Sports
Paul-Jon Patin and Anne Patin (#17) seen here just ahead of Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry (#536). These two teams joined forces for the IC Dinghy Midwinters and came in first place in that regatta, and are now setting their sights on the IC Dinghy Nationals at Manhasset Bay YC in mid-April.

Even though the calendar says that spring has arrived, the frostbite fleet is still going strong as there is plenty of time left for winter sailing on Manhasset Bay. A while ago, two of our fleets' best sailors, after doing well at the IC Dinghy New Year's Regatta at Manhasset Bay YC, went on to win big at the InterClub Dinghy Midwinters, held in Annapolis, MD. Paul-Jon Patin and Anne Patin, from Larchmont, who won the New Years Regatta, teamed up with Pedro Lorson and Mimi Berry, from MBYC, and won the Midwinters. This year the wind conditions were described as "light" and only 12 races for each division were finished. The Midwinters, along with the Stanley Bell Regatta, held this year at Larchmont YC, are considered "tune-up" races for the IC Dinghy Nationals. As light as the wind was down in Annapolis, Mother Nature gave it her all to those competing in Larchmont last weekend, March 17-18. Going into the Stanley Bell, the Patins, with two wins under their belt, are the front-runners for the new "Warf Rat Challenge" which will be awarded for the first time this year at the Nationals (April 14-15 at Manhasset Bay YC) to the helmsman scoring best at three of five frostbiting events. More information on the results of the Stanley Bell next week. For more information, see http://www.interclub.org.

Of interest to our female readers: There is a recent survey of over 400 women by BoatU.S. which shows that parents play an important role in teaching their daughters recreational boating skills. But when girls grow up, many women believe there aren't enough boating educational opportunities, especially those that are tailored for women. The newly released results of the BoatU.S. "Boating Learning and Education Survey for Women" showed that nearly half of all women respondents (47 percent) said it was a parent who they first remember teaching them boating skills, and 47 percent also said they had first gone boating before age 10.

"What the survey essentially tells us is that families play an important part in introducing boating to young girls, but as adults they want to learn more in relaxed settings, perhaps away from a well-meaning spouse," said Elaine Dickinson, executive editor of DIY Boat Owner magazine (a BoatU.S. publication for do-it-yourself boaters ) and the leader of the BoatU.S. Women in Boating initiative. The survey points out that there is clear support for more all-women courses (59 percent) and a full 80 percent thought that more hands-on learning opportunities were needed. Also of interest was that three times as many women found a women-only course, seminar or training "effective" as those who didn't (33 percent to 11 percent respectively). "While there is much debate on whether women-only instruction is better, there is no doubt that women boaters prefer to learn in an environment that doesn't have the pressure associated with co-ed instruction," said Dickinson. The topics that female respondents said they want instruction in include boat systems such as engines or electrical (71 percent); navigation (62 percent) and upgrading boat-handling skills (52 percent). And the respondents were not just first mates. Over three-quarters (78 percent) currently own either a powerboat (55 percent) or sailboat (53 percent). For more information on the survey, go to www.BoatUS.com/women

Over the years, BoatUS has held annual women's sailing conventions, one on each coast, that teach a variety of boating skills in women-only settings. The next one for the east coast will be held June 2 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in Marblehead, MA. This unique, day-long conference for women to introduce them to or enhance their skills in sailing, through on-the-water and land-based workshops, will take place again on Saturday, June 2 at the Corinthian Yacht Club in scenic Marblehead, MA. The event is organized by the National Women's Sailing Association; BoatUS is the primary sponsor.

Seminar topics include introduction to sailing and racing, cruise preparation, knots, navigation, spinnakers, sail trim, crew overboard, diesel engine troubleshooting, suddenly single-handed, flares and life rafts. A continental breakfast, lunch, dinner, raffles, and special guest speaker complete the day. Every year has been a sell out, with more than 150 women attending. The conference fee is $115 for National Women's Sailing Association (NWSA) members, and $150 non-NWSA members. There is a $15 surcharge after May 15. For more information contact Joan Thayer at jtthayer@comcast.net or call toll-free 1-866-631-NWSA; e-mail: wsf@womensailing.org or visit www.womensailing.org.

As the frostbiters are tuning up for their Nationals, the rest of the sailing/racing world might want to sharpen their skills by reading Speed & Smarts, a bimonthly newsletter, written by America's Cup tactician Dave Dellenbaugh. This newsletter, which has been praised by racing sailors for more than 12 years, has 16 pages full of race-winning tips on boat speed, tactics, strategy, rules and more topics that would interest skipper or crew.

Also available at Speed and Smarts, is a new two-part DVD, written by the same Dave Dellenbaugh, called Learn the Racing Rules. The DVD uses live sailing action and computerized animation to explain all the important right-of-way rules in the 2005-2008 rulebook. Part 1 covers the essential rules that apply whenever boats meet. Part 2 explains the often-confusing rules about marks and obstructions. Each is an hour long and includes text of all rules discussed. So if you are itching to get on the water, or at least get down to the boatyard to your boat, but the weather is just not cooperating, then you might want to consider looking at this DVD. For more information about obtaining a sample issue of Speed & Smarts, to sign up for a subscription, or to order the above-mentioned DVD, go to http://www.SpeedandSmarts.com.

Last weekend's Truxtun Umsted Regatta, hosted by the US Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD, is one of the largest and most important regattas in college sailing. T2P.TV, with Tucker Thomson narrating, has video highlights of the final race to decide the winner. Thomson will be part of the television team at Versus for the America's Cup. Readers may want to watch the exciting finish at www.t2p.tv/guide/trux07.php.

The Knickerbocker Cup Foundation has announced that the 2007 Notice of Race for the International Match Regatta, a grade 2 event, is now available online. The event is scheduled for August 22-26 at the Knickerbocker YC. Mark your calendars so you won't miss these top international match racers from around the world compete right here on Manhasset Bay.


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