2001 NAI Results
Boston Harbor, MA

  By S/C Joe LeBlanc

  “Primary Course, Winds NW 10-15, Seas 2-4”

That was the sign posted on the door of the hospitality suite and the registration room at 11:00 AM the day before the 2001 NAI in Boston. Unlike previous NAI’s, the contest committee had developed both Primary and Alternate courses, just in case Mother Nature felt like making life miserable. It was not to be. 

The weather for the 2001 NAI was magnificent. The course was a scenic ride through Boston Harbor, past all four of its lighthouses including the country’s oldest: Boston Light. In order to cruise past all four lighthouses, the course brought the contestants into Massachusetts Bay, and open water. 

The weather prediction was almost on the mark too. The NOAA prediction of seas from 2-4 feet may have been a little light as we left the friendly confines of all the harbor islands and headed out to Minots Ledge lighthouse. Best guess was that there was occasional 5-footers … good ol’ rock n’ roll! 

There were 14 contestants in the 2001 NAI this year. There were twelve from local associations throughout the country, plus the defending 2000 NAI Champion Team Martha Miller & John Molchan, and 2000 NACA National Champion S/C Tom Collins. All had spent Thursday morning out on the measured mile course along Logan Airport, making grooves in the water as they tried to determine the “right” speed for their boats. The boats this year ranged from a 50-foot twin Diesel Sport fisherman to a 32-foot single diesel custom Downeast pilothouse. Many boats had gas engines. The boats had been generously outfitted with digital tachometers by Aetna Engineering and were ready to go. 

The weather was great, and the boat traffic minimal as the contest started. Those boats starting the contest on the later side, got a pleasant surprise as the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was brought out into the harbor for display. 

The course was not particularly tricky as NAI’s go, but difficult nonetheless. A few long runs to buoys seemingly in the middle of nowhere made the contest interesting for all. As the bulk of the contest was complete, and contestants were coming down the “North Channel” heading for the finish line, the reality of the beautiful boating day hit them dead on. The harbor was full of boating traffic, from small powerboats, to large sailboats, to large commercial vessels to the Massport Fireboat at the finish line that had been arranged to herald the finish of the contest. 

As the Awards dinner at the Gazebo at the Best Western Adams Inn proceeded, S/C Ed Jepsen presented the Gandelman Trophy to S/C Val Scott for her significant contributions to the sport of predicted log racing. 

The peel-off this year was done by Co-Chairs Bob Fiorentino and S/C Joe LeBlanc. For about 15 minutes they ruled the 8-foot white board built by fellow Co-Chairs NACA Rear Commodore Ed & NCA Commodore Alyce Sullivan. NECA Commodore Trisha DeLauri & Scorer Lon Compton did the scoring. 

The contest seemed close as the peel-off started. Doug Lindal of IPBA-GG won leg 1 and leg 2 went to S/C Tom Collins. The killer leg was the 5th on the way back from the “B” buoy to the start of the North Channel. Everyone was fast, with seconds of error ranging from a high of 161, down to 6 seconds. This was the deciding leg, and it was won by S/C Haluk Akol with an amazing 6 seconds of error. 

After his great 6 second leg, it was no surprise that the winner of this year’s NAI was S/C Haluk Akol of PLRANC. Aboard Carl & Jean Johnson’s 34-foot twin gas Silverton THUNDERER, he had a winning score of 0.897% without handicap … a great score that included a zero second leg! This was Haluk’s second NAI victory, having won the NAI in 1981. 

Second place went to NACA National Champion S/C Tom Collins aboard the 37-foot twin gas Egg Harbor LEGACY owned by Charlie & Pat Hoffman. Tom had a score of 1.537%. Third place went to SDCA’s Dick Devlin. Dick skippered S/C Jack & Win Gray’s 36-foot twin diesel Gulfstar PHANTOM with a score of 1.835%. S/C Tom Collins was also awarded the Brian Hastings award for being closest to his predicted finish time … 3 seconds off at the end of the 32 mile course! The entire set of final results for the 2001 NAI is attached. 

The 2001 Committee had a great time producing the event, and all are grateful for the fine weather. We are particularly grateful to the boat owners who made this event possible by allowing their boats to be used and to the committee members who worked so tirelessly on this event. 

The NAI in 2002 will be hosted by IPBA-GG and the venue is Vancouver, BC. It should be a wonderful event. Start planning your trip now!