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Yacht Club social and sailing members gathered to celebrate a fine season of sailing and socializing, recognize sailors and volunteers, and welcome many new participants.

Season highlights, facts and figures are woven into the report below, so pay close attention!  The first fun fact is that ... 

We welcomed at least one new sailor at every single race this past season!

Banquet Organizers/Decorators 
Mimi Riffle organized the entire banquet with some help: We enjoyed a well decorated dining hall overlooking the water with colorful nautical flag centerpieces and decorations created and arranged in a team effort by Mimi Riffle, Sandi Miller, Nancy Olson, Beth Auld, and Susan Egbert.  The venue overlooking the water at Harrison Lakes Country Club was made possible by Lenny and Jodie Verebay’s membership. Trophies were found in various places at bargain prices by Beth Auld, Sandi Miller and Nancy Olson. Jim Riffle painstakingly assembled the rigging for each of the model sailboats awarded as first place trophies. Thanks everyone!

The first to be recognized of course were the Committee Boat volunteers without whom we would not have races, and whose company we enjoy immensely.   Of thirty-five race participants this year, sixteen, (nearly half) were Committee Boat volunteers.  And nearly half of those volunteered for the first time this season.  Humorous highlights of 2012 Committee boat experiences were re-lived and then our volunteers were given a gift of appreciation.

First-time volunteers in 2012 were Beth Auld, Owen & Cathy Gall, Charlie Kim, and Ed & Dolores Krome, and Tricia Zachidny. Returning volunteers were Lisa Duret, Norm and Susan Egbert, Emily McCurdy, Jack & Sandi Miller, and Mimi Riffle.  

Club officer Mimi Riffle volunteered on the Committee Boat for all but one race the entire season, and taught all of our new volunteers.  So we recognized her with a gift of a brass and copper “Boatswain’s whistle”.  Boatswain is one of the oldest seafaring titles and was first used to denote the commander of the ship.   A boatswain’s whistle can be heard above the howling of the wind, the flapping of sails, and cursing of the sailors.  Mimi’s numerous other efforts that kept the club running a true course were also recognized, as was the bountiful behind-the-scenes help from Mimi’s husband, Jim Riffle.

Club Officer Tom Schroeder was recognized for his leadership with a handsome sailboat trophy.  And Tom’s wife Julia Schroeder was recognized for all her help behind-the-scenes.

Event Hosts
We had some fun social events in 2012 and thanked our hosts:
  • Max Henry again hosted the Spring Social, and again hosted the Kayak Race.
  • Helen and Lee Hodgen, John and Beth Auld, and Ron and Kathleen Schutz hosted the Memorial Day Breakfast
  • Lance and Bianca, and Carroll Snider hosted the July 4th breakfast
  • Mary and Bob Orben hosted the Labor Day breakfast, which helped end the drought.
  • Jim and Peggy Voelz hosted a well-attended seminar and lunch at their home where Jim revealed winning tips, tactics and techniques of the Voelz sailing dynasty
  • Wayne and Arlene Truex hosted the protest meeting at their home after every race and hosted “race central” on their dock (precisely orchestrated pre and post-race race set-up, rigging and de-rigging activity).
  • John Sohn for serving as our arbiter and judge of protests (and for sharing beer from the World’s oldest brewery – the Weihenstephaner brewery established in 1040).
Sailing Awards 

First some fun facts:

  •  We had a total of 19 sailors participating this year (not counting 2 guests of the Sniders).
  •  We welcomed 8 new sailors this year – that’s over 40% of the 19 who participated. 
  • The average number of sailors in any given race was 13 compared to 9 last year. 
  • The average number of boats in a race was 9 compared to 5 last year.   By the way, Thanks to the Truexes, Orbens and Riffles for lending their boats to our newer sailors, and for helping with rigging them, etc.    That really made the higher level of participation possible.
Laser Class:
·      1st Place:  Jim Voelz
·      2nd Place: Tom Jennings
·      3rd Place:  Kevin Preuss

