July 1, 2016

Juniors Learn Big Boat Safety and Skills in Annapolis Safety at Sea

As the first week of summer program sailing started throughout the region, 18 students from throughout the Chesapeake and as far away as New York came to Annapolis YC to learn about Big Boat safety and skills at the Junior Safety at Sea Seminar, conducted by members of the Chesapeake Station of the Storm Trysail Club. This program started in 2002 by the Storm Trysail Foundation in memory of Jamie Boeckel is pledged to educate junior sailors on the proper methods and equipment used for efficient and safe big boat and offshore sailing.

In fact, the day’s introductory remarks by noted yachting journalist Angus Phillips included fresh news of how a junior crew on board the 41-foot High Noon crossed the finish line in the Newport-Bermuda Race as the second-fastest monohull behind the massive 100-foot Comanche. This was quite a feat, and worthy to note that these juniors were also trained in the Storm Trysail program.

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A morning of class room training on principles conducted by Dobbs Davis was followed by hands-on dockside demonstrations led by Peter Sarelas on fire extinguisher and flare use, as well as inflation of a full-size life raft. Crews were then formed to adjourn to four boats for an afternoon of practical training on three J/105’s – Art Libby’s Dog House, Pen Alexander’s More Cowbell, and Angelo Guarino’s Crescendo – as well as Jim Praley’s J/120 Shinnecock. On board instruction on boat and sail handling, as well as practicing Crew Overboard drills, were led by coaches Pete Carrico, Brad Cole, Woody Brumfield, Art Libby, Andy Hughes, Angus Phillips, Elliott Oldak, and Ross Dierdorff. After two hours of sailing and training, the four teams raced on a simple one-lap course that had to include performing a Crew Overboard drill before finishing…More Cowbell won both races.

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After returning to the dock and over pizza served at the debrief, each team elected their own ‘most-improved’ crew member to receive a hardcover edition of Jim Kilroy’s KIALOA US-1: Dare to Win, in Business, in Sailing, in Life, courtesy of Trice Kilroy and the National Sailing Hall of Fame.

Another interesting note from the debrief: when asked what was the most important principle among several taught this day, the most common answer was Communication and its importance at building team work. Coming from this group of Opti, Laser and 420 sailors, this bodes well for the future of big boat sailing.

More information on Junior Safety at Sea seminars can be found at www.stormtrysailfoundation.org/safety-at-sea.htm.