Despite the threat of thunderstorms, the January Cohort flocked to Fort Adams State Park last Saturday for the HBS Sailing Club’s Newport Cruise. Over 100 students, partners and even a dog donned lifejackets and sailed nimble J-22s sailboats across scenic Narragansett Bay. Mother Nature was on our side and blessed the group with Newport’s characteristic strong but manageable winds. The rain never materialized although Skipper, Simon Morrish, NK did his best to make sure his crew was wet anyway. Crews of six people each were assigned to six boats, all of which returned to the dock undamaged. Most of the other boats in the crowded harbor were also intact at the end of the day.
The event was particularly popular with non-sailors who experienced the sport for the first time. About half the participants were beginners and 2/3 of participants were not Sailing Club members. Kathy Park, NI said that her skipper “…made it all seem so easy that all of us who were in the boat (including the dog) plan on taking more sailing lessons. Then, we can hire a really HOT crew to man our charter boat off the coast of Spain and…oh wait, that was Christina Aragon’s fantasy.” Although not at the event, Cedric Canas, NJ was quick to volunteer for the job.
Special thanks are due to the patient staff of Sail Newport who conducted sailing tests, helped match crews and ferried latecomers onto the bay. Special thanks also to our skippers, Andrew Kelley, NH, Andrew Lee, Brooks Blake, NJ, Corey Thomas, NK, Francesco Cardinali, NK, Michael Schnitman, NI, Simon Morrish, NK and Zyg Kunczynski, NI.
If you didn’t make it onto the water in Newport but are interested in sailing, club members can regularly be found in the Boston Harbor and are always willing to take guests out for a ride. The club can also arrange a series of lessons that will prepare you for the annual regatta in October.