John and Mary Baxter, in IC dinghy #66, screaming to a first-place finish on Saturday, April 7. Due to the holiday, the competitors raced on Saturday this week, in preparation for the Nationals.
On Saturday, April 7, seven IC dinghy sailors were out on Manhasset Bay practicing for the upcoming Nationals which will be held this coming weekend. The wind was up and the weather was cold. Racing was quite competitive with much jockeying at the start for good position. The Race Committee was busy all afternoon, as the wind shifts forced the committee to change their starting line and course marks throughout the day. No capsizes, but at one point one aggressive sailor looked like his team might take a swim in the bay, but got control of the boat quickly. While these scores do not count toward the year's total, they are noted here: 1. #66, John Baxter/Mary Baxter (Ralf Steitz skippering two races) 2. #536, Pedro Lorson/Donna Marie Chipallone, and 3. #17, Paul-Jon Patin/Anne Patin.
Many of the IC dinghy boats have already been weighed, the Race Committee is set and Manhasset Bay YC is ready for the teams that will arrive with IC dinghy in tow. Friday, April 13 is reserved for a practice day for those who can get off of work, and the regatta begins on Saturday morning and runs until Sunday afternoon. The teams that will be competing are some of the top sailors on the eastern seaboard. Because most winter sailors sail in IC dinghies, the fleet attracts the best of the lot. So if you happen to stroll down by the water's edge, take a look out toward the Great Neck shore and you will see lots of small boats with a single sail filling the horizon. Enjoy the scenery - it is not often that Manhasset Bay is host to this regatta as it rotates yacht clubs throughout the east coast.
On Friday, April 13 ESPN Classic will air "Allianz Presents The America's Cup 1851 - 2007" on Friday, April 13 at 7 pm. Winning America's Cup tactician and Emmy award winning television producer Gary Jobson has been collecting film and photographic material of this historical event over the past 30 years. This will be the first time that the long history of the America's Cup will be presented on this channel. The one-hour show will have exclusive interviews and considerable new and never before broadcast material. The program is hosted by Walter Cronkite and Gary Jobson. For a preview, go to http://jobsonsailing.com/reports/38
Andy Horton, strategist and tactician for the Luna Rossa Challenge, one of the syndicates for the America's Cup, shared some of his "insider" knowledge of what is going on in Valencia these days. For readers who are unfamiliar with this venue, it is the sight of the Louis Vuitton Cup which is taking place right now, and the America's Cup which will start in mid-May. Horton, who was a three-time collegiate All American at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, is in his first America's Cup campaign. He is also a top Star sailor with his goal to represent the United States in Qingdao in 2008. He competed several years ago in the Knickerbocker Cup and has been doing great things ever since. In his "Voice from Valencia," Horton speaks about the busy days in Valencia, the removal of the skits that hid the hull shapes and appendages (the America's Cup is full of intrigue and secrets), and now he is in the thick of things with the start of the Louis Vuitton Cup, the qualifier to determine who will be the challenger in the America's Cup. To read more on Andy Horton, and all Cup related news, go to www.americascup.com
According to their website, Womanship is the first and leading sailing school designed by women, for women. It started in 1984, and brings together women of all ages - 18 to 82 - from diverse backgrounds, and from every part of the world. Their course calendar for the 2007-2008 year is available and there are some great courses offered. For example, there are Live Aboard courses in the British Virgin Islands, Vancouver BC and the Gulf Island, the Florida Keys and closer to home, Chesapeake Bay and Long Island Sound and New England. There are Sail and See adventures to Greece, Turkey, New Zealand and Ireland and even customized courses for couples, families, mothers and daughters, plus Corporate Team/Leadership building. Also of interest are the courses on Sail Yourself Home Safely and those geared for the younger women, usually in partnership with a yacht club or school. For more information on this "Sailing School for Women," go to www.womanship.com or give them a call at 800-342-9295.
Gary Jobson's film, "Racing to Bermuda: A Century on the Ocean" is now available on DVD. This magnificent movie captures the essence of the Newport Bermuda Race through footage taken aboard yachts competing in the Centennial Race in 2006 as well as historic views of past races, yachts and sailors. The one-hour movie is the perfect way to relive the race of a century for crew, family and friends. Follow eight of the boats from 38 to 98 feet as they chase the magnificent lighthouse trophies and make tactical decisions about how to play the weather and Gulf Stream in a light air race that tested skill and patience in a record size fleet of 265 boats. The film is made possible through the generous support of Coldwell Banker Previews International.
"Gary Jobson worked his magic to capture the emotions and passions of the sailors," remarked 2006 Race Chairman Bill Barton. Jobson serves as America's ambassador for the sport of sailing and with this film brings to everyone the experience of racing 635 miles in one of the world's premier ocean races. From the start in Newport, Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay, to the fast-flowing meanders of the Gulf Stream, to the finish off Bermuda's St. David's Lighthouse, and the magnificent Prizegiving ceremony at Government House, this unique DVD shows the strategy, tactics, yachts and victory in modern offshore racing. The DVD is available through the "Race Gear" link on www.bermudarace.com for a small shipping and handling charge of $10.00.
For those sailors who think that the younger generation isn't living up to their sailing potential and are interested in sports other than sailing, news coming out of Riva Del Garda proves otherwise. 783 juniors signed up for an Optimist regatta, which means the Race Committee is dealing with 150 competitors in the A division and 630 competitors in the B division. It is almost hard to imagine what the area around the Race Committee boats looks like, with those little Opti sails filling the horizon for as far as the eye can see. There are 10 races for each competitor which hail from not only Italy, but the United States, Denmark, Germany, Brazil, Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, France, England, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Latvia, Norway, Poland, Russia, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland, Sweden, Tunisia, Hungary and Turkey. Wouldn't it be great to have a regatta like this on Manhasset Bay? For those interested in viewing photos, go to www.fragliavelariva.com. The press reports are all listed, but they are in Italian, so you may want to just check out the photos.