Everyone knows that fishermen have stories to tell - you know, those tall tales that are so entertaining. What might not be so well known is that sailors have been known to tell a story or two back on land after an exciting day racing on Long Island Sound. Whether or not they can be categorized as a "tall tale" will be left to the sailors to argue. But anyone who has sailed local waters remembers some of the stories of past seasons. It could be that one time early at the start when the black flag was hoisted, or being cut off on a starboard tack around a mark that ruined their first place finish. One of the best known stories from last season involved a damsel who did a back-flip off a boat in the Sonar fleet, went swimming in the bay, and actually finished the race. This feat was elevated to high entertainment during the Sonar Awards Dinner at the end of the season.

What all the above "stories" involve are mistakes that happen in the heat of the moment. Some of them fit into the "what on earth were you thinking" category and are the perennial topic of conversation during the late afternoon social hours back on land. Leave it to the YRA of LIS (Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound) to come to the rescue and offer aid to these racers who would like to reduce such moments and become more competitive on the race course. On Thursday, March 27, at the Manhasset Bay YC, Pat Healy will present a seminar on "The Ten Most Common Mistakes Seen on the Race Course," a discussion on how tactics, weather, rules strategy, local weather, and sport psychology win races. Specifics include techniques - know your combinations of sails and local weather; tactics - how to capitalize on opportunities; strategy - knowing the big picture; winning tips - guaranteed success! The talk begins at 7:30 p.m., with a Q &A following. Dinner reservations, starting at 6 p.m. are available by calling the MBYC at 767-2150.

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, and 22 Pan American medals in '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 bachelor's degree in Meteorology.

Why not start this racing season by getting together with other sailors over a great dinner, peppered with some of those "tall tales," and then learn from Pat Healy how to prevent these finicky mistakes. No need to worry, there will always be more stories to tell during the season. That's one of the reasons sailing is so much fun. Please RSVP to the YRALIS office at 767-9240 or send your check or Visa/MasterCard information to 455 Main Street, Port Washington. The fee for this very informative seminar is $20 for YRA members and $25 for non-members. Seminar information is also available at

US SAILING just completed their spring meeting in Newport, RI last weekend and one of the issues discussed at the meeting is the possibility of a new requirement that all racing sailing must be a member of US SAILING. According to President Jim Capron, US SAILING offers a level playing field by providing standardized rules, offshore rating certification, trained and certified race officers, judges, and sailing instructors. The board of directors feel that in fairness to everyone, those who participate in the competitive aspect of sailing and benefit from these services should be members of US SAILING. The process to bring this concept to reality would be a method of obtaining membership through a new US SAILING Prescription for the 2009-2012 Racing Rules of Sailing that would require US SAILING membership of racing sailboat owners and skippers. While this has not been voted on, it is currently being reviewed. When asked why US SAILING was considering this change at the present time, President Capron said, "We are one of the few national authorities for sailing in the world for which membership of all competitive sailors is not required. We are also not one of the few U.S. sports' national governing bodies for which membership is not required, either directly or through clubs or regional associations, such as figure skating, skiing, and tennis."

Now that the sailing season is near (or getting closer anyway), it is a good time to start thinking of safety on the water. The United States Coast Guard Auxiliary strongly suggests that all recreational boaters, regardless of the size of the boat, carry with them not only the federal and local mandated safety equipment, but also a VHF Radio and an EPIRB, which are not mandated.

Eric Goetz grew up in Port Washington, and spent his youth learning to sail out on Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound. Like so many of us, once you have been out on the water, there is no return. You are hooked. The more fortunate of us are able to turn their love of the water and sailing into a career. That is exactly what Eric Goetz did. He moved up to Rhode Island and started Goetz Custom Boats and is so successful that recently had to add more space to his design facility. News about an exiting partnership has just become available. Goetz Custom Boats and Rogers Yacht Design are teaming up to produce a new 82-foot cruiser/racers sloop for a UK client. The yacht will feature a contemporary, lightweight, super yacht interior with striking external styling. She has been designed to be competitive under IRC and will be participating primarily on the European regatta circuit. The yacht is scheduled for delivery during the second half of 2009. This project marks the first collaboration between Rogers Yacht Design, best known for their Open Class race boats, Class 40s, and Rogers 46 designs, and Goetz. For more information on this and other Goetz Custom Boats projects, visit.

Rising match racing star Adam Minoprio (NXL) and his BlackMatch Racing team has aligned itself with Emirates Team New Zealand for the upcoming match -racing season. While there is no financial assistance under the arrangement with the team, Minoprio has gained support from some of the sponsors, and the alliance has provided the 43rd ranked BlackMatch Racing team entrance to the 2008 Brazil Sailing Cup, in Rio de Janeiro, the opening regatta of the World Tour to be held on April 22-26. This means that two young teams that raced in the Knickerbocker Cup in past years have gone on to be accepted into the prestigious World Tour, the other being the Bayview YC Match Racing Team, out of Detroit, MI, Chris Van Tol, skipper. Congratulations to the folks over at Knickerbocker YC for helping to launch these teams that in turn put Manhasset Bay on the international sailing scene. Logo
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