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America's Sailing Capital
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The Publisher
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Jul 16, 2009, 8:16 AM

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I suspect the debate of which city is 'America's Sailing Capital' will rage on long after I leave this planet. The ashes were kicked again in Scuttlebutt 2884 with this story:

10 GREAT PLACES FOR SAILORS TO TAKE A BRAND-NEW TACK
Summertime invites boaters to sail away, but you don't have to be regatta-ready to enjoy the wind at your back. Chris Santella, author of Fifty Places to Sail Before You Die, shares favorite spots to raise the sails.

Annapolis, Maryland
Citizens of Newport have been known to dispute Annapolis' moniker as "America's Sailing Capital," Santella says, but the city is undeniably the hub of the mid-Atlantic sailing community. "While it is home for some high-profile races - and the U.S. Naval Academy - a favorite nautical amusement for many Annapolites are the Wednesday night races, sponsored by the Annapolis Yacht Club, where 150 boats or more may compete," he says. 888-302-2852; visitannapolis.org

Marblehead, Massachusetts
"Quaint Marblehead is custom-made for sailing, with water on three sides and a deep natural harbor," Santella says. "Historically, it was where Bostonians came to moor or race their sailboats." The port is a popular spot for starts and finishes of numerous races. "If there's one week to soak in the ambience of Marblehead, it would be the Marblehead Race Week, held each year at the end of July," he says. 781-631-2868, visitmarblehead.com

Newport, Rhode Island
Home to America's Cup races, this historic vacation spot for the well-heeled is a sailor's mecca. "Newport has it all: a deep-water harbor, a large navigable bay, easy access to the ocean and a great funneling sea breeze," Santella says. "Making landfall in Newport via the East Passage with the wind behind you is one of sailing's great moments." 800-976-5122, gonewport.com


Read on: http://tinyurl.com/kknbhb

- Craig Leweck, Scuttlebutt




The Publisher
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Jul 16, 2009, 8:17 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 2885:

* From Jim Hayes: I am a long time resident of Annapolis as well as a sailor and I too have often questioned the self proclaimed moniker of “America’s Sailing Capital” having spent some time in Newport and other towns that are a bee hive of sailing activity in the summer months.

Recently I raised this issue with a well regarded sailboat broker and a well known sailmaker, and it was explained to me that as Annapolis is the capital of Maryland and it has more sailing activity than any other state capital, it can rightly stake its claim as “America’s Sailing Capital”.

The sailmaker, who has sailed in regattas around the country as well as the world, pointed out that although Newport has a great deal of activity during the summer sailing season, there is little going on the rest of the year while Annapolis has a very active weekly winter frostbite series and hosts major regattas in the spring and fall.




The Publisher
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Jul 16, 2009, 8:18 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 2886:

* From Stuart Streuli, Newport, RI: Without opening (re-opening?) the never-ending debate on which town should be called America’s Sailing Capital. I have to respond to Jim Hayes comments in ‘Butt 2885. Firstly, Newport regularly hosted state legislative sessions (with a handful of other cities) until 1900 when Providence was named the state capital.

Secondly, Hayes couldn’t be more wrong when he says there is little sailing in Newport outside of the summer. I am a co-captain of Laser Fleet 413, and we only sail in the winter. We sailed 22 Sundays from Nov. 2, 2008 to April 19, 2009. We missed one day because of too much wind, one day because of too little, and one day because of Easter. We held 112 races, with an average fleet of just under 30 boats. 116 sailors raced at least one Sunday.

In addition there’s regular Turnabout frostbiting at Newport YC, the local high school and college sailing teams, Sail Newport’s annual Sail For Hope in early October, and some others I know I’m missing.




The Publisher
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Jul 16, 2009, 8:19 AM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 2887:

* From Nick von der Wense: In response to Mr. Strueli in Scuttlebutt 2886, and to strengthen Annapolis’s claim regarding the term America’s Sailing Capital, Annapolis became the temporary capital of the United States after the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Congress was in session in the Annapolis state house from November 26, 1783, to June 3, 1784, and it was in Annapolis on December 23, 1783, that General Washington resigned his commission as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army.

If we choose to evaluate the distinction on races sailed in the winter, Annapolis is home to both IC, Soling, & Laser frostbiting at SSA for 20+ weekends, and AYC hosts a winter long series that mirrors the Wednesday night participation.

Finally I propose we settle this simply on the water, in the format of a Laser regatta in December in Annapolis, to establish sailing superiority and end chest beating. Participants must be nothing other than residents or local sailors of the port of Annapolis or Newport. Lawyers are welcome only if they can sail a Laser.


