Aug 14, 2007 ellen leahy Uncategorized
By Ellen Leahy
How do you go from sailing a Sunfish on Skaneateles to the most prestigious sailing competition in the world? Peter Isler, a professional sailor who has been involved in the last seven America’s Cups (AC), will shed some light on this tact. The two-time AC winner is the featured speaker at 6 p.m. Aug. 20 at a benefit sponsored by The Sailboat Shop for Junior Sailing on Skaneateles at the Sailboat Club on East Lake Road. The evening will also feature a barbecue and a silent auction that will contain some of Isler’s AC gear.
Isler grew up in Ohio, but makes his home in San Diego. His family bought a camp on the east side of the lake when he was very young, so summer and Skaneateles have always been synonymous. He said he became enchanted with Skaneateles Lake as a kid and that feeling has never left.
“Skaneateles Lake is in my blood,” Isler said, “I live for the days I can get out here.”
The lake is working on the next generation as well, as Peter has two young daughters Marly, 13 and Megan who turned 9 this week. Happy Birthday Megan!
On the water
Isler has worked many of the crew positions during the AC including the helmsman on his first and also as a navigator. He said when he races he is most often used as a tactician, which is the high end support for a team. The member who works on plotting the course and how to play the wind.
He sails the Trans Pacific race each year to Hawaii where he must navigate by the stars alone. This is called celestial navigation. He said he started off learning the traditional paper charting and during his career has continued to stay abreast of all the state of the art electronics that have come into aiding in navigation.
With his background and experience it was only natural that he team up on sailing software. He collaborated with Nick White, also a former Stars & Stripes crew on Expedition, which is a program used innavigation and performance for racing. For more on Expedition go to iexpedition.org/.
Off the water
Being a professional sailor, like sailing, is filled with periods of tremendous adventure and excitement and then lot of down time. Isler fills the doldrums with writing and speaking about his sport. He authored, “Sailing for Dummies” and “At The Helm — Business Lessons for Navigating Rough Waters written,” with Peter Economy.
From his web site, “The keys to success in sailboat racing are very similar to those required for success in business. In “At the Helm,” we explore these analogies and lessons with the help of some of the most successful businesspeople/sailors in the world including Roy Disney (Walt Disney Co.), George David (United Technologies), Rich DeVos (Amway) and dozens more. No knowledge of sailing is necessary to enjoy and benefit from this book!”
Isler has also called color as a television broadcaster with ESPN and the Outdoor Life Network, and works as a motivational speaker.
The tariff for this party is $15 per adult, $10 per child or $30 per family. The proceeds will benefit junior sailing through three local organizations: The junior sailing program at the sailing club, junior sailing at the country club and the Skaneateles chapter of the Sea Scouts.
For more information, or for reservations, call John at the Sailboat Shop 685-7558. To virtually learn more about Isler go to islersailing.com. For the real thing wait for the wind and scan the lake for a windsurfer or join the Sailboat Shop at the Sailboat Club on the eastern shore of the lake at 6 p.m. or Monday night Aug. 20.