Resume Hand Wringing!

Sept2018_cover_publishers_log.pngLast 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. 

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Let’s Go!

August_cover_pub_log.jpgI 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.

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Over Exposed?

July WindCheck DoradeIn choosing this month’s cover photograph, as usual, the WindCheck team had a lot of very good options. When presented with Kerstin’s (Kerstin Fairbend, WindCheck’s Graphic Designer) first choice, part of me groaned. Again?! “Seriously, how many times has that boat been on the cover of WindCheck?”(WindCheck hat for the first one who provides the correct answer). “It seems like every month there is a fantastic photo of her submitted for a cover or a story!” Zep (Chris Szepessy, Editor of WindCheck) said in an almost begrudging way, “But she is beautiful...and what a shot!” 

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Don’t let Perfect be the enemy of Good (enough)

My father was an artisan. He loved craft and beauty. So much so that as a kid, if I wanted to fashion a new Laser tiller in his shop, I had to be sure to cut and drill the Montreal hockey stick and attach the PVC tube for a tiller extension when he was not around. Otherwise, while he might appreciate my logic for the weight-to-strength ratio of those laminated Montreal shafts, he would be far more concerned with why I had not chosen mahogany. And which plane was I going to use to round the edges before sanding them? And wasn’t I going to varnish it (four coats minimum, seven coats recommended)? And when did I need it by? And no, today was definitely not going to happen.

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Letter: A real lot of water!

“The Personal Locator Beacon – It Locates You!” (From the Captain of the Port, May 2018) is a good article, but 12 nautical miles by 12 nautical miles is not 12 square nautical miles but 144 square miles – a real lot of water to cover! All the more reason to get a PLB if you are going out there.

Lloyd Herman, via email

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Letter: Don’t miss the JYRA Reunion!

What the heck is JYRA? Well, at one time it stood for Junior Yacht Racing Association and has since been renamed Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound. We had a reunion of JYRA sailors in 2009, and we have been encouraged to do an encore performance. Over 125 showed up in ’09.

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Letter: Where are the Tide Tables?

What good is WindCheck without the tide tables? Just kidding – mag looks good.

Tom Pilkington, Prestige Yacht Sales


What happened to the tide charts? WindCheck is my primary source for local tides. I dog ear the page and keep a copy on my chart table for instant access. No computer or thick, orange book to fool with. Please put them back in. That said, I have been reading WindCheck (pick it up at Mystic Shipyard or Willow Point Marina in Mystic, CT) for many years and always enjoy it. Keep up the great work. 

Greg Potts, S/V Synergy

Publishers response: This has been a lively topic since the May issue, when the tide tables did not appear in the magazine for the first time in 16 years. Many people have commented negatively, while an equal number have said, “Thank you, I have two devices on my person that tell me the tides!” Well, we are listening and aim to please. While the Tide Tables are not in this June issue, we have a plan to fix this. Stay tuned!

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May is Going to be Very Busy

May 2018 WindCheckWell, that was brutal. After a teasing thaw in February, enough to even get in a first round of golf, March and April have not been much fun for us in the Northeast. And while this is typical, it’s definitely upset some schedules as we prepare for the season. Hopefully, some of you got south to Sperry Charleston Race Week or further south to race in Miami or the Caribbean for a break! Now the sun is working and it’s going to be full on to get ready. May is going to be very busy regardless of the weather.

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Planning Ahead to May

WindCheck April 2018.jpgBy the time you read this, hopefully the string of nor’easters in March is just a bad memory.  The April sun has melted the snow away, and the kids are actually going to school again on a regular basis. For me, it has truly been a period of reawakening. I have been working with the dedicated WindCheck team to carry on the sixteen year tradition of this great publication and been scheming on how we might improve it for the future. 

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Letter: The Long Island Sound Station Lament

A poem by Storm Trysail Club LIS Station Captain Buttons Padin

In Marblehead they gather at Maddie’s,

They meet at The Boat Yard in Naptown,

In Newport, STC goes to IYAC,

But we’ve not found a home on the Sound!

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Download September 2018 WindCheck

Click here to download WindCheck's September 2018 issue. (File is 8MB)