Photos: Australian Sailing, Beau Outteridge – I contacted Darren Bundock last week and he told me he is currently working with Australian Sailing for the Youth squads and also Nacra 17. Bundy continues to train in A-Cats and checking chances to attend to Sopot Worlds. Helping kids out as he did with AC Youth in San Francisco its a great addition to his immense career and a task not many…
Posts in category Youth Sailing
Our Sailor Chicks of the Week are 49er FX team Rebecca Netzler and Klara Wester from Western Sweden. Sure they look good, and yeah they kick some ass on the chick’s skiff, but how about the form of this dismount during last week’s Princess Sofia in Palma? While we can’t score the landing, Klara gets a solid 10 for amplitude and flight time, and the successful attempt to create a show for the crowd when the capsize became unsaveable. and despite the DNF they took in the medal race, the blonde-and-blue girls took 4th… Get to know them better or support the team on their website here, and Becca’s got some more photos up on their Facebook page, which we highly recommend you follow. Or if you’re under 30, there’s IG. Excellent shot from our old friend Jesus Renedo/Sailing Energy… For the rest of the story from Sailing Anarchy CLICK HERE!
It is often unstructured, unplanned, or even ill-advised events which create that tenable bond to sailing. As Dan Walker (Severna Park, MD) recalls, it was one childhood adventure that has forever connected him to sailing… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Video sent by Manu Duclos / Easy Ride Videos. Team France Jeune Official web. French youth team training on GC32s & FPs. Groups for Bermuda 2017 AC Youth… For the rest of the story from Cat Sailing News CLICK HERE!
In a society of overly scheduled and structured youth events, a group in Connecticut is pushing back on what an event is supposed to be. A year ago they tasked members 30+ youth Club 420 teams with preparing homework, attending meetings and studying course instructions to help them navigate the 10-mile course around Fishers Island at the eastern end of Long Island Sound… For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Law plays four primary roles in society, which are to protect people from harm, ensure a common good, settle arguments and disputes regarding finite resources and persuade people to do the right things. In Florida, one lawmaker believes boaters need some supervision and is proposing a law that will take away one of the recreation’s primary assets: freedom. The proposal (SB 1262) by US Senator Gary Farmer, D-Fort Lauderdale, would prohibit minors younger than 16 from operating vessels with motors of at least 10 horsepower or sailboats that have hulls of 10 feet or more. That targets a lot of youth Laser and doublehanded sailors… To read the bill…click here. To contact Mr. Farmer…click here. For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
Photo taken by 14 year old Mitch Harden) – One of the issues attached to selecting yet another OD and one manufacturer for a youth boat was the lost opportunity of having the F16 multibrand Class as platforms for kids development as now dads are forced to buy yet another invented Class. But all is done now and the members at Kurnell have established a Youth coaching & regatta where any cat… For the rest of the story from Cat Sailing News CLICK HERE!
With about 8,000 O’pen BICs out there, this snazzy youth singlehander has been providing an alternative since its launch 10 years ago. Scuttlebutt editor Craig Leweck checks in with brand promoter Nevin Sayre for an update… Much more…click here For the rest of the story from Scuttlebutt Sailing News CLICK HERE!
by Bill Stump
We all look askance at parents yelling at their kids during soccer matches or browbeating coaches at little league games but, when it comes to sailing, why would we sometimes think and act like the same principles of decorum don’t apply? Here’s a list of suggestions to consider:
1. Leave the coaching to the coaches – those trained and paid to do that job. They have the big picture and the best interests of all their young sailors at heart.
2. Leave the rigging and minor repairs of your child’s boat to your child. How else will they ‘learn the ropes’?
3. Be respectful of other parents and their children, and be appreciative of regatta hosts and all the volunteers and coaches involved. Remember, how you act and what you say reflects positively or negatively on you and your child.
4. Take any issues or concerns to the person in charge of your youth program or sailing team – in a polite and respectful manner.
5. And, help where help is needed – loading trailers, driving to regattas, launching and retrieving boats at major events, volunteering for all the many shore-side activities or on-the-water positions needing staffing. Be useful!
This is a short but compelling list meant to improve the experience at junior regattas.
Moreover, if you are as old as I, remember how you learned to sail. It probably wasn’t by having an overly indulgent parent micro-managing your every tack and gybe. Don’t be that person.
Note: Bill Stump is a National PRO and National Judge often serving at Optimist events.
If those of us who love the sport do not spread that love to new prospects, we have ourselves to blame when our fleets dwindle and it becomes impossible to find good crew. One 28 year old sailor – Anarchist “North253″ – is doing his best, and he and all his generation-mates need your help.
