Brooke E. Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic

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About Brooke

Sail Newport’s annual Advanced Racing Clinic is dedicated to the memory of Brooke Emmens Gonzalez.

Brooke E. Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic“Excellence” is the word most often articulated when those that knew Brooke Gonzalez reminisce about her. Her life cut short in a tragic accident in 1997 at age 17, Brooke left a lasting impression on those that knew her. The Gonzalez Family and Sail Newport have acknowledged that; tenacity, sportsmanship, drive and determination are what set her apart from her peers.

2021 Recap

After a year’s hiatus, Sail Newport’s Brooke E. Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic returned last weekend with three days of total immersion in all things dingy racing. This year’s edition has been broken up into two separate weekends, allowing the 130 sailors to spread out and fully utilize Sail Newport’s world-class facility.

Weekend One was for Lasers, 29ers, and International 420 classes, led by an amazing crew of coaches. Elizabeth Kratzig, Skip Whyte, and Lior Lavie led the 420s; Bern Noack, Anna Tobias, and Bill Ward had the Lasers; and Richard Feeney, Fred Strammer, and Taylor Martin took on the 29ers.

Friday began mid-morning to allow regional sailors to commute in that day. We had light to moderate conditions, and after some intros and briefings ashore, all three fleets immediately made their way out to the ocean to take advantage of the best conditions. The tides were perfect, acting as a helping escalator on both the way out and in. Knowing the next day’s wind forecast was a little sketchy, the coaches pushed hard on day 1, keeping all fleets out past 5 p.m. After debriefing the day with video analysis, a big dinner was provided on the porch outside the 11th Hour Great Room.

The forecast proved true for day 2, but we made the most of it. The 420s made their way back out to the ocean and took advantage of a 5 knot southerly in the morning. After lunch on the water, the breeze filled in that afternoon. The other two fleets stayed ashore for the morning, initially staying separate and tackling class-specific topics with chalk talks and more video. The 29er group got hands-on with splicing and fiberglass maintenance demos. After lunch, the two groups joined together and went through three separate stations of 15 minute “power talks” that took on broader topics in race prep, current, and recovering from mistakes. With the breeze filling in at 1 pm, everyone was eager to take to the water for another long session on the water.

Day three was a race day for all three fleets. The coaches chipped in with course management and finishing races while Clinic Director Nick Ewenson orchestrated from the RC boat with the help of Taylor Martin. Trapezoid courses were set for the 420s and Lasers, and the 29ers raced on a separate windward/leeward course. Everyone was busy.

We sailed north of the Newport Bridge in Potter Cove and had spectacular conditions, with the breeze building throughout the day. With uphill current, starting was no simple task, and the 420 and 29er coaches requested that black flag starts be used throughout the day. The focus for all was to stay in tune with the ever-changing conditions, using data collection to help guide decision-making. In the end, the 29ers got five races, while the Lasers and 420s got 4.
Winning races and regattas are great, but the ultimate prize at this event is the Brooke Emmens Gonzalez Award. It goes to the sailor or team who displays an “outstanding effort, desire and willingness to learn.” We usually nominate finalists in each class, and this year the finalists were Connor Bennet and Kenzo Peraire in the 420s and Charlie Leigh and Sophie Fisher in the 29er. This year’s overall winner was laser sailor Jackson McAliley from Miami, FL. The coaches noted Jackson’s great attitude on and off the water and his grit in the big breeze of the last day.

Sail Newport is so grateful to be able to offer this clinic again. This year, it was a massive effort for families to pull it off, as housing was on sailors and their families and chaperones were required. Thanks so much for participating! We need to make a special note of the work of the coaches as well, who always put in significant time for this clinic. We start early before the kids show up and end late after the sailors have left. So much collaboration is needed for the clinic to run smoothly, and we could not have had better examples of how great teams operate. Thank you again, coaches!

We now shift gears to this coming weekend, where we’ll have 30 Club 420 teams descending on Sail Newport. The second weekend is a new record for the clinic! We have a few coaches from last weekend returning, with a mix of veteran and new coaches rounding out the group. Once again, we aim to offer an experience that is fully immersive, collaborative, and a lot of fun!

After a year’s hiatus, Sail Newport will host the 19th edition of its premier youth racing clinic, the B.E.G., this coming June! Dedicated to the memory of Brooke Emmens Gonzalez in 2002, the clinic has built a reputation for attracting the best sailors and coaches for a weekend of immersive training in Newport RI. The 2021 version will stay true to its mission, but some significant organizational changes have been made as a consequence of the challenges that COVID-19 continues to present.

Schedule:

  • The clinic will be split up into two consecutive weekends:
    • Weekend 1 June 11 – 13 will host I420s, 29ers, and Laser Radials
    • Weekend 2 June 18 – 20 will host C420s
  • The schedule both weekends:
    • Friday 10 am – 6 pm
    • Saturday 9 am – 8 pm
    • Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Housing and Food:

  • Housing will NOT be provided. Participants who will not be returning home each night during the clinic will be required to have a designated chaperone.
  • Participating sailors will need to provide their own meals each day.  If COVID restrictions change, we may offer a food plan for an additional  fee.

