The Women's Racing Clinic (WRC) was founded last year with the idea of getting women together who would like to race on Manhasset Bay in a competitive and supportive environment. During last year's season, this group met monthly and raced in Ideal 18s during the season. Excellent speakers were contacted to lead seminars on racing tactics, teamwork, etc. For example, the WRC hosted Pat Healy, the sailing coach at the US Naval Academy, at several seminars last May and again in July. The first meeting of the WRC for this season took place on Feb. 7 at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club. Ralf Steitz, the US Merchant Marine Academy Varsity Offshore Sailing Coach, spoke to the group about the importance of teamwork when racing. Almost thirty women sailors from our bay and from Sea Cliff attended this excellent seminar and were treated to two excellent videos on upwind and downwind racing. Ralf, who has spoken to the WRC in the past, is a favorite speaker, because he brings his knowledge to the group in a way that is immediately understood. He has a manner that allows even the most novice racers to feel comfortable. He covered tactics and the importance of on-the-water practice. Communication between teammates is absolutely necessary to be competitive, as is assigning positions before the start of the race. To bring home the importance of communication, Ralf grouped the participants in teams and had each work on a "real world" activity, such as the downwind jibe. He stressed that teams make sure their goals are the same - sailing for fun, to work on a specific area, or to win the race. Stephanie Baas, who has been instrumental in getting the WRC together, said, "We are fortunate to be in an area where there are so many world class sailors who are willing to share their knowledge." Ralf Steitz, who has been involved in many America's Cup challenges, is one of those special people who takes the time to "spread the word" to others about our wonderful sport of sailing.
Ralf Steitz in the Trophy Room at Manhasset Bay YC. He led a seminar on Teamwork for the Women's Racing Clinic on Feb. 7.
Last Sunday, Feb. 10, 5 teams of frostbiters competed on Manhasset Bay. The results: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, 2. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. #531, John Browning/Louise Browning.
The Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound, Inc. (YRALIS) and the United States Merchant Marine Academy will co-host the 2002 LIS Safety At Sea Seminar on Saturday. April 13 from 9 - 5 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point. Ralph Naranjo, Chair, US SAILING Safety-At-Sea Committee will be the moderator. The goal of the seminar is to make skipper, crew and boat better prepared for the challenges of sailing offshore. Whether you are sailing on the LI Sound or off to Bermuda, valuable information can be obtained from attending this seminar. Topics include: Hypothermia and Medical Emergencies, Weather Routing Through Storms, Boat and Crew Preparation and USCG Rescue. The USMMA Varsity Offshore Sailing Team and rescue teams from USCG Activities New York and Air Station Cape May will provide on-the-water demonstrations. This US SAILING sanctioned seminar will fulfill the requirements of the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club for the Newport Bermuda Race. Attendees may also qualify for insurance discounts. For more information, call the YRALIS office at 767-9240.
Michael W. Fortenbaugh, executive director and commodore of the Manhattan YC, has written a letter, dated Jan. 24, from the New York Harbor Sailing Foundation inviting sailors to Operation Sail America on Sept. 14 in New York Harbor. The letter begins, "If you are an American sailor who loves your country, please come to New York Harbor .... The goal is simple - to have the greatest gathering of sailboats ever in the history of the harbor." Mr. Fortenbaugh encourages sailors to participate in a day of "pride and remembrance" for the victims of the World Trade Center, and he continues, "This will be a memorial to the people who died ... a symbolic rebirth for the City of New York." Preliminary information is posted at www.nyharborsailing.com, where you can register your sailboat, and/or join an email list to receive updates on Operation Sail America.
Team Dennis Conner has announced the start of a second Stars and Stripes for the 2003 America's Cup challenge. The construction of the second boat has begun at the New England Boatworks, who built the first boat. Readers may recall that this was the boat that traveled from New England to the streets of New York last Jan. 10, and was "berthed" in front of the New York YC, awaiting her christening by Rose Dana, the wife of Charlie Dana, the Commodore of the New York YC. As Stars and Stripes graced the sidewalk, one could not help but marvel at the beauty of this sleek machine. Comments were heard that if she is as fast as she looks, then DC has a good chance of bringing the Cup home to where it belongs. The second boat is expected to join USA-66 in Long Beach by June first.
Over the 152 years of America's Cup challenges and defenses, there have been allegations of wrongdoing by competitors hoping to have the allegations proven in court or get a psychological edge on the competition. This year, however, the allegations outlined by Sean Reeves, a New Zealander who joined Seattle's OneWorld team, have set the bar even higher, as these appear to be the most serious in Cup history. Reeves asserts that confidential design details from Team New Zealand were either sold or passed on to members of OneWorld. His allegations are quite specific, involving Laurie Davidson, Team New Zealand's 1995 and 2000 winning designer, AmericaTrue designer, Phil Kaiko, and OneWorld's chief executive, Gary Wright. He also alleges that OneWorld has in their possession photographs of tank tests and measurement certificates of the TNZ boats; and that design information was obtained from the hard drives of Team New Zealand's computers. OneWorld have admitted that they had information from AmericaTrue, but have issued a statement that all other allegations are untrue. Readers need to know, though, that Reeves, a former New Zealand Olympic sailor who was Team New Zealand's rule adviser in 1995, has been at odds with the OneWorld team since he left last year. Intrigue has always been a part of the Cup - this year is no different. Only time will tell if Reeves' allegations have any truth. But if they do, OneWorld may want to reconsider continuing their Cup challenge.
The February issue of Sailing World magazine has a special section on college sailing called College Sailing 2002: The Comprehensive Guide. The guide provides information on the sailing on the Charles River, the best college sailing sites, and four up-and-coming sailing programs. Junior sailors and their parents may be most interested in the guide's college sailing directory that lists almost 200 colleges, the districts in which they compete, the number of boats in the program, and the coaching situation (full time, part time). More information is available at www.collegesailing.org/district.shtml.