Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring 2012

It may only be 33ยบ outside, but it's time to go sailing. Here is some important information for the upcoming season.

2011-2012 NESSA Membership
Check this link to register your school for the 2011-2012 season  

NESSA Fleet Racing Championship (O'Day Trophy)
Click on the title to link to the registration site. Click here for the NOR.

O'Day List
Click the title to see who has registered for the O'Day Trophy. Remember, registratiosn posted before 0800 on Feb 1, 2012 are void and schools that have not paid their Dues are also null and void.  

NESSA Women's Invite (Herreshoff Trophy)
Click on the title to link to the registration site. Click here for the NOR.

Herreshoff List
Click the title to see who has registered for the O'Day Trophy. Remember, registratiosn posted before 0800 on Feb 1, 2012 are void and schools that have not paid their Dues are also null and void.  

NESSA Team Racing Championship (Mark Trophy)
Click on the title to link to the registration site. Click here for the NOR.

NESSA Teams list
Click the title to see who has registered for the Mark Trophy. Remember, registratiosn posted before 0800 on Feb 1, 2012 are void and schools that have not paid their Dues are also null and void. Also, Schedule templates (found on the Race Info page) must be e-mailed to the NESSA VP in order for the registration process to be complete.  

ISSA Regattas
Information on the ISSA Regattas like the Mallory, Baker, and Spring ACCs can be found on the ISSA website. Just click the title above.
Baker Trophy 
The NOR and other information for the 2012 ISSA Team Racing Nationals (Toby Baker Trophy) to be held at MIT have been posted  

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Box vs. The Triangle

College team racing, and most of high school team racing, both use the Digital-N/Collegiate-N as their race course. However, many schools still sail a port triangle. One issue raised last spring was the number of marks required to set a Digital-N. A great compromise is the Box Course.
The Newport V-15 fleet uses this course all summer. The bottom two marks can also serve as a starting line, and the top two can be a finish. As long as the course is set so that it is long and narrow - creating a true down-wind leg (not a reach), then the concept of a Digital-N can be practiced with fewer marks to set and move.

Another great advantage, at least for practice, is that the coach boat does not have to be anchored in order to do starts. Blow whistles as always and then just position the boat next to the mark to sight the line. While not perfect, it does keep you mobile during practices.

Information for Spring 2011

The following information was emailed originally by NESSA President, Andrew Nugnes. It has been updated in this posting with new information.

Hello Coaches and Advisors:
As the spring racing season gets under way, here are a few things to keep in mind:


  • NESSA SPRING REGATTAS -  The 3 NESSA Events are posted on the NESSA website. Go to http://nessa-sailing.org/race.htm for NOTICE OF RACE and registration process. Only schools that are NESSA Members in good standings are eligible to participate in NESSA Events.
  • NESSA Team Racing Championship (Mark Trophy) – May 14-15, 2011 at the University of New Hampshire. Deadline: Sunday April 10, 2011
    • Meet Results are posted on the Sailing Standings website (see below for instructions)
    • Only School’s properly registered for the Mark Trophy will receive a NESSA Team Racing Ranking.
    • Only schools that have satisfied the 7 meet requirement are eligible for the Mark Trophy. See NESSA By-Law Article K, Section 2 (d).
    • NOTE: Only the schools that qualify for the Mark Trophy and Wild Card Weekends will be required to pay a $35 fee per team. See the NOR for details.
  • NESSA Fleet Racing Championship (O’Day Trophy) – April 16-17, 2011. Deadline: Friday April 1, 2011
    • 5 Qualifying Regattas at venues across NE on Saturday, April 16, 2011 
      • Cape Cod Academy (Osterville, MA) – Brent Jansen
      • Narragansett Bay/Ida Lewis Yacht Club (Newport, RI) – Roy Williams
      • Charles River (Boston, MA) – Carl Zimba
      • The Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT) – Roger Rawlings
      • SailMaine - (Portland, ME) – Sarah Helming
    • Finals at Tabor Academy on Sunday, April 17th. The top 4 teams from each qualifying site will compete in this event.
    • Only schools that have satisfied the 3 meet requirement will be able to compete in the O’Day. See NESSA By-law Article K, Section 2 (c).
  • NESSA Women’s Invite (Herreshoff Trophy) – May 22, 2011 at Mass Maritime. Deadline: Wednesday April 30, 2009
    • The Women’s registration is first come, first served and limited to 15 schools. All others will be put on the waiting list. 
  • OTHER SPRING REGATTAS – State/League Championships and Invite Regattas, provided by host schools, plus Racing Clinics, are also posted on the NESSA Website. Go to http://nessa-sailing.org/race.htm for information.

