Archive for » August 29th, 2014«

Sailing: Rushworth triumphs in Silver Firefly

REVERED coach Andy Rushworth was the fitting winner as Christchurch Sailing Club’s Silver Firefly was contested for the first time in 27 years.

Sailing a borrowed Solo, Rushworth, affectionately known as Rover, had been seen out training on the course for several days in advance and clearly had taken the event seriously.

For the first time in recent memory, the club adopted a pursuit race format with the Avon Scow setting off first followed by a stream of Toppers, Splash, Lasers, Solo, Vision and Finns.

Early race-leader Stuart Percival made good use of the early fresh breeze in his Scow and held a good margin over the chasing fleet well into the race. Jack Acton (Topper) gave chase.

Starting last, the Finns of Simon Percival and Jack Arnell made short work of reigning in the Lasers of Mike Greenland, Richard Beasley, Glen Tizzard and Gary Mehson to emerge as the early favourites.

Starting just ahead of the Lasers, the RS Vision of Jim Lawrence and Jon Arnell made a good start but when their mainsail halyard snapped they were forced to retire.

Ela Miller (Splash) managed to overhaul the Topper of Jacqui Tizzard and moved into pole position as the leading lady helm.

Despite her best efforts, however, she was unable to resist the challenge of the Solo, Lasers and Finns in the final stages as the breeze died away.

Meanwhile, Rushworth set about chasing down the slower boats and by mid-race had emerged as the main threat to Stuart Percival.

With 20 minutes to go, Stuart Percival still held a sizeable lead as Rushworth moved past Acton’s Topper into second place as Arnell and Simon Percival steadily closed in.

But with less than six minutes remaining, Rushworth finally drew level and after a short luffing match was able to dive to leeward and take the lead before the two Finns took second and third on the final beat.

At the prize-giving, Rushworth thanked the race team who braved the wet weather and congratulated the hardy sailors who defied the forecast to make the race a huge success.

The Silver Firefly remains under lock and key in the trophy cabinet but a new winner for 2014 will be engraved to join her prestigious list of former champions.

Winners – First grand master: Andy Rushworth (Solo). First junior: Jack Arnell (Finn). First legend: Stuart Percival (Scow). First lady: Ela Miller (Splash).


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Conn. Community Rejects Yale Sailing Expansion

Yale formally withdrew a request to expand its sailing center this summer after members of the nearby Branford community of South Beach protested the plans.

The school had drawn up a proposal to expand the sailing center, which is used by both the Yale varsity sailing team and community members for sailing lessons, through the purchase of two properties across the street. With the expansion, Yale would have been able to construct a larger building to store more boats and house staff. But after a public hearing with around 200 residents from the area present, Yale attorney Joseph Hammer decided to cancel the request.

“The best course is to withdraw the present application,” Hammer stated at the end of a three-hour hearing held at a fire station in Branford. “We still think the property does present an opportunity to improve the yacht club without expanding the programs and without expanding the number of boats.”

When the plans were announced at a community meeting earlier this summer, the New Haven Register reported that so many citizens turned out that some had to listen outside through open windows and a fire marshal came to shut it down.

The Civic Association of South Beach is responsible for granting permits, and under the area’s zoning law, Yale University cannot build housing unless it obtains one.

South Beach residents had raised concerns that the expansion would increase congestion in the area and worried that the new structures would tower over existing homes.

At the last meeting, residents wore bright yellow stickers that all read “No Yale Expansion.”

Yale entered a sales contract to purchase the land — which is 20 minutes away from Old Campus by car — from the estate of property owner Barbara Davidson. Property co-owner Elizabeth Bailey was the only community member to express support for the plans at the meeting on July 14, according to the Register. The rest of the residents hired a lawyer to represent opposition to Yale’s plans, who reportedly said the university’s application was “insufficient.”

According to the same Register article, residents also worried that expanding the center would lead to more unruly behavior by Yale students, with one woman complaining that she had seen students having sex outside the boathouse and a student had insulted her husband.

“If Yale has outgrown their facilities, then I say they have outgrown our neighborhood,” added resident Clarice Begemann at the meeting.

But Zach Leonard, head varsity sailing coach, said he thought the sailing team has a mostly positive relationship with the local community. Leonard believes “old stories” about the team have continued to circulate among neighbors.

He said expansion would have created more parking, allowing more community members to participate in the club’s sailing offerings.

“We’re always trying to find ways to improve our operations here and [the expansion plans were] part of that,” Leonard said. “It’s been a twenty year process and we’ve got to keep working at it.”

Sailing team member Megan Valentine ’16 said that while she had been excited by expansion plans, the existing facility meets the team’s needs. Valentine said she did not think the withdrawal of plans would compromise the team’s training or morale.

She disagreed, however, with residents’ characterization of Yale’s relationship with Short Beach. Valentine lived in New Haven last summer and occasionally attended Tuesday evening regattas open to the community. She noted that the facility also provides summer sailing lessons.

“For the most part, we got along really well,” Valentine said.

The Yale sailing team has trained at the Branford facility since 1953.


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Cantiere Delle Marche & Denison Yacht Sales Join F…

“There is no doubt about the need for Cantiere delle Marche to have someone who transfers our values, mission and vision on a daily basis in the US market,” explains Vasco Buonpensiere, Sales and Marketing Director of Cantiere delle Marche. “The combined knowledge, experience and enthusiasm of Alex together with Bob Denison is a sure formula to make things happen in the United States. This wouldn’t have been possible without such an experienced and proactive partner.”

The award-winning Italian shipyard, which – in three and a half years – has outperformed all his competitors with its two explorer ranges of yachts (Darwin Class and Nauta Air), will bring two of the seven boats under to the 2015 American boat shows; including Miami and Fort Lauderdale.

Alex G. Clarke confirms the positive energy which surrounds this new co-operation between CdM and Denison Yacht Sales. “The appointment of Denison Superyacht Division as the exclusive North American representative for Cantiere delle Marche is the culmination of over five years of building relationships with the CEO Ennio Cecchini who I consider a personal friend, as well as Naval Architect Sergio Cutolo who is responsible for the highly successful Darwin line of yachts, and of course Vasco Buonpensiere who I feel is the heart soul of the shipyard. American buyers have pioneered the explorer style vessels, and I am confident that the Cantiere delle Marche brand will be a huge success in the USA and we are honoured to be a part of building this great future with CdM.”

Bob Denison, founder and President of DYS strongly believes in the success of CdM in the North American Market and declares: “The Denison team is thrilled to be representing CdM in North America. As a grandson, a nephew, and a son of aluminium boat builders here in the U.S., this product is very special to me personally. I strongly believe in the CdM can’t wait to introduce the American market to the product.”

Gabriele Virgili, Chairman of Cantiere delle Marche, confirms: “Alex’s approach to our products and our shipyard is unbelievable; it is like he has been part of our organisation since the beginning. His commitment towards the clients, his professionalism and precision when it comes to the most delicate stages of the negotiations are really commendable. I am sure that we will soon move up from our one-sale-every-90-days average performance thanks to this partnership.”

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