Fireworks, Dance Band, and Airshow all Part of the Second Annual Penobscot Bay Rendezvous

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Camden, Maine:  What a party! The second annual Penobscot Bay Rendezvous is on the map as one of the East Coast’s best regattas for power and sail. Fifty-four sail and powerboats gathered August 16-19 for the four-night three-day event co-hosted by Wayfarer Marine and Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding. This was a substantial increase from last year’s participation of 37 boats and organizers expect the growth to continue as the word spreads about the fun of this regatta. The inaugural Penobscot Bay Rendezvous was recognized by Yachting Magazine as one of the Year’s Best events for good reason; 26 of the 37 skippers from the 2011 fleet participated in the 2012 event.

The event kicked off with 300 participants and members of the Ocean Cruising Club gathering at Lyman-Morse. Guests were among the first to see Kiwi Spirit, the new Farr 63 being built for Stanley Paris whose goal with Kiwi Spirit is to break Dodge Morgan’s round the world, solo and unassisted record. Mr. Paris’ presentation Thursday night was one of the highlights of the weekend. Popular local food trucks Uproot Pie and Matt & Renna’s served fresh-from-the-oven pizzas and Italian street food and Maine Coast Catering’s oyster and seafood bar got the party going before a dinner of grilled chicken and assorted salads and fresh grilled veggies. A spectacular fireworks display announced the end of a fun first night!

The Texas Flying Legends airshow was a new attraction to this year’s schedule. A B-25 – Betty’s Dream, P-40K – Aleutian Tiger, P-51D – Dakota Kid II, FG-1D Corsair – Whistling Death, and A6-M2 Japanese Zero – Last Samurai performed heart racing maneuvers – many below mast height for the awestruck fleet and the many onlookers on shore. The airshow was followed up by the start of the sailboat racing.

Sailboat racing this year featured six classes including two new additional classes: a Single-Hand Class and the Officially Unofficial J160 Worlds! The sailboat fleet was again artfully managed by PRO Ted Smith. Ben Ellison, the Powerboat Fleet Guide ushered the powerboat fleet through a day of photography. The primary challenge of Friday’s Photo Pursuit was to take fine pictures of each other's yachts while underway and framed by worthy local scenery like Owl's Head Light. Other photo opportunities on Friday included the action around the Texas Flying Legends airshow, the sailboat race starts and the remarkable variety of working waterfront subjects to be found in the nooks and crannies of Rockland Harbor.

After a sunny and excellent day of sailing and powerboating off Rockland harbor, Friday night’s post-event party for the regatta was held at Rockland’s The Pearl on the Pier restaurant. The tradition of handing out Yellow Jerseys and a showing of photos from the powerboat fleet continued this year. Winning skippers were presented with a brilliant yellow jersey with the requirement that they or a member of their crew must wear the jersey during the following day’s competition. (A la Tour de France, fellow competitors can easily spot the boat to beat! ) The Crew Party ended at 6pm so participants could tuck into Rockland’s many excellent restaurants. Bernie Blum of Inbox a FH39 commented that “It doesn’t get any better than this – great sailing, an airshow – a really well organized event. It is a great time.”

Saturday was again beautiful but a bit short in the breeze department so the fleet and race committee maintained their patience and focus in getting to Camden. The powerboat fleet had a much easier time. It was the perfect day for them to cruise across Penobscot Bay to North Haven where they enjoyed a sumptuous brunch at Nebo Lodge.

Saturday night’s festivities took place at Wayfarer Marine in Camden. Stephens Waring Yacht Design sponsored the cocktail party and this year displayed Ginger a stunningly beautiful daysailer. Competitors had admired her on the race course and loved seeing the boat up close and talking to the designers Bob Stephens and Paul Waring. Cocktails were followed by a surf and turf dinner by Maine Coast Catering. Groove Authority rocked the house until curfew. “We had to come once we heard of the event,” Dan Alsono of Cheyenne, Wy, aboard Halcyon, a Hallberg-Rassy 49, “We love Maine and Camden so we just had to come.”

Sunday was again gorgeous and with more breeze so the competition ended strong. The Powerboat fleet was joined by Ben Fuller, curator of the Penobscot Marine Museum, who gave a guided tour of Islesboro’s historic and glamorous waterfront.

