Keeping Kids in Sailing

It’s not necessarily the boat…or is it?

By Ben Cesare

Junior Sailing Boat In our September issue, my Publisher’s Log made a case against the Optimist as a training boat. In October, we published some letters that agreed with the premise. Since then, we have gathered several points of view...frankly it’s been exhausting as the topic generates a huge number of stories and opinions. Following is an effort to synthesize and provide a prescription. Luckily for me, I have a dog in this hunt. But then again, ultimately, we all do.

The 9-foot O’Pen BIC delivers mini-skiff performance in a durable thermoformed polyethylene package, and young sailors love the “Un-Regatta” event format.   © Aine McLean Fretwell
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College of Charleston Wins the 2018 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta

By Ron Weiss

Intercollegiate Offshore RegattaThe Storm Trysail Foundation’s 2018 Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR) enjoyed reasonably good sailing conditions on October 6 & 7, 2018. Conditions were gray and misty but with winds that, albeit shifty, were generally 6 to 10 knots for the five-race series, which was hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY. Sailing a variety of keelboats generously loaned to the event, 47 teams duked it out on Long Island Sound.


The College of Charleston team dominated the 12-boat J/105 class with a perfect 1-1-1-1-1 scoreline.   © Howie McMichael
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Super-Charged Overcoming adversity in the Vineyard Race

By Alexa Shea & Elizabeth van der Voort, Young American Sailing Academy

Editor’s note: Many sailors would consider the failure of a boat’s electrical system during an overnight race sufficient cause for throwing in the towel and setting a course for the nearest tavern. For the eight teenage sailors aboard the J/105 Young American in this year’s running of Stamford Yacht Club’s Vineyard Race, quitting was never an option.

Young American Sailing AcademyWhile racing on a thirty-five foot boat with enough provisioning and water, one wouldn’t expect much to go wrong in one night going to Buzzards Tower and back. But if one suddenly had no navigational lights or data on the depth, wind direction, wind speed, boat speed, bearing and more, one would probably retire.

The crew of Young American overcame electrical issues to finish fourth in their 10-boat class in the Vineyard Race.  Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot © 2018

However, that’s not what happened in our Vineyard Race. When we lost all of our power on Young American, everyone sprung to action to try and help. Because our engine sucks in air on starboard, we just assumed that we had to flood the engine. But before that happened, our coach Joe Cooper gave us spare navigation lights that he brought just in case. After flooding the engine and trying to start it in order to charge our batteries, we decided to give it a break and try again when the boat was upright.

Luckily, we had two charged phones with two different navigational apps that we used, but two phones on 20 percent wouldn’t last two days so we had to make sure we barely used them. Also, we had two compasses built into the boat and we shined a flashlight on them. After 50 hours of racing, we were near Stratford Point when the wind died and we were discussing dropping out. That idea came to an end real fast when we all realized we had come this far with no electronics and we could go another five hours because we deserved to finish.

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Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment: One of a Kind

The Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction EquipmentOn July 12 & 13, 2018, 51 teams of sailors between the ages of 12 and 18 raced their Club 420s in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment. Modeled after the Volvo Ocean Race, The Dinghy Race is unlike any other youth sailing event. Instead of the typical windward-leeward format of most regattas, this event is an offshore adventure on the waters of Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound that presents young sailors with new challenges and experiences.

One hundred and two sailors from as far away as Florida competed in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment.   © J. Cronin - OutrageousPhotography.net
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Sailing the Navy Blue Seas

By Rick Bannerot

Brave Navy 44Ex Scientia Tridens, “Through Knowledge, Sea Power” is the motto of the United States Naval Academy, and in mid-June 2018, five Navy 44s (44-foot navy blue sloops) took station near the lighthouse just off the Stamford, CT breakwater before dousing sails and entering Stamford Harbor as part of their ten-day sail training exercise “at sea” from Annapolis, MD. 

Brave is one of five Navy 44s that visited Long Island Sound on a recent U.S. Naval Academy Offshore Sail Training Squadron cruise.   Photo courtesy of Rick Bannerot, copyright 2018 

Wait! What? Yes it is true, in today’s high tech world of naval operations with billion dollar ships, the U.S. Naval Academy still has sailing in its heart and teaches many Midshipmen the finer points of handling sailboats and the decision-making and leadership skills that entails. The program is called the Offshore Sail Training Squadron (“OSTS”) and is part of a series of summer training electives designed to give Midshipmen experience in leadership, decision-making, teamwork and self-discovery; all vital elements for future commissioned officers in the Navy or Marine Corps.

