As part of the Storm Trysail Club’s efforts to engage younger sailors in the offshore component of yacht racing, the Tri-State Youth Offshore Challenge has been created which includes a series of regattas in eastern Connecticut, Rhode Island and Shelter Island, New York.
Sailing in the Youth Challenge division with members of the Grimes and Moffet families comprising her crew, Paul Grimes’ J/35 Breakaway took third in PHRF Spinnaker 2 in the 2016 Ida Lewis Distance Race. © Cate Brown/ catebrownphoto.com
The series will incorporate the 10th Mudnite Madness Overnight (July 27, 2018; organized by the Mystic River Mudhead Sailing Association), the Race Around Shelter Island (August 3, 2018; organized by the Shelter Island Yacht Club), and the Ida Lewis Distance Race (August 17, 2018; organized by the Ida Lewis Yacht Club).
The winner of the series will receive the Rugg Family Youth Offshore Trophy, a new trophy donated by the Rugg Family through the generosity of Storm Trysail Club member Peter Rugg, who along with fellow STC member Bruce Lawrence, had the initial vision for the series and were instrumental in bringing it to fruition.
“We have a very active community of young sailors who are looking for additional opportunities to move up from dinghy and small keelboat sailing to big boat distance racing,” said Rugg. “Spurred on by the American YC’s success with their Young American program [run by STC members Peter Becker and Rob Alexander], and the donation to the MudRatz (the Junior sailing arm of the Mudheads) of the Swan 48 Dreamcatcher, we felt the time was right to launch a youth-focused offshore series.”
“Boat owners are always looking for crew, especially younger and more agile crew,” said Lawrence, “and one of the challenges to increasing the level of participation in offshore sailing is the lack of breadth and depth in the crew pool. It seemed to us that one of the best ways of getting more boats out there is to provide more youth sailors with a chance to ‘get their feet wet’ – as well as the rest of their bodies! – in shorter overnight, distance and offshore races.”
Teams competing for the Rugg Trophy must complete at least two of the three events in good standing, and have one more than half of the crew (rounded up) between the ages of 14 and 23 in the current calendar year (e.g. five qualifying youths out of seven total). The boats must be offshore-capable yachts with a minimum LOA of 30 feet.
Any boat owners who would like to participate in the series, and any crews looking for boats/teams to race with, are encouraged to contact the Series co-chairs Bruce Lawrence (Bruce@bogaertconstruction.com) or Tim Keyworth (Timothy@worldtradingcorporation.com).
As the Storm Trysail Club is a leader in the promotion of offshore safety (the Foundation arm of the Club runs numerous Safety-At-Sea and Junior Safety-at-Sea seminars every year), each member of the crew under 18 must have attended a Junior Safety-At-Sea seminar and every member of the crew over 18 shall hold a valid US Sailing Safety-At-Sea certificate. The complete and official Notice of Series with more details concerning the eligibility and safety requirements, as well as the scoring procedure can be found at stormtrysail.org/regattas/tri-state-youth-offshore-challenge.
Upcoming Storm Trysail Foundation Junior Safety-At-Sea seminars – required for all crew members under the age of 18 – include:
- Wednesday, June 27 at Shelter Island Yacht Club, Shelter Island, NY, Ed Carey: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Saturday, June 30 at Balboa Yacht Club, Newport Harbor, CA, Ian Vickers: email@example.com, Peter Macdonald: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Monday, July 9 at Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, MD, Ross Dierdorff: email@example.com
- Friday, July 20 at Larchmont Yacht Club, Larchmont, NY, Dick York: York.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesday, July 25 at Raritan Yacht Club, Perth Amboy, NJ, Kelly Robinson: email@example.com, Ann Myer: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wednesday, July 25 (venue TBA), Stonington, CT, Peter Rugg: email@example.com, Frank Bohlen: firstname.lastname@example.org
More information about the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety-At-Sea events may be found at stormtrysailfoundation.org/junior-safety-at-sea-seminars.