Volume 11, Issue 84  
December 6, 2016
 
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February
18 - ILYA Board meeting, White Bear, MN - tentative
 
2017
April
21-23 Black Tie - It's Back - Rush Creek, Tx
June
TBD WI MC Champs - Nagawicka
July
20-23 MC Masters Nationals - Cedar, WI
Editor's Note  
Wonderful Time of Year
Foremost, I realize the real meaning of Christmas.
 
That said, let's turn to sailing and the ILYA. It's such a joy to see sailing continues in the colder weather. Not many are iceboating yet, but thanks to the many dedicated volunteers who are working feverishly to make a successful 2017 season:
1 - Lake Geneva Yacht Club who has already begun planning the 2017 Annual Championships - housing, sponsorship, format, social opportunities, site logistics.
2 - Local boards and class leaders who are setting policies, regatta dates, promoting classes of boats and encouraging new members
3 - Melges Boat Works who is tireless in the winter so we can have new boats and repaired boats for the next season. Watch future issues for a boat builder's report. The ILYA is most concerned with X boat sales and used boat inventory. The Foundation, Executive Committee and X fleet committee are cooperating to develop a plan to incentivize an increase in boats for your program and developing programs. 
4 - Our vendors who assure our comfort with sails, equipment or new gadgets to make the next season more exciting.
5 - Regatta chairs who have the calendar so near completion.  
 
The ILYA is fortunate to promote all our sailors in other boats during our "off" season. From the new Melges 40, the recent Melges 24 Worlds, Team Magenta, the women's international matchracing series finale with Epic racing, college round up, Optis and other youth preparing for the Orange Bowl ----- we are fortunate, indeed. 
 
And to Greg, Hope, Meta and Fritz Simon who gave us all Christmas ornaments at the recent USODA Midwest Champs - thanks. It's always fun to hang something nautical on the tree. 
 
Merry Christmas to you all. Happy Holidays to you all.   
It's sailing around the nation and world time  
Brian Porter - top American and third overall at Melges 24 Worlds
That's Brian Porter, Andy Burdick, Sam Rogers and Matt Woodworth moving steadily up the leaderboard each successive day. The most marvelous interview by Jonathan McKee regarding young Kyle Navin's role on Bora Gulari's boat during the event. What parents for allowing him to take time off. Somehow most of us would guarantee the sailing experience will take him far in his future. 
 
I'm not ashamed to admit it: I am getting to be on the older side when it comes to high-level racing. One of the things I love is to sail with younger people (which is pretty much everyone) but especially really younger people. At this regatta we have 14-year-old Kyle Navin sailing with our team. He comes from a sailing family in Wisconsin, but he has become an accomplished sailor himself. But sailing in a world championship with Bora Gulari is something else altogether!
Kyle is pretty chill, though. He does not act intimidated or scared, he's just himself, and when I ask him about the wind or how we can improve our spinnaker drops, he's ready with a good answer. Sure, he has a lot to learn. His mentor Buddy Melges, when he learned Kyle was sailing with us, suggested that he start a notebook with the things he learned each day.
But the funny thing is, us old guys learn from Kyle, too, and we feed off his enthusiasm and energy. I really think this is one of the keys to our sport; the cross-generational blending of experience and passion that benefits everyone. How many sports can say that? In what other sport can a top junior compete realistically for the world championship? I can't think of any.   The first time I won the Melges 24 Worlds, in 2005, I had a similar scenario. We had a good team fronted by James Spithill, but our weights did not quite work out. So we asked the locals in Florida if there was a good junior who weighed about 90 pounds. We got an enthusiastic response that Mac Angese was our boy. And he turned out to be great. He has gone on to be a first class skiff sailor, and I'm sure you will read his name in the future. We also became good friends with his parents. After all, we had to coordinate to get his homework done after racing.   Well, Kyle is getting his homework done, too. He likes math and is very good at it. And I am pretty sure you will eventually be reading about him in this magazine, too. And I think I am a little bit younger by being around him as well.
 
Then the ILYA had Kevin Jewett and Geneva's Steve Boho's Melges 24 team. Lastly, Hunter Radliff who is from Lake Forest but coached at our events for years was on the third place Corinthian boat. He occasionally sails on the Lamphere A scow. --- What a great time by our ILYA sailors.

