January 1, 2010 I packed up my car and drove the 12 hours to Huntington New York to being an exciting new project, establishing and running the Oakcliff Sailing Center. It has been a crazily busy year in New York working 6 days a week, often 12 hours a day. We tightened up the organization, established new schedules and added an intensive internship program for talented and aspiring sailors known at Oakcliff as ‘Acorns’. In the first year of operation we managed 18 days of IRC racing on various boats, totaling more than 485 “sailor-days” on Oakcliff’s big-boats. We ran twenty-six Tuesday Match Racing Drills for an conservative estimate of 390 “sailor drill days”. There was an uncountable number of classics and shields sailing days but they totaled well over 200 “sailor-days”. Between the fourteen graded match racing regattas Oakcliff hosted this summer, competing skippers received over 2200 ISAF ranking points. Some impressive numbers.
Most importantly we were able to train seven acorn interns and are looking at welcoming 20 for next summer. These are individuals, men and women, who have shown extraordinary aptitude in the sport and have a strong desire to learn all of the aspects of the sailing business from fairing a bottom to putting together a budget to marketing and writing press releases. The tuition based program is completely unique to anything else offered anywhere in the world and is designed to create graduates who take the highest level of Oakcliff Sailing practices and ethics and represent this team and country well into the next decades.
As a personal aside, I had a house building project in Michigan that I ran remotely and now as 2010 ends the house is not only ready but rented. It is nice when a year wraps up neatly on all fronts. I am definitely looking forward to 2011 and all of the challenges and rewards that it will bring. Not the least being a tiny bit more time for personal pursuits. To all of you – Happy New Year, Bonne Annee and Cheers!
Read the Friends and Family Blog Page on this web site for http://www.dawnriley.com/blog/ more photos of the house build.