The idea that one’s company, two’s a crowd, and three’s a party certainly rang true at the JSA Girls’ Laser Radial Champs and clinic last weekend, where an intimate group of nine girls had a lot of fun participating in a professionally-taught clinic on Saturday, July 7 and sailing races on Sunday, July 8.
The clinic was taught by Michael Marshall, a former junior-sailor from Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay, who won the New England Junior Singlehanded Championships twice. His clinic featured a lot of individual attention and innovative drills that the girls readily took on. Marshall possessed a keen knowledge of the parts of the boat, and individually inspected each rigged boat with its skipper to explore ways that the rigging was done well, and ways in which it could be improved.
Another aspect of this event that the participants enjoyed was its tight-knit, all-girls atmosphere.
“It’s very friendly,” Taylor Brimberg, who was attending the clinic/regatta for the 5th time this year and who also won 2nd place (in Laser Radials) at this year’s Law Trophy Regatta, said on Saturday. “I make great connections here with other girls.”
While the clinic on Saturday was described as “fast paced” by participant Julia Fuller of Norwalk, the wind and racing on Sunday were anything but. With almost no wind, the race committee was barely able to run two races before the wind completely died at lunchtime. After lunch they waited 2½ hours for wind; when none came they called it a day and returned the sailors to shore.
“It was never very strong… we were lucky to get off two,” Elisabeth Mooney, the PRO of the regatta, recalled after the races Sunday afternoon. Still Mooney noticed an increased sailing quality “because of the clinic the day before.”
“I think they did the best they could,” said Brimberg, referring to the race committee. “It’s well run every year; that’s why I keep coming back.”
Special thanks go out to the people at the Oyster Bay Sailing Foundation, which covered the majority of the event costs, as well as the Seawanhaka Corinthian Yacht Club for hosting the event again this year and all the volunteers and people who housed girls Saturday night.