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Junior Olympic Sailing Festival Held at Manhasset Bay

The Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA of LIS) and the Manhasset Bay YC hosted the Junior Olympic Sailing Festival on Thursday and Friday, July 26 - 28. Our area festival was one of many held throughout the nation during the summer months to help broaden the base of youth sailing. The regatta was open to participants who are members of US Sailing and compete in Club 420s, and Laser and Laser Radial classes. Sue Miller, regatta committee chair; Valerie Siener, event chair; and John Barry, principal race officer (PRO) along with the help of many friends and family, worked to make this a terrific experience for the 108 skippers and crew arrived in Port Washington on Wednesday evening. Peter and Sally Lorson, longtime residents of Port Washington and well known to sailors in this area, come north from their new home in Florida, to help with the three-day event. Peter, a senior judge with US Sailing and Mary Savage, from Larchmont, NY, a senior judge with US Sailing, and an international judge with the International Sailing Federation, along with Susie Trotman, from Syosset, the regional training coordinator for the New York area section of area B for US Sailing, lent their support and expertise. In addition to the Junior Olympics, the regatta served as Junior Race Week.

Arriving competitors and their families braved huge storms, flooded roads and rough traveling conditions to arrive in Port Washington to register Wednesday evening. In spite of the challenging weather conditions, Valerie Siener and her committee, having spent weeks in preparation for this event, welcomed each visitor and made them feel right at home. Weather on Thursday was still rainy, but the wind was good and the race committee was able to complete four races. Friday dawned with overcast skies and less rain, but also less wind. John Barry and Sue Miller, experts in running regatta, hoped to get in two more races to allow for one "throw out" race, but even they could not make it happen. After an initial postponement, the first race was completed, but then the wind died, forcing the RC to cancel racing for the rest of the day.

Competition was fierce but friendly. One could hear words of encouragement between competitors and more than once RC overhead a skipper apologizing to another boat for a perceived or real infraction. A few protests were heard before the award ceremony that took place on the lawn of MBYC late Friday afternoon. After initial comments by Commodore Peter Miller and Jon Brooks, representing Town of North Hempstead Supervisor May Newburger, Linda Leaf, representing County Executive Thomas Gulotta, presented MBYC with a citation, which reads, in part: "Whereas, the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival and the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Race hosted by the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club is worthy of public acclaim, providing our sailors with a unique opportunity to compete for Junior Olympic Sailing Titles, and Whereas, the County of Nassau is proud to pay tribute to the young participants of this week's Junior Sailing Association Junior Race. I, Thomas S. Gulotta, Nassau County Executive, do hereby proclaim the week of July 26 - July 28 as Junior Sailing Association Junior Race Week, in fitting recognition of the abilities and achievements of the spirited and talented young athletes who participated in this exemplary event."

Winners in each division: Club 420s: 1. Charles Hood and Ben Palmer, Pequot YC, 2. Patrick Dietz and Caroline Curtis, Riverside YC, 3. Alyssa Lefkowitz and Emilie Bogrand, Cold Spring Harbor. Laser Standard Division: 1. Jason Hill, Port Washington YC, 2. Jack McCallum, Centerport YC, and 3. Tyler Sandberg, American YC. Laser Radial - Blue Division: 1. Kitty Lovelace, Indian Harbor YC, 2. Alex Orenstein, Pequot YC, and 3. Chris Clark, Larchmont YC. Laser Radial - Red Division: 1. Rob Crane, Noroton YC, 2. Kara Kelly, Larchmont YC, and 3. Ginn-Carlo Nucci, Roton Point Club. Sportsmanship Awards were given to John Cosgrove, Manhasset Bay YC (Club 420). Tyler Sandberg, American YC (Laser Standard) and Caitlin Moore, Pequot YC (Laser Radial). Local sailors included: Jason Hill, James Cary, John Cosgrove, Alex Horowitz, Alex Kassl, Susan Cosgrove, Dan Furie, Matt Himler, Kelly Barry, Michael Wollin, Tommy Matesich, Louis Nees and Erin Mulderrig. Readers may recall (July 13, 2000 column) that Jason Hill, winner of the Laser Standard Division, recently won the Law Trophy, which qualifies him for the Junior Sailing Association (JSA) finals for the Smythe National Championships, held in Ithaca, NY.

USA Junior Olympic Sailing is a grass-roots youth development program that defines a path for youngsters to become involved in sailing and develop their skills through events nationwide, with a goal of making sailing a life-long sport. The United States Olympic Committee Junior Olympic Program involves more than 3,500,000 participants in over 20 sports annually. For information on USA Junior Olympic Sailing, contact Lee Parks at US Sailing (401-683-0800, or juniorolympics@ussailing.org) or log onto their website at www.ussailing.org/youth/racing/jo.htm. There is also a toll-free InfoFax line at 888 US SAIL-6.

Local race results (Thirsty Thursday and Bay Racing) next week.


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