Teddy Himler sailing his Laser Radial at the National Youth Championships in Grosse Pointe, MI. Teddy came in first in his division, after winning a tiebreaker to give him top honors.
Now that the sailing season is in full swing, our junior sailing programs have begun. What this means is that for three of the four yacht clubs that dot our bay, children from 8t years of age on up are offered a summer of learning the joys of sailing, not only on Manhasset Bay but on Long Island Sound. This column will report on some of their activities from time to time.
The National Youth Sailing Championships, sponsored by US SAILING, started the junior sailing round of summer regattas. The Championships were hosted by the Grosse Point YC in Grosse Pointe, MI, and luckily for the competitors, the wind finally came in on Wednesday, the last day of racing. In three of the four classes raced in the regatta, it came down to the final race to determine a winner. Such was the case for Teddy Himler, from Manhasset, who was tied for first place with Colin Smith, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, who were competing in the Laser Radial class. A tie-breaker put Himler at the top of the leaderboard, as the final race had to be abandoned. Himler's two first-place finishes in the series gave him top honors. About the final day, Himler said, "It was a nail biter, especially after the last race of the day when I hadn't finished well." In keeping with the tradition of US SAILING and the US Youth Championship, the Dave Perry Sportsmanship Trophy was awarded to sailors in each fleet as voted by their peers. All of the competitors exhibited good sportsmanship throughout the event, especially under the trying weather conditions. It is interesting to note that all four fleets - the Laser, Laser Radial, Club 420, and 29er - were won by juniors hailing from California. For more information about the 2006 US Youth Sailing Championship, including complete results, daily reports, and photos, please visit the event website at www.ussailing.org/championships/youth/youthchamp.
Richard Scharrer, the club manager at Knickerbocker YC for the past 30 years or so, died at the end of May, and club members, family and friends gathered at the club to remember their good friend on Saturday, June 24. As members and friends filed into the club, each was given a small booklet filled with stories, memories and tributes honoring Dick, all of which showed how he expanded the role of club manager over the years. Among the many accolades was one about a junior regatta held last year. When KYC hosted the Opti Open Regatta, 100 boats with children aged 8-13 descended on the club. Halfway through the racing, a squall line came in from the northwest while the juniors were racing in the outer bay. True to form, Dick was in constant communication with the regatta chairpersons, helping them make decisions to abandon racing vs. trying to give the sailors as many races as possible. According to the regatta chair, Donna Powers, Dick was "more than the club manager that day. He was my trusted friend, a dad to all of those children and the ultimate weatherman. He kept us safe, he made a great event happen and he made a lot of people happy." Dick, a man "with a great sense of humor and a gentle heart," will be missed by all those on the waterfront who had the good fortune to cross paths with this man who provided so many with good memories.
A Regatta to Remember--to benefit the Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation will be held on Sunday, July 16, at Manhasset Bay YC. Registration is at 9 a.m. and the fee is $65 per sailor. The regatta is open to junior sailing in Optimists, Pixels, Blue Jays, Laser Radials, Lasers, and 420s. Each competitor receives a T-shirt and there are trophies for the top five in each division, plus a gift certificate for the top fundraiser.
The Long Island Alzheimer's Foundation (LIAF), located in Port Washington, serves Nassau, Suffolk, Queens and Brooklyn, where an estimated 150,000 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 for moderate to advanced stage clients, counseling by certified social workers, conferences, a quarterly newsletter and special events, that reach an estimated one million people annually.
Don't forget the 31st Annual Antique and Classic Boat Rendezvous on Saturday and Sunday, July 22-23 at Mystic Seaport. This year's Rendezvous honors Aphrodite, a 74-foot commuter built in 1937 by Purdy Boats Company here in Port Washington. Rescued by Chuck Royce, Aphrodite was fully restored and relaunched in early October 2005. As if that is not enough, there are approximately 50 classic vessels in prime condition that will provide a colorful gathering along the Museum's waterfront all day Saturday and Sunday. Mid-afternoon on Sunday, the Museum's National Historic Landmark steamboat Sabino leads Aphrodite and other vessels in a jubilant, costume-and-music-filled three-mile parade down the Mystic River. For more information about the Rendezvous, call Judi Farley (860-572-5341) or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In an effort to promote safe sailing, the UK-Halsey website has streaming video clips and instructional text on safety at sea techniques. Of particular interest are the showings of a Quick Stop man overboard recovery while the spinnaker is flying and while sailing
upwind. To see the video, click on http://www.sailingscuttlebutt.com/news/#media
US SAILING is looking for candidates for their Sailor of the Week. They are looking for someone who is passionate about the water, is always out sailing, they would like to hear about him or her. Or you may know someone who is newly converted to the sport and is soaking up information like a sponge. Or what about a junior sailor whom you have to command to "please step away from the dinghy." You may know someone who gives as much time and energy to building a fleet or running races as they do to working at the office. If you know of anyone who fits these descriptions, US SAILING wants to know about them. Email e-US SAILING's editors at email@example.com with a photo of that sailor and 100 words of background info. Check out past featured US SAILORS of the Week at http://www.ussailing.org/News/Sailor_of_the_Week/index.asp
Because of the early deadline due to the July 4 holiday, Thirsty Thursday and weekend bay racing scores were not available at press time.