Sunday, February 22, 2009

Spring Kickoff Parents' Meeting - Sunday, March 1st

Whether you're the parent of a current LISOT Optimist, 420 or Laser Radial sailor (or interested in learning more about LISOT), please join us for the LISOT 2009 Spring Kickoff Parents' Meeting this coming Sunday, March 1st at the Beach Point Club, Mamaroneck, NY ( at 10 am.

We will review Spring and Summer plans for all classes (coaches, events, regattas, clinics, etc), review LISOT finances, and provide plenty of time for discussion and any questions, input or suggestions you have.

We expect the meeting to run 60-90 minutes or so.

NOTES: This is a parents-only meeting. Attendance of sailors is discouraged. The Beach Point Club is closed at this time so this meeting will be BYO coffee. We’ll have some donuts, etc.

The meeting will be in the glass-walled dining room closest to the water so park in the marina area parking lot rather than the main lot. Many thanks to Gerard Koeppel for arranging this location.

If you have any questions prior to the meeting, or items you'd like to discuss, please don't hesitate to email.

We hope we'll see you at Beach Point this Sunday morning,

Doug Wefer – President, LISOT Sailing Foundation

Friday, February 13, 2009

2009 Plans - LISOT Sets Sail for Another Great Year

LISOT is looking forward to another great year in the Optimist, 420 and Laser Radial.

After six years, LISOT has matured to now be a year round team with world class coaching and support for Optimist, 420's and Laser Radials. We continue to be an open and inclusive team for aspiring sailors. And we're excited about the year ahead.

Optimist group coordinator Michael Rudnick has been working hard at planning practices and clinics leading up to Team Trials at Noroton YC in May. These are posted on the LISOT website. Trevor Moore will anchor the coaching staff for this period. Supporting Trevor through this period will be Olympian Amanda Clarke, Jeff Bonanni and others as necessary to service our large group of Team Trials Qualified sailors.

After Team Trials LISOT will operate as usual with weekend practices through June for Development and Advanced sailors followed by a series of multi-day early and mid-summer clinics to concentrate on preparation for the USODA Nationals in California, the New Englands in Newport and any other summer major regattas that are scheduled (Newport Opti Challenge, NJ State Opti Champs, Atlantic Coast Champs, Noroton Girls Regatta, etc.).

Since Trevor will be pursuing an Olympic campaign in the 49er class later this year, LISOT is currently in conversation with several World Class coaches to replace him and ensure a smooth transition. However, Trevor will be coaching Nationals.

At the end of the summer the Optimist sights will be set on the Midwest Championships at Milwaukee YC, WI. This is the 2010 Spring International Team qualifier. For September and October we will bring in additional world class coaches to prepare for this, and welcome sailors from outside our area to practice with us.

While the Optimist program continues its usual schedule, the Club 420 and I420 training programs, led by master coordinator Phil Factor and second year Head Coach Steve Keen, are expanding to meet the demand of supporting the many Optimist graduates. The formula is working!

LISOT recently fielded half of 18 teams at the US Youth Worlds Qualifier in Long Beach, CA. And LISOT is currently supporting, by far, the largest team at the C420 Midwinters this weekend in Jensen Beach , FL and in April LISOT will host the Carl van Duyne Advanced C420/I420 Clinic in Mantaloking, NJ.

The April/May/June emphasis will switch back and forth between the C420 and I420 depending on which event approaches. The summer looks to again be a great season with the Nationals in RI, regattas in Hyannis & Buzzards Bay, and the North Americans in Michigan.

New last Fall was LISOT's Laser Radial group coordinated by Chris Kuehn. This group grew nicely and Chris is balancing venues and training methods to meet the increasing demand. Plans are to attend the Laser North Americans at the Buffalo Canoe Club in June, the Laser Nationals at Brant Beach, NJ in August and a group of events more local to Long Island Sound.

The LISOT Board of Directors would like to invite everyone to the annual open parents meeting on Sunday, March 1st. Further time and location details of this will be available shortly.

LISOT has always been, and will continue to be, an open, inclusive and performance oriented sailing team for aspiring sailors.

We always welcome your questions, ideas and input. Please don't hesitate to contact us (email addresses are on the website).

President – Doug Wefer
Vice President – Phil Factor

Bill Crane
Christopher Kuehn
Michael Rudnick

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

2009 Valentine's Day Regatta - For The Love of Sailing

Each year, Valentine’s Day gives us all the opportunity to express our love. This years' Valentine’s Day Regatta at SPYC certainly gave the 161 Gold Fleet sailors a chance to express their love for sailing, because it was pure love for the sport - not wind - that kept them out on Tampa Bay both Saturday and Sunday.

Saturday morning presented the fleet with chilly weak winds from the east at 2-4 kts and a 1 kt current dragging even the most experienced sailors across the course to the south. For the first race, there were at least 3 general recalls and 40 BFD’s. Most of the five LISOT sailors attended the excellent clinic that our coach Marek Valasek ran on Thursday and Friday, so they were prepared for the conditions – especially the inescapable current.

After Saturday’s first race, the kids bobbed around the bay for a few hours under AP until the Race Committee pulled the plug at 2 PM. The regatta dinner that night emptied out early as the RC called for a 7:15 AM harbor start the next day.

Team LISOT were rigged and ready at 6:45am Sunday morning as per Marek’s request – rigging before dawn will be hard to forget for many of them, including team leader and author of this blog - Peter Bentel. Equally memorable was the spectacular sunrise over the bay as the group towed out to the course.

The RC got the marks set and the second race under way just after 8 AM in 3-4 kts of wind from the northeast. The lessons learned about the current on Saturday paid off – only one general recall and no BFD’s.

The slowly fading wind shifted slightly to the east as the third race got underway. The current gradually took its toll, as many boats in both groups in this race ran into serious traffic problems at the third mark. The problems followed them to the finish line, which closely resembled a parking lot. The LISOT group sailed well in this one, so were disappointed when the RC abandoned the race after everyone else finally shuffled across the line.

Marek kept the team focused for a few slightly frustrating hours of waiting for the wind. The RC tightened the course and eventually started a repeat of race three in 2.5 kts of NNE breeze. Similar to Saturday’s race, there were some general recalls and BFD’s. Ultimately, the entire fleet made it across the finish in super slow motion and towed into shore to pack up and head home.

Congratulations to Florian Eenkema Van Dijk and Sean Walsh who, at the last qualifier of the year, made the cut for their first Team Trails.

LISOT Finishes
11 - Augie Dale
43 - Florian Eenkema Van Dijk
46 - Sean Walsh
113 - Matt Lyons
128 Antonia Bentel

"Friends of LISOT" finishes:
6 - Gary Prieto
23 - Holly Tullo
31 - Sammi Purton
53 - Cally Tullo

In all, the regatta was a fun yet trying experience for our small band of LISOT sailors, made all the better by Marek’s incisive coaching. We look forward to seeing him up north as the year progresses. Thanks to all the parents for their help and good spirit. And, congratulations to Sean, Florian, Augie, Matt and Antonia for staying focused and upbeat through it all!

Happy Valentine’s Day – and keep expressing your love for sailing.

As reported by Peter Bentel.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

President's Weekday Clinic @ Lauderdale YC Feb 17-20

The LISOT clinic during Presidents week (Tuesday thru Friday, February 17-20) will be held at Lauderdale YC.

Marek is coaching. Opti charters are available from LYC including rig, blades (pls send charter requests to

Sign up on the lisot website ( The clinic is open to LISOT and non-LISOT sailors. Floridian kids are welcome after school (for a modest coaching fee)

This should be some fun ocean sailing for 4 days!