“FINtastic RefurbFISHment” at the Maritime Aquarium
On Saturday, February 18, The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk in Norwalk, CT will unveil its “FINtastic RefurbFISHment,” a $4 million makeover with 21 dynamic new exhibits – including 27 new species of animals – and an improved visitor experience. “There will be new exhibits to explore, new animals to meet, a new way to flow through the Aquarium and beautiful new presentations of the exhibits that you already know and love,” said Jennifer Herring, President of The Maritime Aquarium.
The Aquarium’s large main hall has been re-envisioned with an interactive introduction to Long Island Sound and an orientation to exploring the Aquarium. This space, renamed Newman’s Own Hall, still features the harbor seals (in a “refurbFISHed” exhibit) but also now a 36- by 12-foot map of Long Island Sound – an image about the size of a school bus – with interactive quizzes about the Sound’s marine animals and habitats. “These questions will be fun but also will subtly prepare visitors for learning and discovering as they move on into the Aquarium’s galleries,” Herring said. The creation of Newman’s Own Hall was made possible by a $1.25 million gift from Newman’s Own Foundation, a longtime supporter.
The Aquarium’s galleries have been renamed the Hokin Family Sound Voyage, in honor of a $1.15 million gift from Richard Hokin of Darien, a longtime member of the Aquarium’s Board of Trustees. Favorites – like the sand tiger sharks, otters, sea turtles, jellyfish and Touch Tank – have been enhanced with interactive graphics and dramatic lighting. Among the animals new to the Aquarium are American eels, fiddler crabs, skeleton shrimp, cornetfish, Sargassum fish, tubeworms and nudibranchs, plus a snapping turtle and snakes in the Watershed gallery. Also part of the work is a new outdoor courtyard with a children’s playground and upgrades to such amenities as restrooms, carpeting and lighting.
Other sources of funding for the project include CulinArt Inc., the Aquarium’s onsite food-service company; the late William Ziegler III, another longtime Aquarium trustee; and other members of The Maritime Aquarium board.
The new exhibits were designed by Cambridge Seven Associates, Inc. of Cambridge, MA. Consulting engineers are Altieri/Sebor/Wieber, LLC, of Norwalk. For more information, visit
Newport Bermuda Race posts Notice of Race
By John Rousmaniere
The Notice of Race for the 2012 Newport Bermuda Race has been posted on bermudarace.com. Among the changes are new requirements for crew training, satellite telephones, and life jackets and safety harnesses. The 48th Newport Bermuda Race will start on June 15, 2012 off Castle Hill, Newport, RI and finish 635 miles and several days later off St. David’s Head, Bermuda.
The online entry process opens on January 16 and ends on May 15. The Bermuda Race Safety at Sea Seminar on March 17-18, at the Newport Hyatt Regency Hotel, will offer classroom, in-water, first aid, and CPR training, as well as a special track for people who have attended two safety seminars in the last ten years. Bermuda Race Ambassadors are available to assist first-time sailors in preparing themselves and their boats for the race.
Known affectionately by sailors as “The Thrash to the Onion Patch,” the race had 183 entries in 2010, the third largest fleet in the race’s 104-year history. The chief trophy, for the winner of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division (one of the race’s five divisions), went to Rives Potts’ 48-foot sloop Carina (Westbrook, CT). Carina will race again in 2012 after completing a circumnavigation under sail that included the 2011 Rolex Fastnet Race in England and the 2011 Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race in Australia.
The Newport Bermuda Race is the longest leg of the Onion Patch Series for teams and individual boats that begins in Newport at the New York Yacht Club Annual Regatta on the weekend before the Bermuda Race start, and ends with races on Bermuda’s Great Sound in the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club Anniversary Regatta on June 22.
The Newport Bermuda Race is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. The race chairman is John Osmond (Osterville, MA). The race’s Newport headquarters is the Robert G. Stone, Jr., Sailing Center at the New York Yacht Club.
