With several friends in the WindCheck Community doing very exciting things in the sport, we’ve got a feeling Twenty-Twenty’s going to be a good year!
New Hand on the Helm at Alerion
Peter Eastman, owner of Eastman Boats and Howard Boats, has purchased Alerion Yachts from Peter Johnstone. Eastman plans to extend the Alerion brand across new models and a broader size range, and further grow sales and production beyond Alerion’s recent business turnaround.
“I have loved Alerion Yachts since their inception in 1986,” said Eastman. “It is the preeminent daysailer brand of sailboats worldwide. At the U.S. Sailboat Show in Annapolis last October, I could not take my eyes off the most recent models. After expressing interest in the brand to my friend Peter Johnstone, we agreed to terms for my purchase of the brand. I am honored to become the custodian of America’s foremost brand of daysailers – Alerion Yachts.”
Johnstone was pleased he could transfer the brand to a trusted friend. “Peter Eastman has a 20+ year track record of producing the beautiful Howard Boats sailboat range on Cape Cod,” he said. “I have known Peter since we were rivals in prep school sailing in the early 1980s. Later we were college sailing teammates. We became lifelong friends. Peter expressed his interest in Alerion just as I accepted the CEO role at MJM Yachts. Alerion deserves the full-time attention of an industry pro, so I agreed to sell Alerion to Peter. Alerion will always be a favorite brand of mine. I’ve been privileged to play a role in Alerion’s turn-around and subsequent growth in the past two years. Peter and Alerion will thrive together. I plan to buy a new boat from them in the coming year.”
Eastman feels the quality of the latest Alerions is the best he’s seen. “We will continue with the current builder, Randy Borges. His quality is unmatched under 42 feet. The assembled build team has 15-20 years of experience with Alerion and represents the best of American boat building talent. I will be further investing in Alerion’s future.”
Announcements of new models are expected shortly, and Alerion will be at the Newport International Boat Show and U.S. Sailboat Show this fall. Test sails can be scheduled as the weather warms up. A few build slots are available for summer 2020 delivery. For information, delivery times and pricing, contact Peter Eastman at 508-360-6859, or visit alerionyachts.com.
Storm Trysail helping to Usher in a New Era in Collegiate Offshore Sailing
Storm Trysail and COSC are bringing an exciting new dimension to college sailing: offshore racing and passage making. Over the past year, Storm Trysail has helped, multi-Vendeé Globe finisher Rich Wilson, and his close friend and accomplished offshore sailor Pierre Jean, raise nearly $1 million to purchase ten one-design, pre-owned Figaro 2s to be provided to colleges with well-established sailing programs. Six of the ten boast have already been delivered, with two going to the Webb Institute in Glen Cove, NY, two to Massachusetts Maritime Academy in Buzzards Bay, MA, one each to SUNY Maritime Collegeand King’s Point, both in Western Long Island Sound. .
Storm Trysail ran the first College Offshore Sailing Circuit (COSC) Fall Regatta, featuring a new-to-the-U.S. one-design fleet of Figaro 2s, in connection with it’s annual Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, hosted by Larchmont Yacht Club in Larchmont, NY on October 12 & 13, 2019.
“Along with the Intercollegiate Offshore Regatta, the COSC effort provides a bridge from dinghy sailing to offshore sailing for collegiate sailors that is critical to the health of the sport,” said Storm Trysail Foundation Chairman Rich du Moulin. “Providing avenues that give younger sailors access to offshore experiences is one of the main objectives of the Storm Trysail Club and its Foundation. This was the first-ever COSC one-design start with the Figaro 2s and it represents – literally – the start of a new era in college sailing.”
The 33-foot Figaro 2s have been actively raced all over Europe by the world’s top offshore sailors before being supplanted by a newer generation of Figaro 3s. Approximately 120 of the high-performance, twin-rudder offshore racing yachts were built by Beneteau, and COSC plans on raising enough funds to bring at least 10 more across the Atlantic to U.S. colleges. Each of the boats is being completely refurbished with support from Main Yacht Center in Portland, ME before being provided to a college for the express purpose of offshore training. Ownership of the boats remains with COSC, while the colleges are responsible for maintenance. Du Moulin and Storm Trysail Club Vice- Commodore Ed Cesare enjoyed a delivery with some SUNY Maritime cadets.
