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On Thursday, March 15, from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m., Pat Healy will be at the Manhasset Bay YC to present an YRALIS - sponsored seminar on "Winning Races with the help of Local Weather." Topics include: Techniques - know your combinations of sails and local weather; Tactics - how to capitalize on opportunities; Strategy - knowing the big picture; and Winning Tips - guaranteed success.

Pat Healy served as head dinghy team coach at the Naval Academy from 1976 until 1981 and again from 1998 until 2002. In between he was the Canadian National Sailing Coach leading the Canadians to win five Olympic medals in the '84, '88 and '92 Olympics, and 22 Pan American medals '81, '83 and '87. After leaving Canada, Pat ran the Louis Vuitton Cup for the 1995 America's Cup. He has been the marketing director for the Commanders' Weather Corporation, a private weather forecasting company supporting racing and cruising boats worldwide. Pat graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelors Degree in Meteorology.

There will be a cash bar from 6-7:30, then the presentation, followed by Q & A from 7:30 - 9:30 p.m. The cash bar will be available after the presentation. If interested in having dinner at MBYC, please make reservations in advance at Manhasset Bay YC (767-2150). Dinner starts at 6 p.m. For more information, call the YRALIS office at 767-9240. Cost of the seminar is $20 for YRA members and $25 for non-members. Please mail your reservations and check to YRALIS, 455 Main Street, Port Washington,

The International Yacht Restoration School (IYRS) is known around the world for training fine craftsmen in the art of wooden boat building and restoration. With a new one-year program in marine systems that launches this year, IYRS is expanding its educational programs to cover the full range of onboard systems for all types of boats: sail and power, classic and modern.

The IYRS Marine Systems Program will offer comprehensive training in installing, maintaining, and troubleshooting onboard systems such as electrical, electronic, steering, plumbing, and propulsion. Developed in cooperation with the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC)-the organization that develops the safety standards for boat building and repair and serves as a national leader in marine education and certification-the program was created to meet the industry's demand for skilled workers and to keep students in step with changing technology.

IYRS' systems courses are now offered as individual modules at the school's new satellite facility in Bristol, RI. In fall 2007, these modules will be fused into a full-time, one-year program.

According to IYRS President Terry Nathan, the seeds of the program started with the marine industry. The school both consulted with boat builders and yards and surveyed companies on a nationwide basis to document the industry's needs for training. To develop the program, IYRS worked closely with the Rhode Island Marines Trades Association (RIMTA) and ABYC, the organization that co-wrote the course curriculum.

The systems program is designed to be state-of-the-art: the curriculum will be altered to keep pace with changing technology and the facility at Bristol will remain current with technological trends to make this program a "laboratory" for systems education.

"Working with ABYC and RIMTA has enabled us to develop a program that is truly built around industry needs," said Nathan. "The combination of IYRS, an international standards authority like ABYC, and the industry itself has been a very powerful mix: it's given birth to a program that we hope will become a valuable training resource on a national scale."

For more information on ABYC, visit the organization's Web site at www.abycinc.org.

For more information on the IYRS Marine Systems Program, contact Clark Poston (401-848-5777, ext 210 / clark@iyrs.org) or visit the school's Web site at www.iyrs.org.

Just when you thought sailing was on an even keel, up comes sailing legends Russell Coutts (NZL) and Paul Cayard (USA) to shake the sailing community up a little. For several years now there has been some scuttlebutt about what these two were cooking up, but they did not let on until just recently. What their "project" turned out to be is quite exciting. Coutts and Cayard have teamed up with internationally renowned Portuguese sports promoter, Joao Lagos, to create a new annual global sports series. The World Sailing League (WSL) will be held at premier sailing locations around the world with the series winner receiving a check for $2 million (that's not a misprint). Twelve teams, representing nations, will compete in identical, state-of-the-art 70-foot catamarans. It is anticipated that there will be venues in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and South America. Races will be quick, ultra-competitive and, at 30 to 45 minutes, tailored to TV. The easy-to-understand spectacular will be brought directly into viewers' homes via onboard cameras and media wizardry pioneered so successfully on the recent Volvo Challenge.

The World Sailing League will use a fleet racing format although a number of other innovative concepts such as time trials and slalom racing will be tested using the prototype yacht. It will also have a customized support ship to transport the boats and equipment to each venue. The ship will be akin to a transportable pit lane, with all the technology required to maintain the 70 foot catamarans.

The design of the boats will be finalized by early summer of this year with the first prototype being launched in the latter half of 2007 to allow sufficient testing and refinement. The 14 one-design yachts will start being built in 2008, ready for the launch of the series during 2009. The new boats have been designed by a team including leading ORMA 60 naval architects, Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost.

This program is still in the early stages, as no venues have been secured, no teams or sponsors have been signed and no distinctive marketing plan yet formed. For more information, see http://sailing.org.


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