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Laser Radial Youth Worlds Bronze for USA’s Mitchell Kiss

July 5th, 2012
‘McKenzie (NZ), Tomasgaard,(NOR) Kiss,(USA) photo: Tovi Kiss) – Laser Radial Youth Worlds 2012 Brisbane Australia’   

US Sailing Development Team member Mitchell Kiss (Holland, Mich.) won a bronze medal at the 2012 Laser Radial Youth World Championship held June 29 – July 4, in Brisbane, Australia. Racing was hosted by the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron and sailed on Moreton Bay.

Kiss recorded top-10 scores throughout the seven-race series, except for an 11th, which he used as his discard result. He finished with 27 points, only three points behind the first and second place sailors, who tied on points: Hermann Tomasgaard (NOR) and Andrew Mckenzie (NZL), respectively.

‘With the regatta being so tough with light and shifty winds a podium finish feels good,’ said Kiss.

Although the regatta was scheduled for six days, only four days saw suitable conditions for racing, including the sixth and final day on July 4. ‘Every race in this regatta was exciting and kind of stressful. The light shifty winds caused a lot of position changes throughout each race. And we never knew how many races we would end up with for the regatta. The wind forecasts looked bleak. Luckily we got the races that we did.’

With day 5 of racing blown out with too little wind, Kiss knew he had to perform well on day 6 to secure a podium position. ‘With only seven races it was really important to be consistent,’ he said. He collected a third and fifth and with those strong results, the overall third place.

A member of US Sailing’s 2012 Youth Worlds Team, Kiss will leave Australia later this week and head straight to the ISAF Youth World Championship where he will look to improve upon his 2011 finish of 16th in the Laser Radial. ‘I feel like I am in a good place going into ISAF Youth Worlds,’ he explained. ‘Nine out of the top 10 finishers at this regatta will also be in Dublin. I learned about my competitors’ strengths and weaknesses this week. I feel well prepared, and am hoping for a little more breeze.’

The Youth Worlds is the ultimate test for youth sailors, and Kiss returns as US Sailing’s most experienced team member.

‘I expect the competition will be very tough and there will be more distractions – like the press and the hype,’ he said. ‘I am glad I had the chance to learn that last year. This is going to be my last international youth event so I am going to really go for it.’

The world’s best youth Laser Radial sailors – 105 sailors from 19 countries – competed in the boys and girls divisions this week in a mixture of weather conditions.

For complete results, please visit the event website: http://www.rqys.com.au/index.php/2012-world-laser-radial-youth-championship/
by Dana Paxton

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Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race announces Ackroo as official sponsor

June 26th, 2012
‘Darren Gornall Chairman of the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Group, (from the left) with Steve Levely, Vice President of Sales, Coalition Networks for Ackroo and Brian Townsend who heads up Sponsorship for the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge race.’    Andy Adams    Click Here to view large photo

 

The organizers of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race are proud to announce that loyalty and rewards platform provider Ackroo will be the title sponsor of the 2012 Lake Ontario 300 Challenge taking place on Saturday, July 21st starting from the Port Credit Yacht Club, Mississauga Ontario.

The Lake Ontario 300 Challenge race organizers are delighted to have a sponsor who shares similar desires to grow and support the boating industry.

Ackroo provides loyalty and rewards programs for businesses and consumer groups like the sailing and boating community. In conjunction with their sponsorship, Ackroo will be powering an affinity based program designed specifically for the boating industry. Launching at the opening of the race festivities, all participants in the race will receive LO300 Cards entitling them to discounted merchandise at partner businesses and merchants participating inthe program. This will include many marine industry and related merchants as well as many other local businesses.

‘This sponsorship represents a win-win situation for both the boaters and the organizers of the Lake Ontario 300 Challenge’ said Darren Gornall Chairman of the Lake Ontario Offshore Racing Group, ‘Ackroo brings us a very grass roots based program that will have real value to boaters.’

Steve Levely, Vice President of Sales, Coalition Networks for Ackroo commented that ‘…these aren’t just any merchants; our program drives to attract certain types of merchants whose product offerings will have strong appeal for our audience of boaters, both at land-based retailers and also online stores.’

