On July 12 & 13, 2018, 51 teams of sailors between the ages of 12 and 18 raced their Club 420s in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment. Modeled after the Volvo Ocean Race, The Dinghy Race is unlike any other youth sailing event. Instead of the typical windward-leeward format of most regattas, this event is an offshore adventure on the waters of Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound that presents young sailors with new challenges and experiences.
One hundred and two sailors from as far away as Florida competed in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment. © J. Cronin - OutrageousPhotography.netRead more
By David Dellenbaugh
Every race is full of choices. You can go to the left side or the right; start at the pin end or in the middle; cover the other boats or sail your own race; duck a starboard tacker or lee-bow them. The chance to make hundreds of choices in each race is part of the challenge and fun of sailing.
You don’t have to win the start to win the race. © Clagett Regatta/Ro Fernandez
Each of the decisions that you make in a race involves a certain amount of risk. If you go all the way to the left corner you may lose everyone on the right. If you start in the middle (where it’s harder to judge the line), you might be OCS. Risk is not inherently good or bad. But if you don’t think about your own situation and how much risk you are willing, or need, to take, then your choices may not turn out to be very successful.Read more
By Rachael Lewin
Homeschooling began to grow in popularity in the 1970s when educational theorist John Holt asked parents to consider schools without walls, where kids can learn at their own pace in their own environment. This experiential-based approach has grown significantly, and today more than 2 million U.S. children are being taught from home.
Save the Bay Education Specialist Lauren Farnsworth and “Sealia” teach harbor seal anatomy on a recent seal watching expedition. © Rachael Lewin/Save the BayRead more
By Joe Cooper
Summer in Newport is spelt SAILING. Apart from the usual “even year” events – the Bermuda Race (go MudRatz!!!) and the Offshore 160 – there are the annual events. The (10) NYYC regattas, weekday evening sailing: Monday (sport boats); Tuesday & Wednesday (Shields & PHRF); and Thursday (J/24s); the Ida Lewis Distance Race, presently with 49 entries, a week out as I write. Then there’s the New England Solo Twin, and currently, the I420 World Championship at Sail Newport. And there’s still all of September to go.Read more
Last month, I exalted the WindCheck Community to celebrate the efforts of our kids and their supporters and pointed out some great successes. Well, now that junior sailing is over, and program heads take a well deserved breath before diving back into evaluating the pros and cons of their efforts, I’m going to jump right down onto the tracks and touch that third rail!
I think the Optimist stinks as an early trainer. Here is why. Like all sports, we are introducing our kids to sailing at a younger and younger age. It used to be 9 years old, and now programs start as young as 6. What does a typical 9 year old like? They tend to like other kids and want to be in close proximity to them. They don’t like to be scared. They don’t really have a handle on “seamanship” nor, unless they are gifted, the physics of sailing. And finally, sad to say, they may be a bit more spoiled than prior generations and like quick satisfaction (digital!) so menial chores, like bailing, turn them off more quickly.Read more
The most significant change in the Noroton Yacht Club’s last 90 years is their spectacular new clubhouse. To celebrate their new facility with the community, the club is hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
Founded in 1928 and located in Darien, CT, Noroton YC is one of the premier yacht clubs on Long Island Sound. Their original clubhouse, first opened in 1929, was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and was demolished in 2016. According to Commodore Tom Ross and General Manager Wim Jessup, the new clubhouse has invigorated the membership.Read more
Representing Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY, twin sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles, 18, won seven of nine races in the 420 Girls class at the Youth World Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, TX this summer, garnering their second consecutive world championship title.
© Jen Edney/World SailingRead more
Join New England Science & Sailing Foundation for an evening with 2015's Rolex US Yachtsman of the Year and Olympic Silver medalist, Steve "Benj" Benjamin. Benj has competed at the highest level in international sailing competitions and will share his experiences and life lessons from his journey.Read more
48th Annual Newport International Boat Show
September 13 - 16 in Newport, RI
The Newport International Boat Show kicks off the fall show season. ©NewportBoatShow.com
As always in the Northeast, fall boat show season kicks off in the City by the Sea. Spanning 13 waterfront acres in downtown Newport, the Newport International Boat Show is among the largest and most prestigious boat shows in the country. Hundreds of sailboats and powerboats will be on display, along with a wide variety of marine products and services to enhance the nautical lifestyle. Educational seminars and hands-on training courses for the whole family are offered throughout the show.Read more
By Andrew Shemella
Twenty-five years! Wow, that’s a lot of years for a regatta that was started by five guys sitting around a table in a bar. The Sailing Instructions were written on a napkin, and they were just the course. Ten boats sailed in the original rendition of the Peconic Bay Sailing Association’s (PBSA) Whitebread Race. It must have been a good idea, because the race quickly grew to over 100 entries. It wasn’t long before there was a post-race party, and then a band and a barbecue.
