Saturday evening on Spa Creek was a festive event for thousands, as the Eastport Yacht Club was host to its annual Christmas Lights Parade of Yachts.
And for the membership of Severn Sailing Association, next door to EYC's new clubhouse, things were no less festive as the association presented its annual awards just before the parade.
Longtime SSA member Edgar Hoyt of Annapolis, whose involvement with the club goes back nearly 40 years, was recognized for long years of service to the club with the Jim Laudeman Award for an "overall outstanding contribution" to SSA.
Bob Reeves, a past commodore who served as chairman of the committee that determined this year's Laudeman honorees, explained the decision this way: "Ed is the guy who for many years kept the committee boat running. He'd be down there all day or at night with a flashlight, summer or winter, even on New Year's Eve. He has always been available for a protest committee, or the race committee."
The award was established three years ago in memory of Annapolitan Jim Laudeman, another dedicated longtime member and past commodore of the club.
"This award is not for a one-time flash in the pan," said immediate past commodore Steve Palmer. "It's a recognition of years of service and dedication to the club, of someone who exemplifies a lot of time and dedication given to the club, just like Jim Laudeman."
Last year, Laudeman's widow, Sue Laudeman, presented the club with an original watercolor painting of Jim Laudeman's J/24 Bad News sailing in the Severn River. The painting hangs over the mantle in the clubhouse, and from it a limited-edition print series was made for the Laudeman Award honorees.
In addition to the Laudeman Award presentations, the club recognized its fleet champions, based on a high-point type of scoring system for the year's racing among club members, and made two other special awards.
Steve Podlich was recognized with the Race Committee Award for his work as race committee chairman for last month's J/24 World Championships, held at SSA in conjunction with EYC.
Palmer was honored for his efforts during his two years as commodore with an original pen-and-ink drawing of the clubhouse with the State House in the background by fellow SSA member Simeon Coxe.
, 1992 SSA Fleet champions
Comet: Elliott Oldak, Annapolis.
Day Sailer: Jim and Bonnie Urban, Annapolis.
Flying Dutchman: Chris and Jeff Wrenn, (address unavailable).
International 14: Dick White, Severna Park.
Laser: Bob Tan, Beltsville.
Lightning: Fred Mertes, Annapolis.
Snipe: Henry Filter, Stevensville.
Soling: Peter Gleitz, Annapolis.
Tempest: Ray O'Hara, Alexandria, Va.
Thistle: Don Moore, Bowie.
Class changes for Olympics
The International Yacht Racing Union concluded its annual meeting in London last month with a flurry of partisan support for the classes in contention to be selected for the 1996 Olympic Regatta in Savannah, Ga.
The Mistral sailboard will replace the Lechner for both men and women. The Finn again was selected as the men's single-hander and the Europe as the women's single-hander. The Star, 470, Tornado and Soling remain the classes of choice for their categories, with the combined fleet/match racing format to remain in place for the Solings.
Most controversial was a battle between the Flying Dutchman and the Laser -- which failed to win over the Finn for the men's single-handed division -- for the Open Dinghy slot, a class that was changed by dropping the term "two-person" from the designation.
On record in favor of the Laser were some 65 national authorities, including nearly all Asian nations. The British and most Europeans favored the Flying Dutchman, but in the end, with the U.S. also in support of the Laser, the Laser won by a 16-13 vote.
Selection of the Laser should prove to be of particular interest to local sailors because the fleet here is strong in both participation and skill levels. Watch for developing Olympic campaigns in the area with the selection of this class for competition.