30 December 2010

Holidays With Alumni

Joined Captain Walter Gautier '95 and family at their North Carolina Mountain "cabin." Walter is a Pascagoula Harbor Pilot, and was on the Offshore Team at KP. With him are wife Lanee, Isabelle, Noah, Petey the dog, and Orange the Cat.

27 December 2010

Blizzard at KP

It's been a long time since I remember watching a full on blizzard- but keeping tabs on the Waterfront last night gave me a new taste. Sustained 45 knot winds, and blinding snow- not a good day for boating! Here's some video and pictures-

22 December 2010

It's Official- Summerwind Awarded U.S. Sailing Hanson Medal


PORTSMOUTH, R.I. (December 22, 2010) - US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee has awarded an Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal to the crew of United States Merchant Marine Academy’s (USMMA) sail training vessel Summerwind for a rescue made off the coast of Maine. A 100-foot Alden schooner built in 1929, Summerwind was recently restored and donated to the academy in Kings Point, N.Y. With a crew of 16 USMMA midshipmen and staff, Summerwind was competing in the Castine Yacht Club’s Castine Classic Yacht Race on August 8, 2010. As the schooner sailed closehauled in a thick fog off Islesboro, Maine, another boat crossed Summerwind’s bow on the other tack. At just that moment, a sailor fell overboard from the other boat. Several midshipmen spotted the accident and shouted, “Man overboard!”As the schooner’s helmsman altered course to avoid the swimmer, Midshipman Tim Higgins secured a life jacket from deck stowage and tossed it to the man in the water. Well trained in rescue procedures, the midshipmen lined the rail and pointed at the swimmer as Summerwind’s navigator plotted the positions of the boat and the swimmer. A “pan-pan” alert was broadcasted over the vessel’s radio to signify urgency on the craft. Summerwind’s Sailing Master was Chris Gasiorek, a Commander in the United States Maritime Service and the director of waterfront activities at the Merchant Marine Academy. Determining that the nearly 200,000-pound schooner would be unable to turn back quickly, he jumped into the 12-foot wooden tender that Summerwind was towing in accordance with a rule of the Castine Classic Yacht Race. Only after casting off did he discover that the oars had been removed, so he paddled the tender to the swimmer.After several minutes in the 58-degree water, the swimmer was exhausted and needed a short rest before he felt strong enough to be rescued. Commander Gasiorek rolled the rail down to the water and pulled him into the tender. When the man’s sailboat reappeared and came alongside, he stepped up on deck and went below to get into warm clothes. Borrowing oars from the crew, Commander Gasiorek rowed over to Summerwind, which had returned to the scene under power, commanded by Captain Jonathan Kabak. As dangerous as it was, the incident did have one humorous moment. Worried that the man in the frigid water might become unconscious, Commander Gasiorek started a conversation to keep him alert. “I introduced myself, and commented that I felt a bit of a fool for having to paddle to him without oars,” Gasiorek recalled. “When he replied that he felt a bit of a fool for falling off his ship, I remarked that he had me beat.” Commander Gasiorek praised the crew: “I believe that the training and practice that our midshipmen receive made this rescue a success. All hands stepped up and performed admirably.”The Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal is awarded by US SAILING’s Safety-at-Sea Committee to any person who rescues or endeavors to rescue any other person from drowning, shipwreck, or other perils at sea within the territorial waters of the U.S., or as part of a sailboat race or voyage that originated or stopped in the U.S. Since it was established in 1990 by friends of the late Mr. Hanson, an ocean-racing sailor from the Chesapeake Bay, the Arthur B. Hanson Rescue Medal has been presented to more than 150 boats. Any individual or organization may submit a nomination for a Hanson Rescue Medal. For more information, including nomination forms, please visit the Hanson Rescue Medal site. For the most authoritative daylong seminar on safe seamanship, heavy weather tactics, weather forecasting, communications and boat preparation, register for an upcoming US SAILING Safety-at-Sea Seminar. Please visit the US SAILING Safety-at-Sea Seminar site for details on these certification opportunities.

