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Posts Tagged ‘junior sailing’

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Fresh off announcing they’ll be racing an all-kids entry to Bermuda, the Mudratz are back at it, and standout Peter Cronin has the mark of a winner already: No fear of failure.

Watch Cronin and partner working on new techniques and new ways to yard sale in this high-speed video from Orange Bowl (Biscayne Bay FL) practice yesterday.  Follow them here.

December 30th, 2017 by admin

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It’s been just over a month since two Eagle Scouts were electrocuted on a Texas lake along with the 11 year old boy they were teaching to sail catamarans.    It’s been just over a month since a boy was brutally killed by a prop strike while taking sailing lessons in Long Island.  And this morning, Channel 7 reports that an unresponsive 17-year old first-time sailing student was pulled from Lake Washington.

According to the 7 report, the student had ‘just waded into the water’ along with 6 or 7 others so instructors could observe their comfort level, and as instructors got ready to teach them how to put on PFDs, they noticed one student had disappeared.  “Four instructors” finally found him, estimating he was underwater for six minutes.  The boy had ‘a faint pulse’ after CPR from instructors and then EMT personnel, and he is in critical conditions as of late last night in a Washington hospital.

After pulling him from the water, they began CPR. When medics arrived, the boy had no pulse. After medics began giving the victim aid, he had a faint pulse by the time the ambulance left for Harborview hospital in Seattle.

Staff at Sail Sand Point said the incident was the first after training hundreds of kids each year how to be in and around the water, but that’s no excuse or justification for a problem that seems to have kicked into overdrive.  Is this a systemic failure for America’s system of teaching sailing, and if so, who will show leadership and try to come up with a way for kids to stop dying while learning to sail?

We say it’s time for US Sailing to step up and do something about it.  SSP is a US Sailing-accredited sailing school, and Centerport is an accredited US Yacht Club.  It’s our opinion that the governing body of sailing in the USA need to get off their asses and fix it.  If they don’t, their primary competition in the training game should use the opportunity to highlight US Sailing’s failure and introduce solutions themselves.

There is no reason for parents to worry that their kid might die from a beginning sailing lesson.  None.

Title shout.


August 29th, 2017 by admin

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If you’re a parent, a grandparent, or a junior sailor, the Secor Volvo Fishers Island Sound Race has got to make you smile.  100 kids from all over the Northeast, racing their 420s on oddball point-to-point courses and having the time of their lives.  Past winner of the event Peter Cronin (with crew Zach Champney) is leading after 3 legs, and he’s also going for the On-Board Reporter award (more on that later) with some excellent storytelling in this short clip of the pre-race buildup.

Thanks to the Mudratz and friends, this race has a bigger digital footprint than most adult regattas, which might just be one of the reasons it’s been so successful.  Here are some features to pay attention to:
-Kids all sleeping in the school gym
-Live streaming each leg of the race on their Facebook page at 0900 ET today.
-Over 50 teams registered from 15 yacht clubs, including around 30% all-female teams.
-On board photographer on the water posting images to Facebook and Instagram
-Look for #FISVolvo
-Daily press releases
-OBR video competition with some great prizes.  Stay tuned for the good stuff after 7/21.
Huge thanks to media pro and Starboat sailor Laura Beigel for helping the kids tell the story.


July 14th, 2017 by admin

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Melges 14 Fleet

Big Pimpin’

While retaining post-school sailors in the sport continues to present a challenge we all need to solve, High School sailing is one of the fastest growing sectors of sailing..  In the Midwest, Melges and The Great Lakes Boating Festival are doing their part to get those teens pumped up with the Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge.  Here’s the release from Melges:

High school sailors will battle it out in the new Melges 14 at the Melges 14 Stadium Sailing High School Challenge on Sunday, May 21 from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. It’s going to be an adrenaline-fueled regatta on a course close to the crowd. No doubt an exciting event for spectators in the stands. 18 short races in 4 hours start to finish. Participating schools (including Grosse Pointe North, Grosse Pointe South, Brother Rice, Liggett, Detroit Country Day and Cranbrook) will each choose one boy and one girl to represent their school in the Melges 14 Tour event.

Melges 14 Stadium Sailing is part of the Great Lakes Boating Festival, a three-day boat show at Grosse Pointe Yacht Club May 19-21 where the Melges 14 will be on display and available for anyone to demo.

For more details on how you can watch or help out, go to the event site here.

