Beetle News

July 4, 2019

The 2109 summer Beetle racing began as eight boats sailed in shifty air on the third pond for the annual July 4th Cup Race. The wind shifted dramatically in the first race on a modified triangle course. Bill Boll played shifts well and won the first race, and won the day overall with 4.75 points.

Nonie Price played the shifts well and won the second race, and was second for the day with 5.75 points. Jason Gefaell sailing with his twins, won the third race. Jason switched skippering with his brother,John, and the two came in third for the day with 12.75 points.

July 7, 2019

For the first race of the 2019 July Series, there was a strong north-by-northeast breeze on the third pond as eight boats competed in four races. In the first race, it looked like Nonie Price was going to break the Bill Boll monopoly as she came in first. Lucas Wiatroski, skippering Geri Abdoo’s boat as Geri crewed, sailed well and came in second. Bill Boll was third. This unusual third-place finish must have motivated Bill, because he won the next next three races, which gave him 5.75 points to win the day.

Lucas Wiatrowski, in Geri Abdoo’s Holly Golightly, edged Nonie Price out for second place for the day with 13 points (a second, third, third and a fifth). Nonie, with Lucas’s brother, Adam, as crew, had 13.75 for the day with a first, a fourth, a fifth and a fourth.

In the last race, without the dead weight of Charlie Warner, Julia Bradford, with svelte crew Margaret Phillips, came in second.

The record for family participation in Beetle racing goes to the Wiatrowski family: Lucas skippering Geri Abdoo’s boat, brother Adam crewing for Nonie Price and mother, Amy, crewing for Steve Glovinsky, who was fourth for the day.

July 14, 2019

On  a beautiful day in medium, shifty air with six boats racing on the third pond, Bill Boll again won the day with a third, two firsts and a second for a total of 6.5 points for the day.  Nonie Price, sailing with Adam Wiatrowski as crew, was close behind Bill Boll for the day with 7.75 points (a first, two seconds and a third).  It was good to have Richard Chase and his crew Anne Earle back on the pond, and Richard celebrated his return with a second, a fifth, a sixth and a first to come in third for the day with 13.75 points.

July 27, 2019

On a gorgeous Saturday in light southwest breezes, the instructors who ran the races set Course #6 (the course with two gates), which the Beetle fleet welcomed.  Richard Chase, who has been improving steadily each week, won the day with two firsts and a fourth to end the day with 5.5 points.  Geri Abdoo sailed well with a fifth, second and first to come in second for the day with 7.75 points, barely edging out Bill Boll who had 8 points (a second, a third and a third).

Trophies for the July Series were handed out Saturday evening at the July Awards ceremony to Bill Boll, first place with 22 points for July; Geri Abdoo, second place with 43.75 points; and Nonie Price with 44.5 points. This is the first time that two women Beetle skippers have won trophies for a monthly series.  Congratulations to Geri and Nonie.

August 4, 2019

Conditions were perfect, with a steady westerly 10-15 breeze.  The course was a very quick windward-leeward-windward, with four races sailed for the day.  10 boats – the most for the summer so far – were on the starting line in the first race, joined by an 11th, Brook Horgan, for races 2 and 3.

Most of the fleet clustered together, making the windward mark treacherous.  The finish also had many nail-biters, including a recurring duel in mid-fleet where Lucas Wiatrowski, skippering Geri Abdoo’s boat, and Steve Glovinsky with Amy Wiatrowski, took turns beating each other by inches.

The usual winners were consistent, but not in the usual order.  The winner in three out of the four races (some by many lengths) was Nonie Price, assisted by her able crew Abby Wiatrowski.  Richard Chase and Anne Earle took the other first, with Nonie second.  The overall results for the top scorers were Nonie with 4.25 points, Richard with 11.75, and Bill Boll and Ginger Crawford, with 16.

August 10-11, 2019 – the Leo

Over the August 10-11 weekend Weekapaug Yacht Club hosted the Leo Telesmanick Regatta – the annual chance to grab lots of trophies.  We had a great turnout of 22 boats, including nine skipper-crew pairs from off the pond – the Cape, Edgewood, Westport MA and even two from New Hampshire.

The weather was perfect, with the wind providing the fleet with a full range of challenges – 90 and 180-degree shifts, gusts over 20, and everything in between.  The four races on Saturday were sailed in steadily increasing wind, starting out light and shifty for the first, slowly increasing in intensity for the second, reaching to 1-capsize strength by the third, and topping out at 2-capsize strength and a breakdown for the fourth.  Day two was a milder but tricky Northwesterly breeze, with some very lucky lifts for a few.

The Race Committee, Ted and Richard Sherman heroically managed to keep the starting line square as the wind decided which way it was blowing, and did an excellent job of keeping at least some of the starters from clumping up at the Committee boat.  There were numerous port-tack starts, which made for a very interesting first few minutes after the gun.  On the first race most of the fleet headed for the flats, and when the first boats reached everyone turned like a school of fish, except for one unsuspecting starboard tacker on the outside who got T-boned (no major damage).  The last race on Sunday was also noteworthy for the first place finishers, who lapped the rest of the field and reached the line by weaving through the fleet. Emily Ferguson, our class photographer, took lots of action shots, available at

The Weekapaug racers demonstrated their local knowledge by winning six of the seven races: Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford had three and Ryan and Brianna Travers, Julia Bradford/Brooke Horgan and Steve Glovinsky (me!)/Amy Wiatrowski had one each.  Jeff and Hope Lanphear from Edgewood took the first race.  Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford, Bill and Liz Adams and Richard Chase/Anne Earle took overall honors for first, second and third.  All the results will be posted on the NEBCBA website and linked from the Beetle Cat Sailors Facebook page, which we encourage you all to join if you haven’t already.

