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Spotlight – July, 2018

A Note from Our President:

The Yachtsmen’s Fund meeting was quite lively this Spring with much to discuss. One item that was top on our list is the upcoming Centennial Celebration that will be rolled out in the near future. One of the more immediate items on the agenda was to discuss the many grant requests we received and how to best award them.
We were pleased with the number of requests and the national events occurring within the I-LYA this year.

Below are some of the grant recipients for 2018:

  • Jr. Power for the purchase of GPS units, coaching, and scholarships.
  • Jr. Bay Week for help with housing, coaching, and scholarships.
  • Mentor Harbor YC for hosting Ida Lewis.
  • The Foundry for US Team Race Championship for the Hinman Trophy.
  • North Cape YC for the 2018 Chubb US Sailing Jr. Championship.
  • Ian Moran to attend the 2018 I-420 Worlds in Newport.

A banner indicating the support of the Yachtsmen’s Fund will be flown at each of these events.
All the trustees of the fund are working diligently to raise money, so we can continue supporting these  worthwhile endeavors.

Wishing you fair winds,

Monica Bloomstine—President Yachtsmen’s Fund


It Takes a Village… and a Club… and a Fleet…

Each year, the Yachtsmen’s Fund provides Championship Grants for the sailors who qualify to represent I-LYA at Chubb Nationals. However, as the story below shows, support for our young sailors comes in many forms and from many people.

Triple-handed boats competing for the coveted Sears Cup are usually sailed in the dinghy which is most popular in the vicinity of the hosting club. In 2017, sailors knew that the Sears Cup in Tom’s River, New Jersey would be sailed in Flying Scots. Fortunately for the qualifying Hoover/Cowan team, Hoover Sailing Club had the most gracious and generous Flying Scot fleet around! 2018 Hoover Commodore Marty Sweterlitsch and her boat partner Stephanie Bahr lent Ryan Squires and his crew their boat for practice at Hoover and Hoover’s deep talent pool lent advice for sailing the Flying Scot. Marty also called on the national fleet and the builder to help the boys practice at the Sandy Douglass Memorial Regatta sponsored by the Deep Creek Yacht Racing Association. North Sails Rep Zeke Horowitz met the boys at the regatta, the first for them in the Flying Scot, and spent time with the team helping them understand the boat. The builder lent a very race worthy Flying Scot to the team to race that weekend in lovely Deep Creek and even had it rigged and ready awaiting the junior sailors! The regatta sponsors found local housing for the boys and their chaperones. The red carpet was truly rolled out. The boys and their families will be forever grateful to the Flying Scot fleet and the Yachtsmen’s Fund for making their dreams possible!

Sara Schumann, a past recipient of Yachtsmen’s Fund Challenge Team Grants for travel outside the I-LYA footprint, was recently on the road again competing at the International Optimist Class Team Race, the 32nd Trofeo Marco Rizzotti in Venice, Italy.
Grace Squires and Michaela O’Donnell representing Hoover Sailing Club finished on top of the C420 fleet at the first Traveler Series regatta hosted by Alum Creek Sailing Association. Grace took advantage of Yachtsmen’s Fund grants to attend events in Florida this winter.
Pictured R to L sailing a Thistle – Skipper Ryan Squires (HSC), Luke Schumann (CLSA), and Bryn Irvine (CLSA). These boys represented I-LYA and Area E at the 2017 Chubb US Junior Championships for the Sears Cup.

Spotlight – May, 2018

A Note from our President…

So good to see everyone at the Spring Meeting.  It has been such a long winter, that it was nice to talk about boating and the summer months to come.  Thanks to all the Dollar-per-Member clubs that responded to our request so promptly.  A second mailing will be coming soon to those clubs that are just “waking up” for the boating season.  Another exciting celebration this year will be the start of our Centennial Celebration.  The Yachtsmen’s Fund was incorporated in 1919.  We will launch special donor opportunities this fall.

