With his sister Cathie as crew, 16-year-old skipper Tommy Munnell of Pequot Yacht Club, Southport, Conn, won all seven of his races in the Blue Jay class last week at the Larchmont Yacht Club regatta. This gave his Cato (above, left) the neat and unbeatable record of 1-1-1-1-1-1-1. (Tommy also won the Junior Day event, but it did not count toward his Race Week triumph.)
Such a clean sweep is not unknown at Larchmont, but in the past it was always achieved in a class with only a few entrants. Tommy and Cathie went up against a Soundful of Blue Jays every day—anywhere from 25 to 42 of them—and beat them all. Moreover, Tommy won the same event last year with five firsts (two races were canceled because of weather), and the 12 victories give him the longest unbroken string ever put together in championship events in the 59-year Race Week history. "It was," said one member of the Race Committee, speaking of Tommy's skippering this year, "one of the most remarkable performances I've ever seen on the water. Munnell made no mistakes, was always in the right place and was never in trouble."
Cato is named for the two youngsters who sail her, Cathie, 14, and Tommy. Her skipper—who is 6 feet 1¾ inches tall—has been sailing since he was 9. His father, a New York obstetrician, does his sailing in Atlantic class boats.
Asked to explain his phenomenal record, Tommy merely says, "I have sailed down at Larchmont quite a lot."
The Cullen Memorial Trophy for the best over-all performance of the week might well have gone to Tommy, too. It didn't, though; it went to Jim and Allegra Mertz, a couple of middle-aged 210 sailors. Tommy was ineligible for it, being under 18.