The 2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners were recognized as part of the 2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) in Austin, Texas… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
The 2016 Community Sailing and Training Award winners were recognized as part of the 2017 National Sailing Programs Symposium (NSPS) in Austin, Texas… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Sailing’s most accomplished contributors in the U.S. were recognized at US Sailing Awards Dinner, held February 15 in Austin, Texas. The awards dinner is a featured event at US Sailing’s 2017 National Conference. Hunt and Betsy Lawrence (New York, NY) received the prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for their outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing. The Lawrences were instrumental in their financial support for the fleet of Olympic-class boats that were used at the Olympic venue in Rio for over two years to help train American athletes. Having access to these boats provided an important edge for Team USA as they prepared for the 2016 Rio Games… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Portsmouth, RI (February 9, 2017) – After receiving nominations from the public in the final months of 2016, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) today announced three winners of national coaching awards. – Read on… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
The 2017 Youth Match Racing World Championship will be hosted by the Balboa Yacht Club in Corona del Mar, Calif. on July 30 – August 5, 2017. To compete, sailors must be under the age of 23 in 2017. The selection process for the skipper representing the U.S. will be by resume. Applications will be accepted through February 15, 2017. Full Story. For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
The following list is a quick overview of the significant changes in the 2017-2020 edition of The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS). These are changes from the 2013-2016 edition, and are excerpted from from Dave Perry’s Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing through 2020.
These brief summaries are not intended to be actual representations of the rules; nor is this a complete list of all the changes in the 2017-2020 RRS. In the USA, the new rules are free for US Sailing members or can be bought here.
Conflict of Interest This new definition takes the place of the previous definition “Interested Party.” The new definition is broader in that it includes the perception that a person may have a personal or financial interest that could affect their ability to be impartial. This new definition is the cornerstone of the revised rule 63.4 (Conflict of Interest).
Party This definition has been expanded to include the new “technical committee” (see new rule 92, Technical Committee) which can protest under rule 60.4 (Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action), a person presenting an allegation under rule 69 (Misconduct), and the new “support person” when they are subject to a hearing under new rule 60.3(d).
Support Person This new definition is part of the significant change that has brought people who support competitors under the jurisdiction of the racing rules, and makes them and the competitors they support liable for penalty if they do not comply with the rules or if they act in a way that is considered “misconduct.” See in particular rule 3 (Acceptance of the Rules), rule 60.3(d) (Right to Protest; Right to Request Redress or Rule 69 Action), rule 64.4 (Decisions Concerning Support Persons) and rule 69.1(a) (Obligation not to Commit Misconduct; Resolution). The definition includes, among others, parents and coaches.
Rule 2 (Fair Sailing) This has been changed such that the penalty for breaking it can now be either disqualification (DSQ) or DSQ that is not excludable (DNE). This may result in the rule being applied in more circumstances than before when the only option for penalty was DNE. – Read on
In this double header to celebrate the end of a long road trip, Clean first talks to freshly minted Director of the US Olympic Sailing Team Malcolm Page. The Australian double gold medalist and multiple world champion answers questions from Clean and the Anarchists, including a frank assessment of where the US team is, why he took the job, why the US team became also-rans for the past three cycles, and the route (and how long it’ll take) to rekindling America’s prowess in olympic sailing, as well as loads more questions. More than an hour from Malcolm (with thanks to Will Ricketson and Josh Adams for their help and information provided for this podcast), learn more about him at www.ussailing.org. The second part of our podcast has quite a bit more laughs, when we are rejoined by two repeat visitors, also both world champions…
Portsmouth, RI (November 28, 2016) – US Sailing today announced the selection of two-time Olympic Champion and seven-time World Champion Malcolm Page (Sydney, Australia) as the Chief of Olympic Sailing, succeeding Josh Adams (Litchfield, Conn.) as head of the national team and overall U.S. Olympic sailing effort.
“Malcolm’s experience and expertise make him an ideal choice to lead our team, and build on the progress that was made during the Rio 2016 quadrennium,” said Bruce Burton, President of US Sailing. “Malcolm has demonstrated an ability to win at the highest level, has been part of a winning system and can bring athletes and coaches together. Our team is on the rise, and with his leadership we will continue that ascent by building scale within our program, both in terms of numbers and in abilities.”
Page is widely considered the most successful Olympic-class sailor in Australian history. He was honored with a place on the Australian Institute of Sport’s “Best of the Best” list in 2011, and in October 2016 was inducted into the Sport Australia Hall of Fame.
“I’m very excited to get back into the performance side of the sport, which is where I cut my teeth, and where my passion has always been,” said Page. “I am looking forward to working with an ambitious group of American athletes and helping them realize their dreams. The US Sailing Team has an extraordinary history in Olympic sailing, with more medals won than any other nation. I know I can play a part in getting the United States back to the top.”
Page most recently served as Head of Media for World Sailing, and prior to that worked as a Communications Consultant at the Australian telecommunications company Telstra. Page also brings extensive experience in athlete management to his new role, as he was the Chef de Mission for the Australian Team at the Pacific Games, served for seven years on the World Sailing Athletes’ Commission and was Captain of the Australian Sailing Team from 2005-2012.
Page takes the reigns of a U.S. Olympic sailing program that has undergone significant changes in recent years, with increased resources directed towards both the national team and at reinvigorating US Sailing’s youth development effort. Guided by the Project Pipeline strategic initiative, US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP) was founded in 2015 and has already jumpstarted the performance sailing careers of hundreds of motivated American youth athletes. On the national team level, the US Sailing Team reached the podium in Rio 2016 with Caleb Paine’s bronze medal in the Finn Class, and qualified for six medal races in ten classes.
“The U.S. does not lack for sailing talent, and I have no doubt that we can and will compete with the best,” said Page. “Our challenge lies in finding enough resources and managing them well. I hate losing, and I want to give American athletes the chance to represent their country to the best of their abilities, as I was able to do in my own racing career.”
Page will assume his new role on January 1st, 2017.
Source: US Sailing
Clearwater, FL (November 17, 2016) – Very few sailing events embody the true spirit of sailing quite like the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship. This year’s championship, hosted by Clearwater Community Sailing Center, will feature 12 2.4mR sailors racing in singlehanded action from November 18 to 20.
The U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship is one of the oldest sailing regattas in the U.S. for sailors with disabilities. The talented field often includes Paralympians, current or former US Sailing Team members, and new contenders.
First established in 1986, the U.S. Independence Cup became US Sailing’s National Championship for sailors with disabilities in 1989. In 2007, the regatta moved under the championships division of US Sailing and was renamed the U.S. Disabled Sailing Championship.
Many competitors from this championship have gone on to represent the United States at the Paralympic Games including Nick Scandone, gold medalist at the 2008 Paralympics, and Jennifer French, silver medalist at the 2012 Paralympics.
These athletes will be competing this week to stake claim to the Judd Goldman Trophy. Peter Goldman donated the Judd Goldman Trophy in honor of Justin “Judd” Goldman (1914-1989) who, despite his own physical disability, was an accomplished sailor and inspired the creation of the Judd Goldman Adaptive Sailing Program in Chicago.
Source: Jake Fish, US Sailing
Portsmouth, RI (November 15, 2016) – US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) has opened the nomination period for the 2016 US Sailing Coach of the Year Awards. The OSC will honor American coaches in five categories who have done outstanding work at the youth, national and international levels. Full report.
First time Olympian Caleb Paine claims the Bronze medal in the Finn Class for Team USA.
How to follow the Olympics… click here.
Before the podium, before the Olympic Games, before Youth World Championships, sailors in the United States must first test themselves at the U.S. Youth Sailing Championship. Find out what makes this US Sailing National Championship so special. The regatta was held August 5-9, 2016 in San Diego, CA.
Published on Aug 11, 2016
US Sailing has announced that Sally Barkow, Clerc Cooper, and Tarasa Davis are nominees for the Board of Directors. Online voting opens August 29, 2016. Full report.
Bay St. Louis, MS (July 7, 2016) – The U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy will be decided on the waters of Mississippi’s Gulf Coast this weekend. Hosted by Bay-Waveland Yacht Club, 29 teams ages 13 to 18 years will have three days of racing (July 8-10) in the Club 420 on Bay St. Louis. Full report.
Portsmouth, RI (June 13, 2016) – US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, and The Moorings, the world’s premier yacht charter company, have agreed on a new multi-year sponsorship extension. The Moorings has been an official sponsor of US Sailing since 2012.
“US Sailing and The Moorings share a strong passion for sailing,” said Jack Gierhart, Executive Director of US Sailing. “We are both committed to offering more opportunities for sailors to get on the water. We believe this relationship reinforces our efforts to inspire sailors to stay active.”