‘Our sponsorship of the very high profile Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race brings a value proposition that really goes both ways; it’s a win-win for both the boaters and the merchants,’ said Levely.

The 2012 Lake Ontario 300 Challenge Race will be the 23rd running of this high profile event. The race attracts sailors and racers from all of the Great Lakes and Quebec and represents the single most important sailing race held annually on Lake Ontario. For information, visit: www.lo300.org

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50 Years of Sunfish Racing

June 8th, 2012

50 Years of Sunfish Racing

- There are only a few days left to take advantage of early registration fees for the 50th
Sunfish North American Open Championship

This summer the Lake Bluff Yacht Club in conjunction with the Waukegan Yacht Club will
host the 50th Sunfish North American Open Championship. The regatta will be sailed
in the fresh waters of Lake Michigan off the beach in Waukegan, Illinois from August
2 to August 4, 2012. The Youth North American Championship will also be sailed in
Waukegan from July 30 to August 1, 2012. 

While we all remember Sunfish as the “camp boats” with the colorful lateen rigged
sails, they have been raced since their inception. In Waterbury, Connecticut friends
Alexander “Al” Bryan and Cortlandt “Cort” Heyniger (the Al and Cort in Alcort) put a sail
on a surfboard and by 1951 achieved the Sunfish akin to what we sail today. The first
Sunfish North American Championship was held in 1963, making this the 50th regatta.
By the early 1960’s the Sunfish had reached Lake Michigan. The Sunfish sailors in Lake
Bluff, Illinois wanted organized racing so in 1962 they founded the Lake Bluff Yacht Club
making this the 50th anniversary of the host club.

To all committed Sunfish racers, we are anxious to see you again. We also would love
to see those of you who raced Sunfish once upon a time, and those of you who hold a
warm spot in your heart for the boat whose fun-to-work ratio is perfect.

Waukegan is approximately 40 miles north of Chicago and is known as terrific
destination for your entire family. An October Forbes.com article listed Chicago as
the best of “America’s Best Downtowns”. Waukegan also is close to a Six Flags Great
America and Illinois Beach State Park.

The Notice of Race can be found on the LBYC website, lakebluffyachtclub.org/na2012.
There is information regarding charter boats and lodging in the NOR. Please contact us
at regatta@lakebluffyachtclub.org

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One Design Racing: For Fun and Competion

June 8th, 2012

By Wally Cross, Quantum Detroit

If you’re thinking about getting into sailboat racing – or returning after a hiatus—you’ll be happy to know there are plenty of options based on your experience, available time, and budget. By planning ahead for the time and expense, it is pretty feasible to sail four to six regattas a year. The first decision to make is whether to go handicap or one design. This article looks at one design, a racing option that continues to grow in popularity due to the availability of boats, affordability, access to local fleets, and competition balanced with fun.

 When looking at one design, the first step is to pick the class and then a boat. One design classes vary a great deal, and rather than focus on a particular boat, it’s a good idea to study the different classes and the people involved to see if it’s a good fit.

 

Finding the One Design Class Right for You

Many one design classes and sailors are active on Facebook  and some classes have their own websites. These are good places to start your research to learn more about the interests and backgrounds of the class members and the overall direction of the class. For example, some classes have restrictions on who can steer and the number of pro’s (sailing professionals) allowed. Many one design classes will have a class leader (preferably other than the boat builder) to answer your questions. Contact this person and see if it is possible to rent/charter a boat for one event.

 

Selecting a Boat

Once you have narrowed down your choice to one or two one design classes, it’s time to focus on the boat. This can be a challenge; here are some pointers:

  • Make a list of all potential boats.
  • Even though you may be in good physical shape overall, be realistic with your choice of boats.  While you may be able to hike comfortably during a test sail, remember that at larger regattas you will be on the boat and hiking much longer. 
  • Use the Internet to gather information on each boat.
  • Look at the locations where the class races and if there are local fleets.
  • Decide on how much time you will be able to set aside to race.
  • Compare the cost of each boat and the building process. Note: Look for a strong presence in the class from the builder. This should help with resale values and overall class strength.
  • Look at the re-sale of the boats to see if they are holding their value.
  • Narrow your search to three boats and identify the class leaders (not boat builders).
  • Test sail each boat in a race to see how the competitors act on the water.
  • Compare your interests to those of the other class members to see how you fit.
  • Make a budget for each boat you are considering. Include the items listed below, including replacement sails. Then factor in regatta expenses. Whatever you think it costs, add about 25%. The worst thing you can do is over step your budget and then not be able to afford to travel to all the bigger regattas. 
  • Factor in crew requirements.  If you are getting out of a larger boat, moving to a sportier boat, or into a boat for the first time, consider who you will have sailing with you most of the time.   Be sure to check out the crew weight in the class rules. 
  • Decide on a boat. Used or New?