“The Figaro 2s are perfect for the mission,” Cesare enthused. “They are cool enough to get the attention of young sailors, but forgiving enough to keep them out of real trouble. Although small, they are proper race boats with lots of interior space, and comfortable for being offshore. And, they have a proper nav table at which to teach those skills.”
Webb Institute brought both of their Figaro 2s to the first-ever COSC one-design start, finishing first and third. “Our first impression when we saw it was very exciting,” said Ben Hunt, captain of third place Webb Institute – Team Red. “We’ve already gotten it up on plane with 12-13 knots of boatspeed! We can’t wait to do some distance racing with it. I’ve done the Vineyard Race on our Custom 40 Desperado, and I love the teamwork and camaraderie of the distance stuff.”
It is anticipated that next year’s COSC Fall Regatta will have at least twice as many entries, and possibly more. A full schedule of COSC regattas is planned. Colleges interested in applying for one of COSC’s Figaro 2s, or those wishing to contribute to the effort, should contact Rich du Moulin at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ed Cesare at email@example.com, or Rich Wilson at Rich.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Editor’s note: The Figaro 2 is an ideal training platform for the new Mixed Two Person Keelboat Offshore event making its debut at the Paris 2024 Olympic Sailing Competition. Wouldn’t it be cool to see Americans claim that event’s first gold medals?
McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers is an Official Sponsor of the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race
McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers has signed an agreement with the Bermuda Race Organizing Committee to be an Official Sponsor of the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race, bringing with it three generations of accumulated offshore and race-prep experience to support the fleet.
McMichael Yacht Yards and Brokers’ relationship with the biennial race goes back over 80 years to when the company began operations in 1935. Ever since, McMichael has helped sailors find the new or pre-owned boat they’ve sailed in the race as well as provided the race preparation services necessary to get to Bermuda – and on the podium. For the 2020 edition of the “Thrash to the Onion Patch,” McMichael has formalized its relationship with the race by becoming an official sponsor.
“The Newport Bermuda Race has been a part of our lives at McMichael for three generations, both personally as sailors and professionally with the boats we prepared to compete,” said Steven Leicht, President of McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers. “Becoming a Newport Bermuda Race sponsor allows us to share with sailors our specific knowledge of this race and what it takes to prepare a boat and crew.” Jay Gowell, the 2020 Newport Bermuda Race Chairman, said, “Having McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers as a sponsor of the Newport Bermuda Race enhances the prestige of the race. Here we have the partnering of a classic yachting company with a classic yacht race.”
A customer’s relationship with McMichael starts with the purchase of a new or pre-owned boat and continues as they return to McMichael to maintain, repair, and store their boat. This exceptional service and professionalism have enabled McMichael to become an industry leader. With two full-service yards in Mamaroneck, NY, McMichael performs Newport Bermuda Race preparation ranging from applying custom racing bottoms and installing state-of-the-art instruments to servicing standing and running rigging and weighing boats for rating certificates.
A third-generation, family-run business, McMichael Yacht Yards & Brokers has represented J Boats and MJM Yachts from their beginnings, is a regional dealer for Hanse and Dehler Yachts, and is the U.S. dealer for the Amel line of luxury passagemakers (excluding the West Coast). McMichael has sales offices in Mamaroneck, NY, Huntington, NY, and Newport, RI. The two yards have teams of riggers, fiberglass experts, and electronics specialists plus factory-trained and certified technicians servicing Volvo-Penta, Yamaha, and Yanmar engines. To learn more, log onto mcmyacht.com.
Free Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program at the Community College of Rhode Island
The Community College of Rhode Island, in collaboration with the Rhode Island Marine Trades Association, Real Jobs Rhode Island and RI Department of Labor and Training, has launched a new Marine Trades & Composites Pre-Apprenticeship Training Program.
Held at CCRI’s Liston Campus in Providence, the three-week, hands-on course prepares participants in a wide range of areas including carpentry, machining, electrical, marine systems, blueprint reading, safety and other areas, as well as on-the-job experience in a short-term internship. This program is geared to individuals looking to gain the skills needed for entry-level positions in the marine and composites industries. Tuition is free and funded through Real Jobs Rhode Island.
