Slow Winds Make For An Interesting 26th Cat Gathering

By: Kat Szmit

Topics: Boating , Pleasant Bay , Sailing

Stalled catboats rest on the smooth waters of Little Pleasant Bay during the 26th Annual Arey's Pond Boat Yard Cat Gathering, an event that celebrates the boats and those who sail them. Kat Szmit Photo

ORLEANS – Mother Nature was anything but cooperative during the 26th annual Arey's Pond Boat Yard Cat Gathering, but nearly nonexistent winds didn't spoil the fun for participating sailors, although it did slow them down a bit.

The event, a celebration of the classic catboats and those who delight in sailing them, was held Aug. 10 and 11 on the waters of Little Pleasant Bay. While practice runs on Friday went well under cerulean skies with decent breezes, the day of the official race proved a different tale, one that included a blanket of fog and air so still boats lost momentum after the turn, some even moving backward along the tranquil water.

While full results are still awaiting a review of drone footage, top finishers in the event are as follows: In the Traditional Sloop class, Old Ghost sailed by Alan McClennen took first, with Mike Dunne's Wimeke in second and Pete Conway's Nimble, an Arey's Pond Daysailer, in third. In the 19 feet and above Cat class, Burt Staniar claimed the top spot aboard Pandora, while At Ease sailed by Brian Smith placed second and Fred Villars' Conjurer took third.

Rick Cain's Pleasant Dreams took first place in the M-18 class, followed by Mon Cochran aboard the Sussurruss and Bill Terrell sailing the Ripple. Phil Dickinson sailed the Elle to a first place finish in the APBY 16 class, followed by the Athena, sailed by Nick Athanassiou, with the third place spot to be announced (TBA).

Winning the M-15 class was Chris Smith aboard Near Sing, with David Quincy aboard Cat-Atude taking first in the APBY 14 class. Helen Kelsey took first in the Baybird class, with other finishes still awaiting review.

This year's featured vessel was the Daisy, owned by Joe Siedel and built by Ruben Bigelow in 1904. Winning the Alan McClennen Senior Award was Herb Heidt in the Lestris, with Helena Wiatrowski winning the Youngest Skipper Award aboard Storm Cat. The Richter Award went to Walt Kangas in Tuuli, while Bob Tapper aboard the Silver Fox was the Farthest Traveled by Water. Bill Watson and John Pappalardo on the AP 14-footer Tenacity were the Farthest Traveled by Land.

The Silver Fox also won the Most Beautiful Boat in the Fleet Award, while Brooke and Skye Davis aboard the Slippery 1 earned the Last Place Award, with Sarah Queen on Catmini taking home the First Time Sailing Award.

Proceeds from the gathering will benefit the Friends of Pleasant Bay.