Most other clinic features that the B.E.G. in known for will remain:

  • Small group, skill training on and off the water with a low ratio of sailors to coaches
  • A focus on large course strategy where speed is a premium
  • Tuning and equipment optimization will be emphasized
  • A healthy mix of learning opportunities in various settings, be it in classroom briefings, end-of-day video analysis, a mid-clinic guest speaker, and a final day regatta format too
  • The people! The coolest part of the B.E.G. over the years is how it always brings together some of the most dedicated and talented sailors and coaches around to collaborate, share, and compete at one of our sport’s most iconic venues, Newport RI.

We are so excited to bring these people together again! Apply before the end of March to be considered.

“Brooke’s qualities are the ones that Sail Newport wishes to instill in all of our young sailors that attend our Advanced Racing Clinic,” said Brad Read, Executive Director of Sail Newport. “This clinic will showcase the best in coaching from the collegiate and Olympic level. We will demand hard work and the highest degree of focus from all of the students in this clinic – championship values that Brooke demonstrated in her life.”

In 2001, Sail Newport and the family of Brooke Emmens Gonzalez launched an advanced racing clinic on the East Coast in her memory. Today we enjoy a reputation for the highest quality coaching and guest speakers, fabulous hospitality, and a range of sailing conditions and venues that only New England offers.

Sail Newport’s 2021 Brooke E. Gonzalez Advanced Racing Clinic will be broken into two consecutive long weekends in the middle of June.

Schedule:

  • The clinic will be split up into two consecutive weekends:
    • Weekend 1 June 11 – 13 will host I420s, 29ers, and Laser Radials
    • Weekend 2 June 18 – 20 will host C420s
  • The daily schedule both weekends:
    • Friday 10 am – 6 pm
    • Saturday 9 am – 8 pm
    • Sunday 9 am – 5 pm

Register your interest between February 1st and March 31st, 2021. Attendees will be notified on April 15th, 2021.

Standard classes each year are Laser Radials, Club 420’s, I420s, and 29rs. The BEG is a bring your own boat clinic; limited charter boats may be available for some classes.

Sailors will indicate a preference of weekend and class of boat, but Sail Newport may only allow participation on a single weekend, in a single class.

Experienced dinghy racers between the ages of 14 and 18 participate in this clinic. While we encourage participation from all youth sailors in this category, our capacity is limited. The clinic’s low sailor to coach ratio is a key factor to both the quality of the experience and the safety of all participants.

Let us know you’d like to attend between February 1 – March 31st. Double-handed teams register as such; unless you are a laser sailor, register as a double-handed team. Please gather this information before submitting:

  • Both helm and crew’s:
    • contact info
    • DOB
    • parent/guardian contact information
    • sailing accomplishments
    • sailing goals for the clinic, if accepted, and beyond
    • physical training programs
  • Sail Newport may only allow participants to participate in one class and weekend. Have your preference ready.

There is no fee to register your interest. Sail Newport will invite attendees on April 15th. The clinic fee for accepted sailors will be $450, and this does not include housing or food. If possible, we may offer a food plan for an additional fee. Financial Aid may be available.

If you have any questions please email Nick Ewenson.

The 3 day program will consist of lectures and on-the-water drills with an emphasis on boat-handling technique, boat speed, and strategy. This will be combined with information on what it takes to reach your goals in sailing. With the help of Sailing Performance Training , we’ve stepped up the shore side physical training and education components of the clinic.

On Saturday night of the clinic, sailors are treated to a speaker from the highest levels of the sport. Prior speakers have included: Gary Jobson, Dean Brenner, 470 Gold Medalist Kevin Burnham, Olympic Team members, America’s Cup veterans, and Volvo Ocean Race competitors Ken Read and Jerry Kirby. In 2019, New York Yacht Club’s American Magic was represented by Terry Hutchinson and Andrew Campbell.

The most important thing to remember is that when you get here at Sail Newport, there will be no reason to leave. Meals, spare parts, etc. will be here. Our coaches want your undivided attention. The more you put into this clinic, the more you will advance because of it, So we expect full commitment from all sailor athletes!

“These youth sailors receive the highest level coaching from some of the best dinghy sailors and coaches in the country,” says Brad Read, executive director of Sail Newport. “Emphasis is on speed producing factors and techniques that work on long courses where speed is at a premium.”

Sail Newport’s Race Programs Director, Nick Ewenson will be 2021’s Event Chair.

A stellar group of collegiate, Olympic, and professional coaches will be on hand. The coaching team in the past has included Anna Tunnicliffe Tobias, Willie McBride, Lior Lavie, Andrew Campbell, Leandro Spina, Elizabeth Kratzig, Skip Whyte and Sally Barkow, among other greats!

Confirmed 2021 Coaches will be listed here soon.

For previous year recaps, view our results archive.

Have questions?

Contact Nick Ewenson, Race Program Director

Phone: (401) 846-1983
Email: nick.ewenson@sailnewport.org