My generation is, as near as I can tell, a bunch of entitled idiots. I love sailing, and was raised by sailors. But the truly unobservant things I have been asked about sailboats and sailing by people my age is mind boggling. I answer all of their questions tirelessly and patiently, because the more interest I can generate the better, and the slow decay of my favorite pastime especially among people my age and younger saddens me, because it is oh so cool!
I bought a flush deck Cal 28 recently with the intent to take as many people as I can get sailing, because they clearly don’t get it. (This is my second full size sailboat). But this takes the cake: I was recently asked by a 29yo lawyer friend, who is generally not a moron, “yeah they are cool but can’t you only sail on rivers, you can’t take sailboats onto like the ocean right?”
Other amusing questions include:
-”But sailboats can’t have engines, so you’re screwed when there is no wind”
-”can’t you only go the same direction the wind is blowing”
-”is there a way to steer it? What happens when you hit land?”
-”what about sharks?”
While a fair question by the uninitiated, my favorite to answer has to be,”won’t it flip over”
Christ, who raised us? Apparently, I have work to do…Maybe, just maybe I can recruit some new sailors.
Share your secrets for lighting a fire of sailing inspiration in the younger generation in the buzzing thread here.
All Images Gerogia Schofield / Pedro Martinez / Sailing Energy / World Sailing . Click images for HQ & slideshow. —
French crew is dominating at Auckland. Tim Mourniac and Charles Dorange are leading after 12 races, 3 held today (Monday in NZ) , Schedule calls for one more day of racing on Tuesday.
Second place for Italians Gianluigo Ugolini & Maria Maria Giubilei , and third overall for
US Windsurfing is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to supporting the sport and making the whole experience of windsurfing a more positive one for those that choose to windsurf in the USA.
As the 2016 Techno 293 Worlds gets underway in Lake Garda (attended by more than 450 kids under the age of 17, including a team of 7 kids from the Miami Yacht Club), Jerome Samson, President of US Windsurfing, shares this report on growing youth windsurfing in the USA…
Over the past 3 to 4 years, Miami Yacht Club has been the only US club to take part in World and European competition in Techno 293, and for the most part in youth RS:X as well. This is thanks to the dynamism and personal involvement of folks like Tomas Nores and Florencia Barletta, and the unwavering support of Leandro Spina, U.S. Olympic Youth Development Director. Even Dominique Stater, who lives in D.C., shows up at those competitions under the Miami banner.
So it’s no surprise to see Miami represent the U.S. again at the 2016 Techno 293 Worlds in Lake Garda. However, having a country represented disproportionately at international event s by kids from one single club happens in other countries too.
Most Polish kids are from Sopot. Most Israeli kids are from Eilat. Most Italian kids are from Civitavecchia. Most French kids are from Brest. Most Spanish kids are from Cadiz. There are clubs in these areas that simply do it better, and have a long history of exposing their young talent to the thrills of international competition.
Of course, in those other countries, there are many more clubs taking part in national-level windsurfing competitions. In the U.S., besides Miami Yacht Club, there are simply no other clubs right now seriously invested in grooming talent for this type of competition.
This doesn’t mean that there aren’t kids around the country who windsurf every chance they get. In fact, we have more pockets of youth windsurfing around the country now than we had 5 or 10 years ago. The sport is just too cool and much easier to approach than it was back then.
I’m a big believer in the power of kids to motivate each other to try something new. Give a new toy to a kid, make it super fun, let him show it off to his buddies, and tomorrow you’ll have five kids doing the same thing, and evangelizing it to their own circle of friends.
We’ve been running circles with our windsurfing gear around the youth sailing fleets in Clearwater for years, and now, pretty much all the kids who are on traditional sailing racing teams (Optis, Lasers, 420s, Cats) are also windsurfing. While the previous generation of youth windsurfers in Clearwater raced Technos and RS:Xs, this new generation races Konas, and that’s terrific. They’re building up windsurfing skills, and perhaps some of them will aim their sights on the Olympic track in the future.
There’s no secret to growth…read on.
Some excellent shots from Newport, where the Red Bull 2016 Finals took place this weekend. All pics by Red Bull Media House.
The great annual initiative organized by Cat Club Zeeland focus mainly on learning and having fun and they are even being coached while racing. This past weeks I’ve seen the opti fathers… and coaches going for protests. It’s ok to learn the rules but at that age priority should be having fun.
Dutch Dragoon Cup 2016 Results at http://catclubzeeland.nl/dragooncup/
Annual Draggon Cup info sent by Kees Krijger
Details below, more info in dtuch at catclubzeeland.nl/dutch-dragoon-cup-89-oktober-2016
Catclub Zealand is organizing the 7th Dragoon Dutch Cup on 8 and October 9, 2016. This is an educational and fun weekend, suitable for both beginners and experienced youth sailors. It has become Europe’s largest event for Hobie Dragoon sailors.