 

Used Versus New Boats

If you don’t have an unlimited budget and it’s your first time in one design, it’s a good idea to consider a good used boat. As a kid, I recall sailing the new 470 and each year, all the good guys had new boats. It became obvious to me that I could not afford to be competitive in that class. In other words, if the class you are looking at requires a new boat to win, it is probably not the right class. Good one design classes have older boats winning. Another rule of thumb: if used boats are competitive, the class will hold its value and local fleets are likely to exist or develop.

Congratulations, You Own a Boat! Now What?

The good news is that your research paid off and you now own a really nice boat. The first decision is to identify the races or regattas that will fit your schedule. The next decision is your crew.  Are you going to sail with your friends or a combination of friends and professional sailors?  Many one design classes have restrictions on the number of professional sailors (Category 3).  Another consideration is to build a long-term team with your friends, yet hire a sailing coach for your first event.  Once you have a crew in place, you can start getting ready for some racing!

Steps of Ownership and Team Building

  • Agree with your crew on the events to race and start planning (logistics).
  • Purchase covers for boat, mast, deck, rudder (any loose item that could get damaged).
  • Add storage boxes to trailer.
  • Learn everything about your boat (download tuning guides from your sailmaker).
  • Decide on a sailmaker for advice.
  • Call all the class leaders for advice.
  • Start a log on your computer listing advice received and look for patterns.
  • Set up a training program:
  1. Physical conditioning.
  2. Sail against another good boat 1,2 and maybe 3 days before racing.
  3. Hire a coach.
  4. Set up a system to capture information.
  5. Take many pictures.

 

Have fun picking a class that will challenge your sailing skills while providing enjoyment on shore.  Use the successful sailors in your class to glean information that will get you a jump on the rest of the competition.  Stay organized with all the information and set up your own system to race. Above all, enjoy the ride!

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Canfield Wins CMRC June Grade 2 Invitational

June 5th, 2012
Canfield Wins CMRC June Grade 2 Invitational
Another challenging day with extremely shifty conditions at Chicago's world famous Navy Pier
Another challenging day with extremely shifty conditions at Chicago’s world famous Navy Pier
©CMRC
CMRC June Grade 2 Invitational
Chicago, USA
Under sunny skies but extremely shifty conditions at Chicago’s world-famous Navy Pier, the teams exhibiting the most patience and tenacity prevailed at the Chicago Match Race Center’s June Grade 2 Invitational presented by Eurex.
The best amongst them was 23-year old Taylor Canfield from the US Virgin Islands, and his team of Matt Clark, Dan Morris and Tommy Loughborough.

Canfield had already received the principal prize in the event, an invitation to next month’s Chicago Match Cup, through qualifying from last year’s Chicago Match Cup. So the invitation for the only US stop on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour then extends to runner-up Jordan Reece from Australia. Dates for this Grade WC event are July 11-15th.

The road to the Finals was today was tough not only for the teams, but also the race managers, who struggled throughout the day to keep the courses square in the face of 40 degrees shifts that made no lead safe all day. But Canfield somehow made it look easy by winning all his matches today, starting off with two earned in the morning’s Quarter Finals that dispenses Krzysztof Rosinski in a come-from-behind effort to go 3-2. In the Semi-Finals Canfield then went 3-0 against Floridian Laser sailor Brad Funk, before dominating 2-0 in the Finals with Reece.

