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US Sailing Regional Symposium Venice, FL, April 23 By Jabbo Gordon US Sailing started having periodic regional symposiums a few years ago to supplement its annual national symposium, and while they have been rewarding, attendance has been in the 10 to 20 persons range. However, Venice Yacht Club hosted one on April 23 and more than 30 people—representing 14 sailing organizations–attended. The daylong session was dubbed a huge success. Lauren Cotta, US Sailing membership director, came down from Portsmouth, RI, and shared several bits of information about various items of interest such as Charleston Race Week, keelboat training, America’s Olympic effort this year and clinics that feature high performance boats. John Sammet, president of Venice Youth Boating Association and a member of the host club, provided the welcome with a video about VYBA and distributed some brochures. Donna Sue Marks, new commodore of the Florida Sailing Association, discussed how her organization intends to work with all sailing groups in the region and asked for volunteers who would be willing to serve on FSA’s board. It was a fairly diverse group of sailing enthusiasts and topics ranged from youth regatta planning, scholarships, grant writing, high school sailing, match racing and family

News & Views for Southern Sailors

sailing. Kris Sheppe of Naples discussed his work with Blind Sailing and other adaptive programs. John Krystyniak, formerly with both the Manatee River Pram Fleet in Palmetto and the Edison Sailing Center in Fort Myers, took time out from his vacation to attend. He is now with Sturgis Boat Works in Massachusetts. Three “show and tell” presentations added to the variety of information. Ross and Stephanie Webb of Fort Myers brought their Opti Trainer from the Edison Sailing Center. It is basically an Optimist Dinghy on wheels, similar to one that was demonstrated at US Sailing’s national forum in San Diego in February. Lisa Fath, director of the Manatee River Pram Fleet, volunteered to try it out and was sailing back and forth across the VYC’s parking lot, screaming for buoy room. The Webbs also towed their STEM-based portable classroom to the parking lot for a demonstration. Dennis Peck of the Charlotte Harbor Community Sailing Center in Port Charlotte demonstrated the use of foils on Lasers. “A Laser becomes a completely different boat,” Peck said. “And the tiller action is very touchy.” After lunch, participants divided into four groups to identify problems and search for solutions. A key concern in each team was a need for publicity and promotion. With the youth sailing panel, one suggestion was to have more one-day regattas, which would cut down on hotel/motel as well as food expenses, not to mention regatta fees. Members agreed that regattas should not be used as fundraisers. Peck suggested that courses be laid out as close to shore as possible, so that parents and friends could see youngsters competing. US Sailing had originally advertised the symposium as a three-hour session, starting at 9am, but cooler heads prevailed. To attract people from Florida’s east coat—like Larry Landrigan of Titusville—and to save on motel costs, it needed to start at 10am, when it was originally slated. Be sure to check US Sailing’s website, under events, for the next regional symposium, which is scheduled to be held in the fall. Stephanie Webb, regional training coordinator for Florida, looks forward to talking to area clubs to schedule instructor training.

SOUTHWINDS July 2016

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Southwinds July 2016  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...

Southwinds July 2016  

A free, printed sailing magazine reporting on sailing in the southeast U.S: Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Missi...