Karen Lattanzi shares this short video of two 15-year- olds, Pearl Lattanzi and Ariana Long, sailing a 29er on Moanalua Bay off of Honolulu, HI. The girls are the product of a new generation at Hawaii Kai Boat Club that have made the transition from O’pen Bic to RS Feva to 29er. This video edited by Ariana, Karen reports, is proof that it works.
by Joe Cooper, WindCheck magazine
One of the discussion threads I follow in the saltosphere is specifically about kids and sailing. This thread has a variety of aspects: Growing the sport of sailing, bringing existing young sailors into sailing for life, developing skills so they can be viable crew on big boats, and looking at ways to diminish the post-college sailor flameout are but a few.
Currently the timeline for kids is: Multi colored Opti programs, then 420s/Lasers, into college sailing, then hit rocks – Boom! – stop sailing. Getting a job, the costs of sailing outside school, and what their non-sailing mates are doing are amongst the welcome-to-being-an-adult scenarios that young sailors face. The one constant theme in all youth sailing in the U.S. at the moment is the racing track, more or less literally. This is slowly becoming recognized as self-defeating.
Our own son is an example of being pushed out of sailing by this racing meme. Three years of Optis and being yelled at to do this, that or the other, being placed two per boat with someone he did not know, and the special prize, capsize practice in deep water before he was confident enough to take it on. Pushing an 8- or 9-year-old into something things is a great way to have them not like it.
Fast-forward about three years or so, when enrolled in a non-racing program.
This otherwise typical week of sailing ‘camp’ placed him in a 420 with two other kids, both of whom he knew, in a program of sailing to different parts of lower Narragansett Bay, getting ice cream at the Ben & Jerry’s on Thames Street, pulling up on the beach at Rose Island, and simply hanging out with his mates in a sailing boat, all under the watchful eye of the ‘instructor.’ He came home totally stoked by the first day and, ultimately, the week. When we inquired about the program the next spring we discovered it had been withdrawn; apparently too hard on the boats and gear.
Full report… click here.
Five years ago, in the inaugural year of the WaterViews blog, I wrote a post called 5 Reasons Your Kids Should Sail. That article was shared internationally by yacht clubs and featured by regional and national sailing media.
Evidently, this is a topic of interest. But I just hit the tip of the iceberg. In my travels, I’ve accumulated several more reasons. Here are five qualities that true sailor kids develop that are just as significant as the original 5 Reasons:
1. Toughness. Ever spend any time at an Opti regatta on Long Island Sound in April? These kids are tough. The weather can feel like a day on the slopes, but they don’t get to go in for a hot chocolate and a hamburger at lunch. They don’t complain. When racing is over, they pack up their boats before heading inside to warm up and dry off.
2. Accountability. Taking the helm gives a child an accountability for his or her actions that is rarely offered before receipt of a driver’s license. Recreational and racing junior sailors alike face right-of-way situations all the time and have to take responsibility for their mistakes.
3. Vision. Balancing the finer details inside the boat with the larger picture of the racecourse or channel is an important skill to hone. This balance helps in school, in business, in life.
4. Bravery. Sailor kids push their fear threshold. Most kids are scared of capsizing before they experience it. Many are scared in strong breezes. They still capsize and they still go out in rough conditions. It’s the job of the instructors to control the situation, but ultimately, the kids have to overcome their fear.
5. Patience. Waiting all day for the wind to fill in at a regatta requires an amazing amount of patience. I’ve talked with parents who are frustrated with waiting and thinking about what else they could be doing. But the kids know the drill. Waiting for the right weather conditions is part of sailing. I’ll reference an Opti regatta again, this one a two-day event with only about 90 sail-able minutes. The kids took it in stride. Would a team of 12-year-old football players act the same way?
Daniela Clark is the co-producer (with John Kantor, the founder of Longshore Sailing School in Westport, CT and Greenwich Community Sailing in Old Greenwich, CT) of the highly recommended WaterViews blog, which can be found at blog.ctnews.com/kantor. She’s also a professional marine photographer the co-owner (with her husband Allen Clark) of PhotoBoat.com.
Source: WindCheck magazine
As the first week of summer program sailing started throughout the region, 18 students from throughout the Chesapeake and as far away as New York came to Annapolis YC to learn about Big Boat safety and skills at the Junior Safety at Sea Seminar, conducted by members of the Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club.
This program, started in 2002 by the Storm Trysail Foundation in memory of Jamie Boeckel, is pledged to educate junior sailors on the proper methods and equipment used for efficient and safe big boat and offshore sailing.
The day’s introductory remarks by noted yachting journalist Angus Phillips included fresh news of how a junior crew on board the 41-foot High Noon crossed the finish line in the 635-mile Newport-Bermuda Race as the second-fastest monohull behind the massive 100-foot Comanche. This was quite a feat, and worthy to note that these juniors were also trained in the Storm Trysail program.
