Buzzards Bay Regatta sets sail in Padanaram

By Douglas McCulloch | Aug 04, 2017
Photo by: Douglas McCulloch Christopher Murray's Lucky in the J/70 race.

For Peter Seidenberg, there’s no upper age limit to enjoy sailing.

At 79 years old, he has 12 Laser Masters World Championship wins to his name – and he’s aiming for his 13th in September. He was one of 27 competitors in the Buzzards Bay Regatta’s Laser Masters class, held in the waters of Padanaram from August 4-7.

“It was ideal sailing conditions today, although wind shifts did make it challenging,” Seidenberg said after four races on the first day of the competition. “To recognize which direction to sail on is the name of the game.”

Seidenberg’s love of sailing began in the 1950s, when his stepfather introduced him to the sport in his native Germany. Since then, he’s enjoyed both racing competitively and recreationally, most recently finding his niche in the laser class. He’s raced in every Laser Masters World Championship since the early 1980s, sticking with the class for its simplicity in design and complexity in handling. He keeps sailing as motivation to stay fit.

For 16-year-old Tyler Schnauck, sailing is a relatively new endeavor, but that hasn’t stopped him from being the highest ranked kiteboarder heading into the regatta in its first year of hosting a kiteboarding event. He began kiteboarding a little over a year ago after he and his father watched a group of sailors on Cuttyhunk Island.

“We saw it and knew we had to try it,” Schnauck said.

He’s been kiteboarding ever since with his father John – both New Bedford Yacht Club members and Marshfield residents.

“I just practice whenever I can,” Schnauck said.

The annual regatta, which alternates locations between Dartmouth and Marion, attracts sailors from around the world. Over 142 boats and 30 kiteboarders compete in the three-day regatta in Padanaram Harbor, according to Race Director Forrest Williams. The event also doubles as championship races for several classes, including the J/70 Corinthian National Championship.

Before the skippers meeting, Mark Lindquist prepped his crew of six for the J/105 race, along with four others in the class. Even though Lindquist will compete against them, he personally knows most of his fellow sailors.

“The fleet is really tight-knit,” Lindquist explained. “We always share information and tips.”

Among his crew is Brian O’Neil, Rex Cameron, John Aubrecht, and Wendy Goodwin. They’ve been on Lindquist’s boat for several years, growing up exposed to sailing through family connections.

“It’s a generational thing. I learned from my parents who learned from their parents,” Goodwin explained.

Cameron added that he remembers growing up in California aboard his father’s boat, piloting his own small boat suspended off a fishing hook on the stern.

Racing action is set to continue on Saturday and Sunday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. To view a complete list of results from the regatta, visit buzzardsbayregatta.com.

Mark Lindquist's boat, the Sterling, in the J/105 race. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Nicole Breault's Good Trade in the J/105 race. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Crew members balance a boat during one of the races. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Boats with deployed spinnakers during a J/70 race. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
Matthew & Lisa Schmitt's Hardtack makes a tight turn along with Mark Lindquist's Sterling. (Photo by: Douglas McCulloch)
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