Oliver Hazard Perry moves to Senesco Marine
Rhode Island’s Education-at-Sea School Ship, the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry, tested the waters of Providence Harbor and upper Narragansett Bay on December 12, when she was launched at Sims Metal Management (formerly Promet Marine) in Providence, RI and towed to Senesco Marine in North Kingstown, RI. At Senesco Marine, one of the Northeast’s premier shipyards for new construction and vessel repair, the non-profit organization Oliver Hazard Perry Rhode Island (OHPRI) will continue building the steel-hulled ship.
“Up until now we’ve been mostly laying groundwork,” said OHPRI Construction Supervisor Rick Williams. “This whole year has been devoted to welding, repairs and inspections, but now we are entering the real building stage. Senesco is where all the major construction will be taking place.” Williams explained that this includes the fabrication of fuel and wing tanks; installation of the lower deck as well as machinery, engines, and generators; fabrication of the new topsides, weather deck, bulwarks and transom; and the stepping of the ship’s three masts.
Before hitting the water, the bottom of the ship’s hull was painted with supplies donated by OHPRI Marine Trades Partner Interlux Yacht Paint. The ship was towed approximately 18 miles from Sims to Senesco by Reagan Construction Corp., another OHPRI Marine Trades Partner.
“We’re very excited about the new location and the fact that the ship can remain in Rhode Island for completion,” said Williams, adding that Senesco Marine has been building steel vessels on 26 acres of land at Quonset Point since 1999. “Senesco will fit the bill perfectly.”
Since the hull was first bought by OHPRI in 2007 from a Canadian group, the organization has worked to create a network of donors and suppliers to help build the ship while focusing on the maritime heritage of Rhode Island. The list of OHPRI Marine Trades Partners continues to grow rapidly and includes Furuno USA, Hall Spars and Rigging, Harken, Hood Sailmakers, KVH Industries, Matthew Smith Naval Architect, Milton CAT, Newport Harbor Corporation, Ocean Navigator Publishing and Onne van der Wal Photography.
“These fine companies, representing the best of Rhode Island’s world renown marine industries, have stepped up to become partners, stretching our precious resources as we create this floating education facility,” said Williams. “We appreciate their involvement and invite others to join in.”
By 2013 – once her deck, masts, rigging, sails and electronics have been added – the SSV Oliver Hazard Perry will be the flagship for Rhode Island, sailing as a 196-foot (sparred length) working vessel. When not performing educational objectives offshore, the ship will be prominently displayed and available to the public in Newport and in other Rhode Island and New England ports to promote tourism and generate new business.
OffCenterHarbor.com is a new online resource for boaters & boatbuilders
Recently launched in the heart of boat building country in Downeast Maine, Off CenterHarbor.com is a new online meeting place for those who build, sail and love traditional wooden boats. A statement reads: “At OffCenterHarbor.com, our mis-sion is to provide authentic know-how for boaters worldwide, while inspiring the use of well-designed boats to connect with friends, family and the natural world. As we set out on this path, we also hope that we help parents and grandparents introduce their kids and grandkids to the freedom and self-reliance available on the water in a well-designed boat. If so, OffCenterHarbor.com has been a success. A $29 annual membership ($290 lifetime membership) provides access to everything on the website, includ-ing videos on boatbuilding, seamanship, choosing your vessel, boating with kids and health, nutrition aboard and much more. A team of maritime experts is shar-ing their boating knowledge in their blogs, and a forum is coming soon. Learn more at OffCenterHarbor.com.