Off the race course, the Annual Meeting, convened by NEBCBA Chairman Bob Hawes, almost broke the record (held by Wells Pile) for fastest meeting ever.  The Weekapaug team (Julia Bradford, Geri Abdoo, and many helpers) served up great refreshments, lunches and lobster dinners.  The first place trophies were 3D printer-generated Beetle half-hulls produced by Ted Sherman and printed by Tom Kligerman’s shop.  Charlie Warner and Julia contributed the Leo posters, suitable for framing, for the participants’ gift.  A very special half-hull went to Michelle Buoniconto, who was stuck in the shop but was well represented by her boss Bill Womack.  Crash boat helpers Brian Abdoo, Rick Wiatrowski and Head Instructors Sam Johnsen and Julia Haidar were put to good use ferrying participants and rescuing capsizers.  And Ted Sherman excelled as the Master of Ceremonies.

Special thanks go to Leslie Sutton, Debbie and Dave Bell, Susan Kelly and the Mystic Seaport Museum (Shannon McKensie and Dawn Miller) for courageously lending us Beetles, which allowed five off-the-pond sailors to participate without the worry of trailering their own boats.

The best thing about having so many racers is that no matter how far behind the leaders you are there is always someone to challenge.   Plus the camaraderie of getting together with your fellow Beetle-nuts from the far corners of Beetledom.  The Leo is always a very special event to look forward to in the middle of summer every year.

Weekapaug now hands off to Edgewood Yacht Club for the next great opportunity to grab lots of trophies, as we close in on the 100th celebration in Chatham in 2021.

Back to the August racing series, the relative places of the 13 Weekapaug racers for the three races held on Sunday will count for the week’s finishes.  The results, posted on the WYC Beetle Racing Results, have Steve Glovinsky/Amy Wiatrowski tied for first with Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford, with 7 ¾ points each, and Bill and Liz Adams in third with 10 points.

August 18, 2019

After the excitement of the Leo, today’s races went the other way.  Owing to the memorial service for Melinda Walsh at 4:00, the planned competition with Watch Hill was scrubbed, and six and sometimes seven boats showed up for three short but sweet races on second pond.  Winds were a gentle 5-10 out of the west, and Ted Sherman set Course 4 (triangle-windward).

Breezes were relatively steady, and other than a few surprise bursts of speed and some very close calls at the finish, the races were relatively uneventful.  Nonie Price/Adam Wiatrowski won the day with a second, first and third, and Bill and Liz Adams came second with a third, fourth and first.  Jason Gafaell and kids took first in the first race, skipped the second race to swap out his crew and came in second in the third race, for third place overall.

The August series is shaping up nicely so far, with Nonie/Adam ahead in the series, and Bill/Liz and Richard/Anne tied for second.  Tune in next Saturday to see how it turns out.

August 24, 2019

The last four races of the August series were sailed by seven boats in a breezy easterly on third pond, with a Course 4 (triangle-windward) and a long upwind leg almost to the breachway channel marker.  The first race saw Lucas Wiatrowski, sailing Geri Abdoo’s boat with his sister Lindsey win his first race by taking a long flyer on the right side of the course.  They sailed in contention through the other three races.  With four active sailing siblings one could see a potential Wiatrowski domination of the fleet down the road.

The second race was won by Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford, while Richard Chase/Anne Earle took the third and fourth, earning low-point boat honors for the day.

At the awards ceremony, the winners of the August series were – first: Nonie Price/Adam Wiatrowski; second: Richard and Anne; third: Bill and Liz Adams.  2019 season honors were – first: Bill and Ginger; second: Nonie and Adam; third: Richard and Anne.  The Bradford Trophy, for the most outstanding Beetle sailor, was shared by the Wiatrowski brothers, our up-and-coming star skippers and crew.  Congratulations to all!

The level of competition has gone steadily up over the years – Weekapaug took the top four spots at the Leo – making for some very exciting sailing.  No one sailor dominated this year, which bodes well for many very exciting races in the future.

September 1, 2019 – the Labor Day race

The last races of the 2019 season were sailed on the traditional course around edges of Third Pond, with the third race ending across the pond at Judges’ rock.  Eight boats competed in an easterly breeze.  The first race was a triangle-windward course from near Shelter Harbor to Bill’s Island with a reach mark in front of Shady Harbor.  Lucas and Lindsey Wiatrowski repeated their last week’s first place, following the favored right side of the course.  The fleet turned around for the second race with a downwind start to the Shady Harbor mark, two reaches to Nopes Island and back, and a final upwind leg.  Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford won that one, but there was some drama early on as Lucas Wiatrowski’s tiller snapped and dad Rick, sister Abby (and dog Lincoln) in the chase boat performed an Olympic Relay pass with the spare tiller from Nonie’s boat.  The third race ended on a long downwind run across the pond to Judges’ rock, and was won by Bill and Liz Adams.

The long course proved challenging, and finishes were relatively inconsistent. Nonie Price/Adam Wiatrowski took first with 8 points (2,4,2), while a 3-way tie for second, at 11.75 points, was decided on the order of the final finishers, leaving Bill and Liz Adams in second place, and Bill Boll/Ginger Crawford in third (and Lucas/Lindsey in fourth.)