3. NESSA E-MAIL LIST: NESSA email list is for NESSA business only.


NORs for, and results from, any high school regatta can be sent to the NESSA E-mail list
Please abide by the NESSA e-mailing list policies:

  • NO attachments, anonymous or commercial messages.
  • NO Job postings, except for high school coaching jobs.
  • Use ISSA Sponsor Sail 1 Design for other job listings http://www.sail1design.com/21.html?sm=78167
  • NO auto-responses or away messages. Please Unsubscribe from the NESSA list while you are away.


Racing shall be run under the Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, the 2009-2012 ISSA Procedural Rules, and the NESSA Procedural Rules and By-Laws.

Note: there are changes with the Racing Rules of Sailing and the ISSA PR’s that affect how the game is played. Please make sure that you review the RRS 2009-2012 plus the ISSA PRs and that you are familiar with any changes before you coach.

Also Helpful is the Team Racing Call Book 2009-2012 at http://www.sailing.org/9514.php


We will continue to use the Navy Scoring Program for the results for NESSA Fleet Racing regattas. To download, go to: http://highschoolsailingusa.org/Downloads/scoring_program.htm


NORs for, and results from, any high school regatta can be sent to the NESSA E-mail list for distribution. These results may be posted by NESSA on the NESSA website.


  • STANDINGS - ALL SCHOOLS: NESSA will again post on a website the team racing results for all current NESSA Schools during the spring racing season. Thank you to Rob Hurd for again taking on this huge task.
  • MEET REQUIREMENT: A reminder that NESSA By Law Article K, Section 2 is in effect. The Team Race Standings site can be used to verify that a school has sailed the 3 meet requirement to be eligible for the NESSA Fleet Racing Champs (O’Day) and the 7 meet requirement for Mark Trophy consideration.
  • STANDINGS - SCHOOLS for MARK TROPHY CONSIDERATION: Per the NOR, http://www.nessa-sailing.org/race.htm, schools properly registered for Mark Trophy consideration must send scores to Rob Hurd (rshurd@hotmail.com) to be posted on the NESSA Teams Website. 
    • For Mark Consideration and to be ranked at the end of the season, it’s each school’s responsibility to keep their scores updated.
    • Scores are posted at http://www.taboracademy.net/nessa/standings.asp
    • Per the NOR, Meet scores through Sunday May 1, 2011 will count towards resumes
  • PLAN K COMPUTER RANKINGS:  When enough Schools, who have registered for the NESSA Team Racing Champs, reach the 7 meet requirement needed for consideration, we will post the PLAN K Computer Rankings. After the May 1st resume deadline, the rankings from each NESSA Teams Selection Committee members will be added to PLAN K, per the NOR “Selection” process, for the final rankings.


For a meet to count, it must be a best of three or higher.

Go to “NESSA Meet Scoring Rules” at http://www.taboracademy.net/nessa/scoring_rules.htm or http://www.nessa-sailing.org/race.htm for detailed instructions on how to score a meet properly.