Brad Read to Chair America’s Cup World Series Host Committee
Rhode Island Governor Lincoln D. Chafee has signed Executive Order 11-11, establishing the America’s Cup World Se-ries Host Committee. The Committee will serve as the state’s principal entity for the coordinated effort to successfully host the America’s Cup World Series, which will take place June 23 - July 1, 2012 in New-port. Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport, will serve as Chairman. The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) has estimated that the event could create hundreds of new jobs and pump more than $70 million into the state’s economy. “The America’s Cup World Series races have great potential to bring job cre-ation and revenue to Rhode Island,” said Chafee. “Newport has long, strong ties to the America’s Cup, and these races renew that historic connection. The Host Com-mittee established today, led by Newport-er and renowned sailor Brad Read, will help to coordinate important preparation efforts to ensure that this exciting event is thoroughly successful.” Newport was awarded the final stop of the 2011-2012 AC World Series, the conclusion to the first season of the new AC45 professional circuit. The nine-day event, based at Fort Adams State Park, will include multiple international race teams and a variety of exciting activities and entertainment for the general public.
“By enlisting the state’s collective talent and expertise in key areas of planning and execution, the Committee will help Rhode Island make the many critical infrastructure and logistical preparations needed to host an exciting and successful America’s Cup event in Newport and ensure that we fully integrate local communities and businesses into the process,” said Read.
Members of the Host Committee will include Rhode Island business leaders, experienced event management professionals, municipal representatives and key state agencies. Drawing on that broad range of private and public sector leadership and business expertise - particularly in the marine trades, sailing, tourism and hospitality, commercial transportation and event management industries – the Committee will coordinate marketing, business outreach, public support, event logistics, traffic, public safety, and public infrastructure preparations to ensure a seamless execution of the event.
In addition to Read, Governor Chafee will select and appoint other Committee members and representatives. The state Directors of the Department of Administration, Department of Transportation, and Department of Environmental Management will each appoint one designee from their departments.
The Committee will work closely with the America’s Cup Event Authority, municipalities and area businesses to ensure a successful event for all stakeholders including local communities and businesses. Members will facilitate race team and spectator needs, coordinate and integrate public safety measures, facilitate parking, traffic control, pedestrian safety, security, water safety and communication with area residents and businesses and any other necessary functions, including marketing and promotion.
Annapolis Spring Boat Show
April 27 - 29
The United States Sailboat Show is coming to downtown Annapolis in the spring of 2012. Forty two years ago the concept of producing a boat show in the water was invented in Annapolis by Jerry Wood. All these years later it remains the largest in-water show of new sailboats in the world and will now be copied in a springtime version. Annapolis City Dock, Ego Alley and surrounding areas including Susan Campbell Park will be the site for this exciting new event.
The show will feature Cruisers University, a four-day educational event designed to introduce and train students for life aboard a cruising boat. Classes will be held in the Annapolis Waterfront Marriott and the Annapolis Rec Center.
The Annapolis Spring Sailboat Show will include over 2,000 feet of floating docks accommodating over 80 new and brokerage sailboats, both monohulls and multihulls. In addition, there will be equipment and accessory vendors on land surrounding Ego Alley. For more information, visit usboat.com/spring-sailboat-show.
Atlantic City Race Week returns
After a 20-year hiatus, offshore sailboat racing will return to Atlantic City, NJ. Atlantic City Race Week will feature one-design and PHRF racing with easy access, competitive fleets, and ocean racing with superb race management. Shore activities will be held on the dock at Farley Marina, now a part of the Golden Nugget Casino, and include cocktail parties, barbecue dinners and live entertainment on the dock.
With divisions for J/105, J/24, Melges 24, Viper 640 and Lightning in addition to PHRF classes, Atlantic City Race Week will be hosted by Ocean City Yacht Club, in participation with the Corinthian Yacht Club of Cape May. The regatta will also serve as the J/24 District 4 Championship and a stop on the 2012 Parkway Series. Event sponsors will be announced soon. For more information and sponsorship opportunities, visit
New full service marina coming to Stamford
Plans for Harbor Point, a project by commercial real estate developers Building and Land Technology (BLT), include a full service marina in the historic South End of Stamford, CT. A BLT statement describes Harbor Point as “Stamford’s most dynamic neighborhood, connecting the City to its revitalized waterfront and acres of newly developed parks.” Further details of the upcoming marina were unavailable at press time.