2018 promises to be another exciting year as I-LYA Clubs, with the support of the Yachtsmen’s Fund, host three US Sailing National Championships: Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy at Mentor Harbor Yachting Club in July, Chubb US Sailing Junior Championships for the Sears Cup and Bemis & Smythe Trophies at North Cape Yacht Club in August, and the US Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy at the Foundry in Cleveland in September.

Thank you again to our annual members, life members, and all the clubs that participate in our Dollar-per-Member program.  Your support makes our work possible.

Monica Bloomstine
President, Inter-Lake Yachtsmen’s Fund


Gifts to Educate, Challenge, & Inspire the Next Generation…

Recent Memorial Gifts

In Memory of Bill Wells and Mary Wells from Dick & Betty Bliss
In Memory of P/C Leo “Buddy” Durocher from Michelle Durocher

Welcome to our newest Life Members

The following supporters joined the Fund as Life Members during the past year.  Their names will be added to the Life Member list in the I-LYA Yearbook

Raymond Arth, PIBYC
Paul Campbell, CYC
Greater Cleveland Boating Association
Scott Marriott, LMSA
Monroe Boat Club Sailing Fleet
Tim O’Brien, PIBYC
Commodore Ed Payne, FYC
Donna Payne, FYC
Kathy Powers, MBC
Karen Prenger, CCSC
Nate Prenger, CCSC
Tony Prenger, CCSC
Pam Sattler, SSCC
Mark Sprenger, PCYC
Mike Trebilcock, PIBYC
Dave Zmek, LCYC


Ohio State High School Sailing Championship
Hoover Sailing Club
April 28, 2018

Thirteen teams representing 10 Ohio schools competed in windy conditions on April 28, 2018 at Hoover Sailing Club to crown this year’s Ohio High School Sailing Champs.  Finishing 1, 2, 3 were Thomas Worthington High School, Westerville South High School, and Westerville North High School.  Full scores are available online at https://scores.hssailing.org/s-18/ohio-state/full-scores/.  Look closely and you will see lots of familiar I-LYA Junior Sailors who will hit the ground running when the Traveler Series kicks off in June.

Pictured are the Ohio High School Sailing Champs representing Thomas Worthington High School: (L-R holding trophies) XiaoJiao Hall, Grace Squires, Zoe Hoctor, and Marshall Wellejus and their coaches (L-R back row) Jamie Jones, Dave Alvarado, and Kyle Assad

Spotlight – March, 2018

A Note from Our President:

Thank you to all the clubs and Fund members who responded so promptly to our January mailing. We look forward to hearing from more of you as the snow melts and boats are launched. 2018 promises to be an exciting year as I-LYA hosts three US Sailing National Championships: Junior Women’s Doublehanded for the Ida Lewis Trophy at Mentor Harbor Yachting Club in July, Chubb US Junior Championships for the Sears Cup and Bemis and Smythe Trophies at North Cape Yacht Club in August, and the US Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy at The Foundry in Cleveland in September.

Requests for support from the Yachtsmen’s Fund increase alongside the growth of sailing and focus on powerboat education in our area. Please take a minute to look around our website – you can donate online, download a membership form, or read about what we do. Follow us on twitter @YachtsmensFund. If you need to contact us, email us at yachtsmensfund@gmail.com.

Thank you again to our annual members, Life Members, and all the Clubs who participate in our Dollar-per-Member Program. Your support makes our work possible. I look forward to seeing all of you at the Spring Meeting!

Monica Bloomstine
President-Yachtsmen’s Fund


Gifts to Educate, Challenge, and Inspire the Next Generation!

