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Small Stuff New England

Sailing manual earns top honors

“Blue Water Sailing Manual,” ($39.95, International Marine/ Ragged Mountain Press) a handbook on all matters relating to offshore and ocean sailing written by British marine writer and photographer Barry Pickthall, won a Gold Medal in this year’s 11th Independent Publisher Book Awards at the annual BookExpo America convention in New York.

The 272-page manual, which has sailors Sir Chay Blyth, Mike Golding and Pete Goss as contributing editors, was one of 2,690 books nominated for the awards.

The judges said of Pickthall’s book: “The real deal; this is a serious book for serious sailors.” “Great information in a great package. This book has it all.” “Very well written and the illustrations and photos are superb. A first-class book in all respects.”

The handbook for extended cruising and sailing in extreme conditions with English and American editions published in 2006, will have German, French and Swedish translations launched later this year.

Inaugural junior clinic declared a success

The first week of August, 18 youth sailors took part in the first Junior Road to Rolex Clinic, held at Eastern Yacht Club in Marblehead, Mass. The two-day keelboat clinic is a new initiative of US Sailing and Rolex to support junior women sailors in making the transition from dinghies to keelboats and with an eye toward future competition in the Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship (Rolex IWKC).

The sailors, ranging in age from 14 to 18 and traveling from as far away as California and St. Croix, also had participated in the U.S. Junior Women’s Singlehanded Championship.

Although most girls admitted to a mild case of pre-clinic nerves, all of the participants found that once they put their new-found skills into action, their confidence increased in steering or crewing a Sonar.

For more information about the Road to Rolex Clinic or the Rolex IWKC, visit .

Registration begins for keelboat championship

Organizers of US Sailing’s upcoming Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship — to be hosted by the Houston Yacht Club Nov. 14 to 17 — is offering an incentive for early registering teams. Enter the regatta by Oct. 12 and benefit from a $100 discount off the $675 entry fee, which includes five evenings of social events for all crewmembers such as a unique visit to the NASASpaceCenter.

The final entry deadline is Nov. 1 and no entries will be accepted after that date. Regarded as one of the world’s pinnacle events for women sailors, the biennial Rolex IWKC, now in its 12th year, attracts over 50 teams to its challenging competition aboard J/22 class sailboats and on-shore camaraderie.

The registration process has been simplified by having a dedicated, secure site within a Web site at

SailFast launches

charity wristband

This summer — as part of a new line of apparel launched by SailFast of Westport, Conn. — sailors can head to the water with their own charity wristband: a red-white-and-blue band made of spinnaker sailcloth. One hundred percent of the profits from the bands will go toward finding a cure for leukemia, lymphoma and other blood cancers, according to the company.

The wristband, developed in conjunction with North Sails, is the only product the company offers that will devote 100 percent of its profits to support the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. All other SailFast products are part of an initiative called “10% For A Cure,” and 10 percent of their profits will be donated to support the search for blood cancer cures.

SailFast products can be purchased online at or by calling (866) 605-7245.