The month of April was a very busy sailing month for our racers.  It seemed every weekend there was a race with perfect sailing conditions. There is  one more Sailing Regatta in the month of May 7 & 8. This is a 2 day Regatta - Saturday 5/7 will be a two Buoy races and Sunday 5/8, will be a distance race. As standard procedures we will meet at Higel park at 11:00 am for captains' informational meetings and crew assignments. 

The VSS race season is moving to a close as we enter the summer break.  Green Flash races will be held every Tuesday evening.
 
This year our committees are putting together a very active calendar of events that unfortunately our snowbirds will miss.  
 
I would like to thank all the people that helped our race program this season: Ken Nolan, with the use of his committee boat and all the SI/NOR's and expertise that he provided, and to all the dedicated crew that held onto the rocky committee boat while it waited for the racers to complete the course: Ray Locke, Jim Fenn, Joan Van Zile, and Rob Menson for his RC knowledge.  The computer program that was needed to complete our race programs pursuit times and final results were put together by: Ken Nolan who really lead the team with Steve Grossman and Jonathan Phillips.  I never new how important the computer was to run a sail racing program and keep track of each sailboats scores and ratings.

The April 2016 Shark Tooth Regatta:

On April 10, the Squadron provided extensive support for the annual Shark's Tooth Regatta sponsored by the Venice Yacht Club and the Sarasota Bay Yachting Association.  Eleven boats from Venice and Sarasota participated.  There would have been more participants but small craft advisories, high winds in the wee hours of the morning and high predicted gusts for the day may have deterred many sailors.  However, with northerlies shifting to the NW, sailing conditions turned out to be ideal, if somewhat lumpy.  Winds of 15-22 kts. before the start subsided to 12-16 kts., diminished to 8-9 kts. and then started heading up again providing for a very wet and bumpy beat to the finish line.
To gain more visibility for the Sailing Squadron, Race Committee Chair Ken Nolan set the race course so that our start was off the Venice Inlet and the first racing mark was off Sharky's Pier.  Our new Advertising Chair, Phyllis Nolan worked with Jonathan Phillips to prepare a special Shark's Tooth Regatta pamphlets which explained the event and provided extensive information about our Squadron.  During the race Phyllis then went to Sharky's Restaurant and the Venice Fishing Pier, distributed the pamphlets and explained the race and its participants to interested spectators.  Thank you for your great work, Phyllis.
I am pleased to report that of the 11 boats in the Regatta all the awards went to Squadron members except in the Non-Spinnaker Class (only because we had no members who entered that class). Getting recognition in the regatta were:

Spinnaker Class:

First Place:        John Lynch, S.V. Flash

Cruising Class:

First Place:        Bill Gately,  S.V. Fruition
Second Place:   Tony Mirabella,  S.V. Bella Mer
Third Place:      Steve Saewert,  S.V. Joy
 
Pocket Cruiser Class:
 
First Place:        Gerry Cashion/Bob Hellyer,  S.V. Irish Wake
Second Place:    Lou Salhany,  S.V. Opalina
Third Place:        Howard McNally, S.V. Randon Walk

A special thanks to Gregg Knighton of Knighton UK sails for donating beautiful custom-made high-tech sail material duffle bags for all regatta participants.  Gregg has been a great supporter of the Squadron for many, many years so please always consider UK Sails for your sail and rigging needs.

Any member that feels they could use some up-date on seamanship/sail training using.the curriculum guide lines from US Sailing and our experience VSS sailors contact me at (941) 244-2281.

Every month we are starting a new class on Tuesday's from 1:00 to 3:00.

Hope everyone has a safe and happy summer season weather you are here or there.

Norm Sooy
Race Captain