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Yachting Awards Ceremony to Go On

May 27, 2002

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STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ The group that sponsored this weekend’s Block Island yacht race decided to go ahead with an awards ceremony Monday despite the death of a sailor.

The Storm Trysail Club announced Sunday it will dedicate the ceremony to Jamie Boeckel, 34, of Newport, R.I., who fell from the ocean racer Blue Yankee during the race on Friday night.

Divers from the state police and the Department of Environmental Protection suspended their search for Boeckel in Long Island Sound off Fairfield Beach Sunday night. Boeckel, the boat captain for the Stamford-based ocean racing sloop, is presumed dead.

John Osmond, Commodore of the Storm Trysail Club, said the club’s flag officers planned initially to cancel Monday’s ceremony, but after consulting with Bob Towse, skipper and owner of Blue Yankee, decided to go ahead.

``Jamie Boeckel left an indelible mark on a wide circle of friends and associates,″ Osmond said. ``In a short life, he was a successful and admired competitor at the top levels of the sport of ocean racing and the Americas Cup.

Boeckel sailed with America True, the boat that campaigned for the America’s Cup in 2000. He recently raced from Miami to Baltimore and was scheduled to race from Newport to Bermuda in two weeks.

The Block Island Race is an annual 185-mile race from Stamford, around Block Island, and back to Stamford.

Boeckel was thrown from the bow of the boat when a spinnaker pole broke at about 8:30 p.m. Friday, two hours into the race, said Keith Taylor, a spokesman for the Storm Trysail Club.

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