Full Release here-

08 December 2010

Liberator on the Railway at Boothbay Harbor Shipyard

After a 30 hour voyage from KP in westerly gales, Liberator is on the hard for routine maintenance in snowy Maine

20 November 2010

Kings Point Finishes ICSA Match Race Nationals 6th in the Nation

Congrats to our team for finishing #6 in the USA in the inaugural ICSA Match Race National Championships
Check out Pictures Here, and an interview with the crew below-

15 November 2010

Gary Jobson Presents US Sailing's Hanson Medal to Schooner Summerwind

Captain Jonathan Kabak and Commander Chris Gasiorek aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach California receiving Hanson Medal for this summer's rescue in Maine.

11 November 2010

Excitement Builds for KP Match Racing Team

Match racing is a new challenge for the Kings Point sailing team that has been enjoyed by everyone that was involved in the training process. We are proud that our efforts have led us to be a nationally competitive match racing team! At the beginning of the season a combination of offshore and dinghy sailors competed in several drills and races to determine who would be chosen to represent Kings Point at the MAISA Sloop Race Championship. Since two of the members on the sloop team are also members of the dinghy team we knew we would have to manage our time wisely in order to be competitive not only at MAISA Sloops, but also during our normal dinghy season.

Once the real training had begun, we started putting in time to learn to sail Sonars well, since it was a new boat to the tactician and the skipper. To accomplish this, our team started participating in local fleet regattas in Manhasset Bay to help our boat handling and straight line speed. The next part of our training was learning the ins and outs of the Match Race Call Book so we would be comfortable sparring with our opponents in the pre-start. This aspect took a much longer time as this was the first time any of our team members have been involved in match racing. Our new offshore coach, Jon Singsen, was a tremendous help with getting us up to speed because he has been match racing for a long time and is very knowledgeable in the sport. In most of our practices he skippered the B boat, which was comprised of the back up team for MAISA Sloops, and sparred against us doing small drills to full on races. Other coaches, Blaine Pedlow, Michael Collins and Rick Dominique, took turns skippering the B boat during several practices took give us a look at different styles that we might see at the MAISA and ICSA Match Race Championships. The USMMA Sailing Foundation was also a huge asset to us in our training and preparation for the regatta and their support of six new Sonars is a huge part of what is allowing us to run a top-tier event.

Along with the many hard hours we put into match racing in Sonars, our coach paralleled them with opportunities in exciting boats on several occasions. During one of our practices we traveled to Larchmont Yacht Club when it was blowing twenty knots outside and sailed on shields. One of the coolest boats we got to sail on were Swedish Match 40s at Oak Cliff Yacht Club one weekend in a mock match race regatta. This helped everybody on the team just relax and enjoy sailing on fun boats.

Hopefully Match Racing will take off on the college scene, because our entire team has loved participating and learned many new things about sailing along the way. Match racing also gives college sailors something to look forward to after graduating due to the fact that you do not need to own a boat to be able to compete in most of the match racing events.
We are excited to play host to the 2010 ICSA Match Race National Championship and even more thrilled to be competing in this prestigious event. With our hard work and the support of our teammates and coaches, we hope that we can bring home a championship to the Academy!

- Chris Herring ’12, Joe Hoffman ’11, Misty Harris ’12 and Evan Siepert ‘13

10 November 2010

ICSA Match Race Nationals Press Release

The Press Release for the ICSA Match Race Championships, hosted at KP
November 19-21! Our team is getting excited!



Kings Point, NY 11/10/10 - ICSA Sloop National Championship takes a new

Starting this year the Cornelius Shields Trophy will take a new
direction and 2010 will be the inaugural ICSA Match Race National
Championship. Instead of being a fleet race in sloops, the championship
will be contested in as a match race; this new format, although new to
college sailing, is not a new discipline in sailing. Organized match
racing started with the America's Cup in 1851 and has been growing ever
since. Now, throughout the country, there are weekly match race events,
regional match race centers, and even women's match racing in the
Olympics. The Inter-Collegiate Sailing Association (ICSA) realized
interest was growing in this exciting discipline and decided to make a

The actual format of the Shields Trophy is the same; teams still need to
qualify in their conferences to advance to the National Championship.
The new conference match race qualifiers have proved to be very
competitive and this change gives a great opportunity to bring head to
head competition against schools. Due to the match race format, the
regatta will now have a qualifying round, semifinals, and finals to
determine the champion. This format replicates that of many other
sports, such as the NCAA Basketball National Championship bracket and
the FIFA World Cup.