“Rhode Island is known around the world as a state with a high concentration of boating and composites companies,” said Julian Alssid, CCRI’s Vice President for Division of Workforce Partnerships. “This program is a tremendous opportunity for those interested in a career in this growing industry.” No experience is necessary, and a GED or high school diploma is required. Individuals interested in this program should contact Cody Fino, CCRI’s Director of Industry Partnerships. at email@example.com.
New England’s largest community college, CCRI enrolls nearly 20,000 students in credit-bearing programs and an additional 8,500 individuals in workforce development programs and adult education courses annually. The school also provides transportation education and certification to 14,000 Rhode Islanders each year. Classes and programs are offered at CCRI’s full-service campuses in Warwick, Lincoln, Providence and Newport, online and in partnership with the Westerly Education Center. For more information, visit ccri.edu.
New General Manager Leading Bitter End Yacht Club’s Reopening
Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda, BVI has appointed Patrick Vincent Brizio as General Manager and Owner’s Representative. Brizio will lead the iconic resort’s historic comeback following the complete devastation of Bitter End by Hurricane Irma in 2017. Hailing from Cumbria,UK, Brizio brings to the table over 30 years of experience in the global hospitality sector, as well as construction & development expertise in the Caribbean, Europe, Middle East and Asia. His proven track record with pre- and post-openings, new construction build, and renovation projects make him uniquely qualified to guide Bitter End’s comeback.
An accomplished and respected international hotelier with extensive experience in General Management and Project Development, Brizio has held executive positions with Soneva Resorts, Residences and Spas in the Maldives and Asia, as well as St. Lucia’s Sun Swept Resorts and Spas, and Lyford Cay Club in the Bahamas. He was also instrumental in property acquisitions for fund manager Jupiter Adria in conjunction with numerous resort, residential and marina developments in Croatia. In addition, he was the General Manager of the St. Lucia’s Bel Jou Hotel and Discovery Marigot Bay Marina Resort, and Managing Director of the prestigious Frégate Island Private Resort in the Seychelles.
“Patrick has an incredibly strong background working with unique and remote properties that feature resort, waterfront and marina divisions, making him ideally suited to lead the resurgence of Bitter End 2.0,” said Bitter End Yacht Club Managing Owner Richard Hokin. “His understanding of the marine sector is unparalleled in the hospitality industry.”
Patrick already feels at home at Bitter End, stating that “Bitter End is one of the most unique yachting, resort, and watersports destinations around the world. The Club’s North Sound location is unmatched in the Caribbean and our renaissance will be championed by our loyal, global community of visiting yachtsmen and yachtswomen, watersports enthusiasts and luxury travelers. I look forward to working with the Hokin family and the management team to usher in a new era for Bitter End.”
Bitter End Yacht Club is gearing up for a phased reopening this year, led by its marina and mooring field and an expansive beach-fringed shoreline with Bitter End’s legendary watersports activities. Bitter End’s shoreside amenities will include a one-of-a-kind beach bar and the reimagination of Bitter End’s landmark waterfront Clubhouse restaurant featuring two distinctive dining venues and expansive outdoor seating. Shoppers will find Bitter End’s iconic and fashionable Reeftique as well as a new General Store dedicated to satisfying visiting yachties’ hunger and thirst. “Just preparing our 64 acres and mile of shoreline for the rebuilding phase has been an enormous undertaking,” said Hokin. “Our family is thrilled to have Patrick at the helm of this exciting new chapter in Bitter End’s 50-year history.”
Bitter End Yacht Club is a family-owned island outpost known for its historical charm and is accessible only by sea, attracting travelers and yachting enthusiasts from around the globe for nearly 50 years. Located on the protected waters of North Sound on the perennially top-ranked Caribbean island of Virgin Gorda in the British Virgin Islands, the quintessential destination is a sailing and watersports mecca, thanks to its near-perfect year-round sailing conditions, eternal sunshine and crystal-blue waters. Known for its casual, communal atmosphere and robust activity programs, Bitter End is a favorite destination for couples, families and groups, many of whom return year-after-year. Laid low by Irma, the iconic resort is poised for a historic reopening. For more information, visit beyc.com.
