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Small stuff

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ISAF names Sailors of the Year

The International Sailing Federation and Rolex on Nov. 8 named Dame Ellen MacArthur of Great Britain and Tornado World Champions Fernando Echavarri Erasun and Antón Paz Blanco of Spain as winners of the ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Awards 2005.

At an Awards Ceremony in Singapore, the three sailors were honored for their outstanding sailing achievements between Sept. 1, 2004, and Aug. 31, 2005, when MacArthur completed her record-breaking solo sprint around the world in her maxi-trimaran B&Q and Echavarri and Paz were crowned Tornado World and European Champions after a string of outstanding results.

This is the second time (2001) that Ellen MacArthur, 29, has won the female ISAF Rolex World Sailor of the Year Award. On Feb. 7, 2005, MacArthur carved a place in history by crossing the finishing line off the coast of Brittany, France, to set a new single-handed round the world non-stop record. She sliced more than a day off Francis Joyon’s time set in 2004, to finish in 71 days, 14 hours, 18 minutes and 33 seconds, achieving an average speed of 12.66 knots over the 27,354 nautical mile course.

Tornado sailors Fernando Echavarri Erasun and Antón Paz Blanco continued in 2005 where they left off the previous year, starting with victory at the ISAF Grade 2 Barcelona Olympic Sailing Week in March where they won five of the nine races. In May, they took the gold medal at the ISAF Grade 1 Holland Regatta, then followed it up the next month by winning the ISAF Grade W Tornado World Championship.

In August, they reinforced their credentials on the Tornado circuit by adding the European Championship title to their portfolio and as a result accumulated more points to boost their ISAF World Ranking position. Through the nomination period they climbed steadily to the top spot, making it theirs on June 29.

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US Sailing hands out honors

US Sailing recently recognized several sailing organizations and volunteers for their contribution and dedication to the sport of sailing.

Gene Hinkel of St. Petersburg, Fla., was presented with the Gay S. Lynn Trophy for outstanding contribution to disabled sailors and the sport of disabled sailing. Hinkel has run events for novice and severely disabled sailors in Access Dinghies, been involved with blind sailing and, perhaps most importantly, he has designed, developed and delivered adaptive aids for sailors around the world. His innovations in seating and other adaptive aids have meant that sailors could improve their performance in boats with increased safety.

Jo Mogle of Punta Gorda, Fla., a longtime supporter of boating safety through education and training, has received the Timothy Larr Award for her commitment to standardized quality sailing education. The award is the US Sailing Training Committee’s highest honor, presented annually to an individual whose vision and guidance has made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of sailor education and training in the United States.

A small-boat instructor trainer and keelboat instructor as well as regional training coordinator, she has visited and supported many courses nationwide, providing support and oversight, to continue to drive the culture of quality training forward. Her evaluation feedback reports are legendary and her work has become the gold standard of US Sailing’s quality control efforts.

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US Sailing votes in favor

of restructure

US Sailing voted to restructure the organization, reducing the size of its board of directors from 49 to 14. The decision was made after a vote at the organization’s Annual General Meeting in Phoenix, and after months of preparation and review.

“This restructure will increase the effectiveness of the organization as the board of directors will now meet monthly to make decisions,” said US Sailing president Janet Baxter.

A transitional board of directors has been created for the first year of the restructure. Next year, US Sailing’s members will vote directly for the organization’s board of directors.

For more information on the restructure and the organization’s new bylaws, visit www.ussailing.org/organization/ taskforce/structure. The list of members of the Transitional Board is available at www.ussailing.org/bod.

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Herreshoff Trophy

awarded to Larry White

US Sailing awarded its Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy to Larry White of Niantic, Conn., for his outstanding contribution to the sport of sailing in the United States.

White is the immediate past president of the Interscholastic Sailing Association for high school sailing. President Janet Baxter presented White with the trophy, US Sailing’s most prestigious award, at the organization’s annual meeting in October.