There will be ten teams from the seven different conferences in ICSA and
each team has qualified for the event by sailing in their conference
championship. The championship is being held at the U. S. Merchant
Marine Academy on November 19th -21st, 2010 in a fleet of Sonars. Each
team will have a crew of either 4 or 5 sailors and at least one female.

The ICSA Match Racing Championship is made possible by the support of
the USMMA Sailing Foundation, the Chicago Match Race Center and the
Intercollegiate Sailing Association.

The teams that qualified for the championship are:

Mid Atlantic (MAISA): St. Mary's College of Maryland, US Merchant Marine
Academy - Kings Point
Mid West (MCSA): University of Wisconsin, University of Minnesota
New England (NEISA): Boston College, Brown University
North West (NWICSA): University of Washington
Pacific Coast (PCCSC): California Maritime Academy
South Atlantic (SAISA): College of Charleston
South Eastern (SEISA): Tulane University

Follow the regatta at www.collegematchrace.com and

For more information, please contact Michael Collins, Assistant
Intercollegiate Sailing Coach, US Merchant Marine Academy

07 November 2010

KP Match Racing Team Qualifies for National Championship

Congrats to Our Sailors for qualifying for the first ever collegiate match race national championships to be held at Kings Point November 19-21. Competition was tight at the MAISA Championships, and our team had to win two races in a row on Sunday to finish in the top two to qualify- and they did!

03 November 2010

Dinghy Team Has a Great Weekend

Another great weekend for the team! At the War Memorial regatta we finished 6th, qualifying us for the ACC's. At the Top Nine Invitational we finished 1st and 3rd overall and finished top 2 in A division! After a 4 year break, KP makes a comeback in women's events! This weekend we are heading down to ODU for MAISA Womens Regatta.

01 November 2010

Chris Branning '09 Wins Rolex Middle Sea Race aboard Lucky

Lucky at the Malta start of the Middle Sea Race

Coast Guard Ensign Chris Branning, while on leave from the Coast Guard between flight training courses, crewed aboard the Transpac 52 Lucky in the Rolex Middle Sea Race in the Mediterranean Sea last week, and came out on top. The 606 nm course is considered one of the worlds most challenging yacht races.

26 October 2010

Match Race Practice

Kind of a grey day, but a great practice- here is some video and photos of our team at work.

25 October 2010

ICSA Match Racing National Championship

We get a little busy with things around here sometimes (OK, all the time) and sometimes I forget to mention some things that we are doing.....Such as hosting the first ever College Sailing Match Race Championship Regatta to be held November 19-21 at USMMA. We certainly do not take this lightly, and have been working hard behind the scenes to prepare for a spectacular regatta. Where do we start? How about boats? The USMMA Sailing Foundation came through to purchase us 6 brand new Sonars, and Shumway Marine is loaning us 4 more.

Getting the new boats ready

What next? How about lining up some great talent to help us run the Regatta? Bill Hardesty, KP '98 and The Chicago Match Race Center have jumped in to help with live video streaming and event organization. How about a commentator for the video? Dawn Riley will share her America's Cup experience and Match Racing expertise. How about our team? Well, they have to qualify at a home regatta in early November, but they have been on the water sparring everyday, and most weekends have been match racing in Oyster Bay with Oakcliff Sailing Center, so we hope they are as prepared as they can be!

Our Team on the Water

15 October 2010

Fast Race on the Chesapeake

An exciting ride on SummerWind in the Great Chesapeake Bay Schooner Race. SummerWind was neck and neck with Pride of Baltimore for a few hours, until the wind picked up and she could pull away- through the night we averaged 12 knots, and surfed to over 13, finishing at just after 4 am.

12 October 2010

KP Dominates at Storm Trysail Intercollegiate Regatta

KP Offshore Sailing Dominated at the biggest college sailing regatta in the nation. 38 College teams from across the country sailed in 5 classes at Larchmont Yacht Club, KP fielded five boats, which spreads our talent a bit, but no problem there- KP won the IRC 40 Class aboard Christopher Dragon, and the J-105 Class aboard Eclipse. Additionally the crew aboard Eclipse was awarded the overall trophy for best performance in the regatta. Congrats to all of our sailors for their great performance!