The hub of Harbor Point is Canal Street, a cornerstone of the Yale & Towne neighborhood. With residential and commercial space, the LockWorks and The Lofts at Yale & Towne occupy a newly renovated century-old building that originally housed the Yale Lock Factory. Z Sails opened their brand-new sail loft at 860 Canal Street in November. The U.S. Passport Agency is relocating its regional offices to 850 Canal Street in mid-2012, taking over a 21,000-square-foot space.
Harbor Point has attracted nearly 1,000 new residents and retail tenants including Connecticut’s first Fairway Market, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Design within Reach, Cornell University Veterinary Specialists, Louis Dreyfus Highbridge Energy, Go Green Dry Cleaners, Robeks Premium Fruit Smoothies, First Niagara Bank, exhale Spa, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, and more. Harbor Point has been awarded LEED Gold Status for leadership in environmentally-friendly neighborhood design. For more information, Visit harborpt.com.
Saving Sailing author writing books for sailing families
Nicholas Hayes, the author of Saving Sailing, has teamed up with renowned illustrator Renee Graef to create children’s books using family sailing as an inspirational backdrop. While on his recent Saving Sailing book tour, Hayes saw a trend. Grandparents would ask him to autograph his book for their kids and grandkids. That sparked an idea for Abi, Kid Sailor, a new series of sailing books for young families. Hayes lifted the central character, Abigail, a 10-year old who spends summers sailing with many members of her family, from Saving Sailing.
“The Abi project is part of a movement to help parents and children re-engage with their natural and local worlds and with each other,” said Hayes. “In the first story, ‘What Grandma Needs,’ Abi wonders why her dad says that at 80 years of age, Grandma doesn’t “need” anything on her birthday, and she sets out to learn what he means. As we follow Abi’s self-styled detective work, we learn about creative discovery, give and take, healthy skepticism, problem solving, the value of intergenerational relationships, cooperation and giving. And we learn a little about family sailing, the magic of sailboats, and their key role in teaching about resources, water, weather and authentic human interactions.”
Graef has illustrated 70 books for children, including the Kirsten series in the American Girl collection and many of the My First Little House books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. Graef’s characters are lasting and loved, the life and movement she can bring to a page is unforgettable and inspirational. She is also an aspiring sailor. Abi, Kid Sailor is a multi-year effort, and at least six books are planned. For more information, visit abikidsailor.com.
Most members of 2012 US Olympic Team announced
The Olympic Team - Sailing has been selected, and will be officially nominated pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee. The only class not yet selected is Women’s Match Racing, which will host its second and final qualifying event May 4 - 9 in Weymouth, England. The U.S. team representatives are:
49er (Men’s Two Person Dinghy High Performance): Erik Storck (Huntington, NY) & Trevor Moore (Pomfret, VT/Naples, FL)
Men’s 470 (Men’s Two Person Dinghy): Stuart McNay (Boston, MA) & Graham Biehl (San Diego, CA)
Women’s 470 (Women’s Two Person Dinghy): Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, NY) & Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
Finn (Men’s One Person Dinghy Heavy): Zach Railey (Clearwater, FL)
Laser (Men’s One Person Dinghy): Rob Crane (Darien, CT)
Laser Radial (Women’s One Person Dinghy): Paige Railey (Clearwater, FL)
Men’s RS:X (Men’s Windsurfer): Bob Willis (Chicago, IL)
Star (Men’s Keelboat): Mark Mendelblatt (Miami, FL) & Brian Fatih (Miami, FL)
Women’s RS:X (Women’s Windsurfer): Farrah Hall (Annapolis, MD) earned a nomination in the women’s windsurfer, pending both US Olympic Committee approval and qualification of the USA in the RS:X.
As the USA did not qualify at the ISAF Worlds, the final opportunity will be the 2012 RS:X World Championship, scheduled for March 20 - 29 in Cadiz, Spain.