A morning of class room training on principles conducted by Dobbs Davis was followed by hands-on dockside demonstrations led by Peter Sarelas on fire extinguisher and flare use, as well as inflation of a full-size life raft. Crews were then formed to adjourn to four boats for an afternoon of practical training on three J/105’s – Art Libby’s Dog House, Pen Alexander’s More Cowbell, and Angelo Guarino’s Crescendo – as well as Jim Praley’s J/120 Shinnecock.
On board instruction on boat and sail handling, as well as practicing Crew Overboard drills, were led by coaches Pete Carrico, Brad Cole, Woody Brumfield, Art Libby, Andy Hughes, Angus Phillips, Elliott Oldak, and Ross Dierdorff. After two hours of sailing and training, the four teams raced on a simple one-lap course that had to include performing a Crew Overboard drill before finishing…More Cowbell won both races.
After returning to the dock and over pizza served at the debrief, each team elected their own ‘most-improved’ crew member to receive a hardcover edition of Jim Kilroy’s KIALOA US-1: Dare to Win, in Business, in Sailing, in Life, courtesy of Trice Kilroy and the National Sailing Hall of Fame.
Another interesting note from the debrief: when asked what was the most important principle among several taught this day, the most common answer was communication and its importance at building team work. Coming from this group of Opti, Laser and 420 sailors, this bodes well for the future of big boat sailing.
For more information on Junior Safety at Sea seminars… click here.
by Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt
One of those impressionable moments for me as a teenage sailor was when I sailed with Bruno Troublé during the infamous match racing event, the Congressional Cup in Long Beach, CA. Trouble had already skippered a French America’s Cup challenge, with another to follow.
In those days, the boats were personally owned and loaned for the Congressional Cup. Each boat would have the owner onboard, but on this day I was recruited to be the owner’s rep. I’m not sure the intention of my job, but I was smart enough to keep my mouth closed and learn.
When I now see Troublé, an inductee to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame, I remind him how impactful that day was for me. Educator and match race champion Dave Perry contends my experience was not unique.
“Much is being written about how to keep junior sailors in the sport,” notes Perry. “My personal experience is that racing with adults when I was a teenager was both exciting and eye-opening. I have long advised kids to try to race with good adult sailors whenever possible.
“Over the past several years I have worked with hosts of match racing events to encourage them to provide opportunities for youth sailors to ride along on the boats during races, and several have made this happen. This is a fantastic opportunity for them to see and hear how the best sailors do their jobs, communicate, deal with adversities and make decisions,” concludes Perry.
At the recent Ficker and Congressional Cups, the Long Beach Yacht Club again invited area youth sailors to ride-along during the races. LBYC Sailing Director Jess Gerry interviewed two of the sailors after the experience. Their enthusiasm and excitement says it all about the value of this kind of experience.
What was your impression going into the day?
Michael Farris: I thought that it would be cool because it was these professional sailors on big boats and I’ve always wanted to see what it would be like racing big boats and how it would feel.
Jeffrey Petersen: That I was going to see some pretty great racing. Overall I was just really excited to be up in Long Beach.
Did you enjoy it? Why?
Michael Farris: Oh I loved it! I thought it was one of the coolest experiences that I’ve ever done. It was exhilarating! I definitely thought the prestart was the most exciting part. We had lots of breeze which made for very fun, exciting racing.
Jeffrey Petersen: Absolutely, I felt that I just experienced something amazing and I’m definitely coming back next year to do it again.
Full report… click here.
Much has been said recently about the lack of young talent in big-boat sailing these days, and how the growth and popularity of junior sailing programs that focus on dinghy sailing may have inadvertently helped to cause this gap to develop in a young sailor’s skills.
The Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club will attempt to bridge this gap in announcing it will offer B3, a Basic Big Boat Course for Junior Sailors, to be held June 22 at Annapolis Yacht Club in Annapolis, MD.
Modeled on Storm Trysail’s well-developed Junior Safety at Sea course, B3 is a unique program designed for junior sailors ages 12-18 that offers a full day of classroom, shoreside, and on-water instruction from experienced offshore sailors on the proper techniques of big-boat boat handling and safety principles and protocols.
It is preferred that attendees have some sailing experience on either dinghy’s, keel boats or offshore boats, but its not necessary to have racing experience.
Attendees will receive classroom instruction on the importance of safe practices in big boat sailing, when to apply them, and an overview of the safety gear and other equipment used when sailing on big boats. Then a hands-on demonstration will be given on use of flares, life rafts and other safety-related equipment, followed by dividing the group into teams to inspect, rig up and ready an offshore-capable big-boat for an afternoon of sailing which includes learning safe boat handling practices, simple piloting and navigation, proper radio and GPS use, sail trim and helming, and conducting man-overboard drills.