05 October 2010

Textile River Regatta

Kings Point Rowing

Textile River Regatta - Lowell, MA

October 3, 2010

The Kings Point Varsity Rowing team showed good strength for the remaining regattas this season despite the fact that they did not take home medals at the Textile River Regatta. A total of over ninety teams competed in the regatta with over six hundred entries amongst all of the events. The T.R.R.is the first true test of each teams speed as the fall racing gets more intense and everyone prepares for the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta. The T.R.R.is the first true test of each teams speed as the fall racing gets more intense and everyone prepares for the prestigious Head of the Charles regatta on October 23-24.

The weather for the morning races was nearly perfect for the three and a quarter mile race conducted in 'head style' format on the Merrimac River in Lowell. MA. The morning conditions were typically cool as one might expect of New England fall weather but then seemed to get colder and windier as the day went on.

The strongest performance was posted by the Men's Varsity four of Coxswain Giuseppe Niosi 2014, James Sanwald 2011, C Connan Ingham '12, Sean Welsh '14 and Frank Osborne '12. The four finished 2nd of 22 college crews. This was a strong early showing for the crew that will be hoping to get Kings Point back into the medals at the Head of the Charles regatta after a two year drought. "Both Freshmen Niosi and Welsh have been really impressive in what is their first semester with the team" commented Head Coach Hartwick. This was the first full three mile race of the season. " I think the crew is looking forward to the race next week at the Navy Day Regatta in order to show what speed that they really have." said coach Daniel Udeanu following the race.

The Novice men's four showed spirit in rowing the three miles at 30 strokes per minute and sprinting for the last quarter mile at 36 stokes per minute. The efforts of Coxswain Nicholas Skogen '14, Stroke John DeMedeiros '14, 3 - David Rosas '14,

2 - Jorge Jaime and Bow Joseph Glywasky '14 earned them a 5th place amongst 9 colleges. This was a good start for a crew that has just learned to row since arriving at Kings Point.

In finishing third overall but the first college crew, the women rowed their best race of the season. The posted time of 19:11 was their fastest of the season.

In their first three mile race, the crew of Toni Birdsong '14 and Brooke Mueller '14 managed the rough conditions and completed their race with a 3rd place of 4 college crews in the Women's Double event.

The Varsity Men's eight completed the day with a fine row in the open eight category. With no practices together, the crew of Coxswain Giuseppe Niosi 2014, Stroke-Frank Osborne '12, 7-James Sanwald 2011, 6- Connan Ingham '12, 5-Sean Welsh '14, 4- Frank Romano '14, 3-Jack White '14, 2-Greg Trieber '14 and Bow- John Dohring '14 rowed a fine race in finishing 7th of 11 colleges despite having already rowed a race only a couple hours earlier. "We were tired before the 'Varsity Eight' race but it went well and we worked together to move the boat' commented Dohring following the race.

The men's eight of Coxswain Bethany Haskell '14, Stroke Frank Romano '14, 7-John Dohring, 6-Malek Byam '14, 5-Jack White, 4-Greg Trieber, 3-Brendan Rohr, 2-Michael Kirk, and Bow Chris Murphy '13 rowed hard but had some difficulties with the course as crews fought for the space on the rain-swelled Merrimac River. The crew seemed to have difficulty finding it's rhythm as it finished in 13th spot in the Men's Club event. The crew will have a chance to regroup prior to next week's race in Philadelphia.

Next week the Kings Point rowers will take on tough competition as it meets many Division I, II and III teams at the Navy Day Regatta. Kings Point will be matching up against such teams as Navy, Penn, Temple, St. Josephs and Rutgers as well as the usual DIII teams.

04 October 2010

SummerWind Racing in New York Classic Regatta

Thanks to Anne Beaumont for the picture taken from the Lettie G. Howard.

