Pettipaug Yacht Club in Essex, CT is hosting the Paul Risseeuw Junior Sailing Regatta on Sunday, August 4. Every summer, young sailors from around the area compete in this event, which honors the memory of a longtime Pettipaug Yacht Club member who devoted much of his life to making the sport safe and enjoyable for countless young people.

“Paul did many things to promote junior sailing, and his passing in 2015 left large shoes to fill,” said Pettipaug YC Commodore Kathryn Ryan. “While just about everyone involved in junior sailing on Long Island Sound had met Paul at some point, we were lucky that his home base was Pettipaug where for many years he was the director of the Pettipaug Sailing Academy where more than 150 sailors come every summer to learn to sail on the Connecticut River. Paul cared very deeply about promoting the sport of sailing by making sure any child that wanted to sail had the opportunity to do so. He devoted countless hours to repairing boats at the club, transporting boats to regattas, and sharing his incredible amount of knowledge with young sailors, all so he could see them smile while on the water. His passion lives on in the sailors that still come to club and learn in a program that Paul so greatly influenced.”


© Sandy Sanstrom

“The Paul Risseeuw Junior Sailing Regatta is designed to have a race for junior sailors of all skill levels, giving everyone a chance to compete,” Ryan continued. “Races are held in Optimists, 420s, and O’Pen BICs. Beginners may race in the Opti Green fleet, which races around dolphins, sharks and dalmations for marks. More advanced sailors may race in Red, White or Blue Opti fleets or in O’Pen BICs, while older sailors can show off their skills in 420s. Club volunteers pitch in to run the races, manage scoring and registration, and provide post-race food and drinks to sailors and their families.” For more information about this regatta and the powerboat handling courses at Pettipaug Sailing Academy (also part of Paul Risseeuw’s legacy), visit ■