According to the A Centennial History of the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club by George N. Graf, Jr., a group of yachtsmen from several yacht clubs appointed George A. Corry and William G. Newman of the club to develop a class which would provide keen racing for skippers of moderate means. The year was 1911, and the now famous Star boat was born. The new boat was designed by Francis Sweisguth, who was considered a very good naval architect of his day. Issac E. Smith, a Port Washington boat builder received the order to build the first 22 boats, of which about one-half were sold to members of American YC, with the rest remaining in Manhasset Bay. The bow and transom of the first Star boat, owned by "Pop" Corry of Manhasset Bay YC is still displayed at the club. After World War II, the Star class disappeared from our bay, but the class went on to be one of the most successful boats ever designed. Many of the world's best sailors learned sailing on the Star, and today the Star class is part of the sailing fleet at the Olympics. It seems fitting, almost ironic, that Paul Cayard (Star World Championship 1988, the Star North American's 1993-94, and the Whitbread 'Round the World Race 1998), and Phil Trinter (Star World Championship 1993) won the right to represent the United States at this year's Olympics in the Star Class, for Phil Trinter, who is from Lorain, OH, is living right here in Port Washington with his wife who is teaching in a Long Island high school. For local area residents, having a "home town" interest in the Olympics, sailing in a boat that was developed and built in Port Washington, should make this year's competition a lot of fun to watch. And with the sailing skills and determination of these two terrific sailors, they have a great chance of capturing the gold medal. Cayard who has been in the Olympic Trials four times, including this year's trials (1984, 1988 and 1996) and Trinter three times (1996 and 2000), explained their win this year. "This regatta was pretty sweet," said Cayard. "We put a lot more preparation in this time," he explained when asked what was different this time around, explaining that many of the lessons he learned during the America's Cup he could afford to implement for these Trials, something he would not have been able to afford when younger. Cayard and Trinter were able to sit out the last two races of the series after mathematically securing their win. With the sailing skills and determination of these two men, there is a very good chance that they will capture the gold medal. Let the games begin!
Technology has come of age at the Olympics. This year will be the first Games ever to offer access via mobile phones to the Internet and to the information system at the Games. Athens 2004 is the first Organizing Committee to apply high technology for using wireless data communication services. Using Cosmote network and the GPRS connection facility, Olympic mobile telephone uses will be able to access all data available on the INFO2004 information system or receive special messages addressed to all users or to particular user groups. While not available to the general public, Olympic family members can receive in real time information on Games results, records and medals, together with news of any developments of their interest. Using their mobile phones, users will also have access to Games competition schedules, data and photos of the Venues, athletes CV's, even summaries of the rules of each sport. It is estimated that approximately 12,500 people (1,000 VIPs, 4,000 customers and 7,500 workforce) will be able to access the information. With technology changing our world so fast, who knows what information will be readily available to the interested public, and in what form by our next Olympic games?
To continue with the technology thread: It seems that the Sausalito Challenge America's Cup challenge, the syndicate that thought it would be a grand idea to use eBay to find corporate supporters, had no luck with their idea. After 10 days of bidding for the Exclusive Sponsorship of "The Sausalito Challenge" for a mere $45 million, the auction recorded zero bids. In what could be termed the ultimate spin, John Sweeney, the head of the San Francisco challenge said, "It was a great success. As we did not sell our sponsorship package online, we have definitely gained very valuable exposure". Going forward, Sweeney feels that companies are a little reserved to bid online, and they are more likely to close a deal in private, but they are not writing off trying eBay auction again. "We have been contacted by a number of companies in private, and we expect getting our sponsorship that way rather than through public auction." It is interesting to note that the $45 million is considered a sponsorship bargain, when compared to the 2002 syndicates who had a budget of between $80 - 100 million. Could be that even eBay has its limitations.
Just when you think that women are losing ground in the "battle of the sexes", along comes the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club to make history. On March 19th, Jane Correia, who is the general manager of Correia Construction and a soccer mom, was elected unopposed as the club's first ever female commodore, this a mere six years after the 160- year old establishment admitted women for membership. This is an accomplishment of immense proportion and prestige for the 41-year old mom, as "women were not recognized (at the club) until the early 60s and 70s. Here we are in 2004 and they are finally recognizing women instead of segregating us and saying this is a male-dominated world. I think it says a lot. They have the confidence that a woman is capable of running a club with the type of reputation that this one has." While we can applaud the Royal Bermuda YC for their wise decision, we can delight in the fact that sailors in Manhasset Bay area are way ahead of the RBYC. Back in 1997, Mary Lu Dempsey was elected Commodore of the North Shore YC (established 1871) and she did a great job during her two year tenure (1997-1998). Congratulations are due to both women, trailblazers both who happen to love the sport of sailing.
For those out there who sail with the Thirsty Thursday group, don't forget the 2003 Awards and organizational meeting that will take place on Thursday April 22 at the North Shore Yacht Club. The meeting starts at 8 p.m. and free beverages and snacks will be served. Come and enjoy catching up with your fellow sailors, and plan for another good year of evening racing. This year's season begins on Thursday May 6, with the first three races "warm ups." See you at the meeting.