A beautiful sight on Manhasset Bay. Sonar #421, Weekend Warrior, catches enough wind on a downwind leg to raise her spinnaker. She is owned by Dan and Bill Simon.
Spring has finally arrived. Depending on your interests and activities, spring will reveal its wonders in many different ways. For the nature lover and gardener, you may notice the buds on the trees and the arrival of crocuses. For a child, the chance to run outside without a heavy jacket is a treat. For a commuter into the city, it may mean less hassle getting to the train station. For a sailor, spring is a start of a new sailing season, and a time to get over to the sailors "community center," the boatyard, and get some work done preparing your boat. There is something so very special about a boatyard in spring. Maybe it's the anticipation of exploring far-away ports, or finally crossing the finish line first, or improving last year's race performance that energizes sailors to jump with gusto into their long "to do" lists. Maybe it's spending some time talking to the boat owner next to you. Whatever it is, the boat yards are a bevy of activity, with sights and sounds that bring a smile and lighten the heart. But for all, sailor and non-sailor alike, spring is a renewal, a season of hope, a time when those unfulfilled dreams just might take shape. So celebrate this wonderful time of the year. After our long and cold winter, Mother Nature is finally rewarding us for our patience, and Manhasset Bay and our local ponds are beckoning us to their shores. There's no better place to spend some quiet moments being thankful for the beautiful waterscapes that fill our special corner of the world.
Anyone familiar with the sailing scene knows about Ellen MacArthur, that extraordinary sailor who is the holder of the new solo round the world record. But what comes as a surprise it the media coverage she is getting. Sailing seems to be the step-child of other sports, such a golf, basketball, baseball. Take for example, The New York Times and Newsday. There is hardly a word about sailing in either of the sports reporting. It took a female to change all that - at least for the time being. When MacArthur returned home to England, she was on the front page of every national newspaper and several of the top ones ran a 10-page spread on her achievements - a level of coverage usually associated with a general election or a royal wedding. And even in the United States, notorious for not reporting on the sailing scene, NBC and ABC had footage on her and Time magazine has named her on of the top 100 Most Influential People in the World for 2005, a list recognizing "global icons whose achievements, accomplishments and innovations are having the greatest impact in 2005." She's right there along with Nelson Mandela, Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch, Michael Moore, The Dalai Lama, and the President. This is great news for sailing as it may (emphasis on may) bring more media to our sport, and that would be a good thing. To make it an even better story, there are reports that this new-found celebrity status hasn't changed MacArthur one bit, except that she now carries a black magic marker to give autographs to fans. Given the option to make a lot of money, MacArthur said, "it's not about the money, it is absolutely not about that. Nobody goes out and does this because they want to come home a celebrity. You do it because you love the sea." With all that's happening in the world today, MacArthur is a great role model for sailing, and life in general, and it's nice that the media are picking up on such an inspiring story.
For those of you who have some extra time on your hands and like to volunteer, there is a wonderful opportunity to get involved with the America's Cup. The organizers of the 32nd America's Cup have created the Spanish-based Fundacion 32 to administer and run a volunteer program. Their duties will be to recruit, develop and cater to the needs of the estimated 250 volunteers that are need in each venue in 2005, all those races that are leading up to the Cup in 2007. Volunteers are needed to help operations on-the-water and ashore. There are nearly 50 different roles available in 2005. If accepted, you will be part of a training program and will receive general information on the event and the organization, plus a technical training delivered by your manager. The organization is looking for people with specific skills, such as race committee experience, sailing licenses, and knowledge of navigation instruments, students or others with experience with hospitality, communication, marketing and IT, and people willing to welcome, inform and take care of the public and guests. Remember this is a volunteer position, so don't quit your day job. But if you would like to join the excitement of the America's Cup, and be a part of the whole scene, fill out an application that is available on www.americascup.com/
The frostbiters should hang their heads in shame. How could any of them say they were "frostbiting" last Sunday on April 10 when the temperature was above 70° and the sun was bright in a cloudless sky? Race Committee could only get in three races and a crew race before they had to call it a day because the wind was so light. No one seemed to complain as they sailed their boats to shore, packed up their boats, and headed for the patio of the yacht club for some libation. Top boats for the day: 1. #514, Ted Toombs/Matt Cornachio, 2. #278, Claes Larsson/ Peter Varney, and a tie for third place, #511, Stephanie Baas/Dana Schnipper, and #007, John Silbersack/Catryn Silbersack.
Next week, Sunday, April 17, is the last week of regular sailing for the frostbite group. The following Saturday, April 23 is the Long Distance Race and picnic, with a rain date the following day.
Correction: Dave Perry will be at the Manhasset Bay YC tonight at 8 p.m. to speak on "The New Rules and How to apply them with winning Tactics." Call 767-2150 to reserve a spot.