Dawn Riley, executive director of Oakcliff Sailing Center, was at the Port Washington Public Library last week to discuss the behind-the-scenes news for this year’s America’s Cup. NAC’s very popular boat trips will return this season and will start in June and run through August. Registration for the boat trips is required.
The Cow Bay Cruising Association held its annual organizational meeting and awards at Manhasset Bay YC last week. Commodore Anthony Viola opened the meeting and a discussion was held on the upcoming racing schedule, Race Committee information, and other items of interest to those who race big boats each Thursday evening though the warm summer months. Last year the group connected with YachtScoring, an online scoring system that is used for major regattas throughout the United States. In addition to going online to see the final scores each week, YachtScoring has a “crew/boat board,” where interested sailors (and non-sailors) can add their name for a spot on a Thirsty Thursday boat. So if anyone out there reading this is interested in hopping on board a boat, the link to sign up is: http://www.yachtscoring.com/emenu.cfm?eID=822.
Litwin, a member of the Eastern Tennis Hall of Fame, has won the International Tennis Federation World Championship, 14 United States Tennis Association National titles from 1991 to 2007 and was ranked first in the over 55 years old bracket in 2005. He grew up in Great Neck, starring at Great Neck South High in tennis and basketball and lived in Port Washington for 23 years before moving to Glenwood Landing to develop his Focus Institute.
This is the time of year that warms the hearts of sailors. Spring is here: the flowers are in bloom, trees are beginning to bud, the sun is shining and boatyard are beckoning boat owners to “come on out” and enjoy this fine weather while getting your boat ready for launch. For the next month, boatyards become the town square where friends meet fellow sailors and catch up with each other and talk of the upcoming season. It is also the time to review last year’s racing – with diminished recall of that bad mark rounding but with crystal clear retelling of an especially significant accomplishment. Cow Bay Racing, aka Thirsty Thursday, has held its organizational meeting and our frostbiters had their Long Distance Race and their outdoor BBQ. American YC Spring Series, the first regatta of the season, will start this weekend. All good things!
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Eventually, people with ALS lose the ability to initiate and control muscle movement, which often leads to total paralysis and death within two to five years of diagnosis. For unknown reasons, veterans are twice as likely to develop ALS as the general population. There is no cure, and only one drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) modestly extends survival.
John B. Thomson, Jr., a long-time member of our community, has ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. John was the inspiration for the Manhasset Bay Fall Series, started in 1979 to promote big boat racing in Western Long Island Sound when racing conditions were the best (read good wind). John is also known around the world for his sailing/racing achievements. A few years ago, his three children organized a birthday party for their father, and the place was packed with sailors/racers who came from Newport, the west coast and international harbors to celebrate and honor this remarkable man.
Rob Weingard, a Sands Point resident and former Hofstra basketball star, is critical of the direction that youth sports has taken in this country and feels strongly that his Scottie Workouts basketball program, held twice a week in the Doctors’ Gym at the Landmark on Main street, is the right way to work with youngsters.
“Unfortunately it’s all about chasing scholarships, “ Weingard explained. “A lot of things are being done at the beginning that is not good for our kids. They play in too many sports, too many teams but we don’t teach enough. You can play on 15 teams but that doesn’t mean you’re taught anything.”
The Schreiber High School Boys’ Lacrosse team’s goal of establishing the Vikings as a major presence in Port Washington has gotten a big assist from a unique combination of local businesses, a very supportive parent organization and North Hempstead Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio.
From pumpkins to pies to candles to candy bars, the team has launched a successful fund raising initiative that has not only enhanced the program but has gotten them recognition for charitable contributions to autism and Hurricane Sandy relief in Long Beach. The boys have become a familiar sight throughout Port, always dressed in their self-designed purple uniforms, selling products donated by businesses such as Bayles Nursery (pumpkins in the fall), Main Street Bakery (pies for Thanksgiving) and Lou Babs & Moogs (gift candles in December). Main Street Bakery’s owner and Master Chef Mike Mignano even created the QuikStik for the Vikings, a chocolate candy bar, and donated 100 of them to the fundraising efforts. Arizona Iced Tea, whose owners live in Sands Point, have helped cut down on team expenses by donating water and energy drinks to both the varsity and junior varsity for the entire season.
When the new racing rules were published this year, rule-makers added environmental rules in addition to all the other changes that sailors and racers are busy learning before the season begins. According to The Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016, “participants are encouraged to minimize any adverse environmental impact of the sport of sailing.” New to Rule 55 is the addition of the word “intentionally” so the rule now reads “a competitor shall not intentionally put trash in the water.” Additionally, Rule 55 applies at all times when boats are on the water, not only for racing boats. (Resource: David Dellenbaugh’s Speed &Smarts Newsletter #124).
To bring home the point of the importance of keeping Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound environmentally healthy, the Nautical Advisory Council (NAC) of the Port Washington Public Library, with funding from the Port Washington Library Foundation, recently invited Tom Andersen, Save the Sound’s New York Program and Communications Coordinator, to present an update on local water conditions on at the library. After a number of years of improved conditions, the past summer the western Sound (including Manhasset Bay) had some of the lowest levels of dissolved oxygen recorded in 25 years. Western Long Island Sound has been labeled a “low oxygen dead zone” – during parts of August 2012, the waters off Westchester and Nassau counties dropped to almost nothing.
Women sailors from New Zealand, Sweden and Switzerland will compete this summer in a new international match race series with a purse of $50,000 for the winner, with one of the races to be held in July at the Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay.
“The women sailors have asked for a long time to have a Series of their own and WIMRA is thrilled to be in a position to work with our international event partner to make this happen”, says WIMRA Executive Director and former Match Racing World Champion, Liz Baylis. “The Weymouth Olympics highlighted the spectacular nature of match racing and the Women’s International Match Racing Series is going to take that to new heights.”
The Second Annual Row for Autism benefit event is Saturday, April 13 at North Hempstead Beach Park at 8 a.m. The event began last year with the goal of combining two interests: the love of rowing, and the need to raise awareness of the growing number of children with autism. Seven area schools participated last year in the first regatta on our local waters, with more than 1,000 people attending. Over $20,000 was raised for the purchase of specialized adaptive rowing equipment, which enables a disabled teenager to be paired with a typical peer mentor. Supervisor Jon Kaiman, Councilwoman Dina De Giorgio and the North Hempstead Town Board, in partnership with Friends of Port Rowing, are sponsoring the event. Residents can donate online at www.PortRowing.com.
Something very exciting is happening over at Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay. There is a new international match race series for women with a purse of $50,000 for the winner. The series will have five high-level women’s match racing events in 2013 , with prize money at each event. Within minutes, once the entry process was opened, teams form New Zealand, Sweden, and Switzerland had signed on. A dozen teams are expected to be battling it out from May through August.
“The women sailors have asked for a long time to have a Series of their own and WIMRA is thrilled to be in a position to work with our international event partner to make this happen,” says WIMRA executive director and former Match Racing World Champion, Liz Baylis. “The Weymouth Olympics highlighted the spectacular nature of match racing and the Women’s International Match Racing Series is going to take that to new heights. With events in France, Korea, Denmark, the United States and Sweden, spectators will be able to experience in person the excitement of the top women sailors dueling on the water.”
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