Recent Memorial Gifts
In Memory of Bill Wells and Mary Wells from Dick and Betty Bliss


Jamie Jones of Hoover Sailing Club Recognized by US Sailing as an Outstanding Organizational Leader

On February 1, 2018, I-LYA’s own Jamie Jones was recognized by US Sailing as an Outstanding Organizational Leader at an awards reception held as part of the Sailing Leadership Forum in St. Pete Beach, Florida. Each year, US Sailing recognizes those who have made a significant contribution to our sport with a variety of Community Sailing and National One-Design Awards. Jamie is certainly deserving of national recognition. Among the many hats Jamie wears: Program Director of LTS at Hoover, US Sailing Certified Instructor (since the 80’s), Principal Race Officer, US Sailing Area E Training Coordinator, Area E Junior Championship Representative, certified STEM Educator, accredited OHSAA High School Sports Coach, member of the US Sailing Community Sailing Committee, husband, and father. Below is a picture of Jamie at the awards and his write-up from the US Sailing website.

Jamie Jones – Outstanding Organizational Leader

Jamie Jones (Westerville, Ohio) is a true leader in his support of the development and operations of sailing instruction programs, especially at his home club. Comprised of individuals and families, the Hoover Sailing Club in Westerville, Ohio has over 200 members. Jones increased enrollment in the Club’s youth sailing programs from 160 in 2010 to 430 in 2017, while the adult program has expanded from 50 students to 156. Jones played a major role in starting the Ohio High School Sailing program, which now boasts 16 MISSA-recognized teams. In 2017, the Hoover Sailing Club had 60 active sailors from eight schools, along with another 50 youth who came out to try the sport; these numbers reflect half of the teams in the state. He has bestowed the gift of sailing to thousands of individuals, thus empowering them to reach their greatest potential. Jones is a great volunteer and organizational leader who has significantly increased access to sailing in the Midwest.


I-LYA Juniors Compete at Midwinters in Florida

The 2018 C420 Midwinter Regatta was held February 17-19th at the beautiful US Sailing Center Martin County, Florida. I-LYA junior sailors included Clare Elden (Vermilion BC), Michaela O’Donnell (Vermilion BC) and Grace Squires (Hoover SC). Detroit juniors (Crescent Sail YC) included Max Klaasen steering with Shay Gualdoni, Johnny Walton skippering with Drew Clutterbuck. Johnny and Drew sailed very well finishing 23rd out of 75 boats. Clare and her skipper, Gannon Troutman, sailing for Christchurch School, finished well with several great races in the VERY competitive fleet finishing just ahead of Grace and Michaela. Several upper mid-fleet finishes by our I-LYA girls were impressive considering the high level of competition against advanced racers who aged-out at 22 years old.

Grace Squires (Hoover SC) and Michaela O’Donnell (Vermilion BC) enjoying the wind, waves, and competition at the C420 Midwinters in Jenson Beach, Florida.

The US Sailing Center of Martin County located in Jensen Beach, Florida is an outstanding venue with good wind and beach launching. Their new Sailing Director is Ryan Clarke, who was a member at Leatherlips YC last year, and can be reached at 772-334-8085. Ryan offers helpful advice and support and encourages I-LYA folks to reach out.

115 miles south of Jensen Beach in Miami, the International 420 fleet also held their midwinters at the same time. Ian Moran (Edgewater YC) sailing with Ariel Casaretto, and Cameron Turner and Maxwell Uittimberga (Chautauqua YC) sailed very well in the 42 boat I420 fleet.

Gifts to Educate, Challenge, and Inspire

Gifts to Educate, Challenge, and Inspire the Next Generation!

Recent Memorial Gifts:

In Memory of William Gilroy from Betty & James DuPre’

In Memory of Ed Skoch from Don Harris

Recent Special Occasion Gifts:

“Happy 75th Birthday P/C Tony Jucaitis, EWYC” from Tim Yanda

“Steve Harris, Thanks for the Great Website” from Anonymous

“Happy New Year! and Follow us on Twitter!” from Steve Harris

 