Ghost Class:
There is a sailor we did not see at all this year, but at a full moon party he explained that he really was there with us, even though we couldn’t see him (there in spirit - he really wanted to be there but couldn't be)So this season we have a GHOST SAILOR class.  And this sailor won a very special 1st place Ghost Sailor Trophy (held by winner in photo below – look really closely) created just for the occasion.
  – 1st Place: Larry Olson

Crew Awards
We have a competition for those who crew for our captains.  Crew members receive the same number of points as the captain they crew for in each race.
·      1st Place:  Arlene Truex, who crewed for Jim Riffle on the Hobie catamaran.  Arlene also received a tether to make sure we don’t lose her next year (she fell overboard in one race this year).
·      2nd Place:  Lance Snider who crewed for his wife, Bianca on many occasions

·      3rd Place (Tie): Graham Hale.  While Graham only sailed for us on one race date, there were so many other boats competing that day, and he and his captain, Catey Hale, did so well, that Graham racked up enough points in one day to win a trophy. Catey accepted the trophy for Graham.

·      3rd Place (Tie): A. Nonymous.  The other winner was someone whose identity was carefully guarded due to the embarrassment of the infamous capsizing and turtling of the Orben Y-flyer in his very first race.  

After receiving his award A. Nonymous agreed to reveal his true identity by removing his mask.  And we discovered that he is Paul Hass!

International Class: The International Class consists of boats of many different types, which are handicapped according to statistics published by US Sailing.

1st Place :  Jim Riffle
2nd Place: Peggy Voelz 

3rd Place:  Tom Schroeder

Holiday Trophy Races   

  • Memorial Day Trophy – Jim Voelz
  • July 4th Trophy – Bianca Snider 
  • Labor Day Trophy:  – Jim Riffle
(The Labor Day race was cancelled and never rescheduled.  So we decided to award the Trophy based on the race prior to Labor Day)   

Rookie of the Year
This was a difficult prize to award because we have so many rookies that we would like to recognize.  So we had to go strictly by the number of races they captained.  First let me mention all of our rookie sailors who sailed with the Yacht Club for the first time this past year.  They are:

o  Jackson Gall
o  John Gall
o  Charlie Kim
o  Riley Leonard
o  Paul Hass
o  Graham Hale
o  Bianca Snider, and
o  Bob Zachidny

·      The Rookies of the Year (it was a tie) are:      
o  Bianca Snider
o  Riley Leonard   

Booby Prize
Tradition requires that the white porcelain chamber- pot trophy be appropriately awarded:  Last year Bob Orben and Wayne Truex won this trophy jointly because they disqualified each other in the same race.
This year’s winners are John Auld and Paul Hass for the dramatic capsizing, turtling and successful recovery of the Orben Y-Flyer.  Appropriate modifications were made to the trophy as seen below:
(Our apologies to Mary Orben who had put a very nice African violet plant in the pot for the Orbens and Truexes to enjoy during their possession):


Season Championship:  - Jim Riffle

The Championship Trophy goes to the captain who scored the most point using our scoring system Jim Riffle
This means that he and his crew, Arlene Truex, won the most races with the most number of competing boats.  Jim and Arlene did not miss a single race this season.   There were only two other sailors who sailed in every single race and those were Lance Snider and (allegedly) Larry Olson.

Sailors Present Thoughtful Recognition to Club Officers

On behalf of all of the sailors, Wayne and Arlene Truex very thoughtfully and eloquently expressed gratitude to officers Mimi Riffle and Tom Schroeder for guiding the Yacht Club.  Mimi was presented with a lovely butterfly necklace, and Tom with a brass sailboat wind chime.  The kind words and thoughtful, but unexpected gifts, were warmly and gratefully received by both Tom and Mimi.

See you next year!  




The “Racing Tips and Tactics” session conducted by Jim Voelz and well organized by Peggy during his absence the prior week was conducted as well as a professional conference.  Our name tags were pre-prepared and we were each handed a folder full of materials Jim would walk us through.  But the setting was better than any conference center as you can see from the picture below, as was the subject matter of course.

