Letter: Creating Community

WindCheck is great – it’s important! It helps create the community of sailors. We wouldn’t get all of this timely and relevant information pulled together anywhere else.

Alan Sugarman, New York, NY 

Alan, Thank you for your kind words. We are proud to serve such an active, vibrant community.  

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Letter: Supportive Sailing

Editor’s note: Molly Mulhern’s article ‘Sailors Growing Sailors,’ about mentoring programs at yacht clubs and community sailing programs around the country, appeared in our August 2016 issue.

Hi Molly,

I am one of the women sailors who race at the Beverly Yacht Club in Marion, MA. I started out sailing in my grandfather’s H 12 ½ as a young girl, with my aunt as a coach. In the mid1990s, I started crewing with the ladies at the yacht club. It was a wonderful experience, as I was able to crew for one of the best sailors in the club. 

In 2004, I bought an H 12 ½ and have sailed it ever since in the Ladies Day Race. It has been great fun and I have improved tremendously, although I’ve had friends who have surpassed me. It is a wonderful group of women and we are all supportive of one another offering advice, mistakes made during the race, and figuring out how we can improve our sailing in the next race. We have a very civilized lunch beforehand, then we go out and race my gutsy broads, then come back and have a libation and discuss our racing accomplishments, or possibly not.

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The Sailing Women in my Life

I’ve had the pleasure of sailing with some great people, many of whom are women. In this month’s ‘Corner’, Coop writes about The Magenta Project’s mission of exposing more women to top-level sailing and increasing the number of women sailing professionally. There are several females sailing out of my homeport of Black Rock Harbor in Bridgeport, Connecticut – none of them professional, but all of them great. I’m certain that Coop also knows many outstanding female sailors, and he and I concur that the most talented and ambitious – particularly here in the USA – deserve more abundant opportunities to become pros. Many of the sailing women I know could, given the chance, compete at the highest levels of the sport.

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Letter: The persona of the Finn

Coop’s Corner in the September issue made my day. It was about one of my favorite boats. I picked up an old Vanguard Finn some years back. Over the years I made most of the worthwhile upgrades to it, all increasing the pleasure of sailing it. The Finn is just an awesome little boat that gets a lot of ‘bad’ press.

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Letter: Steering the right course

Steering the right course

Thank you so much for the very nice article on Paul and the new award [“New Sportsmanship Award Honors Paul Risseeuw”]. I think the award will go a long way to steer junior sailors in the right direction for all sports and life in general.

Mary Risseeuw, Ivoryton, CT

Mary – We are honored to have known Paul, and have fond memories of the stories he shared during the interview for our ‘On Watch’ article about him.

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Letter: A guiding hand

A guiding hand

Rick Bannerot photo essayWhile I was glancing through the September issue, I happened upon the article “A Skipper is Born.” I was really struck by the photos. They were so sharp and colorful, but most importantly they really captured great expressions.

Good job to Rick Bannerot.

Bill Wagner, Huntington, NY

© Rick Bannerot

Bill – We at WindCheck are fortunate to have many superb photographers among our regular contributors, and Rick is certainly one of the best. Likewise, the young sailors at Stamford Yacht Club are lucky to have excellent instructors like Julia Wilson.

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Letter: Adopt a Crew!

I like the idea of mentoring [“Sailors Growing Sailors” by Molly Mulhern;], and have a suggestion with a slightly different twist. As we age and tasks aboard our boat become more taxing, I would like to start a program called “Adopt a Crew.” We, as boat owners, would share our knowledge and our boat with someone younger in exchange for crew duties. It would be a win-win arrangement. Is anyone aware of such a program in the Long Island Sound area?

Eileen Hawe, via email

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Letter: Joy of the Open Sea

letter high noon bermudaThe 2016 Newport to Bermuda Race has been a summer highlight, and I had the pleasure of following the race with special interest for all the participating junior sailors, especially the Young American Junior Big Boat Sailing Team from American Yacht Club. [“The Newport Bermuda Race Aboard High Noon” by Carina Becker appeared in our August issue]

© Barry Pickthall/PPL
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Keep on Growing

I am continually amazed at the number of ‘We must grow the sport of sailing’ articles and letters out there. Yet, each and every month the pages of this magazine are filled with articles detailing that very thing. I suppose I would understand if the letters and articles read ‘Let’s continue growing the sport of sailing’ instead because collectively, I think we’re doing a spectacular job of increasing accessibility to the sport as well as decelerating the decline in participation in the ‘aged-out’ and ‘bored-out’ categories of junior sailors. Certainly there will always be attrition in the high school and college years, but with the multitude of truly exciting opportunities available to young sailors today, boredom can scarcely get a toehold. 

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Learn, educate, repeat.

I’ve always identified with a quote from Benjamin Franklin: “Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.” Great mentors involve their students. In my academic studies, as well as instructing, coaching and now parenting, I often think of these words. Involve me and I learn. Hands-on training, immersion in a project, even inclusion in brainstorming all help a person to become a better learner, a better crewperson, captain and future mentor.

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