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Italia Yachts U.S.A. Opening an Office in Milford, CT

Italia YachtsItalia Yachts, headquartered in Venice, Italy, has expanded its international footprint with the opening of Italia Yachts U.S.A. in Milford, CT. Building on its existing European and Australian customer bases, Italia Yachts’ presence in the U.S. will enable it to better serve a growing client base in this region and meet rapidly expanding demand for sailing yachts in the 34 to 54-foot range that deliver optimum levels of speed without sacrificing comfort and luxury. 

Italia Yachts 9.98 Fuoriserie  ©italiayachtsusa.com. 
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Champions Crowned at the Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Clinic and Regatta

By Sam Crichton

Clagett Match Race ClinicTwenty-four sailors with adaptive needs gathered in Oyster Bay, NY for the third annual Clagett/Oakcliff Match Race Clinic and Regatta, which was hosted by Sagamore Yacht September 28 - 30, 2018. The WaterFront Center donated their Sonars for use in the event, and Warrior Sailing Program rigged them with the adaptive equipment.

Holmberg, Barrengos and Long won every match in this year’s event.   © Francis George
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Sailing Hall of Fame Coming to Newport!

Sailing Hall of FameThe National Sailing Hall of Fame, currently located in Annapolis, MD, is relocating to Newport, RI. Executive Director Gary Jobson said the Sailing Hall of Fame hopes to welcome visitors at its new location in the Armory building, located at 365 Thames Street, in May 2020. Jobson said the Sailing Hall of Fame would enter into a contract with the City of Newport to purchase the Armory on or before November 8, before the actual closing takes place. “It’s a positive move,” said City Manager Joseph J. Nicholson, Jr. “It’s good news.”

© newportri.com
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Speed & Smarts: Sail Fast Up the First Beat in Persistent Shifts

By David Dellenbaugh

Speed & SmartsWhen the breeze is shifting steadily in one direction, you need a different strategic approach than when it’s oscillating. Instead of playing the middle, head toward one side. Of course, your game plan will depend a lot on how much confidence you have in your wind predictions. If you’re only 50% sure that the wind will veer right, for example, you probably wouldn’t want to sail too far into the corner.

When the wind is shifting persistently you’ll notice it first at one edge of the fleet, so keep your eyes on the boats that are farthest to each side. What you’ll see is a fanning effect as the shift spreads across the fleet. That is, the boats closest to the direction of the new shift will be sailing the highest angles, while the boats farthest from it are still sailing lower angles. © Mary Alice Fisher/maryalicefisher.com

Here are some strategy ideas:

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Long Island Sound Report Card Reveals Substantial Improvement

By Tracy Brown, Director of Save the Sound

The non-profit organization Save the Sound released results of the 2018 “Long Island Sound Report Card.” The biennial report contained remarkable evidence of improvement in Long Island Sound water quality. The report marked a welcome stamp of approval for more than a decade’s worth of federal and state investment in improvements to sewage treatment facilities in Connecticut and New York.

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Norman Rockwell Goes Sailing

By Joe Cooper

The Prout School had its fall Open Day last month. As the Sailing Team has done for the past few years, we brought a 420 into the gym and rigged her up, mast, sails and all. There were multiple tables set up around the perimeter of the basketball court for all manner of activities, classes and groups. We were between two other sports tables that had generic sign-up sheets for the dozen or so sports the school participates in. Only one other table had a video display and that was on a small desktop computer screen. We, Sailing, on the other hand had The Coopers Watch TV large screen on a table and plugged into my laptop, from which we played a video on the Prout Sailing Team. At the end of last season one of the fathers had assembled a slide show, 17-some minutes long, that encompassed the team’s adventures over the season and we played this on a loop for the duration.

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25 Years of Whitebread

By Andrew Shemella, Photos by Rich LaBella, RJLaBellaPhotos.com

Whitebread 2018The 25th edition of the Peconic Bay Sailing Association’s Twin Forks classic on Saturday, September 29, 2018 proved to be another memorable experience for the 70+ boats that crossed the starting line.

