Name: Peeter Must
Sailor Spotlight: John Petrillo
Many people know John Petrillo as the program director at Bay Head Yacht Club for many years. John's positive attitude and love of the sport breed enthusiasm and passion in anyone with whom he interacts. What's special about John is his desire to share sailing with anyone he can. He was a program director on the bay, he taught students during "Semester at Sea" programs, and he is currently involved with Rocking the Boat in the Bronx. John has had his hand in the development of so many sailors in our area. We need more people like John!
Name: John Petrillo
Age: Old enough!
School: Too many to list
Yacht Club: Currently unaffiliated
1. Johnny, tell me a little about your junior sailing history. Where did you grow up, what did you learn to sail in, and what was your experience like as a junior sailor on Barnegat Bay. I grew up sailing at Toms River Yacht Club’s junior sailing program back in the pre-Opti/420 days. I first learned to sail in Toms River prams, which were only sailed at yacht clubs on the Toms River, then moved on to a Blue Jay when I was 11 and then to a Laser Radial at 12. I remember we used to travel “up bay” to Bay Head or Mantoloking and sail against their juniors in Duck Boats, and then they’d come down another week in the summer and sail against us in our prams. Traveling “up bay” was a big deal for us back then! The regatta scene was nothing like today’s packed schedule, and the summer Interclub Series was really important back then, similar to Saturday BBYRA days for seniors. I made some great friends sailing at TRYC, and I had some amazing instructors as well.
2. Most people know and remember you as being the head instructor at the Bay Head YC. How long did you do that, and how was it working at Bay Head YC? I was the Program Director at Bay Head Yacht Club for eight summers, just long enough to see my first set of greenies grow up to graduate from the program. Bay Head is such a great club to work at, and I loved my time there. I had the privilege to work with so many talented instructors, one of whom is currently running the program. The club is very professional, and the parent coordinators both trusted me and my decisions but also provided a great amount of support and guidance at the same time. BHYC members also raise money to support all of its employees still in school with scholarships, which really helped me through my Master’s degree in education. Last year I taught a Level 1 Instructor course to some junior members there and it felt great to be back, I really miss being there each summer!
3. Now you are at Rocking the Boat, right? Can you give me an overview of the programs you run? Correct—I helped to start the sailing program almost four years ago. Rocking the Boat is a youth-development non-profit in the South Bronx, NY, one of the most under-served communities in the country. Our programs use the mediums of boat building, environmental science, and now sailing to empower local youth and help them set and achieve ambitious goals. In designing the sailing program, we really wanted to build a grassroots sailing scene that the neighborhood could identify with. I work with high school aged kids during the school year teaching them to sail right in their own backyard, while also teaching them to teach sailing. In the summer, they will then teach younger kids from the neighborhood in our summer sailing programs.
4. You also ran semester-at-sea programs for high school and college students during the school year. That sounds really interesting; what was that like!? It was a dream job for me! I was at sea for much of a decade teaching history, literature, and policy aboard traditionally rigged sailing school vessels. I loved teaching about what we were directly seeing and experiencing, something that is hard to do inside traditional classrooms. Sailing to so many different ports along the Eastern seaboard and throughout the Caribbean and Central America was always exciting, and learning about and sharing with our students the diverse cultures, histories, and environments we found there was the best way to be a schoolteacher! Our students were full participants in operating the ship, and would learn to stand watch and navigate the ship (among many other things) on top of a full course-load of schoolwork.
5) You are clearly passionate about teaching sailing and boat-making, and I know that everybody loves being around you and feeding off of your energy. What draws you to these jobs and projects? Why do you do what you do? I think it’s all based on my own experiences growing up in the sport. I loved sailing as a kid, and I learned so much about myself and the world around me through it, so it made sense to try and help others do the same. My first job was teaching sailing at Island Heights YC, and I remember how affirming it felt to literally see my kids learning and developing over the course of the summer, and know that I played a small part in that growth. As a program director on the bay, I felt that same pride in seeing my coaches develop as teachers and young adults. And at Rocking the Boat, sharing the sport and all it has to offer with young people who otherwise would not have access to it is so gratifying and gives me so much joy.
4) You've been exposed to a lot of good coaching in your career. Who has been your most influential mentor in the sailing community? What is something important that he or she has taught you? I have been fortunate to have had many great coaches over the years, and I have learned a great deal from all of them. One of the most influential coaches I have had is Skip Whyte. He has coached me in the C420 and i420 off and on for the past few years. His no-nonsense attitude, attention to technical detail, and willingness to go the extra mile to give guidance has truly improved my sailing. A few years ago when I began sailing C420s, I did not have any experience with spin reaching, and my crew and I struggled in a windy regatta. At the end of the day as all of the other sailors were sailing back to the dock, Skip stayed out with us for an extra hour of training. Because my crew was recovering from a broken hand, which was hurting by the end of the long day, we only were able to spin reach on starboard tack! Even so, the tips and knowledge Skip shared with us help me to this day. I love the technical aspects of sailing, and Skip has gone the extra mile to help me combine this with strategies and techniques to become a better sailor.
Sailor Spotlight: Everett Botwinick
Everett Botwinick is a 13 year old Optimist sailor from Toms River. He is the middle of three boys, and all three sail at the Surf City Yacht Club during the summer. Everett has a positive attitude, thoughtful approach to the sport, and an eagerness to learn and improve that are a joy to witness and coach. He works incredibly hard both on the water and on shore, and his diligent approach to sailing has started yielding some top results. What also sets Everett apart is his love of reading and writing; Everett is one of the best writers I've ever seen for someone his age!
Name: Everett Botwinick
School: Toms River Intermediate North
Yacht Club: Surf City Yacht Club
1) Everett, you just returned from the Opti Team Trials. This is arguably the most important regatta on the Opti schedule each year. Can you tell me about the event, how you can qualify, etc? Where was it this year and what were the conditions like? Team Trials is probably the most rigorous Optimist event in the United States, excluding Spring Teams. While Spring Teams is an open regatta, Team Trials requires one top 25% finish at a USODA regatta or Nationals, with a top 50% finish. That means that only the best sailors qualify. This year, it was in Key Biscayne, Florida. The conditions were typically light, maybe 5-10 knots, and because of the proximity to the ocean, there were lots of waves and seaweed.
2) How did you do in the event? Were you happy with your finish? Did you have a goal going into the event? I placed 59th in Gold Fleet for Team Trials. I was very happy with my finish, considering that I haven't made Gold Fleet in any USODA regatta up until now, the hardest event of the year. My goal was to make an international event. Chances are that I will make one, considering that the amount of available spots exceeds my place in the regatta.
3) Why do you think that there were so many sailors from Florida at the top of the fleet? What advantages do they have over Northern sailors and how can we catch up? There were so many sailors from Florida at the top of the fleet because the majority of Florida sailors come from Coral Reef or Lauderdale, both of which have light wind and big waves, just like the conditions we had. They have a considerable advantage over Northern sailors because we, as Northerners, sail in drastically different conditions than Florida sailors. From personal experience at Surf City, it's pretty rare to have such light wind, even in the hot summer. During the spring, it's nearly impossible to have anything less than 10 knots. On the other end of the spectrum, Florida sailors sail in almost nothing all year round. Most USODA events are set in the South and therefore favor their expertise. We can catch up by sailing in as many USODA regattas as possible and gaining knowledge on light wind so we can sail well in it when the need arises.
4) What's your plan for this summer? My plan for this summer is to keep sailing Optis and become as good as possible. I'm still pretty young, so I have plenty of time left in this boat. 420 practices will be integrated into our regular practices (maybe once a week) so the transition from Opti to 420 is less jarring. Most of all, I'm going to have lots of fun.
5) I must ask, you are one of the best writers I've ever met. I'm incredibly impressed with your writing skills, especially since you're only in 8th grade! How did you become such a good writer? Thank you for the compliment! I read a lot, so I'm constantly finding new words and adapting them into my vocabulary. Over time, I have honed my writing style to accommodate different words in different scenarios. I love writing because it allows me to express myself in a unique way.
What a great last day of the TRYC Spring Series! We had 6 races in a puffy 10-18 knot Westerly breeze. Turner Ryon (winner of the Optimist fleet) gives us a debrief on the day:
Hi I’m Turner Ryon, last weekend I sailed the Sunday Series at Toms River
Yacht Club. Before I get to the water and the day of sailing, I want to talk about the
preparations on land. It was a pretty heavy wind day, on a heavy wind day you need
all your mast sail ties tight because the wind stretches them and the wind will flow
through the gaps if they’re not tight. Also you want your vang very tight on heavy
wind days and tightening the vang is something you have to do before every race.
Then for lighter kids you need to be depowered so you want a loose sprint tension
because it will help you keep the boat flat which is incredibly important. Also when I
depower like that Mike Dowd taught me to tie a third thick sail tie with the wind
pennant to keep your luff tension tight. Last you want a very tight out haul. This is
all very important when preparing for heavy wind sailing and they’re adjustments
you need to make if it gets heavier on the water.
Now for the part we have all been waiting for- on the water. When I was
rigging it was pretty light so I rigged for light wind something that hurt me when we
started sailing. At the skipper’s meeting we were told the lasers will be sailing a
longer windward leeward course and we will be sailing a shorter one. So I got out on
the water and sailed to the course. There I waited until the races began, first went
the lasers, then we moved up to the line. I kept close to the committee boat for as
long as I could then headed down closer to the pin and started. I finished second
that race behind Harrison Hubbard, a great sailor. Then in the second basically the
same thing happened and I got second again. Then in the third race it changed to a
triangle course and I started closer to the pin, tacked over the fleet and was first to
the windward mark, but I got stuck on it because I tacked too close had to spin and
was in seventh. I then brought myself back and rounded the leeward mark in second
as I made my way up I almost won but Harrison out tacked me and I finished
second. Then in the fourth race I had a perfect start and won! The next race though I
was called over and had to round the pin. I was near the back with Harrison who
was also called over, but I rode a lift up and rounded first and ended up winning the
race. In the sixth race, this one was scary. I went for my start and wasn’t the first one
and the person in front of me got stuck on the pin so I was stuck. I was the second to
last one off the starting line and made a huge comeback and got second! Last I would
like to thank Toms River for hosting the series and thank everyone one on the
committee boat. This series always teaches me so much!
WEEK 4 RESULTS
OVERALL SERIES RESULTS
Dr. Nunn is an unsung hero of Barnegat Bay. He has spearheaded high school sailing not only in our area, but in the entire state of NJ. His selfless donation of his time has lead to more teams, weekday racing, and competitive regattas all fall and spring long. We all read that fewer kids stay in the sport and that we need to do more to help grow sailing. Well Dr. Nunn is doing just that; he is responsible for more high school kids than ever enjoying our sport. We are incredibly lucky to have him supporting sailing on Barnegat Bay.