26 September 2010

Waterfront Work Party- Making Good from Bad

Last weekend we had some unfortunate events occur on some of our Waterfront Teams.  In order to reinforce the high standards of conduct we withdrew from team events this weekend and had 165 Midshipman conduct a Waterfront Work Party.  This stand-down was quiet a success, and it was great to see the Midshipmen take ownership in their projects, and their Waterfront.  Liberator looks great in white, and areas that had not been cleaned out in decades have a fresh new look.   It is amazing what a small army can accomplish.   

17 September 2010

Crazy 70 Knot Storm #3 of 2010-

Clouds of the storm, which brought a likely tornado to Brooklyn and Queens, as they pass KP.

The storm as it was over KP - the sun was still up after it passed.....Coach Pedlow after all the Dinghies were secure....

11 September 2010

10 September 2010

KP Fleet Heading to New London

The view from the USCGA Home Stands at the 2007 game.....they must love the giant KP Burgee flying in the background!

The KP Fleet will be getting underway this afternoon for the USCGA to support the football team in tomorrow's game against the Bears. Underway will be Liberator, Summerwind, Growler, Maximon, Starlight, and About Face. 70 Midshipmen will crew the vessels, including many plebes underway on their first overnight trip.

06 September 2010

Sunset Over Block Island Sound

After 27 Years of Sailing - A Day on the Water with my Dad

A great day on for the Gloucester Schooner Race joined by my now sailor sister and my dad - who sure looks like he's having fun!

05 September 2010

Rough Night Aboard Starlight

Report from Starlight in the Vineyard race - "Rough night, 30+ knot winds, 8 ft waves, and hove-to with storm try and storm jib" and "We're having fun......" That's the spirit!

29 August 2010

Katie O'Connor KP '13 at the Helm of Summerwind

Katie O'Connor KP '13 daughter of '83 and '85 grads at the helm of Summerwind enroute to Gloucester, Mass.

23 August 2010

Looking for a few Good Sailors

Alumni and Friends- Between Ships? Looking for some fun for a few weeks? Come join us aboard the Schooner Summerwind to help out with the rest of the season. Come for a day, a week, or a month. We could use a few hands to join us for transits and racing as we finish our first busy season aboard our 100' 1929 Alden Schooner. Contact for more info.


26 August- Depart KP for Bristol, RI

27-29 August- Bristol, RI - Herreshoff Classic Regatta

29 August- Depart Bristol, RI for Gloucester, MA

30 August-Arrive Gloucester, MA

6 September- Depart Gloucester for KP

10-11 September- KP to New London, CT for KP-USCGA Football Game

30 Sep- 03 Oct- NY Classic Regatta

7 October- Depart KP for Baltimore

9 October- Baltimore Alumni Dinner

18 October- Depart Norfolk, VA for KP

21 October- Arrive KP

20 August 2010

Our Next KP Sailor?

USMMA Sailing Foundation President Ralf Steitz and I ran into Abby Sunderland in New York after her round the world sailing attempt.....so of course we took her for a harbor tour and KP recruiting talk!

19 August 2010

A Thursday on the Water with the Newest Addition to the Fleet

Tiburon, our newest vessel in the Offshore fleet is a NY 42!  And some numbers for a great practice day-

Boats on the water:

6 Sonars - 24 Midshipmen

20 FJ's - 40 Midshipmen

5 Offshore Boats - 48 Midshipmen

4 Power Squadron Boats - 35 Midshipmen

Total- 35 Boats - 147 Midshipmen on the Water!

We Love it When Mids Take Pride and Ownership of Their Vessels........

Congrats to Brandon Weaver '09 on his wedding, and especially his wedding cake!!

11 August 2010

Summerwind Rescues Man-Overboard in Castine to Camden Race

Last week while racing in Maine, the Training Vessel Summerwind rescued a man-overboard from another vessel in dense fog and cold water. Below is a brief narrative of the spectacular performance of our Midshipmen and graduates in saving a life at sea.

