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American Yacht Club, the YRA of Long Island Sound and US SAILING are sponsoring a one-day Race Management Seminar on Feb. 11, 2006 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the American Yacht Club House, Milton Point, Rye, NY. Bill Kirkpatrick will be the lead instructor. Kirkpatrick is a US SAILING Regional Race Officer, recognized Senior Race Officer, Area B Race Officer and YRA of LIS Race Management Committee chair. He will be joined by Peter Reggio and Susan Reilly as assistant instructors. Reggio was the Principal Race Officer for the Louis Vuitton Cup Challenger Races for the America's Cup in Auckland and will be the PRO for the 32nd America's Cup in 2007. He is also the Race management Coordinator for the Sailing World National Offshore One Design Regattas at nine venues across the US each year. Reilly was the Principal Race Officer at a dozen major regattas in 2005 including the US Women's and Men's Championships at American YC, the Knickerbocker Cup, Volkswagen Sail Newport Regatta and the Sailing World NOOD Regattas in Toronto, Chicago and Detroit.

The seminar will cover Race Committee objectives, competition formats, sailing instructions, RC jobs, RC equipment, race day preparations, setting the course, starts, finishing, post-race RC responsibilities and scoring. Each participant will need their own copy of The Racing Rules of Sailing ("RRS"). The Club Race Officer certification test, which is given at the conclusion of the seminar, is optional. The seminar fee us $50 for S SAILING members and $75 for non-members. Advanced registration is available at www.ussailing.org/racemgt/Seminars/index.asp. For additional information and/or directions to American YC, call the club at 914-967-4800, access their website www.AmericanYC.com or email the American YC Race Committee Chair, Kevin Keogh, at kkeogh@whitecase.com.

In the December 2005 issue of Soundings, Steve Knauth gives us some historical information about winter-time sailing called frostbiting. Frostbiting was born in the 1930s on the Connecticut River and attracted sailors who preferred to spend the long, cold winter months on the water rather than indoors. They could improve their sailing skills and be in top form by the spring when they would begin to launch their boats for the warm-weather sailing season. The IC Dinghy, measuring 11 feet, 6 inches with a 72-square foot sail plan, was launched in 1946 and is considered the first boat designed specifically for frostbiting. The dinghy was a product of the Sparkman and Stephens design firm and was expected to "be sailed in weather which keeps the others ashore." The rise of the IC Dinghy and frostbiting was helped by Cornelius Shields, America's Cup defender, who was a champion of small-boat racing and among one of the best-known skippers of his day. He was an early backer of winter sailing, and since its inception, about 7000 interclub boats have been built over the years. Today about 200 -250 boats are actively frostbiting at clubs around Long Island Sound, including a very active fleet right here in Manhasset Bay. There are a few changes to the sport since those early days in the mid- 40s. Back then, sailors would end their day of racing with big bowls of warm chowder and hot buttered rum. These days, the sailors get hot chocolate and if they are lucky, some cookies. Other fleets are joining the IC Dinghy. In our area that included the Penguin class, and more recently, Lasers and Ideal 18s. Up in Essex, CT, frostbiters sail in Blue Jays, Lasers, J-15s, Etchells, 420s, and Ideal 18s. What hasn't changed is the camaraderie enjoyed by racers and Race Committee at the end of the day. All gather around the bar or near the warm fireplace and spend some time getting to know each other. And while the conversation can take many twists and turns, one can always expect some discussion of the just-completed racing, with someone defending or disputing a mark rounding, room at the start, or the exciting photo finish with two boats neck-to-neck as they sail past the finishing pennant.

Sailing legend Gary Jobson has written another book. This time it is about the A Cats, a 28-foot boat that he sailed as a youngster on Barnegat Bay, NJ, and is called, A Cats: A Century of Tradition Jobson recalls that his first job on an A Cat was pumping the bilge, something that he really didn't like too much. But for an 8-year-old who was used to crewing on a 10-foot pram, the step up to an A Cat was just fine. The impetus behind writing the A Cat book came from Peter Kellogg, a billionaire who has been credited with bringing the A Cat back from near extinction. Jobson met Kellogg at a Barnegat Bay Yacht Racing Association banquet in 2003, who approached Jobson to write a book about the boat. After waiting a year or so until he felt strong enough from his bout with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, he began the book, and it is now available for sale. The first A Cats were built in 1922 to compete for the Toms River Challenge Cup, an open race that started in 1871. Today the Challenge Cup is sailed only in A Cats. Jobson and Kellogg began the book project to raise money for the Ocean County College in Toms River. Speaking of the A Cat, Jobson said, "Except in scale, A Cat racing is no different than America's Cup competition. It's like a mini-America's Cup." A Cats: A Century of Tradition will be available in early 2006, and those wishing to order a copy, can go to www.amazon.com, who will ship the book to your home when it becomes available.

There is a new format for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition, which was decided at the International Sailing Federation's (ISAF) Annual Conference last month. The Olympic Champions will be decided after a final 10-boat race, judged on the water and carrying a weighted double points score. The format for the 2008 Olympic Sailing Competition and all Olympic Qualification events will be an 11-race series (a 16-race series for the 49er). A Medal Race will be scheduled on the day designated for each class' medal ceremony, even if the full schedule has not been completed by that day. The top 10 placed boats advance to the Medal Race. All boats advancing will be required to compete in the Medal Race. There will be on-the-water umpiring in the Medal Race. This format will apply to all test events and the 2008 Olympic Regatta (for all classes). For more information about the new 2008 Olympic Regatta format, visit: http://www.sailing.org/default.asp?ID=j19Fh0,C2&format=popup.


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