Rhode Island Maritime Law Firm Offering Free Wake-Hazard Education Seminar
The legal team at Fulweiler llc (saltwaterlaw.com), a Newport, RI-based maritime law firm representing injured workers and passengers on the East and Gulf Coasts, is holding a free seminar on the hazards presented by vessel wakes and waves. This spring seminar will be timed to open the 2020 Narragansett Bay boating season by bringing awareness to the dangers associated with vessels hitting wakes and waves while underway. Dangerous vessel wakes and sea conditions are blamed for countless injuries and Fulweiler llc believes many boaters fail to appreciate the deadly combination of speed, planing boat hulls and an impact with a wake or wave.
Each year, thousands of people get hurt on vessels. With recreational vessels traveling at faster speeds and with more people recreating on Narragansett Bay, Fulweiler llc says it is critical to try and make a difference by focusing the attention of vessel operators and passengers on the dangers of vessel wakes.
“Boat wakes and even your typical waves are hurting people,” said admiralty lawyer John K. Fulweiler (author of our excellent Boating Barrister column). “I wrote about the topic for WindCheck a few months ago because it’s an issue that I’m seeing more and more. We see injured passengers in our offices and I read about boating accidents involving vessel wakes and waves. If we can underscore the importance of this topic to boat owners, we think it’ll make a difference. They need to understand their legal responsibility in such situations and appreciate some tactics for dealing with a wake or wave.”
The seminar is expected to be coupled with a social media campaign that will encourage the sharing of wake and wave pictures. “It’s one of those things, Fulweiler continued, “that if we can bring awareness to the issue, it might make a big difference. These are incidents where operator inattention is one of the big problems and maybe talking about it more will shake free some of that inattention.”
From the Gulf Coast to the Northeast, Fulweiler llc is proud to represent injured maritime workers and passengers. “We’re a maritime claims firm at the core, Fulweiler explained. “We fight for what’s right for our clients and we do it as lawyers who know the sea. For instance, I still hold a current Coast Guard license.”
Fulweiler llc has a battle-tested reputation for aggressive and persistent representation of clients pursuing maritime claims throughout the East and Gulf Coasts. The New York Times and legal publications have sought the firm’s comments on various maritime legal issues, and the firm is regularly sought out for its admiralty law expertise. The seminar date had not been set when this issue went to press. To learn more, contact the firm’s development manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit saltwaterlaw.com.
Bill Crane Restarts The Storm Group to Drive Change in the Marine Industry
Bill Crane has relaunched the Storm Group, his Norwalk, CT-based consulting firm, after leaving his longtime post as Chairman of the LaserPerformance Group last summer. Crane has held multiple positions at that company since 2008. “I’m especially proud of the contribution we made over the last decade to youth sailing from the youngest ages through high school and college sailing scene,” said Crane. “At Storm I plan to play an even more active role with the support and development of youth sailing programs all over the country.”
The Storm Group focuses on business strategy, marketing strategy, business development, business planning, operations, logistics, innovation, new product development, manufacturing, sourcing and industrial design. In the past Storm worked with companies in packaging, personal care, beverage, sports nutrition, marine brands, events and operations.
During his tenure with LaserPerformance, Crane’s focus was on the global strategic direction of the company which included marketing, new product development, sponsorships, community marketing clubs, yacht club relations, global retail and/or distribution relationships, Olympic sailing, collegiate and high school sailing, International Laser Class, International Sunfish Class, Club420 Class Association, and World Sailing. “We were able to make a real difference increasing access to dinghy sailing all over the world, especially in the Sunfish and Laser classes,” said Crane. “We did everything we could to support both development programs and key regattas in all our classes.”
Some important achievements by LP under Crane’s direction include the formation of the LaserPerformance Collegiate Cup, development of the Z420 sailboat and ARC Laser rigs, development of the infused CFJ, development of the infused Sunfish, acquisition of Infused Foils, and the development of the new Cascais sailboat.
Veteran Onboard Reporter Amory Ross Joins 11th Hour Racing Team
Three-time Ocean Race participant Amory Ross has joined the 11th Hour Racing Team to direct photography and videography throughout its campaign leading up to The Ocean Race in 2021-2022. A leading outdoor and sailing videographer, photographer and producer for nearly a decade, Ross has overseen creative projects for PUMA Ocean Racing, Team Alvimedica, and ORACLE Team USA, among others. His work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Men’s Journal, Sports Illustrated, NBC Sports and many more…including WindCheck!
