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News Notes – New England

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IYRS graduation ends with launching

At most graduation ceremonies, students take diplomas in hand. At the International Yacht Restoration School, they pick up tillers and go sailing — for there is no better testament to students’ accomplishments than the boats they spent the past year restoring.

On June 3, the school’s Graduation and Launch Day, IYRS students splashed 11 historic watercraft from the school’s docks in an event that has become an annual happening for the city of Newport, R.I. More than 250 family, friends and supporters attended the festivities.

Sixteen first-year students worked in teams of two and restored eight Beetle Cats. Fifteen second-year students worked in larger teams to restore two Manhasset Bay One-Designs and a Herreshoff S-Boat.

The MBODs were the first design on the S&S books when the firm opened its doors in 1929, and Olin Stephens made a trip to the school during the year to see the work being done on his firm’s earliest design.

Now launched, some of the boats will be sold to help raise funds for the school’s general operating budget.

The Herreshoff S-Boat Silhouette, whose design dates to 1919, had an owner waiting in the wings. James Phyfe purchased Silhouette and spoke at graduation about his new boat.

“This boat is more wonderful, no, most wonderful, because of the process that went into creating it,” said Phyfe. “The students who did the restoration, they’re all in this boat; that means a great deal to us.”

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Newport’s VIP Day benefits Leukemia & Lymphoma Society

Soundings and Yachtworld.com sponsored a presentation by sailing icon Gary Jobson at the Newport Spring Boat Show May 18. The event, coupled with a donation from a portion of the show’s ticket proceeds, raised $7,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of Rhode Island.

Jobson, an America’s Cup-winning sailor, ESPN announcer and national chairman of the Leukemia Cup series of regattas, presented video clips of sailing competitions and enthusiastically explained how his passion for sailing developed early in his life. In 2003 Jobson was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, which is in remission.

As national chairman, Jobson helps organize regattas, and recruit sponsors and participants.

The Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, Md., however, pioneered the concept of competition among boats and crews to raise funds for the fight against blood cancers. Their June 1993 event raised $30,000 for the society, with the yacht club handling all sailing and water-related logistics, and the society’s Maryland Chapter coordinating all land-based fund-raising and event activities.

Enthusiasm for the event has since spread across the country into other markets. In 2005 the sailing community raised more than $3.2 million at 47 regattas, bringing the overall campaign results to more than $18 million. More than 17,000 participants took part in the 2005 series.

Soundings is entering a boat in the Leukemia Cup Regatta to be held off Bristol, R.I., Aug. 18 and 19.

Upcoming regattas on the east coast include:

• July 21-22 — Mystic Shipyard, Mystic, Conn. Contact: Amber Page, (203) 379-0445.

• Aug. 5 — City Island Yacht Club, City Island, N.Y. Contact: Kim McCarthy,

(631) 752-8500.

• Aug. 5-6 — The American Yacht Club, Newburyport, Mass., Contact: Sharon Klein, (508) 879-5083.

• Aug. 18-19 — The Herreshoff Marine Museum, Bristol, R.I. Contact: Jill Jessup, (401) 943-8888.

• Aug. 19 — Northeast Harbor Fleet, Northeast Harbor, Maine. Contact: Sharon Klein, (508) 879-5083.

• Aug. 19 — Sayville Yacht Club, Sayville, N.Y. Contact: Kim McCarthy, (631) 752-8500.

• Sept. 8-9 — Washington Sailing Marina, Alexandria, Va. Contact: Lauren Hospital, (703) 960-1100, Ext. 249.

• Sept. 16-18 — Birmingham Sailing Club, Birmingham, Ala. Contact: Kelly Simmons, (205) 989-0098.

• Sept. 22-23 — Gaillard Exhibition Hall, Charleston, S.C. Contact: Darlene Benton, (843) 958-9185.

• Sept. 22-24 — Savannah Yacht Club, Savannah, Ga. Contact: Dick Brown, (770) 438-6006.

• Oct. 21 — Baltimore, Md. Contact: Melissa Raske, (410) 527-0220.