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Sunday, June 23, 2013

June 23rd RACE REPORT

Photos courtesy of  Jack and Sandi Miller.

You can do it too you know.  We welcomed another new sailor, and three more Committee Boat volunteers at the July 23rd race.  Come on over to the nautical side and sail or serve on the Committee Boat.  Donna Mount   and Steve and Gretchen Fisher volunteered for the first time.
Donna gets ready to wave start flag
And Nick Gall joined us for his first GYC race, doing a fine job as crew for brother John winning first place in the International class in the first race.  


Tom checks in with Gretchen and Steve just before Gretchen waves the 5-minutes-to-start flag
Along with their brother Jackson we are living the early years of the Brothers Gall racing dynasty.

Racing conditions were nearly ideal, with a good wind, but shifty enough to make things quite interesting.   At the last race John Auld and Paul Hass made a noble, but unsuccessful attempt to jack hammer us out of our multi-year, “marks-to port” rut.  Yes, we’ve had a leftward, counterclockwise racing habit.    Lance Snider and Jim Voelz set up the course for this race, and also made a clockwise (marks-to-starboard) attempt by posting the green (rather than red) flag. This time we stopped fighting it, and raced marks-to-starboard (clockwise).   And you know, it was a surprisingly good experience – we should do it again sometime! Chuckle you may, but we are more flexible than the Indy Racing League.    Thanks Lance and Jim for setting up the course - it was a good one!

Our Committee Boat heroes, Jack and Sandi Miller, Steve and Gretchen Fisher and Donna Mount did a fine job and made an enjoyable afternoon of racing possible. They even took down the race course!  We are very grateful to them.    At least one sailor reported that the volunteers on the Committee Boat appeared to be having way too much fun.
John and Paul receive encouragement from Committe Boat

Jack counts down the minutes-to-start

In the Laser class in the first race Tom Jennings and Jim Voelz were in a tight race, way out in front of the rest of the ten boat fleet, most of which succumbed to the trick played on them by the Grandview wind gremlin at the first mark (described later). 
Voelz (left) and Jennings neck-and-neck
Jim was just a little bit ahead for most of the race, but as they approached the third mark, Tom started covering Jim’s wind, slowing him down.  
Jennings edges out Voelz
Then a big roller (wave) hit Jim.  The combination of the wave and Jim’s angle to the wind slowed him down, but not Tom who had a different angle to the wind.  So Tom was able to get and stay ahead winning the first race. 
Jim prepares to go under the "limbo stick", winning the second race.
But alas, Tom had particularly bad luck in the second race, getting caught up in the first mark melee, resulting in an uncharacteristic finish in the second half of the fleet.   Kevin Preuss on the other hand gave Jim Voelz some excellent competition in the second race and finished just half a minute behind Jim.

The first mark (in sailing, a “mark” refers not to the target of surveillance, but to the buoy “marking” a turn) was troublesome in both races.  In the first race, our Grandview wind gremlin decided that it would blow consistently and predictably for the first four racers rounding the mark.   The others, following very closely behind would have the rug suddenly pulled out from under them as the wind died and shifted.  This required multiple tacks to alter the now-inappropriate courses those competitors were sailing, and generated lots of “nautical talk”.   Like it or lump it, this is all a part of sailboat racing, and had the last six sailors been just a little bit faster getting to the mark, they too would have enjoyed a better wind.

So that is exactly what we did in the second race.  After an excellent start, hitting the starting line just as the starting horn was blown, we all got to the first mark at the same time, but approaching from different angles. 
All boats converge on the first mark from different angles
And then...pandemonium ensued.  Some made it through the congestion unscathed, but the wind then died again, and the rest were stuck uncomfortably close to each other, and when the wind picked up there was plenty of “contact” and a protest-rich environment.  But alas, no protests, probably because everyone knew there was nothing anyone could have done to avoid the situation and one protest would have triggered many more, and who would want to untangle that mess? And although John Sohn was ready to officiate at the protest meeting, we had to give him the afternoon off.

Bianca and Lance sneak up on Jennings
And in a separate incident, Bianca and Lance Snider had been far behind Tom Jennings.  But unbeknownst to Tom, they caught a favorable wind, took a risk sailing a dead-straight course, and snuck up on him.  As they rounded the mark they stealthily got between Tom and the mark. When Tom turned he made contact with the Sniders.  Well HELLO there!  Not knowing who was at fault, they performed a square-dance maneuver known as a “dosido”; they BOTH did 720 degree penalty turns, and resumed racing. 

Before we get to the “International Class” a quick pitch: We need Committee Boat volunteers for Sunday, July 7th– see schedule in the “port” column.  Otherwise, the aforementioned Tom Jennings will have to serve on theCommittee boat instead of sailing.   A few weeks later, we also need help for July 21st.  Let us know which date you can help out. Volunteering for just one race per season is a big help to us.  We’ll train you, and you’ll have a very enjoyable time, just like Jack Miller and Steve Fisher shown here.
Just another relaxing afternoon on the Committee Boat
We are especially in need of those who can maneuver a pontoon boat and hoist an anchor.  By and large, the time commitment for most races is a little over two hours.

