Author: Chris Szepessy

On Watch

Spike Lobdell

By Chris Szepessy

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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…

Community

Not So Serious Sailing Terms

By Chris Szepessy

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By Anthony Pozun, RN Ahoy The first in a series of four-letter words commonly exchanged by skippers as they approach one another. Anchor Any of a number of heavy, hook-shaped devices that are dropped over the side of a vessel on the end of a rope and/or chain, and which are designed to hold said vessel securely in place until, a: the wind exceeds 2 mph, b: the owner and crew depart, or c: 3 am. Bar…

Cruising

Building a Culture of Safety An Interview with David Tunick, Chair of the New York Yacht Club Seamanship Committee

By Chris Szepessy

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Editor’s note: As we reported in our January/February 2020 edition, our friends at the New York Yacht Club (NYYC) and the Cruising Club of America (CCA) have joined forces to co-sponsor International Offshore Safety at Sea seminars. These US Sailing Sanctioned seminars provide hands-on training for full certification in offshore ocean races, but are equally valuable for cruising and deliveries, power or sail. The CCA’s Safety & Seamanship Committee has also published a list of recommendations entitled…

Book Review

Voyaging with Marionette

By Chris Szepessy

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By Ron Breault Published by Whaler Books, an imprint of Mariner Media, Inc. 320 pages paperback $39.95 In 1995, Ron Breault of Old Lyme, CT placed the winning bid on a Sparkman & Stephens Dolphin 24 that had been donated to the Connecticut River Museum’s annual Thanksgiving fundraising auction. Having retired early from the ‘game,’ he was looking forward to restoring this lovely but neglected boat for singlehanded daysailing, overnighting to places like Fishers Island and Shelter…

Sound Environment

Sailors for the Sea Launches Skippers Program to Protect Oceans

By Chris Szepessy

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Sailors for the Sea Powered by Oceana, the world’s leading ocean conservation organization that engages, educates and activates the sailing and boating community toward restoring ocean health, launched its Skippers Program, a volunteer network of local conservation leaders in sailing communities across North America to protect the world’s marine environments. “It’s time for sailors and boaters to step up and get involved.” said Emma Janson, one of the new Skippers. “We all need to organize and get…

Sound Environment

Save The Sound Dispatch Following the Fish: Recapping This Spring’s Fish Runs

By Chris Szepessy

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By Anthony Allen, Save the Sound Ecological Communications Specialist Editor’s note: We’re pleased to introduce this new monthly feature, which will be written by our friends at Save the Sound. To learn more about this vital organization’s work, and take action for a clean and healthy Long Island Sound, visit savethesound.org. Every spring, our region witnesses one of Earth’s wonders as hundreds of thousands of fish crowd into rivers across the Long Island Sound region, making the harrowing…

Up to Speed & Smarts with Dells

How to Sail Fast Up the First Beat When You Have Oscillating Shifts

By Chris Szepessy

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When the wind is shifting back and forth (as it often is), the key to a successful first beat is catching the first shift after the start and then staying “in phase” with the breeze until you reach the windward mark. Here are some ideas on how to do that: • Find the median. With an oscillating breeze, it’s important to figure out the median, or average, wind direction. This is usually the direction that’s midway between…

Racing

The Around Aquidneck Island Race

By Chris Szepessy

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By Nick Bowen The Twenty Hundred Club had their second race of the 2020 season on Saturday, June 20. The Around Aquidneck Race starts just south of Hog Island near the Mount Hope Bridge, takes the sailors about 12 nautical miles (nm) south to buoy “R2” at Brenton Reef. This mark is about 2 nm south of Castle Hill and there the boats turn east for a 5.5 nm run across Rhode Island Sound. Then at the…

Racing

An Interview with Trevor Burd, New York Yacht Club American Magic Sailing Team

By Chris Szepessy

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Growing up on the water in Marblehead, Massachusetts as the youngest of three brothers shaped Trevor Burd’s passion for competitive sailing and ocean adventure, and he’s raced in far flung places around the world. As a grinder aboard New York Yacht Club American Magic’s foiling AC75, he’s tasked with delivering the horsepower to drive the U.S. challenger to victory in the 36th America’s Cup presented by Prada, scheduled for next March in Auckland, New Zealand. WindCheck: How…

Yachting History

The Narragansett Bay Yachting Association

By Chris Szepessy

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By Dave Easterbrooks and Chip Hawkins In February of 1938, twelve sailors representing yachts clubs from around Narragansett Bay gathered at Rhode Island Yacht Club. RIYC was a fitting gathering place, as it was the oldest yacht club in Rhode Island – chartered in 1875 as the Providence Yacht Club and renamed the Rhode Island Yacht Club in 1887. The 1887 name change coincided with the construction of an impressive clubhouse on Great Rock at Stillhouse Cove…

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