Winners in 2019 SYC Photo Contest
It was not easy to choose, but the judges have voted and here are the winners:
– Celebrating Summer – Debra Grey
– Peaceful Place – Sandra Mace
– Fog over the Hudson – Pat Yost
You’ve heard the sentiment that nothing lasts and nothing is enduring. There are at least two exceptions right here on the Hudson River. Shattemuc Yacht Club which is close to turning 140 years old, and its Sailing Academy is celebrating its 50th year
The Shattemuc Sailing Academy officially opened its doors in 1969 and has taught over 350 youngsters to sail at all levels.
We recently spoke to Guy May, a former student and the Director of the Shattemuc Sailing Academy for close to 25 years, and a number of former and current Sailing Academy members about what has made the Sailing Academy successful for so many years. Here’s what they had to say:
“What I remember when I joined the Sailing Academy was complete freedom. We would arrive at 8 in the morning and leave after five, spending the day between our boats, the pool and the clubhouse, which was an old Circle liner at the time,” said Guy, who joined in 1973.
“I was an SYC sailing academite starting in 1971….I was 9, turning 10 that summer. I returned every summer until the summer that I turned 21. I couldn’t wait to learn to sail as my mom had,” said Vicki Arbitrio, a current SYC Member.
“The academy teaches you how to work with others. You can’t prepare and rig a boat, launch it and sail it by yourself. You have to work with others. We all learned to depend on each other. It’s a great balance between freedom and responsibility,” said Guy.
“When I joined the academy when I was 8 or 9 and I was new to the club, new to the sport and knew NO ONE. Now 22, it was well worth the stay because the instructors were passionate about what they did and truly made it fun to learn. They created a safe environment where I was able to have fun with friends, learn from my mistakes, and always want more,” said Tara Bergstom, the most recent Director of the Academy.
“The academy’s relatively small size and its warm, friendly atmosphere combine to make it a unique experience,” said Sam Goldsmith, a 2013 graduate. “There are different families every year, but when the same core group comes back each year for the better part of a decade, it’s like a family, which makes it something very special.”
This has led to life long relationships with fellow sailors and friends. “Your kids will make life-long friends at the Academy,” said Guy. “We recently had our reunion with many of the people I learned to sail with and still see or keep in touch with all the time. One of our members attended at least five weddings of people he learned to sail with. That’s how close the connection is.”
Top row: Vicki Arbitrio, Guy May, Mark May, Kathleen (McTigue) May, Martha Underwood, Alan Tobin, Sarah Arbitrio, Sue Sugg Bottom row: Liz Sugg, Glenn Baumler, Steve Underwood, Ross Tobin, Chris Kramer. All Academites during the 1970’s
Liz Sugg, an early member of the academy remembered, “It’s an incredible bond… a bond that has lasted 50 years. And friends that include people who I now consider as family.”
“Shattemuc is very supportive of our program and with good reason. We know if the Sailing Academy is successful, the club will be successful”, said Bill Levi, the current Commodore.
Many of the graduates told us that the Sailing Academy had taught them a number of life long lessons.
“Sailing as a sport is something especially unique and wonderfully challenging. It always presents in situations that you have to adapt to and learn from,” said Patrick May, a Sailing Academy instructor and a second-generation member.
“The one life lesson I took from the Sailing Academy is a deep respect for the water and the importance of safety and being prepared,”Guy said. “I’ve never forgotten those lessons and I hope that I have passed them along to everyone who came to the academy.”
“What truly makes the Shattemuc Sailing Academy different, is that all of our instructors were at one time students in our Sailing Academy, so we pass down the lessons we learned from one season to the next as a family does. I believe it makes for a much stronger program,” concluded Guy May.
“Unlike more physical sports, like soccer or lacrosse, sailing is accessible regardless of age or gender, allowing everyone to compete on an equal playing field. My participation in the Academy and a few kind words from the director encouraged me to join my varsity sailing team in college, where I was captain and all-conference as a crew. This sport and the friends you make here truly are for life”, said Tara Bergstrom
One of the things that makes this Sailing Academy unique is they teach racing techniques to their more advanced sailors.
“Learning racing tactics was my favorite part of the academy. When actually applying them in a race, there was a competitive atmosphere that made me want to win, but did not make me feel ashamed if I lost. Because of racing, my confidence and leadership skills significantly improved because of the quick, decisive actions I had to make in racing,” said Patrick May, a current SA Instructor.
“After you’ve been through the academy, you can sail with literally anyone, and it is a relaxing and enjoyable sport with a competitive side to it if you want it.”, said Daniel Setareh, a current academy member.
“It is a beautiful and friendly place. Not just to sail, but to rest and enjoy the water, as well as the other activities, swimming, kayaking, boating in general, walking on the beach, bar-b-qing ….even if I move away, I will be back”, said Vicki Arbitrio, a member for over 45 years.
For the sailing students, its an not a passive summer activity. You learn by doing and what you take away is a sense of accomplishment.
“As Director,” Guy May said smiling, “ my favorite moments are when I see a kid, who had never been on a sailboat before coming to the academy, fly by me in a 420 with the spinnaker up and he or she is hanging out over the railing keeping the boat at a perfect pitch and not even thinking about it. It’s hard to imagine, but saw it all the time.”
I can doubtlessly say the Sailing Academy beneficially helped shape who I am today; it gave me confidence, leadership, self-discipline, and perseverance,” said Patrick May, a current instructor.
“I would encourage others to join because of the enjoyable atmosphere that is prevalent at Shattemuc. Every day is another chance to laugh and learn all while sailing on the river,” said Daniel Setareh, a current Academy member.
