Category Archives: Longshore

Pic Of The Day #205

Gloria, in the glorious Gray’s Creek late afternoon sun. (Photo/Betsy P. Kahn)

Pic Of The Day #195

Longshore at dusk (Photo/Armelle Daniels)

Unsung Hero #15

Another summer ends, just like the 56 before it. Dozens of youngsters go back to school with a skill they never had. Thanks to the Longshore Sailing School, they know how to sail. They’re confident on the water — and that confidence extends off it too.

Plenty of adults who never thought they could steer a sailboat went through the school’s courses too.

John Kantor no longer runs Longshore Sailing School. But he was part of it for nearly 50 years. And it still bears his imprint.

Kieran O’Keefe is one of many grateful sailors. That’s why he nominated Kantor as this week’s Unsung Hero.

John Kantor

For almost 5 decades — quietly, efficiently, improving what worked and always changing with the times — Kantor built Longshore Sailing School into the largest such youth program in the country.

In retrospect, getting rejected as a caddy — and hired by the then-nascent town sailing school — was karma.  Kantor grew up on Owenoke — just across Gray’s Creek from Longshore.

“I clammed at low tide, and sailed and raced at high tide,” he recalls.

When the town of Westport bought the failing Longshore Country Club in 1960, it had no idea how to run  a water program.

Kantor got on board in 1965. The rest is history.

With several hundred young students each year — and a program run out of constantly collapsing cabanas near the pool — Kantor made a proposal.  He’d buy a new fleet — at his own expense — provided he could keep any profit.

If there was a loss, he’d absorb it himself.

First selectman Jacqueline Heneage agreed — provided he put his name on the sailing school.

Longshore Sailing School today. (Photo copyright/Stefen Turner)

The program grew exponentially, to 2,000 pupils a summer.

When the program outgrew its makeshift building — but the town was reluctant to pay for a new one — Kantor formed the non-profit Friends of Longshore Sailing School.  Former employees funded a 2-story, $400,000 structure.  The school now has 5 classrooms, plenty of storage space, and an actual office.

Those employees have kept in close contact with Kantor. He mentored them —  — and watched them grow — from high school to college and beyond.

Four couples met at Longshore Sailing School, and got married.

Odds are, their kids will end up learning how to sail there — at John Kantor’s legacy — too.

(PS: John Kantor’s influence extends far beyond Westport. The Bitter End Yacht Club in Virgin Gorda modeled its sailing school on Longshore’s. According to Westporter Ali Hokin, “John, Longshore Sailing School and The Boat Locker were integral to the success of the sailing program and boats available to guests. The resort was devastated by Hurricane Irma. A relief effort is going on now, in this magical but currently suffering part of paradise.” To help employees, their families and the surrounding community, click here.)

Pic Of The Day #140

Last lifeguard shift of the summer: Labor Day at Longshore. (Photo/Erika DiGiovanni)

Summer Soiree At Pearl To Benefit 1st Responders

Westport is blessed with amazing police officers, firefighters and EMS crews.

We often say, “We can’t thank them enough.”

Here’s a way to start.

Next Saturday (September 2, 7 to 10 p.m.), Pearl at Longshore is hosting a Summer Soiree Party on its patio. With partners Valor Spirits and The Greatest Blaze, they’re donating proceeds from ticket sales to those 3 first responder departments in Westport and Fairfield.

The Greatest Blaze is an aptly named Greenwich lifestyle and premium firewood company. Valor Spirits has a long history of donating 10% of all proceeds to organizations that serve Americans.

Tickets ($75 per person, discounts for groups of 6 or more) include hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, music, raffle prizes and an auction. Click here to purchase, and for more information.

The Pearl of Longshore patio is a perfect place to honor first responders..

59!

For the 3rd time in history, a golfer has shot a 59 on the Longshore golf course.

This time though, there’s no asterisk.

The other day, assistant club pro Chris Davies fired that record-tying score.

That ties the round shot previously by Andrew Gai and former head pro John Cooper.

Chris Davies

However, Gai was playing alone — so it’s unofficial. And Cooper’s round came when the 17th hole was under renovation. The hole was playing as a par 3, making the course a par 68.

Davies was playing in a threesome, on the par 69 course.

Actually, he does have an asterisk. But it’s a great one.

Davies — who in addition to his other duties is in charge of the junior program — got a hole-in-one on his record-tying afternoon. It came on the 8th hole.

So while the traditional “ace” drinks were on him, we should all drink a round to his incredible round.

Chris Davies’ scorecard

Pic Of The Day #127

Longshore tennis courts (Photo/Cliona Becker)

Pic Of The Day #125

Gloria — Alan Sterling’s old oyster boat, in Gray’s Creek (Photo/Dave Dellinger)

Pic Of The Day #124

Longshore pool, early morning (Photo/Pamela Einarsen)

Pic Of The Day #119

Longshore golf course, 10th hole (Photo/Dave Dellinger)