The Moorings sponsorship offers value to members of US Sailing through special discounted pricing on their products and services. US Sailing members can redeem this special offer by visiting the My US Sailing member portal at ussailing.org.
As part of this partnership, The Moorings was a featured Platinum level sponsor of the 2016 Sailing Leadership Forum last February in San Diego, Calif.
“As a leader of the yacht charter industry, our mutual goal is to grow sailing participation; whether it is through learning to sail, exploring new cruising grounds, or racing in the Caribbean and beyond,” said Josie Tucci, General Manager of The Moorings. “We are delighted to continue supporting US Sailing and sailors nationwide.”
US Sailing’s First Sail program offers a pathway to sailing participation. Details at FirstSail.org.
Scuttlebutt Sailing Club is proud to support the program.
Video published on Jun 6, 2016.
Portsmouth, RI (April 25, 2016) – After soliciting nominations from the public, US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) today announced David Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.) as US Sailing’s 2015 National Coach of the Year, and Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.) as US Sailing’s 2015 Development Coach of the Year.
Each year, the OSC honors coaches who have distinguished themselves at the youth, national, and international levels. The awards are a part of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Coach Recognition Program, which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of U.S. coaches who train athletes at all levels of Olympic and Paralympic sports.
“These two coaches embody the kind of professionalism and skill that can really make a difference for sailors of all levels,” said Ben Richardson, Chairman of the OSC. “Quality coaching is crucial for the continued development of the sport in the United States. On behalf of US Sailing, I’d like to congratulate Dave and Steve for their work over the past year.”
2015 US Sailing National Coach of the Year – Dave Ullman
Dave Ullman (Newport Beach, Calif.) with 2015 Rio de Janeiro Olympic Test Event gold medalists Haeger and Provancha.
Ullman is well-known in the international sailing community for his contributions as a racer, sailmaker and coach. The 1996 US Sailing Rolex Yachtsman of the Year founded Ullman Sails in 1967, and has won multiple World Championship titles in several classes, including three in the Olympic 470.
It was Ullman’s return to the 470 and the U.S. national team after an extended hiatus that led to his recognition as 2015 Coach of the Year. “It has been absolutely rewarding and fulfilling to coach Annie Haeger and Briana Provancha on the Olympic circuit,” said Ullman, who guided the US Sailing Team Sperry’s women’s 470 team to new heights in 2015. With Ullman’s help, Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) and Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) won bronze at the 2015 470 Europeans in Aarhus, Denmark, and gold at the 2015 Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro. “The thing about success in coaching is that it’s a two-way deal,”said Ullman. “Success only comes through a combined effort between you and the sailors.”
Ullman’s personal success on racecourses around the world led to an early demand for his skills as a coach. “Pro sailing is part of how I got started in coaching,” explained Ullman. “I started in 1987, after my 470 sailing career stopped. In ’87 and ’88, I coached both the U.S. men’s and women’s 470 teams in advance of the trials for [the] Soeul 1988 [Olympic Games]. After that I coached the Men’s Olympic 470 team in 1988, John Shadden and Charlie Mckee, who won bronze.” McKee (Bend, Ore.) and Ullman will return to the summer Games together later this year, as both will serve on the U.S Olympic Sailing Team coaching staff for Rio 2016.
Ullman sees coaching as a mostly separate art form from racing, and one that requires a different type of preparation and execution. “I enjoyed the transition from sailor to coach, but it wasn’t simple for me,” said Ullman. “Coaching is a difficult thing to do well, and it’s especially hard to transition from being a racer to being a good coach. For me, it wasn’t all that easy. You don’t want to try to form the people you’re coaching into mirror images of yourself. The real job is to get the most out of them based on their own strengths, weaknesses and individual personalities. From what I’ve seen, many of the best coaches are not the best performers in their own racing careers, and don’t have to go through that evolution.”
A dominant force during his own Olympic-class career, Ullman now enjoys passing on his knowledge to the current generation of sailors representing the United States. “It’s a way of giving back, and having that knowledge go forward with other American sailors. Shadden and McKee were close friends when I stopped sailing 470’s in ’87. As soon as they could beat me, it was time for me to coach them. And now, with Annie and Briana, I get a great level of satisfaction from watching them perform at a high level.”
When asked about what advice he would give new coaches, Ullman says that wholly committing to a coaching path is the best way to finding success. “Willie McBride, who is a young coach now for the US Sailing Team Sperry, is a perfect example. He’s someone who is a really good sailor in his own right, and immersed himself in coaching. Now he’s in the Olympic program coaching the 49erFX after doing some good work with younger skiff sailors,” said Ullman. “If you really want to be a great coach, you have to fully pursue that track, rather than trying to have a parallel pro sailing career. The successful coaches will decide that this is what they should focus on, get help, and become a student of the coaching game. Things have changed since I started. Now top-level coaching is a full-time job, and if done properly, a career.”
Ullman joins a distinguished list of winners of the US Sailing National Coach of the Year Award, which includes Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.), Mark Ivey (Tiburon, Calif.), Michael Callahan (Washington, D.C.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Bill Ward (Newport Beach, Calif.), Zachary Leonard (Branford, CT), Rollin “Skip” Whyte (Wickford, R.I.), Roger “Scott” Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.), Serge Jorgensen (Sarasota, Fla.), Jay Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.), and Luther Carpenter (New Orleans, La.).
2015 US Sailing Development Coach of the Year – Steve Keen
Steve Keen, a New Zealand native who moved to the U.S. in 2008, guided sailors to success at some of the biggest international youth sailing events of the year. Keen helped I420 class athletes Will Logue and Bram Brakman win a gold medal at the ISAF Youth Sailing World Championship in Langkawi Malaysia in late 2015. Other coaching highlights included Jack Parkin and Wiley Rogers’ silver medal at the 2015 I420 Open Worlds, and Matthew Logue and Cameron Giblin’s 6th at the 2015 I420 U17 Worlds.
Keen works as the Head Coach of LISOT, a year-round youth racing program based in the Long Island Sound areas of New York and Connecticut. “We have a number of sailors that work with us on regular basis,” said Keen. “We organize training camps to help them prepare and meet their specific goals.”
In 2015, Keen and several of his LISOT athletes also participated in training camps organized by US Sailing’s Olympic Development Program (ODP). “Prior to the Youth Worlds, we had training camps at Riverside Yacht Club, and two at Miami Yacht Club. We worked out a plan with [US Sailing Olympic Development Director] Leandro Spina and the ODP to work together, and to try to build something that’s better.”
Keen was named a US Sailing Youth Worlds Team coach, and the coordination between a top regional racing team with US Sailing’s national effort to improve technical skills at the youth level resulted in a year of significant success for American I420 sailors. Logue and Brakman’s victory at ISAF Youth Worlds was America’s first gold medal at the world’s premier youth regatta since 2007.
Keen found a home in the Olympic 470 class before committing to a coaching career. “Coaching originally started for me as a way to help support my own sailing in the 470. When that started to wind down, I began looking around for opportunities to give back to the sport. I was able to find a way to make a living doing what I loved.”
For Keen, coaching is an all-consuming passion. “The big difference between between those that try to mix careers, such as part-time pro sailors, and full-time coaches like myself is that we are thinking about helping our sailors the whole time. It sometimes happens that you wake up in the middle of the night, and you have a ‘eureka’ moment, and you suddenly know how to fix a particular problem your team is facing. Or perhaps you come up with better ways to explain what you’re trying to get across,” said Keen. “When you’re fully immersed in coaching, you’re completely thinking about it at all times. Theres are so many parts of the game that you have to take into consideration, and coaching is truly a full-time job.”
The one crucial piece of advice that Keen would pass on to aspiring coaches is to realize that they are on their own journey as well, alongside their students. “Never believe that you know it all,” said Keen. “You should be willing to coach with your eyes wide open, to talk to other coaches and sailors, and to work out how to make things better for everyone. As soon as you think you know it all, you start to fall by the wayside in terms of your effectiveness.”
What keeps the two-time winner of the US Sailing Development Coach 0f the Year Award coming back year after year, he said, was a simple love of seeing progress in athletes that make the necessary commitment. “It’s always great to see anyone, whether it’s high-level athletes like Youth World Champions, or low-level sailors getting around a race course for the first time, have small victories. It’s satisfying to see sailors have success, regardless of the level it’s at.”
Previous winners of US Sailing’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award include Todd Fedyszyn (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.), Brett Davis (Naples, Fla.), Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.), Duffy Markham (Wellesley, Mass.), Tom Coleman (Hixson, Tenn.), Rob Hallawell (Marblehead, Mass./Coronado, Calif.), Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), Amy Gross-Kehoe (Bayville, N.Y.), Adam Werblow (St. Mary’s, Md.) and Mike Zani (Bristol, R.I.).