* From Ben Jarashow: (Regarding story in Scuttlebutt 2885) When most people hear the moniker “Sailing Capitol”, they naturally assume that it refers to the amount of sailboat RACING that occurs in Annapolis. To argue that Annapolis is the place in the USA that holds more or better sailboat racing than anywhere else in the country is easily debatable.

Rather, Annapolis is the true SAILING Capitol of the US - there is more cruising, sailing up and around the multitude of small rivers and creeks in the area in the warm (relative to the Northeast) waters of the Chesapeake, and there are more sailboats per capita than in any other small town in the country. Daysailors and passagemakers alike call the town home, and unlike racing sailboats, even larger cruising boats tend towards shallow enough draught to dock in town.

In short, Annapolis holds some of the best sailboat racing in the country, but we ought not forget the majority of our sport, the non-competitive side.


Chris Buydos
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Jul 16, 2009, 9:39 AM

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As a Long Island Sound sailor, I have had the pleasure of sailing and bar hopping in both venues (Annapolis and Newport) and this title designation - America’s Sailing Capital - could be argued for ever in both respects. Honestly, both venues are equally deserving of this title. I think it has to come down to who wants the title more!

I have to agree with Nick von der Wense (Scuttlebutt 2887), that this needs to be settled on the water, though not just in Lasers. Both venues have fantastic sailing venues (Sail Newport & Sail Annapolis) that make other sailing venues jealous and could be excellent hosts. I would like to throw out the idea of a regatta every 4-5 years for the sailing Capitol Cup. I think the 4-5 year designation is important for the host city to be able to properly market the designation that they have received.

The regatta should take place in both one design and PHRF/IRC classes. I would also like to see junior sailors involved as well. The best of the best from both areas (amateur designations) compete for the right to call themselves the sailing capitol. This is a regatta that I can see a wonderful collaboration between both local sailors as well as area businesses. Though this type of regatta may not have the national appeal of some, it will certainly have the eyes and ears of most sailors from Virginia to Massachusetts.

I have contacted two friends who I feel would be excellent ambassadors for their respected venues to hopefully start the buzz for a 2010 event. I would like to see if this idea would actually have legs. Since I am not a resident of either location I would like be the first to volunteer my services (marketing, graphic design, basic race management) as a neutral body in the coordination and execution of the event. It would be interesting to see who would like to step up to make this happen. Are these two venues going to continue to talk the talk or are they ready to practice what they preach? Let’s settle the debate on the water in true Corinthian spirit! Game on!

Regards,

Chris Buydos





Jock O
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Jul 16, 2009, 4:33 PM

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Regarding the US Sailing capital - I have lived and sailed in both Annapolis and Newport - and the former Capitol of the US is truly a great place to both race and cruise as is the sailing in and around the body of water that lies between Nantucket and Long Island Sound. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that given a choice of venues to hold a sailboat race series, be it Block Island Race Week or any of the annual events that are scheduled in and around Newport, most sailors around the world will choose Newport

Interesting that residents of Annapolis feel so strongly about which city deserves the "tag", while the sailors here just go sailing. I am reminded of an expression "methinks he doth protest too much!"



The Publisher
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Jul 16, 2009, 4:37 PM

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SCUTTLEBUTT 2888:

* From Ray Tostado: Well, it seems that claiming excellence of venue seems to be the topic, I wish to submit that Marina del Rey, California, is the "Floating/storage Capital of America". Less than 6% of all vessels stored there ever see the breakwater more than 3 times a year. OK, on a great day maybe 8% hit the high seas.

A risk bonanza for insurance companies. Not bad for having the title of the largest man-made-marina in the US. And at $19.50 per foot per month.


* From Brooks Magruder, Persian Gulf, Doha, Qatar: Interesting that many claim Annapolis's right to the title of sailing capital of USA is based on a few winter sailing events staged there -- arguing extended sailing season over RI. If that's the basis of claim, then let's hear from Florida's & California's enthusiasts about their "frost bite" series from fetching ice-beers in February… Which region has a better local sailing rag than SF's Latitude 38? Checkmate.


* From D. B. Tanner, Golden, CO: I just can't help but put my .02 worth in since I live in neither Annapolis nor Newport but spend a bit of time each year in both for more than 20 years.

Newport, founded in 1639, summer home of the New York Yacht Club and the Naval War College. Weekly J/22, J/24, Melges 24, Shields and PHRF races (and others I'm sure I haven't mentioned). Home of Americas Cup racing for 53 years. Deep cold water. Narragansett Bay with islands, coves, beaches, great wind, Long Island Sound on the front door. Vibrant sailing community with HUGE boats.

