Diane Chase

Marblehead (Mass.) July 26, 2002 — The Cressy name is one that figures often in the history of the Sailing World NOOD at Marblehead Race Week. Norm Cressy of Marblehead–who is sailing his 54th Race Week this year–remembers the many phases of this 113-year-old event, both in its glorious hey days when hundreds of boats competed, and when participation slid to thinner ranks. But Cressy stayed with the event through all its guises–and has taken so many wins at Race Week that he has likely lost count. But this year, it is another Cressy’s turn to shine.

After three races, Cressy’s son Jonathan–with co-skipper Steve Cucchiaro–is tied for the lead in the 36-boat Sonar class. Stewart Neff and Henry Brauer of Marblehead share the first-place standing in the Sonar class.

“Today, it was the team,” said Cressy, as friends and competitors came by to congratulate his standing. “Everyone did their job–and they did it well.” According to Cressy, the crew on SLEUTH II consistently finishes in the top-5. But today, smooth crew work gave them the edge.


For Jonathan Cressy, there is one more reason to celebrate at this Race Week. He is a dad of a seven-week-old son–and those who know the family know that soon, there will be another generation to embark onto the Race Week scene. Jonathan, for one, is looking forward to that time: “About seven years from now, he’ll likely be out here too. . . “

Sailors from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland sailed the second day of this four-day regatta in 7- to 14-knot winds from the East. According to many, there were few shifts in wind direction today–and few chances to make gains by the changing angles of the breeze.

Although there are many skippers who have sailed this event for decades, there is one skipper who is sailing Race Week for the first time. Ken MacLeod of Quincy (Mass.) is leading the Thunderbird class. The Thunderbird, a boat just shy of 26 feet and first launched in the 1950s, is making its Race Week debut his year. The class has drawn a fleet of eight boats.


For MacLeod, Thunderbird sailing is something he inherited. His father home-built MacLeod’s FLYING GULL in 1967, and the boat was designed to be affordable and capable of being constructed from plywood by an amateur builder. Many of the Thunderbirds racing today were born in garages–and not in boat yards.

The class has drawn a group of like-minded individuals to Marblehead. “It’s the boat, and the people who sail them,” says MacLeod, explaining why Thunderbird racers here at Race Week have kept their boats for two, even three, generations. “We race and cruise these boats–and we sail together. We see each other in winter and summer, with February pot-luck-dinner parties and summer cruises–and now, with Race Week. I think this event may be a new tradition for us.”

Two skippers who were tied for class leads going into today’s racing have edged ahead of their competition in the standings. Jeremy Bloxham of Marblehead now leads the Rhodes 19 class by 5 points; Marblehead skipper Bruce Dyson has captured a leading edge in the IOD class, by 5 points.


Race Week sailors face two more days of competition before the series concludes with a prize-giving ceremony, on Sunday evening, at Eastern Yacht Club. Twelve classes are competing at the NOOD at Marblehead Race Week, a four-day event hosted by the Boston, Corinthian, and Eastern yacht clubs.

The NOOD (National Offshore One-Design) regattas are owned and organized by Sailing World magazine of Newport (R.I.). In Marblehead, hosts Boston, Eastern, and Corinthian yacht clubs and site sponsor Alpha Omega are joined by support sponsors Frederiksen, Hall Spars & Rigging, Marlow Ropes, Mount Gay Rum, North Sails, Raymarine, Ronstan, Samuel Adams and The Boston Beer Company, and Sunsail.

RESULTS (top 3 in each class):
NOTE: Complete results and photos can be found at


[Skipper,Hometown, Boat Name, Points]

CORINTHIAN (7 boats)
1) Rob Vener, Marblehead, MA, Cerulean, 2
2) Don Yeaple, Marblehead, MA, Nepenthe, 4
3) Katherine van Dyke, Salem, MA, Vickary, 6

DAYSAILER (8 boats)
1) Brian Bush, Westboro, MA, Ramona, 8
2) Natalie Coleman-Fuller, West Hartford, CT, Odile, 9
3) Bob Lemaire, Wolfeboro, NH, RUNAWAY, 10

ETCHELLS (23 boats)
1) William Douglass, Marblehead, MA, Valkyrie, 17
2) Peter Duncan, Rye, NY, Spot, 19
3) Hefler/Hitchcock, Dorchester, MA, CHEMICAL IMBALANCE, 20

IOD (14 boats)
1) Bruce Dyson, Marblehead, MA, GYPSY, 7
2) Kenneth Drewry, Marblehead, MA, SMALL HOTEL, 12
3) Danielle Ames/Widnall, Lexington, MA, JAVELIN, 16

J 24 (29 boats)
1) Mark Toso, Wenham, MA, HIGH FIVE, 6
2) Paul Adam, Beverly, MA, Irie, 7
3) Christopher W. Clancy, Scituate, MA, Fruit Cakes, 12

RHODES 19 (38 boats)
1) Jeremy Bloxham, Marblehead, MA, JUMBLY, 7
2) Michael Carpenter, Reading, MA, You Sexy Thing!, 12
3) Doug Trees/Shan McAdoo, Hamilton, MA, SWINGROOM, 15

SONAR (36 boats)
1/tie) Stephen Cucchiaro/Johnathan Cressy, Charlestown, MA, Sleuth II, 5
1/tie) Stewart P. Neff/Henry Brauer, Marblehead, MA, HUP TWO, 5
3) Bill Lynn, Marblehead, MA, TBD, 14

1) Ken MacLeod, Quincy, MA, Flying Gull, 5
2) Sean Kane, Dorchester, MA, Chikanery, 6
3) Peter Gilson, Newtonville, MA, Amr’a, 8

TOWNCLASS (7 boats)
1) Jane R. Cooke, Marblehead, MA, AUFBLITZEN, 7
2/tie) Jim Cooke, Marblehead, MA, ELUSIVE, 10
2/tie) Arthur O’Neill, Swampscott, MA, FROLIC, 10

VIPER 640 (10 boats)
1) Rob Gorman, Marblehead, MA, UFO, 4
2) Seamus & Kate Hourihan, Boxford, MA, SNAKE, RATTLE & ROLL, 5
3) Philip Smith, Marblehead, MA, Blue Venom, 10