2021 Storm Trysail’s Jr. Safety-at-Sea Seminar

Kelly Robinson     Andrew Weiss

Kelly Robinson     Andrew Weiss

The event was introduced by Commodore Rob Dailey from Larchmont Yacht Club, Rear Commodore Andrew Weiss from the Storm Trysail Club and the event chair Barry Gold. Before the start of the seminar, I was able to get a few words from Kelly Robinson, the program director, and Andrew Weiss. Kelly stated, “Here at Storm Trysail we want to focus on safety. There are people my age that take safety for granted when they’re out on the water. We want these kids to think smarter and plan so that they spend more time sailing and having fun and less time stalled in an emergency.” Andrew concurred and spoke from personal experience, “When I was young, no one told me to wear a life jacket! Junior safety at sea started here and we want to offer a lot of support for younger sailors that want to explore new parts of sailing.”

Peter Becker took over the crowd and gave a presentation on his Bermuda One-Two race to kick off the seminar. Peter’s presentation covered his five-day voyage to Bermuda and just how fun big boat sailing could be. He discussed topics like choosing the right life vest, how to sleep while on a long trip, the dangers of a water spout, the beauty of the Gulf Stream and tons of pictures and video clips. He stated, “ There is never a moment where there isn’t some sort of beauty on the water.” he ended the presentation with the simple fact that sailing should always make you happy. Peter’s presentation stirred up lots of questions from curious young sailors asking questions like How do you steer while sleeping? How do I get started on a big boat? Were you ever scared of the water? 

The morning session ashore split into three breakout sessions. The first session covered fighting fire on your boat. Taught by Storm Trysail Club member Brook West and the Larchmont Fire Department which had laid on the Junior Clubhouse lawn different types of fire extinguishers amongst a horde of excited sailors. Brook went over steps on how to keep you and your crew safe during a boat fire. He emphasized how important it is to remain calm, make a mayday call, de-energize the fire to the best of your ability, and get to safety. The Larchmont Fire Department then gave a demonstration using live fire on how to use each fire extinguisher with the acronym PASS, which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep. The session ended with each junior sailor getting a chance to put out a live fire and use boat flares. In between sessions I got to speak to Brenda Lewis, a member of the Storm trysail Club, who has been at every safety at sea seminar for over 20 years! She expressed how important this event is and how excited she is to see participants come back to the seminar two to three times. “One of the great things about this seminar is that it teaches these young sailors to have self-resilience and confidence” 

The second session took place in the Schaefer Room where Adam Loory led a discussion in Man Overboard drills. Adam walked through a great presentation with lots of visuals on how to work on your recovery when someone falls off the boat. Stating “You need to wake the dead” when making the crew aware that there is an emergency. He covered common mistakes like trying to grab someone out of the water and how to not become a man overboard yourself. He introduced the Life Sling and showed a few demonstration clips and movies to wrap up the discussion. 

The last session was a heavy weather discussion led by Bob Behringer in the Pandemonium pavilion. Bob went over different types of heavy weather sails like the storm trysail and preparation that can be done to make sure you and your crew are ready for heavy weather. Bob states “If you are ready for heavy sailing you’re ready for anything.” The Storm Trysail seminar concluded with lunch and afternoon practice on the water for the excited sailors.  The JSA would like to give a special thank you too all of the Storm Trysail member boat owners that lent their boats and time to the young sailors during the SAS seminar. 

Find more information about Safety at Sea Programs here

For more pictures from the seminar click here