The afternoon session concludes with a fun race between all the boats where a simple course is laid out and each entry must conduct a man overboard exercise before finishing. The purpose of this is to teach juniors the various positions on the crew of a big boat and how to organize themselves into a coherent team that can work together in real time.
Participants will receive certification of course completion from US Sailing, as well as an opportunity to participate in Eastport YC’s Boomerang Race on Saturday, July 9th, where a special division of junior teams will race on the Bay overnight and put their offshore skills to the test.
Veteran offshore racer and Washington Post America’s Cup journalist Angus Phillips will give a keynote talk to the group on both the inspiration and importance of offshore sailing to build a junior sailor’s interest in sailing for life. Phillips says “Every kid sailing dinghy’s in the harbor yearns to take his or her skills offshore, where nature awaits unfiltered. The B3 seminar is a vital first step.”
Helly Hansen is helping to lower the average age of keelboat competitors. Report by Sailing World…
Sailing is a pastime that doesn’t discriminate age. It’s a competitive outlet where young sail with, against, and alongside elders, as well their peers. And whereas many youth sports segregate kids to the field of play and adults to the sidelines, sailboat racing does not.
Sailing is the ultimate lifetime sport… ask the outstanding youth sailors selected to be members of Helly Hansen’s Junior Crew, which will compete at the 2016 Helly Hansen NOOD Regatta in Annapolis on April 29-May 1.
“There’s small hole in the pipeline of our sport where kids can fall out after junior sailing,” says Dave Reed, Editor of Sailing World, which owns the 26-year NOOD Regatta series. “They come back eventually, but miss out on great years of keelboat team sailing. This initiative will prove the value of having young sailors on the team. They and bring infectious curiosity and energy to every race.”
These five sailors, aged 14 to 17 will compete in the J/105 class, against national champions and highly experienced teams, putting their dingy skills to use in the big keelboat.
They’re not old enough, yet, however, to be given the keys to the Cadillac. Rather, Annapolis YC’s Sailing Director Jane Millman, will oversee the campaign. She will be on board to ensure the safe return of Dr. Alexander’s yacht, More Cowbell.
“I chose sailors who I feel represent what the sport of sailing is about, a Corinthian spirit and willingness to learn in any situation,” says Millman. “By bringing different ages and skill levels together, we will have success in continuing to instill and foster a passion for keelboat sailing at a young age.”
Full report… click here.
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 Geoffrey Emanuel
I would suggest that all aspects of sailboat racing are in decline. Why? Junior training. It can’t be anything else. Every fleet of one design and offshore boats are dominated by older folks. So where is the younger generation? Burned out.
They were taught only to win, like every other school age sport. They were never nurtured to love the sport. They sailed alone. So they never socialized on the water. Worse, they never learned to crew and probably don’t like the idea. Their sailing days were always structured and corralled, so they never got to sail independently, which us older sailors all got to do growing up. For me, sailing in an unstructured way to just enjoy the act of sailing was and is cherished.
Who’s to blame? Helicopter parents and sailing programs. They unwittingly conspired to dumb down instruction to a winner take all mentality with tightly controlled curriculums that over-emphasized kids’ safety while suffocating kids’ fun. Sailing is supposed to be an adventure, not a job.
We need to start over. Get parents to sign liability waivers so sailing programs can share the adventure with their students. Play games. Go on long sailing field trips. Learn seamanship. Put beginners in boats together and keep them there. Take them out on big boats early and often. Keep the parents off the water.
Geoffrey hails from Falmouth, Maine.
Here are some moments in sailing history stored in the Scuttlebutt archives…
5 years ago: Britt Viehman, a U.S. national team coach and certified instructor trainer, is the person behind the Clearwater Community Sailing Center’s youth windsurfing team. Viehman of St. Pete Beach (FL) started the team a few years ago as part of the sailing center’s summer sailing program, and now its members are competing both nationally and internationally in highly competitive windsurfing regattas. With the focus in the U.S. on Optimist and Club 420s for youth sailing, Viehman comments on what he sees as the ‘ingredients’ needed to broaden the youth scope in North America to include windsurfing. Full report
10 years ago: Edward du Moulin, of Sands Point, New York, passed away Tuesday morning, March 28, at the age of 91 after battling leukemia for his last year. Until developing the disease, Ed had never spent a night in a hospital, did his daily pushups, and sailed his 42-foot cutter Lady Del almost daily through the end of the summer of 2005. Ed was elected to the America’s Cup Hall of Fame for his management of multiple America’s Cup Campaigns in the 1970’s and 1980’s, mostly teamed with Fritz and Lucy Jewett, Malin and Roberta Burnham, and Dennis Conner. Full report
15 years ago: The cancellation of the Admiral’s Cup and its replacement with a substitute regatta is expected to be announced by the Royal Ocean Racing Club, organisers of the event which, since its inception in 1957, has been the most important for offshore yachts held in British waters. This will certainly be a traumatic day for the club, akin to rugby authorities being forced to announce the cancellation of the Six Nations, but the reality is that Admiral’s Cup has been in steady decline since the beginning of the 1990s while at the same time the sport of sailing has enjoyed a spectacular rise in popularity and British sailors have enjoyed unprecedented success. Full report
Sailors from New Zealand dominate the keelboat conversation. They are among the best, if not the best… but why?
