Trippe Creek Penguin Frostbite Regatta

The Thompson Family welcomed the Penguin Class to their homestead for the third annual Trippe Creek Penguin Frostbite Regatta on November 12, 2016.This continues a tradition started 28 years ago when Bill Lane and David Cox approached Billís parents about hosting an end-of-season regatta at the elder Laneís house on the Upper Miles, known as the UMPFR (pronounced ump-fer).Little did William and Alice Lane realize as a flock of Penguins descended on their property that they were starting a tradition that has become the largest event in the Penguin universe and has continued without interruption to this day.The Laneís hosted the event for 15 years when the mantle was passed to the Corkran family and event was held at their home on the Island Creek, and became affectionately known as the Icey Puffer.After ten years, the event was looking for a new home and Jim Thompson, who had no direct involvement in the Penguin fleet, welcomed us to his home on the Trippe Creek and the event is now known as the TC Puffer.With a healthy turnout of Penguins, 21 this year, and even more spectators than sailors, you know they are doing something right.Maybe it is the Bloody Maryís and breakfast buffet available before the races, or the freshly shucked raw or roasted oysters after racing, or the outdoor firepit for warming, even though the frostbite label was a bit of a misnomer this year, or the plethora of food and drink provided by the hosts, sailors, and guests that was available throughout.Maybe it was the low key atmosphere of the event, summarized by PRO Tot OíMara who explained the courses as if you see two marks it is windward leeward, if you see three it is a triangle, and donít bother reading the sailing instructions because there arenít any.Maybe it was the family nature of the event with many multi-family boats represented, or the large number of junior crew, who got a chance to shine in the mandatory crew race, which is counted in the scoring.The weather didnít hurt, with a gorgeous clear day with temperatures in the mid 50ís with a gentle, but fickle northwest breeze.

The racing was marked by dramatic wind shifts, puffs and holes, and general confusion at some of the marks as boats became becalmed, only to be passed by nearby boats in a completely different breeze.Mike Rajacich won the Puck up award, for his inadvertent capsize between race 1 and 2.After a quick response by one of the many rescue/spectator boats, he was back on the water for race 4.He was one of the three boats sailing solo, so his crew (ballast) didnít complain.Mike and Rachel Hecky, a father-daughter team didnít win any races, but avoided any deep races to take the Turkey Bowl, donated by Anne-Lise Fink in memory of her husband Walter.Second went to Jeff Cox sailing with his young son Ian.Jeff won the Penguin Atlantic Coast Championship, which excluded the crew race in the scoring.The crew race victors were Will Donald, who sailed with David Cox, and second went to Campbell Conway, who sailed with her dad Chris.The skippers whose crew chose not to helm took a one minute starting penalty.

Special thanks to Jim Thompson and his daughter Holly for organizing and hosting the event and to Veronica Wainwright for her help overseeing the large food operation.Results are posted at the Penguin Class website,


Preparing the oysters.

Firing up one of the grills.

The McAllister Clan, William, Sandy, and Spencer, with Annie Bartlett.

Regatta winners Mike and Rachel Hecky.

Getting ready to start.Looks like the boat might be favored.

View from the Thompson Homestead of Penguins racing on Trippe Creek.

Back to the garage until next year.