2015 US Sailing ISAF Youth Worlds Team at the Opening Ceremonies of the 2015 Youth Sailing World Championships,Langkawi, Malaysia. Keen is at center. Photo: ISAF
Source: US Sailing
Gene McCarthy of Chicago, IL submitted the following comments about US Sailing, the governing body for the sport of sailing in the United States:
Has the nationalizing of sail racing by US Sailing diminished participation in the sport? Consider that before the two major bylaw changes, ten years ago and three years ago, over 300 volunteers attended the semiannual and annual meetings at their own expense to bring information to the meetings and to take home newly acquired information.
These folks felt empowered that they were able to promote the sport, but now with the greatly reduced US Sailing volunteer structure, not enough people attend these meetings anymore as they find that employees of US Sailing are telling them and the whole sail racing community how to conduct the sport.
Also, the offshore community was sacrificed so that US Sailing could create national teams to head to the Olympics. To accomplish this everyone had to become “certified”. The great white father is telling us what to do. I believe some racers resent this. I lived through the glory days of sail racing 1960 to 1990’s.
Bruce J. Burton, President of US Sailing, offers this response:
US Sailing welcomes the opportunity to respond to Mr. McCarthy’s statements regarding sailing in the United States and the strategic direction of US Sailing over the last decade.
There have been many articles and books written over the past ten years about our sport (and many others) and the decline in participation at all age levels. Certainly, the national governing body of any sport can affect a sport’s participation levels, so examination of what US Sailing has done over the past ten years that may have affected participation in our sport is appropriate.
First, there has been no “nationalization of sail racing” in the United States as Mr. McCarthy states. Objective evidence of nationalization would be legislated mandatory membership for 100% of the sailors in US Sailing, like the sailors are in Great Britain (UK). In the UK every sailor must be a member of their “national governing body” and their Olympic team is paid for by their federal lottery system. The United States is 180 degrees the opposite: voluntary membership in US Sailing and our Olympic Team is paid for by voluntary contributions to the US Olympic Committee and US Sailing.
The bylaw changes at US Sailing that have been made over the past ten years have been deliberately designed to reduce the amount of “top down” leadership and empower the chairmen of the divisions and the grass roots efforts of our sailors to be more responsive to the sport’s needs. We had over 40 members on our Board at one time, which may have been very appropriate then, and now have 16. This is the exact opposite of “nationalization.”
Mr. McCarthy’s statement about the trend in participation at national conferences is not true. The conferences have been reformatted so that we now have nearly 600 people attending the National Conference and Sailing Leadership Forum (San Diego, 2016 and 2014) when we used to have less than 300. The range of topics is much broader, the presenters are more diverse and, frankly, the parties are much, much better. US Sailing members have leveraged technology so that face-to-face meetings are required much less and all of us have saved a lot of money on airfare because of this. The net impact of these new meeting formats is that more people from more organizations are participating and everyone leaves the conferences with much more energy to “go out and sell our sport” than they ever have.
Offshore sailing has been a key focus at US Sailing for the past five years. We have invested more money and effort in strengthening our support of offshore sailing than any other division at US Sailing. We have partnered with SAP, who are developing breakthrough technology products and administrative services for offshore sailors. SAP has been one of the most generous partners any sport could have and we are grateful for their leadership in our sport.
In the US we have many choices for offshore measurement rules: PHRF, ORR, IRC, ORC and HPR. If we wanted to “nationalize” the sport we would force all race organizers to use just one rule. In our mind that would not be fair to the rule owners, race organizers or sailors. They should be able choose what rule is best for their boats and their regattas. Not one dime has been taken from the offshore budget to support the US Olympic Sailing Team.
Our Olympic Sailing Team will be put to its quadrennial test in August in Rio and they are supported through voluntary contributions, not the dues of US Sailing members.
People who choose to administer our sport are required to become certified in their area of interest and expertise (I like that my doctor has to pass tests to practice medicine). This is necessary for uniformity (quality) and safety for all sailors. I remember 40 years ago as a college sailor home on summer break and sailing in our local regattas on the weekends. The starting lines were not the right length, not square and half the time the flags would not be hoisted with the cannon. The judges in the protest room did not know the rules as well as I did. Now, 40 years later, local race officiating is as good as what would have been at a National or North American Championship back then. There has been significant progress made so that all sailors can travel anywhere in the US and know that the races they will sail in will be expertly run and judged fairly.
This is great progress and I am thankful to all US Sailing members and leaders over the past 40 years for working so diligently to improve our sport.
The state of the sport, and how to encourage young people to continue sailing into adulthood, varies from harbor to harbor. Stu Gilfillen, Training Director at US Sailing, offers his take on the topic…
While Junior Sailing programs deserve some of the blame for a decline in sailboat racing, I think it’s difficult to state that they’re the only root cause.
Mark Hyman, a professor of sports management at George Washington University recently said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News that “Seventy percent of kids drop out of youth sports by age 13, and the peak age is 11.” There is significant attrition in all youth sports, so to suggest that the sole reason that a racing fleet is declining is because of ineffective junior programming isn’t completely fair. That’s not to say the decrease in sailors, period, doesn’t raise red flags. Just that this isn’t the only reason.
That said, an important point is that kids need opportunities to explore and enjoy sailing in the same way that the generations before them have. And above all else, we need it to be fun. There are a number of organizations throughout the US that are working to develop programming opportunities that will keep kids engaged while helping to build long term pathways.
Conanciut Yacht Club (RI), for example, offers a Keelboat Crew Training program which seeks to “…create young sailors who are J/22 competent, who can then crew for local sailors.” Treasure Island Sailing Center (CA) offers a Junior Big Boat Program which also introduces kids to keelboats in two separate levels, using the US Sailing program bearing the same name as the template. And over 400 programs in the US are teaching STEM Education through US Sailing’s Reach program.
Systemic change will take time, but there’s progress.
Additionally, I would challenge the notion that we want to further separate parents from kids. While I fully agree about the difficulties associated with helicopter parents, I would also point out that there are just as many parents who are dying to find ways to be involved with their kids.
There are many parents looking for ways to share experiences and connect and, in many cases, they’re looking to pass along their passion for sailing. Additionally, places like Mystic Seaport (CT) are starting to make Family Sailing one of the core programs they offer.
Bottom line, there’s room for both racing and recreational programming, and to grow sailing we need to encourage both. I would also advocate that if a fleet is looking to get more people sailing, simply asking kids to join them is a good place to start. You might be surprised how many say yes.
by Willie McBride, US Sailing Team Sperry and ODP Skiff Coach
US Sailing Olympic Development Program (ODP) coach Dane Wilson summed up the March ODP 29er training camp noting, “When so many teams make a jump this big in just two days, you know that you’ve got something special.” In early March, the 2016 US Sailing ODP training camp circuit kicked off in Miami, Florida focused on ramping up the girls skiff program. “It was awesome to see all of our top talent from many avenues – optis, 420s, lasers, high school – making the jump into the skiff. Having all of these highly motivated sailors in one place makes for a really productive weekend,” said Wilson.
The transition into skiff sailing is notoriously challenging (and often times wet) because of the unstable nature of the boats, but the learning curve this weekend was notably accelerated. “The equation is simple – top sailors, top coaches, great venue, and reliable gear. We invited the best young athletes to work with Willie [McBride] and Dane [Wilson] who are at the leading edge internationally in the 29er class; it was the best introduction to skiff sailing you could ask for,” said ODP Director, Leandro Spina.
For many of these young athletes, this was a first foray into the high performance 29er class to try to be ready for the US Youth Champs later this summer, and the United States-based 29er World Championship in Long Beach in 2017. “The most challenging part of the transition into these boats is recalibrating your urgency levels – a tiny mistake unaddressed, quickly becomes an upside down boat,” advised McBride. “We like to go back to the basics for the first few days, really smoothing out and perfecting body positions and movements that will pop up again and again in every skiff class.”
The first several briefings focused on boat handling mechanics, righting techniques, and other fundamental subjects, but by the end of the weekend, all of the sailors had graduated to more refined nuances of the boat. “These girls are hungry to get to the top of the fleet; I have no doubt that many of them will be leading the charge in the national skiff fleet very soon, and I think we’ll see a lot of them stepping into the (Olympic) 49er FX before too long. This 29er background will be key to their future success in whatever Olympic class they pursue.”
The strategy for the girls skiff program this year models the successful boys program from last year, pulling the top talent from many different classes, suggesting teams based on compatible weights and skill sets, and providing on-the-water coaching as well as support in learning how to put together a plan for success.
“Getting the ODP program started last year, we did so many things right, but we failed to create the consistency that we were aiming for in the girls skiff program. Fortunately, our team is really good at evaluating where things went well and where they didn’t. This year, we’re very motivated to turn this part of the program into a strength,” said Spina.