One reason is the RNZYS Youth Training Programme, New Zealand’s leading keelboat training program, which has become a breeding ground for Volvo Ocean Race, America’s Cup and Match Racing Champions.
Hosted by the Royal New Zealand Yacht Squadron, the club of record for America’s Cup challenger Emirates Team New Zealand, the program recruits young male and female sailors between 15 to 23 years of age.
Training is held in the Squadron’s fleet of ten Elliott 7m purpose built keelboats which utilize both spinnakers and gennakers. Crews of four are selected for helm, main, trimmer and bow positions for the season.
Trainee’s get experience in all areas of keelboat racing including match racing building up to an in-house regatta each month, with representative crews being selected to compete at National and International competitions such as the Governor’s Cup (USA), Musto International Youth Match Racing Regatta (AUS), and Harken International Youth Match Racing Regatta (AUS).
In the past 29 years the program has graduated over 460 young sailors, with many of them going onto leading positions in the world of competitive sailing. So there you go… the answer to the question.
Image: Aussie Youth Stars Jason & Lisa by / Jesús Renedo Australian Sailing Team. — Excellent initiative by the Australian Sailing Fed, asking for feedback to the actual sailors. If you analyze the background of the top Australian youths and current Olympic representative you will find out that is not mandatory to create new fleets out of thin air to get the kids to perform. Read Jason
There are few aspects of life that aren’t trying harder than previous generations. Parenting has not been immune in this trend, which now interferes with a child’s development. When it comes to youth sailing, and the tendency to emphasize racing, this translates to a focus on performance and not play. Anne Josephson offers this advice for sports parenting…
1 word: Hi. Greet your child when they get in the car with “Hi” before you ask about practice, the score of the game or homework.
2 words: Have fun. In all likelihood you’ve heard this statistic: 70% of kids quit sports before they turn 13 for the primary reason that they are not having fun. Encourage and remind your kids to have fun.
3 words: Tell me more. Before forming an opinion or dispensing advice, ask for more information from your child. This will force them to tell more of the story and give you more information as to what is actually happening.
4 words: Good job. Keep working. Doc Rivers, head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers and parent of a NBA player suggests these four words. Rivers notes that as parents we are often tempted to say more and analyze their kids performance, but saying only this might be what’s best for the kid who simply needs support.
5 words: What’s new in your world? Ask your kids general questions that are not about sailing. Even if the reply is “nothing” it gives you the opportunity to share something about your day.
Five more sentences… click here.
The February 2016 edition of SpinSheet is already thinking about summer with several articles discussing youth sailing. Here’s one of our favorites…
Holly O’Hare started the Eastport Yacht Club program in Annapolis in 2004 with borrowed boats, one staff, many volunteers, and no funds. Now they have a fleet of 25 sailboats, three Whalers, eight kayaks, and six paddleboards. Last summer, they had 10 staff and 225 kids, plus adult sailing, safe powerboat handling, and high school sailing. This upcoming summer, they expect over 300 kids to pass through seven weeks of programs.
What’s your sailing background?
My dad bought a brand new Cal 33 in 1972 when I was four, and I have been sailing ever since. I started sailing lessons at the Erie YC in Erie, PA, at age eight, and was teaching by 15. I have been racing some 35 plus years on anything from dinghies, catamarans, to keelboats as skipper or crew. I have taught sailing in some form for more than 20 years. My husband Gavin and I race Snipes together, but I’m looking forward to the day my daughters take over my position.
What’s something creative you do to get kids excited?
Kids love to sing… I love singing with kids. Nothing more fun than singing silly songs while sailing. (Say that 10 times.)
What do you to do keep it fun?
Every lesson plan needs a fun component to reemphasize the skill being taught. Just sailing around buoys is boring. Teaching sailing is different than 20 years ago…kids don’t want to just sail; they want to do other stuff on the water. So at EYC we incorporate kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing other boats. We added the Sunfish to our fleet, so beginner kids can sail with friends and not be overwhelmed. Our Bay Week program is a huge hit highlighting the maritime industry and exploring the Chesapeake Bay. Plus we look fun on the water with all our colorful sails, the brighter the better.
