On Feb. 26, at the Fairfield Theatre Company in Fairfield, CT, WindCheck Magazine will present Ken Read & PUMA Ocean Racing on the road to the Volvo Ocean Race 2008-2009. Get closer to Ken Read than most competitive sailors ever will as he shares his next great adventure as skipper of PUMA Ocean Racing. The Volvo Ocean Race is the ultimate mix of world class sporting competition on the edge of adventure. It takes over nine months, covering nearly 40,000 nautical miles of the globe's most treacherous seas. The evening will include a dynamic show of the team's race preparations, an interactive discussion and reception. Ken Read has more than 45 World, National and North American championships to his name, is a two-time Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, and has helmed two America's Cup campaigns. The Fairfield Theatre Company is located at 70 Sanford Street, which is steps away from the Fairfield Train Station. Reception with hors d'oeuvres and refreshments is from 6:30 to 8 p.m., followed by Read's presentation from 8 to 9:15 p.m. Seating is limited to 190. To reserve a $30 ticket, call WindCheck Magazine at (203) 332-7639. MasterCard and Visa accepted.
With the howling wind preventing our frostbiters yet another day off the water, it may be time to resort to a favorite indoor pastime. There are several very interesting books that have been reviewed in online sailing newsletters, and two of them are described here. Sailing the Bay by Kimball Livingston, with a foreword by Paul Cayard, is a little book with a lot of interesting information about sailing in San Francisco. This is a fascinating read, even if the area is all the way across the nation. Livingston has been described as a writer who's witty, whose text is easy to read and who clearly loves his subject and is an expert at it. Livingston has written about sailing all over the world, but this small book details the dozens of mini-bays within San Francisco Bay and the challenges confronting anyone who sails these waters. He also intersperses a history of sailing on the bay, from the Clipppers to why the buoy off Crissy Field is named after Tom Blackaller. It is personalities like Blackaller, Cayard, Riley and many others who sprang from the Bay sailing scene to change the face of competitive sailing around the world. This book does an excellent job of explaining how the Bay helped them develop a huge love of sailing. For those who would prefer a blog to his book, go to Livingston's blog at: sailingmagazine.blogspot.com.
Another book that might interest readers is The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea, edited by Peter Kemp, paperback, nearly a thousand pages with hundreds of black and white photographs and drawings. Various editions available in both hardcover (now out of print) and paperback, first published in 1976 but revised in 1988. With over 3,700 short articles, this is a dangerous book to have in your library. A few minutes intended to look up an obscure term can easily turn into hours of meandering and rambling through the entries. On the other hand, it's a great way to ensure a bit of self-satisfaction in short order... 15 minutes in this book, starting from any page, and you can go to sleep knowing that today you've learned something you didn't know when you woke up.
Here are two examples chosen completely at random. One wonders whether Finnster Freddy knows this particular etymology of his last name: Loof (1) the after part of the bow of a square-rigged ship just before the chesstrees, at the point where the side planking - or, when iron or steel was used for the hulls of large sailing ships, the plates - begins to curve in towards the stem of the ship. The term is now almost completely obsolete, and was never applied to ships propelled otherwise than by sail. (2) The old word, sometimes also written as loofe, meaning luff. Creeper, another name for the small four-hooked grapnel used to recover articles dropped on the sea bed by dragging for them. In clear water a white plate or dish dropped overboard immediately after the object falls gives a useful guide to where to use the creeper. This book could be called the equivalent of "messing around in boats." And with the weather so cold, it just might be the next best thing to being out on the water.
While we are all waiting for the spring season, we can spend some time planning for the upcoming sailing/racing season. Nick Nicholson, chairman, 2008 Newport Bermuda Race, sent out an email recently to those blue water sailors who entered this historic race. For those who didn't sign up for the USMMA Safety-at-Sea, which now has a waiting list, there will be another one up in Newport on Saturday, March 8. Navigator and Cruising Club of American (CCA) member Stan Honey will be a featured speaker at the Safety at Sea Seminar. Honey is arguably the most successful offshore racing navigator in modern history, and is one of the world's most experienced offshore racing sailors. This is a great opportunity for race participants and is expected to sell out fast: don't miss it. Check the Notice of Race to confirm how many of your crew must attend a sanctioned Safety at Sea seminar (it's a great experience for everyone). Also attend a race prep briefing, medical seminar, CPR review, and hands-on in-the-water survival training (wait list only).
After only three weeks of online entry for the 2008 Newport Bermuda Race, 156 boats have already applied for entry. So far, 55 of those are new boats and 72 of the owners did not enter the record breaking 264-boat 2006 centennial race. Race Chairman Nick Nicholson said, "We have a probable fleet of 186 boats to date."
This increased interest in the race may cause some problems for those skippers who have not reserved marina space in Bermuda. The Royal Bermuda Yacht Club reports that their marina is full with a waiting list. Space is available at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club just across the harbor. A shuttle will run between the two clubs. Reservation forms for both clubs are available on their website,
The 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race website has some interesting pieces of information. Gary Jobson has done a commemorative 1-hour film that 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. For information about marina availability, Gary Jobson's video, and all the information you need for the Newport Bermuda race, go to www.bermudarace.com.
Frostbiting results for Sunday, Feb. 3. The IC dinghies sailed 5 races. Race1: 1. #661, Jonathan Siener/Pam Morris, 2. #625, Kevin Morgan/Donna Marie Cipollone, 3. #603, Matt Kelley/Mary Ensly. Race 2: 1. Siener/Morris, 2. #628, Dana Schnipper/Branden Roger, and 3. Morgan/Cipollone. Race 3: 1. #536, Pedro Lorson/Johanna Silbersack, 2. Morgan/Cipollone, and 3. Kelley/Ensly. Race 4: 1. Lorson/Silbersack 2. Kelley/Ensly, and 3. Morgan/Cipollone. 5. Race 5: 1. Lorson/Silbersack 2. Morgan/Cipollone, and 3. Kelley/Ensly. Overall winners for the day: 1. #625, Kevin Morgan/Donna Marie Cipollone, 2. #536, Pedro Lorson/Johanna Silbersack and 3. #603, Jonathan Siener/Pam Morris. Donna Marie Cipollone won the crew race.