Our little peninsula certainly has had an impact on the national sailing scene over the years. There have been ties to the America's Cup; the most successful one-design boat ever built, the Star class, was built here on our shores; and last year, Phil Trinter, who lives in Port Washington, represented the United States in the 2004 Olympics. The sailing accomplishments from such a small community never cease to amaze. Last week, up in Newport, RI, another of our local sailing luminaries was remembered. The occasion was the annual awards dinner at US SAILING's Spring Meeting on Saturday, April 2. The first Harman Hawkins Trophy was presented to Ron Ward (Annapolis, MD) for his dedicated commitment to race administration by US SAILING's Vice President Jim Capron, as well as by Janet and Jonathan Hawkins, the wife and son of the late Harman Hawkins.
The Harman Hawkins Trophy is a new, and quite prestigious, award from US SAILING presented annually to an individual who has made outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing in the field of race administration (judging, race management, appeals, and racing rules). The trophy is named after Harman Hawkins (1919-2002), whose extraordinary involvement in sailing and numerous chairmanships of the Appeals, Judges, and Legal Committees brought him many honors and awards, including US SAILING's prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy. In his lifetime, Hawkins served as a President of US SAILING, Commodore of Manhasset Bay Yacht Club and Storm Trysail Club and President of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound.
Ron Ward is a deserving first recipient of the Harman Hawkins Award. He has a record of service to the sport of sailing that is truly extraordinary, his long list of accomplishments includes a non-stop 42-year membership in US SAIILNG, 12 years of service on the organization's Judges Committee (including three years as chair), a record of 25 years of service as a US SAILING Senior Judge, and Chairman of the US SAILING Umpires Committee. Elliott Oldak, who grew up in Port Washington and now lives in Annapolis, MD, and is the Repair General Supervisor for the Naval Academy Shipyard, and an avid Star sailor, knows Ward and said, "He did a lot of the PRO (Principal Race Officer) stuff 15-20 years ago before it was actually formalized. He and the late Gaither Scott were two pioneers in race management in the Annapolis area." For more information, see www.ussailinag.org
Another local sailor is in the news - this one a young man who has many years of sailing ahead of him. David Lindenbaum, a product of the junior sailing program at Knickerbocker YC, spent his spring break in San Diego. He was out there to participate in the San Diego NOOD, as the bowman on Kia, a Beneteau 36.7. Kia, owned by Alexis and Chick Pyle of San Diego, won the North American Championship and also grabbed the trophy for the best overall performance in the three-day event.
Another junior sailor who is not from our area, but who has accomplished so much at a young age, deserves mention. Paige Railey, the 17-year-old Laser Radial sailor, won the Princess Sofia Trophy Regatta in Spain recently, the first major Olympic classes regatta in Europe of the season. Railey, who is ranked the top Laser Radial sailor on the 2005 US Sailing Team, defeated 35 boats from ten countries in Palma de Mallorca to take home the honors. Railey has kicked off the first year of a new Olympic quadrennium with a bang, winning US SAILING's Rolex Miami OCR earlier this year.
Railey's strong performance was consistent throughout the five-day regatta, taking the lead on the first day and never relinquishing that top spot. Out of a total of 13 races, Railey won a total of six races. Overall, Railey had a total of 33 points and finished 32 points ahead of runner-up Charlotte Dobson (GBR), who inched ahead of third place finisher Wiebke Schroder (GER) earlier in the week. And what's next for this talented young woman? She's heading home to St. Petersburg to complete her senior year in high school. Once she graduates, she has a busy summer planned, including a trip to the Volvo Youth Sailing ISAF World Championships in Busan, Korea to represent the USA as part of the US SAILING's US Youth World Team. For complete results of the Princess Sofia Trophy, go to www.trofeoprincesasofia.org.
To foster growth in women's sailing, Rolex Watch U.S.A. has announced that it will sponsor several 2005 "Road to Rolex" clinics across the U.S. and abroad in preparation for US Sailing's Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC), scheduled for September 17-23 at Annapolis Yacht Club, Annapolis, Md. Organizers are seeking yacht clubs and sailing centers to host the "Road to Rolex" clinics. Since 1997 the clinics have provided women sailors with additional opportunities to hone the keelboat racing skills needed for competition in the Rolex IWKC. The clinic program is designed for one- or two-day formats and features an instruction manual developed by five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.). Alison, an internationally recognized sailing educator and coach, has won the biennial Rolex IWKC five times.
"The Road to Rolex clinics are designed to be adaptable to a group's ability level, knowledge of the equipment and skills requiring attention," said coordinator Nicole Christie of Annapolis. At clinics with more than five boats participating, the host organizer will run a series of short races at the conclusion of the clinic. The winner will have her clinic fee deducted from her entry fee for the Rolex IWKC. Organizations interested in hosting a "Road to Rolex" clinic should contact Nicole Christie at: email@example.com .
The Rolex International Women's Keelboat Championship (IWKC) was inaugurated in 1985 at the instigation of the US SAILING's Women's Championship Committee and quickly became the premier women's sailing event in the U.S. and worldwide. Held biennially, the event provides women keelboat and offshore sailors high-quality racing and an opportunity to compete with top national and international sailors. The event is part of US SAILING's Adult National Championships series. The Notice of Race is available online at www.ussailing.org/riwkc. For more information about the 2005 Rolex IWKC, register for email alerts at www.ussailing.org/riwkc and www.annapolisyc.org/2005rolex.
Don't forget - tonight at 8 p.m., Dave Perry will be at Manhasset Bay YC to speak on "The New Rules and How to Apply Them with Winning Tactics." Call 767-2150 to reserve a spot.