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NSB Rowing Sends Three Boats to the National Championships


Celebrating 80 Years of Service to the Community

NSB Youth Offsore Sailing Team Competes in N2E

April Fool's is No Joke at NSB

Important Repairs at NSB that You'll Never See


Taft Elementary visits the Sea Base!

Jack Nguyen, Jan 16, 2015


Last week, 100 second-grade students from Taft Elementary school in the Santa Ana Unified School District attended Newport Sea Base’s Journey to the Ocean field trip program. 

Thanks to the generosity of the Santa Ana North Rotary, these students experienced hands-on, S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) based educational stations: Model Boat and Sail Building, Rain Gutter Regatta, Boat Navigation and Nautical Flags. 


“Many of the students have never been on a boat before.  This was a great opportunity and they very excited!” said Ms. Silva, 2nd grade teacher at Taft Elementary. 

Students measured and designed their own model catamaran boats and sails to race against their classmates.  After the regatta, the students cruised Newport Harbor via on-the-water classrooms,  aka pontoon boats.  On board, students learned map skills and demonstrated their navigation capabilities.  They also learned about geometric shapes and uncovered hidden messages by learning how to read the Nautical Alphabet. 


“My students loved building boats and learned how the geometric shape of their sail can affect the speed of the boat that they made.  The field trip tied into a Common Core unit we just completed.  This tied into so many things we’re learning in school,” said Ms. Silva.  Students had lots of fun but also able to take away skills to help supplement their learning path in school.  They were amazed to find out that S.T.E.M. is, in fact, a significant part of sailing and the ocean.  

Olympians Train at NSB

Tom Hartmann, Jan 8, 2015


OCBSA’s Newport Sea Base has welcomed two members of the 2012 US Olympic Rowing Team to train at the camp while preparing for the US trials to make the team, once again, for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.  Taylor Ritzel, a Yale graduate, won a gold medal in the women’s 8 at the London Olympics, and Sara Hendershot, who competed in the women’s pairs, crewed at Princeton while in college. 

Thanks to financial support from West Coast University, a new rowing shell was christened on January 8, 2015, to kick-off a rigorous 2015 competition season for Taylor and Sara.   On hand to celebrate were members of NSB and its rowing program, coaches and members  of Orange Coast College and Newport Aquatics Center, and the President of West Coast University.   Newport Sea Base Rowing and Chapman University Rowing are proud to provide a home for these elite athletes as they continue their quest to be the first American women to win gold in the coxless pair event.

NSB Rowing is open to girls and boys ages 12-18, with a non-competitive junior high program and a high school competitive program.

Mural Graces the Sea Base

Tom Hartmann, Fall 2014


Local artist and surfer, Joe Vickers, of Santa Ana, donated his time and talent to paint a bright and cheery mural at the Newport Sea Base.   Over the better part of four days, Joe washed, sketched, re-sketched, and put paint to conrete cinder blocks, transforming an otherwise drab wall into a beautiful piece of art that brings constant smiles to passerbys.  Be sure to check out Joe's mural the next time you visit the Newport Sea Base! 

NSB Youth Sailing Team Completes the Islands Race
Tom Hartmann, March 10, 2015

Six youth (three male and three female), with an average age of 16.1, embarked on a 140-mile offshore race on Friday, March 6.  They would start the race in Long Beach, sail around Catalina and San Clemente Islands, and finish in San Diego.  Two adult males and a female adult were also aboard.  The team races an IMX 38, named Apprentice.  

The team showed great maturity and poise despite many of them not having competed in an overnight race before.  The team was divided up into groups of three to cover shifts during the night, allowing some to rest.  During the night, most members had an opportunity on the helm to steer the boat under a brilliant full moon and following seas.  They successfully navigated military live-fire exclusion zones around San Clemente Islands, handled multiple sail changes, cooked meals, and otherwise tested themselves against 40 other teams of well-skilled adults.

Aside from the Cabo Race and Transpac, the Islands Race is currently the regions longest and farthest offshore regional race.   Bravo Zulu, team! 


Summer Camp Off To a Great Start

Elyse Nuttall, June 30, 2015


Our summer camp started on June 29 with over 200 local youth participating in a variety of classes ranging from sailing and ocean fishing, to photography and woodworking. Boys and girls ages 6-17 will spend 8 weeks this summer learning new skills and having fun. The last week of camp is from August 17-21. 