For immediate release
Dedication Will Take Place Saturday, May 13, 2017 at 2pm
at Shattemuc, Westerly Road, Ossining.
Ossining, N.Y.– On May 13, 2017 at 2pm, Shattemuc Yacht Club welcomes the community to help dedicate its newly commissioned deep-water marina made possible with a public-private partnership between Shattemuc, the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the NYS Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation and the Town and Village of Ossining. A variety of federal, state and local officials have been invited and are expected to attend along with representatives of various non-profit Hudson River advocacy groups. This event is the culmination of a five-year effort to signal the club’s welcoming of transient boaters. All those interested in the Ossining Hudson River waterfront, viewing the ceremony, and viewing the completed construction are welcome to attend.
Shattemuc Yacht Club, founded in 1884, received a Boating Infrastructure Grant from the United States Fish & Wildlife Service in 2015. This grant enabled the club to construct a series of deep water marina upgrades. Working in conjunction with local, state and federal officials, Shattemuc developed a two-phase program to remove the club’s aging seawall and to install a state-of-the art wave attenuation system. As a result of this program, the club will have a new facility for boaters visiting the Ossining area, with 48 transient slips and moorings and 18 new deep water slips for the Club’s members. The transient facilities will accommodate boats up to 65 feet with drafts of up to 7.5 feet at low water.
David Westcott, Commodore of Shattemuc Yacht Club, stated; “After five years of hard work, we are very excited to show off our newly designed marina and celebrate its completion. We couldn’t have done it without the hard work and support of our members and the Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant program that provided us with over a third of the financing we needed. Now we can share our beautiful spot on the Hudson with boating visitors from all over the Hudson Valley, New York and New Jersey, and even boaters transiting to and from Canada, the East Coast and the Caribbean.“
“We chose to install a state of the art environmentally friendly wave-attenuating system,” said Shattemuc Vice Commodore, Pat Yost, who initiated the project. “This system, originally designed in Finland, is used extensively in Europe, and was recently installed at the One°15 Brooklyn Marina on the East River. The system is based on a series of massive floating concrete docks which break up waves, providing a calm marina for transient boats while allowing for the free passage of fish and other marine life and clear sight lines to the Palisades across the river.”
Village of Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity commented, “We are very excited about the opportunity to welcome more boaters to Ossining’s glorious waterfront. Kudos to the leaders at Shattemuc for their dedication and vision to lead this effort.”
About Shattemuc Yacht Club:
Founded in 1884, Shattemuc Yacht Club is the oldest active yacht club on the Hudson River. Situated in Ossining, New York, Shattemuc is a private, not-for-profit club with over 200 members. It offers its members boating, sailing, kayaking, a junior sailing academy, an Olympic style pool, a beach and clubhouse with a veranda overlooking the Hudson. Members of Shattemuc are community minded, hosting a number of community events such as art shows, lectures and charity fund raisers at the club along with free sails offered by the Hudson River advocacy organization Ferry Sloops, Inc.
Shattemuc Yacht Club Receives Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant and Begins Construction of State-of-the-Art Transient Slips and Marina Expansion
The club will create deep water slips for boaters visiting the Ossining area, replace its dilapidated barges with a high-tech wave attenuation system and provide deep water slips for its members.
October 12, 2016 Ossining, N.Y.– Shattemuc Yacht Club, founded in 1888, announces that it has finalized a Boating Infrastructure Grant awarded by the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and begun the first phase of construction for a series of deep water marina upgrades. Working in conjunction with local, state and federal officials, the Club developed a two phase program which will add 48 transient slips and moorings in phase 1. Phase 2, will add 18 deep water slips for the Club’s use. The transient facilities will accommodate boats up to 60 feet with drafts of up to 7.5 feet at low water. Work will be completed in time for the start of the 2017 boating season.
David Westcott, Commodore of Shattemuc stated; “Through the Federal Boating Infrastructure Grant programs we were awarded a $593,501 grant to support Phase 1 of our project to expand and modernize our facility to provide a place where transient boats can safely dock for an extended period of time and to promote recreational boating on the Hudson River”
Westcott added, “The real key was getting our members to support the project with their time and money. It took us almost 4 ½ years from the time we created the concept to when we finalized the grant. We were also required to match the grant with club provided funding.“
Shattemuc could have built a more traditional breakwater and dock system, but chose to move into the future.
“Instead of installing a traditional, wall of pressure-treated pilings and bulk heading,” said, Vice Commodore, Pat Yost, who initiated the project, “we chose to install a state of the art and environmentally-friendly wave-attenuating system. This system, originally designed in Finland, is used extensively in Europe and was recently installed at the One°Fifteen Brooklyn Marina on the East River. The system is based on a series of massive floating concrete docks which break up waves, providing a calm marina for transient boats, while allowing for the free passage of fish and other marine life, and clear sightlines to the Palisades across the river.”
Village of Ossining Mayor Victoria Gearity commented, “We are very excited about the opportunity to welcome more boaters to Ossining’s glorious waterfront. Kudos to the leaders at Shattemuc for their dedication and vision to lead this effort”
About Shattemuc Yacht Club:
Established in 1888, Shattemuc Yacht Club is the oldest yacht club on the Hudson River. Situated in Ossining, New York, SYC is a private club with over 235 members. SYC offers boating, sailing, kayaking, a sailing academy, an Olympic style pool, a beach and clubhouse with a veranda overlooking the Hudson. Members of Shattemuc are community minded and will host a number of community events such as art shows, lectures and charity fund raisers at the club along with free sails offered by Ferry Sloops.
For more information, please contact – Pat Yost, Vice Commodore, SYC – (917) 414-0787