Perhaps the best action of the event came not in the Finals, but in the last Petit-Final match between Funk and US Olympian Sally Barkow. Tied onone point each, and just yards away from the spectator crowd at the end of Navy Pier, the following drama unfolded: Barkow led the match, but with an outstanding penalty and not enough lead to do a turn at the finish and still stay ahead. Taking a play out of her Olympic training book, she started to set a trap for Funk by slowing down to lure the Laser sailor to windward where she could hope to throw him a luff and a penalty to even the score.

But Funk instead rolled over the top of Barkow in the light air, and approaching the end of the Pier looked safe to head to the finish. But Barkow and team hung in there, staying close enough to Funk that he could not gybe, but not getting overlapped to trigger a proper course requirement to gybe away towards the finish. The two sat with lifeless spinnakers well past the layline to the pin end of the finish, and right in front of the crowd.

Then the action started: Barkow judged she had enough room now to do her penalty turn, so up went her jib, followed by a spinnaker drop and a tack to complete her penalty turn. But meanwhile Funk gybed towards the finish in the diminishing breeze, with the crowd cheering him on. Barkow gybed at him on starboard, saw he would pass ahead, then gybed pack to port, giving Funk just enough separation to get ahead.

But the light air meant another gybe was needed to the finish line, even though Funk was now extending his one length lead and looked comfortable to take the win by that margin or more.

Then all of a sudden a “helicopter” puff of wind dropped down on both teams, hitting Barkow first and propelling her forward just the few yards needed to allow her to just get to the finish line with Funk in hot pursuit. The crowd roared as the yellow flag went up at the signal boat, signaling the hard-fought win for Barkow. In all, there were a staggering 8 lead changes in this one match.

This kind of action and more can be found on the daily highlight videos posted at www.chicagomatchrace.com, where there are also full results and photos.

Final Results:

1. Taylor Canfield (ISV)
2. Jordan Reece (AUS)
3. Sally Barkow (USA)
4. Brad Funk (USA)
5. Dustin Durant (USA)
6. Don Wilson (USA)
7. Krzysztof Rosinski (POL)
8. Steve Lowery (USA)
9. Mike Quaglio (USA)
10. Magnus Sandberg (SWE)

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First boat to win Mackinac to sail it again

May 25th, 2012
The Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race starts July 14.
The Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race starts July 14. (Detroit News file)

Detroit —Talk about making a comeback.

Bernida, the first boat to win the Bayview Port Huron to Mackinac Race in 1925, will sail this year’s 88th event starting July 14.

Bought last autumn by Grosse Pointe Park’s Al Declercq, the boat is a 32-foot R-class sloop with an open cockpit. There is no cabin for the crew. In terms of size, it’s significantly smaller than other boats in the field.

“It’s only 48 hours, who the heck cares?” said Declercq, who has entered two races this year with Bernida and won both. “It might be nice, it might be ugly, but when it’s rough out there, no boats are comfortable. We’ll just be a little less comfortable than the rest of them.”

Bernida was built approximately 92 years ago and won the 1927 Mackinac race, as well. It raced years later, but essentially was lost until a sailing enthusiast found it in Frankfort in 1995 in shabby condition.

Several owners later, Roman Barnwell of Mackinac Island restored it with the help of island residents.

Declercq, who owns sailmaker Doyle Detroit and has over 50,000 miles of racing experience, purchased the boat from Barnwell after that restoration.

“It was sailable but wasn’t race-ready,” Declercq said. “We had to make everything stronger and update a number of things and now we’ll go sail the race.”

Bernida will have to work a little harder this year, about six/tenths of a mile longer. The finish line is near Windermere Point rather than Mission Point.

A small minority in the field have said currents and lack of wind in the Windermere Point area could make for a slow finish.

“That’s part of sailboat racing,” race chairman Greg Thomas said. “We float for hours in this race. It might be there, it might be somewhere else.”

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‘Grand Slam Match Racing Series 2012′

May 18th, 2012
‘Grand Slam Match Racing Series 2012′    Chicago Match Race Center

 

Grand Slam Match Racing Series 2012 qualifying events start this weekend in Chicago and Oyster Bay, New York. After last year’s successful debut, organizers from the Chicago Match Race Center (CMRC), Bayview YC (BYC), Manhasset Bay YC (MBYC) and Oakcliff Sailing have expanded their international slate of teams to compete in this year’s Grand Slam Match Racing Series.

