I guess it’s natural to worry about the lack of growth or progress in anything we are passionate about. There is certainly no lack of hand wringing about how hard it is getting kids involved in sailing and keeping them engaged. Almost every day in Scuttlebutt, there seems to be a success story juxtaposed with a lament that we are not doing it right. The success stories almost always revolve around some program finding a secret sauce (usually a combination of independence and fun). The other version is a dedicated group, donor, mentor or gifted coach that takes matters into their own hands to instill the joys of working hard at something and seeing the results.Read more
In choosing this month’s cover photograph, as usual, the WindCheck team had a lot of very good options. When presented with Kerstin’s (Kerstin Fairbend, WindCheck’s Graphic Designer) first choice, part of me groaned. Again?! “Seriously, how many times has that boat been on the cover of WindCheck?”(WindCheck hat for the first one who provides the correct answer). “It seems like every month there is a fantastic photo of her submitted for a cover or a story!” Zep (Chris Szepessy, Editor of WindCheck) said in an almost begrudging way, “But she is beautiful...and what a shot!”Read more
My father was an artisan. He loved craft and beauty. So much so that as a kid, if I wanted to fashion a new Laser tiller in his shop, I had to be sure to cut and drill the Montreal hockey stick and attach the PVC tube for a tiller extension when he was not around. Otherwise, while he might appreciate my logic for the weight-to-strength ratio of those laminated Montreal shafts, he would be far more concerned with why I had not chosen mahogany. And which plane was I going to use to round the edges before sanding them? And wasn’t I going to varnish it (four coats minimum, seven coats recommended)? And when did I need it by? And no, today was definitely not going to happen.Read more
Well, that was brutal. After a teasing thaw in February, enough to even get in a first round of golf, March and April have not been much fun for us in the Northeast. And while this is typical, it’s definitely upset some schedules as we prepare for the season. Hopefully, some of you got south to Sperry Charleston Race Week or further south to race in Miami or the Caribbean for a break! Now the sun is working and it’s going to be full on to get ready. May is going to be very busy regardless of the weather.Read more
By the time you read this, hopefully the string of nor’easters in March is just a bad memory. The April sun has melted the snow away, and the kids are actually going to school again on a regular basis. For me, it has truly been a period of reawakening. I have been working with the dedicated WindCheck team to carry on the sixteen year tradition of this great publication and been scheming on how we might improve it for the future.Read more
I’ve had a difficult time putting this month’s Editor’s Log together. Ironically, I am often forced to leave this space blank until the myriad other items on my monthly list have been checked off. Yet I’ve not been struggling with time management, but instead how best to explain all of the emotions that are going through my head at this time.Read more
Dear Sailing Community,
The overwhelming response and generosity to Jim Hahn’s GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/JimHahn) has been a powerful cog in Jim’s recovery. Watching the fund jump to over $100,000 in under 48 hours and reading the thoughtful comments put Jim and his family into full-send mode.
Jim’s catastrophic skiing accident on February 3 left him paralyzed from the waist down, and a GoFundMe page was quickly established to ensure that he can one day return to his life as the well-known energetic Ronstan traveling salesman, a sailor with a wealth of nautical knowledge and jokes, and the consummate cheerleader for his family (his wife Alix is the two-time International Women’s Keelboat champion and his son Nick is an American Yacht Club Optimist sailor).
Jim is already making great progress in physical therapy and while the Hahn’s course has been changed forever, the wave of support from the sailing community – well beyond what we originally hoped – is helping them navigate their new reality. Please know your good vibes and well wishes are fueling Jim’s recovery and giving them all the strength to get through today and look towards future days on the water.
With great appreciation and of course, Send it!
Carolyn Russell, Meghan Hopkins, and Jennifer Leary
Editor’s note: The On Watch article in our January/February issue, about Abby Smith of New England Boatworks, highlighted a remarkable person who’s dedicated to the future of Rhode Island’s marine industry, as well as a company that’s built of some of the fastest, most beautiful custom boats on the water while leading the way in ocean stewardship.
What a wonderful article. You are a true asset to our industry and sport. Keep thinking and rethinking ideas for moving forward environmentally.
Martha Parker, Newport, RI
The staff of New England Boatworks, the largest Clean Marina in Rhode Island, poses with a Trash Skimmer (provided by Clean Ocean Access with funding from 11th Hour Racing) at the company’s facility in Portsmouth. © New England Boatworks
I love the content and format of WindCheck. I am a Rhodes 19 racer/sailor, and dabble in other sailing opportunities whenever I can. My sailing experiences are rooted in two seasons of Mirror dinghy racing with my dad on the Swan River (fresh water bay) in Perth, Western Australia as a young teen in 1970 - 1972. On the line with over 50 other Mirrors, we got up close and personal with hundreds of other racers from small boats up to America’s Cup wannabe Challengers.
Your magazine fills a void in the region, for those of us interested in sailing to keep up with other events and happenings. The ‘On Watch’ and Editor’s Log are where I start. I sail out of the Coasters Harbor Navy Yacht Club now, with a daysailer parked in the backyard until I can stop the day job.
See you on the water,
David Dill, PE, Warwick, RI
David – Thank you for the kind words. Our intrepid Contributing Editor Joe Cooper hails from Sydney, and would likely enjoy blowin’ the froth off a couple with you.
I dislike the use of the term ‘Bucket List’ to order those events or experiences we wish to do before it’s ‘too late.’ We all have things we’d love to see and accomplish, and regardless, everything we do is on our so-called bucket list because, well, you ain’t gonna summit Everest after you’ve kicked it unless someone carries you up there in a tin can. I have my, call it, ‘to-do list’ and Everest is nowhere on it. But there is some adventure and challenge, most of which involves sailing in some form or fashion. Go figure.