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
Editor’s note: The following letters were submitted in response to the Publisher’s Log in our September issue in which Ben Cesare began a discussion on the nearly universal use of the Optimist in junior programs by stating, “I think the Optimist stinks as an early trainer.” We’ll have a full article on this topic next month.
I agree. I was greatly dismayed when my kids reached a young sailing age, and our yacht club began switching to Optimists from 7’ 11” Dyer Dhows. The Optimist was a tiny tub with no ability for multipurpose use, neither rowing nor motoring. The club expected us to shell out large dollars for this little pram which had no use other than a kiddie trainer. A boat that was supremely uncomfortable for a normal-sized adult or father and son (or daughter) to sail together, although we did when pressed, one time winning the parent/child race.
A New England Science & Sailing Opti Team member practices roll tacking in Stonington Harbor. © Caroline Knowles/nessf.orgRead more
Phew! It feels like these last two months, August and September, were like a mad scramble to enjoy summer while it lasted. Junior sailing wrapped up, family vacations happened in August, then the big, season ending or championship regattas all went down in September. (And due to that family vacation, you may not have been as prepared as you would have liked!) Cruisers and day sailors were out trying to milk the last few nice weekends and evenings before the non-stop string of low pressure systems rolled through. For those in the industry who support our passions, they had all this plus back-to-back to back boat shows to deal with. Fortunately this year, the weather cooperated for the most part and at the time of this writing, before our friends in Annapolis have theirs, the Newport and Norwalk shows had great products, good weather and good attendance.Read more
On July 12 & 13, 2018, 51 teams of sailors between the ages of 12 and 18 raced their Club 420s in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment. Modeled after the Volvo Ocean Race, The Dinghy Race is unlike any other youth sailing event. Instead of the typical windward-leeward format of most regattas, this event is an offshore adventure on the waters of Long Island Sound and Fishers Island Sound that presents young sailors with new challenges and experiences.
One hundred and two sailors from as far away as Florida competed in the Fourth Annual Dinghy Race by Volvo Construction Equipment. © J. Cronin - OutrageousPhotography.netRead more
By David Dellenbaugh
Every race is full of choices. You can go to the left side or the right; start at the pin end or in the middle; cover the other boats or sail your own race; duck a starboard tacker or lee-bow them. The chance to make hundreds of choices in each race is part of the challenge and fun of sailing.
You don’t have to win the start to win the race. © Clagett Regatta/Ro Fernandez
Each of the decisions that you make in a race involves a certain amount of risk. If you go all the way to the left corner you may lose everyone on the right. If you start in the middle (where it’s harder to judge the line), you might be OCS. Risk is not inherently good or bad. But if you don’t think about your own situation and how much risk you are willing, or need, to take, then your choices may not turn out to be very successful.Read more
By Rachael Lewin
Homeschooling began to grow in popularity in the 1970s when educational theorist John Holt asked parents to consider schools without walls, where kids can learn at their own pace in their own environment. This experiential-based approach has grown significantly, and today more than 2 million U.S. children are being taught from home.
Save the Bay Education Specialist Lauren Farnsworth and “Sealia” teach harbor seal anatomy on a recent seal watching expedition. © Rachael Lewin/Save the BayRead more
By Joe Cooper
Summer in Newport is spelt SAILING. Apart from the usual “even year” events – the Bermuda Race (go MudRatz!!!) and the Offshore 160 – there are the annual events. The (10) NYYC regattas, weekday evening sailing: Monday (sport boats); Tuesday & Wednesday (Shields & PHRF); and Thursday (J/24s); the Ida Lewis Distance Race, presently with 49 entries, a week out as I write. Then there’s the New England Solo Twin, and currently, the I420 World Championship at Sail Newport. And there’s still all of September to go.Read more
Last month, I exalted the WindCheck Community to celebrate the efforts of our kids and their supporters and pointed out some great successes. Well, now that junior sailing is over, and program heads take a well deserved breath before diving back into evaluating the pros and cons of their efforts, I’m going to jump right down onto the tracks and touch that third rail!
I think the Optimist stinks as an early trainer. Here is why. Like all sports, we are introducing our kids to sailing at a younger and younger age. It used to be 9 years old, and now programs start as young as 6. What does a typical 9 year old like? They tend to like other kids and want to be in close proximity to them. They don’t like to be scared. They don’t really have a handle on “seamanship” nor, unless they are gifted, the physics of sailing. And finally, sad to say, they may be a bit more spoiled than prior generations and like quick satisfaction (digital!) so menial chores, like bailing, turn them off more quickly.Read more
The most significant change in the Noroton Yacht Club’s last 90 years is their spectacular new clubhouse. To celebrate their new facility with the community, the club is hosting an Open House on Saturday, September 22, 2018.
Founded in 1928 and located in Darien, CT, Noroton YC is one of the premier yacht clubs on Long Island Sound. Their original clubhouse, first opened in 1929, was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy and was demolished in 2016. According to Commodore Tom Ross and General Manager Wim Jessup, the new clubhouse has invigorated the membership.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.