2015-04-30 / Nature

Remembering Sportsmanship in Sailing

By Joe Berkeley


Joe Berkeley is a freelance writer who won a race at the Pete Milnes Regatta. His work is at joeberkeley.com. Joe Berkeley is a freelance writer who won a race at the Pete Milnes Regatta. His work is at joeberkeley.com. This past Sunday, April 26, Sail Newport hosted the Pete Milnes Regatta in honor of the fleet’s founder. According to P.J. Schaffer, “Laser Fleet 413 [Newport] was founded in 1983 by Pete Milnes… For those who didn’t have the pleasure to know Pete, the best way I can describe him was the ultimate true sportsman…In my opinion, he ran the group with a simple philosophy: show up, rig up, compete, and hang out afterwards.”

Pete’s son Scott, who competed in the regatta, said, “He was all about sportsmanship and making sure everyone from beginners to experts felt like they were part of the fleet. He had that effect upon people.”

Mark Bear, who has been with the fleet since the very beginning, remembered Milnes as “a father figure to the entire fleet. He believed in sportsmanship, living life to the fullest, and reminded people that sailing is supposed to be fun.”

Race Committee Moose Mc- Clintock wasn’t sure if the breeze was going to fill, but it did and they enjoyed a full day of racing. Peter Shope sailed a brilliant day, finishing with 27 points, a full 20 points ahead of his nearest competitor, Dan Neri.

Steve Kirkpatrick finished third overall, and you didn’t have to see him on the racecourse to know where he was. Kirkpatrick’s brand new lower mast section bent so severely that he could not get proper leech tension. His upwind speed was greatly compromised, a condition he described as “having no wheels.”

Groaning and moaning like a wounded cow, Kirkpatrick willed his faulty yacht around the racecourse to a podium finish by making impressive comebacks downwind.

Scott Milnes finished the day in fourth overall, despite the fact that he had not been in a Laser in a year, and Mark Bear was fifth.

Christine Neville was the top female senior, and John Kirkpatrick was the first youth sailor.

After sailing, all gathered at the IYAC for food, trophies, and the raffle. As sailors ate pizza, Ted Hood’s black dog, Karuna, sat upon a bar stool sipping Bass Ale from his mug.

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