Sailing boat

Larry Scott

Inducted by John Finch  
  • Larry’s introduction to sailing has already been covered in Stan’s description of Dick’s Scott’s entry into sailing with the purchase of the Morris One-Design in 1955 when Larry was 8 years old. At 10 Larry was enrolled in the newly established RHYC Junior Club sailing Flying Juniors. In 1960 at 13 Larry sailed with Ron Barr in Flying Juniors at the Canadian Junior Olympic Regatta in Montreal. Finished in the top 10 of 40 boats.  His father’s purchase of the 6-Metre Johan of Rhu that same year introduced Larry to “big boat” sailing.
  • According to Harry Penny Ron Barr and Larry Scott had sailed together for the past 5 or 6 years in Penguins, Flying Juniors, Lightnings, and now Snipes. … Although Scott preferred to crew, he skippered at the (Snipe) National Championships in Halifax, in 1961, and had a credible showing. 
  • He became part of the OK Dinghy fleet the following year and won the Ontario Championship. During the 1960s Scott also crewed on the Lightning Justice with Al MacDonald and Bob Pollock, and with Bill Howie in Howie’s Snipe. During this time Scott continued to crew in a variety of boats and fleets. Indeed, he seemed to be going directly from one fleet to another, racing in different boats every day of the week, sometimes Snipes, sometimes Lightnings, and occasionally 6-Metres. He crewed on Johan with his father and his brother Ryan in the Freeman Cup race from Port Credit to Rochester in 1966 when the wind “blew the shingles off”. Johan won her division, finishing ahead of Red Jacket! In 1967 Ron Barr and Larry Scott won the district trials in Snipes for the Pan Am Games in a boat they built themselves the year before. In 1968, with Bob Pollock as skipper and Larry Scott as crew, they won the N.E. District Snipe Championships at Indian Lake, NJ, the Maritime Championships and the Canadian Championships, the latter with five straight first place finishes. At this point in time RHYC had a fleet of 25 Snipes and 25 Lightnings, all actively racing.
  • In 1968 Scott joined the crew of Bedlam, a Redline 41 owned and skippered by RHYC member Dr. Denny Draper, doing all the Lake Ontario races, the Bayview-Mackinac Race, and in 1969 sailing the 135 boat Southern Ocean Racing Circuit, ending up second in their division.  His big boat sailing continued in 1970 with stints sailing on Baccarat a new 73' S&S design, Hugy Long’s  famous 73' Tripp designed Ondine, and finally a 53' cold moulded Van de Standt design Stormy. (Larry at lunch said this took place after the Olympics) At the end of SORC he help to deliver the 53’ Custom C&C Inferno from Florida back to the Lakes after her severe grounding and repair the previous year. Larry describes this as the delivery trip from Hell, with one calamity after the other, resulting with him having to leave the boat in Rochester because of a badly injured leg.
  • In 1971 RHYC sailors Don Allen, Larry MacDonald, and John Stewart represented Canada at the Pam Am games in Columbia, where they won Bronze. Larry was chosen to accompany the Pan Am team as shipwright and “spare” for the Snipes and Lightnings. This was a responsibility he also took on for the 1975 Pan Am Games.
  • Upon returning to Hamilton Larry did a little cruising and worked in the family business, but more significantly met Susie Santomero, who would soon become Susie Scott. This was during a period of “hard core” DN iceboat racing.
  • In 1971 Ted Hains, who Larry knew from sailing Snipes, approached him about a possible Olympic campaign in the new two man keel boat the Tempest. Larry figures that Ted asked him to crew because Larry was the only one in Ted’s Snipe circle who knew how to fly a spinnaker, a sail with which the Snipe was not equipped! They drove down to Connecticut that winter  and purchased the boat that had just won the World Championship. The Tempest was equipped with a trapeze and in order to take full advantage of that for the heavy winds that were common and expected in Kiel, Larry put on an extra 30 lbs.
