Bill Shay, long time crew of “Carina” died last night. I sailed with bill twice across the atlantic, winning class and second overall in 1969. Winning the Admiral’s cup in 1969. In 1970 again we sailed together on “Carina” winning the Bermuda Race. I will miss knowing he was there. A fine shipmate, leaving behind warm memories.
In 1971 we cruised “Carina” to England for the Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet Race. we sailed from Indian Harbor Yacht Club in Greenwich, Ct. to Harwichport, on Cape Cod; where David Steere the owner of “Yankee Girl” had a summer house, compound might be a better description. A big party the night of our arrival and we left across the ocean along with “Yankee Girl”, “American Eagle” owned by Ted Turner, and “Carina” belonging to Dick Nye.
We sailed the more northerly route, closer to the great circle, crossing in fourteen days , which would have likely won a race had we been competing .
A few days into the crossing, still on the Grand Banks, but not having had a sun sight in a few days, we only had a dead reckoning position. we calculated that we were perhaps 20 miles south of Sable Island, more or less. That night, I was off watch, we hit a whale that had been sleeping on the surface. I ran on deck, in a panic, thinking we had hit the island, just in time to see the whale pop to the surface behind us.
No story about yachting is complete without “Carina” belonging to the Nyes. There is probably no boat in yachting history that won more races. There were several yachts bearing the name, all belonging to the Nye family. The success was a father,son story, complementing each other perfectly.
I started sailing on the last “Carina”a 48 foot sloop built in 1969, designed by McCurdy&Rhodes. They had been tasked to design a boat that would rate well under any rule and sail fast naturally.(The rating rule was in transition and no one knew exactly what it would be, the existing CCA rule in America was being melded with the RORC rule in the rest of the world.)the boat is still winning races today.
In 1969 of 32 starts I believe there were 29 firsts, the rest were 2nd or 3rd. We won our class in the Trans-atlantic race from Newport to Cork, Ireland. From there we went on to Admiral’s Cup and were part of the winning United States team.
1970 we won the Bermuda Race. and probably the Northern Ocean Racing Trophy, give for a cumulative score based on several races, block Island race, Stamford Vineyard race, Marblehead-Halifax race.
For me the Bermuda race was pier head jump flying in from the intercollegiate national championships.
1971 we sailed the boat across the atlantic again to participate once more in the Admiral’s Cup and Fastnet race.
I only sailed those three seasons on the boat, but it’s indelible mark was with me forever.