SW's Coaching Contest Runners-Up & Their Plans

The eight finalists for Sailing World's 2005 Win a Coach contest.

Kristen Lane, Brick House, J/105, San Francisco Bay: With nine major events counting toward the Fleet 1 championship, Lane's team will focus on speed, crew work, starts, and minimizing a variety of mistakes. Practice will be in conjunction with Friday night races, and Brick House aims to be the top 5 (of 30+ boats) at each regatta and top 3 for the season. Charles and Joanna Smith, Jet 14, Spruce Run Reservoir, N.J.: Moving from a keelboat to a dinghy has been a challenge, but with new sails and boat, this team aims to practice once a week, focusing largely on boathandling and changing gears, and move up to the front half of its 9-boat Hunterdon SC fleet. The Smiths also plan to race 10 class regattas including the Nationals, where they'd like to win the B fleet and finish mid-fleet overall. Bob Elliott, Elation, Beneteau 36.7, Rochester, N.Y.: This Lake Ontario crew plans four 15- to 20-boat one-design regattas and aims to be mid-fleet or better. They also want to be top 3 in a local offshore race and win their Genesee YC fleet series. Elliott, a sailor only since '94, feels they need on-water training in reading and reacting to the wind, and improving boat tune and steering. Five practice sessions have been planned so far. Tom and Linda Orlow, Northern Light, Beneteau 36.7, Lake Michigan: As sailing school directors, the Orlows appreciate the potential of coaching and in their second year with their boat want to develop their crew (age 8 to 62) into speed, mechanical, and information groups. Besides weekly racing out of Charlevoix YC, they'll hit three major regattas plus the Chicago-Mac with overall goals of having fun and improving with each race. Brian Mullen, Cuchulainn, J/105, San Francisco Bay: Another member of the hot J/105 Fleet 1, Mullen, 27, and his brotherKevin, 24, lead a young team of accomplished sailors trying to improve its speed and consistency through a regular practice schedule. Their 2005 goals are to crack the top 5 in the season championship and Big Boat Series, while winning a few regattas. Robert Gordenker, Time Machine, J/35, Western Lake Erie: Aiming for a top-half finish at the J/35 NAs, the team plans to race three regattas on Lake Michigan where the NAs will be held and aims to be in the top third at one of those. Gordenker's team has arranged for private coaching and video feedback, and plans to tune with other local 35s. Tim Lohner, Interlake, Hoover Reservoir, Ohio: While his 18-foot centerboard dinghy class works through questions of what's legal in boat modification, this skipper wants to prove that people can make the difference in an older, but race-ready, boat. During a series of class regattas and the Nationals, Lohner plans to improve his starts, shift playing, downwind tactics, and sail trim with results consistently in the top 10 and, at the Nationals, in the top five. Greg Davis, Team Uprising, Shields, Western Long Island Sound: With practices and a full slate of regattas scheduled, this young team in an old-time keelboat class aims to win its local yacht racing association series and finish top three at the Nationals. A specific goal is to avoid being out of the top third in any Nationals race. Davis says, "We often shoot ourselves in the foot" early in an event. Performance goals are to improve speed in fluky conditions and recognize big-picture weather patterns sooner to avoid missing a big shift.