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Local Waters December 2011

Ted Turner returns to hallowed waters

Newport, R.I.
Ted Turner returned to the race course Sept. 23-25 in Newport, R.I., when he helmed American Eagle — the 12 Meter he once owned and sailed in races all over the world — in the 12 Meter North American Championships.
Turner’s skills earned him first place in the Traditional Division and the Pine Brothers Trophy for best overall performance. “It’s great to see that Ted, at age 72, still has the touch and the love of the sport,” says Gary Jobson, who served as tactician for Turner, as he did when Turner’s Courageous won the America’s Cup in 1977.

Ted Turner (at the helm) and Gary Jobson (sitting) reunited in late September aboard American Eagle for the 12 Meter North American Championships.

The regatta included nine 12 Meters — Victory 83, Courageous, USA , Intrepid, American Eagle, Weatherly, Columbia, Northern Light and Onawa — racing in three divisions and also drew America’s Cup veterans Dave Pedrick, Richie Boyd, Scott Perry and Andy MacGowan, as well as other notable sailors, such as Jeff Johnstone, Brad Read and Jud Smith.
Principal race officer Peter Gerard says that even though the conditions — dense fog, light breezes, an offshore swell — proved challenging, “when we got to race, it was good, fair racing.”
Bannister’s Wharf was home base for the yachts and crews, stirring memories of Newport’s America’s Cup heyday of the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, when 12 Meter battle flags flew boldly above the docks and Turner mixed with sailors after a long, hard day of racing.

Historic boat show returns to New York in January

New York City
The nation’s first boat show, the 105-year-old New York Boat Show, returns Jan. 4-8 to the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan. The annual winter show offers a chance to escape the cold to board and explore a variety of boats, from kayaks to cruisers. Hundreds of brands and models will be side by side, and many dealers will offer discounts and other incentives.
Admission is $14 for adults (16 years and older) and free for children 15 and younger. Group rates, starting at 10 tickets, are also available. Visit
Meanwhile, the National Marine Manufacturers Association, which sponsors the show, signed Progressive Insurance as the title sponsor for all of its 18 boat and sport shows from 2012-2014.

Marine artist had a passion for sailing
Pawcatuck, Conn.
A painter who specialized in marine subjects was remembered for how his work was influenced by his passion for sailing. Yves Parent died of cancer last summer at the age of 70 at his family home in La Trinité sur Mer in France.
French-born, Parent became an avid sailor and bluewater cruiser who painted the waterfront scenes he came across while cruising the Caribbean, Chesapeake Bay and the Northeast. He painted a watercolor of Cape Horn on location while crewing aboard the French entry in round-the-world races in 1981 and 1982. He participated in numerous offshore races, including eight Fastnet races, and crossed the Atlantic seven times, twice in single-handed Trans-Atlantic races from France to the Caribbean (1978 and 1982).
After the 1982 race, Parent sailed up the U.S. East Coast and fell in love with New England. He had a home in Pawcatuck, Conn.

MarineMax launches charter program
British Virgin Islands
MarineMax has introduced MarineMax Vacations, a charter program offering sail- and powerboats. As part of the program, the company also will offer a yacht ownership option for the charter fleet. The new venture begins with sailboats from Dufour Yachts.
MarineMax is also developing custom powerboats for future charters. The first charters are scheduled to begin in December in the British Virgin Islands, and MarineMax Vacations will operate from Tortola. More locations will be added over time.

Coast Guard thwarts drug sub, detains crew
Drug traffickers have been busy in the Caribbean Sea, and so has the Coast Guard. The crew of the Key West, Fla.-based 270-foot Coast Guard cutter Mohawk interdicted a drug-smuggling, self-propelled semisubmersible Sept. 17 in the western Caribbean.
These so-called “drug subs” are used regularly to transport illegal narcotics in the eastern Pacific, and this was only the second one the Coast Guard has nabbed in the Caribbean. The first was July 13.
The crew of a Coast Guard C-130 Hercules airplane spotted the vessel and contacted the Mohawk. A team interdicted the sub and detained its crew. The vessel sank during the interdiction, but not before some of the cocaine was recovered.
Built in the jungles and remote areas of South America, the typical self-propelled semisubmersible is less than 100 feet, has four to five crewmembers and carries as many as 10 metric tons of contraband for as much as 5,000 miles.

A Coast Guardsman carries a bale of cocaine interdicted Sept. 17 from a self-propelled, semi-submersible vessel in the Caribbean Sea.

NOAA surveying to update charts
Block Island Sound
The NOAA ship Thomas Jefferson is on a three-month survey of the sea floor off parts of New York, Connecticut and Rhode Island in a multiyear effort to update nautical charts for Block Island Sound. In addition to supporting navigation, data acquired by the 208-foot hydrographic survey vessel will support a sea-floor-mapping initiative by Connecticut and New York.
NOAA’s survey effort of the area began in 2009, when the Thomas Jefferson surveyed 174 square nautical miles in Block Island Sound. This year’s effort, from August through November, will survey 228 square nautical miles.

Herreshoff museum operating after-school repair program
Bristol, R.I.
The Herreshoff Marine Museum/America’s Cup Hall of Fame in Bristol, R.I., announced that the Collectors Foundation of Traverse City, Mich., awarded a $10,000 matching grant to the museum to run an after-school program teaching classic boat repair and maintenance.
The program began with the start of the school year in the complex of 19th century buildings where the Herreshoff Manufacturing Co. designed and built the boats used in the museum’s sailing program. The boats were built between 1914 and 1939. In 2010, the after-school program enrolled 15 students from the area.
The goal of the program is to help young people gain skills while contributing to their community’s cultural heritage and modern industry. The curriculum covers shop safety and cleanliness, planning a project and sequencing work, wood varieties and their properties, how to sand, primer and paint application, varnish application, brush cleaning, and hand tool use.,

Yacht clubs honored for training programs
US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, recognized the Stonington Harbor (Conn.) Yacht Club Sailing Foundation for its training program. Nine community sailing centers that provide training and educational programs consistent with the curriculum standards of the US Sailing Training Department were chosen.
The program acknowledges organizations that best exemplify community sailing’s strengths nationwide. The other eight community sailing programs chosen were Westwind Sailing, Dana Point, Calif.; Edison Sailing Center, Fort Myers, Fla.; Community Boating, Courageous Sailing Center and the Duxbury Bay Maritime School, all in Boston; Sail Sand Point, Seattle; Milwaukee Community Sailing Center; and the Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center, Burlington, Vt.

Know a shipwreck fan? Here’s a gift idea
National Geographic has produced a “Shipwrecks of the Northeast” map. Much like its “Shipwrecks of Delmarva,” the colorful, detailed map illustrates more than 5,400 known shipwrecks on the Atlantic coast of New England.
The wrecks are marked atop bathymetric and coastal detail, and each site is symbolized to define the class, type and name of vessel, accompanied by the date of sinking. The cause of the sinking is also indicated.
Bathymetric and coastal features are labeled, and they include inset maps for Nantucket Sound, Cape Cod Bay, Martha’s Vineyard, Narragansett Bay and Boston Harbor Islands. The 28-by-36-inch map is available for purchase in four versions: rolled, rolled in a clear plastic presentation tube, folded in a poly bag or laminated in a poly sleeve bag. Prices range from $14.99 to $29.99.

This article originally appeared in the December 2011 issue.