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Aquidneck Island Students Complete Voyage Aboard Tall Ship Oliver Hazard Perry

By Barby MacGowan, Media Pro International

Oliver Hazard PerryWith 21 students aboard from Rogers High School, Portsmouth High School and the MET School, Rhode Island’s Official Sailing Education Vessel SSV Oliver Hazard Perry returned to Newport, RI on June 11, 2018 after ten days at sea. The 200-foot, three-masted Class A Tall Ship and its student trainees, plus two teacher chaperones and 18 professional crew, started the voyage in Philadelphia, PA on June 2, 2018 and traveled approximately 566 nautical miles to Newport, according to the ship’s Captain Kevin Wells.

Sail trainees (l - r) Bobby Zeller (Rogers HS), Harrison Russell (Portsmouth HS), Collin Clair (Portsmouth), Carsen Prater (Portsmouth), Landon Dosouto (MET School), and Rebecca Downs-Honey (Portsmouth) enjoy a new friendship bond.   Photo courtesy OHPRI 
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Connecticut-Based Team Wins U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship

US Youth Match Racing ChampionshipRepresenting Riverside Yacht Club, the team of Jack Parkin (Greenwich, CT), Ashton Borcherding (Greenwich), Bram Brakman (Darien, CT) and Wiley Rogers (Kemah, TX) won the 2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup. The event was co-hosted by Oakcliff Sailing and Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY June 27 to July 1, 2018 and sailed in Sonars. Parkin’s team finished nine races with eight points, and only one loss in the Round Robin.

Ten teams of four, each with at least one female crew, competed in the 2018 U.S. Youth Match Racing Championship for the Rose Cup.©  Francis George/Oakcliff Sailing
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MudRatz Do Bermuda!

By Peter Cronin

Editor’s note: In 2016, the Newport Bermuda Race Organizing Committee initiated a new division for young sailors. To qualify for the Stephens Brothers Youth Division, 50% of a yacht’s crew must be between the ages of 14 and 23 (inclusive). An enticing prize donated by the Cruising Club of America’s New York Station and honoring legendary sailors Olin and Rod Stephens, the Stephens Brothers Youth Division Trophy is awarded to the yacht with the best performance in that division. Hailing from Southeastern Connecticut, the MudRatz Offshore Team claimed the Stephens Brothers Youth Division Trophy (and the Alfred E. Loomis Trophy as the winners of the 14-boat Class 5 of the St. David’s Lighthouse Division) in the 51st Newport Bermuda Race. To learn more, log onto MudRatz.org.

MudratzThe idea of the MudRatz participating in the Newport Bermuda Race was conceived about a year ago. MudRatz founder Brandon Flack had seen us grow in the Melges 24s and was ready for us to take on the challenge of offshore racing. The only thing stopping us from doing these events was the availability of a boat. Brandon put the word out that we were actively looking for a boat that we could use for the Newport Bermuda Race, but as the cold, dark days of December 2017 rolled through there were no real prospects in sight.  

Celebrating aboard Dreamcatcher in Hamilton Harbor are (front row, left to right) Taylor Walker, Peter Cronin, Steve Kylander, Megan Gimple, John Winder, OJ O’Connell (kneeling) and (back row, l - r) Lindsay Gimple, Annie Longo, Sarah Wilkinson, Morgan Buffum and Fritz Finkenauer. © Julia Cronin/OutrageousPhotography.net
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Team Gen5 are Lightning Youth World Champions!

By Brian Hayes, Sr.

Lightning Youth World ChampionshipSixteen teams from seven countries competed in the 2018 Lightning Youth World Championship. The Nautical Athletic Club of Voula, with support from the Yacht Club of Greece, hosted this International Lightning Class Association regatta in the waters off Athens, Greece from July 3 - 7, 2018.

The 2018 Lightning Youth World Champions are (l - r) Jeff Hayden, Brian Hayes, Jr. and Meredith Ryan.   © Nigel Vick

Four teams representing the USA (including three-time Lightning Junior North American Champions Tanner Probst, Jenna Probst and Maya Weber) were in attendance, along with four teams from host country Greece, three from Canada, two from Finland, and one each from Brazil, Chile and Peru.

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Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment is July 12 & 13

By Laura Beigel

The Dinghy RaceThe fourth annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment, formerly known as the Secor Volvo Race, will be sailed July 12 and 13, 2018. This one-of-a-kind event is modeled after the Volvo Ocean Race, and participants between the ages of 12 and 18 race 420s on a 20-mile course in Fishers Island Sound in an experience normally reserved for older sailors.

As in “the other Volvo,” participants in The Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment sail distance legs and make stopovers. © Clay Burkhalther/burkhalterphotos.com
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WindCheck October 2018

Click here to download WindCheck's October 2018 issue. (File is 5MB)