Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Another Brick in the Wall

We dont need no education.
We dont need no thought control.
No dark sarcasm in the classroom.
Teacher, leave those kids alone.
Hey, teacher, leave those kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

This 1979 Pink Floyd song, “Another Brick in the Wall”, was a protest against rigid schooling, and was the first thing that came to mind when it was learned that Annapolis Yacht Club had committed to buying six 29er sailboats from Canada-based PS 2000. The traditional forces that have funneled American youth sailors through the Optimist and Club 420 are now opening up to some of the more modern and exciting choices that are available today. And AYC is jumping in with both feet.

Recognized immediately by ISAF upon its introduction in 1999, the 29er class has been validated by its selection as the boat for the ISAF Youth Worlds in 2002. Popular in Europe, Canada, the West Coast and Australia, 29ers are now gaining popularity on America’s East Coast, with growing fleets in Newport, RI and Long Island Sound. The 29er will be the ISAF Youth Worlds boat again this year.

The 29er is a true high performance skiff – a 2 person, single trapeze, asymmetric spinnaker boat. Designed by Australian skiff legend Julian Bethwaite, the 29er was designed after Bethwaite’s design of the Olympic 49er. The 29er originally was designed as a youth feeder class to the Olympic 49er, but has emerged as a strong and growing class on its own.

PS 2000’s Ian Bruce said that the 29er “satisfies the demands of modern youth for adrenaline-pumping action”, and compares the 29ers impact on sailing to snowboarding’s impact on skiing.

AYC Junior Sailing Director Michael Hennon said “the 29er will introduce our more advanced junior sailors to skiff sailing, which will be an Olympic class for years to come.” The 29er “will complement AYC’s strong 420 and Laser programs”, said Hennon, who stressed that AYC’s 29ers will not replace other programs offered by the club. Instead, according to Hennon, AYC sailors will “cross-train” on AYC’s fleet of Club 420’s and the 29er depending on conditions. AYC intends to offer 29er clinics beginning this spring, and plans to host the Chesapeake Bay’s first major 29er regatta, the Mid-Atlantic Championships in August, 2008.

AYC Commodore Peter Gordon contends that this fleet purchase amplifies the club’s firm commitment to junior sailing. “AYC has supported junior sailing for 60 years. As we look toward the future, the purchase of these exciting 29ers should continue to attract and train the next generation of racers in Annapolis”, said Gordon.

About Annapolis Yacht Club: AYC is known worldwide thanks to the members who are prominent in participating in, promoting, and organizing the sport of sailboat racing. Large international events such as the Star Class World Championship, Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship, and many North American championships are hosted every year at AYC. AYC’s Sailing Center is filled with one design boats (J/22s, J/24s, Etchells, Stars, Melges 24s) while the in-the-water boat slips are in high demand. AYC’s Junior Fleet is a national leader in youth and high school sailing with instruction in Opti’s, Club 420’s, Lasers, J/22’s, and 29ers. For more information please go to www.annapolisyc.org

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At 9:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

August for a skiff on the Chesapeake sounds like an awful idea.

At 6:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The San Francisco Yacht Club uses 5 29ers, owned by the Belvedere Cove Foundation.
August for a skiff in SF bay is an awful idea for the opposite reason that the Chesepeake Bay is. In reality both locations get plenty of days with the right amount of breeze, and its time to sail a modern boat.

At 12:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We have about 9 boats in RI split between Sail Newport based boats, and the new fleet amongst FAST and Conanicut Yacht Club families. We have a summer schedule in place for 2008. Peter Johnstone

At 2:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is pretty darn cool. Great to see a club like AYC throw its weight behind a skiff class. Every kid in Annapolis will wanna sail one! Hopefully other clubs follow their lead! Good on ya, AYC!!!

At 3:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Monte Real Yacht Club in Bayona -Spain- has 2 29ers.

At 10:17 AM, Blogger bueno said...

Coronado Yacht Club in SAn Diego just purchased our first 29er based on the success of our After-SChool Program Clinics and Classes. Not to mention the smiles on the kids faces at the end of each practice or regatta and the line out the door to sign up for future classes.


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