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Letters April 2015

Manhattan Yacht Club Relocates to Jersey City, New Jersey

Manhattan Yacht Club had been based out of North Cove Marina in lower Manhattan since 1994. Our lease was not renewed this year and, despite an incredible effort by our members and local government officials to retain our space, we did not prevail. Thank you for all of your hard work!

Although we did not win, there is a future and it is starting to look even brighter than our past. We have secured dock space at Liberty Harbor Marina in Jersey City. Our club will continue doing all the great things we have done for the past 27 years. Our club re-introduced recreational sailing to New York Harbor. We have led the recreational renaissance of the harbor, creating many unique and innovative programs that have made sailing easy, affordable and fun. We have also created a great community of sailors.

Going into this winter, we were one of the largest sailing organizations in the region, with over 950 members and 14 corporations. Our sailing school taught 1,500 adults last summer. We also had more than 300 kids and teens sail in week-long programs from North Cove last summer. If you combine all the other sailing organizations in the harbor, they did not come close to the size of our club.

There will be some initial dislocation for members who feel it is too far a trip across the river. But in fact, the new docks are very close to North Cove and once people become accustomed to the commute, life will continue as normal.

We are beginning a new chapter for sailing in this harbor. It will be an exciting time. It reminds me of the early days of our club when we first opened at South Street Seaport. It also reminds me of when we first moved to North Cove in 1994 and the time after 9/11 when everyone was leaving but we committed to stay. These are exciting times, when cards are tossed up in the air and change and innovation rule the day.

Commodore Michael Fortenbaugh, Manhattan Yacht Club

Editor’s Note: We wish you the best MYC! Thank you for developing so many sailors and hosting numerous international events through the years. We look forward to your new era. For more information about MYC, visit myc.org, call them at or email office@myc.org.

Knock on every hull!

Editor’s note: Contributing Editor Joe Cooper’s March column “Hey, You Can’t Do That!”  generated a very positive response.

Sailing on less famous boats with my less famous sails, I found a vast pool of talented crew on the docks waving goodbye to their male friends. The fact that two of the boats I campaigned (Goetz/Kaufman 3/4 ton Skyhook and the NA 40 Mischief) were owned by couples who were both active crew in every race made it easier to add female crew. On Skyhook, Sandy King was on the helm while Ken navigated and made soup. We did an Edgartown Regatta on her where three of the six aboard were ladies.

A year or two later on the Marblehead to Edgartown Race on Sorcery (ex. Equation) we had several ladies, most notably Sheila McCurdy. Tell your team to knock on every hull and look for the boats where women are not rejected. On smaller boats, women are much better than hulking guys on the bow.  Spott Randolph

Focus on Engaging and Retaining Juniors

Thank you for your spot-on editorial in the March issue. (What Will Be The Next Junior Trainer?) It was a great discussion at the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound winter meeting as you predicted. My hat is off to the JSA LIS for opening up a new focus on engaging and retaining more kids. While racing remains an important segment of our sport, it was nice to see an openness to new programming in modern boats that will excite more kids for sailing and reduce the concerning drop out rate in junior programs. Happy sailing, Nevin Sayre, Vineyard Haven, MA

Editor’s Note: Sayre, a five-time U.S. National Windsurfing Champion, and four time college sailing All-American, and Joel Labuzetta, Program Director at Indian Harbor YC, gave a great presentation about integrating different types of boats and boards (Sonars, O’PEN Bic, windsurfers, paddleboards, etc.) that allow kids to ‘just plain have fun!’ Nevin’s prescription for junior sailing is catching on, as more and more programs are looking for new ways to not only get kids interested in the water with fun alternatives to the traditional path, but to retain juniors as well, all while keeping the excitement factor high.

Movers and Shakers

Editor’s note: Ann Baldelli’s article about the Ladies Sailing Program at Stonington Harbor Yacht Club in Stonington, CT, “The Ideal Women”  generated a very positive response. Here are a few...

An OUTSTANDING program for ladies! We all know it’s nearly impossible to learn how to sail from our husbands. This takes away all the frustration, intimidation and replaces it with fun, laughs and camaraderie. Come to SHYC and check out the Ladies Sailing Program. Kimberly Dieterich

So happy to be part of the Ideal Women – movers and shakers on and off the water! Kathy Sinnett


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