Jennifer & Greg Ames’ Hunter Legend 37 Seventh Heaven (left) and Rich Spitzenberger’s C&C 35 RJMS negotiate the shoal-filled waters near the Long Beach Bar “Bug” Lighthouse between Orient Harbor and Gardiner’s Bay.RJLaBellaPhotos.com

Hundreds of East End sailors were looking forward to a beautiful day of sailing in 10- to 12-knot winds. That’s what the forecast said. It was to be what I call a PHRF day. In other words, sailboats sailing in conditions for which they were optimized so you could really see how they perform in comparison to their ratings. Not! What the forecast didn’t include was that the wind would be light and variable. The racecourse was filled with “Black Holes.” If you sailed into one, you might not ever come out.

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Time and Tide Wait for No (Wo)Man

By Vincent Pica, Commodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Before reading the weekly tide tables as gospel, let’s take a moment to review a few essentials. First, don’t mistake precision with accuracy. What???

Just because we can predict the tides to the second as far into the future as you could imagine (after all, we certainly know the rotations of the Earth, Sun and Moon to exquisite precision), it doesn’t mean that the times are accurate! Why aren’t they? “We can put a man on the moon…”

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Finding Pax

One Woman’s Journey for the Love of Her Wooden Boat

BFinding Paxy Kaci Cronkhite, Published by Adlard Coles, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 211 pages   paperback   $17.95

Growing up on her family’s ranch in Oklahoma, Kaci Cronkhite never saw the ocean until she was 20. By the time she was 40, she’d sailed around the world. A voyage in 2001 brought her to Port Townsend, WA, and she remained in town for the Wooden Boat Festival. Finding herself temporarily grounded after the events of September 11, she decided to stay in the “City of Dreams” and was eventually offered a job as director of the aforementioned festival.

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2018 Holiday Gift Guide

We had a really good time doing our staff picks for this year's Gift Guide. Some are recommendations from our advertisers and some are simply things we really want! Enjoy and have fun this holiday season!

 

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Experiencing the Joy of Sailing…and Giving!

NovDec2018_cover_for_download_box.jpgHmmmm…so much to talk about. Let’s begin with the issue you’re holding in your hands. It is the last WindCheck of 2018. It’s also the shortest in terms of pages. But it might be the best one of my tenure. We tackled a number of large projects for this “two-month” issue and I am extremely proud of the WindCheck team on how they came out.

First up, we put a ribbon on the “Optimist vs What” conversation as promised after my Publisher’s Log in September. This conversation certainly is not going to end here, but we gathered and synthesized a lot of perspectives to share. I think the biggest takeaway is for people to really focus on what the goals are for introducing young people to our sport and how we’re going to measure success. There are a few “pro” Opti submissions in the Letters section this month (juxtaposing the less enthusiastic ones from October) and we gathered still more input for the article on page 34. We thank Bob Whittredge from the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA), who supported our research and forwarded a “mission statement” crafted at the JSA Annual Meeting on October 24. We were in production by then so could not run the whole thing so here’s an edited (for length) portion:  

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Letters: More Opti-cogitation

Editor’s note: We’re still getting lots of feedback on the Publisher’s Log in our September issue, “Resume Hand Wringing!” in which Ben Cesare opined, “I think we need a better tool [than the Optimist] for the job [of teaching kids to sail].”

Optimist  junior sailing participationAcross two junior sailors I never had issue with the [Optimist]. I honestly think it’s a great class, but again, I’m a focus group of one. At a beginner’s level, say a 9-year-old, you can simplify the boat and get a real cheap one they can hack around on and learn. Then they can take over the tweaking when they get a bit older – 12 or 13, but I don’t recall it ever being frustrating. What is great about the Opti is its rudder and ease of sailing. Big rudder = quick responsiveness.

Who said Optis are just for racing?  ©nnyliving.com
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Keeping Kids in Sailing

It’s not necessarily the boat…or is it?

By Ben Cesare

Junior Sailing Boat In our September issue, my Publisher’s Log made a case against the Optimist as a training boat. In October, we published some letters that agreed with the premise. Since then, we have gathered several points of view...frankly it’s been exhausting as the topic generates a huge number of stories and opinions. Following is an effort to synthesize and provide a prescription. Luckily for me, I have a dog in this hunt. But then again, ultimately, we all do.

The 9-foot O’Pen BIC delivers mini-skiff performance in a durable thermoformed polyethylene package, and young sailors love the “Un-Regatta” event format.   © Aine McLean Fretwell
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On Watch - Bill Simon

Bill Simon.jpgAs the Race Program Director at Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, New York, Bill Simon has an essential role in the non-profit organization’s mission of putting American sailors atop podiums around the world and building American leaders through sailing.

