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The Women's Racing Clinic (WRC) has done it again! Known for their fun-loving ways, both on and off the water, this year the ladies outdid even themselves. The Halloween Party this year was held at Manhasset Bay YC and the theme was Las Vegas. There was a fortuneteller and several games of fortune, run by a local merchant, an America's Cup sailor, and several junior sailors. Not only does one have to wonder what the qualifications are to man one of the blackjack or roulette tables, but if an age requirement has at least crossed someone's mind. And not only were there underage croupiers, there were children brought with their mothers to enjoy the evening. Have these ladies no shame? But not to worry, it was all just a lot of fun. At times, some of us wished that the paper money was real!

After a terrific buffet dinner, Stephanie Baas, aka Lead Coven (all members of the WRC turn into witches for the evening) began with, "And now the fun begins! For those of you who have been here before, you know we have a couple of accolades for our witches' 'accomplishments' on the water." Each statement brought hoots and howls - after all this was Las Vegas! There was one award, though, while peppered with funny remarks, which spoke of heart-felt praise for a woman sailor, 86, who is a role model for all of us. It went something like this. "Normally one would start an acknowledgment like this with a list of great many accomplishments; then there would be a suggestion because of her advanced age, that her active days sort of are in her wake. But tonight I would like to acknowledge our head witch, who because of her new knee gave her a new lease on sailing. Helen Browning, sailing with her granddaughter, Laura, a witch in training, went out to beat up on the boys at MBYC Race Week. And if you think that their sailing wasn't sufficiently witchly, ask Vince Syracuse. They won the Ideal 18 Class at MBYC race week and the coveted Louise T. Haney Memorial Award. We would like to present to our head witch, our role model, my mother-in-law, who is too old to rock 'n roll, but not too old to give up the helm, a member of MBYC for 56 years, this photo from Race Week taken by Andrea Watson." Helen brought down the house, and there was a standing ovation that just wouldn't stop. A well-deserved award for a grand lady.

WindCheck, the monthly magazine dedicated to Long Island Sound sailing, will publish its 50th issue in November, marking the publication's first major milestone since its launch four years ago, announced Publisher Anne Hannan of Bridgeport-based Maritime Publications, LLC. "Since our inaugural issue in July 2002, we have increased our circulation and distribution by 600 percent, mostly as a result of word of mouth," said Hannan. "We look forward to further growth as we continue to provide area sailors with useful, timely information and expand the community's knowledge and appreciation of all the Sound has to offer year round."

WindCheck has a circulation of 30,000, and is available for free at more than 650 locations in Connecticut, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. Locally, the magazine is available at West Marine and at the yacht clubs. The magazine is the brainchild of Hannan, who lives in Stratford, CT and Editor-In-Chief Christopher Gill of Bridgeport, CT. Both are lifelong sailors who saw a need for a magazine devoted to Long Island Sound sailors and the waterfront community. "Long Island Sound is one of the most diverse and active boating communities in the world," added Gill. "WindCheck covers the regional sailing scene as well as issues that are important to anyone who uses the Sound. More than 20 million people live within 50 miles of the Sound, and this information is vital."

As a central source of information, each issue of WindCheck includes news, a calendar of events, yacht club and marina reports, coverage of sailboat racing, cruising topics and destinations, Sound ecology, U.S. Coast Guard reports and issues affecting commerce and recreation. The magazine actively promotes the sport of sailing by encouraging newcomers to learn about it and helping people to access the Sound through monthly coverage. WindCheck works directly with many local and national charity events, including Swim Across the Sound, Maria Fareri Children's Hospital and several Leukemia Cup regattas, teaming up to bring sailors and worthy causes together. WindCheck's sponsorship of these and other events has contributed to the raising of more than $3 million. For more information about WindCheck, log on to

The IRC East Coast Championship will take place at the Storm Trysail Club - Chesapeake Station on Nov. 3-5 and will serve as a warm-up to the U.S. IRC Nationals, which will be sailed as part of the Storm Trysail Club's Block Island Race Week XXII on June 17-22, 2007. IRC Rating certificates, revalidations or updates can be obtained from the US SAILING Offshore Office by contacting or visiting To get information about the IRC East Coast Championship, visit Logo
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