Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club’s Down Bay Regatta Lots of Fun for Many Sailors

Aug 15, 2018
Photo by: Margot Miller

Ed McGlynn has been sailing for eight decades. And even though he didn’t win the B-Cat division of the Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club Down Bay Regatta on Aug. 12, he still sailed his boat, Happy Hour, across Barnegat Bay and did what he believes was the most important thing.

“I was the fleet captain here for a long time, and for me sailing is about having fun – enjoy sailing the boat on the water and enjoy the people you’re doing it with,” said the 87-year-old from Warminster, Pa., who also bowls twice a week when he’s back home. “One problem I have with the fleet right now is that they’re much too involved with getting a trophy, trying to win all the time. They don’t spend enough time on the fun of sailing. I like the camaraderie and having fun with a bunch of people. That’s why I keep doing it.”

Like McGlynn, Clay Johnson definitely has fun while sailing. He also happens to win quite a bit, as he did in the E-Scow division of the Down Bay.

“Sailing is just so much fun,” said Johnson, who owns Colie Sails in Point Pleasant, competed in the London Olympics in 2012, and has spent many summers sailing Barnegat Bay as a member of LEHYC. “I’ve sailed my whole life – it is my life. And it’s something I’ll do for the rest of my life. I can’t get enough of it.

“There are many sports you can play in high school and maybe in college, and that’s it. But in sailing, you can be 15 or 88 and still enjoy the sport.”

Johnson had a lot of fun racing his boat, Showtime, to first place in the first two races on Sunday, then swiped second to complete the three-race regatta, shortened due to thunderstorms the day before. Behind Johnson was Jack Brown on his boat, Blind Squirrel, with six points, while Bobby Koar skippered Fast Horses to third with nine points.

On the B-Cat course, William Pilling skippered his boat, Meander, to a repeat atop the standings with four points after cruising to the front spot during the last two races. Pilling was followed by longtime LEHYC member Ken Klaus, who sailed Rub-A-Dub to a trio of third-place finishes and nine points, and Kevin Smith aboard Cheshire Cat with 11 points.

In the A-Cat division, Andrew Groff cruised SPY to first place with four points, followed closely by Bob Kavacs and Raven with five points and John Coyle with his boat, Ghost, in third with nine points. The Lightning class was won by Justin Coplan and his boat, Nautalytics, with four points, followed by Surf City Yacht Club’s Richard Warren aboard Touch of Grey, in second place with 12, and Matthew Reiser and USA 15197, in third with 13.

“I love coming back here,” Johnson said. “They always put on a great event, with a great party on the first night, and it always has great competitors. It’s one of the best regattas of the year. I love this club.”

Event coordinator Peggy Kershaw said it was disappointing not to get in any races on Saturday’s first day of competition, but she couldn’t be happier with the way things turned out.

“It’s a big deal for us,” she said. “We have a lot of proud people who take this event very seriously, and we always do our best to make the sailors comfortable so they can enjoy their weekend with us. We have a big party on Saturday night, but this event is really all about the sailing. Today, we had nice weather and good wind, so it turned out great.”

— David Biggy

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