Thanks to a reprieve in afternoon thunderstorms, our racing team has enjoyed ample time on the water the past few weeks. They are developing tactical sailing skills and learning how to make their boats work for them in varying conditions. We were able to get our 420 sailors into a proper race boat, and they have been spending a lot of time getting comfortable sailing it together, while learning how the new boat responds to the wind.
In fact, our race team has been having so much fun, they keep showing up to sail with our recreational group every other Sunday! This gives them a chance to just enjoy sailing without having to focus too hard on “practicing.” Some even decided to try their hand at different boats like a Sunfish or Open Bic.
Speaking of recreational sailing - we had another great turnout on our last Sunday in September. The afternoon brought us a decent 10 Knot breeze out of the ENE, with minimal clouds. Our crew ranged from beginners to experienced racers. An important part of any of our sailing programs is learning how to properly rig, de-rig, and care for your sailboat and gear. And a perk of our recreational program is that our sailors have the opportunity to learn to rig a variety of boats. After rigging four Opti’s, three Open Bic’s, a Sunfish, and a 420, we set out to cross the river.
The group sailed toward the beach just east of the 59th street boat ramp. Each boat cruised at their own pace, but they all met up at the beach for a bit of a reprieve. This also provided an opportunity to practice how to slow and stop your boat in shallow waters without damaging your hull, rudder, or centerboard. From there, they set off toward a mark with the aim of rounding it, then tacked upwind in order to get back to the dock. Each boat persisted, in spite of the dying breeze, and successfully navigated their way home.
We would like to thank Cindy Fuentes, who has been volunteering on our recreational sailing days – we are so grateful to have an eager and hard-working volunteer on shore.
Also, we are beginning to utilize our new beach launch – which is still a work in progress, yet shows great promise for one day being an effective, safe, and less-prohibitive way of launching some of our larger dinghy sailboats that will not fit down our dock.
If you know a sailor that completed one of our summer learn to sail programs, or an equivalent, and would like to get involved in one of our year-round sailing programs, please contact us via email at [email protected].