As the Race Program Director at Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, New York, Bill Simon has an essential role in the non-profit organization’s mission of putting American sailors atop podiums around the world and building American leaders through sailing.
© Francis George/oakcliffsailing.org
“I grew up in Port Washington and learned to sail from my father and friends,” says Bill, who lives in Port Washington near the house he grew up in. “We sailed off a local beach from when I was 7. My first boat was a Jigger, a 13-foot, round-bottom dinghy designed by Ralph Heinzerling, a local racing legend. For many years we rowed it out to our moored keelboat to race, and it remained in the family until my wife and I sold it last year in preparation for moving to Annapolis. I raced with my dad, Daniel, for about 40 years. Initially we had a Lightning, then an Ensign, and we moved to the Sonar Class. I learned to have fun while racing from Dad.Read more
An event management consultant who lives in Newport, Rhode Island, Samantha Crichton grew up on her family’s 55,000-acre station (ranch) in the Australian Outback, a long, long way from the City by the Sea and the world of sailing.
© Meghan Sepe/meghansepe.com
“Growing up in the Outback was a bit different to a childhood in a city or suburban area,” Sam explains. “My younger sisters Luci and Vikki and I were homeschooled due to being isolated from a bus route or a ‘regular’ school. We had three teachers: a School of the Air teacher we’d speak with on a VHF radio for a half hour Monday through Friday, a teacher at home, which in our case was our mother, and a correspondence teacher in Brisbane who we sent our completed ‘correspondence papers’ to each week. We rarely met our Brisbane teacher face to face, and we’d only see our School of the Air teacher if we went to town, town being Charleville.”Read more
Representing Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY, twin sisters Carmen and Emma Cowles, 18, won seven of nine races in the 420 Girls class at the Youth World Sailing Championships in Corpus Christi, TX this summer, garnering their second consecutive world championship title.
© Jen Edney/World SailingRead more
One of the world’s finest marine artists, Russ Kramer creates paintings of great moments in yachting history that provide a remarkable sense of “being there.” From America vanquishing the Brits in 1851 to Finisterre in a stormy Gulf Stream over a century later, you can almost feel the spray on your face.
“I grew up on Long Island until my early teens, then Tampa Bay,” says Russ. “I remember sailing in summer camp on the Sound, but most of my experience came afterward. I had a 9-foot Catyak, which I would lash trampoline-down to the top of my Fiat X1/9 and head to the beach for a sail. One day, I got too tired (lazy) and left it overnight. Of course, it was gone the next day. I hope whoever stole it had as much fun as I did…that little boat could fly.”Read more
Proudly serving our country in the United States Army for 13 years, Captain Francis J Racioppi, Jr. was a Ranger-qualified Infantry Officer and a Green Beret in the Army Special Forces. Fran deployed to Iraq three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn, first as an Infantry Platoon Leader and twice as a mountaineering Special Forces Detachment Commander.
He coordinated Special Operations to combat Al-Shahab throughout East Africa in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, planned and coordinated the Special Forces response to Boko Haram in West Africa, and oversaw the operations of the Special Forces teams countering the Lord’s Resistance Army in Central Africa and ISIS in North Africa. Another mission, however, as Race Director with SailAhead, might be Fran’s most important yet.Read more
As the Flotilla Cruise Guides with Offshore Sailing School’s popular Colgate Sailing Adventures, Heather & Nate Atwater are enjoying a life that most sailors only dream about.
“I was four when I first sailed,” recalls Nate, who was born in Little Compton, Rhode Island. “That was on the English Channel, but I grew up sailing and racing out of Sakonnet Yacht Club. I learned the love of the ocean and its surrounding environment from my father.”
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As a Program Manager for 11th Hour Racing, a Newport, RI-based organization focused on sustainability in the sailing and maritime community, Michelle Carnevale is using a lifelong love of the ocean to help save it.
“I grew up in West Sand Lake, NY, a small town outside of Albany,” says Michelle, who lives in Raynham, MA. “Every summer, my parents would take us to Cape Cod. I looked forward to that one-week trip every year. Whether it was the six-hour whale watching trip or long walks on the tidal flats picking up Moon Snails, those memories forged my love of the ocean and all the fascinating species that live there. At Cornell University, when it came time to select a major, the advice ‘do what you love’ stuck with me and I knew I had to do something to protect the ocean so I chose to study Marine Ecology.”Read more
“I like to refer to Sam Jones as our ‘volunteer force multiplier,’” says Ed Cesare, Commodore of Norwalk Yacht Club in Norwalk, CT. “Sam is only in his second season as our Sailing Director, and he’s already had a major impact on our Junior, Ideal 18 and PHRF racing programs. We are very fortunate to have Sam working with us, and our membership loves working with him.”
© Alex Von Kleydorff/Hearst Connecticut MediaRead more
As of this issue, the helm at WindCheck is in the sure hands of Ben Cesare, an affable and accomplished sailor who acquired the magazine last month from co-founders Anne Hannan and Christopher Gill, who launched ‘The Magazine by and for Long Island Sound Sailors’ in 2002. “I grew up on Southfield Point, on the west side of Stamford Harbor in Connecticut, until I was eight,” says Ben, who resides in nearby Norwalk. “There was a tiny community beach where Dad kept the dinghy leaning against the seawall and a Rhodes 19 moored off the beach. That is when I started sailing, and though the memories are fuzzy, I do remember overnights on the Rhodes with the family. Later in childhood, my parents got a Menemsha 24, which seemed like superyacht in comparison.”Read more
When she started racing on her family’s Peterson 42 Settler at age 5, Abby Smith was known as the “GLC”(Good Luck Charm), and she hasn’t stopped fulfilling and building upon that role. “The first boat I went sailing on and drove – with someone else pretending not to have their hand on the wheel while I was ‘steering’ – was Settler,” says Abby.Read more