Funeral Home, Pine Ridge Road, Naples Florida. A Mass of Christian Burial celebrating the life of Fred Towers will be offered at St. Williams Church in Naples on January 28, 2016 at 10:00 a.m. Celebrations in Washington, D.C. and Southwest Harbor, Maine will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Albans School, St. Albans Annual Giving, Mount St. Alban, Washington, DC 20016-5069 or MDI Community Sailing Center, P.O. Box 116, Southwest Harbor, ME 04679.