Back in February this column mentioned the Rolex Women's Keelboat Championship, the premier women's sailing event in the United States and worldwide. Held biennially at the Annapolis YC, 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 Championship series. What is especially wonderful about the championship is the weekend before which is devoted to the Rolex Junior Next Step Program. This is a two-day clinic for junior women, ages 13-19, whose aim is to give young women sailors some time learning about keelboat sailing from some of the best women racers. Acceptance into the "dinghy to keelboat" clinic is by invitation-only. Juniors write an essay about why they think they will benefit from the Next Step program, and what it is they love about competitive sailing. Once accepted, young women spend 2 days in seminars, out sailing, and networking with other young women from around the world. In the past, juniors from England, Australia, South America, and the US attended this invitation-only event. This year, two young juniors from our area will attend the program, Danielle Powers and Louise Browning. Danielle, who sails out of the Knickerbocker YC and is a Junior Instructor there, will be a senior at Schreiber HS next fall. This will be her first time at the Next Step program. She is looking forward to the opportunity to "try sailing a keelboat with just girls. It will be cool to be down there and meet some other women." Her expectations? "As with any clinic, going to learn, but also looking forward to seeing how women race keelboats by themselves. I'm really excited." Danielle is the daughter of Donna and Tom Powers, who sail Phoenix, a Knickerbocker One Design on weekends, and recently all three of them competed in Block Island Race Week. Louise Browning, who sails out of Manhasset Bay YC and who will be a sophomore at Friends Academy this year, is returning to the program for a second time and said that the "camaraderie between girls is great, you get to pick out what you want to learn, and ask questions of great sailors." Louise is the daughter of Stephanie Baas and John Browning, who can be seen racing their Sonar, Ping, with Sue Miller on the weekends. Stephanie, John and Louise can be found out on Manhasset Bay during the winter season, sailing in one of their two IC dinghies. Congratulations to these two young women sailors! For more information, check out http://race.annapolisyc.org/2005rolex.
You've got to give it to the Women's Racing Clinic (WRC) ladies - they don't give up too easily. When there's no wind, what do they do? They don't just go home and bemoan the fact that Mother Nature didn't cooperate, but after making sure there was no wind anywhere, decided to have an impromptu chalk talk. Luckily, Sue Miller was willing to share her expertise (which is abundant) with the group, so what could have been a lost evening turned into a fun and information discussion on the finer points of sailing. Plans are in the works for a Mother -Daughter sail on Tuesday, Aug. 2, a repeat of last year's very successful event.
More information about the Kayak Regatta that was mentioned in last week's column has become available. The event is scheduled for Saturday, August 6 from 8:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. at the Town Dock, and is not a race - everyone has a chance to win. The set up of the race is this: there will be about 10 stops which if a kayaker passes through, will receive a ticket. Once back on shore, all tickets are put in a raffle, and winners chosen. Thus young and old, experienced and not-so-experienced has a chance to win. The top prize is a kayak donated by Atlantic Outfitters. The regatta is open to all skill and age levels, and for those who don't have a kayak, rentals are available at a discounted price. The early entry fee is $25, add another $10 if registering on the day of the event. Sponsored by the Town of North Hempstead, Port Washington Community Chest, Twin Pines Kayak Club, with all proceeds going to support the Port Washington Community Chest. Registration is available at www.portchest.org, the Town Dock, West Marine, Twin Pines Food Co-op and Atlantic Outfitters. For more information, call Twin Pines Kayak Club (516-883-9777), Atlantic Outfitters (516-767-2215) or Kayaken Outfitters (516-767-0997).
Knickerbocker YC was race committee for the weekend of July 23-24. Sunday all races were cancelled due to lack of wind. Results for Saturday, July 23: Sonars (9 boats): Race 1: 1. #396, Delight, Bob Kirtland, 2. #421, Weekend Warrior, Dan Simon/Bill Simon/Einar Haukeland, and 3. #568, (name unavailable). Race 2: 1. #568, 2. #487, Viento, Jonathan Siener, and 3. Delight. Race 3: 1. Delight, 2. Viento, and 3. #451, Ping, Sue Miller/John Browning. The MBOs top finishers (7 boats): Race 1: 1. #11, Silver Fox, Curt Champlin/Clay Davenport, 2. #5, Escapade, Ned Baker/Dick Moore, and 3. #17, Frolic, Bill Martin. Race 2: 1. #9, Miss B Haven, Grace Allen/Ralph Heinzerling, 2. Escapade, and 3. Silver Fox. Race 3: 1. Miss B Haven, 2. Escapade, and 3. Silver Fox.
Last Thursday, July 21 looked questionable for racing, but the Race Committee managed to get a race in for the 19 boats that hovered around the starting line. There is a protest pending, so results are not final. All divisions were given Course WAWA, 3.32 miles. Top boats in Division I (7 boats): 1. Promise Kept, Sandy Lindenbaum, 2. Kamikaze, Mario Fichera, and 3. Free-Fall, Bill McFaul. Division II (5 boats): 1. Anticipation, Ed Veprovsky, 2. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, and 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen. Division II (6 boats): 1. Tootsie, Ron Fink, 2. Sundance, Joel Ziev, and 3. En Passant, Bob Ebenau.
The Manhasset Bay Sailing Foundation and the AT LAST! program have partnered to introduce 40 young children to the wonders of Manhasset Bay and the sport of sailing. The program got off to a great start on Monday, July 25th, when the older children, called Mariners, spent the afternoon learning about points of sail and then went out sailing on the bay with skippers Gary Cohen, Bill Brakman and Arthur Donovan. The First Mates were treated to an afternoon of sailing on the Port Washington Water Taxi, with Captain Matt Meyran, who entertained the children while teaching them "red, right, returning" and "port, starboard, bow, stern" and had them clamoring to learn more! By the end of the session, the children returned home to the AT LAST! program with new skills and an introduction to what any sailor can tell you - there's nothing better than spending an afternoon on Manhasset Bay when the sun is shining and the breeze is waiting. Thanks are extended to our volunteers who made the day special for these youngsters.