By Don Gregory
Jim Daniels – Skipper – Jim was a gentleman we cruised along with the racers. He sure knew his way around SECRET. Warren Hunt drove the HUNTRESS. He wanted to win and let you know it too. I spent eight years with Warren, in the two segments. He was a hard task master but a jovial skipper in port. He was right, the mast didn’t break. When Warren went to Detroit, his brother Jack Hunt took me on as standby crew. On our first Erie-Dover his oldest son Dan ran the foredeck on ARRIBA on the last day, Maitland to Buffalo, I flew the chute. We gained steadily on our sister ship owned by Bill Cass. When we overtook her, my buttons almost popped!
THERMIS under Karl Smithers was most memorable. A “sailor’s sailor”. Karl had eyes in the back of his head and a sense of feel and direction in his fingers. He wasn’t called “Mr. Lightning” for so many years for nothing!
PRESSURE VESSEL skippered by Bob Adams was a fine experience. He knew what he wanted and knew he was right, a comfort in times of stress on a course race in Erie. One year it was 96 degrees and rain came down in buckets. It was hairy for the lookout, but fun, fun, fun!
CHANTICLER under Warren Alcock was an experience. As a fill – in crew a few times, it was something to behold to see Warren and his son Steve go “at it”, WOW, did the fury fly! A very memorable experience was when I flew the chute with
David Andersen on the winch. We plowed, we rolled, the chute held and we advanced like gangbusters!
Memories flow after many years! Two stick out; both involve Barney Welsh of BYC. Becalmed off Long Point in hot and buggy weather, Barney took a swim off Simone’s transom, but couldn’t climb back on board. Out went a line from the boom and Barney was winched up and hauled aboard to be eased, drunk as he was, into the cockpit.
A few years later, Barney sailed his brand new Luders 32 along the seawall at the start, out of the cut, in Erie, trying to gain position. Unfortunately a cut wave washed him against the starboard wall. The scraping to his brand new paint job sounded like a tornado!