All Photos Courtesy of Howie McMichael
Storm Trysail’s Annual Hands-On Seminar was held Saturday, May 20, at the SUNY Maritime College at Fort Schuyler in the Bronx, NY. This is the fifth such Seminar and we continue to evolve the concept of a one day seminar to achieve World Sailing certification. We also added a level of training above the World Sailing level. Charles “Butch” Ulmer chaired this challenging event and mobilized over 60 members and an armada of boats.
“Level 100” is the designation Storm Trysail has given its World Sailing qualification program. In the 75 minute opening session, Moderator Rich du Moulin emphasized seamanship and leadership “Shackleton style” with the goal of “Don’t Give Up the Ship!” Then Lt. Tim Anderson of the USCG presented Sea Air Rescue and STC member Martha Parker of Team One Newport demonstrated proper offshore attire on super models Scott Steele and Ann Myer.
After the opening session, the 180 Level 100 students were assigned to four color groups and rotated through four 90 minute hands on sessions (lunch break in the middle):
At the Closing Session, Moderator Rich du Moulin provided a summary of high points of lessons learned, and power points of heavy weather sails, sailing and tactics. Courtesy of Switlick, Ryan Taffett inflated a Life Raft.
About half the Level 100 also signed up for the US Sailing ten chapter lessons and quizzes. They also had access to Storm Trysail’s great video library and will take our online test during the next two weeks. About half the group were racers and half cruisers (non Bermuda Race Year). All members should consider the very inexpensive purchase of unlimited access to our video library.
Level 200 – For the first time ever, Storm Trysail offered this higher level program which was originally developed for junior sailors by STC’s Joe Cooper. For the adults we required that they had done Level 100 or the equivalent previously. 30 signed up which we think will dramatically grow next year, since we now have about 600-700 Level 100 “graduates” from past years. Level 200 Chair Peter Becker organized Level 200 and recruited some of STC’s top talent as coaches.
Level 200 sailors attended the opening and closing sessions but not the four 90 minute portions. Instead they had half a day of classroom work, and sailed half a day on three J/44s, each with three very experienced racing sailors. Each boat had a support rib following it – America’s Cup style.
On the water the crew did MOB recoveries with actual men in the water with Gumby suits. They practiced Quick stop and close approach (we teach 15 feet off the bow and a crew uses the throw bag from the foredeck – safer than alongside approach) . They also practiced the Lifesling recovery method. The ribs stood closely by; one rib driven by Matt Marciano had medic Mary McKiege with an AED, Peter Kelly solo in a rib and Lee Reichart, Ryan Taffet and Frank Stagliano in another with Howie McMichael and Peter Fackler in Puff as the photo boat.
Other Level 200 activities included: reefing/unreefing, drogue steering, damage control scenarios, storm sails, and near the end of the session the crews abandoned ship into Switlick provided rafts! This had never been done at any safety seminar anywhere. The sailors stayed in the rafts for about 20 minutes, firing rockets and setting off flares and smokes.
Three Level 200 one hour classroom sessions included: USCG SAR (with more detail than the opening session); Frank Bohlen on weather, and the NYYC team of Juan Corradi, Gary Forster, and Bro Uttal on scenarios for flooding and abandoning ship.
For the event we produced a 24 page pamphlet compressing all aspects of SAS. Every attendee received one. These are intended to be kept aboard and read by crew. Storm Trysail will try to get this online for everyone to read.
The Maritime College is a fantastic venue for all these activities. We expect in 2018 to have about 250-275 Level 100 and 50-75 Level 200. We had about 60 volunteers, including friends from CCA and NYYC. Nathan Titcomb represented USSailing. Rob Cafra represented SUNY Maritime College throughout the day making sure that all of the event planning came smoothly to fruition. Sponsors included AIG Insurance, UK Sailmakers, McMichael Yacht Yards, Landfall Navigation, Team One Newport, Switlick Marine Safety, Sea Safety International, DP Sailcloth, and Brewer Yacht Yards & Marinas.
Special thanks to the owners of the training fleet:
Vamp – Lenny Sitar Maxine – Bill Ketcham Froya –– Briggs Tobin Rocket Science – Rick Oricchio Christopher Dragon – Andrew and Linda Weiss
Second Boat – Mark Ellman Inisharon- Jim Murphy Glory – US Coast Guard Academy Charlie V – SUNY Maritime College Faith – Kory Breitel
And thanks to all the other volunteers:
Rich du Moulin, Moderator
Storm Trysail Club
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