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Cocktail Class Wooden Boat Racing Association Email Us

Update from our Grand Poobah

Hail, fellow Cocktail Class racers!  I am filled with a mix of great excitement and a little trepidation at assuming the role of Commodore. Fortunately, I have had the opportunity to work closely for the past two years with Rich Faulkner, and expect to lean heavily on both Rich and Curt Bluefeld. Thanks again, Rich, for your terrific work as Commodore!!!

As we head rapidly through March, many of us are likely refinishing our boats, polishing up motors (or on the hunt for new ones!), and dreaming of warmer water. The lucky few that participated in the Governor’s Cup and Lake Placid races experienced the terrific hospitality and weather of Florida, not to mention are now prepared for a fast start in Urbanna!

Speaking of Urbanna, our hearts go out to the townspeople who experienced a tragic marina fire in late February. An elderly couple died in the blaze and the main section of the Marina was destroyed. Chris Riddick believes that Urbanna will still be ready for the May Cup, but we will let everyone know quickly if that date is forced to change.

Here is what our 2016 schedule looks like so far:


City, State Dates
Mid-Winter Regatta New Smyrna Beach, FL
Lake Placid, FL
27 February
1 March
Urbanna Cup Urbanna, VA 21 May
Skuas on the Lehigh Allentown, PA 11 June
KIYC Regatta Kent Narrows, MD 16 July
National Championship Rock Hall, MD 13-14 August
Union Lake Regatta Millville, NJ TBD September
Oktoberfest Location TBD TBD October
Downrigging Weekend Chestertown, MD 29 October

Updates to our 2016 Racing Handbook are complete and can be found on the website. I want to thank the thoughtful work by the Racing Rules, Safety, and Engines committees for recommending key updates for 2016. Below is a short list of the major updates, but I encourage all members to carefully read and update your equipment as required so that we have fantastic season start in Urbanna.

Some important changes include:

  • Reaffirmation of the CCWBRA one-design philosophy regarding boat design, stock motors, and stock propellers.
  • Clarification of rules for Early–Late Classic motors that any motor with a 1976 or later lower unit/gears MUST run in the Late Classic class.
  • Clarification of the Stock Propeller rules to simplify the inspection process. Note to All members: It is the intention of the Executive Committee to carefully evaluate and report on the specific performance results of various stock propellers in 2016 to allow all drivers the best information on which propeller makers offer the best props.
  • Addition of sportsmanship rules
  • Clarification of right of way, passing and overlap rules. Note to All members: This has been the most common area of confusion and protest during races, so please read and digest this information. Thanks to Jim Schmicker and the Racing Rules committee!
  • Full implementation of the Helmet and Life Jacket requirements for style and orange-only color.
  • New “Driver in the Water” rules for return to racing.

On a personal note, I believe that one of the most difficult, but important, challenges for the CCWBRA is to balance the natural racers desire to go fast/win with the spirit of the CCWBRA founders for a one-design class that values fairness and fun for all. I believe that our 2016 rules changes carefully walk this line, but in the end, it is incumbent on all racers to follow the guidelines. This is not meant to reduce the “tinkerer” in each of us (I love looking for way to increase the Hot Toddy’s performance…except lose enough weight!) but I would encourage folks that if you are considering any modification that could cross the “non-stock” line, please contact a member of the Executive team. This way we can provide guidance and head off any concerns on race day.

Thank you for being part of the fast-growing cocktail class. If you have any questions or topics you would like considered, please forward them to me or the appropriate committee chair.

I hope to see you all soon in Urbanna!

See you on the race course,

Grand Poohbah – Todd Steffes

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