Portsmouth, RI (March 22, 2016) – US Sailing has launched Basic Keelboat Online, a web-based supplement to the Basic Keelboat course and the organization’s newest online training platform. The online course is designed to prepare aspiring sailors for on-the-water instruction in the Basic Keelboat course while allowing US Sailing instructors to ensure a consistent level of knowledge for incoming students. Full report.
The deadline to complete applications for acceptance to the 2016 U.S. Youth Sailing Championship is March 15. The 2016 event will be hosted by Coronado Yacht Club on August 5-9 in Coronado, CA. Details here.
For the first time, the annual US Sailing National Conference and the biennial Sailing Leadership Forum were brought together February 2-6 in San Diego for a full schedule of meetings and presentations. It was also when newly minted US Sailing President Bruce Burton took charge. Here Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with Bruce…
How did your involvement with US Sailing begin?
Gary Jobson called me during his presidency, I think it was in 2010 or 2011, and said to me, “Bruce, you’ve been very fortunate in our sport, won some big regattas and been at it a long time and you’ve done well in business and it’s time for you to step up and start serving.” And I said, “Well, what does that mean, Gary?” He says, “I think you ought to run for the US Sailing Board.”
My initial reaction was that I didn’t think I was qualified, and there are so many great race officials and judges and people that have come through the system. But he wasn’t looking for a no. He said, “We need some guys that are sailors at the top who have some business sense. You’ve been through a few Olympic programs. That might be a good thing to bring to the table, so why don’t you try?”
So I ran and then was nominated vice-president after I was elected. The presidency term is three years, so during this period I had a chance to serve under both Gary and then with Tom Hubbell during his presidency, and it was very enjoyable serving with both of them. When it was asked who wanted to be president, everybody must have taken back one step and I was left out front, so here we are.
So you’re in year one?
I’m three months into it and the honeymoon officially ended with this conference. I’ve attended them before but it’s one thing to sit there and watch and another to lead it. Last year I was really trying to watch Tom on how he worked the role as I was going to be in those shoes this year. It’s a lot different when you’re standing in front of the public. I’m not a very good public speaker. I’m more of a company leader. Talking to employees is different than talking to customers. But it’s been very enjoyable and people are very supportive.
The format for the National Conference has evolved. What’s the initiative there?
We want to be very relative to the areas of the sport that we think are going to grow and to really be relevant to the current interests of our constituents. We’re trying to broaden our base and be contemporary. We are not a user-friendly organization. We’re perceived as the government, we have been the government, but we realize to be the best service to the sailors of the United States, we’ve got to get out of that mode. We need to give the service that Federal Express gives. We’ve got to give the kind of service that Google gives. Obviously we can’t get there but we need to go in that direction.
Much more… click here.
San Diego, CA (February 5, 2016) – A remarkable list of sailing’s most accomplished received high honors during Thursday night’s US Sailing Awards Dinner Presented by Rolex at the Hilton San Diego Resort. US Sailing recognized these esteemed award winners for their extraordinary achievements in support of sailing.
• Mary Savage (Larchmont, N.Y.) received the prestigious Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy for her outstanding contributions to the sport of sailing.
• Chuck Hawley (Santa Cruz, Calif.) received the Timothea Larr Award for his outstanding contributions to the advancement of sailor education in the U.S.
• Steve Maddox (Essex, Md.) received the Virginia Long Award for his demonstration of outstanding sail training service and support.
• Rob Crafa (Throggs Neck, N.Y.) received the Marty Luray Award for his outstanding contributions to further public access sailing.
• Chris Williford (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) received the Van Alan Clark, Jr. Trophy for his remarkable display of sportsmanship in sailing.
• Jen French (St. Petersburg, Fla.) received the Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy for her outstanding contributions to sailors with disabilities.
• Means Davis (Acworth, Ga.) received the Harman Hawkins Award for the major role he has played in the advancement of race administration.
• Community Boating Center (Providence, R.I.) received the Captain Joe Prosser Award for excellence in sailing instruction.
• Bayview Yacht Club (Mich.) received the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for excellence in race management.
• Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and the US Sailing Center – Long Beach (Calif.) received the President’s Award.
• Lauren Cotta (Newport, R.I.) received the C.R.E.W. Award that recognizes a US Sailing staff member or volunteer who consistently demonstrates the values consistent with US Sailing and regularly fosters a positive teamwork environment with staff and volunteers.
Click here for photos.
Nathanial G. Herreshoff Trophy – Mary Savage
Mary Savage is a true pioneer for women in race management. She started her involvement in this area of the sport in the 1970s as a member and eventual chairman of the Larchmont Yacht Club Protest Committee. In 1979, less than a year after the US Sailing Judges program was created, Mary was one of the first women to become a US Sailing Judge. In 1990, she was certified as an International Judge by ISAF. She continues to serve as both a National and an International Judge to this day and is one of the longest serving judges in the program. Mary has officiated all types of events from youth to collegiate to regional to national, international and world championships.
In the 1970s and ‘80s, Mary was a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club Yachting Committee, organizing and running regattas for the club on Long Island Sound. In addition, she organized and served as an instructor of judge-training seminars before there were formal US Sailing Judge Seminars, like we have today. She was an integral part of the group that developed programs for these seminars. Mary has been an instructor at many US Sailing Judges Workshops and has served on the Judges Committee Testing and Training Sub-Committee. During the 1990s, she was the Regional Administrative Judge for Area B.
When the Umpire Program began in 1990, Mary was one of two women to become a US Sailing Certified Umpire. She maintained her certification as an umpire until November, 2006, when she retired and was appointed Umpire Emeritus by US Sailing in recognition of her long and dedicated service to the US Sailing Umpire Program as one of its pioneers, teachers and mentors. With this appointment, she became the first woman in the US Sailing Umpire Program to become Umpire Emeritus.
Mary was asked to join the US Sailing Racing Rules Committee in 1991 and was the first woman to serve on that committee. While serving with the Racing Rules and Judges Committees, Mary chaired the US Sailing Race Administration Committee for several years and was also the first woman to serve as Vice President of US Sailing.
One of the biggest and most unique contributions that Mary made to our sport was serving as the contact for sailors with the US Sailing Competitor Classification Committee.
She was elected to lead the YRA of Long Island Sound, as its Vice President in 1987 and as its President from 1988 to 1990.
In 2007, Mary was awarded the Harman Hawkins Trophy for the major role she has played in the advancement of race administration.
Timothea Larr Award – Chuck Hawley
Chuck Hawley has been volunteering for US Sailing for over a decade. He is a Powerboat Instructor, Safety at Sea Moderator, leader of the Safety at Sea Committee and member of the Offshore Committee. Currently, he is working as a member of National Faculty to improve best practices in sail and boating training. He is a respected member of the offshore community, serving on multiple panels investigating offshore sailing tragedies to help improve our best practices. Chuck has also served on the US Sailing Board of Directors, taking on several projects as a board member that helped drive US Sailing goals and objectives.
Chuck headed the Independent Review Panel for the Chicago to Mackinac Island Wingnuts tragedy in 2011. He set the standard and format for subsequent panels. Most recently, he was part of a panel that investigated the Vestas Wind Volvo Ocean Race grounding on the Cargados Carajos Shoals. As part of Low Speed Chase sailing tragedy investigation occurring during the 2012 Farallones Race, Chuck worked with the US Coast Guard and the yacht clubs of the San Francisco Bay area to craft user-friendly Safety Requirements written in easily understandable language for use in races outside of the Bay. These were expanded into the US Safety Equipment Requirements (SERs).
Chuck has long been a Moderator for the Safety at Sea seminars that are the backbone of offshore sailor safety training. He is also at the forefront of creating online safety training units used to supplement the standard seminar topics so that an abbreviated version combined with hands-on training can be done in one day, as opposed to two.
During the Low Speed Chase investigation, Chuck realized the need for an intermediate safety training format and constructed the Coastal Safety at Sea Seminar format that captures the fundamental requirements in a half-day.
Virginia Long Award – Steve Maddox
Steve Maddox has devoted countless hours to helping US Sailing improve its curriculums. He has authored publications, developed tests, helped create policy and worked to develop consensus among a wide array of subject matter experts. He is universally respected and has served as the change agent for sailing instruction at both the national and regional levels.
For many years he worked tirelessly to make Downtown Sailing Center in Baltimore, Md. one of the top community sailing centers in the country. More recently, he has dedicated his efforts to SeaAffinity, a life skills development organization that uses sailing and boating education as a platform for challenging and enabling youth and adults to realize their potential, including those impacted by disabilities.
Steve is a Regional Training Coordinator, a Powerboat Training Coordinator, and a member of the Training Committee. He has been an Instructor Trainer for countless new instructors in both the Powerboat and Smallboat tracks and his ability to inspire, while providing constructive feedback, is unparalleled.