Name: Dr. Randall W. Nunn
Schools Attended: Rutgers University, Georgetown University, University of Pennsylvania
Yacht Club: Toms River Yacht Club
1) You have been incredibly instrumental in the success of High School Sailing in New Jersey. For those who don't know, can you give a summary of how high school sailing works? High school sailing teams consist of at least 4 sailors, two skippers and two crews, made up of students in 9-12 grade that attend the same school. The Interscholastic Sailing Association (ISSA) is the national organization that sets the procedural rules and governs the sport. There are seven districts throughout the county and NJ schools fall within the Mid-Atlantic Interscholastic Sailing Association (MASSA) District. The New Jersey Interscholastic Sailing Association (NJISA) League is the organization that runs high school sailing in NJ.
Fleet racing consists of regattas with up to 18 different schools competing against each other at a time. Team racing is when 2 schools race in head-to head competition with three boats/six sailors for each team. Regattas are organized at the local, regional and national levels.
Some schools fully support their team, while others exist as “club activities” which are primarily parent driven and operate with a high degree of autonomy from their school, other than having the school’s permission to use their high school name.
A significant difference between high school sailing and junior or yacht club sailing is that the sailors do not bring their own boats to regattas; they are provided by the host and consist of a fleet of eighteen equal 420’s or FJ's.
A team’s four or more sailors are split into two divisions: A & B. The racing format consists of two short races (10-15 minutes) on a windward-leeward course by one division (A), who then return to the dock where the second division (B) sailors get in the boats, go back out to the to the race course and sail their two races. Races are usually held close to the shore to make changing boats as quick and easy possible.
At any given time, half or more of the team is on the dock while the others are out racing. This back and forth between divisions is repeated through the allotted time for the regatta. There’s a lot going on out on the water and on the dock at these events. It’s competitive and social. It’s also very unique as the only co-ed high school sport, where girls and boys compete with and against each other, as well as being the only two-season sport with regattas in both the fall and spring.
2) How easy is it for a high school to form a team? It’s actually not complicated at all. Step one is to get a few sailors from a school together and start from there. They can ask anyone they know who is already involved in high school sailing: sailors, parents or coaches. People should also go online to the ISSA website page to get information about starting a team: https://hssailing.org/documents/Start-A-Team-12-2017.pdf There is a lot of additional info online throughout the ISSA’s web pages. Organizing students and parents should talk to their school administrators to get approval and then make arrangements to get on the water to practice at a site that has boats.
What are the steps needed to get on the water and start competing? In NJ, teams practice in Perth Amboy, Shrewsbury or Toms River. Based upon their school’s location and logistics of getting to any one of these three sites, teams should make arrangements to practice. Coaching options vary, and depending on where a team will be practicing. Some teams combine and share coaching, other teams have their own coach.
3) How have you seen high school sailing evolve over the past 10-15 years? The sport has simply evolved in absolute numbers. Ocean County College and Toms River Yacht Club have made the growth possible with access and availability of their fleet of 420’s and facilities. Ten years ago, there were only 4 teams that routinely sailed and the NJ schools traveled to NY to sail in regattas. Now there are typically 12-14 different NJISA high school teams that sail every week in Toms River, and there are two other venues now providing high school sailing for practices and regattas: Shrewsbury Yacht Club with Monmouth University’s fleet of boats and Raritan Bay with Summit High School and Perth Amboy High Schools’ fleet of boats.
What are we doing well right now? What makes the NJISA league work well are the weekday afternoon regattas. We have the good fortune to have most teams within 30-45 minutes of Toms River, so we can get 2-3 hours of sailing completed in a Wednesday afternoon regatta. This is in addition to another two days on the water practicing. Likewise, there are teams close to Raritan Bay that can get together on Tuesdays to race in Perth Amboy. This provides more opportunities for NJ teams to compete than many other regions in our district and has contributed to growth of the sport in our locally. We also have several one and two-day weekend regattas in the league. Some of these NJISA regattas are qualifiers to advance teams to the district championships, with regattas held at venues spanning from Norfolk, VA north to Rochester, NY. Some of the district regattas then serve as qualifiers to advance to the national regattas.
What is the next step to making this sport even better? The upcoming challenge we face will be working on updating and replacing the existing, aging fleet of boats used for high school and college sailing in Toms River. A new fleet will provide more opportunities for the NJISA league to host future championship regattas at the district, and possibly national, level. Raising money for this large expenditure needs immediate planning.
4) What made you want to donate so much of your time to High School Sailing? Art Bailey asked me 10 years ago if I could help him out with coaching the Toms River South team, and my involvement just grew from there. I enjoy my time on the water and being part of the group of people providing the opportunity for these kids and teams to participate in this unique type of sailing. All of my kids benefited from the experience and this is my part of giving back. The cooperative relationship we have among the NJISA League, it’s teams, the hosts and venues make it a rewarding experience.
Is it a volunteer run organization? Yes, administration of the NJISA League and MASSA District and ISSA is done by volunteers and we are very fortunate to have people at all levels dedicate their time and expertise to the sport.
5) Besides High School Sailing, what other kind of sailing are you involved in? I started sailing in a Toms River pram out of Ocean Gate Yacht Club, then as a teenager into my 20’s crewed on auxiliaries in Barnegat Bay and coastal ocean races. I spent a lot of time sailing with my good friend and professional mentor, Dr. Drew Seibert, as well as Fred Wiedeke and Terry Kempton over several years in J24’s J22’s and PHRF keelboats. I have dabbled in Laser and M-scow sailing as an adult, but at this point in time prefer a casual sail with my friend David Morrow in his cat boat as well as getting up to Rhode Island each summer to sail with my friend Dante Gulino around the Watch Hill area and Block Island Sound aboard his classic 50' John Alden sloop. When the river and bay freeze, I am always eager to get the DN out on the ice.
What are some other activities you like to do? I am blessed to be part of a great profession, so going to work each day is an “activity I like to do”. I have enjoyed snow skiing my entire life and consider myself more a skier who sails, rather than a sailor who skies. I enjoy most outdoor activities, photography, going on adventures with my kids and of course hanging out with my new sidekick Jetty, the rescue Catahoula puppy.
Opti Sailor Jamie Lynch wrote the following update on week 3 of the TRYC Spring Series
The third Sunday of the 2018 Spring Series brought all sailors on Toms River beautiful weather and finally, a spring feeling. The temperature was a warm 60-65 degrees with sun and barely a cloud in the sky, putting everyone in a good mood. A calm morning on the river gave way by race time to a steady breeze from the east that built throughout the day to 7-12 knots. For the nine sailors in the Optimist fleet who raced on a modified triangle course, consistency was the theme for the day. Griffin Lapham, getting a final warm up before heading to Team Trials this week in Florida, converted repeated great starts and fast sailing into six bullets and first places in both the Red and Overall Opti fleets. Robby Fontana was not far behind, finishing with five second places and a third, placing him first in Opti Blue and second overall. Harrison Hubbard's five third place finishes gave him third place overall. Elizabeth Actau also came in first place for the Opti White fleet. The five sailors in the Laser fleet completed six races as well, starting with a modified triangle before switching to a double windward-leeward to lengthen the course. Michael Pinto led the fleet, followed by Lauren Ehnot and Quinn Collins to complete the top three places. Thank you to PRO Max Achtau, Race Committee Members Alex Rogachenko and Everett Botwinick, Scorekeeper/Registration Manager Cindy Botwinick, and the parents who helped out on land and on the water. And a special thank you to the Toms River Yacht Club for hosting the Series at their club.
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The 2018 TRYC Spring Series continued with a lot fewer sailors but no less fun! The race committee consisted of Max Achtau, his daughter (Elizabeth), and Alex Rogachenko who intended to send off six races. Due to growing winds, though, the race committee called the day after the third race. It was a 40 degree day and the wind was blowing 25-35 knots making for a lot of hard work. Boats were being pushed to their limits. For example, Ryan Enot's vang cleat ripped right out of his mast! A total of five boats ended up going out, four of whom ended up with similar points. The youngest sailor-my nine year old brother Cole Martin- started the first race which was good enough to win him 1st place in white fleet. Ben DeFonzo ended up winning the day with six points, just overcoming Teddy Martin, Ryan Enot, and Everett Botwinick who all tied for second place with eight points. Teddy Martin was able to pull off the second place having a score of a 4,3,1 - a tie-breaker decided by the last first place of the day. Right behind him was Ryan Enot with the same score of a 1,4,3. Finally Everett Botwinick had a score of a 2,2,4, without a first place giving him fourth place. A big thank you to race committee for being out in such harsh conditions and getting the races off. I would also like to thank the parents for being out there to help keep us safe and Toms River Yacht Club for welcoming the opti fleet and for generously providing us with somewhere to warm up.
A few tips that help on days of heavy wind sailing is being mentally and physically prepared in addition to making sure your boat is in top condition and equipped and rigged properly. The sail ties, vang, and sprit should be very tight unless you are light and need to crack the sprit to depower. Also, if it is really windy you can pull your centerboard up 5-6 inches, and it will make your boat easier to hike. It is also important to have the proper gear to sail in the weather that you are dealing with so you can stay warm and avoid injury. A dry suit and a warm under layer are beneficial in this type of cold, windy weather. It is also helpful to get the Atlas lobster gloves that are waterproof and warm. When you are sailing in heavy wind, it is important to be physically prepared. You should be circuit training, running, and on the hiking bench as often as possible when off the water. Finally, it is really important that you are mentally prepared and have a positive mindset. I know because I have experienced this myself when I was younger. I can remember looking at the water and the enormous white caps and telling my dad that I didn't want to go out. However, if you turn those nerves into excitement and energy you'll get out on the water and you wont think about the waves or the amount of wind, you just do it. Then, there is no better feeling than when you are coming in after a wild day of sailing in high winds and low temperatures and knowing you conquered it.
Sailor Spotlight: Alex Rogachenko
Alex Rogachenko is a 32 year old member at Toms River Yacht Club. His ubiquitous presence during the TRYC Spring and Fall series is noted and appreciated by all parents and sailors alike. Quite frankly, Alex makes the series run. He'll gather marks, keep time on the RC boat, inform sailors of the impending Skippers' Meeting and Awards, and walk through the boat park to make sure sailors are rigged and ready. Alex has a positive attitude in everything he does, and his passion and energy are contagious. Alex loves the sport of sailing, and he will do whatever he can to make sure that everyone else gets the same enjoyment from sailing as he does.
Name: Alex Rogachenko
School Attended: Mitchell College
Yacht Club: Toms River Yacht Club
1) Alex, you are omnipresent at Toms River Yacht Club, always helping to run events. We see you every year at the Spring and Fall series lending a hand. What makes you want to give back to the sport of sailing and help as much as you do? I give back to the sport of sailing because I developed a love for sailing growing up. I want the younger sailors to also develop a love for sailing. If I have a positive attitude about sailing, so will they. I also want them to have the same opportunities I had when I was learning how to be a better sailor. When you’re on the water life just makes sense. You feel free.
