Support your local race committee! This photo, taken the same day as this month’s cover shot, shows a Dyer Dhow start at the Larry Goodwin Trophy Regatta at Norwalk Yacht Club in Norwalk, Connecticut. Photographer Rick Bannerot reports a temperature of 20°F with 20-knot gusts. That’s Principal Race Officer Ed Cesare shivering atop the NYC Frostbite Shack. © Rick Bannerot/OntheFlyPhoto.net
Welcome to the first issue of 2023! And since it’s winter time and other than a bit of dinghy racing or maybe some hard water sailing for the more adventurous, the end of January and early February is a “bad sports month” in the Northeast (sadly, including football as the local teams are long gone and pitchers and catchers don’t report until mid-February).
Thus it is an excellent time to get yourself ready for the coming boating season. And reading about preparation is almost as valuable as physically doing the preparatory acts themselves. It doesn’t hurt that you can follow the “Home Team” of 11th Hour Racing in The Ocean Race. Those videos from the boat will make the couch look even more comfortable.
Therefore, herein we provide what at first glance, might appear be a pack of nattering nabobs of negativity. We have no less than five pieces in this issue that deal with life-threatening situations on the water. And we might caution you that if you sit by a comfy fire and read them, you may change sports before you even get to the Boating Barrister. John Fulweiler, Esq. discusses whether or not the Coast Guard will bill you for a rescue. And that comes just after Coop gives an extra long “Corner” screed on how completing a Safety at Sea seminar should be only the beginning of one’s seamanship training. One of the stories Coop shares to drive his point home, and there are many, ends with, “He was orders of magnitude more experienced, fit, skilled and capable than any sailor competing in a Newport Bermuda Race. His body was recovered, and the official cause of death was drowning.”
And of course, the author of our monthly From the Captain of the Port column, Commodore Vin Pica, takes advantage of the off-season to cover Man Overboard!!! from a more cruising, daytrip and powerboat perspective. This is in fact, a very serious lineup of content delivered with every hope that we will benefit the Community. We encourage you to take full advantage of it and the advertisers too who in many instances are offering up ways to make your experience on the water more fun AND safer.
Now, there are some other lighter pieces that reflect on the history of our sport. Coop goes another delightful round with Tracy Edwards, MBE. We have a report on the Cruising Club of America’s 100th. And “On Watch” continues our excellent run of maritime museum curators. Heather Ruhsam is the newly minted Executive Director of the newly minted Sailing Museum in Newport, home of the National Sailing Hall of Fame and, not surprisingly, like the two other curators we featured recently, she has a very interesting background.
All of this and more in this dead-of-winter edition. Good thing it’s a slow sports month!
See you on the couch,
Benjamin V. Cesare