29 January 2008

Preparing for the Safety At Sea Seminar

The waterfront staff is hard at work preparing the course outline, organizing instructors and logistics, and researching ways to make improvements to the hands-on format developed in 2006. Rick Dominique has been ironing out bugs with the U.S. Sailing Registration process, Ralf Steitz has been nailing down the top notch instructors and presenters that will be teaching this years seminar. The biggest change for this year will be ISAF Certification as well as U.S. Sailing and some new and updated topics. I just returned from a day at the Combat Survival Pool at the U.S. Military Academy, and hope to apply some of what I saw to our in-the-water survival training. The Combat Survival Pool added realism to the drills by providing for darkness, waves, sound and rain. With these elements present, it helps student realize that survival skills must become second nature, as in the event of an emergency so much mental capacity will be used in assessing and dealing with environmental and situational details. Here are a few pictures of our midshipmen in action in the pool.

Chris Gasiorek, Sailing Master

26 January 2008

Kings Pointers at Key West

It was a crazy week of sailing at Key West Race Week- The first day was blown out with too much wind to sail, the third day had no wind at all- and the last day built into some big breeze sailing. Here's how the Kings Point contingent fared-

Rick Dominique, sailing with Kerry Klinger aboard Lifted placed 2nd of 19 boats in the J-80 Class.

Bill Hardesty '98, sailing as tactition aboard Flash Gordon V placed 12th of 25 in the highly competive Farr 40 class.

Jeremiah Lyons '05, sailing aboard the Melges 24 Chillout placed 41st of 45 but did not sail the final day.

Jeff Miller '04, sailing with Buddy Rego aboard the J-105 Not Mine, placed 25th of 34 boats.

Congrats to all of our sailors!

Great Video of the event from Gary Jobson here- http://jobsonsailing.com/hiResReports/

24 January 2008

Prosser Boathouse Fire

At 2309 on 23 January a smoke was seen rising from the Prosser Boathouse, and the alarm was sounded. Alert, Vigilant, and Lakeville-Manhasset Fire Departments responded, and by the time of their arrival the wooden roof of the low portion of the building was ablaze. The fire was out within an hour, and the Nassau County Fire Marshall's investigation began. It appears that the cause was a malfunction in a stereo or something smoldering in a trash can. Damage to the building is severe, but we count ourselves incredibly lucky first of all that no one was injured, and second of all that for all of the equipment in the building for winter storage, we sustained relatively minor damage. 90% of our 60 dinghies were in the building, and only have smoke and soot staining. The Rowing Tank suffered the most severe damage, with one corner severely burned but repairable. If the dinghies had caught fire the loss would have been horrible. The waterfront staff did an incredible job of emptying the building today, and midshipmen from all waterfront programs turned to this afternoon to start scrubbing the soot from the dinghy fleet.

23 January 2008

Ralf Steits Profiled in Soundings Magazine

Kings Point's Offshore Sailing Director Ralf Steitz has been profiled in the February 2008 edition of Soundings Magazine. Pick up a copy to find out more about his start in sailing, and about recieving the Larr Award from U.S. Sailing.

22 January 2008

Kings Pointers at Key West Race Week

Kings Point is well represented this week at one of the country's largest and most competitive Sailing Regattas. Winds were too strong for racing yesterday, but the action has started today for the 200+ boats racing off Key West. Details and reports coming after the racing.

Kings Pointers racing include: (I'm sure there are more- let me know!)

Bill Hardesty '96 Farr 40 Flash Gordon V
Jeff Miller '04 J-105 Not Mine
Jeremiah Lyons '05 Melges 24 Chillout
Rick Dominique- J-80 Lifted


17 January 2008

Sailing Foundation Purchases Two AED's for Yocum Sailing Center

The midshipman, staff, and faculty at the Yocum Sailing Center received a lifesaving gift from the USMMA Sailing Foundation recently in the form of two Automated External Defibrillators. The AED's are considered vital in the rescue and resuscitation of a heart failure victim. One of the two units will be mounted in an alarmed storage case just inside the Yocum Sailing Center entrance, and the other will be kept as a portable unit to be carried on longer trips by the Waterfront teams and vessels. Yocum Sailing Center staff received training in the use of the new AED's and refresher CPR and First Aid in two recent courses given by Certified Trainer and Power Vessel Manager Rob Asma. Thank you to the Sailing Foundation and Rob for raising the bar for safety at the Waterfront.