2) Building on that, you also travel down to Miami in the winter to help at the Orange Bowl. What do you do at the Orange Bowl every year to help with that regatta? I help to launch and retrieve the Optis at Coral Reef Yacht Club. I make sure the dollies are organized. This is so the sailors can find them easier when they come in. I also bring a positive attitude every day. I make sure that the sailors have a safe and fun experience. If they have fun, they may want to do Orange Bowl again.
3) Your brother Kyle is one of the best sailors on Barnegat Bay. What kind of boats does he sail and what do you think makes him a great sailor? My brother has an E Scow and a Waszp. Working hard and training makes him a good sailor. Honing his skills by looking for the puffs and shifts helps make him a great sailor. Also knowing how to read those shifts helped him become a good sailor. He also fine-tuned his skills by competing against sailors from around the country and the world. Observing other good sailors and their tactics helped him become a great sailor.
4) You've traveled a lot as a result of sailing. What has been your favorite venue and why? Lake Garda in Italy was my favorite venue. I enjoyed watching my brother compete against sailors from other counties. It was our first international regatta. It was also my first trip to Italy. It was the first time I saw a few hundred boats at one regatta. The first day, they had all the boats on one starting line. Then they split up the fleet for the rest of the regatta.
5) Tell me about your other jobs that you do? Where do you work and what do you get to do at those jobs? I work for Morgan Engineering and the Lakewood Blue Claws. At Morgan, I scan and index old files. If we need to do an updated survey, we have a record of previous work done. I also copy, seal, and package the surveys and other documents for the mail. At the Blue Claws I work at concessions. By having a positive attitude when I take the customers order, I ensure that they have a pleasant experience at the ballpark. I also restock the products.
What a great first day of the TRYC Spring Series! 29 Optis and 6 Lasers braved the chillier temperatures to sail 6 races in a puffy/shifty Northerly breeze.
8th Grader Everett Botwinick wrote up the daily report below:
At the first installment of the Toms River Spring Series 2018, the sailors came back together after a winter of overseas and warm weather sailing to compete in a spectacular series of races. The race committee, composed of Clay Johnson, Declan Botwinick, Alex Rogachenko, and Max Achtau, rattled off six races at a blisteringly fast pace, which was a challenge in the 7-12 knot breeze. Lots of fun was had on the frigid water, and the incessant oscillations kept every sailor on his or her toes in their quest for the win. The coaches emphasized proper sail rigging on land and on the water and tactics when approaching the finish line; more specifically, not sailing parallel to the finish, as it can result in losing boats. Topping off the Laser Radial fleet were Lauren Ehnot in third place, David Manley in second, and Michael Pinto in the pole position. The top three finishers in the Optimist White Fleet were Drew DeFonzo, Cole Martin, and Christopher Small winning white. For the Blue Fleet, Teddy McKenzie, James Kopack, and Ian Lent emerged victorious. Finally, for the Red Fleet, Gabby Fontana, Everett Botwinick, and Ryan Ehnot rounded out the top three. Ryan clearly controlled the fleet for the day, as he had three bullets under his belt when the racing concluded. A special thank you to all the parents that assisted in getting all the sailors out for their first week back. And of course, this would never happen without the Toms River Yacht Club, which always provides a warm and welcoming home for Barnegat Bay sailors.
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Sailor Spotlight: Ben DeFonzo
Ben DeFonzo is a 14 year old Opti sailor from Pennsylvania who finds himself sailing on Barnegat Bay most weekends during the school year and every day during the summer. What I love about Ben is that - despite being 14 - he has already sailed the boat for 6 years. Ben started sailing young, but he loved it so much that he just wanted to be on the water with his friends. He credits sailing in the off-season and chasing around the older kids as one reason for his success today, but the reality is this kid works so hard and spends as much time as possible in his boat. More importantly, Ben comes from one of the nicest families in the sailing community, and it's impressive to see that friendly mentality both on and off the water. Ben, and his younger twin siblings, are going to be sailors you will see at the top of the results sheet for many years!
Name: Ben DeFonzo
School: Peirce Middle School, West Chester, PA
Yacht Club: Toms River Yacht Club & Surf City Yacht Club
1) Ben, you've been sailing Optis on Barnegat Bay for many years now. Tell me about your progression from Green Fleeter to where you are today. What are some things you did to help get you where you are today? I started sailing at Toms River Yacht Club 6 years ago when I was 8. I sailed in the Opti C - Green Fleet my first year. That year my group sailed in the Down Bay Interclub and some of the local regattas. Immediately, I discovered my love for being on the water and racing. The next year I moved right up to the race team at TRYC. All of the members of the race team were at least two years older than I was but they really took me under their wing and taught me a lot. Sailing on the race team with the older kids to chase, many of whom I’m still good friends with, definitely pushed me and improved my boat handling skills. Another big step that allowed me to advance my skills was my participation in the Colie Sails Spring and Fall Series at a very young age. The series was just starting back then and I remember at age 8 often being the youngest sailor and always finishing at the back of the fleet but at the same time building tons of confidence on the water. I think that sailing with the older, more experienced kids and watching them really helped me build my skills. Of course, coaching is hugely important and the summer instruction I’ve received from coaches like Amy Hawkins at TRYC, Clari Piran at SCYC and many others really allowed me to progress to where I am now. For the last two years I’ve been sailing with Team LBI and there is no room for mistakes when sailing with that group!
2) You've just returned from Holland for the Magic Marine Easter Regatta. It's a huge accomplishment to represent your country at an international event like this. Tell me about the regatta and how you did. The Magic Marine Easter Regatta was an entirely new challenge for me and a different level of competition than the normal USODA regattas I’m used to attending. I went into this regatta with expectations of heavy wind based on what I had heard about sailing in the Netherlands. I was looking forward to some heavy breeze like we typically get in NJ, but, unfortunately, the wind dropped off the second day and we almost lost a day of racing due to lack of wind. The light conditions made racing a bit more challenging but the U.S. had a very good team and still performed well. There were 15 of us from all over the United States - Cape Cod to St. Petersburg to San Francisco and in between. On the 4th day we split into Gold, Silver and Bronze fleets. All of Team USA qualified for the Gold or Silver fleets. I was fortunate to qualify for the Gold Fleet and ended up 57th out of just under 300 boats from around the world. Our coaches, Eric Bardes and Sarah Newberry, were awesome to work with, and at the end of the regatta they told us we were one of the top performing U.S. teams that has sailed this regatta!
3) What is the appeal of going on international trips? What are some of the cool perks to representing your country? It was pretty amazing when we got there and started seeing teams from so many different countries showing up. There were teams from 16 different countries. Some of the larger teams were from the Netherlands, Great Britain, Belgium, Norway and Germany. We met kids from all over, and everyone was so friendly. We all made some lifelong friends there that we will see at different sailing events in the future. We had some time as a team to see some of the Netherlands too which was cool. One night we went on a canal tour in the town of Leiden, and we got to do some exploring in Amsterdam too. Lake Braassemermeer, where we sailed, was a great venue and it was a great opportunity to learn more from being in a place with different wind shifts and tides. Above all, the appeal is to sail for Team USA and represent the United States!
4) Last summer you came out a couple times to try out the Waszp. What did you think of the boat? Was it easy to get up and foil? The Waszp has been one of my favorite boats to sail. I was psyched when Molly and Carl Horrocks asked me to go out with them. Once you got up foiling it felt amazing, but it was NOT easy to do. It took me a while to get up on the foils and really get going but if you have the right wind you can really fly. It takes some time to figure out the balance and technique needed to get up on foils but once you do it feels great. I spent most of the day trying to balance the boat or in the water trying to flip it back over but I’d jump at the chance to sail one again.
5) In the Opti class, it seems like getting off the starting line is really important. Give me three of your best starting tips that apply to all different boats. One thing I like to do 5 minutes before the start is go above the line and look for the puffs and the next breeze that is coming down the course. This helps me determine where I want to start and where I want to go after the start. Second, you need to be very aggressive. If you are not aggressive you will never be able to find a spot in the first row or even be able to hold your spot on the line. Third is to get good acceleration off the line. You need to have good speed off the line so that you can hold your lane after the start.
Sailor Spotlight: Bub and Emma Kovacs
If you don't know who Bub and Emma Kovacs are, you should. These two people have donated more hours, helped to run more regattas, and have done so much to support sailing in our area. Ever sail a regatta at Brant Beach YC before? There's a good chance that Emma helped you with registration and then rode her bike down to the main club house to serve you breakfast. Bub, meanwhile, was likely riding through the boat park with his megaphone making announcements to sailors and getting everything ready for the day. As Executive Directors of the Opti Class for many years, the Kovacs were instrumental in helping to revive the USODA and restore it to arguably the most successfully run one-design class in the country. Now, Bub is the Vice-President of the Club 420 class. The Kovacs love the sport and will do anything to give back and promote sailing. Barnegat Bay is lucky to have such supportive and passionate sailors involved in our sport.
1) Bub and Emma, you guys are incredibly involved with running regattas at Brant Beach Yacht Club. What makes Brant Beach one of the best regatta hosts not only in our area but also the country? What regattas are on the calendar for this year? Location, location, location. Brant Beach is blessed with seven blocks of bay-front property including three blocks of sand beaches for easy launch and recovery. We have had events with 300 boats. The race course is less than a half-mile from the club with little interference from boat traffic and the summer thermal creates great racing. The on-the-water and off-the-water teams are seasoned and used to hosting two or three major events each year. This year we will be doing the Club 420 Nationals early in July and the Laser Master’s Nationals in August. Additionally, we'll be hosting a Junior Olympic festival, our Annual Opti Regatta, and an LBI Interclub.
2) Brant Beach is in the process of building a new sailing facility. Can you give us some details on the project and a timeline? How will this help the club? After Sandy, the Club engaged in a series of listening sessions and a strategic planning process. After the repairs and replacement of docks, coach/committee boats and the club houses, a decision was made to advance a new Sailing Center to increase our hosting capabilities as well as be a center for our instructional programs. Essentially the project will double the size of the existing building, add a snack bar, locker rooms, a multipurpose room and rooms for juries and registration. We’ll have improved space for our Club management team, marine mechanic and maintenance staff. We have gone through an exhaustive review by Long Beach Township, DEP and the Army Corps. We now have permits, construction documents and have almost completed our fundraising efforts. We anticipate a construction starting right after Labor Day. We believe this project will improve services to members as well as our regatta guest.