In all, teams from eight countries will be represented in this year’s series of four consecutive ISAF Open Grade 2 events: Australia, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Poland, Russia, US Virgin Islands, and throughout the US.

‘What began last year as a series to promote the growth of match racing in the US has grown to be a major international series,’ said Oakcliff Sailing’s Executive Director Dawn Riley. ‘The requests for invitations for our event have come in early and hot, with only a few spots remaining.’

The four events of this year’s Grand Slam are held over four consecutive weeks to allow invited overseas teams the best opportunity to optimize their travel costs in one US trip. The schedule is as follows: CMRC’s Chicago Grade 2 Invitational, held over August 17-19 at Chicago’s iconic venue for stadium sailing, Navy Pier, on TOM 28′s; BYC’s Detroit Cup, held in Ultimate 20′s with racing in front of the clubhouse on the Detroit River over August 23-26; the oldest event of the series, MBYC’s Knickerbocker Cup, will be held in Oakcliff’s Swedish Match 40′s in Long Island’s Manhasset Bay over August 29 – September 2; and the Oakcliff International, held over September 5-9.

Besides winning valuable Grade 2 points for the ISAF World Match Race Ranking List, the winning team of the series this year will be determined by scoring the best three of four events. That team will then receive an invitation to the oldest Grade 1 match racing event in the US, Long Beach YC’s Congressional Cup, to be held in March 2013.

‘The Grand Slam series is a valuable addition to our match racing program,’ says CMRC Director Tod Reynolds, ‘because it gives us many overseas entries we’d normally find hard to attract to a Grade 2 event. It also gives a great opportunity to attract new teams to CMRC from qualifying events around the US.’ The Chicago Grade 2 Invitational has two qualifiers: the Oakcliff Spring Clinegatta held this weekend over May 19-20, and the Governor’s Cup youth event hosted by Balboa YC in Newport Beach, CA over July 18-21.

BYC’s Detroit Cup will once again have the Grade 3 Bayview Spring Invitational held over June 9 -10 as its qualifier, and the winner of the main event will get an invitation to the Argo Group Gold Cup in October, an event on the Alpari World Match Racing Tour. According to BYC Fleet and Regatta Director Debi Schoenherr, defending champion Jordan Reece (AUS) will be returning to defend his title this year. ‘We will also partner with Detroit’s Big Brothers/Big Sisters program again to provide racing with the pro skippers for one hour on Saturday,’ says Schoenherr. ‘This was a huge success last year and you should have seen their faces as they took photos wearing [2008 US Olympian] Anna Tunnicliffe’s Gold Medal!’

This year the Knickerbocker Cup will be celebrating its 30th anniversary since its founding by America’s Cup 12 meter syndicate member Ed DuMoulin, who was an early proponent of growing match race sailing in the US and abroad. The event thus has a long heritage in providing international match race sailing, and this year will feature a celebrity pro-am race aboard the Swedish Match 40′s used here and at Oakcliff, as well as a charity benefit for nearby St Francis Hospital. In winning the US Match Racing Championship, Dave Perry has already qualified for an invitation, and the winner will, like the Detroit Cup, also receive an invitation to the Argo Group Gold Cup. The racing schedule was interrupted last year by Hurricane Irene, ‘so we look forward to having more racing this year,’ says Knickerbocker Cup Principal Race Officer Sue Miller.

And the final event in the series, Oakcliff Sailing’s Oakcliff International, will feature more match race sailing in the Swedish Match 40′s, this time further east on Long Island in Oyster Bay, NY. Invitations are extended to the winners of the following three qualifying events: Oakcliff’s Spring Grade 3 Invitational held this weekend over May 19-20, CMRC’s June Grade 2 event held at Chicago’s Navy Pier over June 1-3, or the Oakcliff Summer Invitational held over July 28-31.

‘It’s very exciting to see the interest in open match racing in the US continue to grow,’ says Dave Perry, Chairman of the US Sailing Match Racing Committee. ‘Last year’s Grand Slam generated so much interest, it’s not surprising to have such a strong turnout from the overseas teams, where the series is acting not only to bolster their rankings points, but also prepare them for higher-grade events, such as those on the World Tour.’