© Francis George/oakcliffsailing.org

“I grew up in Port Washington and learned to sail from my father and friends,” says Bill, who lives in Port Washington near the house he grew up in. “We sailed off a local beach from when I was 7. My first boat was a Jigger, a 13-foot, round-bottom dinghy designed by Ralph Heinzerling, a local racing legend. For many years we rowed it out to our moored keelboat to race, and it remained in the family until my wife and I sold it last year in preparation for moving to Annapolis. I raced with my dad, Daniel, for about 40 years. Initially we had a Lightning, then an Ensign, and we moved to the Sonar Class. I learned to have fun while racing from Dad.

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College of Charleston Wins the 2018 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta

By Ron Weiss

Intercollegiate Offshore RegattaThe Storm Trysail Foundation’s 2018 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) enjoyed reasonably good sailing conditions on October 6 & 7, 2018. Conditions were gray and misty but with winds that, albeit shifty, were generally 6 to 10 knots for the five-race series, which was hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY. Sailing a variety of keelboats generously loaned to the event, 47 teams duked it out on Long Island Sound.

 

The College of Charleston team dominated the 12-boat J/105 class with a perfect 1-1-1-1-1 scoreline.   © Howie McMichael
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Potts and Ferrarone Win Ideal 18 NAs

Potts Ferrarone Ideal 18Extremely light winds prevailed for the 2018 Ideal 18 North American Championship, hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY on September 29 & 30, 2018. Thirty-seven teams competed, and when the dust had cleared one of the 12 teams from the host club stood atop the podium.

© Maureen C. Koeppel
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Click here to download WindCheck's November/December 2018 issue. (File is 5MB)

 

WindCheck October 2018

Click here to download WindCheck's October 2018 issue. (File is 5MB)

 

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Up to Speed & Smarts: Basic Principles for Rounding Marks

By David Dellenbaugh

Rounding MarksIf you want your mark roundings to be quick and safe, there are certain strategies that work almost every time. For example, you should round each mark close enough that you could reach out and touch it. You should locate the next mark visually before you round this one. And you should definitely develop a strategic plan for the next leg before you round any mark.

Round every mark close enough to touch it, like MudRatz 420 sailors Zach Champney (helm) and Peter Cronin, pictured at the Buzzards Bay Regatta. It’s amazing how wide many boats go around marks. In most cases, they lose double the amount of distance they leave between them and the mark. They sail a certain distance past the mark and then they have to sail that far again just to get back to the mark. To minimize distance sailed, it’s important to round close to every mark. Of course, there are a few times when it’s OK to be farther from the mark – like at a windward mark in breeze when you need enough space to ease your main, or at a leeward mark when you are trying to do an ‘end-run’ around a pack of boats. But a good rule of thumb is that you should round each mark close enough that you can reach over and touch it. To get into this position you may have to slow down so you are right behind the boat ahead, but this ensures that you will sail the shortest course, and it gives you more tactical options and clearer air after the mark.  © J. Cronin - OutrageousPhotography.net

 

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What’s New at Noroton Yacht Club?

By Jim Frayer

Noroton Yacht ClubWell…probably the most recognizable change in its ninety years. Founded in 1928, Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT is considered one of the premier yacht clubs on Long Island Sound and has a rich sailing tradition. The original clubhouse, first opened in 1929, was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and was demolished in 2016. This paved the way for the club’s symbolic rebirth with a spectacular new clubhouse, designed by Burgin Lambert Architects in Newport, RI.

Designed by Burgin Lambert Architects, Noroton Yacht Club’s new clubhouse is among the nicest on Long Island Sound.   Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot © 2018

If NYC members are walking a little taller and with a bit of swagger, it might have to do with the club’s new look! A feeling of rejuvenation pervades among the members.  Prior to its demolition, the old clubhouse was a dark, gothic style building reminiscent of the “Manor on the Moor” with an interior not conducive to collegial gatherings.

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A Foray in “Slimology”

Hull biofouling: a boater’s dreaded bane that requires periodic elbow grease

By Lucie Maranda, PhD, Associate Marine Research Scientist, Graduate School of Oceanography, University of Rhode Island

Hull BiofoulingThese outdrives were probably not delivering optimum performance! © harsonic.com

Especially in marine water, the unwanted accumulation of microorganisms, algae and animals on wetted surfaces can be costly if not attended to regularly. For recreational or commercial boaters, the danger of transferring non-native species is added to the increase in fuel consumption and maintenance cost. The navies of the world are not immune to this plague either. One study roughly calculated the cost of coating, cleaning and fouling on the United States Navy’s destroyers (class DDG-51) to reach $1 billion over 15 years! Whether one considers boat hulls, sensors, aquaculture facilities, pipes, offshore platforms, pilings – any unprotected solid surface will develop some form of marine growth when immersed in seawater.