  • As soon as the ice was out they were on the Bay every evening, practicing tacking and gybing around the still empty mooring balls off the club. On weekends they looked for fleets to race against, and spent much time on the US East Coast where most of the Tempest racing took place. Larry describes this period as a steep learning curve. The Canadian Olympic trials were in late May early June in Halifax. Weather conditions were varied: they had no wind, too much wind, rain and fog. The winds were light and shifty during the 1st races, which was not to their liking. Dan Owen, a top Int’l 14 sailor, was leading the Tempest fleet with five 1sts to Hains’ and Scott’s five 2nds.  But the wind picked up for the next five races, blowing up to 30 knots for wet, cold, uncomfortable sailing before the era of wetsuits, let alone drysuits.  The tables had turned, and their five 1sts against Owen’ five 2nds clinched the Olympic Trials and the right to represent Canada at the 1972 Olympiad in Germany. From there they went on to win the Canadian Championships. Unfortunately, the Canadian Government, who had agreed to cover the costs, insisted on sending the Canadian boats to Germany in June. Hains and Scott could not afford to spend the summer in Europe practicing on their own boat. They borrowed boats whenever possible, but spent too little time out of exacting competition and lost some of the edge they had achieved during the trials. They arrived in Kiel a week before the series began (echoes of Norm Robertson!). They rigged and tuned their Tempest for the heavy air that Kiel was noted for.  But “the Gods were against them” – the whole series was sailed in light air. Although the prized medals eluded them, the 1972 Olympic Games was an exhilarating, unforgettable experience for both young sailors.
  • However, keep in mind that this was the Olympics of the Munich Massacre, which greatly affected the tenner of these games and all future games. There was even some  question whether the games should continue. It was Canadian sailor Stan Leibel who successfully argued that they should.
  • After this Larry worked as the professional on the C&C 61 Ketch in the West Indies. He had been asked by C&C to go down and straighten out many problems that the new owner was having with his complex new yacht. For six months Larry lived aboard this luxury craft. It had every modern convenience including air conditioning, and was equipped with the most advanced marine apparatus. Scott’s job was to check everything and put it all in proper working order. Most of the time the owners were away, so he had the boat to himself, and the beautiful Islands to explore. “And he was getting paid for it!”
  • Upon his return to Hamilton in 1973 he married Susie. However, that did not stop Larry from undertaking a Soling campaign for the upcoming 1976 Kingston Olympics with Ron Barr and brother Ryan as helmsman. They were competitive against fellow club member Don Barnes who was sailing with Doug Kilgour and Dennis Toews, however, after a port and starboard collision Ryan determined that racing was hazardous to his health, both mental and physical, and with the arrival of modern Solings which obsoleted their boat, they packed it in.
  • In 1974 we have already heard of the Scott family’s acquisition of the hull and deck of the C&C 43 that would become Long Reach after 1200 hours over the winter for the installation of the interior, mechanical and electrical systems, and all the deck hardware. In 1975 Larry set off with his father Dick, brother Ryan, and four other crew including a very young Sandy Andrews on his way to sail the Admiral’s Cup. Soon after their departure from Sydney, NS, and some challenging navigation around Newfoundland, they found themselves in a three day gale with only the tiny storm jib flying.
  • Larry and Susie than rejoined Long Reach in Gibraltar for her return trans-Atlantic passage to Barbados with Ryan, Ryan’s wife Jill, and Sandy Andrews making his way back home.  Long Reach arrived back in Hamilton after thirteen months, and Larry then confined his sailing primarily to cruising the Scott family yacht for the next several years, with two more trips back to the Caribbean.
  • With the arrival of three kids and the starting of a new marina business in 1977, Larry slipped into the parental roll of Opti parent. But all that changed when Larry discovered Stars in 1992.
  • Rear Commodore of International Star Class.
  • Won a race at 2008 Bacardi Cup and won the Canadian Championships.
Rob Mazza
Chair, RHYC Heritage Committee