Fairwind Yacht Club

March 2020 - Editor: Murielle Hamilton - Vol. 48, No. 3



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• Commodore's Log   (2 min)
• FYC Website Needs Help! (2 min)
"Voice Of The America's Cup" Interview •   (2 min)
All About Spinnakers  (1 min)
The View From The Rear: RCs' Reports  (3 min.)
Call For Racers (1 min)
Guidelines & Links    (1 min.)
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Photo ©2020 Murielle Hamilton
The Commodores' Log

ASA Classes and Clinics

By Lenox Grasso, FYC Commodore, FYC Port Captain MdRH


Hello Fairwinders,

FYC Fairwind Yacht Club is an Affiliate Club of the ASA American Sailing Association and as such, the FYC Board reminds all Members of opportunities in sailing education and of Club policies regarding Members and ASA Classes, as well as Instructors and ASA Clinics.

A) FYC  Members and ASA Classes

(1) One attraction of being an FYC Member is that you can enroll into ASA 100-Level Student Classes free-of-charge. Classes are free to you at FYC because, (a) FYC Level-2 ASA Instructors teach them free-of-charge as part of their volunteer service to the Club, (b) FYC pays the one-time $39 ASA Student Fee for your first ASA Class, and (c) FYC pays the every-time $12 EVN Fee to process your ASA Certification or Endorsement Seals for your ASA Logbook. All these costs are included in your FYC quarterly dues. 

(2) Several ASA 100-Level Student Classes - ASA 101, 105, 107, 110, 117, 118, 119 - do not require pre-requisites and any one of them can be your first ASA Class in (1b). All other ASA 100-Level Classes have pre-requisites. It is your responsibility to know the pre-requisites of each ASA Class and always to have your ASA Logbook available with your ASA Certification and Endorsement Seals in (1c) affixed to show your FYC Level-2 ASA Instructor that you are eligible to take your next ASA Class. Instructors should know the hierarchy of the ASA Curriculum and of the steps in boat progression within the FYC Fleet. Please realize that not all ASA 100-Level Classes are routinely available at FYC. 

(3) FYC Members who hold ASA 101 can enroll in an ASA 201 IQC Instructor Qualification Clinic. A Member’s first ASA 200-Level Instructor Clinic is normally ASA 201, but it may instead be ASA 209 or 210. And soon, your first Clinic may be ASA 200 to transition from 100-Level Student Classes into 200-Level Instructor Clinics. An ASA 201 IQC Instructor Candidate who graduates and obtains ASA 201 can then instruct ASA 101. Similarly, Members who obtain ASA 210 can instruct ASA 110, and so on. 

B) FYC Instructors and ASA Clinics 

(4) An ASA 201 IQC is taught by an ASA 211 IE Instructor Evaluator who must also hold ASA 201, a USCG Captain’s License, and several other credentials. Continue Reading Here

Lenox Grasso
FYC Commodore 
FYC Port Captain MdRH

Lenox Grasso is the FYC Commodore and MdRH Port Captain. He joined FYC MdRH in 2010 after many years of sailing the Eastern Seaboard, Great Lakes, Bahamas, Caribbean, to Cuba, Panama, Bermuda, and Spain. Educated at Yale and Harvard, Lenox worked in federal defense and in expert systems with IBM, Naval Intelligence, NY Hospital, and at Harvard with RAND. Lenox is a USCG 100-Ton Master and now works at ASA (Certs 107-108, 201-206, 211-218).
FYC Website Needs Help!
We Need Your Help
By Michael Mariani, Jon Rock & Robert Hays, FYC Web Team

Hello, club members,

First, the website could use your help. We would like to add some better imagery to the fun we have as a club. As one key example, our public cruising page only has one image on it. How many fun cruises have you been on? Do you have any great pictures of our boats or of great fun you have had while on a cruise or other activity that you would feel comfortable having on our public website? If so, please email them to our web team at webteam@fairwind.org.

Secondly, we are starting to organize all of the Fairwind YouTube videos onto the official Fairwind account. This will make it easy for anyone to access all the club videos in one place and will also ensure that videos which should belong to the club, stay with the club. We are already starting with videos that are linked to from the website (e.g. one of Mariah's training videos). If you have other videos that should be a part of the official club channel/playlists, please send the YouTube link to webteam@fairwind.org.

Lastly, we wish to give you a general website update: The core pieces of the website transition that started in late 2019 have been completed. We most recently had the official transfer of our website's SSL certificate. We also found a fix to a third party plugin that caused our web forms to not send emails correctly to the fairwind.org email addresses. We believe we have also fixed a sporadic issue with another third party plugin which had float plans reverting back to a harbor's default boat. Lastly, we continue to renew broken links from the 2019 crash and are giving facelifts to certain pages (like the new "officers" page!). Our main goals are to keep everything simple, easily maintained, affordable, and easy to use. We hope that you enjoy the improvements that are made over time!