Sail Training Vessel Summerwind
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

August 8th 2010
Castine to Camden Classic Race

At approximately 1300 on 8 August 2010 the Sail Training Vessel Summerwind, crewed by 16 Midshipmen and staff from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, was underway approximately 1.1 nm east of Isleboro Harbor, ME on port tack in 10-12 knots of southerly wind and dense fog. Summerwind is a 100' marconi rigged Alden Schooner, built in 1929. At the time of the rescue Summerwind was beating to weather flying main, fore, staysail, and genoa. At approximately 1255 a contact was spotted on radar on the starboard bow, this information was relayed to the forward lookouts. Visibility was not more than 300'. At 1300 the forward lookout reported a vessel on starboard tack at a range of about 250'. Aboard Summerwind the decision was made to duck, and the main was eased and the rudder put over. The CPA of Summerwind and Phalarope, a 1952 Concordia 39, was about 100'. As Phalarope crossed Summerwind's bow the cry man-overboard was shouted from the foredeck of Summerwind. Initially we suspected that a crewmember had fallen over from Summerwind, but we could not see anyone in the water, and heard no splash. The information that the man-overboard was from Phalarope, and not Summerwind was quickly relayed aft, and the crew sprung into action, initially steering to avoid the man as he had fallen directly in our path. As we passed the man in the water, Midshipman Tim Higgins grabbed a PFD from deck storage, and threw it to the man in the water. As Summerwind is 100' in length and weighs close to 200,000 lbs., it was not possible to immediately stop and return. Fortunately in this instance, race rules required all vessels to tow a tender. I jumped aft, leaving my duties as sailing master to the midshipman, I boarded our 12' wooden tender and cast off the painter. Quickly realizing that we had taken the oars out of the tender before the race, I grabbed a PFD and used it to paddle to the man overboard. Within about 30 seconds I was close enough to throw the tender's painter to the man in the water and pull him alongside. At this point he had been in the 58 degree water for 2-3 minutes, and was extremely cold and tired. I assessed his condition, asked his name, and whether he had been hit by a boom, or had any injuries. He wanted to rest before climbing aboard the tender, and in order to keep him conscious and out of shock, I introduced myself, and commented that I felt a bit of a fool for having to paddle to him without oars, he replied that he felt a bit of a fool for falling of his ship- I remarked that he had me beat. Once rested I rolled the rail of the tender down the waters edge, and rolled him into the boat. By this point both Phalarope and Summerwind had turned around and were returning to the tender. From the tender I nearly lost sight of both sailing vessels in the fog. Had either vessel been looking only for a head in the water, and not the two of us floating safely in the tender I feel this situation would have turned into a search instead of a rescue. Phalarope sailed up to the tender and I passed them the painter. Once alongside we transferred their crewmember back aboard, and he went below to warm up and change clothes. I asked to borrow the oars from Phalaropes tender, and rowed back to Summerwind, made fast the tender and resumed racing.

Aboard the Summerwind the most elemental training for MOB recovery led to just about every crew member lining the rail with arms out stretched, pointing at first to the victim and then to the tender. We had been sailing at better than 6 knots and the Captain gave orders to put the main engine on line and furl the two headsails as they quickly realized that the tender's oars were below and that they might need to maneuver the schooner to retrieve the MOB. One crew member was assigned the task of plotting positions, issuing security calls, and making certain that while we assisted in retrieving the victim, we were not putting ourselves in danger either by running aground or colliding with the other vessels racing and in the area.

Summerwind Crew-
Jonathan Kabak- Master
CDR Chris Gasiorek, USMS KP'95 – Sailing Master
Brian Giorgio, KP '08 – Engineer
Michael Dybvik KP '10 Mate
Charles Floyd-Jones KP '10 – Mate
Pat Showell KP '09 – Mate
Tiffany Smythe – Volunteer Coach
M/N Misty Harris KP ' 12
M/N Karen Gilkey KP '12
M/N Ben Reavis KP '12
M/N Chris Leach KP' 12
M/N James Pilliod KP '13
M/N Eric Madsen KP '13
M/N Jared Reeves KP'13
M'N Jeff Musselman KP'12
M/N Tim Higgins KP' 12
M/N Amos London KP '12

I believe that the training and practice that our midshipman receive made this rescue a success. All hands stepped up and performed admirably. That being said some lessons learned come immediately to mind.

CDR Chris Gasiorek, USMS
Sailing Master / Director of Waterfront Activities
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy
Office: 516-773-5475

Summerwind at Woods Hole, MA

09 August 2010

More Summerwind

Photo from Howard Sharp- Woodenboat Forums