Over $5,000 in Scholarships Redeemed in 2017

Scholarship certificates totaling $5,150 were redeemed by ten sailors and powerboaters in 2017. Scholarship certificates are awarded annually by the Yachtsmen’s Fund to the top finishers at the I-LYA Junior Championship and Junior Power Regatta and through the Szambecki Fund to the top Thistles in the Traveler Series. Winners redeem their certificates when they head off to college. Redemption instructions are available on our website. The 2017 recipients are attending the following institutions:

  • University of Toledo
  • Butler University
  • Miami University
  • University of Notre Dame
  • Bowling Green State University
  • The Ohio State University
  • Cornell University

I-LYA Sailors Experience Sunshine and Saltwater at Orange Bowl

Six I-LYA junior sailors took advantage of Yachtsmen’s Fund Challenge Team travel grants to help finance their participation in the Orange Bowl International Youth Regatta held December 26-30th at Coral Reef Yacht Club in Miami, Florida. Sara Schumann (Opti-CLSA), Grace and Ryan Squires (C420-HSC), Barrett Hall and Matthew Mrocca (C420-NCYC), and Reagan Lessick (radial-ECSC) had four great days of racing on Biscayne Bay. Results are available online by clicking HERE. Also making the trip was Siri Schantz (radial-HSC) and Ian Moran (I420-EWYC) who participated in the 2017 Open Orange Bowl Regatta held the same days out of Coconut Grove Sailing Club.

Warm Weather Racing at Orange Bowl in Miami…

Siblings Grace & Ryan Squires from Hoover Sailing Club in 7007 at Orange Bowl
Matthew Mrocca & Barrett Hall from North Cape Yacht Club enjoy big breeze while sailing on Biscayne Bay in Miami
Sara Schumann from Cowan Lake Sailing Association is actively campaigning in the Opti
Reagan Lessick from Eagle Creek Sailing Club & Siri Schantz from Hoover extend their 2017 season by racing their Laser Radials at Orange Bowl.

 

From I-LYA to the Puget Sound

From I-LYA to the Puget Sound

Chloe Beck (bottom row) and Colleen O’Brien (far right) used to compete against each other in Lasers at JBW, but now work together on the Salish Sea near Seattle. They are pictured with the fall crew of the Carlyn.

Eight or so years ago, Chloe Beck (Port Clinton Yacht Club) and Colleen O’Brien (Put-in-Bay Yacht Club) were racing full rig lasers in the I-LYA Traveler Series and at Junior Bay Week. Now they are working side-by-side for Salish Sea Expeditions on the Puget Sound aboard the 60’ sailing/research vessel Carlyn. According to their website, “Salish Sea Expeditions inspires youth to connect with the marine environment through boat-based scientific inquiry and hands-on learning, instilling curiosity, confidence, and critical thinking.” Chloe and Colleen are well-prepared to carry out the mission.

Chloe Beck is currently serving as the Logistics Coordinator/Deckhand for the Carlyn. She is a graduate of Miami University with degrees in Zoology and International Studies. During college, Chloe studied abroad and backpacked in Patagonia, Chile and did ecological research in Patagonia National Park. After graduation, Chloe moved to Seattle with an AmeriCorps position as Conservation Science Coordinator at Seattle Audubon Society, followed by a summer in the Great Basin of Utah and Idaho doing plant and avian research.

Colleen O’Brien is putting her BS degrees in Marine Science and Biochemistry from Eckerd College to good use as a Marine Science Educator aboard the Carlyn. During college, Colleen spent a summer as an AmeriCorps Intern at Put-in-Bay and spent a few weeks on the Niagara. Following graduation, she travelled to Indonesia to study mangroves and then worked throughout the southwest as an AmeriCorps intern. In 2016 she worked as an Educator Deckhand aboard the Schooner Adventuress in Seattle before heading cross country to sign on with the World Ocean School. Aboard the Roseway, she travelled with a group of high school students from New England to the Caribbean with a stop in Havana, Cuba. After leaving the Roseway, Colleen returned to Seattle and spent the summer in the San Juan Islands.

