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Sailing Opens Season with Regatta

April 1, 2021
The fleet on the harbor last fall (PC: Bruce Jeffrey)

Today The Village Times Herald published a story about our sailing program written by Director of Marine Programs John Everitt, keelboat coach Rob Taylor, and Advancement Associate for Communications Alana Brooks.

Your Turn: Spring Sailing on Port Jefferson Harbor

A sailing regatta was recently held on beautiful Port Jefferson Harbor that reflected the richness of the Three Village community. The regatta, hosted by The Stony Brook School, included the Port Jefferson Yacht Club and the Sayville Yacht Club. Twelve sailors enjoyed an invigorating day on the water after a year of COVID-19 challenges and a long winter indoors. Anyone watching the sailors navigate the glistening harbor would be able to see that each team has made considerable gains through hours of practice.

Stony Brook School coach John Everitt commented, “It’s been a tough year for our sport. The regatta gave our local young sailors chance to reunite on the water and enjoy sailing away from their textbooks and cell phones.”

Sailing is a lifetime sport. It teaches the necessity of teamwork, the appreciation of nature and the importance of caring for our environment. The Port Jefferson waterfront is a beautiful harbor and a valuable asset to our community. Access to water on Long Island is at a premium, and the clubs and sailing programs are so grateful to be able to use the harbor, and to have had the support of the Town of Brookhaven and the Port Jefferson Village over the years.

Professional sailor and America’s Cup champion Wally Henry, a 1982 graduate of The Stony Brook School, grew up in Port Jefferson and is on the coaching staff at SBS as well. Wally enjoys sharing his love of sailing and wealth of wisdom with his sailors.

When talking about dealing with the pandemic, Henry said, “We were so grateful to continue sailing during the pandemic, since it was a little piece of normalcy we got to hold onto. I told the kids that we needed to look at COVID as an opportunity and determine what to do with that opportunity.”

Since then, students have taken advantage of the opportunity to spend more time practicing and improving their skills without the pressure of having to compete every week.

Every coach loves to see his former players continue with their sport. Ella Simmons, the Port Jefferson Yacht Club coach, graduated from The Stony Brook School in 2019. She sailed throughout her high school career under both Henry and Everitt.

“PJYC has a long history in Port Jefferson Harbor and has been home for countless sailors since 1960,” said Simmons. “We have created a new sailing program that gives kids opportunities to learn, grow and compete through sailing.”

The Stony Brook School sailing program has called Port Jefferson home for 30 years. Both the Port Jefferson Yacht Club and The Stony Brook School will continue their commitment to the sport by offering sailing programs for young people during the summer. For more information on sailing programs, visit portjeffersonyachtclub.com and sbs.org.

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