California International Sailing Association
Supporting a Generation of Champions
Nov. 30, 2005
CISA's First Multihull Clinic a Windblown Success
LONG BEACH, Calif.---The winning program that has developed some of America's best sailors over 28 years---the California International Sailing Association's annual Advanced Racing Clinic---has a new version off to a promising start.
CISA's first Multihull Clinic brought 15 select young prospects from around the country to Alamitos Bay Yacht Club over the Thanksgiving weekend for three days of intense instruction by world class competitors. The clinic director was Pete Melvin, current and two-time world A-Cat champion, assisted by Olympic medalists Jay and Pease Glaser and Bob Merrick.
"There's very little youth multihull sailing in this country and no infrastructure for it," Melvin said. "If a young sailor wants to sail multihulls he has to get into an adult class. We're hoping to develop youth multihull fleets around the country."
The 15 students ages 14 to 17 included three girls, one of whom---Sarah Newberry of Florida ---was on the first-place boat in the informal closing regatta on the final day. All sailed a variety of Hobie 16s loaned by the manufacturer and local owners, plus a Hobie Tiger, the Formula 18 with a spinnaker. Skippers and crews switched positions about halfway through the regatta to give everyone a chance to steer and crew, so results were ambiguous.
The second day started with light westerly winds of 6 to 8 knots that switched to northwester lies reaching 20-plus knots---a test for the youngsters, some of whom were catamaran rookies. Although capsizing is often part of the multihull game, the instructors soon beached the fleet.
"We could see sand blowing off the beach," Melvin said. "But the kids had a good time. They wanted to go back out."
Buoyed by the success of the initial Multihull Clinic, CISA plans to make it an annual event on an expanded scale.