3) A lot of sailors know you guys as being the Executive Directors of the USODA before Genoa Fedeszyn. There is no doubt that you left the Opti class in a position as one of the best run One Design classes in the country. What was that experience like? What are some improvements to the USODA that happened under your watch? We were glad to help the USODA transition to a 21st century One Design class. We were at the cutting edge of setting up one of the first management systems that integrated membership, event registration and financial management, and we ensured quick payments to hosts while building the financial reserves of the class. During this time we helped with a redesign of Optinews and launching social media elements. The difficulty for all youth class is with turnover of sailors and board members and the need to do a bit of hand-holding with sailors and parents as they transition from local to national competition. We’ve tried to continue to give back to youth sailing by either being the Chairpersons of events, Race Management, and Bub continues to serve as Vice President of the Club 420 Class.
4) Most people don't know this, but your son Kyle Kovacs was a ROCK STAR sailor growing up. Now he's becoming a real life doctor which means he has less time for sailing. Give us a quick summary of Kyle's experiences and how it was being a parent through these experiences. We give back to sailing because it was a central part of our family life for 15 years. Practice were every weekend all year around with Erik Johnson and Terry Kempton using ice flows as marks. Kyle started sailing Optis at Brant Beach and then joined the Toms River team who. at the time, included so many future National Champions and Collegiate Sailors. Kyle was a member of the Opti National team and later campaigned both Lasers and C420’s. In the year he won the US Sailing Double-handed Championship (Bemis) with Eric Reitinger, he was also the national Radial Grand Prix champ. He went on to win the US Sailing Single-handed Championship (Smythe) and later was a two time All-American and Captain of the Harvard Sailing Team. He’s married to Abigail Coplin who was a Yale All American and both a National and World sailing champion. Kyle is in the Bahamas right now for a month doing Retinal Surgery at an eye clinic. Its been difficult to find time to get on the water, but we hope gets out on a legendary Bahamian Sloop!
5) For the last couple of summers, the Brant Beach Sailing Foundation has maintained Raven, one of the famous Barnegat Bay A Cats. Tell me about that project and what is going on with the boat. We’ve always loved the A-Cats. They are a great boat to orient people to sailing, enjoy a leisurely sunset sail and of course for racing. The Raven project is being accomplished through a collaboration between the New Jersey Maritime Museum and the Brant Beach Sailing Foundation. John Coyle and Jim Vogel, who manage Ghost, have been instrumental in providing the groundwork for both the Raven and Ghost. We’ve been able to use Raven for the Wounded Veterans and Callahan Regatta at Bay Head YC. We’ve raced her Downbays and a few of the BBYRA events. We’ve also used Raven as a platform for at risk children and families. As important, we are helping to preserve an important part of Maritime history under the guidance of Tom Beaton and Paul Smith. We are now taking on the restoration of a Duck Boat in collaboration with the Hudson River Community Sailing Program.
Sailor Spotlight: Zach Higham
Zach Higham is a 16 year sailor from Pine Beach, NJ. Zach is a perfect example of someone we want sailing on the bay; he grew up sailing Optis at Pine Beach Yacht Club (the same club where his mom grew up), he loves sailing in high school and recruiting new teammates, he just bought an M-Scow to race in our BBYRA summer series, and he coaches the next group of sailors at the Island Heights YC. When most 16 year olds get their Learner's Permit, they want to spend the day driving a car. Not Zach. He couldn't wait to get home and tune up his M-Scow. Zach's love of the sport is exactly what makes him a life-time sailor.
Name: Zach Higham
School: Toms River HS South
Yacht Club: Pine Beach
1) Zach, give me a brief synopsis of your sailing career so far. Where did you go to junior sailing program? What boats have you sailed? I started junior sailing program at age 5 at the Pine Beach Yacht Club. When I began racing Opti more competitively I joined the Toms River Yacht Club Opti racing team and CERT. This helped me advance my racing knowledge and tactics tremendously. I had a pretty good Opti career placing 3rd overall in NJ Opti States in the Silver Division and winning the BBYRA Midget Championship. At the Mid-Atlantic Midget Finals I placed 2nd. My High School Sailing career started in the fall of 2015 at Toms River HS South. Sailing in high school is a lot of fun and I enjoy competing with other local high school teams. This past summer I began instructing at the Island Heights Yacht Club. Some of my fellow instructors were sailing M Scows, and I started crewing. At the end of the summer, on my 16th birthday, I bought my first M-Scow. One month later I placed 3rd in the Eastern Championship. Sailing has become a very important part of my life, and I don’t know what I would do without it.
2) What is sailing at Pine Beach Yacht Club like? You are one of the better sailors to come out of that club in a while, and I know your family is involved at the club. Tell me about the culture and what makes Pine Beach YC so great. The Pine Beach Yacht Club is a wonderful club which has given me so many wonderful experiences. My mom grew up sailing and later instructed at PBYC so it's been a part of our family. The club has evolved in many ways, and I have witnessed many of the changes. My father has been on the Executive board in many positions from the Treasurer to the Commodore during the 100th Anniversary, and he now serves as the Past Commodore. Over the summer, I am continuously around the yacht club participating in many of these historic events. Most summer mornings, I head down to the yacht club to hop on my whaler for my commute to work. Friday nights, I join in on a casual, yet competitive, Sunfish series. On Sundays my family gets together, and we all sail on my dad’s Capri 25 in the PHRF series. Pine Beach Yacht Club is great because of its amazing environment where the members get involved and are invested in the junior sailors. I have gained knowledge and experience through either sailing with them or just having a casual conversation at one of the social events. Pine Beach is a family club where all the members know your name. I am very proud to be part of such an amazing yacht club and cannot wait to hopefully bring home another Bay Flag as well as see the development of the future junior sailors.
3) You are one of the top sailors on the Toms River South sailing team (Go Indians!). What's your high school sailing experience been like? Pretend I'm an incoming freshman considering joining the South sailing team. Give me your pitch! I have been sailing in high school since my freshman year and have recently been named one of the two captains of our team at Toms River High School South. The transition in my freshman year from sailing a single handed boat like the Opti to a larger double handed boat like the 420 was a little difficult. I started as a crew which was something I was not used to, but I am thankful to have such great coaches who helped me with the transition. Towards the end of the fall of freshman year I began spending some time in the back of the boat. Ever since joining the team back in the fall of 2015 we have qualified for our Silver Fleet Championship every season as well as one trip to the Gold Fleet Championship. I hope that in these coming years as a captain and our A fleet skipper I can help lead the team to another trip to the Gold Fleet Championship. Overall high school sailing has been extremely rewarding for me. I have met new friends from my school as well as others, and I have grown so much as a sailor because of this choice. I recently recruited two new freshman to join our team for this spring season, and so far they both really enjoy sailing. Sailing is unlike many other sports because it is a lifelong sport. At the end of the day high school sailing is very rewarding, and if you have the chance you should give it a try even if you know nothing about sailing.
4) This weekend was the first HS sailing regatta of the season, the Icebreaker Regatta at TRYC. You sailed really well in very challenging conditions. What was your strategy and how did you approach the regatta? Going into the Icebreaker Regatta this past weekend my main focus was to get back to the basics of the fast-paced high school sailing races. With 15 boats on a large line and heavy wind, I focused on getting clean starts each race and keeping my boat as flat as possible. I also focused on sailing my own race the whole day and paying attention to my own boat instead of the other teams. On my very first race this spring season I put everything I have learned so far in high school racing together and was able to win the race. As the day continued the wind was building and the conditions worsened. Managing conditions with heavy wind and waves is difficult especially when sailing with a crew, but I am very proud of how well my crew, Paige Zelenak, and I worked together. Paige helped me tremendously throughout the regatta. As co captains we have realized the importance of teamwork. I look forward to future regattas such as the Spring Fleet Championship, SUNY Maritime Invitational, and the NJ State Championship as well as the conditions that they bring.
5) Recently you bought an M Scow to sail on Barnegat Bay. M Scows are very cool boats with a strong presence on the bay. What made you decide to buy a boat like that and how do you like it so far? Over this past summer, I was introduced to the M-Scow while crewing with a coworker at the Lavalette Sunday Series. After crewing on multiple M-Scows I just knew that this was the boat for me. The overall shape and feel of the boat intrigued me. So my dad and I began to look around for my own boat. After talking to many sailors in the M-Scow community and meeting new people through the Lavalette Sunday Series I found out that Tom Welsch was interested in selling one of his three boats. One night after a long day of coaching at Duck Boat Worlds, my Dad and I met Mr. Welsch to look at the boat. The boat was in wonderful racing condition-- white with two sleek blue stripes down each side and the name Jammin’ on the stern. That night I bought my first M scow. The next morning was my 16th birthday, and I went for my drivers permit. After that, I spent the rest of the day sailing my M-Scow. I didn't even want to go drive in a car; all I wanted to do was sail my M-Scow. Late in the summer I entered two weeks of BBYRA racing and then the M-Scow Eastern Championship in September. I had a great time racing that day and ended up finishing 3rd in the Eastern Championship. The M-Scow is a great double-handed racing boat on the Barnegat Bay which I truly love. I can’t wait to compete in my M-Scow next summer and for many years to come.
Sailor Spotlight: Pilar Cundey
Sailor Spotlight: Brooke Schmelz
Brooke Schmelz is a 15 year old Freshman at the Ranney School. After a successful Opti career, Brooke has now started crewing in the Club 420 and racing on the Ranney HS Sailing Team. She also owns a Laser Radial for days when she just wants to sail herself! As the coach of the Ranney HS Sailing Team, what I admire about Brooke is her work ethic; Brooke is the first one on the water and the last one off the water everyday. She learns from her teammates, and she always has a positive attitude. Brooke is a student of the game, and I would wager that her sailing notebook is more detailed than just about anyone else!
Name: Brooke Schmelz
School: Ranney School
Yacht Club: Surf City and Toms River Yacht Clubs
1) Brooke, you just returned from the Club 420 Midwinters. Tell me about the event. This year the C420 Midwinters was held in Jensen Beach, FL. We got to see all kind of conditions from light wind (where I was sitting on the leeward side of the boat) to very breezy (where I was full out trapping with our main eased). We were often postponed in the mornings because there was not enough wind, but as the day would go on the wind would steadily increase. There were about 75 boats at the regatta and my skipper and I placed 28th. We were racing on the side of the bridge furthest from the yacht club which was about a 45 minute sail away.
2) I know you're a big Club 420 fan. Why do you enjoy the C420 so much? Tell me about your relationship with your skipper, Declan Botwinick. After getting out of Optis I knew immediately I wanted to be in a C420. I think my decision to sail a C420 had something to do with the fact that when I was a younger sailing at Surf City they let Declan Botwinick and me try the boat a few times - we immediately fell in love with it and knew we wanted to sail together. I started to crew, and I was just drawn to the trapeze. My coach could not get me off of it! From that point on I decided that I wanted to sail that boat and I wanted to crew. My skipper, Declan, and I have been sailing for a few summers now, and we do every regatta possible. Like every pairing, it is not always smooth sailing, but Declan and I have an understanding that what happens in the moment on the water stays on the water. We have always been great friends, and one of our goals on the water is to always have fun with what we are doing.
