The colorful fall season is upon us, with its crisp air and early sunsets. As our thoughts turn to football games, wool sweaters and warm fires in the fireplace, the cooler weather brings clear skies that are ideal for stargazing. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow described watching the stars at twilight: "Silently one by one in the infinite meadows of heaven, Blossomed the lovely stars, the forget-me-nots of the angels." Lets take advantage of the early evening theater in the sky and pause from our hectic schedules long enough to enjoy the beauty that the fall sky presents to us.
The cooler weather also brings frostbiting. As the boat yards are filling with the boats from the summer season, another group of sailors are getting ready for cold weather sailing. These hearty sailors are down at the boat yards, tuning their IC dinghies for the fall and winter season of sailing, and looking forward to another great year of sailing. This year's frostbiting season was scheduled to begin on Sunday, Nov. 5, but due to high winds, the sailing was cancelled. Sailing will resume next Sunday, Nov. 12, weather permitting.
America's Cup News: The Skippers' Press Conference on the eve of championship match racing at the Colorcraft Gold Cup has become quite a tradition over the years. This year with so many of the Gold Cup skippers also planning a challenge for the next America's Cup, it is not surprising that the Cup was a topic of the Conference. Planned to be carried live on the Internet, but due to technical difficulties, the conference was taped in its entirety and is available for viewing on the Swedish Match Grant Prix Sailing Tour website. Two of the skippers, Ed Baird and Andy Green, were in Port Washington in early October for the Knickerbocker Cup, which Baird won. Readers can hear Ed Baird's thoughts on the 2003 America's Cup, Andy Green commenting on the prospects of a British Challenge in 2003, and the always entertaining Dennis Conner on why he should represent the New York Yacht Club, and on the Cup belonging in the North East and at the NYYC. Other skippers include Peter Gilmour, Chris Dickson, Russell Coutts, Magnus Holberg and newcomer Dean Baker, who is Russell Coutts replacement for Team New Zealand. The clips are available in three formats, Real Player G2, WindowsMedia ISDN and Windows Media 28.8. The website is: http://www.sports.com/sailing/sponsor/conferencevideo.htm.
Russell Coutts, who won the American's Cup twice for the Kiwis, and who is now leading a challenge for the Cup for the billionaire Ernesto Bertarelli, of the Societe Nautique Geneve, one of the oldest yacht clubs in Europe, has accused his old yacht club of taking too long to clear the Swiss Challenge's entry fee into the 2003 cup regatta. Coutts claims the royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron is holding up his team's progress. The issue revolves around Switzerland's landlocked geographical location. The Deed of Gift for the cup says if a challenging yacht club is not based on a coastline, it must hold an annual regatta on an arm of the sea. The Societe Nautique Geneve held its first sea regatta in Cannes, France, this year, but the vice-commodore of the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron said the regatta was held after the Swiss began their challenge. So the issue has been referred to an independent arbitration panel. To be continued.
The National Safe Boating Council has published a book containing the tales of boaters whose lives were saved by wearing a personal flotation device. It is called Saved by the Jacket: True on-the-water Stories from Those who Gratefully Acknowledge the Lifesaving Capabilities of Life Jackets and details dozens of man-overboard situations described by boaters around the country. The 64-page book is $2 and is available from the National Safe Boating Council, PO Box 1058, Delaware, OH 43015 or www.safeboatingcouncil.org.