May 9th, 2017 by admin

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ratz24With so many thousands of proud sailing parents realizing that ‘the way we do it’ isn’t creating lifelong sailors, we’re not quite sure why there aren’t dozens more programs like the Mudratz.  The New England youth-only team has been inspired by the chance to compete at the 2016 Melges 24 World Championship with an all-teen crew, and they’ve taken the first big step with the procurement of a Melges 24 donated by an unnamed area sailor.  

Starting this May look for the MudRatz “Sportboat Saturday” practices, followed by the team joining The Donzo Wednesday Night Series Melges 24 fleet with the Mystic River Mudheads. This all leads up to our first year goal of sending a youth team to the 2016 Melges 24 worlds in Miami this November…where we are already registered for what should be one of the most exciting events on anyone’s 2016 calendar!

Mudratz proud papa and co-founder said grass roots programs like the Mudratz are one of the keys to the long term health of yacht racing. “Bridging the gap between junior and adult sailing is one of the most challenging aspects of our sport today.   Enthusiastic kids often find themselves as young adults who drop out of sailing due to limited time and large financial constraints.  Having a boat like a Melges 24 will allow our youths to see first-hand what the next level of racing is all about.  This awesome platform will open up some huge doors for them into a world they might not have known even existed!”

If you or your kid might be interested in sailing with the Mudratz, or you want to contribute to our volunteer organization or make a tax deductible donation, please go to Mudratz.org today!


January 14th, 2016 by admin

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Jaded old bastards that we are, when we first saw the trailer for the documentary Sailing With Copepods earlier this year, we didn’t expect much; 15 years of Sailing Anarchy means we’ve seen literally hundreds of ‘trailers’ for sailing movies that either never get made, or should never have been made. 

So when the film’s creator Barbara McVeigh sent us a private screener for the full, 20-something minute movie, we were intrigued, and then we watched it, and it was blown away.  Racing With Copepods is an instant classic, and a film you’ll rush to show any kid you know and love.  Have a peek at the trailer above, and read Barbara’s note below for more info on an absolutely stunning piece of cinematography that should have a long lasting effect on every child’s introduction to the sport. 

This is my first film as a producer. I had the vision, wrote the grant, co-wrote the film and produced the film with co-writer and film director Carlos Grana.  We had two weeks to pull production together once we received funding from Schmidt Family Foundation,  and when we began our work, an entire international team of sailors and scientists came forward to help us. Then came Dr. Sylvia Earle. We had little money, but we understood the gravity of an important message to convey – our ocean needs help and we’ve got kids coming into the world.

As a mother, sailor and educator, I asked myself “what is the most important work on this planet today?” To me, the answer is easy: It’s the ocean’s health. Nothing else matters unless we have a healthy ocean.

People are very land-base minded, as the child in the film Racing with Copepods recognizes and speaks about. We have to change this, considering our planet is mostly water. We know more about mars then we know about our very own planet. Yet, we get up to 70% of our oxygen from the plankton in the water. Our oceans are acidifying – that measures up to bad news.

Ironically, it’s often the billionaires who have profited from this damage, those involved in fossil fuels and more,  who are still plying the waters for trophies in high-end boats.

As sailors, we have the highest responsibility to convey this message. People like Sir Robin Knox-Johnson have made their life, their name, their fame and their knighthood because of the ocean. But is it time yet to look back with greater respect to the legendary Bernard Moitessier, the man who was so far ahead of Johnston on that first-ever non-stop round-the-world race that he was assured of a win and instant fame, only to drop out and race around the globe again in order to make a bold statement about the ocean and his own spirit?  In years to come, his honor will be highest.  And with the oceans acidifying and dying off at a frightening pace, maybe now is the time to start being more like Moitessier. It’s time that the sailors who have benefited from the ocean give back on the highest level possible.

Billionaires spend small fortunes on carbon-fiber masterpieces to enjoy their racing.  How about if some of them match a small portion of what they spend on racing to the places it needs to go if their children and grandchildren are to enjoy a living ocean? That means ocean foundations and science education, and currently only 5% of all environmental foundation money goes to ocean work.  It’s not enough.

Historic sailors brought us to new lands. Today’s sailors can take us to a higher ground. Who’s on board?

The full version of Racing with Copepods will be available online after March. In the meantime, we’d love to see your support for the Sailing Education Adventures for science and sailing programs, and a $15 suggested donation gets you a private link or a DVD of the whole thing.