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Celestial Navigation 101: Sailors Always Knew…

By Vincent Pica, ommodore, First District, Southern Region (D1SR), United States Coast Guard Auxiliary

Going back centuries, journals of seafarers are peppered with language indicating that they knew the Earth was round.  “In the offing” meant, and means today, the waters you can see from where you are to the horizon.  “Ahoy, captain, vessel off the starboard bow! Hull down, sir,” might yell the lookout from the crow’s nest aloft. This meant that all he could see from his vantage point were the sails – the ship’s hull was still below the horizon. So, “round has been around” (pun intended) for thousands of years. How many thousands? About 22 centuries before the epic confrontation between Galileo and the medieval Church, Phoenician sailors circumnavigated Africa, sailing down the east coast and back up the western shores, through the “Pillars of Hercules” at Gibraltar and back to Egypt, to report to the Pharaoh that, indeed, the world must be round.  

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Sailing with Grandchildren on the Bras d’Or Lakes

By Wilson Fitt

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Olivia at the helm

Many years ago, when our three children were small, we spent an idyllic week on Cape Breton’s Bras d’Or Lakes on our Herreshoff 28 ketch, putting the bow up on the shore at Marble Mountain and pitching the tent on the beach. The kids swam, learned to row the dinghy, and messed around in boats to their hearts’ content.

They say you can’t go back, but this summer we did just that, this time with two of our grandchildren — Olivia, aged 10, and her first cousin Parker, aged 12 — aboard our 38-foot traditional cutter Christina Grant. It was one of the best weeks we have had in years, sailing, swimming, fishing, rowing and still messing about in boats.

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Spitfire Wins Sonar NAs

Sonar North American's SpitfireThirty-seven boats contested the 2018 Jaguar Range Rover Sonar North American Championship, which was hosted by Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT September 13 - 16. Four races were sailed on Friday, but racing was cancelled Saturday and Sunday due to lack of wind.

From left to right are Greg Stevens, Libby Alexander, Karl Ziegler, Bruce Kirby (designer of the Sonar), Peter Galloway (with hat, from whom the trophy is named), Bill Crane, and Noroton YC Commodore Tom Ross. Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot © 2018
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New York Yacht Club American Magic and Oakcliff Sailing present Aerospace Technology & America’s Cup Sailing

American MagicOur friends at New York Yacht Club American Magic and Oakcliff Sailing are co-hosting a special presentation, “Aerospace Technology & America’s Cup Sailing,” at the Cradle of Aviation Museum in Garden City, NY on Thursday, November 1, 2018.

NYYC American Magic, the U.S Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, is combining leading marine technologies with cutting-edge aerospace engineering to gain an edge over their international competitors in the regatta in Auckland, New Zealand in March, 2021. Attendees will learn about NYYC American Magic’s mission to bring the Cup back to America, and how modern aircraft and racing sailboats are increasingly related.

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U.S. Coast Guard Marine Safety Alert on LED Lights

US Coast Guard LED lightsThe U.S. Coast Guard recently issued a Marine Safety Alert indicating that LED (light emitting diode) lights may be causing poor VHF radio and Automatic Identification System (AIS) reception. The alert, issued for informational purposes, outlines reports received from mariners concerning radio frequency interference caused by LED lamps that “were found to create potential safety hazards.” 

LED lights, popular with recreational boaters for their low battery draw, cooler operation and sturdy construction, may be causing poor VHF and AIS reception. © BoatUS.com

In some cases, the Coast Guard says, the interference may cause problems if mariners need to call for help. The interference can affect VHF voice communications as well as Digital Selective Calling (DSC) messages, and it may also affect AIS because they also use VHF radio. In particular, masthead LED navigation lights on sailboats may cause problems due to their close proximity to antennas. The Coast Guard advises boaters to test for the presence of LED interference by using the following procedures:

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Click here to download WindCheck's November/December 2018 issue. (File is 5MB)

 

WindCheck October 2018

Click here to download WindCheck's October 2018 issue. (File is 5MB)