© RJ LaBella/RJLaBellaPhotos.comRead more
The best Ideal 18 sailors from fleets up and down Long Island Sound, Rochester, NY and the Chesapeake will be converging on Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY the last weekend of September for two days of racing to determine the 2018 North American Champion.
A limited number of boats are available for charter on a first-come basis. When possible, competitors who are members of clubs providing boats for the charter pool will be assigned boats from their respective clubs.
© Mary Alice Fisher/maryalicefisher.comRead more
By Monica Pepe
Conservation efforts to protect marine mammals, especially large whales, continue to face great difficulties and, in some cases, have managed only marginal improvements. Most notably, only around 450 North Atlantic right whales survive today. Those that remain face serious human-induced threats such as vessel strikes, entanglement in fishing gear and habitat degradation.
Whale encounters are one of the greatest thrills of sailing the Northeast, and a few common sense practices will help ensure the safety of both cetaceans and humans. © Whale and Dolphin ConservationRead more
By John K. Fulweiler, Esq.
This economic wave we’ve been riding high on ain’t going to last. Like a mean header, the market’s winds will shift and we’ll all be missing the fiscal layline shortly and here’s where the maritime law might make you some money. You see, a helping hand at sea can sometimes yield a handsome salvage award.Read more
New York Yacht Club American Magic, the U.S. Challenger for the 36th America’s Cup, has announced an initial roster of 17 sailors who will train and compete with the team. The accomplished group includes nine Americans and sailors from four other nations. The 36th America’s Cup will take place in March 2021 off Auckland, New Zealand. The regatta will be sailed in the AC75 class, a new 75-foot foiling boat designed specifically for the next edition of the Cup that is expected to race with a crew of 11 sailors.
If things go NYYC American Magic's way in Auckland, the New York Yacht Club’s Harbor Court clubhouse in Newport might host subsequent America’s Cup regattas for years to come. Photo © Dan NerneyRead more
By Sam Crichton
Forty-six sailors from across North America competed in the 16th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta and the 2018 U.S. Para Sailing Championships, which were hosted by Sail Newport in Newport, RI June 20 - 24, 2018.
With 22 sailors, the singlehanded 2.4mR class was the largest fleet in the 16th C. Thomas Clagett, Jr. Memorial Clinic & Regatta and the 2018 U.S. Para Sailing Championships. © Ro Fernandez
“We’ve just concluded the 16th Clagett Regatta and we couldn’t do it without the support of the volunteers, sponsors, supporters and especially the sailors,” said Clagett President and Co-Founder Judy Clagett McLennan (Portsmouth, RI). “We’re so thrilled that we’ve been able to join forces with US Sailing to host the U.S. Para Sailing Championships this year. We are working together to demonstrate the interest in sailing and to get it reinstated to the Paralympics.”Read more
By Rick Bannerot
Ex Scientia Tridens, “Through Knowledge, Sea Power” is the motto of the United States Naval Academy, and in mid-June 2018, five Navy 44s (44-foot navy blue sloops) took station near the lighthouse just off the Stamford, CT breakwater before dousing sails and entering Stamford Harbor as part of their ten-day sail training exercise “at sea” from Annapolis, MD.
Brave is one of five Navy 44s that visited Long Island Sound on a recent U.S. Naval Academy Offshore Sail Training Squadron cruise. Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot, copyright 2018
Wait! What? Yes it is true, in today’s high tech world of naval operations with billion dollar ships, the U.S. Naval Academy still has sailing in its heart and teaches many Midshipmen the finer points of handling sailboats and the decision-making and leadership skills that entails. The program is called the Offshore Sail Training Squadron (“OSTS”) and is part of a series of summer training electives designed to give Midshipmen experience in leadership, decision-making, teamwork and self-discovery; all vital elements for future commissioned officers in the Navy or Marine Corps.Read more
I guess it’s natural to worry about the lack of growth or progress in anything we are passionate about. There is certainly no lack of hand wringing about how hard it is getting kids involved in sailing and keeping them engaged. Almost every day in Scuttlebutt, there seems to be a success story juxtaposed with a lament that we are not doing it right. The success stories almost always revolve around some program finding a secret sauce (usually a combination of independence and fun). The other version is a dedicated group, donor, mentor or gifted coach that takes matters into their own hands to instill the joys of working hard at something and seeing the results.Read more
The Salty Dawg Sailing Association (SDSA), a Middletown, RI, based non-profit educational and charitable organization that hosts rallies, rendezvous and blue water sailing seminars, has expanded routes for its Fall Rally to the Caribbean. For the first time, a departure point in Essex, CT offers advantages for those not planning to cruise through the Chesapeake Bay to the primary starting venue in Hampton, VA.
