On Watch

You’ll meet a noteworthy sailor in every issue of WindCheck, particularly those who are giving something back to the sport or working to preserve our marine environment.

On Watch

Sheila McCurdy

By Chris Szepessy

Sheila McCurdy

The first female Commodore of the Cruising Club of America (and recipient of the club’s prestigious Richard S. Nye Trophy), a New York Yacht Club Race Committee member, a member of the Fales Committee of the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Program, a Maritime Studies Advisor to SUNY Maritime College, a past Director and Interim Executive Director of the Museum of Yachting, an executive committee member at Mystic Seaport Museum, longtime mainstay of US Sailing, an authorized Safety…

On Watch

Griff Spinney

By Joe Cooper

Griff Spinney

Most of us had childhood goals (visions really, at that young age), often ignited by something we experienced as kids. Griff Spinney’s first vision was from the lower spreaders on the R/P 66 Aurora, the fire-breathing race boat on which his dad, Latimer Spinney, was captain. T’was Block Island Race Week in 2007 and said yacht was competing so the Spinney family were on Block Island. When Aurora arrived back at the dock after racing one day,…

On Watch

Cat Chimney

By Chris Szepessy

Cat Chimney

A graduate of the Shorthanded Offshore Acorn program at Oakcliff Sailing in Oyster Bay, New York, Catherine “Cat” Chimney is back at the high performance training center on Long Island Sound with one of the coolest jobs in the sport…and she may be a future Olympic medalist. “I’ve been a wharf rat since I was born,” says Cat, whose very first sailboat race was frostbiting at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club with her father Ed Chimney, a longtime…

On Watch

Spike Lobdell

By Chris Szepessy

Spike Lobdell

As President and CEO of the New England Science & Sailing Foundation (NESS) in Stonington, Connecticut, Michael “Spike” Lobdell has the helm of a remarkable non-profit ocean adventure organization founded with the goal of building brighter futures. He’s also one of the nicest guys in sailing. “I grew up in Rumson, New Jersey and started sailing when I was seven years old,” says Spike, who lives on Mason’s Island in Mystic. The boat of choice for learning back then…

On Watch

John K. Fulweiler, Esq.

By Chris Szepessy

John K. Fulweiler, Esq.

Readers of this magazine will recognize John K. Fulweiler, Jr. as the author of our informative and always entertaining monthly column, “The Boating Barrister.” Recognized by the Maritime Law Association as holding Proctor in Admiralty Law status, John is a licensed U.S. Coast Guard Master, an arbitrator with the Boat Owners Association of the United States (BoatU.S.) Salvage Arbitration Program, an adjunct professor at the Roger Williams Law School, and a published author. He also has the…

On Watch

Joy Sherman

By Chris Szepessy

Joy Sherman

“There has never been a time in my life where boats were not part of it,” says Joy Sherman, the owner of Joyride Charters in Westbrook, CT. “I lived in Gales Ferry, CT until I was 8 years old. My father had a boat in the Bahamas, and we lived on her when I was 6 and 7. I did some schooling in the Bahamas, and with lessons sent by mail from my teacher at home there…

On Watch

Ger Tysk

By Chris Szepessy

Ger Tysk

Novelist, maritime writer, photographer, artist, drummer and professional mariner Ger Tysk says reading the definitive book on the subject of whaling changed the course of her life. “I was born in the Chicago area and grew up in Texas,” says Ger (whose name is pronounced ‘jair’ like ‘chair’ and ‘tisk’ as in ‘Tsk, tsk’). “I wasn’t exposed to many on-the-water activities while growing up, and certainly not to maritime history. In school in Texas, we learned about…

On Watch

Prescott Littlefield

By Chris Szepessy

Prescott Littlefield

Prescott Littlefield, Waterfront Programs Manager at the University of Connecticut’s Avery Point Regional Campus in Groton, loves his work. “I grew up in Old Greenwich and started sailing at Riverside Yacht Club at age nine in Sunfish before moving into Blue Jays, then briefly a full-rig Laser (the 4.7 and Radial didn’t exist yet) and finally I420s, which replaced Fireballs,” says Prescott. “The first sailboat I owned was a JY15 that my life partner, Anne, gave me…

On Watch

Juliana Barbieri & Hugh Piggin

By Joe Cooper

Juliana Barbieri & Hugh Piggin

Julianna Barbieri and Hugh Piggin had beginnings with a wee taste of similarity, but not for long. Both grew up near the water, and that’s where their similarities ended…’til much later in their lives. Julianna grew up north of Boston on the water, but, she remembers, might have “spent maybe one day in a sailing boat.” Born in New Zealand, Hugh’s life was on a different trajectory, following the arc of many of us antipodeans in that…

On Watch

Meg Reilly

By Chris Szepessy

Meg Reilly

Entrepreneur and circumnavigator Meg Reilly left a lucrative Madison Avenue career to race around the world aboard the Clipper 70 Henri Lloyd, and co-founded an international team and network that offers a gateway into offshore sailing and adventure. “I grew up in Scotch Plains, New Jersey, but didn’t start sailing until after I quit my job in advertising to race around the world,” says Meg. “I’d always dreamed of retiring and sailing around the world, but when…

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