Jim Voelz with the undivided attention of sailors and volunteers

Jim began by reflecting on what makes sailboat racing such an engaging sport he has enjoyed for decades, since his Dad first took him out sailing.   He even met Peggy while sailing, and they have both been sailing (and winning at it) ever since.   It involves being outdoors, on the water, with lots of physical activity (ask anyone that raced that day and reached for the Aleve afterward).  That’s great fun, but then there are also all the strategies, tactics, and competitive aspects.

Jim explained that as you sail out to the course you have to notice everything around you in order to have a chance of winning.  You need to need to understand all about how the wind is behaving on different parts of the course and how it shifts. You have to know the exact layout of the course, the best approach to the starting line given the wind, and how to best approach each mark.  

 Jim went over the basic rules, with an emphasis on how those rules can be used strategically.  He also went over proper rigging of your boat for maximum advantage.  

 Jim pointed out that as you prepare for the start,  timing and positioning are everything and you have to be thinking through it right up to the starting horn since many races are ultimately won at the start.   Before and after the start as you maneuver around the other sailors you have to know the right-of-way rules cold,  and be always aware of the positions of the other boats so that you can use the rules and positioning to your advantage, or maneuver to turn things to your advantage.   

We learned that in setting your course you have to be aware of where you are relative to the “rumb line” and how far away from it you will or will not allow yourself to go.  You have to tack at the right times relative to wind behavior and relative to your competition.   And your sails need to be properly trimmed the entire time.  Jim then went into detail on each of these areas with good tips and rules of thumb for us to follow.  
 I could not help but think that for a relatively new sailor who has been in a few races and therefore is able to relate to all of these strategic aspects of racing, Jim’s presentation really drove home the depth and breadth of what this sport has to offer.  It really is a “lifetime” sport that engages you both mentally and physically (and of course, here at Grandview we also make it a social activity).   Think of it as a version of chess, conducted on boats, playing against many other players simultaneously with plenty of rules to follow, but no time between moves, while also competing with the wind to which rules do not apply. No wonder Grandview sailors remain so young!

The tips and tactics Jim shared triggered thoughts about recent racing circumstances faced by our sailors and how what was just learned would apply.  A well-adhered to schedule allowed time to share those thoughts and ask questions while enjoying a delicious lunch before leaving for the race.   

After class and lunch, John Auld diagrams a recent racing situation.  Peggy Voelz and Kevin Preuss conclude that the problem was he "zigged" when he should have "zagged".

The only thing Jim and Peggy neglected were the continuing professional education certificates (the year his half over and some of us have spent a lot of time sailing, and really need them).   Thanks Jim and Peggy for getting our competitive juices flowing!

 For Attendees:  Here are follow-up items from the session:

1.   Per Jim: “I recommend that sailors use "Air-flow Tels" which are wind of the sail indicators.  Also, if the sailboat has side stays, then I also recommend Newport Tell-Tale Wind Direction Indicators, also made by Davis Instruments.  They can be ordered from Jamestown Distributors in Bristol, RI over the internet or at 401-253-3840---DAV-222 (tell tales--size B) and DAV--950 (sail air-flow tales).  Total cost with shipping and handling is $33.47.”

And,  "STOP THE PRESSES" this just in from one of our sailors, Sasha Bouis, 
An alternative to spending $ on tel tales is to use a thin light piece of wool yarn or if you have any audio casette tapes lying around is to use some of that 1/8" magnetic tape...  tie a couple of strands to each shroud ...  works great and costs $0.  Can also tape them to your sail with a bit of sail repair tape.

2.  You will remember there was an uncertainty we needed to clarify:  When approaching a mark The “zone” within which it’s too late to establish overlap is 3 boat lengths, (not 2).

3. There is a great animated presentation of the racing rules at US sailing – complete with animated diagrams.  You will find the link in the “Sailing and Weather Related Links” section in the port column of the blog.  And there are a lot of other things in that links section as well, including the most basic sailing rules.