While most people think that the waterfront is quiet during these cold months of winter, it is quite the contrary. We have our frostbiting folks who are enjoying invigorating Sunday afternoons out on Manhasset Bay. There are ample opportunities to plan for the summer sailing season, such as attendance at boat shows for those who are looking to buy their next boat or for those of us who attend to dream and fantasize about our next purchase. Then there are lots of seminars geared to help racers go faster, and other seminars to teach rules to both newcomers and those who want to have an "edge" over their competition.
Speaking of planning for the summer, online entry is now open for the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race. The Newport Bermuda Race is a serious 635 mile ocean race. It is America's classic, a must-do for all serious offshore sailors. It starts June 20 in Newport, RI and is organized by the Cruising Club of America and the Royal Bermuda Yacht Club. All qualified yachts are invited to apply to join the fleet.
The centennial race in 2006 saw a record 264 starters. This year interest is high. When the online system opened on Jan. 14, within a day there were 100 applications, which ties with the amount of interest generated for the historic 2006 race. Many of them were newcomers to the race. For those who are interested in this race across the pond, qualified monohull yachts with a minimum ORR measured "L" length of 27.5 feet to a maximum of 30.00 meters may now go online to apply for entry. The entry process, easy to follow and not requiring any special computer expertise, uses a secure on-line registration system: www.bermudarace.com/EntryProcess. If you are thinking about racing to Bermuda in 2008, go online now to learn all of the details at www.bermudarace.com. Once on the site, take the opportunity to subscribe to the race newswire so you'll always be up to date on the latest Bermuda Race happenings. For information about rules, regulations and entry contact chairman Nick Nicholson at firstname.lastname@example.org. Media and press inquiries should be directed to email@example.com.
Because of the dangers involved in blue water racing, one of the requirements of entrance to the Newport Bermuda Race is proof of attendance at a Safety at Sea seminar. In fact, the Notice of Race requires as a minimum that 30 percent of each crew must have attended a sanctioned seminar within three years of the start of the race. Long Island Sound racers, especially those in the western end of the sound, are lucky to have the opportunity to attend one such seminar right in their own backyard. The U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA) has raised the bar again, under the leadership of US SAILING SASS moderator Ralf Steitz and is offering their Safety-at-Sea Seminar on Saturday and Sunday, April 5-6. This year's seminar will exceed the US SAILING standard and is certified by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF). ISAF certificates are good for five years and for all ISAF sponsored events worldwide.
This two-day course will feature many of the "hands-on" stations that revolutionized Safety-at-Sea seminars in the U.S. from two years ago with addtional training to cover 13 essential topics in Maritime safety including: COB Prevention & Recovery (on the water), Water Survival (PFDs & Liferafts (in the pool), Emergency Communication (in the lab), Care & Maintenance of Safety Equipment, Storm Sails & Heavy Weather Sailing Tactics, Damage Control & Repair (in the lab), Weather Forecasting, Giving & Receiving Assistance From Other Craft, Firefighting & Fire Safety (Hands-On), and Distress Signalling (Flares & More). The list of expert speakers, emphasis on expert, include: Ralf Steitz, USMMA (Moderator); Ralph Naranjo, US SAILING (Case Study); Chuck Hawley, West Marine(Search and Rescue); Sheila McCurdy, Storm Trysail Club (Rendering and Accepting Assistance); Bill Biewenga, WxAdvantage (Weather Forecasting); Eric Knott, Moran Towing Safety (PFD Survival); Mike Keyworth, Cove Haven Marina (Damage Control); CDR Chris Gasiorek, USMMA (Emergency Communication); Charles Daneyko, Winslow Liferafts (Liferaft Survival); Capt. Henry Marx, Landfall Navigation (Care and Maintenance of Safety Equipment).
Registration is limited to 130, so don't wait. You won't want to miss this practical training seminar, which according to John Thomson, Jr., "The Academy's 2006 Safety-at-Sea Seminar broke ground on the "hand-on."
With the renewed interest in restoring wooden boats, there is another symposium that may interest readers. The 2008 Classic Yacht Symposium, the third in a series of international symposia co-sponsored by the Herreshoff Marine Museum/America's Cup Hall of Fame and the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers, will feature a tour of three boat restoration shops which specialize in the restoration of classic yachts. The tour is the first event of the three-day symposium, which will be held April 4-6 in Bristol, RI. Included in the tour are MP&G (McClave, Philbrick and Giblin) in Mystic, CT; Stonington Boat Works (Bill Mills), located in Stonington, CT; and Taylor & Snediker in Pawcatuck, CT. All these shops will open their doors to participants to give them an up-close look at current restoration projects and to see firsthand the techniques used in the restoration of classic wooden boats. Lunch is also included in this all-day event. The Classic Yacht Symposium brings together classic boat enthusiasts, professionals and amateurs engaged in the restoration and replication of classic yachts from around the world. Papers chosen for presentation at the symposium will be announced in December by the Symposium Papers Committee. Registration for this event is open now. For further information on the symposium and to obtain details about the events, including the boat shop restoration tour, visit the Herreshoff Marine Museum website, www.herreshoff.org, and follow the CYS link, or contact curator John Palmieri at firstname.lastname@example.org, tel. 401-253-500.