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Communicate Clearly – Campbell Sailing

May 7th, 2012

One of the easiest ways to lose a sailboat race is to not communicate clearly. Whether its with other boats on the course, as we talked about in Week 11, or within your own boat, any words between sailors should be concise, effective and with the other sailor’s interest in mind. Because I’ve talked about communication with other boats so much I’m going to focus on internal communication within one boat for this week’s rule.

From 420s to 100 footers, the effectiveness of our communication with one and other can be critical to the outcome of our day on the racecourse. Effective communication on the boat can be summed up in three easy steps:

1. Plan out the action and discuss what words to use

This first step is the most important and takes lots of practice. When you’re racing with just one other person, communication can be limited to very few actual words, because you learn how to trust and then anticipate your teammate’s moves, capabilities, and pattern recognition. Through practice, we learn what to look for and what to listen for from our teammates. We also have the opportunity to ask questions and reassess our communication style if need be.

For instance, in the star boat, i knew it would take my crew 4 seconds to be fully prepared to gybe in more than 10 knots of breeze, and 2 seconds in less than 10 knots of breeze. I would have to adjust my communication style for when I wanted to gybe depending on the breeze. If I just yelled out “Gybing” and threw the helm over, then Ian might not be in the correct position to do his job correctly and we might have a bad gybe. Instead, I would say “Standby to Gybe,” thus ensuring that Ian was ready for my call. Then I could say: “Ok, Gybing,” and allow him his time to get properly set up. Ironically, without getting the initial attention of your teammate, the maneuver might actually take more time than if you just yell out “gybing.” The conversation up to that point would also be indicating that a gybe was coming up. We would probably be talking about our options, our course heading to the next mark, our lane choice, or the breeze on the race course. As we talked about it, then the entire team knows we’re getting ready to gybe.

In a boat with lots of role-players that tactical conversation doesn’t always get heard all around the boat. It doesn’t always need to, but it always helps to review the decision with the team before it happens. Even if the anticipatory call is: “Be ready for a maneuver here!” then the team can clean up their stations and listen carefully for the tactician or the skipper’s next call.

2. Be consistent

Lots of practice and discussion of our communication points will enable us to be consistent from maneuver to maneuver. Anybody that races with me on small boats knows that I tend to chatter quietly about what I’m seeing, feeling and thinking. Sometimes that can be confusing, but I am very careful to use simple words when we’re going to make an actual maneuver. On big boats I use those same simple words even though I’m generally very quiet and in more of an observant mode. Whenever we’re about to make a maneuver, I will ask my teammates to be ready and listen up by saying: “Standby.” That word means very simply: keep doing what you’re doing, don’t move around and give away to anybody else that we’re getting ready to maneuver, but make sure that you know what you’re next move will be, and LISTEN for the next call. Often I will have reviewed our plan before I ask the team to Standby. We might be setting the spinnaker, or dousing at a leeward mark, or getting ready for a tack, or getting ready for a gybe, but regardless, the first call of the maneuver is “Standby.”

The only thing that my team is allowed to do when I say “Standby” besides listen is to respond: “HOLD!” if they can’t make the maneuver. There are a thousand reasons to say “HOLD!” Maybe the spinnaker sheets are tangled and need a quick fix. Maybe there is some traffic on the course that they know I can’t see. Maybe there is an override on a winch that won’t come out. This simple moment between: “Standby” and “Go” allows the entire team to check their stations and be mentally prepared for the maneuver. This brief glance can save your race.

After the “Standby” call is made, the next word is to execute the maneuver. “Tacking…” or “Gybing…” or “Hoist!” but always with the same words every time. If you say “Helm’s Alee,” then say that every time. Don’t say “Tacking,” then “Helm’s Alee,” then “Ready about,” then “Arriba!” Just keep it simple and keep it consistent. Your team relies on your words.

3. Use names

Lastly, when we’re communicating within teams, it is important to use names when making assignments. This is my biggest pet peeve when I’m racing with big boat teams. Skippers and tacticians like to yell out, in the middle of a bear-away: “Ease the vang!” What good does that do? If Bob (who’s job it was to ease the vang) hadn’t already remembered to do so, why will he think you’re talking to him? If the Robert, next to Bob on the rail hears it and realizes that Bob forgot, he might drop what he was supposed to do and reach for the vang. Now, both Robert and Bob are not doing their assigned jobs.