Beyond just his involvement with US Sailing, Steve has committed himself to helping people experience sailing, regardless of ability. He focuses on the education, not the financials. No child is ever turned away from SeaAffinity because they can’t pay and, through his partnerships with organizations like the Boys and Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore, he’s been able to expose kids to sailing that might otherwise not had the chance.
Marty Luray Award – Rob Crafa
During his tenure as the Waterfront Director at SUNY Maritime College in the Bronx, Rob Crafa has played an integral role in the development of one of the most comprehensive boating programs in the country. SUNY Maritime’s waterfront programs reach beyond the school and engage the local community through summer sailing programs, marine education, powerboat instruction and more.
Rob has been deeply involved with the development of US Powerboating. As one of the most active Powerboat Instructors and Instructor Trainers, Rob directly shapes the future of the powerboat program that he helped build by training the next generation of American boaters. US Powerboating continues to benefit from Rob’s strategic thinking, expertise in the field and outright passion through his involvement on the Powerboat National Faculty.
Prior to joining SUNY Maritime College, Rob served as the founding Executive Director of The Waterfront Center in Oyster Bay, N.Y. where he helped pioneer the development of Long Island’s largest sailing program. Previously, Rob served as a Coastal Resource Specialist for the New York Department of State, Division of Coastal Resources and as Executive Director of Friends of the Bay, a non-profit environmental organization, dedicated to preserving and protecting Oyster Bay. In 2007, Rob also played a key role in the founding of Hudson River Community Sailing, a nonprofit that uses sailing and boating as a platform for youth development. For his contributions, he received the organization’s prestigious Founder’s Award in 2015.
A true leader and visionary, Rob’s experience demonstrates his commitment to supporting both his community at home and the greater boating community in New York and the United States.
Van Alan Clark, Jr. Sportsmanship Award – Chris Williford
Chris Williford slowly started to get back in the boat during the 2014-15 high school sailing season following a bout with leukemia. Throughout the season he found himself back at the front of the fleet. St. Thomas Aquinas qualified for the Mallory Nationals in Annapolis just as Chris found his stride. Not only was Chris back sailing at the national level, he dominated the event winning A-Division by 10 points. Chris is now a freshman on the Dartmouth University Sailing Team.
Chris became an inspiration to his fellow teammates and sailors throughout the SAISA District. Many other ISSA sailors had competed against Chris before he became ill and were cheering him on once back on the water. Chris got back into the 29er and competed in the 2015 29er World Championships finishing third overall with a bronze medal out of 219 teams. His sportsmanship on the water during the Worlds earned the respect of his fellow competitors who were unaware of his illness until after the event.
Chris was recently awarded ISSA’s highest distinction, the Bullivant Sportsmanship Trophy. His accomplishments on and off the water and, more specifically, his ability to take adversity in stride during his recent medical issue was noted. More importantly he became an inspiration for sailors on his team, in the district and across the nation.
Gay S. Lynn Memorial Trophy – Jen French
In 1998, as a result of a snowboarding accident, Jen French suffered a spinal cord injury and became a quadriplegic. In her mid-twenties, Jen was told she would never leave a wheelchair, but she refused to accept that outcome. She began evaluating an implanted electrical stimulation device intended to assist her in standing. In her first book, On My Feet Again, Jen detailed her experience with a spinal cord injury and participation in the clinical trial process.
In 2002, Jen was introduced to disabled sailing, and the same year entered a regatta for the first time in her life. With the support of her husband, Tim, she became an active racer, competing in races throughout the country. Her persistent hard work paid off and she was selected to the US Sailing Team Sperry and represented the U.S. at the 2012 Paralympics. Jen French went on to earn silver medal honors at the London Games. Later that year she became the first woman with a disability to receive the US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Award.
Just one year later, Jen co-founded the Warrior Sailing Program, a non-profit organization that introduces wounded members of our armed forces, both active and retired, to sailing. She collaborated with Ralf Steitz, Director of the Merchant Marine Academy Sailing Foundation. Because of the efforts of Jen and the Warrior Sailing Team during the last two years, over 120 members of our military have been introduced to sailing. Of these Warrior Sailing graduates, 75% suffer from, either or both, Traumatic Brain Injury or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The Warrior team has organized seven Basic Training Camp sessions around the country for the purpose of learning the basics of sailing. Some of the Warriors have developed into excellent competitors and during the last two years have participated in major disabled sailing regattas around the country.
Jennifer French and the Warrior Sailing Program have made significant contributions to disabled sailing and the lives of military veterans who have given so much to our country.
Harman Hawkins Trophy – Means Davis
Means Davis has held countless positions at US Sailing over the past 40 years, including National and International Judge, Regional Race Officer and Judge and Race Management Instructor. He has served on the Board of Directors, the Review Board, the Judges Education and Training Subcommittee, the Risk Management Committee and many others.
Davis began sailing in high school after an injury knocked him off the state championship track and field team. He was a serious Snipe sailor for 25 years before turning his attention to race management and judging full-time in 1989. In that time, he said, he “learned every one of the rules one at a time, the hard way.”
In 1996, Davis moved temporarily to Savannah, Ga. where he was one of a group of three people who were responsible for race management at the Olympic Games.
His “passionate love,” Davis says, is Optimist Dinghy racing, and he has run and judged at events from local club races to world championships. At the same time, he has taught numerous judges how to implement rules and how to work with race committees and, perhaps most important, mentored them in how to interact with junior sailors in the protest room.
Captain Joe Prosser Award – Community Boating Center Providence
The Community Boating Center (CBC) in Providence, R.I., embodies exactly what a sailing center should be. Through the leadership of John O’Flaherty, CBC’s Executive Director, they offer the type of quality, affordable programming that any organization, public or private, should provide. From a small organization that opened their doors in 1994, they’ve grown into a player within the Providence network. They have a boathouse and a fleet of over 60 boats.
CBC is a pioneer in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) through sailing programming. The relationship with US Sailing and CBC has grown, with much of the focus continuing to be on STEM. With John’s help the US Sailing Reach Initiative was launched, and as Reach has grown, so has the national awareness of what CBC has accomplished. US Sailing recognized them as the first “Reach Center of Excellence” in 2015. They’ve created strong partnerships with local organizations, including the Providence After School Alliance and the Boys and Girls Clubs through the Reach program. US Sailing asks all our Reach Centers to go through an assessment to determine program quality but the evaluator we use originated from CBC.
For his contributions to public access sailing, John was awarded the 2015 Marty Luray Award, community sailing’s highest honor. His ability to see the big picture, while not losing sight of the details, has allowed CBC to grow to where it is today, as well as assist US Sailing is making the Reach Initiative the National Standard for STEM Education. His efforts, with the support of CBC, have helped create resources that programs of all types have been able to apply.
St. Petersburg Yacht Club Award – Bayview Yacht Club
The Bayview Yacht Club in Detroit, Mich. hosted the 2015 T-10 North American Championship regatta in August. Principal Race Officer Matt Bounds and his race committee ran an exceptional event, running 10 races for 22 boats over four days in varying conditions.
Skippers spoke highly of the open, communicative style with which the event was managed. One skipper noted that the race management team demonstrated a commitment to excellence and leadership. Accurate and professional decision-making in a friendly, comfortable atmosphere made this event memorable for all of the participants.
The race management team’s preparation and meticulous attention to detail inspired the competitors as they displayed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and passion for the event and our sport.
President’s Award – Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and the US Sailing Center – Long Beach
The 2015 US Sailing President’s Award is presented to Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and the US Sailing Center – Long Beach for their exceptional contributions in organizing, hosting and providing race management for the Special Olympics World Games in August, 2015.
Organizing and running a five-day regatta for 29 teams is no small undertaking. There are a myriad of details to attend to and countless opportunities for Murphy’s Law to wreak havoc with carefully-laid plans. Add multiple teams of sailors who speak little or no English, more than 150 race management volunteers to organize multiple classes of athletes, a large fleet of support boats, enhanced safety, medical and communications protocols and sailors with varied special needs, and the tasks become enormously complex.
One of the elements that made this event unique was the close personal connections that developed among the sailors, the volunteers and the spectators. Because the support of families and spectators is a crucial part of the Special Olympics competition, the race management team arranged the course so that the leeward mark was close to the head of the pier, where the spectators cheered them on as they rounded.
“In all the races I have run and participated in, I have never seen a sailor get a standing ovation when they rounded a leeward mark,” observed Mark Townsend, the Principal Race Officer for the event.
This competition was much more than a regatta – it was a deeply rewarding experience for the participants, families and race management team alike. US Sailing is proud to recognize Alamitos Bay Yacht Club, Long Beach Yacht Club and the US Sailing Center – Long Beach for their exceptional efforts, and we hope that their work will stand out as a model and inspiration for others to reach out to new groups who will benefit from the joys of sailing.
