Plenty To Do Despite Winter


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’re in the grip of winter, much to the chagrin of those of us who prefer to get out on the water for a nice sail or race in Manhasset Bay and Long Island Sound.
While there are races down in sunny Florida, like the Key West Race Week that was completed last week, for the most part, skippers and crew are left with frostbiting for an on-the-water experience.
It’s not a bad option, but not everyone likes racing in freezing cold weather, or getting wet with freezing spray that invariably comes over the bow of the boat. So, for those who are not attracted to frostbiting, the best we can do is attend boat shows, read tons of books on racing to keep our skills sharp, or attend seminars related to racing.
The good news is there are a lot of seminars right in our own backyard.
Zach Runci, head sailing coach at SUNY Maritime will be at North Shore YC, in Port Washington Thursday, Feb. 5, at 7:30 pm. This seminar is free and open to the public. Titled, Racing On Long Island Sound, Runci will share his perspective as team coach and talk about overall strategy for winning races over the season as well as offer his thoughts on some of the fine points of starting, mark roundings and setting spinnakers.
Runci has been sailing and racing since he was five years old and is in this third year as head coach of SUNY Maritime’s Sailing Team.
If you would like to submit questions that Runci will address, email Alan Bernstein, chair, NSYC Education Committee at: abernstein While the event is free, the club asks that everyone RSVP to Bernstein to get a head count.
Oakcliff Sailing Center in Oyster Bay has made its schedule available, offering a variety of topics. To register for any of the seminars described below, go to:, click on Calendar at the top of the page, scroll to the date and click on the link.
The always popular Friday night seminars are offered again, along with the invitation to join the group at a local restaurant for a beverage and snack—and of course good conversation.
Friday, Feb. 27, Sail Repair. This is your opportunity to learn the basics of sail repair from taping small repairs on different materials, to an introduction to sail making sewing machines.
On Friday, March 6, Ladi Oguntoyinbo, Oakcliff sailing staff, will help participants learn the basics of diesel engines. He will cover everything from regular maintenance to basic troubleshooting.
On Sunday, March 8, Dave Perry will be at Oakcliff to present a seminar: The Racing Rules You Need To Know To Win…In Fleet, Team and Match Racing. This on-shore clinic will be a rules refresher for racing sailors who want to feel more confident knowing their rights and obligations on the racecourse.
Perry will focus the final session of the day on the ISAF test rules for match racing. Whether you are new to fleet, team or match racing or have been enjoying it for years, it is good to review the rules before the start of a new season.
Bring your crew so the entire boat will be up to speed on situations and they can help you stay away from fouls and penalties. A strong understanding of the rules leads to better tactical decisions and results as well.
The seminar will also be beneficial to race officials. And as all know who have been to a Dave Perry seminar, they are very interactive and fun with ample time for your specific questions and issues to be discussed.
On Sunday, March 22, Oyster Bay’s John Mooney will be the instructor at a US Sailing Club judge seminar. Spend a day with Mooney and feel more confident holding a protest hearing. The club judge seminar is for people who are interested in initial certification as a US Sailing Club judge.
Some protest committee experience is helpful, but not required. The purpose of the seminar is to improve the quality, consistency and fairness of protest hearings and results at the club level.
Topics include deriving facts from testimony, managing hearings properly, applying applicable rules and arriving at conclusions and a decision.
Registered attendees will be able to take the online test after completing the seminar. You will need your own copy of The Racing Rules of Sailing.
And on the weekend of March 28 to 29, Oakcliff will run two back-to-back seminars: On Saturday, the seminar How To Run A Match Race Regatta has three presenters: Bruce Cook, Bill Simon and Sharon Bernd. The purpose of this seminar is to educate interested participants on the basics of how to organize, coordinate and run a successful match race regatta.
Oakcliff Sailing Center has quickly become one of the preeminent match race sailing centers in the world. Come learn how it’s done.
The seminar intends to provide the interested race officer with a basic knowledge of the specific organization, tools, staffing and equipment requirements needed for all areas of running a match race.
Different than your average fleet race, this seminar will highlight each area that is unique, integral and important to a match race from the organizing authority, umpire, race committee and the competitor needs.
And on Sunday, March 29, there is a US Sailing one day basic race officer seminar. US Sailing Race Administrative Director Mathew Hill will be the instructor. This seminar is ideal for those getting their basic race officer certification or just learning about running races.

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Andrea Watson is a Port Washington-based maritime photographer and journalist. She writes Manhasset Press' column On The Bay and is currently the Executive Secretary of the Yacht Racing Association of Long Island Sound (YRALIS).



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