BIRW 2018

MudRatz Take Toronto!

By Peter Cronin

MudratzIn the weeks leading up to the Melges 24 Canadian National Championship, I did my research and it did not look promising. As a 17-year-old adrenaline-seeking sailor, I always looked forward to the windy days. The forecast for Lake Ontario during our regatta, hosted by National Yacht Club in Toronto September 21-25, 2017 was not exactly what a kid like me was looking for. With breezes forecasted at under 10 knots, it was time to test our hand at light wind sailing.

From left to right (and sporting the coolest pinnies in the regatta) are skipper Lily Flack, Cara Samson, Caelen Desmond, Lucy Rath and Braedon Hanson.   (Not visible in this photo is author Peter Cronin.)   © Julia Cronin/Outrageous Photography

I was going to be on a boat with a group of sailors with an average age of 15 ½, we were all itching to show the adults in the Melges 24 class what us kids could do. Despite the weather forecast, or perhaps because of it, that is exactly what we did. We even surprised ourselves in the process.

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Cowles Win Gold at Youth Worlds

CI_Youth_Worlds_image.jpgTwin sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles of Larchmont, NY scored a decisive victory in the Girls 420 division at the 2017 Youth World Sailing Championship, which was held in Sanya, China December 11 - 16, 2017. “It’s still sinking in,” said the sisters in unison. “We’re going to tell our mother and sister; they’ve been following it from afar, even though it’s midnight there. They’re probably really excited right now.”

Carmen and Emma Cowles are World Champions!  © Sailing Energy/World Sailing
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MudRatz Set Sights on Blue Water Sailing

MudRatz DreamcatcherWith the surprise donation of a proven 48-footer, MudRatz, an organization based in Southeastern Connecticut with a mission to complement local youth sailing programs by enabling enthusiastic sailors to practice together as a team and travel to regattas around the country, is taking a leap into the world of offshore racing.

With the donation of this Swan 48, the MudRatz have set their sights on the Newport Bermuda Race and beyond.    © Allen Clark/
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Boston U Wins Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta

By Ron Weiss

Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta 2017Over 360 college students from the United States, as well as international teams from Canada and France, participated in the 2017 Storm Trysail Foundation’s Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta (IOR), hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY October 7 & 8, 2017.

Overall winners BU show off their winning form on the foredeck of Young American.  © Howie McMichael
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Stony Brook Sailing Team Qualifies for Conference Championship

By Jason Rose

Stony Brook Sailing TeamThe Stony Brook University Sailing Team in Stony Brook, NY qualified for their Conference Championship, the War Memorial Regatta, during the Middle Atlantic Intercollegiate Racing Association’s (MAISA) Central Fall Qualifier, hosted by Ocean County College at the Toms River Yacht Club in Toms River, NJ the weekend of September 23 & 24.

A-Division skipper Vidar Minkovsky and crew Jeremy McCauley made SBU Seawolves history…   © James Gilmore - SBU Sailing Team
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Warrior Spirit

Warrior SailingEditor’s note: In August, WindCheck Contributing Editor Joe Cooper led the Storm Trysail Foundation’s Junior Safety-at-Sea Seminar at Sail Newport in Newport, RI. Those who know this affable Aussie know his passion for creating once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for young sailors aboard big, fast boats. As luck would have it, Coop’s mate Ralf Steitz, President of the USSMA Sailing Foundation, was in town with the Warrior Sailing Program’s flagship, a Volvo Ocean 70. Two eager sailors who’d just completed the seminar tell the tale of yet another amazing Coop’s Kaper.

The flagship racing project for Warrior Sailing and the USMMA Sailing Foundation, Warrior (pictured here in the 2017 Vineyard Race) competed in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12  as CAMPER.    ©Allen Clark/


My Warrior Sailing Experience

By Connor Macken, age 15

The Warrior Sailing Program provides maritime education and outreach for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans. One of the boats that is used for this program is a retired Volvo 70 named Warrior. I was fortunate to join the Warrior Sailing Team for a few days in Newport this past August. After a summer of sailing Lasers, 29ers and C420s, I was looking forward to learning the ropes of a larger, faster boat.

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Preventing Propeller Accidents: The Prop Guard Proposition

By Seth Cirker,  1st/Lt, N-IN, United States Power Squadrons

Prop guardUnfortunately, these days it seems we more and more often hear of tragic accidents caused by boat propellers, which if not bad enough, frequently involve young children.

While we continually find ourselves preaching proper training and safe boat operation, we must recognize that accidents do happen, and a fail-safe means to prevent propeller accidents is needed. With three children of my own, spending their summers in a yacht club junior sailing program, I, like fellow parents, find myself greatly disappointed that such a solution is not in use.

Tests have proven that propeller guards do not reduce a boat’s acceleration, turning radius, or ability to hold a course.
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Sail Black Rock Crows About Rooster

By Dave White, Sail Black Rock Program Director

Rooster gearUK-based Rooster Sailing is the latest clothing sponsor for Sail Black Rock (SBR), which hosts the intercollegiate sailing teams of Fairfield University and Sacred Heart University at Captain’s Cove Seaport in Bridgeport, CT. Following vineyard vines as the last SBR clothing sponsor and joining soft beverage sponsor Regatta Ginger Beer, Rooster will take an active role in helping promote high school and college sailing in the U.S. by assisting in the hosting of over 400 visiting sailors at SBR in 2017. 

Rooster Sailing is the newest clothing sponsor for Sail Black Rock, and SBR athletes are rocking the Aquafleece spray top this fall.   ©
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A Pebble in a Pond

CJ Buckley and the ripples he created

By Joe Cooper

CJ BuckleyA pebble dropped into a pond propagates ripples, spreading outward and visible long after the pebble has disappeared. So it is with the memory of a young man named CJ Buckley. The ripples he created are still spreading out today, literally across the country. And if ever you were to consider helping your local community sailing program, CJ’s story is exactly the reason you should.

Fifteen years after his passing, CJ Buckley continues to inspire.   Photo courtesy of Lucy & Carter Buckley
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Lukens, Danilek & Ornstein Win the CT/RI Lightning Junior District and Chubb Area B Triplehanded Championship

By Grant Ehrlich

Lightning classThe stars aligned over Niantic Bay June 30 and July 1, 2017 for the Connecticut/Rhode Island Lightning Junior District and US Sailing’s Chubb U.S. Area B Triplehanded Championship, a two-day event hosted by Niantic Bay Yacht Club in Niantic, CT. 

Six teams representing American Yacht Club, MudRatz, Riverside Yacht Club, Sail Newport and Westhampton Yacht Squadron competed in the the CT/RI Lightning Junior District and Chubb Area B Triplehanded Championship. Many of these young sailors were new to the Lightning, and all agreed that this venerable 19-footer rocks!   © Julia Cronin
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