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On Watch - Don Miller

By Joe Cooper

Don MillerDon Miller did not enter sailing through a yacht club or time with his parents on the family boat. Rather, he came to it almost literally up through the hawse-pipe. Hailing from north New Jersey, Don arrived home one afternoon in 1967 to find his call-up papers waiting for him. When he called the phone number on the paper and told the voice at the other end, “Well, I just enlisted in the Navy today, so you’re too late,” the fellow laughed and said basically, “No worries.”

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On Watch - Bob Davis

Bob DavisAs the Founder and CEO of Sails Up 4 Cancer, Bob Davis is a two-time cancer survivor who’s using the sport he loves to help countless people in southeastern Connecticut.

“Compared to the guys I sail with I got started pretty late, sailing an old Sunfish around Lake Hopatcong in New Jersey,” says Bob, a longtime resident of Niantic.  “It was really cool to be out there sailing alone, especially at dusk. If I had to pick a sailing mentor, it would have to be Jeffery Lutz from Point Pleasant, NJ. I always admired his skills and the fun he had…not taking himself too seriously. Much later, I had the good fortune to race a Colgate 26 with Gary Jobson at the helm. I was starstruck! Gary was incredibly calm and focused, and it was a tremendous experience.”

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On Watch - Jill Fattibene

Jill FattibeneAs a coach at Sail Black Rock in Black Rock, Connecticut and the Head Instructor at Pequot Yacht Club in nearby Southport, Jill Fattibene truly loves her work.

After somewhat inauspicious beginnings in Pequot YC’s junior sailing program, a talented coach showed Jill how to enjoy the sport. “At first I didn’t like sailing, nor did I even understand the Optimist. Matt Conover, my Opti coach at Pequot, worked with me when I was little, moving up from Opti 1 up through Opti 3. One day, my friend Kate Zylstra and I were goofing off and luffing our sails, and we didn’t want to sail in. Matt said, ‘OK, you guys can stay out here. I’m going in with the class’…and he did! I look back on that with fondness because we were content, but I was like, ‘Wow, he actually left us!’”

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On Watch - Lee Reichart

Lee ReichartAn accomplished offshore racer and an active member of several sailing clubs, Lee Reichart is engaged in ensuring a bright future for the sport.

© Peter Fackler 

“I grew up in Larchmont, NY, Montreal, Toronto, and back to Larchmont,” says Lee, who lives on Mason’s Island in Mystic, Connecticut. “I started sailing on my father’s best friend Palmer Langdon’s 39-foot Rhodes 27 Tiny Teal when I was really young. My first offshore experience was in 1955 when we did a cruise from Nantucket to Halifax and back. My primary job was crawling out to read the taff-rail log. Another distinct memory was on the New York Yacht Club cruise, sailing Tiny Teal’s dinghy around Commodore John Nicholas Brown’s NYYC flagship Bolero in Nantucket Harbor and being invited aboard for a tour. My father, Palmer Langdon and Ed du Moulin were all important in my development as a sailor and a person, as was a peer of mine, Steve Moore, unfortunately taken too soon.”

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On Watch - Kate Wilson

Kate WilsonRecently honored for her devotion to the future of sailing, Kate Wilson of North Kingstown, Rhode Island spends much of her time with youth sailors to keep them engaged and enthused about the sport.

© Bill Shea
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On Watch - Bill MacGowan

Bill MacGowanA popular figure on the Newport, Rhode Island sailing scene since the early 1980s, Bill MacGowan’s influence and work is present all around town, both on the water and ashore. But you’re most likely to find Bill and his family on the water, whether racing, harbor touring, surfing or paddleboarding. “Newport is one of the greatest harbors and sailing venues in the world, and it has beautiful beaches with decent waves,” says Bill. “We start in the morning at the beach and end up at the harbor in the afternoon for one thing or another.”

© Meghan Sepe
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On Watch - Robert Burke

Robert BurkeAs Executive Director of Hudson River Community Sailing (HRCS), based at Pier 66 in New York City, Robert Burke has the helm of an innovative and very successful organization.

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On Watch - Lois Glazer

Lois GlazerAn enthusiastic member of the Shoreline Sailing Club and Duck Island Yacht Club, Lois Glazer is an avid racer and cruiser who is passionate about giving back to the sport she loves.

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On Watch - Don Dwyer

dondwyer3.jpgDon Dwyer isn’t exactly new to sailing, although his path to becoming an avid sailor is somewhat unique, as is his approach. “I grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut, only 20 minutes from the water, but somehow sailing was never something I thought about,” says Don. Having lived in the Midwest for 20 years, he and his family returned to Connecticut a few years ago and settled on the shoreline. “We live in Guilford and keep our J/109 Guardian J at Brewers Bruce & Johnson’s Marina in Branford,” says Don, who is enjoying his fourth boat, three of which were purchased in succession over the past three years!

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On Watch - Shannon McKenzie

On Watch Shannon McKenzieAs the Director of Watercraft Programs at Mystic Seaport in Mystic, Connecticut, Shannon McKenzie is responsible for the operating vessels at the Museum including schooner Brilliant, the boathouse livery fleet, and the launches. She also manages annual events at Mystic Seaport such as The WoodenBoat Show and the Antique & Classic Boat Rendezvous. She is a licensed captain with a 500-ton offshore ticket and many years of experience in the traditional sailing community.

© Alina Bulazel/Mystic Seaport
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