Welcoming Change

There are few moments so rewarding as completing a complex or difficult task. And when that task is completed to expectation or above, we are rewarded with a big exhale of relief and accomplishment…and maybe even a cold beer. I know it’s already May and the time for bellyaching about getting the boat ready should be well behind us, but as we often experience here in the Northeast, our weather this spring was less than predictable; Mother Nature despondently holding onto the cold and wet far too long. But, as soon as the needle on the seasonal barometer rises and the temp on the thermometer signals a green light, it’s time to exhale, pull the sails and summer clothes out of the closet and chuck the skis and sweaters to the back. I would normally be sharing these sentiments in our April issue, but this year we seemed to be mired down in winter well into commissioning season and go-time hurried in quickly. No time to exhale (or have that cold beer) yet!

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Letter: Eight Bells: Dexter A. Holaday 1945-2017

Dexter HoladayDexter Alden Holaday, a lifelong resident of Noank, CT, crossed the bar on April 10. He was 72.

A nationally and internationally known yacht surveyor, Holaday was a U. S. Navy veteran who served aboard the submarines USS Tusk and the USS Angler during the Cold War. He attended the University of Connecticut, the University of Rhode Island, Mitchell College, Middlesex College, Suffolk University Law School, Three Rivers College and the Westlawn School of Yacht Design. He received a Masters Degree in Marine Surveying from the State of Connecticut and held a U. S. Coast Guard license for over 40 years. Additionally, he spent many years as a service/yard manager at several marinas in southeastern Connecticut.

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Letter: I’ve seen that movie too

I thoroughly enjoyed reading Derek Rupe’s article “Adventures in Docking” [April 2017]. 

It reminded of the words my father told us when we grew up sailing out of Norwalk, CT. He said there are two ways to dock a boat. The first is to come in like the summer blockbuster that everyone remembers, and the second is to come in like that B movie that everyone forgets. He’d say, “Let’s try to be that B movie! I’ve shared that story with my children and over the years I am very thankful they “make me look good” coming in.

Carleton Mitchell, an American yachtsman, is quoted in saying: “The trickiest part of a voyage or cruise may turn out to be the short leg between any harbor entrance and dock, both on the way in and the way out.”

Alan H. Liebnick, Fleet Captain, Milford Yacht Club, Milford, CT

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Letter: A storm that took lives inspired ways to save others

Editor’s Note: Many readers enjoyed our interview with author and safety at sea advocate John Rousmaniere and we recently received this letter:

Dear Mr. Rousmaniere,

Fastnet, Force 10Wonderful interview and much appreciated emphasis on safety. I just finished reading Fastnet, Force 10. Thank you for the poignant and riveting story of the Fastnet Race of 1979. As a “landlubber,” your account gifted me a better understanding of the sport of sailing, while imparting to me a profound respect for those men and women who fully engage their love of sailing, providing us armchair sailors with a sense of something we’ve never experienced.

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April 2017 WindCheck CoverOne of the articles many readers anticipate seeing in every issue of WindCheck is Sound Environment. Since our very first issue in 2002, WindCheck has featured – at least once monthly – articles about environmentally relevant and important topics such as beach cleanups, clean regatta practices, water quality issues, protecting marine wildlife, and many other rallying calls for an ecological cause.

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Letter: Attention Force 5 Racers!

Thames Yacht Club in New London, CT is pleased to announce that we are hosting the 2017 Force 5 North American Championship on July 26 - 29, 2017. TYC is offering low- and no-cost housing, charter boats, guest moorings, and ‘Challenger’ and ‘Junior’ racing. This important event is a tremendous opportunity for Force 5 sailors of different age and skill levels to compete in an international race in their own backyard.

Full details including Notice of Race (NOR) and registration are available at and For more information, please contact TYC Publicity Chair Cate Sheahan at or Race Organizer Grant Ehrlich at

Thank you,

Cate Sheahan, Thames Yacht Club

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Letter: An Evening with Gary Jobson

Dear Anne,

Thanks again for all your efforts to arrange An Evening with Gary Jobson for American Yacht Club and member yacht clubs of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound. It was a great success and everyone thoroughly enjoyed the evening. Gary is truly a great speaker and storyteller!

We appreciate North Sails, Regatta Ginger Beer and WindCheck for making this happen. After all the hard work, I hope you were able to enjoy the evening and interaction with so many fans.

All the best,

John Hunt

Chair, Speakers Series

American Yacht Club, Rye, NY

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Letter: Don’t Forget the Fun!

Editor’s note: The subject of the ‘On Watch’ article in our March issue, Kate Wilson was recently honored by the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association for (among other achievements) her efforts to help revitalize the junior sailing program at Newport Yacht Club in Newport, RI.

Hi Kate,

I read with great interest in the March issue of WindCheck about you being honored by RIMTA as the Rhode Island Boater of the Year – congratulations!

I completely agree with you that junior sailing needs to be more fun and offer this short story in support. When my son was 9 years old, we sent him to a great local summer sailing camp at a local yacht club. He repeated the camp a year later, but for the third summer I asked him if he would like to go again and he said no. I asked why and he said, “Because all they want to do is race and make you try to beat the pants off somebody. I like to sail, Dad, but it’s not fun when all you do is race.” For him, there was no fun, no “Marine Adventure Camp,” and it was all about competition…trying to be better than the next kid. I was greatly saddened, but understood. I love sailing too and learned it as a young teen – but not in a competitive sailing camp. He was burnt out at the tender young age of 12.

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It’s now 2017. At this time of year, we look back at what we accomplished (or perhaps deferred) during the previous year, as well as set goals and prepare for what lies ahead. Looking back is easy. And it’s interesting to see different peoples’ takes on what 2016 brought – or took – as was the case in many instances. Social media and all of the colorful and dramatic flair that accompanies it depicted last year as worse than, say, 1350 and the height of the black plague. While we did not suffer a great pestilence, we certainly did lose many amazing musicians, actors and other notable figures. I’m sure we can all agree that last year’s political climate was not something we will look back on with warm fondness either, nor was our world a peaceful place.

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Letter: I Love It When We’re Cruisin’ Together

The story by Charlie Simon in your November/December 2016 issue is good. [“Top Ten Tips Being Together at Sea: Happy Wife, Happy First Mate!” ] In so many ways it is right on target. I am still waiting for the article, “Top Ten Ways to Get Your Husband to Abandon His Sailboat and Adopt Your House and Garden.” I probably don’t read the right magazines. I also liked “A Voyage to Maine and Back” by Nancy G. Kaull & Dr. Paul F. Jacobs. Based in Boston, we nipped up to Maine without much thought. Our big coastal cruise is going to be Cape Cod to the Chesapeake with a long linger in Long Island Sound. Same sort of story, but in reverse.

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