Monday, January 12, 2009

Two Olympians Join Trevor to Coach LISOT

We're thrilled that Amanda Clark and Marek Valasek will be joining Trevor as our primary coaches up through and including 2009 Team Trials.

Amanda Clark

Many of you know Amanda - she coached LISOT quite a bit this past fall and, of course, was the US Women's 470 skipper at the 2008 Beijing Olympics last summer.

When Amanda was seven, she started sailing Optis at Shelter Island Yacht Club. As a member of the US National Team, Amanda traveled the world representing the U.S. on the South American, European and Worlds teams.

At 14 she won the silver medal at the Opti Europeans and was a top female finisher at both the North and South Americans. A year later, at age 15, Amanda became the youngest female to make the U.S. Sailing Team in the Europe class.

(Opti Trivia: Did you know that Amanda and '08 Olympic Silver Medalist Zach Railey were on US team along with Trevor that went to the Optimist Worlds in Ireland back in 1997?).

Marek Valasek

Marek started sailing Optis on a small lake near the Slovakian capital of Bratislava at the age of 8. He won two national championships and represented Solvakia at the Opti Europeans and Worlds.

After Optis, he crewed for his brother sailing 420s and 470s. In 1993, Marek began racing in the Finn class, where he won four successive National titles. Marek then began racing Lasers, and completed at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta for Solvakia.

Marek has been coaching the Opti US National Team for a few years, coached the US team 2008 Optimist Worlds last year in Turkey; the US team at the 2007 Europeans, as well as many other US international opti teams.

This April, in addition to coaching LISOT, Amanda will be coaching the US team at the Holland Easter Regatta, and Marek the US team at the International Optimist Meeting in Lake Garda, Italy.

We are also actively pursuing additional world-class coaches for 2009 Team Trials and beyond.

Info on '09 Lake Garda (Italy) Optimist Regatta

Coach Søren Laugesen (who has coached LISOT at Team Trails for the past few years) is leading wonderful trip to this regatta, which runs over Easter weekend in April.

The Regatta, the 27th Lake Garda Optimist Meeting, runs from April 9-12. Pre-regatta practice days are April 5-7 with April 8th as a layday (perfect for a drive to Venice - less than 2 hours away).

This is one of the nicest regatta/vacations around for both sailors and parents alike. Details and preliminary NOR are on the event website.

The scenery is beautiful and there's always wind - usually 15-25 knots. Check out the photos from last years' regatta and see for yourself.

Last year’s regatta had 1,000 optis, with zero parent stress (the food and wine is pretty good too)! The local club, Fraglia Vela Riva, really knows what they’re doing!

Søren has been to this regatta for 18 years in a row, and taking US sailors for the past 10 years. There is no better coach and leader for this event! He will handle everything - lodging (Hotel Centrale in the town square, a 2 minute walk to the YC), opti charters, coach boat, meals, etc.

If you’d like to go, or would simply like more information, contact Søren at He needs 6-8 sailors to make it viable.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

New Policy for 2009 Team Trials & Late April Practices

We have always been, and will continue to be, an “open” team for any sailor – local or otherwise.

In 2008, we implemented a requirement that sailors attend five practices in order to sail with LISOT at a travel regatta. This policy worked well and will continue for 2009.

Since 2009 Team Trials is in our backyard at Noroton YC, we are further expanding this policy to apply to the Team Trials regatta and local practices the last two weeks in April before Team Trials. In addition, all practices in late April (beginning April 18th) will be limited to only those sailors that will be sailing with LISOT at Team Trials.

These policies are solely to assure that our sailors know their coaches, and our coaches know the sailors they will coach at Team Trials.

If you do not plan to sail with LISOT at Team Trials, we hope you can understand the need for this policy.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

LISOT Teams Finish 2nd, 4th & 6th at Team Race Midwinters

On a tie-breaker for first place, LISOT's "Flying Purple Monkeys" team of Reinier Eenkema Van Dijk, Lily Katz, Megan Grapengeter-Rudnick, Katie Kelley and Matthew Mollerus (pictured below, l. to r., with coach Trevor Moore) finished 2nd (with a 12-2 record) at the USODA midwinter team race championship.

They will be representing the US along with the team from Lauderdale YC (also 12-2) at the 23rd Trofeo "Marco Rizzotti" Europe Cup Team Race Championship in Venice Italy on May 14-17, 2009.

This will be LISOT's 5th year in a row sending a team to Venice. LISOT won the event in 2007 - the first year a US team has ever won.

LISOT fielded 3 teams - the most from any club or Opti team at the regatta, which was wonderfully hosted by Davis Island YC in sunny and warm Tampa, FL.

"TAWP" (Roger Dorr, Drew Gallagher, Casey Klingler, Harry Koeppel and Adele Whitmyer) sailed a strong event and successfully placed a second LISOT team in the final round of four, and finished 4th overall. As the team was approaching the finish line with a winning combo in a race on Day 2 - and the time had come to turn on the boatspeed and solidify the win, Harry offered his team one of the best pieces of advice of the weekend, "Drive it like you stole it!"

LISOT's "GNU" team of Ian Crane, Ty Ingram, Chrissie Klingler, Hannah Morrill and Kendall Swenson (from Annapolis YC) qualified for the gold fleet with a 6th place finish, just behind St. Pete YC Team A.

Trevor Moore and Marek Valasek coached our 3 teams, which sailed well in a wide range of wind and sea conditions from 18 knots and gusty, to near drifting whispers.

Thanks to event Chairman Martin Zonnenberg, PRO Eric Robbins and Chief Judge Peter Van Dyke and their teams of umpires, race committee and event volunteers for a terrific regatta.

Congrats to all our LISOT team racers.