NSB staff have gone through much training in preparation for this week. They are here to ensure that every camper has fun while learning important skills as well. They are equally as excited for camp to start as the campers are!   Not only are our staff going to be teaching campers but also taking under their wing "Counselors in Training", whom one day hope to be instructors themselves. 


This summer looks to be off to an amazing start and with 8 more weeks to go we are sure to have a summer filled with fun memories!



2X Gold Medalist Joins the NSB Rowing Staff
Tom Hartmann, July 13, 2015

We are so pleased to announce the addition of Erin Cafaro to our 2015-2016 Jr Rowing Team!
  Erin Cafaro MacKenzie is a 2-Time Olympic Gold Medalist in rowing (W8+) from the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games. She has podiumed at every World Championship rowing competition she has ever competed at accruing a total of 6 World Championships Gold Medals and 2 Bronze Medals.

As a core member of the USRowing National Team for 6 years she helped contribute to the still standing 8 year undefeated streak in the US Women’s 8+ as well as being one of the first US woman to win the W2- event and double Gold Medal in the FISA Rowing World Championships.

Along with her international medals, Erin and her boatmates were chosen as FISA World Rowing Crew of the Year in 2008 and 2009 and USOC Team of the Year in 2012. Erin was also named USRowing Athlete of the Year in 2009, USA Today Athlete of the Month, and won 2 NCAA Championships while getting her degree at University of California, Berkeley.

NSB's Youth Sailing Team competes in stormy 80-mile Islands Race
by Tom Hartmann, March 16, 2016


With winds conditions predicted to be 30+ knots, and gusting higher, to the west of Catalina and San Clemente Islands, the Organizing Authority of the Islands Race opted to alter the course to run inside the islands for an 80-mile trek down the coast to San Diego.  The Newport Sea Base Youth Sailing Team, sailing aboard Apprentice, and IMX-38, motored up to Long Beach the morning of the race.  They even practicing reefing the main sail ahead of the start, even with wind speeds little more than 5 knots.  Cells of inclement weather were forecast to overtake the fleet. 
The race began with a southerly flow, causing the fleet to sail upwind from the start.  The storm front soon arrived after and the team responded with a headsail change, a reefed main, and then another headsail change to their #3 jib.  16-year old helmswoman, Catherine Reynolds, was steady on the helm even as the wind and rain strained voices to be heard.  Though she has sailed in the 2015 Islands Race, one Border Run, and an Around Catalina Race, this was her first time sailing the IMX in such weather.   She said, “I had a great time. While it was my first time skippering a keel boat in heavy weather, once I got a feel for how the boat responded to the conditions, I was able to figure out the forces to keep the boat under control. It was great to see the team working together, with every member watching out for one another and functioning as a team to solve problems as they came up.” The first minutes after the storm front caused some anxiety among the young crew, but after all the sail reductions were completed it was all smiles across their faces. 














The mindset going into the race was to foster the experiential learning that would take place, and as much as the team would like to place as well as possible, the journey is perhaps more important than the standings at the end of the race.  So, when other competitors pushed their boats hard, the team made calls to push its members through new experiences, in challenging moments no doubt, but to allow for successes and later build on them.  When more sail could have been added at times, it was done with a plan of when the sails would come down and how.  The team’s skipper, Tom Hartmann, who is the Executive Director of the Newport Sea Base, noted that, “For the first six hours of the race, including the three hour transit in the morning, I never put a finger on the helm. I was certainly ready to do so but I was confident Catherine would find her footing. It was great to see her, and our team captain, Kitty, step up during the whole race.”  


