There's only one new book on the new rules (2009-2012) - and it's terrific. In fact, yours truly has bought four copies and has been handing them out to sailing friends. What makes this book especially good is its organization by tactical situations, not by separate rules. It takes boat-to-boat encounters and explains what you can/can't (should/shouldn't) do in tactical situations. The title of the book is 2009-2012: The Rules in Practice by Bryan Willis, costs $29.95 and is available at UK Halsey. While you are on their website, check out Butch Ulmer's rules blog where you get direct answers to any situations you're still unclear about. Willis and Ulmer have great credentials. Go to to order your rules book, check out the animated quizzes and blog with Butch. The sailing rules change on Jan. 1, 2009, and there are substantial changes this time around. So you will want to spend some time during the cold winter months learning the new rules. Who knows, it just may help you win a close race next summer!

Another way to learn the new racing rules is to subscribe to Speed & Smarts, a bi-monthly publication full of race-winning tips on speed, tactics, strategy, and yes, the new rules. It's written by David Dellenbaugh, winning America's Cup tactician and recognized rules expert. The next issue explains all major changes in the new 2009-2012 racing rules; future issues will cover each rule in much more detail. Speed & Smarts comes with a money-back guarantee, has no advertising and is available by email or paper. To find out more or place an order: www.SpeedandSmarts

News from Newport, RI brings a very nice story about disabled sailing. Shake-A-Leg Newport - a national leader in therapeutic sailing programs allowing children, adolescents and adults of varying abilities to dramatically improve their lives -has announced the donation of the 12-Metre Easterner (US 18) to the world famous disabled sailing program. Donated by Arthur Shlossman (Jamestown, R.I.), the classic yacht best known for its America's Cup history, will be adapted by Shake-A-Leg to allow people with disabilities to compete alongside able-bodied sailors.

The yacht's steering and sail trim features will be reengineered to allow disabled people to compete in an arena that no one could ever have dreamed during the era when the magnificent America's Cup boats were originally commissioned. "It's a breakthrough of monstrous proportions, not only for disabled people, but for the whole sailing world," said Paul Callahan, Shake-A-Leg CEO and a member of the 2000 U.S. Paralympic Team who has served as guest tactician aboard the 12-Metre Valiant since 1998. Once Easterner has been modified, Callahan will lead a team of both disabled and able-bodied crew members aboard her to the starting line of The 12-Metre World Championship, hosted by the New Yacht Club in Newport, R.I., next September. For the complete story, go to

With so much emphasis on "going green," this information might just interest a few of our readers. The BoatUS Foundation for Boating Safety and Clean Water is offering grant funds up to $4,000 each for community nonprofit groups to develop projects that address environmental problems on local waterways. Since 1997 the annual BoatUS Foundation Clean Water Grant program has awarded over $300,000 to improve the marine environment, funding 149 projects in 35 states. This year's deadline to apply is Feb. 2, 2009. Wouldn't it be great if a local nonprofit could get some funds to improve our beautiful Manhasset Bay? If interested, there is more information at:

Some more news coming out of Newport, RI: Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport and Whitney Slade, headmaster of St. Michael's Country Day School have launched a joint educational initiative titled "" The program will connect teachers and students from around the globe with major ocean voyages starting with the 2008-2009 Volvo Ocean Race.

"With St. Michael's help, we are now able to take our effort regionally and even globally," says Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. "This is the biggest sailing event on the international schedule over the next 8 months, and with the drama of the race, the ports of call, the unprecedented access to the teams while racing and the fact that one of the teams called Newport home over the last 2 years (Puma Ocean Racing trained in Newport over '07 and '08) it just fits. We feel we can get more children excited about sailing and the water than ever before possible," Read adds.

Slade says, "We are excited about this opportunity to connect the students at St. Michael's with other schools and organizations in the community through this global event, and look forward to further collaborating on this educational endeavor as the race begins."

The online program will include tracking the eight ocean racing boats as they circumnavigate the globe. The race starts from Alicante, Spain and will make stops in international ports such as Cape Town, South Africa; Kochi in India; Singapore; Qingdao, China; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Boston, USA; Galway Ireland, Goteborg and Stockholm, Sweden. The race ends in St. Petersburg, Russia in May of 2009.

Newport sailor, Beth Holland, who is director of academic technology for St. Michael's Country Day developed the school curriculum which integrates geography, marine science, language arts, mathematics and physical science. Holland used state and federal guidelines to help develop the program. Each lesson ties back to the national standards as well as the Rhode Island/New Hampshire/Vermont GLEs (where possible), and provides an opportunity for schools to integrate the excitement of the Volvo Ocean Race into the classroom. Students will be able to: track the boats, see onboard video, follow onsite reporters, participate in the "Virtual Race," and utilize the tools and links to educational materials at a variety of educational websites around the globe.

Schools interested in becoming involved in the program may contact Brad Read at Sail Newport The program is offered free of charge to schools who would like to integrate" in their school curriculum. Sail Newport, dedicated to public access to sailing has completed programs with Newport's Thompson Middle School, following the Around Alone Race's earlier in the decade. Sail Newport is a 501 c 3 tax exempt organization dedicated to public access to the water and to recreational sailing. St. Michael's Country Day School is a private elementary and middle school in Newport Rhode Island. For more information, go to Logo
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