Sailing has been said to be a sport that one can enjoy throughout life's stages. It is also a sport that families can share together. What better way than to spend an afternoon on the water, away from the everyday distractions that prevent families from enjoying each other's company. Children and adolescents are given the opportunity to master skills that increase their confidence, while teenagers, notorious for becoming uncommunicative the minute they enter the teen years, actually talk to their parents. It would be hard not to, considering the close quarters. Frostbiting is a good example of families enjoying the day together. Last Sunday, the winners for the day were Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry, siblings who grew up sailing on Manhasset Bay and now are starting their own families in Port. Ralf Steitz sailed with his wife, Jamie, and both Cornachio brothers, David and Matt, were out crewing for Ted Toombs and Bob Kirtland. And John Silbersack's regular crew, son Nichols, stepped aside to let his younger sister, Johanna, aged 10, experience the thrill of sailing in an IC dinghy. Nichols, not prone to be left on land, drove one of the crash boats for RC.
The "fluky" winds that swirled more than 360 degrees during the afternoon on Sunday, April 6, forced the Race Committee to postponed racing until 2:15 to wait for the wind to settle. Eventually three races and a crew race were completed. Results for the day: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, 2. #537, Ralf Steitz/Jamie Steitz, and 3. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio. Mimi Berry won the crew race.
America's Cup contenders will sail again in Newport, RI in early August, for the first time since 1983. The "UBS Challenge," which is the first and only sailing championship to pit the United States' best amateur sailors against America's Cup teams, and is part of the prestigious Swedish Match Tour, begins on May 4 with six regional qualifying races for amateur sailors, and culminates in August for a pro/am race weekend in Newport. What is making this event so interesting is this will be one of the last opportunities America's Cup crew will have to race against each other before the 2003 America's Cup Trials. The purse for this event is 100,000, one of the biggest in sailing. The finalists will sail a mini America's Cup match race format along a short course near a shore-side spectator venue. The winners of the Regional Qualifying events (Chicago, May 4-5, Detroit, May 18-19, Los Angeles, June 15-16, New York, June 21-22, Houston, June 29-30, and Boston, July 13-14) will compete at the UBS Challenge US Championships against last years' top three finishers from the US Match Racing Championship, the top ranked US Women's match racing team, and the 2001-2002 College Sailor of the Year. The top three finishers of this event will advance to the UBS Challenge Finals.
In past columns, mention has been made of Operation Sail America, the sailing event planned for Sept. 14, to remember the victims of the attack on the World Trade Center. The goal of the group, who officially changed their name to "Sail for America," is to have the greatest gathering of sailboats ever in the history of the harbor. Two more clubs have joined the organizing committee: the Noroton Yacht Club and the Storm Trysail Club, which brings the total of yacht clubs involved to 32. And more and more sailboats register daily to participate in this event. Updates will appear periodically when information is of importance to readers.