Sports

Mark Washeim announced at the sail trim seminar over at North Shore YC last Saturday that Doyle Sailmakers Winter Weeknight Sailing Series will host another seminar in the series tonight. While advance notice would have been good, it is still not too late to get to the Huntington Sail Loft at 7 p.m. to hear the New York Times writer Chris Museler present "Outright World Sailing Speed Record." Chris will tell you all about the latest technology and boats, including the foiler, Hydroptere, which recently broke the 60-knot barrier before breaking herself. There will be a live feed interview with Paul Larsen and Helena Darvelid of Sail Rocket. They have made themselves available to answer your questions live from their base in Namibia, Africa! Check out the links, particularly some video from Sail Rocket (www.sailrocket.com) and Hydroptere (www.hydroptere.com) sites. You are not going to want to miss this. Please plan on bring the usual stuff (picnic, libation, and chairs). Mark is asking folks leave a $10 - $15 donation for Chris, who has put this together. Seven o'clock at Doyle Sailmaker, 1345 New York Avenue, Second Floor, Huntington Station. Loft number: 631-673-5055, Cell number: 631-235-8999, doyleli@att.net , www.doylesails.com.

Soundings, the award-winning news, features and how-to magazine for recreational boaters, has launched a redesigned Web site (soundingsonline.com). The new design allows for easier navigation, and features improved search capabilities. Visitors will find the same informative stories, commentary and expert advice, as well as a used-boat search tool. The site now includes videos, audio clips and Web extras related to magazine content. Other features allow users to comment on blogs, ask questions, read news stories and more.

There is some good news coming from the folks at US SAILING. Due to the record-breaking support from US SAILING members, US SAILING will cover the tuition for young adults (age 18-30) to attend US SAILING Race Management Seminars and Judges Workshops. Thanks to over 620 US SAILING donors, more than $152,000 was contributed to the 2008 Annual Appeal. These funds will continue to support previous initiatives including "Youth Sailorships" and disabled sailing assistance, as well as a new "Race Officialship" initiative. US SAILING would like to encourage high school and college sailing team members, recent college graduates, and others with time to give back to the sport to take advantage of this new initiative. The closest seminars to our areas are: New York YC, Centerport YC, Noroton YC and Bay Shore YC. For information on dates and times, please visit US SAILING at www.ussailing.org.

For all of us who need a "sailing fix," news from the SORC (Southern Ocean Racing Conference) may help diminish our winter blues. They have announced an agreement with Horizon Marine to track all of the competitors in this year's Pineapple Cup - the Fort Lauderdale to Montego Bay, Jamaica Race. Using its proprietary iBoat Track software, hourly GPS signals will track all competing boats and display real-time positions on Horizon's online graphic display, providing position, speed, fleet and class positions during the entire length of the course. The race started Friday, February 6th at 1400 off Port Everglades in Fort Lauderdale, and the live reports will be available at that time on www.montegobayrace.com. By the time you read this, the race will be over, but the excitement will still be available online. "This is the first time tracking will be used for the Pineapple Cup for the benefit of all those e-spectators, families and friends who want to follow the race daily," said Ken Batzer, race chairman. "Each boat will have an iBoat Track GPS transponder mounted on the deck, and course positions will be updated every hour."

The 810-mile race offers navigators, tacticians, and crews a challenging all-points-of-sail blast to a fabled destination. Immediately after the start the racers cross the Gulf Stream for the Northwest Providence Channel. The middle of the race usually offers a fetch down the eastern side of the Bahamas Island Chain toward the tip of Cuba. The final stretch is a sailor's dream: a 240-mile downwind sleigh ride from Cuba's eastern tip known as Windward Passage to the finish at Montego Bay. Typical 20-plus knot aft trade winds and rolling, following seas push the racers downhill into the sunset toward the finish, where they're greeted right at the finish line with the traditional case of Jamaica's finest Red Stripe beer.

The race is sponsored by the Lauderdale Yacht Club (Fort Lauderdale, FL), the Montego Bay Yacht Club (Montego Bay, Jamaica), and the Jamaican Yachting Association (Kingston, Jamaica), the Storm Trysail Club (Larchmont, N.Y.), and administered by the SORC Race Management team. The Pineapple Cup has long been an ocean racing classic. The race started in 1961 and has run either annually or biannually ever since. Past winners are a Who's Who of ocean skippers and yacht names. Ted Turner won three times in Vamoose ('67), Lightnin ('73) and Tenacious ('79); the Johnson family won in Ticonderoga ('65); John Kilroy won twice in Kialoa ('75 & '77); and Jack King won in Merrythought ('91). The current race record is held by Titan 12, set in 2005, with an impressive elapsed time of 2 days, 10 hours, 24 minutes and 42 seconds. Go to www.montegobayrace.com for a link to the race tracking.

The SORC mission is to lead the expansion of offshore competitive sailing in South Florida by providing the highest level of race organization, management and promotions for those that enjoy the sport of ocean sailing. The SORC is a Florida non-profit organization driven by a select group of volunteers that bring professional event management, sailing, racing and other skills to the organization. The Storm Trysail Club is one of the world's most respected sailing clubs, with its membership comprised strictly of skilled blue water and ocean racing sailors.. Horizon Marine iBoattrack is a web service that offers tracking and mapping of offshore yacht races, cruising boats, and fleets of offshore commercial assets. The proprietary service utilizes GPS tracking units to acquire raw data positioning of each vessel on an hourly or bi-hourly basis. iBoattrack's Race Tracking system not only offers end-users the comfort of watching a race from their home or office PCs, but gives them a different perspective on the race in general. For each race, iBoattrack offers a Google map-based interactive map, a low bandwidth map, both with weather overlays, an unofficial "progress board," a photo page of each vessel labeled "fleet view," a discussion board, and a help page offering aid to the end-user who wants to learn how to navigate through the site.

With all this technology, who needs a boat? But when boats are unavailable during the winter, residing in lonely shipyards, it might be fun to vicariously experience some blue water racing.


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