Where the Sum is Greater than the Parts
Published on June 24th, 2016
The Sail Newport Advanced Racing Clinic in memory of Brooke Gonzalez was held Thursday through Sunday, June 16-19, at Sail Newport in Newport, RI. Now in its 15th year, the BEG Clinic consistently attracts the highest level of competition in the i420, Laser Radial, 29er, and Club 420 where attendees join to push each other and soak up knowledge from a star-studded coaching staff.
The head coaches in each group are at the top of the game – Yale head coach and 470/i420 specialist Zack Leonard led the i420 group, Bern Noack led the Laser Radials, US Sailing Youth Development Program Manager Richard Feeny led the 29ers, and dinghy coaching legend Ken Legler led the Club 420 group.
In addition to these leaders, the Quantum Sailmaking Group helped secure Ed Baird and Leandro Spina, who provided invaluable insight and leadership while working with multiple classes throughout the weekend. Finally, we were joined by a talented staff of coaches, mixing the experience of career coaches at the top of the College Sailing game with the insight from US Sailing Team Sperry Athletes like Erika Reineke and Fred Strammer.
This year’s clinic kicked off with a Thursday tuning and speed session led by US Sailing Team Sperry Technical Director Grant “Fuzz” Spanhake. This helped expand the sailor’s understanding of what makes the boat go fast and exactly how small changes in sail controls manipulate sail shape and rig setup.
Friday was a boathandling oriented day, and Saturday was lighter breeze but a very productive morning set-up demonstration and afternoon speed session. Saturday night featured a talk with Ed Baird, who discussed the various avenues for success in sailing, including the many different paths his teammates had followed on his America’s Cup winning teams and current TP52 teams.
Sunday was the venerable clinic race day. A nice SSW breeze in the 8-14 knot range provided for great racing, managed by race committee specialist Ken Legler. Five excellent races were completed in each division, and top finishers from each division can be found below.
At the conclusion of racing, Helly Hansen provided awards for the top performers in the regatta, while also recognizing the Brooke Gonzalez Award finalists from each class, and the winner. The Brooke Gonzalez Award recognizes that sailor who exemplifies Brooke’s exceptional attitude and sailing spirit. The coaches unanimously settled on Sophia Reineke (Ft. Lauderdale, FL), an accomplished Radial sailor who came to Newport determined to improve and gain as much knowledge as she could from her coaches and her fellow clinic attendants.
The Gonzalez clinic is a special opportunity for the best youth sailors in the country to interact with these top coaches as well as their peers. This would not be possible without the support of the Gonzalez Family, Helly Hansen, and Quantum Sailmaking Group, who combine to provide this incredible experience and provide access to coaches like Ed Baird and Leandro Spina.
Furthermore, the clinic enjoyed the tireless behind the scenes effort from Brad Read, Kim Hapgood, Hannah Lasorsa, and the rest of the Sail Newport staff, who were even willing to chaperone sailors in the Salve Regina dorms to make sure every sailor had housing for the clinic!
Clinic Regatta Results, Top 3 and Gonzalez Award Finalists by class:
Gonzalez Award Finalist: Connor Bayless/Kimmie Leonard (Annapolis, MD)
1st: Connor Bayless/Kimmie Leonard (Annapolis, MD)
2nd: Porter Kavle/Caroline McNeil (Annapolis, MD)
3rd: Julia Reynolds/Hobie Lew (Southport, CT)
*Gonzalez Award Finalist and Overall Gonzalez Award Recipient: Sophia Reineke (Fort Lauderdale, FL)
1st: Christina Sakellaris (Milton, MD)
2nd: John Kirkpatrick (Portsmouth, RI)
3rd: Jake Vickers (Annapolis, MD)
Gonzalez Award Finalist: Ana Clare Sole/Sophia Sole (Houston, TX))
1st: Eddie Mintzias/Rhett Ullmann (Weston, FL/Greenwich, CT)
2nd: Peyton Thompson/Victoria Thompson (Newport Harbor, CA)
3rd: Emma Kaneti/Catherine “B” Lindsay (Mamaroneck, MA/West Palm Beach, FL)
Gonzalez Award Finalist: Teddy Nicolosi (St. Thomas, VI)
1st: Greta Stewart/Kate Stewart (Paget, Bermuda)
2nd: Charlie Hibben/CJ McKenna (Concord, MA)
3rd: Hannah Steadman/Gabby Rizika (St. Petersburg, FL/Brookline, MA)
Report by Justin Assad, BEG Clinic Head Coach. Photos by Ken Legler.