In the International Class John and Nick Gall in the Truex Y-Flyer, and Jim Riffle and Arlene Truex in the Hobie catamaran (that’s the one with the multicolored sails) were among the first four boats  the wind gremlin allowed through the first mark in a timely manner. 
It was very, very close, but John and Nick beat Jim and Arlene by eighteen seconds on a handicapped basis. 
The Brothers Gall (left) gain on Riffle/Truex
Without the handicap, Jim and Arlene actually finished ahead of John and Nick (just rubbing it in). The rest of the International fleet was way behind with Peggy Voelz finishing third, followed by Tom Schroeder, Bianca & Lance Snider, John Auld and Paul Haas (John and Paul having been distracted by remarks flung from the Committee boat), and Laura Garrett.    

In the second race a different set of racers were favored at the first mark, explaining at least part of the International class results, with Jim Riffle and Arlene Truex finishing first, John Auld and Paul Haas second, and Tom Schroeder third.  They were followed by John and Nick Gall, Peggy Voelz, Bianca and Lance Snider, and Laura Garrett.

The protest meeting was very well attended, and the wide variety of snacks pitched in resulted in no need for dinner.  Right?    Thanks very much to Wayne and Arlene for hosting us again at “Race Central”.

The next race is scheduled for Sunday July 7th.  Please help Tom Jennings Mimi Riffle and Beth Auld out by reserving your seat on the Committee Boat by contacting Committee Boat chair, Beth Auld.  Tom Jennings will be Race Chairman for that race, and racers will receive a reminder the week prior to the race.

For those interested in the overall race results if we handicapped all of the boats, they were as follows: First Race: 1st Tom Jennings, 2nd Jim Voelz, 3rd John & Nick Gall, 4th Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex, 5th Kevin Preuss, 6th Peggy Voelz, 7th Tom Schroeder/Mike Molar, 8th Bianca & Lance Snider, 9th John Auld/Paul Hass, 10th Laura Garrett.
Second Race:  1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Kevin Preuss, 3rd, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex, 4th John Auld/Paul Hass, 5th Tom Schroeder/Brad Bicuspid, 6th, John & Nick Gall, 7th Peggy Voelz, 8th Tom Jennings, 9th Bianca & Lance Snider, 10th Laura Garrett.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

June 9th RACE REPORT: A fine race by and large

Another race and two more first-timers to welcome to the nautical side of the Yacht Club!  Tracey Day volunteered for the first time on the Committee Boat, and Laura Garrett joined us for her first GYC race as captain of her Butterfly sailboat.  In her first race she  finished in the top three along with her Dad, Jim Voelz and her Mom, Peggy Voelz.  The dynasty continues!  Welcome Tracey and Laura!   And in other sailor-related headline news, Jackson Gall’s next race with us will be as a married man.  Congratulations Jackson!

Steely-nerved Race Chairman Jim Riffle was faced with making a race-or-cancel decision with nary a wisp of wind evident on the lake.  Figuring the approaching storms would have some wind ahead of them,  Jim confidently decided to "go for it".  Although the first race was, by and large, a bit of a yawner, the wind showed up as Jim expected, making for a good second race.   Thanks to Jim for his fine work!

We are very grateful to our Committee Boat heroes, Beth Auld, Tracey Day, and Mimi Riffle for making this race possible – we couldn’t have raced without them!    Tracey got into the spirit immediately by contributing the following bit of trivia:  Like many commonly used phrases, the familiar “by-and-large” was actually a nautical expression for being able sail into (‘”by”) the wind, and with the wind (“large” as in large sails).   For more see http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/by-and-large.html  .   How it morphed into its present meaning is anyone’s guess.

John Auld, assisted by Paul Hass and Beth Auld set up and took down the race markers.  Thanks!   And thanks to Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting the Protest Meeting after the race.

We continue to need and welcome volunteers for all future races – see schedule in the “port” column.  Let us know which date you can help out. Volunteering for just one race per season is a big help to us.  We’ll train you, 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.  By and large, the time commitment for most races is a little over two hours. 

In the first race the Voelz dynasty swept the first three finishing spots with Jim finishing first, Peggy finishing second, and Laura finishing third (as a sign of respect to Mom and Dad no doubt) on an overall, handicapped basis.  Jim was sailing the only Laser, winning his class.  The International class consists of many types of boats and is handicapped accordingly.   Peggy and Laura finished first and second in that class, followed by John Gall/Jackson Gall, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex, John Auld/Paul Hass (they stayed upright fulfilling their resolution) and Riley Leonard. 

A better wind showed up for the second race making for faster times and a far different result.  Peggy Voelz finished well ahead of all other racers on a handicapped basis.  The next, fastest sailor was Riley Leonard then Jim Voelz.  Peggy and Riley were first and second in the International class, followed in order on a handicapped basis by  Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex, John Auld/Paul Hass, Jackson Gall/John Gall, and Laura Garrett.  Quite a difference in finishing order from the first race,  by and large. Again, Jim Voelz won the Laser class.
The next race is scheduled for Sunday June 23rd.  Reserve your seat on the Committee Boat by contacting Committee Boat chairperson, Beth Auld.  And if you need a crew or a captain to crew for, let Race Chair Tom Schroeder know ASAP.