Sail Scene Long Island Sound May 07

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NYYC hosts sailing’s top award ceremony

Jud Smith (Marblehead, Mass.) and Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.) took center stage during a special March luncheon in the model room of the New York Yacht Club in Manhattan.

The sailors were named US Sailing’s Rolex Yachtsman and Yachtswoman of the Year, the country’s most prestigious honor in the sport. Both were recognized for outstanding on-the-water performances during the 2006 calendar year and presented with engraved Rolex timepieces.

Smith was recognized for his victories at several Etchells regattas, including the World Championship, as well as for his wins in several other classes. In addition to the Etchells Worlds, Smith won the class’ North American Championship, Lands’ End Annapolis NOOD Regatta, Florida State Championship and Acura Miami Race Week. Proving his versatility on other boats, Smith also won the Rhodes 19 National and East Coast Championships. He also crewed on the class winners at the Rolex Big Boat Series, the Lands’ End Chicago NOOD Regatta and the Verve Cup.

“Winning this award feels different than I expected,” said Smith. “I’ve always thought that the sailors who have won the award in the past had reached the pinnacle in their careers. I don’t feel I’ve reached my ultimate goal yet; I still have time before I ‘arrive.’ ”

Railey, at 19 the youngest woman ever to receive the Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year award, was recognized for her accomplishments on foreign waters. Among the US Sailing Team members’ victories were the Semaine Olympique Française in Hyères, France; the ISAF World Sailing Games in Neusiedl, Austria; and the Good Luck Beijing-2006 Qingdao International Regatta, the first test event in China at the venue of the 2008 Olympic Regatta. At home, Railey also triumphed at the Laser Radial North American and Midwinter East Championships.

“It feels really fantastic to win this,” said Railey, who won the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year award last fall and hopes to represent the USA at the 2008 Olympic Games. “It’s so nice to come home and receive this award from the U.S. sailing community, and I look forward to continuing on this path.”

A video podcast from the awards luncheon, produced by emcee Gary Jobson, is available at www.ussailing.org .

Big backing for new sailing league

Sailing legends Russell Coutts of New Zealand and American Paul Cayard have teamed up with renowned Portuguese sports promoter, Joao Lagos, to create a new annual global sports series. The World Sailing League will be held at premier sailing locations around the world with the series winner receiving a check for $2 million.

Twelve teams, representing nations, will compete in identical, state-of-the-art 70-foot catamarans. It is anticipated that there will be venues in the Mediterranean, Northern Europe, the Middle East, Asia, North America and South America.

The World Sailing League will use a fleet racing format although a number of other innovative concepts such as time trials and slalom racing will be tested using the prototype yacht.

The league will also have a customized support ship to transport the boats and equipment to each venue. The ship will be akin to a transportable pit lane, with all the technology required to maintain the 70-foot catamarans.

The design of the boats will be finalized by early summer of this year with the first prototype being launched in the latter half of 2007 to allow sufficient testing and refinement. The 14 one-design yachts will start being built in 2008, ready for the launch of the series during 2009.

The design team for the new boats includes leading ORMA 60 naval architects, Marc Van Peteghem and Vincent Lauriot Prevost. www.wsl2009.com

2007 national sailing team named

US Sailing, national governing body of the sport, has announced the members of the 2007 United States Sailing Team. The top three ranked sailors in each of the 11 classes were selected for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. Those classes are: 49er, 470 (Men and Women), Finn, Laser, Laser Radial, RS:X (Men and Women), Star, Tornado and Yngling.

Athletes who have qualified for the US Sailing Team are identified as strong contenders to go to the Olympic Games. As members of the team, they will be assisted with coaching, logistics, fundraising and other benefits from US Sailing. The members of the 2007 US Sailing Team are:

49er (Skiff)

Morgan Larson (Capitola, Calif.)/Pete Spaulding (Santa Cruz, Calif.)

Tim Wadlow (Beverly, Mass.)/Chris Rast (Wake Forest, N.C.)

Dalton Bergan (Seattle)/Zack Maxam (Coronado, Calif.)

470 Men (Men’s Two-Person Dinghy)

Mikee Anderson-Mitterling (Coronado, Calif.)/David Hughes (San Diego)

Stu McNay (Boston)/Graham Biehl (San Diego)

Justin Law (Newport Beach, Calif.)/ Michael Miller (Charleston, S.C.)

470 Women (Women’s Two-Person Dinghy)

Amanda Clark (Shelter Island, N.Y.)/Sarah Mergenthaler (Harvey Cedars, N.J.)

Erin Maxwell (Stonington, Conn.)/ Isabelle Kinsolving (New York)

Molly Carapiet (Belvedere, Calif.)/ Molly O’Bryan (San Diego)

Finn (Heavyweight Dinghy)

Zach Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)

Geoffrey Ewenson (Annapolis, Md.)

Darrell Peck (Gresham, Ore.)

Laser (Men’s One-Person Dinghy)

Brad Funk (Clearwater, Fla.)

Andrew Campbell (San Diego)

Kurt Taulbee (Dunedin, Fla.)

Laser Radial (Women’s One-Person Dinghy)

Anna Tunnicliffe (Fort Lauderdale)

Paige Railey (Clearwater, Fla.)

Sarah Lihan (Fort Lauderdale, Fla.)

Neil Pryde RS:X Men (Men’s Windsurfer)

Ben Barger (St. Petersburg, Fla.)

Bob Willis (Chicago)

Mark Powell (Coconut Grove, Fla.)

Neil Pryde RS:X Women (Women’s Windsurfer)

Nancy Rios (Cocoa, Fla.)

Karen Marriott (Lakewood, Colo.)

Farrah Hall (Annapolis)

Star (Men’s Keelboat)

John Dane (Gulfport, Miss.)/Austin Sperry (Gulfport, Miss.)

Andy MacDonald (Laguna Beach, Calif.)/Brian Faith (Miami)

John MacCausland (Medford, N.J.)/ Bob Schofield (Annapolis, Md.)

Tornado (Multihull)

John Lovell (New Orleans)/Charlie Ogletree (Kemah, TX)

Robbie Daniel (Clearwater, Fla.)/ Hunter Stunzi (Marblehead, Mass.)

Don Thinschmidt (Holland, Mich.)/ Drew Wierda (Miami)

Yngling (Women’s Keelboat)

Sally Barkow (Chenequa, Wis.)/Debbie Capozzi (Bayport, N.Y.)/Carrie Howe (Grosse Pointe, Mich.)

Carol Cronin (Jamestown, R.I.)/Kim Couranz (Annapolis, Md.)/Margaret Bonds Podlich (Annapolis, Md.)