16 January 2008

M/N Chris Branning Reports from Sea- Ready for Farr 40 Worlds

January 9th 2008 USNS PAUL BUCK
Product tanker

Having just left Rota, Spain we headed towards Milford Haven, Wales to pick up a full load of JP-5. The seas started to build as soon as we turned north around the bottom of Portugal, and the weather started to deteriorate. As the ship started to roll more and more you could hear loud crashes inside the house as unsecured items were thrown about. No one in the crew had been informed that the upcoming seas would be rough, but we did know we were heading to Wales in January. As the day wore on we all began to miss the placid seas of the Mediterranean.
As an overcast day became night the rolls got more and more violent, and the pitching greater and greater. Every 10 minutes or so you could feel as a “clean up set” of waves passed under the ship the house shook like we were in a small earth quake. I stood watch watching the ship’s inclinometer, a piece of curved glass tubing with a bubble in it, allowing one to read the angle of list. As the really big waves passed underneath the bubble would swing from 25 degrees on the starboard side, to 25 degrees on the port side. That’s 50 degrees of travel meaning 50 times more stuff to pick up that got thrown to the floor as this tanker got tossed around like an unwanted bath ducky.
On the 3rd of January our average speed was 1-3 knots, as we maintained our heading directly into the waves. We were completely “hove to” as they say, just trying to stay in survival mode and wait out the deteriorating weather. Any heading which would allow the waves to connect on the beam would mean disastrous rolling periods. When the really big sets of waves would come they would actually knock the ship backwards, digging the stern underneath the water and bringing tons of water on deck. The Captain and Chief Engineer had to tie their chairs to their desk to get any work done at all, and everything, I mean everything that wasn’t fully secured had become a flying projectile.
That morning the Bosun thought it would be a great opportunity to begin chipping rust on the aft side of the house since, for safety reasons, the Captain said no one was allowed forward of the house. We were to chip rust spots on the stair railings and aft side of the house on the O-3 deck, just one level below the bridge which is the highest level on the ship. This put us at basically at the top of the swinging pendulum, as the seas were now between 18-21 feet.
Since our ship was completely empty of cargo we were 20 feet above our loaded lines, giving us much more windage and making for a much faster roll period. A ship full of cargo simply has more momentum making the rolling much slower and not as exaggerated. A light ship however gives it more of a snap in its roll and making the actual distance traveled in a roll greater as you are higher out of the water.
So we managed to haul up the required air hoses and needle guns to the O-3 deck and set up shop, but the main goal was trying to remain on your feet as the ship constantly tried to buck you off. Only short steps could be taken. Never more than a few feet from a railing you had to carefully plan out your next step. On top of 50 degrees of rolling, it was blowing 60 knots true wind speed.
As I began chipping I could only dedicate one hand to holding the needle gun, while the other had to balance my entire body as it swayed back and forth trying to keep the ship beneath me. For really awkward spots I had to wrap my arms around the railing I was chipping while holding onto the gun, just to hang on. The howling wind blew the paint chips and rust everywhere. Then, beneath the dark skies, it started hailing. The winds were so strong they blew an ABs protective eye glasses straight off his face.
I will be finishing my P.I.C., which is a tankerman endorsement for discharging and loading cargo, on February 11th. This will complete my 90 days aboard this jet-fuel tanker having hauled her cargo between Wales, Spain, Italy, Greece, Crete, and Turkey. Once I have my P.I.C. I will have 110 days left on sea year.
Learning that the offshore sailing team will get the opportunity to sail the Farr 40 Worlds has been the best news I have heard since I left home some months ago. We are looking forward to competing against some of the finest pro sailors on the planet. I can not think of any other school where I would have this opportunity. Not many schools would have such faith in, or so much encouragement for, their student athletes. The opportunity to sail against the best in the world in Miami, FL this April makes getting through days like this one a little bit easier.

15 January 2008

Time to get ready for the 2008 Newport to Bermuda Race-

So here is some great surfing from the 2006 Bermuda-Kings Point trip back aboard Hercules.

Defiance to Compete in 100th Chicago to Mackinac Race

The Kings Point Offshore Sailing Team will travel to the Great Lakes this summer to compete in two classic yacht races. The Team's newest vessel, a 66' Judel-Volijk named Defiance, will travel the 2100 nautical miles from the finish of the Newport to Bermuda Race to Port Huron, Michigan for the start of the first of the two races. The second race, the 333 nm Chicago to Mackinac race starts one week later. There are currently 337 boats entered in the centennial race, and Defiance will be in the hunt for First to Finish. A combination of Midshipmen and Alumni will be aboard for the races and the exceptional training voyages to and from the great lakes. The transit from Bermuda will take the crew to around Nova Scotia, through the Gulf of St. Lawrence, past Quebec City, and Montreal, and then through 15 locks and lakes Ontario, Erie, Huron, and Michigan.

Offshore Team to Compete in 2008 Farr 40 World Championships

A team of Kings Point Midshipman will head to Miami in April to compete for one of sailing's most prestigious trophies in what is arguably the most competitive fleet in sailing. The Farr 40 is a high performance one-design class, meaning that all boats are equal. Kings Point was the first collegiate team to compete in the prestigious class with two boats participating in the 2006 world championship. These two boats, Nimbus and Solution, finished 33rd and 35th in a fleet of 38 boats, proving to be competitive at the highest level of the sport. The team will look to improve upon their 2006 results this spring in Miami. Stay tuned for more updates.

Kings Point Waterfront Blog Page

Welcome Sailors and Supporters. While our main KP Waterfront website is undergoing a major overhaul I'll be using this site to keep you updated on news and happenings from the Yocum Sailing Center, and from our sailors around the country and the world. Stay tuned.

Chris Gasiorek
Sailing Master