“The Ocean Race presents so many unique shooting and storytelling opportunities,” Ross enthused. “The adventure, the offshore action, the technology and the beauty of the natural world that we encounter throughout the race…there’s really nothing like it. I’ve said before that the opportunity is just something I can’t pass up and I am looking forward to being back for a fourth time.”
During past editions of the Volvo Ocean Race, Ross was one of about a dozen on-board reporters chosen from more than 10,000 applicants. The ultimate task was to chronicle the story of the race from a firsthand perspective on-board the racing boats at sea; a job so challenging, it is often called one of the toughest jobs in sports media.
With this role, Ross will again be charged with telling the race story of 11th Hour Racing as an embedded journalist sailing around the world with the team in 2021-2022. He will also be charged with sharing the team’s #oceanhour message through videos and visuals, inspiring others to create change for the benefit of our planet’s oceans.
“Having Amory as our chief storyteller and director of photography and videography emphasizes our commitment to sharing our team’s story – the highs, lows and everything in between – with our followers and fans across the world,” said 11th Hour Racing Team CEO Mark Towill (Honolulu, HI). “Amory will be a creative force for our team and will also be a big asset around our key initiatives related to sustainability, ocean health and the climate crisis.”
Like Towill and Skipper Charlie Enright (Bristol, RI), Ross grew up with a passion for sailing and the outdoors. His work with Towill and Enright goes back a decade to the duo’s first offshore team in 2011. Early in Ross’s career he spent time living in Jackson Hole, WY, getting a taste of action sports videography and adventure photography before being given his first opportunity as an onboard reporter in the Volvo Ocean Race 2011-12. One year later, Ross captured and produced videos around ORACLE Team USA winning the 2013 America’s Cup, in one of the greatest comebacks in the history of sports. To learn more, visit 11thhourracingteam.org and theoceanrace.com.
New ORA/US Sailing Initiative to Improve Handicap Rating Accuracy
The Offshore Racing Association (ORA), owner of the ORR rating rule, and US Sailing have launched a new initiative to significantly improve data collection, input processes and quality control measures of boat measurement data in US Sailing’s sailboat-measurement database.
Together, the ORA and US Sailing will design and implement an integrated system and related processes that will ensure the integrity and accuracy of ORR and other rating rule certificates US Sailing administers. Behind every racing rule is some element of human input, and the possibility of small defects and errors has always existed. Recent analysis by the ORR Technical Committee of a sampling of 2018 and 2019 ORR rating certificates uncovered an unacceptable level of data errors from several sources including boat measurers, sailmakers, data input and certificates issued for other measurement rules.
“While most of the errors we have found in the data are minor and we expect the corrections will change few ratings to a significant degree, we are committed to ensuring that sailors and organizing authorities using the ORR rule have the highest confidence in their ratings,” said John Horton, ORA Executive Director. “We appreciate that US Sailing has taken seriously the issues we’ve raised and will work alongside us to develop this initiative to benefit users of all rating-rule certificates issued by US Sailing.”
“Data integrity and the accuracy of the rating certificates we issue our members are of the utmost importance to us,” said US Sailing CEO Jack Gierhart. “We are grateful our partners at ORA have identified these issues, and will be working with us to provide the highest level of data accuracy to ensure fair racing in the U.S.”
A full audit of the data for approximately 700 existing and new certificates will be completed before the Puerta Vallarta Race, Newport Bermuda Race, Bayview Mackinac Race and Chicago Yacht Club Race to Mackinac, among others, all of which use the ORR. Additionally, quality-control software and data collection procedures will be implemented to minimize any future data-input errors.
“Today’s software systems provide us with tools that were not available in the past,” said Jim Teeters, ORR Technical Director. “By creating digital, visual representations of the measurement data, we can make it easier for trained reviewers to see if some input number is incorrect.” The ORA is supported in this effort through initial funding from the Newport Bermuda Race Foundation. You’ll find more information at usssailing.org and offshoreracingrule.org. ■