FYC Web Team

Michael Mariani, Jon Rock and Robert Hays

Michael Mariani and his wife Kay Giles joined Fairwind Yacht Club in 2014, after their youngest son left home and they became empty nesters.  Michael works for a wholesale floral supply company and Kay is a teacher.  They love to sail and have cruised in Greece, Sea Of Cortez and our beautiful Channel Islands.
Jon Rock is a Ventura County native that started sailing at 12 years old and still enjoys every day he gets to spend on the water. He joined Fairwind CIH in 2013 and started helping out with the website. He loves exposing new people to the Channel Islands to help spread environmental conservation awareness.
Robert Hays is a Software Engineer by trade and a fish by nature. Robert started sailing when he was 4 years old. Robert loves to learn new sailing and cruising skills.
Racing News

"Voice Of The America's Cup"

An Interview With Tucker Thompson Pt. I

I recently had the opportunity to ask Tucker Thompson a few questions for the FYC Newsletter. He is best-known as "The Voice Of The America's Cup", and he was kind enough to oblige. He is highly articulate and informed, and as a champion sailor himself, he has competed in the America's Cup 2000 on America True. Thank you so much, Tucker!

Ed.: The burning question at the moment is “What’s going on with Stars + Stripes”? Do you have any idea? (Note: Stars + Stripes, LBYC, is one of the two American contenders for the 2021 America’s Cup, the other one being American Magic, NYYC).

TT: Honestly, no. That’s a valid question on everybody’s mind who follows the America’s Cup. I have seen no information whatsoever. I don’t think it’s physically possible for them to build a boat, ship it to Italy, train on it, and compete in the first regatta. They have to be able to participate in that first regatta and pay the entry fee that they owe Team New Zealand. (Note from Ed.: the first America’s Cup World Series event will take place in Cagliari, Sardinia, April 23-26, 2020; the entry fee is $3M).

Ed: Are all team members American on the US entries? 

TT: There are of course some experts from France and New Zealand, but the way the current America’s Cup rules are written, every sailor on the boat has to be a passport-holding citizen of that country or have lived in that country for 380 consecutive days leading up to the Americas cup. I think 30% will be passport-holding US citizens and the remaining 70% will have fulfilled the residency requirements for the United States before the competition starts, so effectively 100% of the crew will be residents of the country for which they compete. It’s the strongest nationality rule that the Cup has ever had. The only nationality rule stronger than that would be the Olympic Games.

An ASA video interview with Tucker Thompson.

Ed: Being the voice of the Americas cup, you are very involved at every level and you have this bird’s eye view, you see what goes on behind the scenes. What’s the secret sauce behind a winning team? 

TT: Well, success in any endeavor, whether it’s competing in sailing for The America’s Cup, or really anything else in life, in my observation comes down to two things: there’s a physical component and there’s a mental component. The physical component is taking care of all the controllable variables: the boat, the gear, the sails, the equipment, the physical preparation, everything properly organized, even little details like the scheduling logistics - the teams that consistently do well take care of all these details before the regatta even starts. They show up fully prepared, and that includes training too. 

The other component that’s even more important is the mental side. 99% of the competitors out there could take care of all the controllable variables and put themselves in a position to win, but I think those that win consistently are obsessed with doing so. They are so hyper-focused on what it takes to win, and to be fair, there’s a cost to that. Their life balance gets a little bit altered.

(continued next month)
For more information on the America's Cup competition, see the official website. 

Murielle Hamilton
FYC Editor

Tucker Thompson has had a long and illustrious career as broadcaster and producer  of sail racing videos, and was the official host of the 35th America's Cup. He competed in the America's Cup in 2000 on America True.
Sailing Techniques

About Those Spinnakers...

Maury Barth recently procured our MdR fleet with a new spinnaker (thank you Maury!!), so for those of you who are not all that familiar with that sail, here's a very good video that will take the mystery and the misery out of rigging, hoisting, and flying spinnakers, as well as an instructive article from UK Sails about using your spinnaker pole to tighten out a jib when the spinnaker becomes too much to handle.

The View From The Rear

RC Report, CIH

By Hal Cohen, CIH Rear Commodore


CIH Maintenance Actions

Here are the major CIH maintenance achievements for January:

• Angelsea: New bottom paint applied; Rudder shaft bearing repaired; Feathering prop rebuilt; Bow & stern gelcoat damage repaired; Autohelm flux gate cable repaired

• Mistral: Engine injectors replaced; New auxiliary fuel pump installed

• Wojo: Aft nav light raised to clear davit mounted dinghy; TV antenna cable repaired; Stereo power connection repaired

• Turning Point: Winch repaired

• Companionship: Outboard recoil mechanism repaired; Cabin sole panel refinished

• Sweet Deal: Tiller refinished


For those that read my Observations column in last month’s newsletter, thanks for taking my notes on using proper cleat hitches to heart. There has been a marked improvement in how the boats have been secured. This month, I’d like to focus on how to properly open a lifeline gate pelican hook. Apparently, many folks believe that pulling the locking pin to open the pelican hook is like pulling the safety pin out of a hand grenade. If you forcefully yank on the ring holding the locking pin and spring in place, you will eventually deform this ring. When this happens, the ring falls off and the pin and spring typically go sailing off the boat into the drink. I cannot begin to count how many replacement pin kits I’ve installed over the years. At $18 a shot, this adds up to a significant expense that can be avoided. So please, use both hands and gently pull on the locking pin to open a pelican hook.