White has been a sailor and sailing volunteer for many years, but he is perhaps most known for his very successful 15-year presidency of the Interscholastic Sailing Association, a responsibility from which he stepped down earlier this fall.

“The remarkable expansion nationally, to the current membership of over 400 schools and 5,000 members in seven districts including schools in Hawaii and St. Thomas, is completely due to Larry’s vision and leadership,” said the U.S. Sailing committee that nominated White. “Not only has he worked incessantly, but he has consistently inspired others to help implement his vision.”

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Butterworth named

skipper of Alinghi

Ernesto Bertarelli, head of the Alinghi America’s Cup syndicate, nominated his vice-president and tactician, Brad Butterworth, to be the skipper of Alinghi.

Butterworth was modest in his acceptance: “It is a great honor to be put in a position where he [Bertarelli] gives me this sort of trust.”

The New Zealander is on his sixth America’s Cup campaign and has won three, the last with Alinghi. He races as tactician and forms the core of the Swiss America’s Cup Defense. For Alinghi, skipper is a title rather than an active role, as Brad explains: “It won’t make any difference to the way we sail the boat — everyone has their area and their responsibilities — but I guess it will be a little bit different for me as it makes me responsible for the boat as a whole.”

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ASTA names race director

of Tall Ships Challenge

The American Sail Training Association announced that Jonathan Harley of Middletown, R.I., has been named race director in charge of running its Tall Ships Challenge Race Series.

Harley’s extensive background in the sail training area began at Chapoquoit Yacht Club on Cape Cod after which he spent four years as director of the junior sailing program at New Bedford Yacht Club of South Dartmouth, Mass., where he initiated their Junior Racing Team. Following a year aboard a 50-foot ketch cruising from New Bedford, Mass., to the South Pacific and back, he joined Mystic Seaport Museum as supervisor of mariner training programs. During his six years at the museum he was responsible for the sail training programs conducted aboard the Joseph Conrad and Brilliant.

In 1980 Harley became the One-Design director for US Sailing. Leading into the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games, he created the position of Olympic director, a position he held through the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

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LIS Junior Sailing

chooses the Pixel

After a three-year period of testing various contemporary sailing dinghies, the Junior Sailing Association of Long Island Sound selected the Pixel as the association’s new racing and training dinghy.

This 13.75-foot dinghy designed by Bruce Kirby was selected for its combination of stability and performance, which is ideal for the wide range of crews and skill levels found within the organization’s 50 member programs. The Pixel replaces the Blue Jay, which has served junior sailors in Long Island Sound since the 1950s.

JSA was founded in 1924, and each summer it sponsors an extensive schedule of junior regattas and clinics. www.jsalis.org

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RORC issues notice of race

for Rolex Commodores’ Cup

The Royal Ocean Racing Club issued the Notice of Race for the Rolex Commodores’ Cup that will take place at Cowes on the Isle of Wight beginning June 25.

Organized by the RORC in association with the Royal Yacht Squadron in Cowes, the 2006 Rolex Commodores’ Cup is an international offshore regatta open to national teams racing under the IRC rating rule. Each team will consist of three yachts, and national authorities can enter up to a maximum of four teams per country.

Entries must be received by the RORC before May 22, and entry forms are available from www.rorc.org.

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Volvo Ocean Race

to highlight top binoculars

Steiner Binoculars has reached agreements to provide binoculars to all seven entries in the 2005-2006 Volvo Ocean Race: ABN Amro 1 & 2 (NED), Ericsson Racing Team (SWE), Pirates of the Caribbean (USA), Brasil 1 (BRA), Premier Challenge (AUS) and Movistar (SPA).

Each boat will carry binoculars in Steiner’s Commander line, and crews will have the opportunity to exchange models at the conclusion of each leg, as conditions warrant. Each unit will include an integrated internal compass, to help take bearings and maintain course.