Sloops on the line in the Friendship Sloop Society's 24th annual Southwest Harbor Rendezvous and Race Saturday. PHOTO COURTESY OF PAULA DOWSLAND

Gladiator wins Friendship Sloop prelim



SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Gladiator, an original Friendship sloop built in 1902 hailing from Friendship, won the Southwest Harbor Friendship Sloop Rendezvous for the second year in a row.

Besting 15 other sloops, Gladiator led for the entire race from Sand Point on Greenings around the Bear Island bell buoy, around the Greenings Ledge buoy and back.

Gladiator, skippered by Andy Zuber, is owned by his parents, Bill and Caroline Zuber of Friendship. The boat Endeavor came in second, skippered by Skip Fraley and owned by Betsey Holtzmann of Southwest Harbor.

Salatia, owned by Miff Lauriat and his wife Marjory Russakoff of Southwest Harbor and skippered by Lauriat, took the bronze.

Lauriat, the race’s co-founder and coordinator, billed the event as a low-key, fun circumnavigation of Greenings Island. “No entry fee, no handicaps, no trophies … just a lot of good fun and pretty sights for spectators while sailing the glorious waters off Mount Desert Island,” Lauriat said.

This was the 24th annual Southwest Harbor rendezvous and race for the gaff-rigged sloops.

A light breeze was blowing northwest at the 1 p.m. start, he said. “The ebbing tide at the first mark made for some tricky maneuvering. A warm breeze blowing southwest filled in and gave the fleet a nice little beat home around the Greenings Ledge buoy to the finish.”

This year, boats from as far as Buzzards Bay, Mass., joined vessels from Boothbay, Lincolnville and Friendship to cruise to Mount Desert Island. In all, 20 boats gathered in Southwest Harbor for the event. Will Ratcliff and Shane Dowsland of the Hinckley Company hosted the visitors.

Norman Sanborn skippered Janneka Neilson’s lobster yacht Cinchona as committee boat, assisted by Dick Salter of Manchester, Mass., and Ralph Stanley of Southwest Harbor.

All boats finished within 30 minutes of each other. Some continued to enjoy the afternoon before gathering at the post-race party hosted by Holtzmann and her son Abe Noyes.

Some of the boats stopped at a Pulpit Harbor Rendezvous on Tuesday of this week before heading to the Friendship Sloop Society’s (FSS) largest gathering, the 56th Annual Homecoming Rendezvous and Races at Rockland July 21-23. The annual meeting of the FSS is set for Nov. 19 in South Portland.

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