 Sally Barkow is on the 2017 World Cup Tour - again
The World Match Race Tour 2017 season kicks off with it's first event in Freemantle, Australia in March, one year on from when Sally Barkow and her all-female crew on Team Magenta 32 made their debut on the Tour on those same waters.
Sally returns to the Tour with the same vision in mind, to be the best they can, however this time, she'll be tackling the Tour with a revised plan of attack building off the experience gained from last season. "This season we will change the focus, with more emphasis on match-race training and maintaining the same intensity from the start right through to the end of the season." Commented Sally feeling that their performance suffered towards the end of the 2016 season.
Sally is happy to announce that she'll start next season with the same core team, but will be looking to complement the crew with aspiring high performance sailors, who can bring their own expertise to the team. Sally intends to run training clinics in the lead up to next season which runs hand in hand with the goals of The Magenta Project, generating a positive impact of women in the sport of sailing and creating opportunities for women to compete at the highest level of the sport and by being in the WMRT spotlight, showcasing that they can race against the best of the best.
Fleet Captain of the Long Beach Yacht Club, Camille Daniels commented following the 2016 WMRT event "We are pleased to recognize and support the Magenta Project goals of promoting and mentoring female sailors and growing the profile of women sailors in high level sailing.  I personally cannot say enough about the Project goals, particularly as it comes to inspiring young women to pursue their dreams to race around the planet or whatever their goals may be.   I wish I had your team role models when I first started sailing.  I know with your enthusiasm and drive the Project and the team will be a huge success."
One critical element will be for the team to secure a commercial partner to enable the team to focus purely on training, racing and performance.
6th July 2016. World Match Racing Tour, Marstrand, Sweden. © Ian Roman/WMRT
Founded in 1999, the World Match Racing Tour (WMRT) is the world's leading professional sailing series. It features world class sailors and Olympic champions, with tour events staged around the globe. Each stage, or World Championship event, now takes place in identically supplied one-design M32 high-performance catamarans to place the focus on teamwork and skill. The nature of sport, with close to shore action, intense tactical skills and live analysis, offers commercial partners an excellent opportunity to present themselves positively to a global audience.
The Magenta Project was set up following the momentum of Team SCA's Volvo Ocean Race campaign. It aims to advance women in the sport of professional sailing by providing pathways and raising the visibility of those already competing. In the short term providing inspiration and encouragement to those who are trying to establish themselves in the high performance sailing world with a long-term ambition to see the percentage of professional female sailors competing in premier events increase from 3% to more than 10% by 2020.
Click to watch the whole interview with Sally Barkow here. 
 
 Sally Barkow, center, and Maggie Shea, second from right, both instruct at the ILYA Women's/Girls Clinic. ----- Imagine where you get instruction like this? Add Annie Haeger and Steph Roble - all have been invited and are settling on a mutual date - for ILYA females only --- it's a coup! Dates for the East and West clinics will be announced as soon as possible. This clinic is for women of all ages and all skill levels. Youth in Optis, X and  420s; adults in MC's and C's in the East. 
 
Steph Roble and Epic Racing is Second for the Year in the Women's International Matchracing Series
Another year has concluded for the WIM and ILYA-American sailor Steph Roble (with ILYA Women's clinic instructors Maggie Shea and Janel Zarkowsky) secured the runner-up position after traveling to several continents to compete. Steph is a force to be reckoned with on the matchracing circuit - women's or men's. She repeats her podium status for two years now. Roble won the event last season and followed with runner-up status this season. The points are based on overall performance at a number of events. Due to other sailing events and cost, Epic Racing chose to participate in the minimum number of events this season. Congrats to the whole team.  
 
