Finally there was some frostbiting on a Sunday afternoon - but not in our bay. Sailors had to travel to Larchmont YC to find open water, and that is exactly what Pedro Lorson and Yasu Kawahara did last Sunday, Feb. 29. The two must have gotten tired of waiting around for Manhasset Bay to melt, so off they went to join 22 other IC dinghies at the starting line just off the Connecticut shore. The Larchmont YC newsletter, Mainsheet, describes their frostbiters as a dazzling array of ex-collegiate All -Americans, national champions, Olympic medalists, America's Cup experts, talented sailmakers and other stars. So Pedro and Yasu had great competition, warm weather, and fairly good wind all afternoon. If the warm weather holds in our area, Manhasset Bay may be ready to receive our fleet of frostbiters this coming Sunday. After a hiatus of several months, the day is eagerly awaited by sailors and Race Committee alike.
Pedro Lorson and Yasu Kawahara in #536, rounding the windward mark last Sunday afternoon, February 29 at Larchmont YC. Right behind and to Pedro's left is Richard du Moulin in #90. Since Manhasset Bay was still covered in ice, the duo drove over to Larchmont to race with the LYC frostbiters.
Now that the Olympic Trials are over, and the U.S. Olympic Teams have been selected, there has been some discussion on the manner in which teams are chosen here in the United States. To qualify for the team, Olympic hopefuls compete in a "winner take all" series. This has worked well in the past by providing top sailors to represent our country on an international level. Some top names in sailing think this selection system is somewhat flawed. Take Paul Cayard, who had this to say about the Trials: "I really felt for those poor Yngling girls having their final four races last weekend to decide it all. After four years of training, five teams were within four points with four races to go. They sailed those last four races in five knots or less wind with exaggerated chop from motorboats. It was ugly. The team of Hannah Sweat, Melissa Purdy and Joan Touchette, who are the current world champions and silver medalists in Athens last summer, finished second in the trials regatta, in those conditions, and that isn't good enough in our system." Others pose another viewpoint, Rich Roberts, who writes a column for YachtRacing.com, presented another perspective on the Trials. According to Roberts, "The sailors who will represent the U.S. in 10 of the 11 Olympic classes at Athens in August have been selected. No, that's the wrong word. They were selected only in the sense that they selected themselves by outsailing their rivals in a single high-pressure regatta, the U.S. Trials. As it should be. Throw them all into a crucible and see who performs best when the heat's on. That's who you want sailing in the Games. Rankings are fine, but only as a guide." And Augie Diaz, the 2003 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, said this, "A look at the US Yngling results over the last two years shows that probably any one of the top five teams would have represented us well at the Olympics. If we medal in the Yngling, each of the four teams that did not qualify, should feel some measure of satisfaction for having pushed each other so hard. The Olympic Trials and the Olympics are all about peaking at the right time and responding to pressure the way Carol Cronin, Liz Filter and Nancy Haberland did last week. Further, a look at the individual record and accomplishments of these three great sailors would convince anyone of how worthy they are to represent us."
For those of us who are looking for something to do that is sailing - related, Scuttlebutt, the online daily sailing newsletter, may have just the thing for you. They have just announced that their librarians have overhauled 117 book titles on the shelves of the Club Library . These sailing stories, all recommended by the 'Buttheads, are now alphabetically searchable by both book title and author. Additionally, they all now have links that connect you to book reviews and purchase information. If readers have a favorite nautical book, and it is not listed, the librarians will track it down and include it on the list. You can step (quietly) into the Club Library at http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/ssc/books. Why not take a visit and spend whatever is left of the winter reading a great book on sailing. It may help the spring come sooner!
Or readers might like to take a day trip up to Mystic Seaport. Starting on Saturday, March 13, the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport will offer a new show called Illustrating the Sea, with works from America's foremost illustrators. Visitors will have the rare opportunity to view and purchase original paintings, sculpture and drawings by artists they see regularly in newspapers, magazines and the movies. From the covers of the New Yorker, Newsweek, and Time, to animated films and children's books come these artists to portray the nautical world. Contributors include Jack Davis of Mad magazine, Peter deSeve, who created movie characters in Ice Age, Mulan and Finding Nemo, plus forty more of the country's most visible illustrators. Visit online to see the exhibit in its entirety at www.mysticseaport.org/gallery.
Now's your chance to have a say in Sailing World Magazine's Hall of Fame. Since 1982, the magazine has honored 43 champion sailors, designers and innovators by inducting them into their Hall of Fame. The magazine is again asking for suggestions for the "Class of 2004". Readers can go to their website to read the Selection Criteria and add a name to the list of potential nominees. You can send nominations, with supporting material to HallofFame@sailingworld.com. For a list of current Hall of Famers: http://tinyurl.com/3blp6
The Museum of Yachting will have a new exhibit called "The World of Model Yachts," which will be on display from May 15- October 31 at the Museum of Yachting in Newport, RI - approximately 50 models from the 1800s to the present, with boats and material from the United States, Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand.
Also, in collaboration the American Model Yachting Association and US
Vintage Model Yacht Group, the museum is presenting a series of model yachting events including radio-controlled racing and youth events. Go to their website to get event dates: www.museumofyachting.org