Eight Bells - Tony Sklarew

Eight Bells - Tony Sklarew
It is with a sad heart today that I announce the passing of my long-time friend Antony "Tony" Sklarew, taken from us just after midnight this morning, peacefully in his sleep, while at the Calgary Hospice in the Bronx.

Tony was, for lack of a better term, a fixture in Eastchester Bay and the City Island sailing community.

Aside from his reputation of being an excellent sailor and racer on board his 1974 Pearson 10M, Alviento, Tony was a multiple-term Commodore of Stuyvesant Yacht Club and a founding board member of the Eastchester Bay Yacht Racing Association (EBYRA,) an organization I helmed for 13 years much in thanks to the unwavering support and advice provided by Tony over those years.

Unlike others on the EBYRA Board who had their strict agendas regarding one design, scoring, starting sequences and division splits, Tony, like me, was, first and foremost, about having fun on the water. His demeanor and style often gave me the much-needed cooler head during the most heated of discussions.

When I heard that Tony was in hospice care, I contacted the current EBYRA Board about commissioning a Antony Sklarew Memorial Award as a perpetual trophy for best non-spinnaker boat performance or best classic-boat performance (awards that Tony would have won quite often.) I will follow-up on this regularly to make sure this comes to fruition.

I was fortunate enough to spend a couple of hours with Tony while he was at the Calgary Hospice a few weeks ago. Even knowing his time was growing near, he remained in great spirits, joking around, and sharing stories of sailing adventures from City Island, Western Long Island Sound and the Vineyard Race, a distance race he was particularly fond of participating in, and, often winning his division.

On the wall in his room were notes from friends and photos of SYC events, his crew, and one photo of Alviento, wing-on-wing on a Wednesday night, slowly, but surely, catching up to the Enterprise-A.

Tony's final wish is to have his ashes spread near Execution Rock at Can One, like his father's many years ago. I told him that I would be honored, in whatever capacity, to be part of that ceremony.

City Island will never be the same.

Eight bells, Tony. May the winds now be forever at your back and the skies always be blue. Rest in peace, my friend.