The Awards Ceremony capped off the weekend. Apropos to Maine, the First Place Trophy was a custom-designed lobster buoy of mahogany and Sitka spruce. Second Place was a plaque designed by local artist Richard Remsen and the Third Place a fleece blanket from Rockland’s Embroidery Shop. In addition, “Awards of Distinction” were given to those stand-out participants. For instance:

Can’t Get There from Here
Dan Alonzo, of Cheyenne, WY, Halcyon, Hallberg Rassy 49
Prize:  a Chart Kit and Embassy guide

Longest Distance Traveled to Participate
Olaf & Diane Litjens of the Netherlands on Hassebas, Shipman 63
Prize: Francine Bistro gift certificate, Chart Kit and Embassy Guide

Hardest boat to classify:
Bruce & Dorsey Beard, normally on Esmeralde, Sabre 386 but this year here with Bambi, an aluminum 16ft Airstream. Ted wouldn’t let them race due to seaworthiness and buoyancy concerns-
Prize: Clean Bee Gift Certificate

Masters Award for Senior Sailor
Burt Keenan on Acadia, Frers Custom 50
Prize: Clean Bee gift certificate, and Embassy Guide.  Clean Bee will professionally care for Burt’s Hawaiian shirt collection.

Best Performance by Women’s Helmsperson –
Judy Jellineck,  September Morning, J160
Prize: Josephine & Beauty Mark Spa gift basket and gift certificate and an Embassy Guide


Click below for the Race Results:


In the Photo Pursuit Contest

Honorable Mention
Hank and Rebecca Jonas, On Rush, Grand Banks Eastbay 43

Third Place:
George Sayre and Doris Smart , Clewless  Arundel 27

Second Place:
Robert & Susan Griffin, Intandem, Grand Banks Eastbay 49

First Place:
Emmet and Carolyn Horgan, Blue Sora II, Grand Banks Europa 41

Whether a sponsor or participant all are excited for next year’s event. “This event is destined to be one of the premier regattas on the East coast,” said Paul Waring, principal of Stephens Waring Yacht Design, one of the six Commodore sponsors. “We are really pleased to be a part of it.”

Join us next year! August 15-18, 2013

The Penobscot Bay Rendezvous welcomes both the hard-core sailor as well as the recreational sailor who is not so competitive or concerned with getting around the marks first but would like to join in a new activity on the water. Ted Smith the Rendezvous’ Primary Racing Officer assigned everyone to his or her desired class so that everyone participates at his or her level of intensity. In other words, super yachts to daysailers are encouraged to participate. Skippers can recruit rock stars and pile on the rail meat or you can spend the day in the cruising class, leisurely going from mark to mark and join in the festivities each evening.

Ben Ellison, long time Maine cruiser and photojournalist is the go-to-guy for the weekend’s powerboat owners and guests while accompanying the fleet aboard his Duffy 37 Gizmo.  Powerboaters will participate in two days of a Photo Pursuit and a Poker Run. What is a Photo Pursuit? First of all it is not a race but a challenge to take memorable digital photographs from your boat. This is a great event whether you have been cruising Penobscot Bay for years or are visiting the area during your summer cruise.
Saturday’s course will include more powerboat photography, this time at speed, as the fleet crosses the Bay to the Vinalhaven and North Haven area. The Sunday Poker Run is the final on the water event for powerboaters. Part exploration, part artistic endeavor, part history, organizers will make sure that each day's Photo Pursuit is one to remember.
Each afternoon, contestants will download their best images with a team of Photo Pursuit Techies who will create a slide show of the day’s images. Well-known marine photographers Billy Black of Newport and Jamie Bloomquist of Maine Boats Homes & Harbors and US Harbors, as well as Lincolnville's Joseph Corrado and others, will choose the top three photographers for Sunday’s Awards Ceremony.

With much thanks and appreciation, the event also received continued sponsorships from Allen Insurance and Financial, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Stephens Waring Yacht Design, Hub International, Lincoln Financial, The First, The First Advisors, Awlgrip, Mars Keel, Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce, Billy Black Photography, East Coast Yacht Sales, Thompson & Bowie, Cordijia Capital Projects Group, Jaret & Cohn Real Estate, Camden Riverhouse, JBL Marine, Inc, Thomaston Place Auction Galleries, Fiore Olive Oils, the Slipway Restaurant, Point Lookout Resorts and the Embroidery Shop. Media Partners: Maine Boats Homes & Harbors Magazine, Yachting Magazine, Cruising World Magazine and Points East Magazine.

For more information and pictures from the event, please visit

By Ocean Navigator