Every time you open the paper or tune in to TV, the hot topic this week has been Universal Picture's movie "Bruce Almighty," starring Jim Carrey and Morgan Freeman. The movie, set in Buffalo, opened nation-wide May 23 and has done extremely well at the box office. While the movie was being filmed last summer and fall, some of the folks at Western New York's Seven Seas Sailing School were called in for an audition.
Bill Zimmermann, Executive Director of Seven Seas, was contacted by Mark Stricklin of the Buffalo Niagara Film Commission and asked for the use of their boats and crew. Zimmermann couldn't have been more pleased.
"We're celebrating our 33rd year as a seasonal, educational, non-profit program and it's tough to get the word out, and suddenly, our boat and school logo will appear on screens internationally," he said.
"They kept calling us back for additional shoots, in different kinds of weather and for different scenes. Our boat crew got to know the film crew, because we spent long days together on the water."
Seven Seas was involved in shoots on five days over a three-month period.
You can view the movie trailer on line at www.brucealmighty.com and see the Seven Seas boat go cruising past the Buffalo waterfront.
In one scene, the Seven Seas boat, skippered by the school commodore Terry Lintner, USCG, glides past the camera. Standing on the water in the foreground, are the stars, Carrey and Freeman.
"I didn't think we'd be as prominent in the scene as we are," Lintner said. One day they spent six-hours motoring around with sails up going in circles at Erie Basin Marina. "It was 95-degrees and even the film crew on land was feeling dizzy, so you can imagine how our crew felt. It was a tremendous experience for adult and youth crew," he said.
Seven Seas Sailing School is open to the public all summer and offers a wide range of sailing instruction and certification programs for individuals and families. Seven Seas also hosts a Sea Scouts program for youth, a sail day-camp, women's Tuesday night sails, Friday night coed sunset sails, and more.
Seven Seas is also a fully-involved sponsor of this summer's International Water Sports Expo to be held at Erie Basin Marina, July 18-20.
The 13th annual BoatU.S. Santa Maria Cup, the premier international event for women' sailing match racing (boat against boat) started Wednesday and continues through Saturday. It's being hosted by the Eastport Yacht Club in Annapolis, Md. Top-ranked women sailors from all over the world are competing in this "dress rehearsal" for the Womens World Match Race Championships, which will be held next year.
Sailors are provided identical J-22 sailboats so the race is a true test of sailing ability and tactical skills.
The Buffalo Harbor Sailing Club will hold its first major regatta for 2003, the Ice Breaker Regatta, June 8 at 2 p.m. The skippers meeting starts at 9 a.m.; first gun is at 11 a.m.
Registration is $25 for USSA members and $30 for non-USSA members. An after-race party at RCR Yachts on Fuhrmann Boulevard will cap the event. Call Bob Gillman at 652-4756 for information. Send on-line applications to email@example.com. Applications are due by June 6.