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Stef Baas and Betsy Moore

Sunday, March 13 was a great day to be outdoors; the sun was shining, the air was brisk with a slight hint of spring, and there was just enough wind to remind us that we still need to wear a hat to keep warm. Weather conditions were perfect for the eight teams gathered at the starting line for a day of good, competitive racing. And competitive it was. There was a tie for first place between Ralf Steitz/Jaime Gross and Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, with Ralf winning the tiebreaker with 4 aces to Ted's three. There was another tie for 6th and 7th race, too. The racing was so competitive that the Race Committee had one general recall when so many boats were over at the start that they was no way the over-early boats could be identified, and in another race three boats were over early. Race Committee ran seven races and one crew race in rapid succession, there were no capsizes, though at one point it looked like two teams might go swimming, but they managed to get control of their boats and sail off to the leeward mark. One of our regulars, Pedro Lorson, was over at Larchmont YC for the Stanley Bell Regatta, but will be back next week to give the rest of the fleet a run for their money. The fleet welcomed two new teams from SUNY Maritime, Reggie Rainard, from Wheaton, MD (near Silver Spring), Justin Rose from West Islip, Dan Golde and Matt Holland, from Cutchogue. They came over with their sailing coach, Al Rohr, who has been an "institution" at Maritime for over 30 years. He could easily be called a father figure or mentor to the many sailors that Maritime has produced over the years. Top boats for the day: 1. #537, Ralf Steitz/Jaime Gross, 2. # 514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, and 3. "Fee" Mitropoulos/Amelia Amon. Race Committee for this week included: Herb Schmidt, Winter Frostbite RC Chair, Don Canfield, Bill Brakman, Dick Field, Vince Syracuse and Andrea Watson on Kraus' Kastle, and two rescue boats with Ed du Moulin, Ralph Heinzerling and Arthur Donovan on one, and Jeff Shane and Dan Simon on the other. A special guest to Race Committee came all the way to Manhasset Bay from Carson City, Nevada. And while we frostbiters would like to think Skip Canfield came all this way just to help out the RC with scoring, he actually came to celebrate his father's birthday next week. While this isn't a significant birthday marking another decade, Don Canfield did mention that he and his son are "both turning 39." A very interesting comment, considering that Skip is 41, and Don is, well, young at heart! We look forward to having Skip back anytime, he was a great scorer and added greatly to the festivities on Kraus' Kastle.

With more than 140 boats on the starting line, Acura Miami Race Week 2005 is delivering on its promise of an "SORC Renaissance." Racing begins Thursday March 10 and for the next four days there will be plenty of sailing action and fun, too, for sun seekers, star-gazers, and party-goers. Serious competition? You better believe it. Some familiar names jump out from the entry list: Larson, Butterworth, Dodson. For final scores and more information on the event, please visit http://www.premiere-racing.com.

Dan Golde and Matt Holland

It is one year since South Africa's first ever America's Cup class yacht - later renamed Shosholoza RSA 48 - was offloaded in the Cape Town docks. The yacht's arrival coincided with the first official public announcement that South Africa would be launching a debut challenge for the America's Cup at the 32nd edition of historic 153-year-old event to be held in Valencia, Spain in 2007. "I have been told several times that it is a wonderful thing that we are here as an African team, trying to take the America's Cup to South Africa," said Captain Salvatore Sarno, the chairman of Mediterranean

Shipping Company SA and the managing director of the SA America's Cup Syndicate. "But that is not exactly what we are here for. Really we are here to bring a part of Africa to Europe and the America's Cup. That South Africa has even been able to mount a challenge for the Cup is like winning gold at the Olympics, but more importantly it serves as an indicator of the international status of our country." It will be very interesting to watch the development of this new syndicate from South Africa in the months ahead. A

While we're on the subject of the America's Cup, there is a new entry syndicate. A Chinese investor has announced $42 million bid to challenge for sailing's most prestigious trophy. Speaking from Geneva, Wang Chaoyong, chief executive of a Beijing-based investment company, "China Team is joining forces with French outfit Le Defi for the 2007 event. The joint venture will create a vehicle to prepare ourselves to join the ranks of the America's Cup challengers." Xavier de Lesquen, who led Le Defi's unsuccessful challenge for the last two editions of sport's oldest trophy in 2000 and 2003, said he hoped to join the formal list of challengers with China Team by the deadline of April 29.

The French sailor said the Swiss holder Alinghi's success in building a team from scratch with the help of foreign crew -- mainly from New Zealand and Germany -- had shown a new path for entering the costly, high tech regatta. "That's exactly what we want to do today through the creation of this new association of China with an existing team," he said. The bid will be based in Qingdao, the site for the sailing events at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. China Team has its sights set beyond the 2007 Cup by aiming to train a small pool of emerging Chinese sports sailors and harness local engineering and design competence. "The most important thing is to be in there," Wang said. "We would like to see a good result, but we want to build a good platform and play up Chinese talents."

Many readers are familiar with the International Yacht Restoration School in Newport, RI. And some have met the founder of this vocational school and center for maritime restoration, Elizabeth Meyer. After many years at the helm, Meyer had decided to pass the baton to others and plans to leave the school's board of directors, confident that her founding mission for the school is firmly in place. Meyer founded the school in 1993 and served as its chair for the first 10 years before passing the chairmanship to David Pedrick of Pedrick Yacht Designs. In January 2004, IYRS hired a new president, Terry Nathan, a businessman with a track record of turning start-ups into growing companies. With all these changes at IYRS, look for something very special happening in the next few years. And for Elizabeth Meyer? You can bet she won't fade into the sunset, and we'll be hearing about a new endeavor soon. While we have no ideas what that might entail, we can say with almost certainty that she will stay involved in some kind of boat restoration work, as boat restoration and Elizabeth Meyer seem to go hand in hand. For more information about the good things that are happening at IYRS, go to their website: www.iyrs.org.


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