What do you do to emphasize safety?
The three components to a good program are safety, learning, and fun. Safety is number one. To do this you need a well-trained and professional staff. Instructors need to understand their responsibilities are well beyond just teaching sailing. Just like fun, at EYC we add a safety element to every lesson plan.
What do you wish parents knew about what you do in the junior program?
A lot of parents think I’m a full-time paid employee. They are surprised to learn I am a volunteer with kids and a real job. I do spend a tremendous amount of time with volunteers and staff getting the program prepared, so their children are in great hands. I don’t mind phone calls or emails either. I am happy to answer their questions.
Why do you do this?
Because someone did this for me. I have a tremendous amount of gratitude for all those who give to junior sailing. Junior sailing has given me far more than I can give back…but I will try.
When Farr 40 pro, Dave Gerber, hears this topic discussed, he gets really excited. For Dave, growing our sport, our recreation and putting more kids in sailing of any type is an absolutely awesome thing to accomplish and close to his heart. Here is what he has learned about getting kids to love sailing as a coach and from sailing with his own kids…
Someone asked me how you measure a successful sailing season with kids? Is it a regatta win, a personal victory in a given wind strength or a new skill learned? Personally, all of those are important and any one of them will keep kids coming back to our sport. However, there are three common elements that are needed to get to any level of success.
Get them involved.
Sailing classes are a great way for kids to learn the fundamentals of sailing and start to grow in their own right. However, the skills and confidence they pick-up from sailing with you or family and friends is beyond what can be taught in a class.
Kids love to feel grown-up and important and part of what’s going on. If you give them the opportunity they will step up. When I see sailing today, I see many opportunities for kids to sail and gain involvement. My own kids love to sail with their Grandfather and they love to sail with him during the Wednesday evening club racing.
Grandpa Dan takes many steps to ensure the kids are safe and having fun. Depending on skill he gives each one a job on the boat that they can do. What is important to note here is it’s a job where they can be successful. Sometimes it is as easy as fetching refreshments or working the traveler. Other times maybe they even get to spin a winch.
Most importantly, they always have fun and they always want to go back. On top of it, it’s a fantastic way to connect with them and build some great memories. Grandpa Dan Spyhalski says, “Sailing with my grandkids or any kids always makes me smile. To offer an opportunity to enjoy the freedom of the water and the joy of sailing.”
Make it fun.
Again, when kids have fun they will stay engaged and open to learning. The key to having fun is not just success or doing a job well, it’s making sure that as a whole, it’s a positive experience. If your boat is filled with high tensions and lots of yelling during an evening race, it might not be the best time to try and enjoy sailing with kids. Instead, maybe pick a time when the stakes aren’t so high and they can try new things without having to worry about making mistakes. Keep kids having fun by making them feel accomplished and an important part of the crew. Not to mention, if you’re having fun, so will they! – Read on
World-record setting round-the-globe sailing Ellen MacArthur decided she needed to do more. So she set up a charity for children recovering from cancer.
Perhaps unsurprisingly for a world-record holder in solo yacht racing, it was a sailing trip that gave the then 25-year-old Ellen MacArthur an idea that eventually unfurled into a £1 million-per-year charitable foundation.
That particular sailing trip was very different to the gruelling expeditions and competitive yacht racing she is typically involved with. What moved MacArthur to create her own charity was a pleasure cruise with a group of kids.
Taking to the waves in 2000 with young people recovering from cancer, through the French charity A Chacun son Cap, affected MacArthur in a profound and lasting way.
“Before going on the boat, I was really nervous about how to react to the kids, how to be with the kids,” she related in an interview with Yacht Pal some years later. “They were obviously all going through something horrendous.”
It didn’t take long for MacArthur to regain her emotional equilibrium, however.
“Within two minutes of being on the boat you’re totally put at ease. You realise that they are just really normal kids, going through a difficult time in their lives. I went back and sailed several times in France with them, and was really inspired by them.”
In fact MacArthur was so inspired that, having already circumnavigated the globe by sailboat and begun her career as a solo yacht racer in earnest, she felt a need to take on a new challenge. She became determined to help children battling cancer in her native UK and allow them to experience the relative normality that she’d seen first-hand on her trips in France with A Chacun son Cap.
So the British Dame – MacArthur was named Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2005 following her record-setting round the world sailing in a scorching 71 days and change – did what she does best: she made a plan to go sailing.
In 2003, MacArthur set up the Ellen MacArthur Cancer Trust in her adopted home of East Cowes on the Isle of Wight to give young people between the ages of 8-24 in recovery from cancer the opportunity to sail.