This does take time and patience for every sailor to understand every job assignment on the boat, but it pays off in spades when you see a job that needs doing and you can assign the right person to do the job. When the skipper says: “Hey Bob, ease the vang” he’ll reach right for it. If the skipper yells: “Ease the vang” nobody might reach for it.

Communication on sailboats is always a work in progress, but hopefully this is a good start. Planning our words carefully so nobody is confused when you say “Put the bow down” to the skipper, and the bow man responds by going down below. Using the same calls and timing for each maneuver alleviates much of this confusion as well and helps everybody else organize their maneuver checklists as well. Using names clears up mistaken assignments and guarantees everybody is happier at the end of the day, unless you were calling Robert: Bob, instead of the other way around. That might get confusing

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City of Muskegon-owned Lakeshore Trail land to get shoreline restoration

April 30th, 2012

MUSKEGON, MI – Cost savings on waterfront restoration on a dozen sites along Muskegon Lake’s south shore will allow for more environmental work to be done this summer.

LakeshoreLand1.jpgDave Alexander | Muskegon ChronicleThe city of Muskegon-owned land below Lakeshore Drive will have shoreline restoration work done this summer.

The $10 million National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grant will now pay for work along the Lakeshore Trail bike path below Lakeshore Drive. The work will be along the city of Muskegon-owned waterfront property from the Lakeshore Yacht Harbour on the east to the former Amoco tank farm property on the west.

The Muskegon City Commission unanimously approved the shoreline restoration work earlier this week. No city funds are needed for the project.

The work will improve the views along the bike path and provide a more natural shoreline environment for fish and wildlife, according to project manager Kathy Evans – an environmental planner for the West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission. WMRDC is managing the grant that was obtained by the Great Lakes Commission.

The 2009 NOAA grant has restored a dozen sites along the lakeshore from private residences on Edgewater Street on the west end of the lake to the city’s Richard’s Park on the east end. Major work was done on the Grand Trunk dock property in the Lakeside Neighborhood and the Ryerson Creek area just northeast of downtown Muskegon.

The grant work will be done this construction season, Evans said. The lakeshore restoration project fund has less than $1 million left, she said. Those funds are being used by environmental engineers J.F. New to design the work below Lakeshore Drive. Project officials will put the restoration work out for bids in the coming weeks.

LakeshoreLand2.jpgDave Alexander | Muskegon ChronicleThe site includes the Lakeshore Trail and a railroad track along Muskegon Lake.

“The work will be done this summer,” Evans told city commissioners. “We understand that the bike path is there and we will do the work so as not to interrupt its use.”

Invasive plants, non-native trees, broken concrete and the waste wood buried along the shoreline from the Lumber Era will all be removed. The site will be replanted with native wetland plants, shrubs and trees, Evans said.

Property owners having sites improved with the NOAA funds agree to a conservation easement that keeps the shoreline natural. The city site below Lakeshore Drive will have areas not restored so that in the future the city can build fishing piers or walkways from the trail to the water’s edge, Evans said.

The goal of the Muskegon Lake restoration work is to improve the recreational use of the shoreline, improve the aesthetics and create a more natural habitat for fish and wildlife. In the long term, the environmental cleanup work is to ultimately remove Muskegon Lake from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s “area of concern” list of contaminated areas.

The city owns 34.6 acres of land in a narrow strip between the base of the hill along Lakeshore Drive and the water’s edge. The Lakeshore Trail bike path follows the city property along with railroad tracks that once served the former Sappi paper mill facility to the west.

The city owns the contaminated former Amoco property immediately to the west, a site that continues to be cleaned of petroleum. The oil company property was purchased through the proceeds of the city’s sale of the Chase Hammond Golf Course, funds that built the Lakeshore Trail bike and pedestrian pathway, city officials said.

The NOAA lakeshore restoration grant already has provided the funds for an extensive cleanup of the shoreline of the Amoco property.

The city purchased two acres immediately east of the Amoco property in 1998 from the Community Foundation for Muskegon County for $18,000 as part of the bike path project. The remainder of the wetlands owned by the city has been in public hands for decades. City officials said they do know the history of how the city obtained the site.

