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On The Bay: April 26, 2013

This is the time of year that warms the hearts of sailors. Spring is here: the flowers are in bloom, trees are beginning to bud, the sun is shining and boatyard are beckoning boat owners to “come on out” and enjoy this fine weather while getting your boat ready for launch. For the next month, boatyards become the town square where friends meet fellow sailors and catch up with each other and talk of the upcoming season. It is also the time to review last year’s racing – with diminished recall of that bad mark rounding but with crystal clear retelling of an especially significant accomplishment. Cow Bay Racing, aka Thirsty Thursday, has held its organizational meeting and our frostbiters had their Long Distance Race and their outdoor BBQ. American YC Spring Series, the first regatta of the season, will start this weekend. All good things!

Spring is also a good time to plan trips to interesting locations. One especially good trip caught my eye. The Museum of Yachting is presenting an exhibition that you won’t want to miss and is opening on June 1st. The exhibit will feature a diverse collection of Newport yachting and coastal scenes and include artwork done in different mediums from the 19th century to contemporary times. The exhibit will be staged in the in-town location on the IYRS campus, in the Aquidneck Mill Building on Thames Street at the IYRS/Museum of Yachting Library. Just going to the library is a great experience as it has a sweeping view of Newport Harbor and its entrance to Narragansett Bay. One of the most extensive collections of maritime reference materials in the northeast, the library has become a valuable resource used by yacht designers, students, writers, documentary filmmakers, and others who travel from throughout the U.S. and Europe to access the collection. The library contains over 4,000 nautical titles, some 100 rare books, source materials such as logbooks and yacht club directories, and technical materials for IYRS students. It is open year-round to the public. For more information about the Museum, visit

On Thursday, May 2 at 7:30 pm, the Nautical Council of the Port Washington Public Library will sponsor a talk by Dawn Riley, Executive Director of Oakcliff Sailing Center. Dawn will speak on  “What’s Happening in the America’s Cup” and she will give the audience an “up close and personal” view of this year’s event.  Dawn is the perfect person to bring an insider’s view of what is happening this year out in San Francisco. Dawn was the first woman to have a physically active role in the American’s Cup on the winning America3 team in 1992. In 2000 Riley created and led America True, a coed team that with a very modest budget outraced many of the top teams including Dennis Conner on Stars & Stripes. In 2007, Riley was the General Manager for Areva Challenge, the French Team for the American’s Cup. Dawn is a terrific speaker – you won’t want to miss this exciting evening at the library!