Small Stuff Florida & South June 2007

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Mendez tapped to head US-IRC

Richard du Moulin, Chairman of the newly formed US-IRC Owners Committee and member of the US-IRC Association, announced the appointment of John Mendez as the executive director of US-IRC.

Mendez, a past chairman of the New York Yacht Club Race Committee, replaces Barry Carroll who leaves the post to pursue other business interests. Mendez raced dinghies and raced offshore in England before coming to the United States in 1968. He is also a member of Larchmont Yacht Club where he served as Commodore.

“US-IRC will continue to pursue its primary goal of promoting the IRC rule and IRC events,” Mendez says. “We successfully introduced IRC racing into the United States three years ago and Barry Carroll has done an excellent job of building the fleet and growing events in the U.S.”

Rating spinnakers was one of the first issues the committee tackled and with its input the RORC is addressing the problem. Other rating systems simply ban the sails altogether, but the IRC is working on ways to rate the sail’s performance in the system.

Sailors named to ‘elite’ development team

US Sailing named six sailors to the newly created U.S. Elite Youth Development Sailing Team. These athletes — all under 21 years old — have been identified as future Olympic prospects in the Laser and Laser Radial classes. This year three Laser Full Rig sailors and three Laser Radial sailors have been selected from a pool of more than 60 candidates.

The members of the 2007 US Elite Youth Development Sailing Team are: Emily Billing of Clearwater, Fla.; Anne Haeger of Lake Forest, Ill.; Sarah Lihan of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; Luke Lawrence of Palm City, Fla.; Kyle Rogachenko of Collegeville, Pa.; and Fred Strammer of Nokomis, Fla.

US Sailing created the team this year to provide a national coaching, educational, administrative and financial support structure for the country’s top youth sailors. The team will travel to major international regattas with the guidance of elite-level coaches in order to gain more competitive sailing experience against the best in the world.

Newport club hosts Shields Nationals

The Ida Lewis Yacht Club has been selected to host the 2007 Shields National Championships. The regatta will be held off Newport, R.I., Aug. 15 to 18.

Social events are planned as well as the annual class meeting. Housing will be available for visiting participants.

The regatta is open to all Shields owners who qualify according to class rules. For information interested participants can go to www.shieldsclass.com/2007.

Clagett regatta returns to Newport

Sailors with disabilities who hope to represent the United States in China at the 2008 Paralympic Regatta will have an opportunity to improve their odds of doing so at this summer’s C. Thomas Clagett Jr. Memorial Clinic and Regatta scheduled for Aug. 26 to 30 at Sail Newport, Rhode Island’s PublicSailingCenter.

The fifth annual event begins with a two-day clinic that is open only to U.S. sailors. Five-time Rolex Yachtswoman of the Year Betsy Alison of Newport, R.I., is coach of the U.S. Disabled Sailing Team. The clinic will include a rules seminar conducted by sailing author and noted racing rules expert Dave Perry of Southport, Conn.

The Clagett Regatta is open to both U.S. and foreign sailors, with racing scheduled in the three classes selected for competition at the 2008 Paralympic Regatta: the single-person 2.4 Metre, two-person SKUD-18, and the three-person Sonar. Competitors from Ireland and Israel have expressed interest in returning to the regatta and organizers expect up to eight nations may be represented on the starting line.

The Notice of Race and additional information on the clinic and regatta can be found at www.ussailing.net/clagett .

Circumnavigation race lands a sponsor

GlobalOcean Sailing Ventures announced that the Portuguese city of Portimão will be the home of the Global Ocean Challenge and the name of the race will now be the Portimão Global Ocean Race.

The race will also start and finish in Portimão rounding out the course that includes Cape Town, South Africa, Wellington, New Zealand, Ilhabela, Brazil and Charleston, N.C.

Portimão is the city that Volvo Ocean Race team ABN AMRO selected as their training base and it has also been host to the ORMA 60 multihulls as well as other top class sailing events. The city’s size and location make it ideal for the international sporting event.

The Portimão Global Ocean Race will start in September 2008 and circumnavigate the world via the five great capes. A fleet of 25 to 30 boats are expected to set sail from the new Portimão Marina returning nine months later after a 30,000-mile circumnavigation of the world. The boats will be sailed either solo or double-handed and compete in two size groups, a 40-foot division and a 50-foot division.