3) In addition to the C420, you also own a Laser Radial and sail that on the side. What does the Laser Radial offer you when you're not sailing C420s? Sailing a Laser Radial has been a great experience for me. Whenever Declan cannot practice in the C420 I do not have to scramble to find someone to sail with. I just jump in my Laser and learn some new things that I then apply to the C420. A lot of the top sailors in the US and World have spent some time in the Laser. I think it teaches a lot of skills and also allows me to still skipper a little.
4) You're a freshman on the Ranney sailing team. What has your experience with HS sailing been like? At first I was a bit uncertain that I would even do high school sailing. I also play tennis so originally I was going to do that, but I changed my mind, and I am so glad I chose sailing. Ranney has two really good skippers in Luke Arnone and Cameron Gilblin, and even though I am the third skipper on the team, the boat-handling and strategy I learn from them I couldn't get anywhere else. The ability to sail against these guys everyday is an opportunity I would never pass up. Since I have spent my summers crewing in the Club 420, I had a little trouble at first readjusting as a skipper. But they push me to get better and always give me helpful hints on how I could improve. Sailing with teammates like Luke and Cameron, with the added aid of coach Clay Johnson, has really improved my overall sailing IQ and boat-handling.
5) You've been coached by a lot of really good coaches over the years. What is the best advice or tip you have ever received? What's something you've learned that you could pass down to younger sailors? I've been lucky to have been coached by a lot of good coaches over the years. I think one thing that sticks out - no matter what sport I play - is to just trust yourself. Sail your own race and trust that you know what you are doing. When I remember to do this I feel I am more confident in my decisions and make better choices around the course overall.
Sailor Spotlight: Michael Pinto
Sailor Spotlight: Sarah Burn
5) What are your sailing plans for the next few months? I know i420 Worlds are in Newport, RI, this year. How will you gear up for those?
5) You are one of the best E-Scow sailors in the country, and you had arguably the most dominating performance at an E-Scow Nationals ever at Little Egg Harbor YC in 2015. [Jeff had a 1-1-1-1-2-5]. What do you attribute this win to?
Sailor Spotlight: Teddy Martin
Teddy Martin is an impressive 13 year old! Teddy is a rockstar around Lake Hopatcong; he moves boats around the yacht club with his tractor, is a coveted crew on E-Scows, and is one of their top junior sailors. But over the past year Teddy has upped his game by traveling down to the shore to compete against better kids. He has also travelled nationally attending any regatta his parents will take him to. This summer he's even going to try his hand at steering an E-Scow in between Opti events! Keep a look out for this up-and-coming sailor!
Name: Teddy Martin
Yacht Club: Lake Hopatcong & Surf City Yacht Club (Summer Opti Team)
Grade in school: 7th grade at Tewksbury Middle School
5. I have to ask. At the E-Scow Easterns two years ago at Lake Hopatcong YC, you were the little kid that was driving a John Deere trailer moving everyone's boats to the hoist. At first people were reluctant to let an 11 year old back their boat down the hill and to the hoist, but after you did it a couple times you really surprised and impressed a lot of people by weaving in and out and driving the tractor like a pro. How did you learn to drive a tractor like that?! I grew up on our family's farm, and I've been driving the farm equipment since I could reach the controls. When the yacht club needed a machine to move the trailers my dad offered my John Deere tractor but only under the condition that I would drive it. I was excited, I knew it wouldn't be a problem since I've worked with equipment my whole life.
Sailor Spotlight: Brendan Hogan
Name: Brendan Hogan
Yacht Club: Shore Acres YC (is the place to be!)
Schools attended: Donovan Catholic, Ocean County College, Kean University
1) Brendan, give me a quick summary of your sailing background. Where did you grow up sailing? Did you sail in high school? College? etc.
I began sailing at the age of 7 in the Shore Acres Yacht Club Jr Sailing Program. At that age, I was not fond of sailing program by any means. In fact, I am pretty sure I had a belly ache that entire summer. However, my parents were persistent, and I continued in the program. By age 10 I was racing Optis, before advancing to Lasers. At age 15 I began sailing for a travel team - TS4LS - and this is where my passion really grew. I sailed for Monsignor Donovan in High School, and while there I was able to practice with some of the best sailors in the country. During my college career I attended many different universities; however I spent most of my time sailing for OCC and Kean. The OCC program was my primary enabler to continue the sport. Because of my time there I was exposed to A-Cats, Ensigns, and the venerable E-Scow, which I still race today.
2) You are the Commodore of the Shore Acres YC - pretty young compared to most Commodores. For those who don't know, Shore Acres YC was hit pretty hard by Hurricane Sandy and is still rebuilding. Can you tell me how the club is coming along?
Shore Acres was completely decimated by Super-Storm Sandy. I will never forget the day the water receded. I walked down to the club, and the only part that looked salvageable was the roof. That day led to 5 years of conducting club events from under a canvas tent. Today, thankfully, we are making great progress towards rebuilding the club. We currently have all of our siding, windows, and rough mechanicals in place. If everything goes according to plan we will be re-opening this May. This has been an incredibly difficult process that has been helped along by a great many people, and I hope they will all join me at the club when we are finished.
3) This winter has been very cold so far which has provided some great opportunities to ice-boat. Have you been? What's it been like?
This winter has been BRUTAL. One of the coldest I can remember (Especially when you are trying to build a new clubhouse!). The flip side of that coin, however is that we have been able to do a ton of ice-boating! I firmly believe that the most fun you can have during the winter is on an ice boat. I have owned a DN ice-boat for a couple of years, and this was the first opportunity I have had to use it. To be completely honest, the experience is surreal- gliding along the bay at 30+ knots with hardly a sound to be heard. It is one of the most fantastic out of body experiences one can have. This year we were blessed, in a sense, because Kettle Creek (by SAYC) froze solid for a good 1 month period. I believe out of that we were able to do 2 weekends of ice-boating. Ice-boating will certainly test your patience, but the reward far outweighs any of that- I can’t wait to get back on the ice again!
4) In the summer you sail with Kyle Rogachenko on his E-Scow, "Honk." What is that like and can you tell me about the dynamics on that boat?
Sailing with Kyle is one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life. I have known Kyle since we were both racing Optis and Lasers; sailing has a way of providing enduring friendships. The crew is primarily made up of Kyle, AJ Bailey and myself. Sailing with Kyle and AJ has definitely elevated my own game. On paper, most people would think it is crazy to throw 3 lifetime skippers into one boat, especially two engineers and someone who may not be known for attention to detail [Editor's note: Brendan is talking about himself]. The reality is that we all complement each other very well. Trust me when I say that is a full time job to keep two engineers from getting in their own head during a postponement. Most importantly, this has also been the most fun I have had sailing since I was probably 15. We do not get down on each other; we only serve to pump each other up. This kind of positive environment has an impact on the race course, but it has an even greater impact once on shore. While we always want to win the race, we recognize that there are greater things in life than the race course- such as winning the party at Inlands. HONK!
5) You are one of the most approachable, inclusive, and easy-going guys I know, you've stepped up and helped out at Shore Acres Yacht Club, and you are always available to help promote sailing on Barnegat Bay. What is it about sailing and Barnegat Bay that keeps you so involved? What do you love most about our area?
I bleed Barnegat Bay. I have sailed on the Great Lakes, the Inland Lakes, the Finger Lakes, as well as up and down both coasts, and I can comfortably say that Barnegat Bay is simply the best. We have one of the most predictable and satisfying sailing breezes with our summer thermal. This creates some big waves to go along with the big breeze, which can be a lot of fun too. In the Spring and Fall we often benefit from strong west winds from weather fronts moving across the country, and you haven’t lived until you’ve sailed in a Jersey Nor’Easter. It’s very rare we lose a day of racing to no wind at all. Most important, to me, however, are the people. We would not have such a robust and well renowned sailing venue if it were not for the people who support the sport. This includes all the members of the area clubs, the BBYRA, and the Jr Sailing committees. I could probably give you a list of 1,000 people who have helped me out along the way, and I would still be forgetting someone- and that is what makes the difference.
Sailor Spotlight: Leo Boucher
Above left: Leo Sailing at the Lauderdale OCR.
Above right: Leo and Laser Gold Medalist, Tom Burton.
Sailor Spotlight: James Kopack
James Kopack is a 6th grade student at the St. Joseph's school in Toms River, NJ. James has sailed Optimists for a few years now, and he is most known for his dedication and love of the sport. It is not uncommon to see James practicing by himself after school or working on his Optimist. James' positive attitude and desire to do ANYTHING that is sailing related are tell-tale signs that he is going to have a fantastic sailing career!
Last weekend, James sailed in the Optimist Team Racing Midwinters in Hilton Head, South Carolina. We checked in with James to hear how the regatta went.
Name: James Kopack
Year In School: 6th Grade
Yacht Club: Mantoloking YC and Toms River YC
1) James, you just got back from the Team Racing Midwinters. Tell me about the regatta and how you guys did.
The TR Midwinters was unlike any regatta I have ever done before; it was a whole different concept. First of all, we all had our different teams. I was on CERT Red. The first day we got on the water and go the hang of things having not sailed for a while this winter, but we fought hard. Sadly, we missed Gold fleet in a three-way tie! We would have made it into Gold fleet but we (along with the other team Lakewood YC) all went to the wrong mark in one race and were penalized 24 points per sailor!
Day 2 we were placed in Silver fleet and didn't do as well as we wanted, placing 7/11 in Silver.
Day 3 we went out confidently on the water to see who would get the 7th and 8th place spots in a knock-out round (best of 3). We went up against Lauderdale 2. My team and I fought hard and beat them 1-2-3 two times. This time we won! Even though we did not get into Gold, my team and I did an amazing job for our first time together. All in all, it was a great experience!
2) What do you like about team racing and what do you like about fleet racing?
Team racing and fleet racing are both some of my favorite things to do, but I have to say I do like team racing a little bit better. In team racing, you have a team to talk to and somewhat rely on if you're in a bad spot. I also enjoy setting mark traps and helping my team fight for the winning combination.
On the other hand, in fleet racing you don't have to worry about messing up your team. You don't have to worry about setting mark traps - all you have to do is sail your own race.
I like both team racing and fleet racing a lot, but I think I like team racing better!
3) POP QUIZ: Opti Team Racing is 4 vs 4. Your team is in a 1-2-7-8. Are you winning or losing?
You're losing! If you're in a tie, the team with the first place spot is losing. Any combination with the 7-8 is losing. The 1-2-7-8 is very easy to get out of though. Just ask a teammate to set a mark trap and your team is winning! [Editor's note: James is 100% correct]
4) James, I have witnessed firsthand how hard you work in the off-season. You started sailing after school by yourself, then with a friend, then with more friends. Tell me why you do that and describe how it's turned into a popular activity.
