Sports
Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry, who were part of the team that came in 2nd place at the Frostbite Midwinters in Annapolis. They are seen here at the Frostbite New Year's Regatta.

The North Shore Yacht Club is sponsoring a seminar by Mark Washeim, from Doyle Sails, called "Sail Trim for Racing & Cruising," this Saturday from 3 to 5 p.m.. Mark was born in Setauket, Long Island and has been involved with sailing since 1966. He started competing at the Setauket Yacht Club at age 12 where he worked as a sailing instructor in his teens. He has won silver at seven One-Design North American or National Championships in three different classes and has participated in numerous offshore distance races, including nine Newport to Bermuda Races.

Mark began his sailmaking career at Hard Sails in 1978. He then moved to Shore Sails of Newport, Rhode Island. Mark's position there, as Shore's production manager and the traveling production consultant for Shore Sails International, brought him to the forefront of sailmaking technology. In 1986, Mark became owner of Shore Sails Long Island. Mark is a valuable addition to Doyle's staff of world class sailors and sailmakers. On February 4, 1998 Robbie Doyle, president of Doyle Sailmakers, Inc. announced that Mark Washeim has become a member of the Doyle World-Wide Network. Some of Mark's sailing accomplishments include: 1st, 2nd & 3rd Frers 33 National's, 1st Newport to Bermuda Race (2nd overall), 1st Key West Race Week T-Ten Subdivision, 1st Block Island Race Week, 1st J/105 New England Championships, 1st Newport NOOD Regatta, 1st Manhasset Bay Fall Series. This is just a partial list of first place winnings, so Mark is quite qualified to speak on sail trim. So come over to North Shore YC this Saturday and start to get ready for the upcoming racing season. What better way to spend the day - planning and dreaming about our racing days this summer? There will be a cash beer bar after the lecture. The lecture is open to the first 50 who RSVP to Alan Bernstein, Chair, Education Committee, NSYC, abernstein@albernconsulting.com.

For boaters cruising offshore, having a way to summon help in an emergency is critical. For years cruisers and racers making offshore passages relied upon EPIRBs (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacons) utilizing the 121 MHz radio frequency. However, with better technology available in the newer 406 MHz EPIRBs, the U.S. Coast Guard will cease monitoring the old frequency on Feb. 1.

"406 MHz EPIRBs are now the standard for offshore distress signaling," said BoatUS Foundation Rental EPIRB Program Manager David Carter. "They have better accuracy, fewer false alerts and greater reliability. Search and rescue agencies are able to respond quicker and pinpoint offshore boaters in trouble."

The BoatUS Foundation highly recommends that boaters who make frequent offshore passages - generally considered to be at least 20 miles out from shore and too far for VHF radio or cell phone coverage - purchase and install a new 406 MHz EPIRB. Current retail pricing starts around $500. The Foundation also rents the 406 MHz EPIRBs for only $40 a week for those with a temporary need who only go offshore occasionally.

Our BoatUS EPIRB Rental Program is perfect for someone entering an occasional offshore race, or making that once or twice a year passage to a new cruising ground such as Mexico or the Bahamas," said Carter.

The decision to no longer monitor the 121 MHz radio frequency was made by the international satellite-based search and rescue organization, COSPAS/SARSAT, nearly nine years ago, giving time for mariners to transition to the newer technology.

For more information on the BoatUS EPIRB rental program, go to http://www.BoatUS.com/foundation/epirb or call 888-66-EPIRB (888-663-7472). Founded in 1981, the BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit education and research organization primarily funded by the voluntary contributions of the 600,000 members of BoatUS. It excels in providing safe, smart and clean boating resources for boat owners nationwide.

Eighty-four competitors braved below freezing temperatures at the 2009 Interclub Mid-winters held Jan. 24 to 25th at Severn Sailing Association. Team Vineyard Vines out of Larchmont YC won the event which consisted of John and Molly Baxter in A division and Danny Pletsch and Emily Whipple sailing in B division. They were 13 points ahead of the Manhasset Bay YC team of Kevin Morgan/ Kelly Mockridge and Pedro Lorson/ Mimi Berry. Third place was the North Sails Team of Will and Katie Welles and Garth Reynolds/ Danyell Tirelli in B. -- Results: http://forum.sailingscuttlebutt.com/cgi-bin/gforum.cgi?post=6951

Much of the frostbite season here on Manhasset Bay has been cancelled due to either high winds or ice on the bay. One racer called the season, "frustrating frostbiting." That may be, but those of us who can't stand not sailing year around, even if it means racing in unbearably cold and damp weather in a small un-forgiving dinghy, we must have hope. There is always the next Sunday, and one of these days, the ice will be thin enough that we can chip away at it to get out to Kraus' Kastle. One sure thing, in the frostbiting world, is the annual Long Distance Race, followed by the clam bake, this year scheduled for Saturday, April 25. This is the first outdoor picnic of the year, and frostbiters start salivating just about now. To add even more fun this year, the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) will hold the 2009 Frostbite Championships on the same day. First up will be the Long Distance Race, in Interclub Dinghies and Ideal 18s, followed by a skippers meeting and the champs. Once all are back on land, there will be an awards ceremony and, of course, a picnic to beat all picnics. There is nothing quite like the first outdoor picnic of the year to signal the end of frostbiting and the beginning of the warm-weather sailing/racing.

So while winter may seem far away, and that pesky little groundhog, Punxsutawney Phil, has predicted another six weeks of winter, do not despair. One might ask, "What's a sailor to do?" For starters, why not get over to NSYC this Saturday for the lecture on sail trim. There isn't a better way to wash away the winter blues than to meet with other sailors and talk about the upcoming racing season. Don't forget to RSVP as space is limited.


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