Aussie Eco-warriors can come and screen our film next month in Hobart, Tasmania at the inaugural Eco Film Festival.  Come and meet our team, along with panelists: Dr. Richard Kirby, Taylor Griffith, Carlos Grana and me.

More screenings are lining up. Follow us on Facebook for the latest.

Barbara McVeigh
Sailor, Writer and Film Producer

October 26th, 2015 by admin

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US Sailing latest online attempt to Save Sailing is a lot better than anything else they’ve done over the past few years, and Episode 5 of “The Beat” is probably their best effort yet.  Sure, the production is cheesy as hell, but it’s somewhat inspiring stuff, and knowledgeable, affable host Katy Nastro carries the movie well it all off well.  We were sucked in by a chance to check her out in a wetsuit as she ‘learned’ to kiteboard from superspeedy Rob Douglas, but no such luck. Enjoy it, and check out “The Beat” catalog for more from Katy and her team.

Too young for the reference?  Click here to listen to the original 20-something ‘beat’ girls.


July 22nd, 2015 by admin

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“The best Volvo Ocean Race stopover I’ve ever been to,” said one 10 year VOR veteran.

“Way, way better than anything AC34 did in San Fran,” said a former ACEA staffer.

“The best crowd I’ve seen at an American sailing event since the 12 meter days in Newport, and maybe even bigger than those days,” said one lifelong pro racer and Newport denizen.

SA’s final report on the regatta that returned America’s credibility to top-end racing is waiting for the final numbers from Sail Newport and VOR, but the above quotes sum it all up, and the summary is simple: Newport, Rhodey, the Northeast, and America got together and finally showed up for a sailboat race, and no one who was there will ever forget it.

We’ll have much more for you soon, but if you were there, pat yourself on the back.  You are the reason the VOR will be back, and you may have helped secure American funding for a real US team in the next one.

Our final video from the Sailing Anarchy/Sperry World Tour is more about the sailing lifestyle and the future of the sport than it is about any racing that happened in Newport.  Those things are far more important, and we hope you enjoy this film from Petey Crawford/Penalty Box Productions.  Thanks to Sperry for supporting our coverage; if you like it and you want to see more, tell ’em on Facebook.


May 22nd, 2015 by admin

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Over and over, we hear parents complain that their kids don’t want to sail, or that they can’t find the opportunities.  Complaining makes you part of the problem; be like Brandon Flack and be part of the solution; here are Brandon and the MudRatz with some tips on getting kids into the game:

1. Identify a group of kids that want more sailing. Start a team with the premise that more time on the water together is good for everyone.

2. Do not duplicate, compete or conflict with local sailing programs that are already in your area. Choose times like Sunday nights in the spring and fall where there is no conflict with other sports. Strive to send the kids back to their local programs as better sailors and you will raise the bar for everyone!

mudratz3. Keep it affordable. Soccer & Baseball are normally about $150 for a season… strive to keep your costs and overhead low enough to match up with these other sports. Reaching out further then the elite kids will really grow your team.

4. Find a local sailing association or club that is willing to support your team with some seed money. All these associations are looking for ways to grow and you are going to provide it. Five hundred dollars here and there can go a long way.

5. Hire the best coaches “reasonable” money can afford. Hire the better summer coaches that are home from college or attending school nearby. Even good racing coaches in yacht club summer programs are less than $30 per hour. Coaches making a $100 every Sunday night is a great way to cover their bills from Friday and Saturday!

6. Find local clubs to act as your “host”. Spread the wealth around if you have a few clubs in your area. By running practices at new locations you will get new kids to sail with your team. As you move around you pick up more and more kids that come back each season after!

7. Offer parents deals on your program in exchange for using their whaler as a coach boat.

8. Join US Sailing and get your team into the burgee insurance program to cover officers and coaches. It’s not much for a small team.

9. Get the kids AND the parents together a few times away from the boats. Having the kids get to know each other off the water makes future meetings on the water that much more fun. Helping the newer non sailing parents to understand more about the sport by just sharing experiences goes a long way too.

10. Go sailing. Kids that sail as often as possible in a variety of conditions are naturally going to enjoy (and be better at racing in) those same conditions later. Keep it light and fun and they will be begging you for more.

Once you have all that come up with a cool team name and add in the uniforms, and then get on the computer and write a story for Sailing Anarchy to promote it!  We’ve put together our MudRatz Opti raffle to win a brand new Zim Optimist; buy a ticket today and you’ll have a great chance of winning the Opti or one of the other prizes on June 15 – and thanks for your support!


May 29th, 2014 by admin