Clearly, racing optis, lasers, and 420s instilled in both Chloe and Colleen a love for the water, nature, and adventure. Your support of the Yachtsmen’s Fund allows us to continue to sponsor youth sailing and boating opportunities for the next generation of environmental educators and even people who just like to play around in boats.

2017 I-LYA Junior Championships

WOW! What a great regatta!

The 62nd Annual I-LYA Junior Sailing Championships, held at Put-in-Bay was again a great success. We hosted 126 sailors, representing 14 Clubs for four great days of racing this year. Each day offered different conditions and the racing was tight. This year’s winners and trophy recipients are:

VanHeeckeren Family Trophy
1st Place Laser Radial
Lars Kristensen
Edgewater Yacht Club

John Bureau Family Trophy
1st Place C420
Ian Reimel & Meghan Dieball
Grosse Ile Yacht Club

I-LYA Yachtsmen’s Fund Trophy
1st Place Thistle
Ethan Taylor, Will Taylor, & Barrett Hall
North Cape Yacht Club

John H. Backus Memorial Trophy
Junior Women’s Singlehanded
Molly Gregory
Vermilion Boat Club

Ray Greene Trophy
Individual Male Sportsmanship
Kristian Trebilcock
Put-in-Bay Yacht Club

Commodore Art O’Hara Memorial Trophy
Individual Female Sportsmanship
Suzannah Schroeder
Buckeye Lake Yacht Club

Commodore Theodore B. Farnsworth Memorial Trophy
Team Shipshape
North Cape Yacht Club

Put-in-Bay Yacht Club Trophy
Team Sportsmanship
Mentor Harbor Yachting Club

Matt & Tracey Davis Family Trophy
“Thank You for Caring”
Tom Thanasiu
Jolly Roger Sailing Club

 

This event would not be possible without the amazing efforts of an amazing group of volunteers. It was a great team effort! Thank you to our many sponsors who helped support the event this year! Of particular note, we want to thank Preformed Line Products and Quantum Sails Cleveland who supported miniature golf at Perry’s Cave; The Boardwalk again provided mooring for the Thistles; Commodore Arne & Marge Hansen whose generosity made the first “Sunset Cruise” possible – the sailors enjoyed an evening of fun activity on board the Miller Ferry Monday evening; and, the Inter-Lake Yachtsmen’s Fund who once again supported us with very generous grants for coaching and housing along with scholarships awarded to the 1st through 3rd place skippers and crew in each class and the winners of the individual sportsmanship trophies. Without their support, and that of many others, this long-running event would simply not be possible.

Start making plans now for the 63rd Annual I-LYA Junior Championships – July 15-19, 2018!

Steve Harris, 2017 Chairman

Summer 2017

From the President…

Do you ever reach the end of the month and look at the balance in your bank account and wonder, ”What did we spend all of this money on?” The Trustees of the Yachtsmen’s Fund are experiencing that same feeling this month, but view it as a blessing rather than a curse.

We were delighted to award grants to NINE sailors from I-LYA, who qualified for Chubb Jr. Championships. We work hard to fundraise and provide $100 per sailor for housing at Jr. Bay Week (Junior Championship), as well as scholarships for first, second and third place finishes, male and female sportsmanship, and coaching for both Jr. power and sail.

There are more exciting events being hosted by I-LYA Clubs next summer with Mentor hosting Ida Lewis and NCYC hosting Chubb Jr. Championship. Thanks to all who support the Yachtsmen’s Fund – you help us continue to support the endeavors of the youth in I-LYA!

Monica Bloomstine – President, Yachtsmen’s Fund

 

Yachtsmen’s Fund Championship Grants Support Nine I-LYA Sailors

Pictured (L-R) are Ian Reimel (GIYC), Joseph Lark (NCYC), Luke Schumann (CLSA/HSC), Meghan Dieball (GIYC), Henry Rolander (CLSA), Bryn Irvine (CLSA), and Ryan Squires (HSC). Missing from the photo are the C420 team from Chautauqua, Cameron Turner and Chase Stevenson.