Email: dalexan1@mlive.com

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Down To The Wire — Ryan DeVos Wins East Coast Championship

April 30th, 2012

Down To The Wire — Ryan DeVos Wins East Coast Championship

West Palm Beach, Fla. – Two more crazy races were conducted in Palm Beach, Florida on Sunday leaving Ryan DeVos on Volpe with winning America’s Cup helmsman Ed Baird as tactician and crew of Scott Nixon, Sam Rogers, Mike Hill, Drew Weirda and Scott Martins as 2012 Melges 32 East Coast Champions. In second overall, Jason Carroll on Argo finished with equal points, yet lost the tiebreaker to DeVos. From Italy, Lanfranco Cirillo’s Fantastica remained in the hunt all day to finish third overall.

The 2012 East Coast Championship was graciously hosted by the Sailfish Club of Florida in conjunction with Rybovich Marina, consisting of eight races over three days.

Sunday marked the final showdown with only five points separating the overnight leaders. The first race was key as DeVos came on strong, loving the big 18-20 knots of breeze, most notably on the last downwind run to win. John Kilroy’s Samba Pa Ti led for most of the race, but was overtaken right at the line by DeVos. Mark Plaxton’s INTAC had a great race to finish third and Cirillo was fourth. Carroll, who was OCS at the start recovered well to take fifth.

The last race brought on rain showers and a building breeze. Big waves made for great planing conditions downwind. Plaxton took an early lead only to be overtaken by Alec Cutler on Hedgehog late in the game. Cutler found just the right groove in Race Two commanding the lead at the final top mark to extend for the win. DeVos was fast upwind, rounding second, chasing Cutler to the finish. They finished first and second, while Carroll grabbed third ahead of Kilroy in fourth and Cirillo in fifth.

MANY THANKS ALL AROUND
This is the first time the fleet has ever raced in West Palm Beach and there are many individuals to thank. In particular, the IM32CA thanks the 16 teams that traveled from all over the world making it a successful event. Palm Beach conditions proved to be a challenging place to sail. The IM32CA is appreciative of PRO Hank Stuart, Deputy PRO Paul Gingras and his entire Sailfish Club of Florida Race Committee Members and support staff.

The 2012 Melges 32 East Coast Championship would not have been possible if it were not for the kindness and generosity of John Taylor and Bill Koch for the use of their boats for Race Committee duty, but also to Ninkasi Racing for providing the much needed complimentary beer apres racing each day. Thanks to Samba Pa Ti, Volpe and Delta Racing Teams for the use of their marks, equipment and ground tackle during the event. The staff at Rybovich Marina was incredible, most especially to the impeccable hospitality of Wayne Huizenga, Jr. and Anthony LaCavalla.

A very special thanks is extended to the Palm Beach Sailing Club for hosting the Friday night barbeque that was much enjoyed by all the teams.

TOP TEN RESULTS (FINAL, After eight races)
1.) Ryan DeVos, Volpe; 1-[14]-2-11-9-2-1-2 = 28
2.) Jason Carroll, Argo; 5-3-[14]-1-10-1-5-3 = 28
3.) Lanfranco Cirillo, Fantastica; 2-5-[16]-5-6-5-4-5 = 32
4.) Mark Plaxton, INTAC; 8-1-13-7.5/RDG-8-[14]-3-6 = 45.6
5.) Steve Rhyne, Mojo; 4-12-[13/ZFP]-7-1-3-[15]-10 = 50
6.) John Taylor, Ninkasi; 6-4-9/ZFP-5.5/RDG-3-[15]-10-12 = 51.3
7.) Alex Jackson, Leenabarca; 12-2-3-3-[14]-12-9-11 = 52
8.) Alec Cutler, Hedgehog; [16/ZFP]-13-12/ZFP-4-2-10-11-1 = 53
9.) Pieter Taselaar, Bliksem; 9-[17/RAF]-1-2-11-16-7-7 = 53
10.) Joel Ronning, Catapult; 7-6-15/ZFP-9.3/RDG-9.3/RDG-9.3/RDG-6-9 = 55.9

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