MacArthur, 39, was brought up in Derbyshire and began sailing at the age of four – her family routinely overloaded a three-person Halcyon 27 with seven and the family dog and would holiday on the east coast of England. Sailing quickly became a passion and she bought her first boat, a dinghy, after saving her pocket money for three year. Thanks to her time spent on boats as a child, she understands well what a positive impact sailing can have on a young person’s life.
According to MacArthur, the most important focus for the Trust’s activities is working to address some of the psychological impacts that cancer can have.
Stanford University sophomore and sailing team member Elena VandenBerg learned to sail on the Severn River and Chesapeake Bay. When she first started sailing in Annapolis YC (AYC) Wednesday Night Races with her dad on a J/105, she says, “My mom asked me what I had done, and I said, ‘I pulled on the green string!’ I’ve learned a lot since then. Now I trim the kite and occasionally critique my dad’s tactics!”
Here is an excerpt of an interview with Elena in the November 2015 edition of SpinSheet magazine….
Tell us a bit about your experiences sailing at Stanford.
It was an easy transition since there are lots of former AYC junior sailors on the team, including four of us who are all classmates. I started my freshman year skippering, and then I started crewing a bit last spring to learn more from the upperclassmen and to compete in some coed regattas. I am now skippering and crewing this fall. It has been beneficial being able to switch back and forth, because it has made me a better sailor.
What are the three pieces of sailing gear you can’t live without?
My Kaenon sunglasses are definitely the piece of gear I value the most. I recently bought some new Zhik boots that lace up the side. The extra ankle support helps me hike, especially while crewing… I’m still wearing my Extrasport RetroGlide Avenger lifejacket. They don’t make them anymore, but all of my friends who have them haven’t found anything as nice or as comfortable. Come on Extrasport!
What advice do you have for competitive high school sailors?
Keep loving sailing and working really hard at practice! I loved sailing in high school… I found myself on the waterfront everyday whether or not I had practice… cleaning my boat, fixing something, checking my settings, bugging my coaches to let me go sailing on our off days, or just paddleboarding. Keeping the passion for sailing is huge, as a lot of kids in high school can get burnt out. In terms of college recruiting, email a lot of coaches and send them a short resume with your top results. They won’t reach out to you, so start sending emails your junior year and making connections.
Full interview… click here.
Youth sailing in the U.S. now follows a similar path as most youth sports, which offers ever escalating opportunities for young people to participate and improve. And as young people get involved, it has become the inclination for parents to engage too.
But now, as parents try so hard to help their kids along this path, the question is if they really helping them. This video offers commentary on the subject.
Bill Sandberg shares this story in the October 2015 issue of Spinsheet magazine, the publication for boaters and sailors of all levels on the Chesapeake Bay…
In both 2013 and July of this year, I had the honor of being the Principal Race Officer (PRO) for the CH Marine Glandore Classic Regatta in West Cork, Ireland. The event features all sorts of classic Irish yachts including Galway Hookers, Menai Straits Fife one designs, and a 1915 Falmouth Punt Teal. It also features one designs such as Dragons, Fifes, Squibs, Ettes, and Colleens.
The highlight of my trips has been the kids of Glandore Harbour YC (GHYC). There is nothing fancy about the clubhouse. There are no employees; the members do everything, including all the work to gut it and fix it up.
The GHYC junior program runs more than 200 kids through it—from one to six week programs. Rather than drill after drill, the accent is on fun first and racing second. They capsize (the water in Glandore is no jacuzzi), have water fights, run into rocks, and take picnics to Stone Beach across the harbor and BBQs to Rabbit Island. And they laugh all day long.
The program is run by Karen Horgan, who is truly a phenomenon. She is also vice commodore of the club and on the sailing committee for the classic, and she works, too. Oh, and did I mention she has three nice teenage children?
This is not to say that they never race, but that is not the key. Nice is the key word when describing the junior sailors of Glandore Harbour. The kids treat each other with respect. There is no “tude” with adults—their parents or otherwise.
Parents are involved in the program, but in a constructive way. Each day, there are several parents wearing their “parent of the day” vest. They are not the helicopter parents found in too many places in the United States. Nor do they spend the day haranguing the instructors.
Because the Classic benefits the junior program, the kids are expected to pitch in and help in a number of areas. They are up early making sandwiches for the racers, ferrying competitors to their boats, running the mark boat, and serving on the signal boat. Each day
I don’t mean to put down junior sailing as a whole in the US, but for those who run junior programs, ask yourself one question: “Why do we have 50 or more Optis and only five Lasers and four 420s?” The answer is pretty clear. The kids are not having fun. There are too many other things they can enjoy without adding stress to their overstressed lives.
Will the kids of GHYC win Olympic medals or sail in the America’s Cup? Not likely, but when they’re 50, I bet the majority of them are still sailing. There is a message here for those who want to listen.
For the October 2015 issue, click here.