Nine I-LYA sailors qualified at the Area E Championships held at Hoover Sailing Club in July to represent Area E at the Chubb US Junior Championships which were held in Tom’s River, New Jersey from August 8-11.

Thank you to the families and clubs of these young sailors who also supported them and thank you, sailors, for representing I-LYA.

Past JBW Champions Win Thistle Great Lakes
Three past Junior Bay Week champions: Matt Fisher, Wayne Pignolet, and Ian Moran, teamed up to win this year’s Thistle Great Lakes held in conjunction with Cleveland Race Week at Edgewater Yacht Club in June. Matt, representing BLYC, won the Sears qualifier as crew in 1972 and then as skipper in 1973. Wayne Pignolet skippered the winning thistle for MHYC a few years later in 1976. Ian Moran from EWYC skippered the winning C420 in 2014, 2015, and 2016.
A quick look at the results shows quite a few past and current I-LYA junior sailors racing thistles–many of them competing with and against friends they made at Junior Bay. The Yachtsmen’s Fund is proud of their long history of supporting junior sailing and the I-LYA Junior Championship with the goal of creating lifelong sailors and boaters. What a great sport we have. Champions spanning over 40 years sailing together and we all win!

Jet 14 Women’s and Junior Champs!
Former I-LYA junior sailors Samantha Moran and Maggie Hoffert won both the Jet 14 Junior National Championship and the Jet 14 Women’s National Championship which were held at EWYC on August 9th. Nice job girls! And thank you EWYC for hosting the Jet 14 Nationals.

Yachtsmen’s Fund Travel Grant Recipient Shines
Sara Schumann Sailing Strong

Cowan Lake opti sailor Sara Schumann continues to find success in 2017. She finished 1st at Centrals Sodus Bay, 1st at Team Race Nationals, 4th at Girls US Nationals, and was 1st girl at CORK and 4th overall out of 168 sailors in Canada. Sara is pictured with her teammates on the podium at Team Race Nationals. The win at Team Race Nationals qualifies the team to represent the US in Berlin in October. Good luck Sara! Safe travels!

Jack Vanderhorst Wins I-LYA Optimist Championship
This year’s I-LYA Optimist Championship (held at Hoover Sailing Club in conjunction with the final traveler series event) was won by EWYC sailor Jack Vanderhorst. Jack, age 13, is pictured with his grandparents, Yanny and Karl Vanderhorst, olding the Gunkler Family Trophy. Yanny and Karl were the driving force behind the I-LYA Optimist Challenge which used to be held on the Friday of Junior Bay Week at PIBYC with the support of the Yachtsmen’s Fund. In addition to the Gunkler Trophy, Jack also was awarded the Jeb Memorial Trophy for finishing first overall in the Traveler Series. Jack is the son of Kathy and Sjoerd-Jan Vanderhorst. Sjoerd-Jan won the laser fleet at JBW in 1986 and 1987 and the thistle fleet in 1988. Kathy skippered an FJ for Sandusky Sailing Club, finishing top five in Bemis in 87, 88, and 89. In 1989, she was also awarded the Com. Art O’Hara Trophy for individual female sportsmanship. The tradition continues.

Getting to Know You….
In addition to working as instructors at Edgewater Yacht Club this summer, Ian Moran and Abie Griggs are getting to know a new boat. If you’ve seen an Olympic class 49er on the water in Cleveland this summer chances are it was them. A heavy air adventure at CORK provided some on the water/in the water training, but the boys are up to the challenge. Ian is a senior at Rocky River High School this year and will be doing some high school sailing. Abie is heading back to Wake Forest for his sophomore year. Both were extremely successful in the opti and c420 classes, sailing locally, nationally, and internationally. They like to go fast. This new boat has wings and will fly!