Lake Geneva Announces New Director of Sailing  
MAREK VALASEK NAMED EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
OF THE GENEVA LAKE SAILING SCHOOL 
PRESS RELEASE SUPPLIED BY GLSS
Fontana, WI, December 5, 2016- The Geneva Lake Sailing School at the Buddy Melges Sailing Center is pleased to announce that Marek Valasek has accepted the role of Executive Director and head coach effective January of 2017.
Marek Valasek has been a sailing director and professional coach for over fifteen years. Prior to joining the Geneva Lake Sailing School, Valasek previously served as the Sailing Director at Lakewood Yacht Club in Seabrook, Texas (2012-2016), and as the Sailing Director/Head Coach at Lauderdale Yacht Club (2009-2011) and Coral Reef Yacht Club (2000-2008). Valasek continues to serve as a USODA National Team Coach, a position he has held since 2004. Valasek represented Slovakia in the Finn Class at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.
In 2016, Valasek's high school team won the ISSA Mallory Trophy and placed 4th at the ISSA Baker Cup. Valasek coached the U.S. National Team at the Optimist World Championships (2015) and the Optimist Asian Championships (2016). He has consistently coached Optimist sailors to top finishes - 2nd Place (2016 USODA Team Trials), 2nd Place (2011 USODA National Championships), 1st Place (2010 & 2011 USODA Team Trials). 
The following statement was issued on behalf of the Geneva Lake Sailing School's Board of Directors:
We are thrilled to bring aboard somebody of Marek's caliber to lead our new sailing center and to head up our Youth Program. Marek brings a proven ability to grow sailing programs in terms of both size and quality, producing top notch Junior Racers. Marek, and his wife Lindsay (Allen) Valasek, who has ILYA (Inland Lake Yachting Assoc.) roots, and their two sons, will be a great addition to our organization as we continue to develop our summer programs and also grow our year round efforts with the recent launch of our Buddy Melges Racing Team. 
We will greatly miss Joe Kutschenreuter and want to extend our sincere gratitude to him for all of his hard work and leadership over the last four years. 
Marek Valasek assumes the role of Executive Director after the recent completion of the Sailing School's $3.5 million facility, built in conjunction with the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, and the Fall of 2016 launch of the Buddy Melges Racing Team.  
The Buddy Melges Racing Team draws local and regional sailors to compete regionally, nationally and internationally in the Optimist and 29er Classes, and will grow to include Lasers, 420's, and Melges 14's. When not traveling to regattas, the Buddy Melges Sailing Team's Optimist Racing Team will be launching Spring and Fall weekend practices which will also include beginner and intermediate racers at its Lake Geneva facility.  
Valasek will also spearhead new Adult Sailing program and initiatives to assist members of the Lake Geneva Yacht Club, as well as local non-members, in growing the sport. This will include expanded on the water lessons as well as land based instructional seminars throughout the year. 
Since 1938, the Geneva Lake Sailing School has served the Lake Geneva and Inland Lakes Yachting Association through its support and growth of youth sailing programs that emphasize self-reliance, confidence and teamwork. The Geneva Lake Sailing School and the Buddy Melges Sailing Center remain committed to creating an atmosphere where sportsmanship, teamwork and competitive sailing can flourish and be enjoyed. The Lake Geneva Yacht Club was founded in 1874.

If you would like more information about this the Buddy Melges Racing Team or the Geneva Lake Sailing School, please contact theExecutive Directorvia email at sail@glss.org. Information about Summer of 2017 Programs will be available in February. Additional information about Lake Geneva Yacht Club and the Buddy Melges Sailing Center can be found at www.lgyc.com.  

 
Support Gill - ILYA Championships Sponsor  

 
X Boat Initiative  
Foundation Requests Support for X Committee Mission
For several years, the ILYA Foundation has been committed to spreading X boats to our member clubs. We have been so fortunate to enjoy the healthiest of youth fleets for our sailors. Many of you learned to sail in X boats and now return to old friends when you take your child to the first X regatta. This perpetuates the health of our member clubs, maintains our strong friendships and provides crew for our adult scow classes. 

For the past several years, the Foundation has reached out to provide financial support to clubs who do not currently support X fleets on their waters. We have seen the return of X boats to White Bear and Mendota with our support. Partial financial support for the purchase of boats for individual use has resulted in the sale of boats. Local fleets have provided the sails to accompany those boats. Thanks, in particular, to Lake Beulah for providing six sets of sails for the Mendota boats. 

Now as the Foundation plans to proceed to further development, it finds there simply are no used boats to facilitate growth. Several member clubs have found there are no boats for their Opti sailors to progress into. The X fleet has seen strong growth in some lakes - Cedar, WI; Oshkosh, Minnetonka and Pewaukee continues its strong presence. But there is a perceived point of impasse. 

The Foundation is meeting with the Executive Committee and the X Fleet Committee the first week of January to design a plan for our future. The goal is to develop a proactive strategy which may involve financial incentive, lending, support to stimulate new boat sales. The ILYA is unique in its concern for its youth and health of its clubs. These sailors along with our Opti sailors are YOUR club members in 10-15 years. This is IMPORTANT for the health of your club. 
 
The Foundation welcomes your input, your suggestions, your assistance, your support. Please contact Rick Trester or Ted Rolfs to provide any constructive thoughts as we tackle this problem.