Annapolis, capital of Maryland, founded in 1649, home of the US Naval Academy. Weekly races in more one design classes and PHRF than I'd like to count. Shallow warm water. Chesapeake Bay with tons of inlets and wonderful for cruising. Huge sailing community with more one-designs than anywhere I know.

Which one is the sailing capital? Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa... I honestly love both, have wonderful friends in both, raced in both, cruised Chesapeake Bay, am familiar with some of the history of both and really can't choose - how about a poll?




Stan Stanley
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Jul 16, 2009, 7:12 PM

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WOW! How East Coast parochial can you get? Have any of you sailed the Berkley circle, the San Francisco waterfront, the Puget Sound, Swiftshure, the Ensanada race, Transpac??

I have sailed extensively in Newport and Annapolis and I wouldn't trade West Coast sailing for any East coast venue. Why only consider Annapolis or Newport as the "Capital" of sailing? Why do we need a "Capital of Sailing?"

Stan Stanley
Whidbey Island Washington


JScott
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Jul 17, 2009, 3:34 AM

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In Reply To
I have to agree with Nick von der Wense (Scuttlebutt 2887), that this needs to be settled on the water, I would like to throw out the idea of a regatta every 4-5 years for the sailing Capitol Cup. I think the 4-5 year designation is important for the host city to be able to properly market the designation that they have received.

Regards,

Chris Buydos:




First we need a Deed of Gift.

We need some sufficiently ambiguous language about "having" a "capitol" on an "arm of the sea". Can I suggest that Cory drafts it.

Then we can truly have a competition because, after all, what is a capitol without lawyers and lobbyists. I hardly think that a claim to be a sailing capitol can be settled soley on the water. Surely there have to be some court battles as well.


Weekend Warrior
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Jul 17, 2009, 3:52 AM

Post #10 of 14 (25946 views)
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How about just letting the Mayors settle it with dueling pistols @ dawn?

Just a thought…
G. E. Kriese
www.OceanRacing.com


SalthyDog
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Jul 17, 2009, 9:50 AM

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Feh, this is as silly as debating which sails/bottom paint and running rigging are best.

it depends on what you want.

if you like sitting in a drifter, go to LIS.

if you like to have the wind blowing at from all angles sail off West Point on the Hudson, when the gusts come vertically downwards and spread out off Storm King Mountain.

if you want protected waters then the Chesapeake or the Finger lakes, or the Alameda Estuary might be your venue.

If you want pretty scenery then sail the Coast of Maine from Casco to Penobscot on the Monhegan, or up in Puget.

If you like getting beaten up, sail West of Berkeley towards Alcatraz at 2pm just about any day in the summer.

If you want to experience "square" waves, sail Ontario around Main Duck Is in a brisk Westerly or
Buzzards Bay when the SW wind hits the outgoing tide, or the under the Gate on a strong ebb.

Sailed all of them but really its hard to beat the trades off St. Croix.


The Publisher
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Jul 17, 2009, 1:45 PM

Post #12 of 14 (25823 views)
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Chris Buydos has a great idea for stirring up a rivalry between those staid bastions of yachting – Newport and Annapolis. However, I’m here to agree with Brooks Magruder that Sailing Capitol really is the SF Bay Area. Not only do we have great journalism, but many of the new sailing trends come from this area, including my home town of Santa Cruz. Northern California has so many outstanding sailors, some of the best support organizations, and arguably the most innovative designers because we have a reliable supply of that most essential ingredient - wind. It seems to me wind is Criterion #1 for a sailing capitol. The rest you can truck in.

J.Scott Carpenter
Rocklin, CA


Josh Adams
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Jul 19, 2009, 10:40 AM

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Fantastic idea - decide America’s true sailing capital, Annapolis or Newport (with all due respect to our friends on San Francisco Bay), on the water. But to run this regatta properly, we need reliable summer winds. With that, I recommend Newport as the venue.

Regards, Josh Adams, SAIL Publisher (raised in Newport, RI)


Angus Phillips
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Jul 19, 2009, 10:41 AM

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As a fellow who signs all correspondence to people from Newport, "Cheers from sunny Annapolis, America's Sailing Capital," I was delighted with Chris Buydos's proposal (Butt 2888) to settle who's really No. 1 on the water.

He wants a regatta organized by Sail Newport and its equivalent down here, "Sail Annapolis." In fact, there's no "Sail Annapolis," but a new nonprofit called Annapolis Community Boating serves the role.

As a board member at ACB, without consulting my colleagues, I say bring it on! We'll match your Kenny Read with our Terry Hutchinson, your Herb McCormick with our Gary Jobson and your Carol Cronin with our JoAnn Fisher.

Let the chips fall where they may. We're all over this.

Angus Phillips


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