The departure options include Essex on Wednesday, October 31, 2018 and Hampton on Saturday, November 3. Destination options are Falmouth Harbour, Antigua; Gorda Sound, BVI; and Green Turtle Key, Abacos.Read more
The crew of Offshore Passage Opportunities’ flagship, the Swan 48 Avocation, prepares to depart Newport on a recent NARC Rally. © OPO
The 19th Annual North American Rally to the Caribbean departs Saturday, October 27, 2018 from Newport, RI (or the best weather window after that date.) Now a free rally, the NARC Rally is offering a new Mid-Atlantic departure point. “Boats are invited to depart from the Chesapeake Bay to join the NARC Rally in Bermuda and sail south to St. Maarten," said Hank Schmitt, President of Offshore Passage Opportunities (OPO). "They would leave about the same time as the Newport fleet, and meet up in Bermuda."Read more
By Vincent Pica
Commodore, United States Coast Guard Auxiliary
When I teach seamanship courses to private boaters on the south shore of Long Island, I note that, if you boat in our local waters and have never run aground, you’re lying. Even USCG regulars have been known to “touch bottom” at times in these waters… I also note that God left a lot of sand on the south shore and not so much water – and plenty of water on the north shore/Long Island Sound but lots of rocks… So, the issue is not if you run aground but what you do afterwards.Read more
Skippering with confidence right from the start
By Tom Cunliffe
Published by Adlard Coles Nautical, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc, 194 pages hardcover $40
For those new to sailing, the best course of action will always be to enroll in a ‘Basic Sailing’ course (particularly those advertising in this publication!). You’d do well, however, to increase your knowledge of the subject by reading good books, and The Complete Day Skipper by Tom Cunliffe, originally published in 2002 and now in its 5th edition, is among the best.
The Royal Yachting Association, the governing body of sailing in the United Kingdom, defines “day skipper” as “one competent to take charge of a small yacht on short daytime passages under moderate weather conditions, in waters with which he or she is familiar.” Presenting the full syllabus of the RYA Day Skipper course, this book starts with the basics: what’s in a boat, docking and practical boat handling, the theory of sail, aids to navigation, and venturing our of the harbor.Read more
By Julia Miller
Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS) and the Knickerbocker Sailing Association (KSA) came together on June 23, 2018 to celebrate the 15th Annual Stonewall Sails Regatta. What began as a gray and cloudy day brightened when a wave of 30 racers donning rainbow flags appeared in the HRCS boathouse on Pier 66 in Manhattan.
Gloomy skies and light air failed to diminish the enthusiasm of participants in the 15th Annual Stonewall Sails Regatta. © Tom KluepfelRead more
By Barby MacGowan, Media Pro International
With 21 students aboard from Rogers High School, Portsmouth High School and the MET School, Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry returned to Newport, RI on June 11, 2018 after ten days at sea. The 200-foot, three-masted Class A Tall Ship and its student trainees, plus two teacher chaperones and 18 professional crew, started the voyage in Philadelphia, PA on June 2, 2018 and traveled approximately 566 nautical miles to Newport, according to the ship’s Captain Kevin Wells.
Sail trainees (l - r) Bobby Zeller (Rogers HS), Harrison Russell (Portsmouth HS), Collin Clair (Portsmouth), Carsen Prater (Portsmouth), Landon Dosouto (MET School), and Rebecca Downs-Honey (Portsmouth) enjoy a new friendship bond. Photo courtesy OHPRIRead more
By David Dellenbaugh
Jibing is one of the most complex maneuvers you ever make on the race course. To get good at it, you must be skilled and practiced in your boathandling and sailhandling skills. These almost always make the difference between a mediocre rounding and a fast one where everything clicks.The key is adjusting the trim of your boat and sails as you jibe amidst a fleet of boats. It’s not easy because you have to focus on your own crew work and keep your head out of the boat at the same time. Here are some suggestions for smoother, more efficient jibes.Read more