The following Community Sailing and One-Design Awards were named prior to the US Sailing Awards Dinner:
Outstanding Program Director
Mark Zagol – New England Science and Sailing (Stonington, Conn.)
Excellence in Instruction
Rachel Bryer, Nate Coolidge, Haley Barber, Lee Dumaliang, Katie Dobbin – Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation (Jamestown, R.I.)
10 Years of Hallmark Performance
Sail Sand Point (Seattle, Wash.)
Outstanding Adaptive Community Sailing Program
Sea Scout Base (Galveston, Texas)
Outstanding Organizational Leader
Alan Jenkinson – Edison Sailing Center (North Ft. Myers, Fla.)
Outstanding Community Sailing Center
Hudson River Community Sailing (New York, N.Y.)
Outstanding Outreach and Inclusion
Rocking the Boat (Bronx, N.Y.)
Volunteer of the Year
Diane Brancazio – Community Boating, Inc. (Boston, Mass.)
National One-Design Regatta Award
50th E-Scow Blue Chip Regatta, hosted by Pewaukee Yacht Club (Pewaukee, Wisc.)
Learn more about the US Sailing Awards: www.ussailing.org/about-us/awards
Source: Jake Fish, US Sailing
A message from US Sailing about the great sport of sailing. Learn more about all the opportunities to sail at www.ussailing.org. Video published on Feb 4, 2016.
Portsmouth, RI (February 1, 2016) – The US Sailing Safety at Sea Committee awarded the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medals to eight boats for their heroic efforts when a microburst storm hit the 2015 Flying Scot Atlantic Coast Championship, hosted by the Blackbeard Sailing Club, in New Bern, NC on September 12. Full report.
Before any sailor competes at the 2016 Olympic Games, their country must first gain entrance as each of the ten Olympic events has an entry limit. Country qualification is determined by the results in designated events, with Sailing World Cup Miami 2016 as the final Olympic qualification regatta for sailors from North and South America. Here is an update on qualifying from Canada and USA…
Canada qualified for spots in all classes with the exception of the 49er Men. Now it is up to the individual sailors to earn their ticket to the Rio 2016. The next stage of Canadian Olympic qualification will include an evaluation of athlete performances utilizing scores achieved at selected upcoming events including – 2016 World Cup events (Hyeres, Weymouth), 2016 Olympic Class World Championships, Olympic Class European Championships, 2016 Princess Sofia Regatta and Holland Regatta. While Canada is now eligible to compete in nine events, their selection system will only advance athletes deemed capable of competing at a high level either at the 2016 Games or at future Games.
Based on performances by American 49er, 49erFX and Men’s RS:X athletes in Miami, the United States has now officially qualified in all ten Olympic classes. In eight out of ten classes, Sailing World Cup Miami also was the first half of US athlete selection system. The finishing position in the Laser, Laser Radial, Finn, RS:X Men, RS:X Women, 49er, 49erFX, and Nacra 17 counts in the two-regatta selection series. The 470 Men and Women begin their two-part system at the 470 Worlds in February. The top placing US athletes in the selection system will then be nominated to the Olympic team. Additional details here.
by Dave Perry, Chairman, US Sailing Match Racing Committee
Formal match racing is simply two boats racing each other. But there is plenty of “match racing” within a fleet or team race. Anytime two boats want the same piece of water, or it comes down to just two boats competing for the same trophy, it is a “match race;” and typically the sailor with some formal match racing experience wins.
The most famous match race series is the America’s Cup. The next America’s Cup match racing begins in May of 2017 in Bermuda in 15 meter foiling multihulls, with Oracle Team USA as the Defender. The World Match Racing Tour is a professional series, with cash prizes totaling over a million dollars. In 2016, the Tour will run most of its events in a foiling 32-foot catamaran to become once again a pathway to the America’s Cup. US One Sailing Team, led by Taylor Canfield, is one of the favorites to win.
The Women’s International Match Racing Series is the women’s professional match racing series, also for significant cash prizes. The 2015 Series was won by the Epic Racing Team led by Stephanie Roble from East Troy, Wisconsin. The most prestigious non-professional international match racing championship is World Sailing’s Nations Cup, with the women’s grand final in 2015 won by Nicole Breault and her team from San Francisco.
In 2015 there were over 60 match racing events in North America with over 500 men and 100 women participating, ranging from the Grade 1 Congressional Cup at the Long Beach Yacht Club (a stop on the World Match Racing Tour) to entry-level Grade 5 events around the country. US Sailing launched a new Qualifying Series for its two adult match racing championships (the Open and the Women’s), running eight regattas that included 50 unique teams competing.
Skippers interested in competing in the 2016 Qualifying Series can apply now (Open – Women). Twenty teams and 5 countries competed in The Grand Slam, the U.S. series of four Grade 2 events on consecutive weekends in August. The California Dreamin’ Series, a three Grade 3 event series in California was filled, with the winner going to the Grade 2 Ficker Cup, and the winner of that event going on to the Congressional Cup. And the Richardson Cup capped off the match racing activity on the Great Lakes. – Read on
While certain countries promote specific handicap rules, there is an open market in the USA, which means that options exist. Since boat designs tend to find their most favorable rule, can a consensus ever occur? Should the USA continue to develop their own rules, or seek international options that can promote world-wide competition? Are we promoting growth, or inhibiting it, with multiple rules? US Sailing board member Steve Benjamin comments on the current landscape…
You were involved in the development of the High Performance Rule (HPR). What is the status of that rule?
The New York Yacht Club developed that rule and there was a pretty big budget to get it right. The flag officers sought to develop a fair rating rule that was completely transparent and easily calculated on an excel spread sheet. And we still believe it to be a good rule but lately it hasn’t been further developed, promoted, or supported by the rule owner.
There are a lot of rule choices – some home-based and some international. Is this good?
From my view, the market can now decide. All these rules are available: HPR, ORR, IRC, ORC, PHRF. US Sailing is supporting all of them. If you want a certificate for any of these rules, you can get it from US Sailing. We are now in a situation where the market will dictate which rule will eventually flourish, and that is already starting to happen.
What I am starting to see is ORC coming in to the states. It is the largest and fastest growing rule worldwide, so they are seeing growth. In IRC, we are hopeful that the rule has stabilized in the US, as it had been in decline, but the rule owners are working very hard to support it. The ORR had picked up the Port Huron to Mackinac Race, so there might be the possibility of some growth for that rule. And PHRF continues to trudge along.
The development of the Universal Measurement System (UMS) was intended to provide a certificate holder the ability to use any of the rules. Where are we with the UMS?
It has taken time to get all the rules together, but we will see the first phase of UMS in the few months. Common nomenclature has been agreed to for sails, so worldwide now all the sail definitions are the same. The SAP support to US Sailing for the UMS is coming along, which provides financial and technical support, so we expect to see it in April.
With SAP’s help, they have completely updated the database at US Sailing, which provide online access for certificates. This will also provide a user interface for the public to access certificate information. Additionally, SAP is introducing a tracking app that will provide information on your boat’s location. There are a lot of cool features coming.
Do we still have hurdles to overcome?
Customer service is always of paramount importance to insure that people are getting their certificates as quickly and accurately as possible. US Sailing is going to add another staff member to help facilitate this.
Editor’s note: We are ready for the market to decide, and do it fast. Comments welcome.
Offshore Racing Rule, ORR, the North American-based rule for sailors and their boats, was the handicap rule of choice for many events in 2015. In 2016, the use of the ORR is expanding into even more events. The Offshore Racing Association received a grant from Cruising Club of America to help finance the re-write of the Offshore Racing Rule Velocity Prediction Program (ORR VPP), which calculates the speed potential of each boat at any combination of wind speed and wind direction. ORA and US SAILING finalized an agreement. US SAILING will produce certificates and provide measurement services for ORA. Full Report.
The Qualifying Series for both the 2016 U.S. Match Racing Championship and 2016 U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship has been released. Only skippers invited by the Invitation Committee for the U.S. Match Racing Championships Committee (USMRCC) will be eligible to enter these Qualifying events. Skippers may request invitations to one or more of the Qualifying events. The application period for all Qualifying events opens on January 20, 2016. Full Report.
Portsmouth, RI (January 15, 2016) – Steve Benjamin and Annie Haeger today were named US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. These two sailors, at different stages of their sailing careers, amassed a year to remember and will be recognized as the best of 2015.
A total of 12 men and six women had been shortlisted for the 2015 honors based on nominations submitted by members of US Sailing, with these two sailors then selected for the noteworthy distinction by a diverse panel of sailing journalists.
