Lap 01

Lap 02

Lap 03

Lap 04

Lap 05

Lap 06

Lap 07

Lap 08

Lap 09

Lap 10

Lap 11

the big

Victory Lap


Lap 14 - Beyond Sports Car Racing

As can be seen by the continuing records of his race entries, Sy's auto racing career did not come to an abrupt halt either with the dramatic demise of his beloved Blotus, or with the closing of his Lotus distributorship. He continued to enter various races with various types of cars.

In the 70's, however, Sy's competitive spirit sought a more relaxing sport and turned back to the water, though this time under the power of nothing more than the wind. In 1976 he married Cynthia Parker, and they had two children. When I visited Sy and Cindy in the winter of 2002, I asked about their Paris marriage expecting to hear some wonderfully romantic story. Cindy laughed and Sy was very obviously humored by my impression that it had been a grand romantic endeavor! Cindy explained to me that she and Sy had prepared to marry while in New York. Their intention was to have a simple "city hall" marriage, but when the paperwork was completed, they were informed of the "two week cooling off period." So they returned to their offices in the Mercer Arts Center where their staff and friends had prepared a champaign celebration - they celebrated anyway. In two weeks, Cindy's theater company was in Paris and Sy went along, the plan being that they would simply tie the knot "en français." Apparently French marriage law requires an enormous amount of paperwork for a foreigner to be married in France. The law is meant to keep foreigners from marrying French citizens for the purpose of collecting the government benefits afforded French citizens - the law did not consider that two foreigners would like to be married while in France, with no one gaining the benefit of French citizenship! Cindy was explaining this to another member of her company who, it turned out, was good friends with the Ambassador in France, who was able to put the matter quickly to rest thereby allowing the newly married Kabacks the honor of being able to say "Oh, yes, we were married in Paris daaarling!"

Around this time, Sy began sailing merely for pleasure...

Originally I was very interested in multihulls and even started a magazine called "Multihull" which didn't do very well. I was mostly interested in trimarans and raced to Bermuda on some friends boats a couple of times. They were home built jobs and they didn't do very well. One was dismasted about 100 miles from Bermuda. We lost our ability to maneuver and had to turn around and sail home without ever reaching Bermuda. I switched to monohulls and just cruised for about 10 years.

In the 1980's Sy turned his attention to competition sailing and became well know in yacht racing circles in the West Sound and the East End of Long Island. He raced various sailboats usually named "Lotus" (for the "pleasant memories and good Karma,") with which he once again began winning races. Wiggers Custom Yachts prepared a Peterson 37 which was raced successfully through the 1983 competition season.

I started my sailboat racing career in 1981 when I was 60. I raced for about 10 years and had a lot of fun and did very well. But it wasn't the same thrill as motor racing.

"Lotus" featured on the cover of the Wiggers brochure.

In 1983 he captained "Lotus"to a first in Class at Block Island Race Week. That year "Lotus" was also named boat of the year by the Eastern Long Island Yachting Association...

Packet and note from Sy
prepared in commemoration
of the success of


The unparalleled successful racing season culminated in "Lotus" winning two first places on successive days and first overall in I.O.R. Class C in the Manhasset Bay Invitational Fall Series.

This team effort began early in the year with Bill Kelly visiting the Wiggers plant in Canada and deciding on the Petersen 37. A great deal of engineering and planning between Bill Kelly, Tom McLaughlin and Andy Wiggers resulted in the final product.

Despite the late delivery of the mast, McMichaels finished the installation of the instruments, rigging, etc. in time for us to enter the American Spring Regatta. David Silberkleit returned from his ski hiatus to take care of all the details and get the "Lotus" race ready.

In every series that we entered this year we finished first or second in class. Among these wins were:

Riverside Yacht Club Press On Regardless
Spring Plus Fall Series
First in Class

Indian Harbor Yacht Club - Whitmore Series
Spring plus Fall Series
First in Class

New York Yacht Club
2nd in Class

The highlight of the season was the gratifying first place win in the I.O.R. Class 5 at Block Island. Class 5, with 35 yachts, was undoubtedly the most competitive class at the Storm Trysail Yacht Club's Block Island Race Week.

There were (5) Wiggers Petersen 37's each equipped by a different sailmaker, as well as "Lindy", the prototype Petersen 38. Farr was represented by "Migize" (won 5 of 6 races in the S.O.R.C.) and (2) new Farr 37's "Sugar" and Mandala". Bruce Nelson was aboard the Nelson-Marek 39 foot "Conamore". "Stajon" and the other Nelson-Marek boats were in our class. "Messenger" and the latest German Frers creations were present with outstanding crews.

Lack of wind prevented anyone in our class finishing race #1 and consequently everyone started out with 35 points. Without this handicap, our total for the remaining races would have put us in line for overall fleet winner. (over 300 yachts) En route to block island, we managed to come in first in the I.O.R. class in the Sag Harbor Y.C. -Drug Abuse Race.

During the summer season, "Lotus" won the Eastern Long Island Yachting Association Championship - a 10 race series, and was the ELIYA "Boat of the Year". Overall wins included the Shelter Island Yacht Club Heatherton Trophy, the Eastern Sailing Club Annual Regatta and the East Hampton Yacht Club Bowl Regatta. In Local East Hampton Yacht Club Gardner Bay races, "Lotus" won (2) firsts and (1) second.

Additional kudos go to:

Andy Wiggers - Wiggers Yachts
Tom McLaughlin of North Sails
Hathaway-Reiser and Raymond Rigging
Offshore Outfitters
Sager Restaurant - Sandwiches

and most important

Popeye Chicken without which the whole project would not have been feasible.

"Lotus" Crew Members

East Hampton Crew Members
Bill Kelly
Tom McLaughlin
David Silberkleit
Richard Mintzer
David Florence
Schyler Earl
Colin Kelly
Andy Wiggers
Art Ellis
Richard Bitlingmeier
Peter Celone
Peter Coleman
Tom Dailey
Peter Davis
Hugh Frazer
John Holmes
Eric Keikrug
Tricia Kelly
Rob Kemp
Bizzy Monte-Sano
Scott Delaney
Kevin Fallon
Daniel Fallon
Glen Feit
Derek Galen
Greg Gordon
Wayne Hoyt
Bill Lyons
Rudy Ratsup
Colin Golding

OWNER - *Sy Kaback
* Crewed at Block Island    

Congratulatory sales flyers based on
the success of the waterborne "Lotus"

In 1985 another "Lotus", a J35, took 2nd in the J35 North American Championship Races at Larchmont Yacht Club, while in 1991 yet another "Lotus" this time a Catalina '42, won all the East Hampton Yacht Club Races, the Sag Harbor Cup, and took third in the King of the Bays Race in Peconic Bay!

During his tenure as a yachtsman, Sy accumulated titles and memberships left and right:

Commodore, East Hampton Yacht Club
Member, Devon Yacht Club
Member, Breakwater Yacht Club
Vice-President of the Board of the Alfred Adler Institute
Vice-President of the Board of the St. Tropez Condominium
Partner, Halsey's Marina, East Hampton.

In the 1970's and 80's Sy divided his time between homes in NYC and East Hampton, and in 1992 he retired to year around residence in East Hampton. Along with the four children mentioned earlier, Sy has two grandchildren: Jenny Vaccaro of Wellesley Mass., and Alexander Kaback, of Syossett, NY. His brother, Bernard Kaback currently resides in New York City.

Sy Kaback rightfully proud with a few of his awards in 1992