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Jul 9, 2019 12:16 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Dalmasse Sisters Win This Year's Smith Point Races

Bob Hadden and George Sandberg position their SS boat just prior to the start of the Smith Point Races on Sunday. DREW BUDD
Jul 9, 2019 2:03 PM

For the first time in three years, there was a new winner crowned in the Smith Point Races.

Denise and Deb Dalmasse unseated Rob Dudley and Jim Ewing on Sunday to win the races that include the SS Class of antique, wooden, local, gaff rigged sailboats. The Dalmasse sisters had tied Dudley and Ewing last season for first, but this is the first time since 2015 that Dudley and Ewing didn’t win a least a portion of the trophy. They tied for second place with Ian Holzmacher and Chris Demarco. Bod Hadden and George Sandberg finished fourth while Abby and Ian Connett finished fifth.

Rob Dudley, commodore of the SS Class Association, said the weather turned out to be beautiful following what had been ominous weather reports in the morning of rain and high gusts. But the sun came out and challenging shifting northeast to east winds made for a pair of competitive races.

The Smith Point Races originally got its name due to the fact that the race would end under the Smith Point Bridge in Shirley. The course was changed more than 20 years ago due to the high volume of boat traffic and different tide formations in that area. The boats now follow a unique course setup that could be likened to a sports car rally, having to navigate through shallow waters and sometimes tricky sandbars. The rules of more common sailing are modified so that crews can exit their boat and enter the water in case they are grounded by a sandbar.

The first race on Sunday went up into Seatuck Cove, exploring north into the reaches of Seatuck Creek. The second race was shorter, out in the open Moriches Bay and was a windward/leeward race where the boats stayed closely competitive from start to finish. All races started and ended in Moriches Bay out in front of Westhampton Yacht Squadron in Remsenburg.

“After the races there was some storytelling about past boats, sailing adventures and boatbuilders with veteran sailors and boatbuilders present, and tales of the Smith’s Point Trophy Races which have been run since 1925,” Dudley said. “Also there was admiration, photographing and discussion about the newly restored boats that showed up for the races.”

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