The Manhasset Bay Sailing Foundation and Schreiber High School have teamed up to offer sailing classes to high school students. About 40 students have enrolled in a two-part pilot program to learn the fundamentals of sailing. The first session was held this fall and included two outings on Ideal 18's, plus six classroom sessions. The first class was a demonstration on how to rig a Blue Jay with spinnaker with subsequent classes viewing sailing videos, plus classroom instruction. Next spring, more time on the water is planned for these new sailors.
The idea to provide instructions for high school students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to sail has been discussed for several years. But when Cheryl Clifton, from Schreiber High School, called on Bill Brakman, one of the members of the Sailing Foundation, to suggest working together to develop a sailing curriculum, the Sailing Foundation members were delighted. During the spring and summer, the Foundation members met with Ms. Clifton to plan the lessons and work out the details of providing good sailing fundamentals to the students. The end result was quite successful. The students enthusiastically signed up for the sailing course, and not only learned a lot about sailing, but enjoyed their time out on Manhasset Bay in Ideal 18s. It took a lot of organization and time from many people to provide these high school students an introduction to the sport we love so much. Thanks to Ms. Clifton and Bill Brakman, who together spearheaded this effort, along with Jerry Morea, Herb Schmidt, Ralph Heinzerling, Ed du Moulin, Nan Barry, Stephanie Baas, and Paula Davis. Additional thanks to the Manhasset Bay YC for providing the Ideal 18s for the students, and to Knickerbocker YC for providing the Blue Jay for Jerry Morea's rigging demonstration.
The summer-fall sailing season is now over, and boats are being hauled to their winter homes in various shipyards. The clubs along the bay have been decommissioned and are preparing for cold weather activities. Normally this column does not report on the decommissioning ceremonies, but this year a most unusual and very special event took place at the Manhasset Bay YC. LCDR Peter Courtney, a member of the club for many years when his late father gave him a Junior Membership while he was a Midshipman at the United States Naval Academy, was extended a courtesy membership while on active duty. Courtney is currently an F-14B Radar Intercept Officer (RIO) flying F-14V Tomcats with the Jolly Rogers of VF-103, deployed onboard the USS George Washington. His team has just completed missions in support of Operation Southern Watch, enforcing the United Nations no-fly zone over southern Iraq. Prior to this assignment, they flew in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, the ongoing counter-terrorist operation in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda. Because of his fond memories of Manhasset Bay as a young man, Courtney sent MBYC a National Ensign, which flew over Afghanistan during a close air support (CAS) mission in support of Enduring Freedom in August 2002. With the Club so close to Ground Zero and the memory of 9/11 so much a part of our area, Courtney felt that his gift that was closely associated with the on-going military operation conducted in response to the terrorist attacks would be appropriate. Commodore Carl Schwarz, along with the flag officers of MBYC, proudly raised LCDR Peter Courtney's flag during the decommissioning ceremony at MBYC, a gift donated by a kind and thoughtful man who fondly remembered his experiences here on Manhasset Bay so many years ago.
With the weather turning cold so fast in the past week, it is not surprising that frostbiting has arrived and is alive and well. This year, though, there is something new out on the Bay. In addition to teams of two sailing the traditional IC Dinghies, several sailors competed in their Lasers, a single-handed boat most often seen in the summer months. Last Sunday, November 3rd was the first day of the season, and six IC dinghies, and six Laser sailors came out to enjoy the very cold and damp afternoon. With intermittent sun dipping behind the clouds, and with wind out of the northwest at about 9 knots, the day was a typical frostbiting day. Kraus' Kastle, home for the Frostbite Race Committee, had been visited by many feathered "friends" and had left their calling cards on deck. After cleaning the deck, a most unwelcome task to be sure, the RC got down to business. While courses were set, Ralph Heinzerling, RC member, was heating up a warm bean soup to feed the RC between starts and finishes. One of the "perks" of spending the afternoon freezing on Kraus' Kastle is a warm lunch cooked by one of the members of the RC. The results for the day: In the IC Dinghy class: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Mimi Berry, 2. #510, Steve Moore/Jerry Morea, and 3. #707, Bob Kirtland/Mark Cornachio. In the Laser class: 1. #67281, Ralf Steitz, 2. #159892, Mike Geoghan, and 3. #156932, Paul Strauch.
Susie Trotman, from Cold Spring Harbor, who has been in our area numerous times during junior sailing regattas and other events planned for our junior sailors, was honored recently at the US Sailing Annual General Meeting. Ms. Trotman received the newly created Timothea Larr Award, which is given for a person's national contribution to sailor education, safety and training. Past Training Committee Chair Rich Jepsen introduced the new award; US Sailing President Dave Rosekrans presented the Timothea Larr Award to Ms Trotman. Over the years, Ms Trotman has been the Regional Training Coordinator for Long Island Sound, a member and Chair of the training committee and its national faculty, helped foster growth in the training program by managing 20 small boat courses with 300 instructor candidates, was a key person in the development of the keelboat program, and single-handedly kept the windsurfing program alive.