First of all, I do this because I love sailing. I would go sailing right now, but unfortunately the river is frozen! Second, I do this because the best kids down south in Florida go out every day after school. They basically can sail non-stop, and the only way we're going to catch them is by spending time on the water. You might not know it, but every time you go sailing you get a little bit better. Even if you just go out and do a dozen tacks and gybes, you will get a little bit better. I think this activity became popular because kids who live on the Toms River saw me sailing and wanted to go out too. Then, my friends told their friends and it became sort of a trend!
5) What are your goals for 2018?
I have many goals for 2018. My main goal is to qualify for Team Trials at the upcoming Valentine's Day Regatta. My second goal, even though this isn't results driven, is to mast my tacks. In the summer of 2017 I got SO much better at my tacks. Now that my tacks are somewhat decent, I need to MASTER them. My third goal is to work on my starts. As some of you may know, I tend to be really good at getting Black Flagged! This year I need to perfect my starts!
Sailor Spotlight: Bella Grey
Bella is an 11 year old 6th grader who sails for CERT and LEHYC. She is part of the up-and-coming contingent of young Little Egg sailors who have really upped their games lately. She and her LBI teammates have started practicing hard in the off-season, they're traveling to as many regattas as possible, and they are loving the sport. Their time on the water is starting to pay dividends too as their results improve every time they sail. LEHYC is going to have a power-house junior sailing program for many years to come!
Name: Bella Grey
Age: 11 years old
Grade in School: Sixth grade
Yacht Club: Little Egg Harbor Yacht Club
Bella, you have travelled to a lot of regattas lately and have really made an effort to improve your sailing skills. Which regatta was your favorite and why?
I have two favorites. My first would probably be Nationals. It was my first big regatta since Orange Bowl 2016, and I had recovered from a concussion two weeks before. I also qualified for Team Trials, so I was super excited at the end. Also, I enjoyed spending time with my teammates and feel like we got to know each other better. ACCs was also great. The activities after sailing were awesome, and the zip-line was definitely the highlight of the regatta. The heavier wind on the second day was also enjoyable.
Tell me about your concussion last year and what you did while you were recovering.
Last year I got a concussion by falling on my head doing a back-bend. Honestly, it was awful. I also got whiplash from doing flips at a trampoline park, which added to my head pain. While I was recovering, all I did was sleep and eat for the first week. After I got a little better, I learned how to bake. So many batches of brownies and cookies were made (and eaten) during my recovery.
What’s something you do really well in the boat?
Something I do well in the boat is sailing downwind. I plan ahead and know if I should jibe or keep going at the weather mark. I am also good at mark roundings, and I pass boats while rounding marks.
What’s a short term goal or something you want to improve on?
One thing I want to improve on is starts. I am usually on the favored side and have a good hole, then I lose it at 20 seconds. My goal is to get consistent front row starts and not lose my hole.
What’s your favorite drill on the water?
My favorite drill is probably rabbit starts. Strangely enough, I used to despise them. I finally got good at rolling my boat to get speed off my rounding. It's fun to see if I can pass the boat that rounded before me and to try my best not to get passed.
The Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series came to an anti-climactic end Sunday, as rain and big breeze kept the sailors on shore. Despite marginal conditions early on, the forecast was for increasing wind and rain as the day went on; it was a safe call to end the series.
Congratulations to our winners in both the Laser Radial and Opti fleets! Consistency over the course of a four week period is needed to come out on top, and both Teddy Martin (Optis) and Tyler Mowry (Laser Radials) did just that!
Thank you so much to our helpers. Cindy Botwinick and Amy DeFronzo graciously did the scoring and registration. Mike Dowd, Brian Hull, and a collection of other parents donated their time to run the racing. None of this could be possible without Alex Rogachenko who keeps things moving smoothly and happening on schedule. There are many others who have contributed in some way, and this truly is a team effort. THANK YOU!
We are indebted to Toms River Yacht Club for their continued support of Junior Sailing and the use of their facilities. TRYC generously welcomes us each fall and spring, and we are so lucky to sail there. A quick note from your sailor thanking the yacht club with an annecdote about your experience or what you learned this fall would go a long way to showing our appreciation!
See you in the Spring!
Final Opti Results
|First||Last||Sail #||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||Total||Total w/Drops||Fleet|
Final Laser Results
|First||Last||Sail #||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||8||9||10||11||12||13||14||15||16||17||18||19||20||21||22||23||24||Total||Total w/Drops|
October 23, 2017 10:59:15 AM EDT
Week 4 of the Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series started slowly with a wind delay. Light air set a slow tone to the group as sailors anxiously hoped to get out and race. By about 11:45 AM, a soft 5-7 knot breeze filled in and allowed 22 Opti sailors and 4 Laser sailors to head out on the course for the day's racing.
Five triangle races were sailed for the Optis, and once again, Ryan Ehnot worked his way to the front of the fleet. With a strong opening sequence of 4 bullets, Ryan managed a 7th in race 5 to take the overall, no-drop, win. Ben DeFonzo and Teddy Martin (top White fleeter) were hot on his heels with consistent scores themselves. The top three sailors were pretty punched, but Gabby Fontana (top Blue fleeter) lead the next chase pack, finishing 4th overall.
In the small, but competitive, Laser Radial fleet, Tyler Mowry was able to win all 6 races on the windward-leeward courses. His speed and conservative tactics helped place himself at the top all day long. Quinn Collins and David Manley had a back-and-forth battle for 2nd and 3rd that ultimately went to Quinn. Peyton Kliesch is spending time on the water each week to improve, rounding out the Radial fleet.
Thank you so much to Alex Rogachenko, Brett Byer, and Matt McKenzie for running the Race Committee. Ted Martin was on the finish boat, and Amy DeFonzo is making a strong case for MVP this season with both registration and scoring duties.
THANK YOU to all the parents and volunteers, and thank you to Toms River Yacht Club for their continued support of Junior Sailing.
October 16, 2017 1:58:19 PM EDT
Sunday, October 15th, was the 3rd week of the TRYC Fall Series. Sailors were greeted with cloudy skies and 70 degree temperatures. As the day went on the sun poked out and the breeze got puffier. Six races were held in breeze that ranged from 5-15 knots out of the Southwest.
In the highly competitive Laser fleet, Leo Boucher exerted his dominance by winning all 6 races. Racing was close, and Leo was pushed hard by Tyler Mowry, Michael Pinto, Quinn Collins, and David Manley. It was pretty cool to see just how tight each mark rounding was in the Laser fleet.
32 optis raced on Sunday, and it was Ryan Ehnot (red fleet) who strung together the best series to win by a convincing 15 point margin. 2nd place through 7th place was separated by a mere 4 points, reinforcing the fact that every point truly counts! In the end, Pilar Cundey (blue fleet winner) won the pack for 2nd followed by James Kopack in 3rd.
Word on the street is that Everett Botwinick promised his mom (and official scorer) extra chores at home if she could finagle him winning the three-way tie breaker for 4th-5th-6th in the scores. And while the scores initially reflected Everett's wishes, the plan was foiled shortly after the results were read. Griffin Lapham was the true winner of the tie-breaker due to his two race wins, and we wanted to point that out and give Griffin some recognition that he didn't get at the awards ceremony.
With Griffin placing 4th, Ben DeFonzo was next in the tie-breaking count-back to take 5th. Everett had to settle for 6th. Teddy Martin rounded out the lead pack just one point back in 7th.
Turner Ryon is living proof of the adage that the more time you spend in the boat, the better you're going to do. Turner has been practicing hard this past spring, summer, and fall, and it's evident in his results. Turner rocked a 2nd place in one race on Sunday and won the white fleet. Look for Turner's name at the top of the results in upcoming years.
We're lucky to have so much support from the parents and helpers. Cindy Botwinick and Amy DeFonzo once again handled the scoring and registration. These two are a well-oiled machine and make sure that everything goes smoothly. A handful of parents were helping launch and retreive sailors, monitor racing, and generally give a helping hand. Finally, Mike Dowd and Alex Rogachenko donated their time to man the Race Committee boat this week. We're grateful to EVERYONE for making this series happen.
Finally, Toms River Yacht Club once again delivered with their support of sailing. There were FIVE different race courses being sailed on this weekend. All of the action happens at TRYC, and it's so cool to see the energy around the club. Please thank the officers at TRYC if you get a chance. We truly couldn't do it without their support.
See everyone next weekend for the 4th week of the series!
October 10, 2017 1:01:54 PM EDT
While many sailors were in St. Petersburg, FL, for the SE Optimist Champs (and Spring Teams Qualifier) or in Bellport, NY, for the Club 420 Mid Atlantics, some sailors stayed home and raced in the TRYC Fall Series Week 2. 12 Optimists and 5 Laser Radials duked it out in some great fall conditions.
Teddy Martin exerted his dominance in the Opti fleet, winning 4/6 races. Turner Ryon and James Kopack gave Teddy a run for his money, though, each winning a race and playing in the front of the fleet. The young but enthusiastic Optimist fleet showed nice improvement and sailed really well for the day.
Another dog fight in the highly-competitive Laser Radial fleet ended with Tyler Mowry winning a tie-breaker over Lauren Ehnot for first place. Michael Pinto sailed a nice series to finish closely behind in 3rd place.
Thank you to Brian Hull and Alex Rogachenko for running 6 fantastic races!
Racing continues next weekend, Sunday, October 15th, at Toms River Yacht Club!
October 4, 2017 10:37:34 AM EDT
The 2017 Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series began this past Sunday, October 1st, on a warm and sunny day. Sailors competed in a puffy, shifty Northeasterly breeze at about 10 knots. 44 Optimists and 7 Lasers raced the first week.
In the Optimist Fleet, Red Fleeter Bridget Green posted a very consistent 2-1-2-1-1-1 series to take the overall win. Her solid starts and quick decision-making allowed her to connect the puffs and round in the top every race. Griffin Lapham just edged the group for second, spending most of his day at the front of the fleet. Griffin fought hard for the boat end of the starting line and kept an eye on the right side of the course which seemed to work well all day long. Ian Lent (top Blue fleeter), Pilar Cundey, Teddy McKenzie (top White fleeter) and Everett Botwinick rounded out the top group.
There was a small but very competitive Laser fleet sailing on Sunday. Often times who could navigate the maze of Optimists determined who would win the races. Dan Lent won overall, but he cheated by sailing a Laser Full rig! The radial winner was Tyler Mowry, followed closely by Lauren Ehnot and Michael Pinto. Winfield Dunn mixed it up in his 4.7 for the day.
Thanks to Toms River Yacht Club for letting us use their facilities. It sure is great to see over FORTY Optimists racing on Sundays in October. Mike Dowd and Alex Rogachenko ran the races. Cindy Botwinick and the Defonzos manned the scoring and registration.
See everyone next week!