KNOW how to Score a team race. Go to http://www.taboracademy.net/nessa/scoring_rules.htm or http://www.nessa-sailing.org/race.htm. The WINNING coach should e-mail Rob Hurd (RSHurd@hotmail.com) within 24 hours of the meet’s completion and CC the losing coach. Coaches’ Contact E-mail Addresses can be found on the NESSA website. http://highschoolsailingusa.org/directory/district.asp?ID=NESSA

E-MAIL should contain.

  1. Date
  2. Winning school and score
  3. Losing school and score
  4. Location of meet (home, away, neutral site)

SCORES can be viewed at: http://www.taboracademy.net/nessa/standings.asp

8. WILD CARD WEEKEND - May 7-8, 2011

Membership approved the use of the Wild Card Weekend for the 2009 Spring Racing Season.
Check the NESSA Team Racing Championships NOR for details and section process.


Quality Judges are needed to for the NESSA Championships. If you or you know someone who may be able to judge at a NESSA Championship, please contact NESSA VP, Rob Knecht (robk@dbms.org).

UMPIRES are needed for the Mark Trophy May 14-15. The only way to continue to hold the Mark Trophy with umpires is for NESSA coaches to help. If you do not have a team competing and/or your team participated at a Wild Card Regatta and did not make it to the Mark, we ask that you help umpire this event. Don’t worry; you will be teamed up with an experienced umpire that you will work with to make calls. It is a great opportunity to better understand the game, the rules and tactics you can apply to your coaching. In the past the NEISA college coaches have stepped up to help NESSA events, so it is also a good way to build relations with college coaches.


Looking ahead to the fall of 2011, a host venue is needed for the 2011 Healy, to be held in late September 2011. (Exact Date TBD). This is a BYOB regatta and a great way to jazz up HS Sailing in your area.

The venue should be able to accommodate 50+ lasers with ample parking and an effective launching strategy.

Contact NESSA President, Andrew Nugnes, alnuggs@hotmail.com, if you are interested


PFD use is mandatory. Be familiar with ISSA Procedural Rule 2.2: A US Coast Guard Approved life jacket is required to compete in a NESSA or ISSA Championship. The use of a non-USCG approved PFD is a violation of ISSA PR 2.2, unsafe and not legal in HS Sailing.

Coaches and parents who allow team members to use non-Coast Guard Approved life jackets assume the legal liability for their use. It is the coach’s responsibility to make sure that all of their sailors have USCG approved PFDs on and fastened properly while competing.


Fair, safe and fun competition is the backbone to a successful racing season. Sail clean, sail fair and have respect for the competitor. Play by the rules and know how the game is played. Accept responsibility when wrong and exonerate on the race course. Use boat handling, sail trim and clean race tactics to win…not the protest room. Let’s pride ourselves as a leader in fair sailing.


Rob Hurd brought this fine award back to the forefront a few years back. It’s awarded annually to the team that stands out and is most respected by its peers in NESSA. This team always uses good clean racing and skill, no matter if its win, lose or draw, and you’re left thinking those sailors are good people to sail against. If a school leaves an impression on your team while competing this season, nominate them for this award at the end of the season. Details will be posted on the NESSA Website.

  • NESSA EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE – Please welcome the following to the NESSA Executive Committee: 
      1. Andrew Nugnes
      2. Rob Knecht
      3. Nick Judson
      4. Rob Hurd
      5. Roger Rawlings
      6. Roy Williams
      7.  Susie Duncan
      8. Alexa Schuler
      9. Carl Zimba
      10. Sarah Helming
  • NESSA TEAM RACING SELECTION COMMITTEE - The selection committee will rank teams first through last which will be computed with the PLAN K computer ranking to determine the final Team Racing Rankings. Welcome this year’s committee.
      1. Andrew Nugnes
      2. Rob Knecht
      3. Nick Judson
      4. Rob Hurd
      5. Roger Rawlings
      6. Roy Williams
      7.  Susie Duncan
      8. Alexa Schuler
      9. Carl Zimba
      10. Sarah Helming

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Getting Started with the Rules

At the NESSA annual meeting, we had a long discussion about how to best teach our sailors the rules. Particularly with team racing, this is a critical knowledge set - possibly even more so than understanding shifts, plays, and tactics. As you plan your first Rules lesson, here are a few resources that you should definitely check out.

