Collegiate sailing Navy-style is a familiar sight to residents near the Severn River and out on the bay, but soon a new collegiate sailing effort also will be visible when the waters near Annapolis become home to the University of Maryland Sailing Association.
The association has moved its base of operations to Severn Sailing Association in Eastport.
To help revitalize a club that faded in the face of a lack of a permanent home with access to the water, the university sailors approached SSA, a noted small-boat racing club with a long history of success for help in obtaining access to the water and a waterfront facility.
The response from SSA was quick and positive, and the final agreement was reached last month.
"It seemed like a good idea to [the SSA Board] to help them get a place to get out on the water," said SSA Commodore Griff Hall. "A lot of the students are just getting into sailing or just getting into racing, and we felt that for them, and for the more experienced sailors in the group, it was good for our club to give them exposure to small-boat one-design racing, to encourage them about making small-boat one-design choices in their future sailing after they graduate."
SSA is home to about a dozen one-design fleets locally, from small one- to three-person centerboarders to one-design keelboats.
"One of our members, Marty Kiely, has done the work to get it all going," Hall said. "He's been very helpful in setting everything up."
Kiely, who is known in the Annapolis area as the operator of the former Maiden Voyage Sailing School and as a skillful racer, initially became involved in the project because he needed crew for his Kirby 25 Marilyn.
"For the past couple of years I've recruited crew for my boat from the Maryland Sailing Association," he said. "I went down to the campus, and was happy with their enthusiasm and interest."
Kiely, whose Marilyn crew last year included the 1991-92 commodore of MSA as a regular, explained that after temporarily residing at several area sites the college club had been storing its fleet of four Laser 2s, a Capri centerboarder and a Zodiac on the grass at Spinnaker's near the Old Severn River Bridge, but had been forced to move them after the restaurant closed.
The boats then were dispersed to various sites, including the past club commodore's back yard in Bowie, but without water access no one was readily able to use them, he said.
"I talked to Griff Hall to see if SSA would be interested in allowing Maryland to sail out of there, and then MSA made a presentation to the board of SSA," Kiely said.
"Now they'll be able to keep their boats there, day sail, and have access to the club facilities. I think it's tremendous for MSA -- they'll have great facilities to sail out of."
New rigging company
Northern Bay sailors on Rock Creek and the Patapsco especially take note: Baltimore's Inner Harbor has a new full-service professional rigging company, created by Annapolitans John and Katie Boone.
Operating as the Baltimore Yacht Rigging Company, the Boones' new shop is located at Tidewater Marine Center on Key Highway and opened March 1.
John Boone has specialized in yacht rigging for more than 15 years and has participated in sailing programs ranging from large charter yachts in the Caribbean to successful one-design and off-shore racing campaigns from Key West to Newport, R.I. His experience spans a spectrum of boat types from traditional schooners and well-traveled cruising boats to high-tech racing yachts.
The new business offers a full-service rigging shop on site, as well as sales and installations of mainsail and genoa furling systems, wire-to-rope and custom splices, rigging inspections and surveys, proven racing systems, and more.
In addition, for customers who cannot or do not choose to bring their vessels to BYRC's waterfront location, the company operates a mobile unit to service other Chesapeake Bay areas as an added convenience.
For more information, call the Baltimore Yacht Rigging Company at (410) 347-0360, or stop by the office at Tidewater Marine Center, 1020 Key Highway East, Baltimore.
Flynn joins Sobstad
Sobstad Sailmakers' Chesapeake loft in Annapolis recently welcomed its newest staff addition, David Flynn, who had worked more than 10 years for the Doyle operation.
"We have gotten to know David well over the last 10 years as a competitor, and have a great deal of respect for him," said Sobstad Chesapeake president Larry Leonard. "It will be great to have him on our team."
Flynn's primary responsibility at Sobstad will be customer support, but he also will be involved with marketing and will handle Sobstad's educational program.
Flynn already is well known as a speaker and educator who has addressed thousands of students over the years. He will help to develop a full range of programs for all types and levels of sailors.