Around the same time as the Gov’s regatta was getting started, a fellow by the name of Fred Latham began taking his San Juan 21 Mad Mama out to sail on New Years Day. The boat was so named as, much like Jack and the Bean Stalk, Fred went out to the store for bread and came home with a boat. Mama was not happy.
As San Juans were actually manufactured in New Bern, there was a decent local fleet, and everyone joined Fred for a sail, which of course turned into a regatta. Some years the weather was so nasty it was a quick sail across the creek and then back in to warm up, but being in North Carolina some years saw spectacular sailing conditions and racing continued all day. This year was the 40th annual Fred Latham regatta, and until 3 years ago Fred had continued to go out every year, although in the last couple it was with a motor on the back of the boat and a couple of members helping him along.
This year, Fred reached the conclusion that he would never sail again and donated his boats to the Junior Sailing Program. His original San Juan was in such a state of disrepair at this point that there was no saving it, but the transom has been painted and cleaned up and is now the Fred Latham Perpetual Trophy. His newer boat was still sound and was purchased by one of the Junior Sailor’s parents, who have started sailing the boat with their kids whenever the chance arises.
This year I had the honor of awarding Fred Lifetime Membership in our club. The picture is of Fred and his wife when he came to the club to say farewell to his boats and receive a Lucite to commemorate his Lifetime Membership and contribution to sailing in our area.