Established in 1961 by US Sailing and sponsored by Rolex Watch, U.S.A. since 1980, the annual presentation of US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards are considered the sport’s ultimate recognition of an individual’s outstanding on-the-water achievements for the calendar year. The winners will be honored on Thursday, March 3, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
Rolex Yachtsman of the Year – Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.) has been named the 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year in recognition of a year that featured 10 wins, including the Etchells North American Championship in Rye, NY. Benjamin skippered his team to victory in the 35-boat fleet, aboard Terrapin. Benjamin, along with crew George Peet, Luke Lawrence and Julian Sudofsky, won the championship by 15 points through eight races.
Benjamin’s dominance in the Etchells went beyond the North American Championship. He placed second out of 43 boats at the World Championship in Hong Kong. His teams won at the Piana Cup, Long Island Sound Championship and Coral Reef Cup, among others.
In reflecting back on his successes, Benjamin commented on how everything came together for him and his teams in 2015. “It came down to all the quality time we were able to spend on the water together. We raced and practiced so much this year, it really helped us continue to improve from one event to the next, and be better teams.”
“This award goes to all the great sailors and crew I’ve had the opportunity to race with this year,” added Benjamin. “I had some incredible team members to help me every step of the way, and perhaps the biggest supporter of them all is my wife, Heidi.”
Steve and Heidi Benjamin’s Carkeek 40, SPOOKIE, had a clean sweep of overall wins in every offshore race they entered in 2015, including Fort Lauderdale to Key West, Marblehead to Halifax, Ida Lewis Distance Race, and the Vineyard Race.
“I’ve been at this a long time, so this is truly an astonishing honor.”
Benjamin, son of a boatyard owner, started sailing at the age of nine when his parents introduced him to the sport through a junior sailing program at Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club in Oyster Bay, NY. Benjamin went on to experience an outstanding college sailing career. He earned College Sailor of the Year honors in 1978 as a member of the Yale University sailing team.
Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year – Annie Haeger (East Troy, Wisc.) has been named the 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year in recognition of her impressive list of top results in 470 Class competition throughout 2015.
Haeger and crew Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.) made their mark on the international stage by winning gold at the Olympic Test Event in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They won the event by seven points through 10 races in a highly competitive fleet featuring the gold and silver medal-winning boats from the London 2012 Games.
“Winning gold at the Olympic Test Event was a major confidence booster, and it reinforced that if we can earn US Olympic Team selection we have a chance to medal at the Games.”
Haeger and Provancha experienced success in other high-caliber women’s 470 events, including the European Championship (3rd place) and the South American Championship (4th place).
“Winning this award was never something I was ever expecting or aiming for, since Briana and I have been totally focused on the Olympics,” said Haeger. “To be on a list with so many amazing sailors, and to win this on behalf of my incredible teammate and the US Sailing Team Sperry, is unbelievable. I am just so honored.”
“In winning this award, I’m not representing myself, but Team Haeger/Provancha as a whole. I am very blessed to have Briana in the front of my boat. I think she is the best crew in the United States.” Haeger also noted that her fellow national team athletes have played a prominent role in her development. “Our US Sailing Team Sperry veterans like Stu McNay, Dave Hughes, and Paige Railey have pushed us to improve. They have been so helpful, and we want to represent them well.”
Haeger started sailing at age eight on Lake Beulah in Wisconsin. Coincidentally, she was in the same “Learn to Sail” junior sailing program as the 2014 Yachtswoman of the Year, Stephanie Roble.
In parallel with the Yachtsman of the Year, Steve Benjamin, Haeger was also a tremendously successful college sailor. She was named College Sailor of Year in 2011 and a three-time ICSA Women’s Singlehanded National Champion as a member of the Boston College sailing team.
Learn more about this award, including this year’s finalists… click here
Source: Jake Fish, US Sailing Communications Manager
Former US Sailing Team member John Casey launched the sport’s first real podcast last week, and he’s not screwing around; JC’s most recently-dropped show features former US Marine and now US Sailing Team Sperry racer Danny Evans getting deep into – well, everything. You’ll get two hours of a very interesting guest chat, including the gory details of Evans’ horrendous injury (fast forward if you’re squeamish), the real reasons the Paralympics dropped sailing from the 2020 Olympics, how amputees can best sail fast beach cats and foilers, how much quicker John Casey’s Nacra 20FCS is than Ben Ainslie’s, and how much JC wishes he had Danny’s upper body. A great two hours of sailing chitchat, and we listened to every second. You should too.
Dear U.S. Sailors,
This past week our sport was negatively affected by political actions taken by the Malaysian Sailing Association (MSA), a Member National Authority (MNA) of World Sailing (formerly ISAF). The net result was that the Israeli youth team had restrictions imposed upon it at the Youth Sailing World Championships that no other team had, creating an inferior condition for the Israeli competitors and preventing them from competing as equals on and off of the race course. The Israeli team elected not to compete because of the unequal conditions enforced upon them by the MSA.
We denounce these policies and actions of the MSA that are in direct contradiction to our bylaws and the International Olympic Committee Code of Ethics, which state: There shall be no discrimination between the participants on the basis of race, gender, ethnic origin, religion, philosophical or political opinion, marital status or other grounds.” It is the responsibility of World Sailing to ensure that these conditions are met at all sanctioned international competitions. World Sailing has allowed the regatta to start, without imposing conditions on the MSA, to our knowledge.
The Board of US Sailing provides the following as our opinion on the situation in Malaysia:
We have three concerns. The first is for our sport. US Sailing believes that sailors of all nations are entitled to equal opportunity to compete. This core value of our sport appears to have been violated by the conduct of the MSA, who are managing this event under the authority of World Sailing. Many people have contacted us asking “how can World Sailing allow this to happen?” The fact is that World Sailing may have been as surprised as we were as to the action taken by the MSA because they relied on their vetting process to expose these potential problems. World Sailing has recently (as of last month) changed venues because of concerns about a MNA’s ability to remain apolitical, which we fully supported at the time of the decision.
The problem is that many of the regatta venues were determined years ago, before current political agendas (and willingness to act on those agendas) of some MNAs were detectible (prior to the selection of the venue). World Sailing’s charter is to be inclusive and grow our sport, so they have tried very hard to offer significant regattas to MNAs in non-traditional areas. In the case of Malaysia, it obviously did not work.
Has World Sailing reacted appropriately, once the situation developed? Unfortunately, as of this writing, we do not have the answer for that one. The delegates to World Sailing from the U.S. are working diligently to make our position known, which is: World Sailing must enforce its constitutional charter upon the Malaysian Sailing Authority and all MNAs hosting regattas, and that World Sailing must ensure that similar MNA breakdowns do not occur for every event on the World Sailing schedule (regattas, conferences, meetings, etc.).
The next Youth World Sailing Championship regatta will be in Oman, followed by Israel in 2017. There is no doubt that a repeat of this breakdown would point to a systemic failure at World Sailing.
Our second concern is for all athletes. US Sailing feels strongly that sports and politics should not mix, and that athletes should not be used for political gain. Therefore, we will not discourage any sailor on the US Sailing Youth World Championship Team from competing in the regatta. US Sailing Board members were victims of the 1980 Olympic boycott and their firsthand experience demonstrates that there is no place in sport for politics. Nothing changed in the world after the boycott of 1980, save more medals for the countries that attended, and none for the countries that did not. We must keep the politics on the front page of the paper and our competitions in the sports section.
Our third concern is for regattas going forward, specifically the ones that our athletes will participate in and those we host in the U.S. World Sailing must ensure that similar MNA breakdowns will not occur for every scheduled event on the World Sailing schedule. Next month US Sailing will host Sailing World Cup Miami, and three World Championships this February in Clearwater. At both regatta venues US Sailing will ensure that athletes from all countries that qualify for the event compete on an even footing, in accordance with the IOC Code of Ethics, as stated above.
We ask that all of our US Sailing members and volunteers support the leadership of World Sailing and our U.S. delegates thereto. This is a very difficult time for all of them as they deal with MNAs who refuse to be bound by the ethical standards that the rest of the world accepts and lives by. Further, we ask that we have strong support in January and February, when we welcome all sailors and fans to watch the regattas in Miami and Clearwater. Please support our U.S. teams and join us in welcoming all of the international competitors who have traveled to sail in our waters.
From the US Sailing Board of Directors,
Bruce J. Burton
President of US Sailing
by Dave Perry, five-time and reigning U.S. National Match Racing Champion
At the Carlos Aguilar Match Racing Regatta in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the venue had beautiful weather, gorgeous water, and was surrounded by mountains and cruise ships… so yes, it was very shifty and puffy! When ahead, it was always tricky to know whether to “cover” your opponent or “sail your own beat,” meaning sailing to the pressure and tacking on the shifts. I call this decision “Terry or Torben.”
