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Monday, May 27, 2013


Grandview families and friends were treated to glorious weather, a beautiful and spacious lakeside venue, and delicious breakfast treats at the home of Mike and Leah Essex.  The weather was a happy surprise given the radar picture the prior evening and early morning, and couldn’t have been any better. 

It is hard to adequately express our gratitude to those who served or were killed or injured in the armed forces, and their loved ones.  But we did our best, with comments and recognition of them with a round of applause.   

Again, Our thanks to the Mike and Leah Essex and their family for their hospitality!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

May 26th RACE REPORT

Our first race of the 2013 season included two first-time Grandview sailors, Ben Hicks and Josh Gray, and returning sailor, but first-time captain, Graham Hale.  They,  along with returning captain Riley Leonard are sinking the average age of a Grandview sailor faster than Bob Orben’s Y-Flyer (now John Auld’s).  And with Tracey Wilson & Eileen Carroll assisting Beth Auld, Bonnie Hicks and Mimi Riffle on the Committee Boat, the race was downright youthful in terms of calendar age in addition to our ever –young spirit!   Soon we will have to send out “tweets” of the race, and this blog will be old news. Bring it on!

The first race of the season is always a bit of a shake-down cruise, and sure enough we lost Riley Leonard and the above-mentioned Ben Hicks to rigging problems.  Riley’s were discovered at the dock, so he did not make it out on the water, and Ben’s were discovered at the first mark so he had to abandon the race and head for shore.   The popular “Sunfish” and similar sailboats have always been welcome in our races (we have a handicapping system for all makes of boats), and we were encouraged to see Ben arrive with his Sunfish.  Hear that all you “Sunfish”, “Snark”, “Snipe”, etc.  owners – come on out and race with us!

It was also a shake-down cruise for the Committee Boat.  Our volunteers skillfully navigated out to our brand new yellow marker buoy, the result of someone’s excellent suggestion last year.  Much easier!   And Beth Auld had purchased a nice, loud megaphone with the proceeds of the T-shirt sale she organized last year.  Broadcasting a "do-over" to the racers so that they could re-set their stopwatches made a non-event of some initial five-minute-warning confusion (the result of first-race-of-the-season excitement).   Anchoring instructions from the previous week’s Committee Boat training/refresher session  were implemented well (use all 250’ of anchor line!).  But the instructor had not emphasized the need to slowly and artfully drag the anchor until it has a chance to dig into the lake bottom (sort of like setting the hook on a fish) so a second try was needed.  But they were very well-anchored after that!  We are very grateful to our above-mentioned Committee Boat heroes for making this race possible – well done!  We need and welcome volunteers for all future races – see schedule in the “port” column.  Let us know which date you can help us out. Volunteering for just one race per season is a big help to us.  We’ll give you a task to perform, and you’ll have a very enjoyable time.  We are especially in need of those who can maneuver a pontoon boat and hoist an anchor.  Total time commitment for most races is a little over two hours.

We were fortunate to get a window of good weather for “the race” although we sure could have used more wind – a LOT more wind.  And as usual the wind’s variable nature made for some strange occurrences.  For example in the second race, prior to the boats reaching the last mark, they were spread all over the race course.  But then the wind favored those who were behind and penalized those were ahead.  As a result there was near traffic jam at the last mark.  Almost as odd, there were no protests after a lot of intense jockeying for position to get around that last mark.  Speaking of odd, when was the last time you saw Bob Orben being the crew instead of the captain (he crewed for John Auld in both races)  It was great to have Bob back racing with us after his year off last year, and we hope to see more of him this year!  And one final wind-trick to mention; Tom Schroeder innocently started yacking with Tom Jennings, distracting Jennings from his very wind-sensitive “Laser” sailboat.  And sure-enough a quick blast of wind turned Jennings over.  Schroeder fessed up, taking responsibility for the capsize.  Speaking of Lasers, everyone and his brother tried to snag the Laser that Larry Olson put up for sale.  Young Josh Gray benefited from the "first-mover advantage" of his agile “intermediary”, Donna Mount.   We hope to see Josh out there in that Laser soon now that he has his first race behind him.

We had a very impressive start for the second race.  About one month ago, Jim Voelz conducted a "tips and techniques" session for the sailors.  He urged us to be aggressive at the start since most races are effectively won at the starting line.  We even prepped the Committee Boat with new instructions on what to do if an overly aggressive sailor crosses the starting line before the starting horn.  Well Jim (absent for this race) would have been quite proud of us.  By the time the starting horn was blown, we were all lined up like Olympic sailors right at the starting line (and a narrow starting line at that).    Although we don’t have a photo (we need some paparazzi to start feeding us photos of our races) the photo below is a good representation of our starting line, with the moving boats all hitting the line just as the five minute timer ran down to 0.00.
 

And the Graham and Catey Hale boat was over the line and had to start over. But again, due to the weird wind, the Hales suffered nearly no time penalty, somehow making it around the Committee Boat and back to the starting line before the rest of us had made any progress at all.   OK sailors, now we have to duplicate that start in a heavier wind.

After the race,  Wayne Truex commented that we were actually beginning to look like sailboat racers out there!   Whoa!  By the way, Wayne was able to accurately describe the good and not-so-good maneuvers made by various captains as observed from his vantage point on shore.  Maybe Wayne is the guy to send out “tweets” of the race.  At any rate, you might consider asking him for a critique of your race strategy at the protest meetings.   Although slow at times due to the wind, this race was far better than the four-wheeled one held by landlubbers about an hour north.

In the first race, the “Memorial Day Trophy Race”,  Tom Jennings and Kevin Preuss finished way ahead of everyone else on a handicapped basis, with Tom beating Kevin in the Laser class.  Despite their new,  less advantageous handicap (due to a great season in 2012), Jim Riffle and crew Arlene Truex finished first in the International class followed closely by John Auld and crew(!) Bob Orben.

In the second race Kevin Preuss was able to eke out a razor-thin victory over Tom Jennings in the Laser class.  But on a handicapped basis Lance Snider’s brother Kent, with Lance as crew, whipped the entire fleet including the Lasers with a handicapped time of 38.76 minutes vs.  the Lasers at about 43.5 minutes.  Kent and Lance had Kent’s young son on board blowing at the sail for extra speed (its allowed).   Tom Schroeder and rookie crew Josh Gray were not too far behind the Lasers on a handicapped basis at 44.4 minutes.

Thanks to Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting the Protest Meeting after the race –indoor this time due to rain.  Thanks also to Kevin Preuss for setting up and taking down the race course, and for assistance by Tom Schroeder for set-up and by Wayne Truex and Jim and Mimi Riffle for take-down. 

The overall handicapped finish order of the first (trophy) race was as follows,
from first to 7th:  Tom Jennings, Kevin Preuss, Jim Riffle/ Arlene Truex, John Auld/Bob Orben, Catey Hale/Graham Hale, Tom Schroeder/Josh Gray, Lance Snider/Kent Snider & Son.

The overall handicapped finish order of the second race was as follows, from first to7th:  Kent Snider & Son/Lance Snider, Kevin Preuss, Tom Jennings, Tom Schroeder/Josh Gray, Graham Hale/Catey Hale, John Auld/Bob Orben, Jim Riffle/ Arlene Truex. 

The next race is scheduled for June 9th.  Jim Riffle has kindly agreed to act as race chairman. We need some help for this race.  Sailors, please consider volunteering to help John Auld set-up or take down the race.  Readers, please consider spending a few hours experiencing the race from the Committee Boat and helping Mimi by performing a task or two.  Thanks!