2016 Chubb Championships Recap

2016 Chubb National Summary..
by Ryan Squires, Hoover Sailing Club

Hoover Sailor Ryan Squires, poses outside the Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego. He competed at the Chubb Nationals in a radial in 2016 after qualifying to represent Area E by finishing first place at the Area E Championship at NCYC last July.

I was able to make some of my best sailing memories during a successful 2016 sailing season. This was a culmination of hard work on my part and support from my parents, Hoover Sailing Club, I-LYA, and the Yachtsmen’s Fund.

The 2016 U.S. Sailing Area E qualifier was a great regatta hosted by North Cape Yacht Club. Everybody loves their beach, friendly club and experienced race committee. A clinic before the regatta helped improve my sailing with some very high-end coaches. For younger sailors, I cannot emphasize enough how important good coaching is. The more you can expose yourself to really good sailors and their advice, in addition to tiller time, the more you will improve. The Area E qualifier itself had some stiff competition, which made for a very exciting couple of days. I sailed the single-hand in a Laser Radial and was honored to take first and represent the I-LYA at the U.S. Sailing Chubb Junior Championships held at the beautiful Mission Bay Yacht Club in San Diego, California.

2016 brought the second time I sailed Chubbs. While I had a pretty good idea of what to expect, the best of the best were at this competition. With only 20 sailors, the competitors were very close in experience and ability and the tensions were high as everyone was fighting for a top national ranking. Ocean sailing through kelp beds is completely different than sailing in the Midwest! Although everyone took the racing very seriously, on shore everyone was very friendly and we were collaborating racing strategies. In the end, I ranked 12th but was very pleased with some top races that I will forever remember. For anyone who really wants to advance their sailing, I would definitely recommend trying to qualify for Chubb Junior Champs. At Chubbs, they sail single-hand (generally in a Laser or Byte), double hand (usually in a C420) and triple-hand (in various local boats, depending on where the event is). Chubbs was an extremely fun regatta and I learned more there than at any other event I have ever sailed.

I want to encourage all I-LYA junior sailors to look beyond our local regattas and make a goal of sailing at regional regattas and qualifiers. Those “big fleet” events test your talents in different ways, expose you to other better racers and push you to do better. U.S. Sailing Junior Olympic regattas can expose you to great coaches, and sometimes, bigger fleets. Go to the U.S. Sailing website to check out where there are Junior Olympic regattas.

Who knows, besides the one in Mentor in June, there might be one in New York or Michigan near where your family vacation is planned. The travelling and new venues itself can be really fun, but you have to plan ahead with your parents and Club to make it happen. Also, look where your fleet is hosting regional events like Great Lakes regattas. For the Opti, Great Lakes is at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club nearby in Michigan in the end of June. Go to the United States Optimist Dinghy Association (USODA) website for more information. The Thistle Great Lakes is at Edgewater Yacht Club that same weekend, go to the Thistle Class website for that one.

Clinics are another great way to expose yourself to great coaching. The C420 class has Midwest and East Coast clinics that you have to apply for, and I know Ian Moran really liked the C420 clinic he did in Chicago. Hoover is hosting an Optimist Race Clinic at the beginning of the season featuring instruction by my sister Grace Squires, winner of the 2016 Traveler Series Opti Fleet. There, kids will learn how to race rig an Opti, roll tack properly and practice starts over the course of one week. See the Hoover Sailing Club website for more information on that. If you can’t make it to a clinic, ask the best Opti, C420 or Thistle sailors at your club to spend some time with you on the water. They have worked hard to be good and it is not surprising that they love to talk about it.

Of course, I could not have had a great 2016 season culminating at Chubbs, without the help and support of my family. Working during school breaks for sail funding is important. Even more important is giving back to your local clubs by teaching sailing and coaching. Sailing is an expensive sport, but with the help of the I-LYA Yachtsmen’s Fund I was able to sail on a national level and better my racing skills in ways I will always appreciate.