After sunset, the wind became gusty again as another front came through, and prudence paid off for them.  Other competitors broached and wiped out which caused ripped sails and broken spars. Apprentice did have a round-up and the call was made to drop the asymmetrical spinnaker and move back to the #3 jib.  Granted, they were not going to keep up with boats in their class that hit speeds in the upper teens but the young teen sailors were content to push forward with 9 to 10 knots with their conservative sail plan as swells grew to breaking eight footers on a dark night.   Reynolds commented that, “The most challenging part for me was handling the boat once night fell. Once it got dark, the only prior notice that a wave was about to hit was a shimmering, grey shadow welling up behind you, before it peaked up on the transom to send you rocketing down the face.” The team finished just before midnight and sailed into San Diego Harbor under blustery winds and more rain. 
The Newport Sea Base Youth Sailing Team is comprised of approximately 20 youth members and a number of adult advisors.  Some team members are away at college, many sailing collegiately, like Tufts, UCLA, and Cal Poly SLO.  Some are high school or club sailors.  Some are Sea Scouts. One of their more experienced youth team members was also sailing in the Islands Race, but on a Santa Cruz 52, Paranoia.  It makes the team proud to have their members ‘poached’ by other programs because it means they are doing the right things.  Former Newport Sea Base sailors have Transpac, Puerta Vallarta, Sydney to Hobart, Congressional Cup, and Farr 40 Worlds accolades.  Others simply continue to sail for the fun and pleasure of getting out on the water. 
Competitor Mike Price, skipper and owner, of Peacemaker, a class competitor for Apprentice, introduced himself to the team after the race to congratulate them and let them know he loves the idea of getting young people into bigger boats earlier.  His crew had an average age of about 25, which certainly is also a decade or two below the average of a lot of other boats out on the course. 


In summing up the race, Hartmann said that, “For this weekend's crew, the forecasted winds would be challenging but not insurmountable if handled correctly.  And while there were times we could have shaken our reef out it was decided to keep things stable and quick.  They'll be better able to push the boat much harder and faster the next time we race in 15-20 knots winds, without a doubt.

We had a lot of other young talent busy at the Gaucho Regatta in SB the same weekend so those other team members will get next crack at Newport to Ensenada, and then a lot of work will be required to see about having a go at the SoCal 300.”
















For the Sailing Scuttlebutt article, click here


NSB Rowing Wins Overall Title at the Freedom Cup
by Tom Hartmann, March 19, 2016

NEWPORT BEACH — The Newport Sea Base rowing team, in only its second season of competing, won the overall title at the Freedom Cup, on March 19, to begin the spring racing season.  Other junior clubs competing were Cathedral Catholic, Xavier, Tempe Junior Rowing, SoCal Scullers, and RowLA.  The event was held in conjunction with the collegiate-level Berg Cup, hosted by Orange Coast College.


The NSB squad won twelve out of the fifteen events held, and some of their boats appear in contention for strong showings later at the Southwest Regional Championships. The NSB lightweight 8+ is nearly undefeated this year, their only loss coming by mere seconds to last year’s national champion at the Head of the American last Fall.  The boys Ltwt 8+ has even beat five collegiate level programs, NSB head coach James Long-Lerno said.  


The freshman girls 8+ came away with another open water victory, as they also have had impressive victories throughout the year. Long-Lerno said the performance was indicative of their growing program’s focus, and mission, of developing talent in each individual.  A number of athletes compete in multiple events, highlighting teamwork in the big boats and more individual strength in the smaller boats.  


In 2015, the inaugural year of Newport Sea Base Rowing, the juniors program almost sent two boats to the National Championships, and in being so close, the team is driven to prove themselves contenders this spring.


Also, a Master’s competition was held at the Freedom Cup, and the Newport Sea Base master rowers won the overall title, beating out the master’s from Newport Aquatic Center, San Diego Rowing Club, and Long Beach Rowing Association. Despite overcast skies and chill in the morning, the event was a great success and wonderful sportsmanship was shown by all those competing.

NSB Rower Invited to Try-out for the US Rowing Jr. National Team
by Tom Hartmann, April 21, 2016

NEWPORT BEACH - Kendall Fearnly, a varsity rower on the NSB Rowing Team, was recently invited to attend the US Rowing Jr. National Team selection camp, at Connecticut College.  She will spend two weeks at the camp, undergoing intense training and ultimately will test herself against the 40 invitees for 20 spaces on the team.  Landing on the team may also earn the opportunity to race at the World Rowing Jr. Championship this summer in Amsterdam.  

To  help support her trip and selection procress, click here.

NSB Sailing Instructor sails in the Women's Collegiate National Championships
by Tom Hartmann, April 21, 2016

Laura Roudebush and her teammates on the UCLA women's sailing team earned a berth at the Women's Collegiate National Championship, to be held in early May in San Diego.   Laura is a very active member at NSB when not at school, as she's a part of Sea Scout Ship 90, the NSB Youth Offshore Sailing Team, and has been a sailing instructor for many years.  In 2014, Laura, along with her sailing partner Ben Brough, from SSS 90, won the William I. Koch International Sailing Championship.

Also sailing with Laura at UCLA is Sarah Wyman, a former Sea Scout from Ship 936 in Dana Point.


Read more about her accomplishment here




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