  1. ISAF: Racing Rules of Sailing - while it's great to have a complete rule book, sometimes its easier to keep a PDF on your computer or a few print outs in a zip lock bag. The ISAF site has the current edition as well as any changes.
  2. ISAF: Call Book for Team Racing - in addition to knowing the basic rules, sailors who team race should also be familiar with significant judges calls. Many situations that appear fuzzy have actually been clearly defined. 
  3. ISSA Procedural Rules - these are crucial for both coaches, sailors, and parents to understand, particularly with regard to how protests should be handled as well as items that differ from the standard racing rules.
  4. Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing - Dave Perry's book is hands-down the easiest interpretation of the rules. If you or your team are just getting started, then this is a must-have book.
Once you have all of your resources, how do you start teaching? Last year, with our JV group, we did about a 2 hour chalk-talk on rules on a rainy, windy afternoon. We opened up Dave Perry's book and started with Part 2: When Boats Meet. One person read while another person drew on the white board. We didn't have any magnetic boats, so we used 2 different colored markers. It was probably the best rules lesson that I've ever taught at a beginner level.

Friday, April 16, 2010

NESSA Spring News

The spring season is well underway at this point, and - for the most part - the New England weather has even been cooperating! Here is a list of updates that may be of use.

New Officers

At the Annual Meeting in November, a new slate of officers was nominated and elected.
  • Andrew Nugnes - President: Previously, Andrew served as VP to Doug Heil. He has been coaching the Barnstable High School team for several years, and can be contacted at alnuggs@hotmail.com.

  • Rob Knecht - Vice President: Rob coached Duxbury High School to win the Mark Trophy last year, and now takes on this new leadership role with NESSA. He can be reached at robk@dbms.org.

  • Nick Judson - Treasurer/Secretary: Nick has coached Nantucket High School, and run Nantucket Community Sailing for quite some time. A master of logistics, he can be reached at nfjudson@aol.com
For more information about the officers and their responsibilities, check out the NESSA website.

Championship Dates and Venues

For official news and updates, make sure you are also checking the NESSA website. The O'Day Qualifier allocations have been set, the Mark location announced, and the Herreshoff NOR posted.

The O'Day Championship will be held on the weekend of April 24-25. Saturday, 60 teams will be competing from 5 different sites. The allocations were completed on a first-come-first serve basis. The 5 sites (and their contact people) include:
  1. Lewis Bay (Hyannis, MA) – Andrew Nugnes
  2. Narragansett Bay, Ida Lewis Yacht Club (Newport, RI) – Roy Williams
  3. Boston Harbor (Boston, MA) – Mary Farrell
  4. The Hotchkiss School (Lakeville, CT) – Roger Rawlings
  5. Casco Bay - (Portland, ME) – Rob Scribner
Click here to download the Word File with the final allocations for Saturday. The finals will be held on Sunday at Indian Harbor YC in Greenwich, CT. This is also the site for the Mallory. Click here to download the complete Notice of Race (NOR) as a Word File.

Registration to be considered for the Mark Trophy - the New England Team Racing Championship - closed on April 1st. No, this was not a joke. Rankings are determined by both human and computer ranking according to the established scoring system. For more information on how this works, there is an abridged version on this blog, as well as details on the NESSA site.

The Mark will be sailed at MIT on the weekend of May 15-16. Click here to download the full NOR.

The Women's Invite for the Herreshoff Trophy has been scheduled for Sunday, May 9, at Maine Maritime Academy. At this point, registration has closed, but interested teams may still be able to try to get on the waiting list. You can click here to download the NOR with contact, registration, and housing information.