Small Stuff – Florida & the South

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Online elections open for US Sailing’s board

US Sailing, the national governing body of the sport, has opened the online election period for its annual election of board of directors. This year US Sailing members will vote for three open seats on the board. The 2007 election is the second time in the organization’s 110-year history that the membership has elected board members and played a direct role in selecting the sport’s leadership in the United States.

Online ballots, bios and position statements for each candidate can be found at the US Sailing Election homepage at www.ussailing.org/bod/election. Members have until Oct. 19 to vote online.

The slate of nominees for the board of directors, all running for a three-year term, are:

• Dick Allsopp or Harry R. Horgan

• John Siegel or Jim Tichenor

• Susan Epstein (running unopposed)

Members can also vote by faxed- or mailed-in ballots; more information on manual ballots can be found at the US SAILING Election home page.

Board of director election results will be announced after votes are tallied, at the Annual Meeting on Oct. 28. www.ussailing.org

Video producer awardedfor sailing DVD

SEA-TV, a Connecticut-based marine video production company, won the Silver Award at this year’s Worldfest Film Festival in Houston for its two-hour instructional DVD series, “Learn the Racing Rules.”

The series, hosted by renowned rules expert Dave Dellenbaugh, won the award in the Sailing/Watersports category from more than 100 entries from around the world.

A 60-second commercial produced for US Sailing that appears on the “Learn the Racing Rules” DVD series also won a Silver Award in the Advertising/Promotional category besting more than 100 entries worldwide.

“Yacht racing is a very kinetic and complicated sport and the rules are very difficult to understand from reading them in the rules book,” says SEA~TV executive producer, Chip Croft. “We also have some great racing action footage to illustrate many of the rules.”

“Learn the Racing Rules” is sold as a set of two 60-minute DVDs. Part 1 is titled “Basic Right of Way Rules” and Part 2 is titled “Rules at Marks & Obstructions.” The two DVD set will sell for $59.95. They are available at www.sea-tvproductions.com .

Storm Trysail launches Transpac 65 Class

A trio of designers has contributed to the successful launch of the Storm Trysail Transpac 65, developing three different boats for the “Box Rule” by which the STP65 Class will be governed.

Farr Yacht Design drew the first STP65, Rosebud, for owner Roger Sturgeon of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with California’s Westerly Marine completing the boat in early June. Reichel/Pugh and Judel/Vrolijk have begun respective designs for Jim Swartz of Park City, Utah, and Udo Schutz of Selters, Germany. Also like Sturgeon, both owners plan to keep the boat names that have headlined their previous campaigns. Swartz’s Moneypenny, currently being built by McConaghy’s Boat Yard in Australia, will be ready next March, while Schutz’s Container began construction at Premier Yachts in Dubai, UAE in August.

“The goal is for the three boats to be on the starting line for the 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race,” says Swartz, explaining that the event fits the multifaceted racing profile of the STP65. “It’s designed to be a Super TP52,” Swartz said, “and is capable of true offshore racing. We want to do a combination of offshore, coastal and buoy racing.”

The goal of the Storm Trysail Club of Larchmont, N.Y., and the Transpacific Yacht Club in Los Angeles, which last July announced their joint partnership in developing the STP65 Rule, was to create a boat that could compete both as a Box Rule and an IRC or ORR performer, with tight enough parameters to minimize obsolescence. www.stp-65.org

Sailing organization launches video podcast

US Sailing launched a video podcast service to deliver news from the organization to sailing enthusiasts. This new format allows the sport’s national governing body to reach out to sailors in a new medium.

The video podcasts are three to five minutes long and highlight the latest news. Recent podcast reports included The Good Luck Beijing 2007 Qingdao International Regatta, the last major test event for the 2008 Olympic Games; racing at the Chubb U.S. Junior Sailing Championships and the International Lightning Class North Americans; new online tools for PHRF sailors; and e-U.S.-Sailing’s Sailor of the Week, instructor and college sailor Eric Bennung.

“It’s about ease and speed and if busy sailors only have a couple minutes to catch up with what US Sailing is doing, we want to give them what they need, when they need it and in a format that is convenient for them,” says the group’s marketing director Dan Cooney. “It also allows us a chance to provide video highlights of events, to create new relationships with video providers and offer new opportunities for sponsors. We think it can be a win-win and are excited to see this happen.”

Also available through iTunes podcast offerings, the video podcasts can be downloaded from www.ussailing.org/video, or accessed through current versions of iTunes on Windows or Macintosh. Go to iTunes, click on Podcasts and search for U.S. Sailing.

New online tools launched for PHRF sailors

US Sailing launched three online tools for Performance Handicap Racing Fleet sailors.

These tools include two databases — which contain handicap ranges and critical rig and hull dimensions for many production boats raced throughout the United States — in addition to an analysis tool that allows sailors and handicappers to develop a picture of how a given boat performs in relation to its handicap.

The first database, High/Low/Mean PHRF Handicaps as determined by USPHRF Affiliated Fleets, lists the high, low and average PHRF handicaps for over 4,100 production boats that are raced in the United States under this handicapping system. The figures are the reported handicaps from affiliated fleets sent to USPHRF for the period running from March 1995 to March 2007.

The second database, Critical Dimensions of Boats for Handicapping, lists critical hull and rig dimensions for over 6,000 boats. This information was supplied by USPHRF affiliated fleets, boat manufacturers, naval architects, and other individuals who have made contributions to this database.

The third, Graphic Display of Imputed Handicaps, is an analysis tool that allows sailors and handicappers to develop a picture of whether a given boat is sailing well above its handicap, within expectations, or well below its handicap. By plugging fleet data into a spreadsheet for a series of races, handicappers can develop a picture of how a given boat is performing by calculating an imputed handicap and tracking that in a graph format. www.ussailing.org/phrf