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Open Bics (in the foreground) and Bugs were demonstrated at the symposium. Photo by Janine Connelly.

This year’s National Sailing Programs Symposium emphasized the recent Olympic Games and the new Racing Rules of Sailing, as well as having the usual meaningful program of topics and awards.

US SAILING National Sailing Programs Symposium, JAN. 7-11, SAN DIEGO, CA By Jabbo Gordon

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hree Olympians, including Laser Radial gold medalist Anna Tunnicliffe of Florida, highlighted US SAILING’s conference at San Diego on Jan. 711. Dean Brenner, chairman of the US Olympic Sailing Program, served as a moderator for a panel of Tunnicliffe, Graham Biehl and Chris Rast. A day earlier, Betsy Allison, full-time coach of the US Disabled Sailing Team, gave an emotional talk about her experience with the Paralympics in China. A fivetime US SAILING Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year, she has accompanied the U.S. Paralympic Sailing Team to games in 2000 and 2004. Last year, when the annual symposium was held in St. Petersburg, the emphasis was on the America’s Cup, which had taken place in Spain only a few months before. Keynote speakers had included Ed Baird, Dawn Riley, and Gary Jobson, who had been very visible in America’s Cup action. However, another new topic this year involved the new rules, and Dave Perry was there for a book-signing session before he conducted a rules seminar one evening. Earlier in the day, he had presented a program for youth coaches on teaching the rules. Another key presentation came when Robbie Haines and Stan Honey talked about producing the movie Morning Light and sailing in the TransPac Race. Of regional interest to that program was the fact that Chris Branning of Sarasota served as navigator on Morning Light. • 38

March 2009