May 1, 2017 1:39:22 PM EDT
Sunday, April 30th was the fourth and final TRYC Spring Series for 2017. Sailors were met with temperatures in the 60s and a building 10-15 knot breeze out of the East. The Race Committee set up Windward/Leeward courses with a short reach finish and six races were sailed to complete the series.
In the 28 boat Optimist fleet, Charlie McKenzie - just back from representing the US at the Lake Garda Regatta in Italy - enjoyed the puffier conditiions by stringing together some bullets and taking the overall win for the day. Ryan Ehnot had some solid finishes early in the day to finish a close second. Ben DeFonzo, who seemed to always have his boat in the right spot, rounded out the top three, just losing a tie breaker with Ryan. It was really close racing at the top of the fleet.
Blue fleet was once again won by Everett Botwinick who's making a point of winning his age group. Everett had to work hard, though, with Pilar Cundey and James O'Gwen hot on his tail. Pilar sailed an awesome last race to win by a big margin; the smile on her face when she crossed the line could be seen all the way from shore.
Teddy McKenzie was back in the White fleet again and put together a strong series to finish 10th for the day and win his division. The hard-working James Kopack and the always-pleasant Harrison Hubbard rounded out the top three in White fleet.
It was amazing to watch all of the Opti sailors compete yesterday. You can really tell they've been working hard all spring, and they will be that much better off in the summer for the hard work they put in during the off-season.
Everyone wants to beat Leo Boucher in the Laser fleet. You know you've sailed a good race if it does happen because it is so rare. Leo is fast, smart, fit, and a very savy racer. In typical Leo-fashion, he had four 1sts and two 2nds to win the day. Tyler Mowry strung together a consistent series (including beating Leo twice!) to take second for the day. Jamie Paul, who's attended every week with success finished 3rd for the day in the 10 boat fleet.
Nicole Moeder raced in the Laser Radial, but she forgot her drain plug. In a last ditch effort to sail, she wedged some paper in the opening to prevent water from coming in. Spoiler alert: paper doesn't prevent water from coming in, and sailing without a drain plug isn't fast! Nicole found that out pretty quickly and had to call it quits before the last race.
Payton Kliesch has been racing every weekend, and improving every day she's on the water. Despite sailing a 4.7 against all radials, Payton had some really nice races and was always in the mix.
Only one 420 showed up today, but that didn't stop Declan Botwinick and Brooke Schmelz from joining in to race the Lasers. The finished mid-fleet in most of the Laser races, but they dominated the 420 scoreboard with all first place finishes! It was very good practice to go out and put the spinnaker up and down. Good job for getting out there!
At the completion of the series, sailors and parents headed upstairs at Toms River Yacht Club for the awards. Gill generously stepped up this week to provide some really nice rash guards, buffs, hats, and other prizes. The sailors loved the candy and glasses from TRYC that club member Casey Mundry prepared for us. As always, we are so lucky to have the support and hospitality from Toms River Yacht Club to host our Spring and Fall Series.
Cindy Botwinick and Amy DeFonzo made sure everything ran smoothly on shore, once again manning the Registration and Scoring desk. These ladies generously donate their time to make sure everyone else has a fun day on the water. THANK YOU.
Mike Dowd, head CERT Opti coach, was on the water moving marks and giving out advice to all the sailors. Many parents also jumped in to launch and retrieve boats, patrol the course, and help out when needed. It truly is a team effort to run such a great event.
Finally, thanks to Alex Rogachenko for doing anyting and everything to make sure the series runs smoothly. He grabs marks, helps on the RC boat, herds the sailors for the skippers' meeting and awards, and will genuinly help with anything that's asked of him. Thank you, Alex!
Below are the weekly and the series results:
Optimist SERIES RESULTS
Laser SERIES RESULTS
420 SERIES RESULTS
April 10, 2017 12:06:51 PM EDT
The TRYC Spring Series continued on Sunday, April 9th with a gorgeous day of sailing. Temperatures were in the 60s and the sun was shining.
Sailors were greeted by a light Northwesterly breeze. The NW breeze hung around for a bit, but it quickly died out and filled from a nice sea breeze direction. The course was reshuffled and racing was restarted immediately.
27 Optis, 6 Radials, and 2 420s raced Triangle and Windward-Leeward courses. The 420s had an epic match race that ended in a last-race tie breaker.
Thanks to Mike Dowd and Alex Rogachenko for running the races. Cindy Botwinick and Amy DeFonzo ran registration and scoring. Andrew DeFonzo, Ted Martin, and a few other parents patroled the course! THANK YOU.
We are taking next week off for Easter. The Spring Series continues in two weeks, April 23rd.
April 3, 2017 4:39:51 PM EDT
The Toms River Spring Series started this past Sunday, April 2nd. 23 Optis and 7 Laser Radials enjoyed a GORGEOUS day of spring sailing on the Toms River. Temperatures were in the 60s and the sun was out. The puffy/shifty NorthWesterly ranged anywhere from 5-15 knots and kept sailors on their toes all day long.
Six races were masterfully run by our guest PRO, Brian Hull. Thank you to him and his assistant, Alex Rogachenko, for the top notch RC work. We also owe gratitude towards the DeFonzos and Cindy Botwinick for doing registration and scoring. Andrew DeFonzo and Ted Martin patrolled the course to keep everyone safe and provide good spectating.
Racing continues next weekend!
October 24, 2016 3:18:11 PM EDT
The TRYC Fall Series concluded this past weekend with winds gusting into the 20s. We attempted to sail races for the Lasers, 420s, and Optis, but it quickly became apparent that it was too much breeze. Below is a write up from our fleet scribe, 7th grader Everett Botwinick. I've also included our attempted Week 3 results as well as the Series results. Thanks to everyone who came (especially Jack Bolton who came all the way from New Zealand to compete this weekend!), and we'll see you in the spring!
Regatta Report by Everett Botwinick:
A fierce and robust wind buffeted the sailors of the Toms River Fall Series on October 23, 2016, the conclusion of the series. The wind was fairly nice at the beginning of the day, however, the wind began to pick up, reaching 20+ knots. Regrettably, the rough waves and heavy wind resulted in only one race for the Optimist fleet and two races for the Laser and 420 fleets. The sailors headed in early today, which led to an informative discussion about tactics in heavy wind. Thank you to Cindy Botwinick, who did the scoring, Andrew DeFonzo, who drove a safety boat along with Brian Botwinick and Charlie Moeder, Mike Ehnot, who also piloted a safety boat, and Clay Johnson and Alex Rogachenko, who were on the committee boat and set a fair course for racing. This has been a great series, and a special thank you to Toms River Yacht Club for hosting.
October 17, 2016 10:16:08 AM EDT
The TRYC Fall Series continued this past Sunday, October 17th, with Lasers and Optis racing.
Regatta report written by Opti sailor Everett Botwinick:
24 Optimists and 7 Lasers sailed on the picturesque Toms River, and the 8-12 knots of wind, bright sunshine, and minimal current made for a stellar day. Six races were fired off very quickly. Mantoloking Yacht Club’s Charlie McKenzie clinched the win for the Optis, and Severn Sailing Association’s Leo Boucher won the Laser championship. There were no general recalls for the starts, much to the sailors’ happiness. Thank you to Mike Dowd, the Optimist head coach for CERT, Matt McKenzie, and Alex Rogachenko for being the race committee and Amy DeFonzo and Cindy Botwinick for registration and scoring. The fall series continues next Sunday.
October 4, 2016 11:28:06 AM EDT
The Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series began last Sunday, October 2nd, with temperatures in the high 60s and a nice 5-10 knot breeze out of the North East. The tricky NE breeze from shore made racing very tight with big wind shifts and pressure difference; sailors needed to stay on their toes!
Six races were sailed in each class. We had 24 Optis, 10 Radials, and 5 420s come out to race. Courses were boxes with a windward-reach-leeward-reach-upwind finish. This provided sailors the ability to practice all points of sail during each race.
Thank you to Toms River Yacht Club for hosting us, to the DeFonzos for running registration and a Green Fleet course (let me know if there are any green fleeters who want to sail!), Cindy Botwinick for doing the scoring, Alex Rogachenko on the RC boat, and Mike Dowd, Lizzie Burn, and Tim Mowry on the finish boat. Thanks also to all patrol boats for being out there.
The Fall Series continues next Sunday with a new PRO, Mike Dowd, and a new schedule:
Registration at 8:30
Skipper's Meeting at 9:15
First Race at 10:00
WEEK One Results
May 2, 2016 1:51:56 PM EDT
The Toms River Yacht Club 2016 Spring Series concluded Sunday, May 1st. Conditions were less than ideal with pouring rain, temperatures in the 50s, and about 8-12 knots of breeze. But that didn't stop 17 Opti sailors, 5 Laser Radial sailors, and 4 HS style 420s from racing six windward-leeward races.
Over the course of four weeks, we had 28 different Opti sailors, 9 Laser sailors, 2 Sunfish, and 9 420 teams come out and compete. This year was particularly trying with colder temps and rainy conditions, but the sailors all had a great time and learned a lot. After sailing, MANY prizes were awarded from TRYC, Colie Sails, and Zhik.
Thank you to Andrew DeFonzo for doing registration, Cindy Botwinick for scoring, Brian Hull and Alex Rogachenko for helping to run the races, and all of the other parents and supporters who helped launch, patrol, and tend to the sailors. As always, thank you to Toms River Yacht Club for hosting us!
WEEK 4 RESULTS
April 26, 2016 1:18:11 PM EDT
The TRYC Spring Series continued last weekend with six 30-minute races on the Toms River. Sailors were greeted with champagne conditions: 60 degrees, sun, and a steady 10-12 knot easterly breeze. Courses were Windward/Leewards with an offset and a gate. 17 Optis and 8 Lasers raced for the day.
Next week is the final week of the Spring Series, and we've saved all the best prizes for the last week.
April 18, 2016 8:09:24 PM EDT
A light, but steady, sea breeze greeted sailors for the second week of the Toms River Yacht Club Spring Series. Attendance was also on the lighter side as many sailors were away at Opti Team Trials and High School sailing events, but that didn't stop a handful of motivated sailors from getting out there and racing!
6 Races were sailed on Windward/Leeward courses. Thank you to the DeFonzos for doing registration, Cindy Botwinick helped with scoring, and Brian Hull ran the races. I'm sure there were many other helpful parents that worked behind the scenes to make this weekend happen. Thank you!
April 11, 2016 5:20:54 PM EDT
After getting blown out on April 3rd, the TRYC Spring Series started up on Sunday, April 10th. Temperatures were in the high 40s, and 42 sailors came out to sail. The wind started out coming from the West, but as the temperatures rose the breeze backed off a bit. For the first four races, the breeze pulsed in and out with wide ranges in both angles and velocity. Finally, a beautiful sea breeze began to pump in from the South-East. A quick course reconfiguration later, and sailors were racing in a crisp 15 knots breeze. Courses for the day were trapezoids and windward-leewards.