Photo L: A pristine Pelican Hook.   Photo R: A Pelican Hook pin ready to launch.

That’s the scoop for this month. See you around the harbor,

Hal Cohen
CIH Rear Commodore

Hal Cohen joined Fairwind in 2016 and has served as the CIH Rear Commodore over the past 3 years. His background as a retired aerospace engineer with a 40-year career contributing to the design, manufacture, operation, and program management of complex electro-optical and aerospace systems has given him the tools he uses to lead the great maintenance team that keeps the CIH fleet up and running. He has been a boat owner/maintainer over most of his life.

RC Report, MdRH

By Steven Fenster, MdRH Rear Commodore

There isn't much to report from MDR this month, as very little maintenance was needed in January.


- Tardis got a new macerator

- Kestrel got a new steaming light

- Calypso got two new bilge pumps

- The Boston whaler is back in the water and ready for members' use.

- The backup outboards got new carburetors and two impellers replaced.

 On a personal note, I have this. Sometimes as members we forget that this club is run by volunteers without whose work this club would not exist. Does anyone ever thank Adrienne O'Donnell or Murielle Hamilton for the jobs that they do?

I doubt it. Not only does Adrienne do the books, but she pays the bills, deals with Beaches & Harbors, makes sure that the boats have insurance and towing coverage and keeps Hal and me honest and accurate with the checkbooks we use on a day-to-day basis. Murielle spends considerable time getting this newsletter together and has to remind us to submit these article in time for release.

As a Member I would like to say THANK YOU and I hope that when other members see members of the support staff, they simply say thanks as well.

Stephen Fenster

Note from the Ed.: Not a day goes by that I don’t feel grateful for Steve Fenster and Hal Cohen, because without them, we would have no working boats..., and there are so many more people who deserve thanks, from the boat chiefs and the volunteers who show up on Tuesdays or on Open House days and help clean and fix the boats, the endlessly patient and generous trainers, the Board of course, and all the people who provide ad hoc help and advice. Many, many thanks to all!

Stephen Fenster is the Rear Commodore for FYC MDR. He holds a BA in Education and has spent his professional life in the marine and automotive aftermarket. He serves on the Fairwind Board, the Harbor Committee and the Boat Selection Committee, and is responsible for all outboards. He has been married for 39 years and has one child.
Openings For Racers

Call For Racers

By Bennett Samson & Murielle Hamilton, FYC MDR Members

Marina Del Rey's Tuesday night races begin on March 10, after the daylight time change. Several FYC boats raced last year (all three Capri 22s and the Soling) and did exceptionally well, and for 2020 there is an effort afoot to get Frequensea involved as well.

Whether or not you have race experience, if you're interested, please let us know (bennett.samson@gmail.com or murielle.hamilton@gmail.com). Everyone's going to have some weeks when they can and can't make it. It's a long season - March to October! -  so the more the merrier.

Thank you.

Bennett Samson & Murielle Hamilton
FYC Members
A native New Yorker, Bennett Samson started sailing on Long Island Sound and found Fairwind and the Pacific in 2016.  By day a grant writer and fundraising consultant for nonprofit organizations, he started local racing last year. He’s a dual Ivy grad, having studied History at Dartmouth and Columbia.  Bennett and his (non-sailing) partner Laurie live in West Hollywood,
Murielle Hamilton grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where she graduated in Dead Languages and Poli Sci. She has spent most of her life in music (working for Prince, the Rolling Stones and others, later composing film scores and ballet music); and in fashion, with her own line sold at Barney's, Nordstrom's, Anthropologie, etc.. She joined FYC in 2018, has ASAs 101-103-105 and likes to race.
Useful Links & Credits

Hello Fairwinders,

1) The basic Newsletter Submission Guidelines are as follows. Articles are meant to inform, to teach, to keep the membership abreast of current goings-on, to share something unusual done by one of our members which may be of interest to a segment of our membership, to cover a Club activity, or to amuse.

Each article should be 500 words or less. The deadline for submission is the 15th of the month for the next month's issue. Whenever possible, please send photos or illustrations to go with your article, as well as a portrait photo of yourself and a 60-word mini-bio.

2) Cruise season: see these links:
https://www.fairwind.org/cruise/ or https://www.fairwind.org/club-calendar/

3) The Useful Contacts List is also on the website:
The general members page is: 

If you have any questions or want to discuss an item directly with me, you can email me at fyceditor2019@gmail.com. Thank you! 

Murielle Hamilton
FYC Editor
Murielle Hamilton grew up in the French-speaking part of Switzerland, where she graduated in Dead Languages and Poli Sci. She has spent most of her life in music (working for Prince, the Rolling Stones and others, later composing film scores and ballet music); and in fashion, with her own line sold at Barney's, Nordstrom's, Anthropologie, etc.. She joined FYC in 2018, has ASAs 101-103-105 and likes to race.
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Fairwind Yacht Club · P O Box 12684 · Marina Del Rey, California 90295 · USA

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