Terry Hutchinson is a world-class fleet and match racer (America’s Cup, TP 52’s, Farr 40’s, etc.) who likes to keep the race tight and under control when he’s leading. His belief is that if you can stay just ahead of your opponent, it is hard for them to pass you. Once you start to separate from them, looking to extend your lead, you give them leverage and you increase the risk of them passing you. Terry’s races are always close and tight to the end, win or lose.
Alternatively, Torben Grael, also a world-class fleet and match racer (America’s Cup, five time Olympic medalist in the Soling and Star class, etc.), believes that if you sail the beat to best advantage, sailing in the best pressure and always on the favored tack, the other boat can’t beat you. His races are much more wide open, and he wins by a mile…and loses by a mile.
I think both styles have their place in match racing. To help guide my decision making, I try to think before a race or a day of racing, is this a “Terry day” or a “Torben day”? – Read on
The U.S. Coast Guard’s National On-Water Standards (NOWS) grant management team and American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) has approved the publication EDU-1 On-Water Power Standard, which is the first of three proposed skills-based American National Standards (ANS) for On-Water instruction in recreational boating safety. Full report.
Portsmouth, RI (December 9, 2015) – The most significant sailing performances of the year are being heralded by US Sailing with the announcement of the 12 men and 6 women who have been shortlisted for the 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year awards.
The nominees will be reviewed by a panel of noted sailing journalists who discuss the merits of each sailor’s racing results before voting to determine US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year. The winners will be announced in mid-January and honored on Thursday, February 25, 2016, during a luncheon at the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan, when they will be presented with specially-engraved Rolex timepieces.
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtsman of the Year award:
• Lightning World Champion Geoff Becker (Annapolis, Md.)
• Distance racing record-breaker Ryan Breymaier (Annapolis, Md.)
• Etchells North American Champion Steve Benjamin (Norwalk, Conn.)
• J/70 World Champion Bill Hardesty (San Diego, Calif.)
• Etchells World Champion Skip Dieball (Toledo, Ohio)
• Rolex Farr 40 World Champion John Demourkas (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
• Rolex Maxi 72 World Champion Hap Fauth (Minneapolis, Minn.)
• 470 European Champion Dave Hughes (Miami, Fla.)
• Melges 20 World Champion John Kilroy (San Francisco, Calif.)
• 470 European Champion Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.)
• Distance racing record breaker Lloyd Thornburg (Santa Fe, N.M.)
• J/24 North American Champion Will Welles (Portsmouth, R.I.)
Nominees shortlisted for US Sailing’s 2015 Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award:
• U.S. Women’s Match Racing Champion Nicole Breault (San Francisco, Calif.)
• 470 Women’s Champion Anne Haeger (Lake Forest, Ill.)
• Pan Am Games Laser Radial Gold Medalist Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)
• 470 Women’s Champion Briana Provancha (San Diego, Calif.)
• Buddy Melges Challenge winner Stephanie Roble (East Troy, Wisc.)
• Lightning North American Champion Jody Starck (Buffalo, N.Y.).
For details on the nominees… click here
Portsmouth, RI (December 4, 2015) – US Sailing’s Olympic Sailing Committee (OSC) have opened the nomination period for the 2015 US Sailing Coach of the Year Awards. The OSC will honor American coaches in five categories who have done outstanding work at the youth, national and international levels.
The awards are a part of the United States Olympic Committee’s (USOC) Coach Recognition Program, which highlights the accomplishments and contributions of U.S. coaches who train athletes at all levels of Olympic and Paralympic sports.
In 2014, the US Sailing National Coach of the Year Award was given to Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.) for his work with US Sailing Team Sperry 470 athletes Stu McNay (Providence, R.I.) and David Hughes (Miami, Fla.). Todd Fedyszyn (St. Petersburg, Fla.) was honored as US Sailing Development Coach of the Year for his leadership in high school sailing.
“High-level coaching is a cornerstone of success in sailing and has important trickle-down effects at all levels of our sport,” said Benjamin Richardson, Chairman of the US Olympic Sailing Committee. “In 2015, US coaches did excellent work around the country and overseas, and we look forward to honoring their efforts.”
Nominations will be accepted from the public until December 31, 2015, via e-mail to email@example.com.
Each nomination should include the following information:
• Which of the five coaching awards (see below) the individual is being nominated for
• The nominee’s 2015 coaching record
• Honors or recognitions received by the nominee in 2015
• A description of the nominee’s service and support to the sport in 2015
• Contact information, including a phone number and email address, for both the nominator and the nominee
All accomplishments eligible for review by the panel are required to have taken place in 2015. Please note that multiple nominations have no bearing on the selection process unless they provide additional information about the candidate.
National Coach of the Year nominations fall into five categories:
1. National Coach of the Year
A National Coach of the Year nominee is a coach of an Elite Level Club, Collegiate, Pan-Am Championship or Olympic Games coach or the coach of an elite athlete who competes at the highest level in sailing. Nominations should include details about the performance of the nominee’s athletes, including national and world championship medals, the caliber of the wins and/or the extraordinary measure of the wins. Previous winners of US Sailing’s National Coach of the Year Award include Morgan Reeser (Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.), Greg Wilkinson (Rockport, Mass.), Mark Ivey (Tiburon, Calif.), Michael Callahan (Washington, D.C.), Betsy Alison (Newport, R.I.), Bill Ward (Newport Beach, Calif.), Zachary Leonard (Branford, CT), Rollin “Skip” Whyte (Wickford, R.I.), Roger “Scott” Ikle (Geneva, N.Y.), Serge Jorgensen (Sarasota, Fla.), Jay Glaser (Long Beach, Calif.), and Luther Carpenter (New Orleans, La.).
2. Volunteer Coach of the Year
A Volunteer Coach of the Year Nominee is a coach who does not receive payment in any form for their involvement in coaching at any level. Previous winners of sailing’s Volunteer Coach of the Year Award include Greg Koman (Burlington, Vt.), Carrie Rohde (Richmond Hill, Ga.), Matt Dubois (Grosse Ile, Mich.), Ryan Hamm (Charleston, S.C.), Susan Kaseler (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) and T. Park McRitchie (Port Clinton, Ohio).
3. Development Coach of the Year
A Development Coach of the Year nominee is a coach of youth club, high school or junior-level coach, or a coach directly responsible for coaching athletes to the junior and/ or elite level. Previous winners of sailing’s Developmental Coach of the Year Award include Todd Fedyszyn (St. Petersburg, Fla.), Steve Keen (Stamford, Conn.), Jay Kehoe (Annapolis, Md.) Ryan Minth (New York, N.Y.), Brett Davis (Naples, Fla.), Ben Glass (Seattle, Wash.), Duffy Markham (Wellesley, Mass.), Tom Coleman (Hixson, Tenn.), Rob Hallawell (Marblehead, Mass./Coronado, Calif.), Brian Doyle (Darien, Conn./Hanover, N.H.), Amy Gross-Kehoe (Bayville, N.Y.), Adam Werblow (St. Mary’s, Md.) and Mike Zani (Bristol, R.I.).
4. Paralympic Coach of the Year
A Paralympic Coach of the Year nominee is a coach of a disabled sailing team or the coach of a Paralympic class athlete who competes at the highest level of sailing. Nominations should include details about the performance of the nominee’s athletes, including national and world championship medals, the caliber of the wins and/or the extraordinary measure of the wins.
5. “Doc” Counsilman Science Award
The nominee for this award is a coach that utilizes scientific techniques/ equipment as an integral part of his/her coaching methods, or has created innovative ways to use sport science. The “use of science in sport” includes, but is not limited to, biomechanics, nutrition, psychology, strength and conditioning, exercise physiology, etc.
In early 2016, the OSC will announce the winners of US Sailing’s 2015 Coach of the Year Awards. The committee will then submit the list of honorees to the USOC for potential recognition as Coach of the Year Awards recipients across all Olympic and Paralympic sports. The USOC will announce the National Coach of the Year Award sometime in the late spring.
The goals of the USOC’s Coaching Recognition Program are to recognize the accomplishments and contributions coaches make to sports at all levels of athlete development and to elevate the status of coaching as a profession.
Source: Will Ricketson, Olympic Communications Manager
Have you ever taken a leap of faith? Left the safety of shore just for the chance – the hope – that one day you will look back and it will all be worth it? Begin the journey alongside the US Sailing Team Sperry at UNCHARTED WATERS, and watch the odyssey unfold. http://uncharted.sunbrella.com
With recent discussion regarding the Olympics, perhaps this could be a relevant reminder of why many people are inspired by what top Olympic and Paralympic athletes are trying to accomplish, both in our sport and in others.
Portsmouth, RI – US Sailing has named thirteen athletes to its 2015 ISAF Youth World Championships Team. As the premier youth event in international sailing, the ISAF Youth Worlds will be held December 24, 2015 to January 3, 2016 in Langkawi, Malaysia. Full report.