Architects at Sea

ChallengeNY Architect’s Regatta

AIANY Team sets sail (left) after readying the boat on the docks (right).

Kristen Richards

The wind was steady as evening set over Lower Manhattan. With 17 sailboats aiming for the start line and 30 seconds remaining, there was only one thing to do: tack. Randy Lewis, of the NYC School Construction Authority and regular sailor with the Manhattan Sailing Club, kept an eye on the clock. Skipper Damian Besculides of Mancini Duffy pushed the tiller slowly away from him. Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director, and I released the jib and reeled in the sheets port-side. Barb Steffen, AIANY Communications Coordinator, held onto the mainsail sheet while snapping photos of the action. Anthony Dowling, crewmember more familiar with Australian seas, and Mark Behm of Mancini Duffy kept an eye off the bow for oncoming traffic.

From then on, it was smooth sailing… except for the sheets getting caught on our ankles, the confusion over how to wrap the ropes clockwise (sorry!), and a brief collision with an oncoming Skidmore, Owings & Merrill boat (we had the right-of-way!). Luckily, no one was hit by the boom.

In its seventh year, the annual ChallengeNY Architect’s Regatta was held September 6, organized by Gerry Dolezar, hosted by the Manhattan Sailing Club, and providing a refreshing atmosphere for architects to socialize away from usual settings. This was the first year the AIANY Chapter sponsored a boat, and even though we came in close to the end of the pack, the prize awarded us by Robert A.M. Stern Architects — a martini glass trophy with an engraved face of Robert A.M. Stern, FAIA, wishing us “better luck next time” — made it worth the effort. That and the fact that the $1,000 each team donated to participate in the event is going to Project City Kids, a free sailing program for urban children.

Participating teams included: AIANY; Allen-Killcoyne Architects; BKSK Architects/Levien & Company; Bostwick Purcell Architects; Bureau V; FXFowle Architects; Daniel Frisch Architecture; Pei Partnership Architects/Fuller & D’Angelo; HLW International; HOK; Mancini Duffy; Murphy Burnham & Buttrick Architects; Rogers Marvel Architects; Skidmore, Owings & Merrill; Robert A.M. Stern Architects; Swanke Hayden Connell Architects; and Ted Moudis Associates. At the end of the evening, HOK won the big prize, a trophy designed by Les Metalliers Champenois. However, each team created a prize for the team finishing behind it, and no one was left empty handed (especially HLW International — recipient of a large rubber ducky and Captain Morgan Rum nibs presented by Rick Bell). For more photographs from the evening check out Sighted.