The junior sailing programs are in full swing, and the various programs offered by area yacht clubs have a packed and fun-filled season planned for those lucky youngsters who will have a summer of enjoying Manhasset Bay. What a joy it is to see our novice sailors out on a sunny afternoon in the little Optimist prams, following their instructor like little ducklings following their mothers. Then there are the slightly older, more experienced children in the Blue Jays, with a skipper and crew, sailing under the direction of an instructor nearby. The 420s are exciting to watch with skipper and crew out on a trapeze (if there is enough wind) anticipating each other's moves and becoming real team players. And the one person Laser and Laser Radial, for those who prefer going it alone, can be rocket ships in good wind. This year observers will see kayakers and windsurfers out on the water, in addition to those sailing, for each program wisely decided to diversify their water activities to meet the interests of all the children in their programs. While all programs emphasize fun and safety, there is an active racing component for those who would like to compete with other sailors. Even here the emphasis is not just on winning, thought that is always great, but on learning lifelong values. On the Junior Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA of LIS) website, the umbrella group that supports junior sailing, the mission of the JSA is to "promote ethical behavior among its sailors and encourages the teaching of lifelong lessons which seek to build character, foster teamwork and strengthen respect for self and others." And each page of their website has the following quote by Paul Elvstrom, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist, "You haven't won the race if in winning the race, you have lost the respect of your competitors." www.jsalis.org. Having said that, this column would like to include what our young sailors are doing this summer. If readers have information about our juniors, either from participation in a regatta or other stories of interest, please submit to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please submit crew information if reporting on a regatta.
After one week of sailing on Manhasset Bay, some of our juniors participated in the Law Trophy at Indian Harbor YC on July 5-6. This was an invitation-only regatta for those juniors who sail a Laser, Laser Radial or Club 420 who met at least one of four criteria set forth by the JSA: 1. Finished in the top 40 percent in 2004 in their division during various regattas last year, 2. Sailed in the 2004 Area B semi-finals of the Sears, Bemis or Smythe, 3. was invited to sail in the 2005 US Sailing Junior Olympic National Sailing Championship, and 4. was accepted by resume at the discretion of the chairman of the JSA. Local juniors who competed at Indian Harbor YC in the Law Trophy included: Tedd Himler, Laser, 4th, Manhasset Bay YC; John Keneally, Laser Radial, Port Washington YC; and Danielle Powers/Carrie Morea, Knickerbocker YC.
The U.S. Junior Women's Doublehanded Championship returned to its original venue, the Ida Lewis YC, Newport, RI, to celebrate their 10th anniversary. With 44 boats in the fleet, this was one of the largest championships in their ten-year history. Sailing in Club 420s, the team of Rebecca Dellenbaugh (Pequot YC, Southport, CT) with crew Leigh Hammel, won the Ida Lewis Trophy. Local sailors Elizabeth Whipple and Louise Browning represented our bay and finished 17th overall.
The next junior regatta was the Western Districts held at Sea Cliff YC on Thursday, July 7. This regatta is open to juniors sailing Blue Jays, Lasers, Laser Radials, and Club 420s. Local juniors who participated: Meredith Krim, Blue Jay, 6th (MBYC), Tedd Himler, Laser, 1st (MBYC); Chris Wands, Laser Radial, 9th (PWYC); Will McIntosh, Laser Radial, 10th (PWYC); John Keneally, Laser Radial (PWYC); Caitlin Fitzpatrick, Laser Radial (PWYC); Lianna Gordon, Laser Radial (PWYC); Matt Cornachio, Club 420, 7th (MBYC); Danielle Powers/Carrie Mores, Club 420 (KYC); Jessy Nees, Club 420 (PWYC).
Another group of junior sailors will be out on Manhasset Bay this summer thanks to the folks at the Manhasset Bay Sailing Foundation. These young people are from the AT LAST!, a summer camp that is part of the Port Washington School District. As part of the MBSF mission to introduce children to the joys of sailing and Manhasset Bay, area sailors will teach sailing to 40 children, most of whom have never been on the water, each afternoon, Monday -Thursday, for three weeks from July 25 to August 13. This Pilot Project has tapped many local resources to provide an experience that includes sailing, kayaking, knot tying, environmental studies, Port Washington nautical history and safety on the water. Stay tuned for more information about this exciting project that is being supported by many local sailors and water-related organizations and businesses.
Margaret Mead said, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world, indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." On Saturday, July 23, Manhasset Bay YC will give our younger citizens a chance to make a difference. The Club is hosting A Regatta to Remember to benefit the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation, and is open to all young sailors who sail a 420s Lasers, Laser Radials, Blue Jay or Optimist. There will be T-shirts for competitors and awards for division winners, plus a gift certificate for the top fundraiser. The Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation (LIAF) is located in Port Washington and serves Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn, where an estimated 135,000 individuals have this disease. LIAF provides over 20 programs, including client and caregiver support groups, in-home respite, an onsite social model adult day program, and additional services aimed to support individuals with Alzheimer's and their families. Registration starts at 9 a.m. and is $50 per sailor. For more information, call the MBYC at 767-2150.