What Is The Great Northern Skiff Squad?

Who We Are
We are a bunch of sailors who love these tricky 29ers and we are lucky enough to be supported by parents and coaches who appreciate the difficulties and rewards the little skiffs offer. About 5 years ago a few sailors in the Massachusetts and Rhode Island area graduated from Optimists and decided to pursue 29ers as their next boat. Today there are about 30 29ers actively sailed between Annapolis and Maine. The idea of a “Skiff Squad” comes from the National Class Association. A squad is a local fleet.
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What We Do
We promote, teach, and celebrate athleticism and camaraderie. Some recent accomplishments: A number of our sailors have made gold fleet at the 29er open world championship the past 2 years. Charlie Hibben and Nicholas Hardy qualified for and raced the Youth Worlds in 29ers this year. Stephen Hardee has represented the US Virgin Islands at the Youth Worlds twice. I could go on…We train in 29ers every weekend from May 1 until school gets out. Then we train 5-6 days each week through Nationals. In the fall we train together every weekend from Labor Day until Halloween. We attend the Olympic Development Program’s racing clinic in Miami Friday – Sunday after Thanksgiving. We attend the winter regattas in Florida. Some sailors head to Florida more frequently and they practice with the 2Niner Skiff Squad, also about 5 years old.
Where/How Can I Get Involved?
Sailors, join us this fall at Fort Getty, Jamestown, where we will be working with the Conanicut Island Sailing Foundation’s new Nacra 15 program. You don’t need a boat at first, as there is a fleet-owned boat, and there are crews looking for skippers. Sign up here. More information here.  Would you like to help organize the schedule, communications, coaches? Thank you – we need the help. Reply to Richard with your interest.
What Will It Do For My Life?
The 29er is the best class for youth sailors interested in developing next-level boat handling skills, learning about apparent wind sailing, and to learn asymmetric spinnaker tactics. The camaraderie and sharing culture in the class is phenomenal! I usually recommend sailors mix their 29er sailing with some Laser or 420 sailing. 29er sailors graduate to success in foiling boats, kiteboards, catamarans, collegiate teams, and professional sailing…Because they chose a more complicated, more difficult boat – the wonderful 29er.
It has never been a better time to get involved with the 29er.

Published by Feenysail

Richard Feeny is a sailor, educator, adventurer. He lives in Bristol, Rhode Island with his wife Mary. He is a national and world champion sailor. He is as a freelance sailing coach, captain, and consultant.

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