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Small Stuff Long Island Sound March 2007

Experts to share performance secrets

North U and OffshoreSailingSchool are again teaming up for the seventh year with Performance Race Weeks.

The course offers six days of on-the-water race training, where students sail all day, every day. Two weeks are scheduled in 2007 — April 22 to 28 and April 29 to May 5 — at South Seas Island Resort on CaptivaIsland in Southwest Florida.

Performance Race Weeks, held every spring on CaptivaIsland, are scheduled for sailors in northern climates to brush up their skills in anticipation of the racing season. To get the most from this race training, participants spend half of each day with their coaches aboard award-winning Colgate 26s, and half the day with coaches alongside in chase boats.

“This course pushes people up the learning curve dramatically,” said Bill Gladstone, Director of North U. “They learn racing skills faster than if they are self-taught. They go home seeing the big picture of what it takes to race successfully, and learn how much fun it can be to apply themselves this way,” he said.

The week-long program includes 36 hours of on-water instruction and racing, eight hours of comprehensive seminars, and six hours of instructional video review of each day’s racing. For information, contact OffshoreSailingSchool at (800) 221-4326 or visit the school’s Web site at .

Solo circumnavigator was a sailing pioneer

South African yachtsman and solo circumnavigator “Biltong” Bertie Reed died Dec. 18 after a battle with liver cancer. He was 63.

Reed was the first South African and one of only a small number of sailors to complete three single-handed circumnavigations, news reports say. He also is noted for rescuing a fellow competitor whose yacht sank after hitting a submerged iceberg during the 1990-’91 BOC Challenge.

For the heroic feat Reed was given the Worlaad Woltermade award, South Africa’s highest civilian award for bravery, reports say. Among his many awards he also received a presidential citation.

Reed finished second overall and first on handicap in the inaugural BOC Challenge (1982-’83) aboard the sloop, Voortrekker.