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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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Download the latest issue

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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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