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13 February 2012

Melges Performance Sailboats/North Sails Zenda and the Bilge Pullers threw quite a bash! The enthusiasm for our special brand of sailing was evident from arrival of the first entrant to the last minute on Saturday night when the youth gathered around our most energetic speaker, Dave Perry. Dave walked in the door to old friends who immediately gathered around to discuss matchracing, America's Cup and the Olympics. The real energy in the event was our youth sailors who sat, figuratively, at Perry's knee soaking in his love for the sport.

Friday night featured 50 junior directors and approximately 15 youth who began shaping the clay of the 420 fleet. While the adults moved to the X and Opti committee meetings, the youth had a session with Dave Perry alone. They left the room with a sense of empowerment to create experiences for the new youth initiaive, an inspired eagerness to improve their sailing skills and a new understanding of the rules of racing.

Perry presented a rules session on Saturday afternoon and then proceeded to the keynote speech on Saturday night. With a retrospective of the America's Cup, a short how-to on matchracing, he acknowledged his privilege to work with the women still in contention for the Olympic American matchracing slot. He paused to encourage the new campaign of Stephanie Roble and Maggie Shea, both from ILYA clubs. He explained the need for fundraising for the next four months as our two women teams now train hard for the Weymouth qualifer. The fellow women matchracers of the world are planning to view the contest as our women lead the way. Go to the button on the left to donate. Don't forget your women. Perry now moves on in the process coaching only Barkow in the winner-take-all, one-regatta qualifier to determine the US representative.

Perry followed the ILYA Awards presentation. The John Hunt Member of the year recipient was Margaret Osmundson of Clear Lake, Club of the Year went to Minnetonka, the Ed Malone RC member of the year was jointly given to Mark Tesar and Charlie MacNider, and the Pillsbury Sailor of the Year winner was X Boat Champ Will Crary. The Bilge Pullers Cannon award recognized Sue Weston for exceptional RC work. Photos to follow in a later issue of Scowlines.