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On The Bay: April 12, 2013

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. 


Manhasset Bay is a bevy of activity during the warm summer months, with fishing, kayaking, sailing, beach-combing and picnicking…activities we all cherish. Mr. Andersen’s message was a plea to help save the waters around our peninsula from hypoxia (oxygen depletion).  Save the Sound has a 40-year track record of restoring and protecting the waters and shorelines of the Sound. This success has been made possible by thousands of ordinary people teaming up to give a little time to make a big difference. This begs the question: what can one person do to help? For starters, get educated on what is happening to our waters, volunteer for coastal cleanups, and call elected officials to voice your concern. 


This summer Save the Sound will be partnering with sailing programs throughout the western Sound to provide education programs and activities that celebrate clean water, protected habitats and healthy fisheries.  Email Cameron Okie at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it if interested.  


Save the Sound works to protect and preserve Long Island Sound through state and federal legislation, legal expertise, grassroots advocacy, volunteer work and habitat restoration projects. For more information, go to:


There are a few more Sunday afternoons of racing for our frostbiters before the Long Distance Race on Sat., April 20 that signals the end of winter racing. Cumulative results at this point in time for the IC Dinghy fleet:  1. Pedro Lorson/Sabrina Lorson, 2. Ted Toombs/Mariann Simms, and 3.  Brock Krabel/Brendan Larabee. Top boats in the Ideal 18 fleet:  1. Bob Kirtland/Alan Thompson, 2.Rita Syracuse/Marc Jacobi, and 3.  Dan Griffin/Jessica Griffin. And for the Lasers: 1. Paul Quinn.