On Sunday, April 1, the weather must have been playing an April fool's joke on all the sailors and race committee members. Even though the calendar tells us it is springtime, and the first day of Daylight Saving Time, the weather was incredibly cold on Manhasset Bay. That did not stop seven hardy teams of frostbiters, who were on the starting line in spite of the overcast sky, and the damp conditions that chilled to the bone. Six races were completed and one crew race. The results: 1. Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry (#536), 2. Ted Toombs/Mark Cornachio, and 3. John Browning/Louise Browning (#531). Mimi Berry won the crew race.
The start of the crew race on April 1. Mimi Berry won.
Pat Healy, the head coach of the United States Naval Academy (USNA) Intercollegiate Team presented a seminar titled "Understanding the Changes in the 2001 Racing Rules of Sailing" at the Manhasset Bay YC on Thursday, March 29. Sponsored by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS), topics for the evening included techniques on maximizing your knowledge of the racing rule, tactics on how to capitalize on opportunities, and winning tips to guarantee success. Over 100 sailors attended the talk, which was preceded by an open format for answers to specific questions posed by attendees. During the formal presentation, Healy whittled down the approximately 140 pages of racing rules to five, plus the all-important definitions. The rules that sailors really need to know are #10 - #13. Seems simple enough, right? Mr. Healy spent the next 2.5 hours discussing how to interpret these few pages of rules. With the questions that were asked during the presentation, and the group assembled after to pose additional questions, the group could have stayed the week. A very successful and informative evening.
Mr. Healy was the head coach with the Naval Academy from 1976 - '81, before becoming the Canadian National Sailing Coach, whose teams won five Olympic medals in the 1984, 1988 and 1992 regattas, and 22 Pan American medals in 1981, 1983 and 1987. Then he ran the Louis Vuitton Cup for the 1995 America's Cup. He is a Senior US Sailing and ISAF international judge. He was also the past chairman of the International Sailing Federation's Committee, which is responsible for the training, and certification of ISAF's 375 international judges. Readers can join the YRA of LIS and receive a hard copy of the 2001 Racing Rules as part of membership benefits (call 767-9240). The rules are also online at www.sailing.org in the official's section.
Dave Perry has won the US Sailing sportsmanship award, the W. Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy. An excellent example of his leadership and caring for the sport of sailing: A few years ago, Perry was speaking to a group if 8-14-years-olds about the one-minute rule during the JSA of Long Island Sound Optimist Championships. Once it was apparent that the group understood his explanation, he continued with a message that will impact these young sailors for a long time. To paraphrase, he said, "Many of the people you sail against in the next two days, you will sail against for the rest of your life. So today is the day you start developing a reputation. Some of you will be known as great sailors and some as good sailors, but more importantly some of you will be known for sailing by the rules, and some of you will not. Think of how you would like to be known." Dave stands for everything that is right with our sport.
Update on the America's Cup Jubilee, Aug. 18-25: Excitement is building. With five months still to run before the start of the event, 175 of the 200 entry spots have now been filled, and the range of classic names represented across the classes is stunning. Amongst the entries received so far are 32 12-Metres, the class used for America's Cup competition between 1958 and 1987. This class will be racing for the Prada 12-Metre World Championship title during the America's Cup Jubilee on the Solent in August. The most famous 12-Metre of all, Australia II, will likely be the class flagship. Australia II is widely regarded as an icon among 12-metres. The Ben Lexcen designed sloop, with John Bertrand at the helm, defeated Dennis Conner's Liberty in 1983 to become the first challenger to wrest the America's Cup from American hands in 132 years. (For readers interested in an excellent account of the 1983 defeat, read Upset: Australia Wins the America's Cup by Michael Levitt and Barbara Lloyd.) But the entry of Australia II is yet to be confirmed, with syndicate head Warren Jones still looking for funding to bring her to Cowes for the summer. Word has it that United Airlines, which will be flying the "auld mug" from New Zealand to Cowes may help with fund raising to bring Australia II to the Isle of Wight. The other Australian 12-Metre that is confirmed is South Australia, which represented one of the four defender syndicates in the 1986-'87 defender trials in Fremantle. The current era of the America's Cup will be represented by a fleet of International America's Cup Class boats including two older vintage boats from Bill Koch, at least one of the Prada boats from the 2000 America's Cup, and the two British boats, which were sailed by the Japanese syndicate in Auckland in 2000. Also present will be the French boat from 1999 and NZL-32, the boat that won the Cup for Team New Zealand in 1995. Very exciting is that the classic era of the America's Cup will be well represented with Endeavour, Shamrock V and Velsheda - all confirmed entries for the America's Cup Jubilee. The three are three of the four British built Js that were last seen together in the Solent before the World War II.