Dave Perry, an expert on racing rules, will be at Manhasset Bay YC on Thursday, March 12 to present 'The New Racing Rules," a seminar sponsored by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound.

Racers, mark your calendars for Thursday, March 12. The US SAILING Racing Rules for 2009-2012 are out and there have been significant changes which will affect all racers in the United States. For example, some of the significant rules changes include: a new three-length zone around marks, there are no more zones around obstructions, rule 18.4 about sailing a proper course at a leeward gate has changed and sails which are not being used are considered ballast and cannot be moved while racing. Dave Perry, the delightfully humorous, highly interactive and crystal clear speaker, will be in our area (Thursday, March 12, at the Manhasset Bay Yacht Club) to enlighten all our racers on these changes in the rules. Brought to you by the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) this presentation will give attendees an in-depth explanation of the new rules, with an explanation of why the changes were made. Dave will ensure that sailors and race officials understand the rules changes and how they will change the game, always with a look to how to maximize winning tactics with increased rules knowledge. There will be ample time for audience questions and the latest edition of his best-selling book on the rules, Understanding the Racing Rules, will be available for purchase and signing.

Dave Perry grew up on Long Island Sound sailing Blue Jays and Lightnings at Pequot YC. He is a Senior Certified Judge and has been a member of US SAILING Appeals Committee since 1986 and is currently the chairman. Dave was the Rules Advisor and Afterguard Coach for Victory Challenge 2007, Sweden's America's Cup team, and the Rules Advisor for the 2008 U.S. Olympic Sailing Team in China. He has authored three books on the sport, Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing, Winning in One-Designs, and Dave Perry's 100 Best Rules Quizzes.

The program at Manhasset Bay YC begins at 7:30pm, with a cash bar from 6:00 - 7:30 and again after the presentation. Those who would like to begin the evening with dinner at MBYC, please call the club at 767-2150 for a reservation. For reservations to the seminar, please contact the YRALIS at 767-9240 or email at yraoffice@earthlink.net. Fees for the presentation are $20 (2009 YRA members) and $25 (non YRA members). Reservation forms are available at all local yacht clubs and at West Marine and Atlantic Outfitters. A PDF of the flier to download and print is available online at www.yralis.org.

If for some reason, the March 12 date at MBYC is not a good one for you, there are other locations where Dave will present the same seminar: Riverside YC (March 18) and Cedar Point YC (April 29). The YRA wants to make certain that all racers are up to speed on the new rules. So no excuses next summer - protest committees will not accept any laments such as, "well, I didn't know that!" Besides, what better way to get ready for the summer season than to get together with other racers and talk about the upcoming season.

Our frostbiters have had a rough season this year. Ice and high winds have prevented the racers from getting their "fix" each Sunday afternoon on Manhasset Bay. They gather at the docks week after week, with grim faces, to check the ice and check out the wind conditions. It's as if they stare at the ice long enough, it just might melt and let them launch their IC dinghies and Ideal 18s. Mother Nature has not been kind to sailors this past winter, forcing many of them to retire to the club for a delicious lunch, or even worse, have to return home to work on that "to do" list that needs attention. The last couple of weeks, though, the ice has melted and the wind gods have cooperated. Sunday, February 15 was a sunny, beautiful day on the water, and the Race Committee ran eight races for both fleets. Then last weekend, on a rainy and very cold day, four races were completed for IC dinghies only. The results for Sunday, Feb. 22: 1. Pedro Lorson/Johanna Silbersack, 2. Matt Kelly /Amelia Amon, 3. Fee Mitropoulos/Sophia Mitropoulos, 4. John Silbersack/Catryn Silbersack and 5. Gracely/Bonatucci (first names unavailable). Overall results for the season this far: IC Dinghies: 1. Pedro Lorson/Johanna Silbersack, 2. Ted Toombs/Jenny McCarthy, 3. Dana Schnipper/B. Roberts and L. O'Connor, 4. Matt Kelly/Amelia Amon, and 5. Fee Mitropoulos/Sophia Mitropoulos. The top boats in the Ideal 18 fleet: 1. Bob Kirtland/Alan Thompson, 2. John Towers/N. Steinbeck, 3. Laura Browning/J. Losee, and Vince Syracuse/Steve Moore.

The YRA of LIS has announced that Manhasset Bay YC will host the 2009 YRA Frostbite Championship Regatta on Saturday, April 25, in conjunction with their Annual Long Distance Race and Clam Bake. This regatta is open to the top representative and top women representative of each YRALIS Frostbite Fleet. The Dyer Trophy will be awarded to the winner of the Championship and the Mermaid Trophy to the top woman skipper. The schedule for the day: 9:00am is the Frostbite Ocean Race in IC Dinghies and Ideal 18s, at 11:00 there will be a competitors meeting for the YRA Champs, followed by the Awards Ceremony and Clam Bake at 1:30. The fee for YRA and US SAILING members is $55, non-member fee is $70 and this fee includes lunch. Additional tickets to the Clam Bake are $35 for adults, $20 children. The Notice of Race (NOR) and the SI (Sailing Instructions) are on www.manhassetbayyc.org. For more information, call the YRA office at 767-9240 or email the YRA at yraoffice@earthlink.net

The Volvo Ocean Race is quite simply the 'Everest of Sailing' with the competing teams sailing across 37,000 nautical miles of the globe's most treacherous seas. The event began in Alicante, Spain, on Oct. 4, 2008 and visits 11 ports around the world. Continuing to follow the prevailing winds around the globe, the Volvo Ocean Race will take in some new territories when it runs again in 2008-09. Leaving Alicante and then Cape Town, the race will take the fleet back across the equator to Kochi, India, ahead of its arrival in Singapore and Qingdao, China. Then it's a long 12,300 nm haul across the Southern Ocean, around infamously stormy Cape Horn, and north to Rio de Janeiro. A stop in Boston will precede a dash back across the Atlantic to Galway in Ireland, and on to Marstrand and Stockholm in Sweden, before the race finishes in St Petersburg, Russia, more than nine months later. It's not difficult to see why this event, originally established in 1973 as The Whitbread Round the World Race, is undeniably the sailing's premier global yachting race -- and one of the most demanding team sporting events on earth. The teams are comprised of 11 professional sports men and women with world-class open ocean sailing skills, physical endurance and competitive spirit who will race day and night for more than four weeks at a time on some legs. For readers interested in following this race, world-renowned sailor Gary Jobson will host 39 half-hour weekly episodes chronicle the riveting journey on Public TV. Go to http://www.vortv.org/Home.html and click on the "Broadcast Times" for local times and channels.

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