‘Tifft Turkey Regatta’ held at Beverly Yacht Club

Nov 28, 2023

MARION — Sippican Harbor was full of color on the morning of Sunday, Nov. 26 as the second annual Tifft Turkey Regatta was held at the Beverly Yacht Club.

Marion residents and sailors Dan Cooney and Will Tifft started the Sippican Frostbite Fleet in 2021 with the intention of creating a group to sail and compete for fun in the colder months of the year.

“We would go by the club on beautiful late fall or winter [mornings] and wonder why we weren’t out sailing,” said Cooney.

Now, the fleet sails out of the Beverly Yacht Club every Sunday morning from mid-October to New Years Day.

“Winter sailing brings out many of the most passionate sailors from a number of different summer fleets,” said Cooney, who added that the passion for sailing is strong in Marion.

“Marion is sailing’s favorite small town…our little town is a national sailing Mecca and we thought a new frostbiting program would be fun,” he said.

The Tifft Turkey Regatta spanned three days from Friday, Nov. 24 to Sunday, Nov. 26.

A number of short races were held each day and points were added up at the end of Sunday’s sail. Niko Kotsatos took home the victory in his first event operating a Rocket — a new type of sailboat designed by Fulcrum Speedworks that everyone used in the regatta.

“The Rockets are a blast to sail,” said Cooney. “They accelerate quickly as they are 30% lighter than a Sunfish [boat].”.

The Sippican Frostbite fleet also hosts the Ice Bowl, which takes place between Christmas Day and New Years Day. According to Cooney, Beverly Yacht Club will also host the “Rocket Intergalactics” race in August 2024.

Fourteen sailors competed in the event. Beverly Yacht Club Race Committee volunteers joined the sailors in the harbor on support boats to monitor results of races and ensure everyone stayed safe.

Sippican Frostbite Fleet races are open to everyone, according to Cooney. “We’ve had people show up from the Vineyard and South Shore with their boats on a trailer saying ‘We heard this is a fun group to sail with.’ That is music to our ears,” said Cooney. “This fleet brings everyone together. It’s a really bright light for me at the darkest time of the year.”