Thanks to Cindy Botwinick for doing registration and scoring. Brian Hull and Mike Ehnot ran the finish boat. Brett Byer and Keith Kernan patrolled the course. Finally, Alex Rogachenko was a huge help as always helping on the start boat.
Prizes were generously donated by Colie Sails and Zhik.
More racing takes place next weekend, April 17th!
February 24, 2016 12:50:43 PM EST
The Toms River Yacht Club Spring Series will be starting soon. Racing for Optimists, Lasers, 420s, and Sunfish will be held on 5 Sundays:
Registration opens at 9:00 AM
October 19, 2015 9:50:21 AM EDT
The third and final week of the Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series was sailed on Sunday, October 18th. 25 Optis and 5 Lasers braved the chillier Fall conditions to sail six races. Breeze was out of the WNW generally between 8-15 knots, but sometimes piping up into the high teens. The Optis raced Triangle courses while the Lasers raced Olympic courses, including one "Choose Your Own Adventure" course where sailors could decide to do the triangle portion or windward-leeward portion of the Olympic course first!
For the series, we had 44 different Optimist sailors, 13 Radial sailors, 3 420s, and 5 Sunfish sailors compete.
Thank you to all the parents and volunteers who help make this series run so smoothly. It's really nice to see all the kids working hard and enjoying themselves!
Prizes were donated by Zhik and Colie Sails.
WEEK 3 RESULTS
FALL SERIES SCORES
October 13, 2015 1:31:43 PM EDT
Sailing on October 4th was unfortunately cancelled due to high winds and heavy rain. This past weekend, October 11th, sailors anxiously took to the water for another weekend of fall sailing at the Toms River Yacht Club.
With many Optis at the Spring Team Qualifier in Newport, the fleet size was a little smaller. But that didn't stop the 17 other Opti sailors from enjoying a gorgeous fall day. 9 Radials, 4 Sunfish, and 1 420 also joined in on the races.
The breeze was light, ultimately dying out at the end of the day which meant that the Lasers sailed 5 races while the other fleets only had 4.
Next weekend is the final weekend of the Fall Series!
September 28, 2015 11:28:49 AM EDT
The Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series started this past weekend, and we had a great turnout. 37 Optis, 13 Radials, 4 Sunfish, and 3 420s raced 6 races right in front of the club. The breeze was a puffy, shifty 5-15 knot Northeasterly that kept all sailors on their toes! Courses were triangles, windward/leewards, olympics, and combinations of the above.
Prizes were donated by Colie Sails and Zhik. Next Sunday, October 4th, is the second week of racing!
September 23, 2015 11:27:06 AM EDT
The Toms River YC Junior Fall Series starts this Sunday. Come join in on the fun.
Sunday, September 27th
Sunday, October 4th
Sunday, October 11th
Sunday, October 18th
Registration is $10/day or $35/series.
Registration opens at 9:00 AM, Skipper's Meeting at 10:15 AM, First Race at 11:00 AM.
Six Races scheduled!
Great prizes from Zhik and Colie Sails
Questions? Email email@example.com
August 24, 2015 9:05:10 AM EDT
The 2015 Toms River Yacht Club Junior Fall Series is coming up soon! Dates for the fall series are:
Registration begins at 9:00 AM; Skipper's Meeting at 10:15 AM; First Race at 11:00 AM
$10/day or $35/series
Six races scheduled each week
Prizes from Colie Sails, Zhik, and Optimum Time!
Questions? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
April 27, 2015 10:55:13 AM EDT
The Toms River Yacht Club Spring Series was a huge success! Over the course of the four week series, 25 different Opti sailors and 21 different Radial sailors sailed 24 races. Conditions were varied with cold days and warm, windy days and light.
Thank you to the Toms River Yacht Club for their generous hospitatlity. Colie Sails, Zhik, and Optimum Time donated some amazing prizes that excited the kids and kept them coming back for more! Finally, many people behind the scenes -- from yacht club members, parents, siblings, and supporters -- helped to make this Spring Series run so well. There are too many people to name, but thanks for everyone's continued support!
April 27, 2015 10:51:03 AM EDT
Sunday, April 26th, was the fourth and final week of the Toms River Yacht Club Spring Series. 13 Lasers and 21 Optis enjoyed a gorgeous day on the Toms River. The breeze started out at about 14 knots from the North East and died to about 10 knots out of the East. Sailors raced six races on Olympic, Triangle, and Windward-Leeward courses.
Thanks to Colie Sails, Optimum Time, and Zhik for providing some great prizes!
April 21, 2015 3:04:18 PM EDT
Sunday, April 19th, was the third week of the TRYC Spring Series. Sailors were greeted with winds in the teens and temperatures a little cooler and in the 50s. 12 Optis and 11 Lasers raced 6 more races. This coming Sunday is the final day of the Spring Series, and we're expecting the numbers to be a little better as sailors are preparing for the Team Trials!
April 13, 2015 12:30:58 PM EDT
The TRYC Spring Series continued for the second week on April 12th. 13 Radial sailors and 19 Optimist sailors were greeted to a warm sunny day. When we first went out, we were able to get one drifter race off for the Lasers, but utlimately the westerly breeze fizzled out and was replaced by a gorgeous 10 knot seabreeze. 5 more races for the Radials and 6 races for the Optis were run on Triangle, Olympic, and Windward/Leeward courses.
Special thanks to Colie Sails, Zhik, and Optimum Time for their continued support of the series. Zhik donated lots of gear, shirts, hats, etc and Optimum Time donated some watches! The Spring Series will continue Sunday, April 19th!
March 31, 2015 2:25:02 PM EDT
The 2015 Spring Series started on a great Saturday in March at the Toms River Yacht Club. Temperatures were in the mid 30s but the sun was shining. There was nice breeze, 10-20 from the west north west. 9 Opti sailors and 6 Laser sailors were eager to compete. 6 Races were completed in each fleet.
March 26, 2015 11:44:29 AM EDT
The 2015 TRYC Spring Series starts this weekend! Racing will take place on four days:
Saturday, March 28th
Sunday, April 12th
Sunday, April 19th
Sunday, April 26th
Prizes sponsored by Colie Sails, Zhik, and Optimum Time!
$10/day or $35/series (if paid on week one)
See you out there!
October 27, 2014 12:14:04 PM EDT
The Toms River Yacht Club 2014 Fall Series was a huge success! Sailors competed in 21 races over the course of four weeks. We had light winds and warm temperatures the first week, wet and medium breeze the second week, and breeze on for the last two weeks. In total, 49 different Opti sailors and 22 different Laser sailors competed!
A huge thanks to the Toms River Yacht Club for their hospitality. Zhik and Optimum Time provided some AMAZING prizes for the sailors, and Colie Sails donated other prizes and candy each week. Prizes included life jackets, hats, gloves, tops, pants, watches, mini sails, belts, jackets, and more!
Finally, the Fall Series couldn't be run without the generous help and time commitment from all of the parents. Junior sailing is really growing in the Barnegat Bay area, and it is so cool to see how much all of the sailors are improving.
October 27, 2014 12:00:03 PM EDT
The fourth and final week of the TRYC Fall Series took place on Sunday, October 26th. The forecast was for 25 knots of breeze (again!) but the water was glassed over when sailors started to arrive. Very quickly though, the westerly filled in and, sure enough, we had about 20 knots all across the river. Racing took place a little closer to, and upwind of, the yacht club making for an easier return at the end of the day.
Temperatures were in the 60s and the breeze was very manageable with a steady 15 knots and some big puffs into the 20s. 16 Lasers and 25 Optis raced six races with Lasers sailing Olympics and Optis doing Triangles. Leo Boucher and Carson Pearce continued their battle up front in the Laser fleet, followed closely by Andrew O'Brien. The Optis also had a three way battle with Sarah Burn ultimately grabbing the daily win from Michael Pinto and the up-and-coming Lauren Ehnot, who put in a really strong performance.
It was impressive to see all the hard work and talent that was on display!
October 20, 2014 10:05:54 AM EDT
Sunday, October 19th, was the third week of the Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series. Sailors were greeted with cooler temperatures in the 50s and a blustery and building westerly breeze. The breeze started at about 12-15 knots and quickly built to 20-22 knots. Four races were sailed before things got a little out of control with many capsizes and break downs. The Optis sailed triangle courses while the Lasers sailed Olympics. Sarah and Cordelia Burn had a great battle in the Opti fleet, while Andy Widmeier and Leo Boucher traded firsts and seconds in the Radial fleet.
Many parents and volunteers helped to make this day a success, and I want to thank all the chase boats and support boats for helping with capsized boats. Zhik and Optimum Time provided great prizes, and two lucky sailors received brand new sailing watches!
Next week is the final week of the Fall Series and the prizes are going to be the best yet!
October 7, 2014 10:23:22 AM EDT
Sunday, October 5th, was the 2nd week of the 2014 Fall Series. Sailors were met with colder, blustery conditions. The breeze started around 16-18 knots out of the west and gradually backed off as the day proceeded. Thanks to Randy Hartranft for running the races, Mike Ehnot for being the finish boat, and to the DeFonzos for helping with registration and scoring! ACCs are at Brant Beach YC next weekend, so the next Fall Series date will be on October 19th.
September 29, 2014 11:40:49 AM EDT
The 2014 Fall Series started on a gorgeous weekend at the Toms River Yacht Club. Temperatures were close to 80 degrees and the sun was shining. 41 Opti sailors and 16 Laser sailors were eager to compete. The only missing ingredient was the wind! After a postponement ashore, the sailors headed out in a light and unstable SE breeze. The first race sailed was pretty miserable as the breeze went from 0-2 knots and bounced around between 20-30 degree shifts. The power boats driving around enjoying the nice day made the sailors feel like they were in a washing machine. But after that, the breeze began to build, and we were able to sail 4 more solid races in a 5 knot SE breeze. Optimists sailed triangles and windward leewards while the Lasers did every course imaginable to keep them on their toes.
Colie Sails and Zhik teamed up to give away some great prizes. The top three in all fleets got candy and hand-decorated ribbons, while the top three overall received rash guards, vests, hats, belts, and gloves. We even had some random raffle prizes of a new Zhik PFD, Orspan Top, and more gear!
Next Sunday the fall series continues at TRYC!
September 18, 2014 9:57:18 AM EDT
The 2014 Toms River Yacht Club Fall Series is right around the corner! Colie Sails, Zhik, and Optimum Time have sponsored the regatta by donating AWESOME prizes.
Racing Dates are:
Sunday, September 28
Sunday, October 5
Sunday, October 19
Sunday, October 26
**Note there is no racing on October 12th because of the Opti ACCs and 420/Laser regatta on LBI
9:00 AM First Warning, 10:15 AM Skipper's Meeting, 11:00 AM First Race
$10/Day or $35/Series (if paid on Day One)
See you there!
April 28, 2014 10:05:50 AM EDT