On The Bay: Junior Sailing


Now that school is out, local yacht clubs have started their Junior Sailing Programs. In preparation for the upcoming season, the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound (JSA of LIS) ran a clinic for the older junior sailors at Port Washington Yacht Club during the weekend of June 27 to 28 to help junior sailors improve their sailing skills in the Laser or C420 boats.OTB_070815D

The Oyster Bay Sailing Foundation and the JSA of LIS have teamed up for over 20 years to sponsor this clinic. This year’s coach line-up was stellar. Leading the clinic was Stan Schreyer, head coach of the Boston University sailing team. As a BU senior, Schreyer helped win the 1999 Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association national championship. Morgan Wilson, assistant coach at SUNY Maritime, was also part of the coaching team. She began her sailing career in the optimist class and was a three-year member of the Optimist National Team and International teams. During all four of her college years at Old Dominion, she qualified for the ICSA Women’s Singlehanded Nationals in Laser Radials. Marlena Fauer, who assisted at the clinic, was a member of the US Sailing Development Team in 2010 and went on to represent the U.S. at the 2010 ISAF Youth Worlds in the I-420 dinghy. She was named All-New England Women’s Rookie of the Year as a freshman at Yale.

The juniors who attended this two-day clinic were advanced sailors in the Laser and C-420 boats and a few juniors who would be moving up to these boats. Pedro Lorson, JSA of LIS board member, and organizer of the clinic, said, “The clinic offered a great sailor-to-coach ratio.” George Catallo, chairman, Junior Sailing Program, Port Washington YC, mentioned that the clinic, “was your classic clinic,” which means that these kids had two full days of great coaching and a lot of fun.

There will be plenty of opportunities for these young sailors to learn about basic sailing, compete against other yacht clubs, and on those pesky “no wind” days, learn more about just having fun on the water. The junior programs at both Port Washington YC and Manhasset Bay YC give these kids a variety of activities.

The Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRA of LIS) partnered with Larchmont YC to host the 2015 YRALIS Taylor Trophy, which is a match race. According to the Deed of Gift for the Taylor Trophy, teams are accepted into the regatta and represent their yacht club or sailing association. The YRALIS office is located in Port Washington and several teams hailed from Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay. While Oakcliff is not actually in our backyard, they are “family,” as so many from our area are involved with activities at Oakcliff. This year’s Taylor Trophy winners are Benjamin Gent and Chris Bigos, who represented New York YC. Last year the Gent-Bigos team came in third at this event, so this year, the team came back loaded for bear and accomplished their goal. Because of the wind conditions that just about died midday, only three flights were completed. On their way to their first-place finish, the Gent-Bigos team dispatched Derek Webster, Larchmont YC, Doug Wefer, Sea Cliff YC and Chris Johannssen, Cedar Point YC, last year’s winner.

Derek Webster, with crew Tory Lynch, came in second, besting their fifth place in the 2014 Taylor Trophy. Third place went to Chris Johannesen and Wes Bemus, representing Cedar Point.

The teams raced in Ideal 18s loaned to the YRA by Larchmont YC. The day before, Dave Perry, the guru of all things match racing (and the Racing Rules of Sailing, of course) held an all-day clinic at Larchmont YC. Each year the match racing skills improve, and one has to believe it is because of the Saturday clinic that prepares these teams for Sunday racing. Perry said, “What a fun event this weekend. Despite the uncooperative wind on Sunday, the eight teams involved got a full day of match-race training and Ideal 18 sailing Saturday at the North U clinic…and the quality of the match racing and boat handling was at a high level on Sunday as a result. Full thanks to the YRA for sponsoring the Taylor Trophy, and the Larchmont Yacht Club for hosting it.”

Not only did Perry lead the all-day Saturday clinic, when our chief umpire missed the last boat out of Block Island (or could the real story be that the Mudslides were just too good to pass on, and oh my goodness, I just missed the last boat?) Dave graciously stepped in to become the Chump (read Chief Umpire). So a big thank you to Dave, whose passion for match racing and pure enjoyment on the water is a beautiful thing to see.

A big shout out to Cynthia Parthemos, PRO at Larchmont YC, and her race committee team. Thanks are also extended to the umpires. For final results and photos, go to the YRALIS Facebook page.