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Sunday, August 18, 2013

AUGUST 18TH RACE REPORT

We had a mysterious (and polite) visitor from a faraway land, resolution to some troubling questions from the last race, a new revelation related to the “high five syndrome" exposed in the last report, more limbo,  two (!!!) Sunfish sailboats, a very pleasant day for  committee boat volunteers and sailors,  race results that could have been predicted by “body language”,  and a new sailing tip involving aggravation.   Fortunately for you,  we have great pictures by Committee Boat volunteer Tricia Zachidny that will save many words (so keep those pictures coming!).  We also received positive feedback on having appropriate background music for reading the blog, so we'll have some of that for you as well.

Before we get to unfinished business from the last race, we want to thank our Committee Boat volunteers for a really great job.  Thank you Beth Auld, Bonnie Hicks, Bob Orben, Mimi Riffle and Tricia Zachidny!  Also, thanks to David and Tracey Day for spotting and returning some race-related gear.   Jim Voelz set up a good course, assisted by Ben Hicks who volunteered to help and learn.  And finally, we extend our best wishes to Maura Leonard, who had volunteered to help out on the Committee boat, but had family members involved in a car accident the night before and was helping them out.  We hope everyone recovers quickly and well.

From the August 4th race report you will remember that we had some questions about some artwork sketched by the committee boat on the scoring sheet:

Question for our Committee Boat artist: Is this a) a woman with long hair whose upper body has been thrown backward by the rocking of the committee boat, b) a volunteer vomiting due to seasickness,  or c) a volunteer going under the "limbo stick"?  (the limbo stick seems to be becoming a recurring theme)
We learned at this week's protest meeting that the artist was Sandi Miller, who was feeling a little woozy from the rocking of the waves that day, which makes option "b" above the correct answer. 

You may also remember that we showed a pair of pictures (below) showing how Wayne and Arlene Truex righted the capsized Y-Flyer, and we were wondering about Wayne's well-being in this procedure:
Arlene secures the line in the ski boat after Wayne positions it properly on the Hobie.  That's Wayne, high and dry, standing on the pontoon in the water.  Earlier, Arlene fell from the "skyward" pontoon - wheeee!

OK Arlene! Gun it!  No, Wait! Where's Wayne?
 In the second photo we wondered “Where’s Wayne?” When asked at this week's protest meeting, Wayne nonchalantly commented that he remained standing on the seaward pontoon  as Arlene expertly applied just the right amount of throttle on the ski boat.  As the Hobie slowly turned mast-to-sky, Wayne said he merely “entered the water” (notice he is fully clothed in long sleeves, long pants and a nice hat).   “No big deal, what did you think would happen?", he asked.   Okay then! 

And to finish the unfinished business: There was another previously unreported  2013 victim of “high five syndrome” the consequences of which are quick and sudden capsize.  The victim is none other than Kevin Preuss.  Kevin revealed that in the July 28th race, after beating Tom Jennings for 2nd place, he became "celebratory", let down his guard and received an unwelcome visit from the ever-vigilant Grandview wind gremlin and SMACK! suddenly found himself in the water.   

On to this weeks’ race:  OK, after turning your computer's volume down a bit, you will want to start the background music now by clicking here and then coming back to this window on your browser while the music plays.

The wind was just like the last few races and we’ll spare you the disparaging description other than the fact that even after handicapping for boat speed, the last-place finisher took well over twice as long to finish as the first-place finisher.  To be fair though, we don’t handicap for attitude. Yet.  And from here on in we’ll let Tricia’s pictures narrate the race with a little help from that background music which is Jimmy Buffet's "Changes in Lattitudes, Changes in Attitudes":

The attitude we all wish for:  Jim seems satisfied after finishing more than five minutes ahead of the second place boat in the first race.  Careful Jim, this is when “high five syndrome” strikes!
The determined attitude:  Catey Hale and John Auld are focused on the finish line.
  And they finished well, taking 1st place in the International Class.
The laid-back attitude:  The most comfortable boat in the fleet,  with a recliner-like cockpit .  How did they do in the race? Well........

We had two Sunfish sailboats with us, for this race.  If you have a Sunfish in the shed, dust it off and come out and sail with us!  Or lend it to someone who will.


Ben and Eileen gave it a go, but alas some rudder difficulties caused them to abandon the race.  We hope they are back for the next race.
Graham Hale (left) is joined by Nicholas, the Hale’s foreign exchange student from France.  Nicholas told Graham that in France, it is considered proper etiquette for sailboat racers to bow to the Committee Boat volunteers upon crossing the finish line.  And so they stood up and did, to the delight of the volunteers!


John and Jack Gall do not realize that they are about to be passed prior to crossing the finish line.
Jim and Arlene in the colorful Hobie catamaran snuck up on the brothers Gall beating them to the finish line by one second.  But applying the handicap, the brothers Gall beat them.

Here you see Riley (who did well in both races – way to go Riley!) about four or five feet ahead of Tom and Bob just before the finish line (the orange pole).  The wind had died, but Riley had some residual boat speed, while Tom and Bob had no boat speed whatsoever.  So.......

Thirty seconds later (!),  with Riley long gone, Tom and Bob finally cross the finish line.  "If we couldn't laugh we'd all go insane!"
We had quite a gathering at the protest meeting with our numbers again being the trigger for lower-deck status of the many seating options at the Truexs'.  Bob Orben gave away one of his sailing secrets by advising John Gall within earshot of others that with the constantly shifting winds at Grandview you need to “aggravate the sail”.  If I understand this correctly this means you have to regularly try pointing the boat just a little closer to the wind to see if a wind shift has occurred that will permit you to sail a better course than you previously thought was possible.  I think this may also be known as “pinching” (which is also aggravating, so that would make sense).  Have I got this right Bob?   Anyway it was one of those gatherings that can occur only at a special place with special people - Grandview Lake.

Race Results
Laser Class:  Jim Voelz  sailed the only Laser, thus winning both races in his class. And had we handicapped him he would have come in first versus all boats in the International Class (the rest of the fleet).  
International Class after applying handicaps:
1st Race:   Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 1st, John Auld/Catey Hale 2nd, Peggy Voelz 3rd, Jackson Gall/John Gall 4th, Riley Leonard 5th, Laura Garret 6th, Graham Hale/Nicholas 7th, Tom Schroeder/Bob Zachidny 8th.

2nd Race: Peggy Voelz 1st, Catey Hale/John Auld 2nd, John Gall/Jackson Gall 3rd, Riley Leonard 5th, Graham Hale/Nicholas 6th, Tom Schroeder/Bob Zachidny 7th, Laura Garrett 8th.

Our final race is Sunday September 1st at 2pm.  Come sail with us!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

AUGUST 4TH RACE REPORT

You will have a more enjoyable read of this post if you first start the specially chosen YouTube music which will open up in a separate window when you click here. Then come back to this window, turn the volume down to background level, and you'll get into the right mood.

We had wind, a capsize of significance, a gourmet protest meeting, and more.  And we have pictures courtesy of Jack and Sandi Miller, who along with Mimi Riffle and Steve and Gretchen Fisher, were our committee boat heroes to whom we are thankful.  Our volunteers did register a protest.  Seems they wished we hadn’t positioned them where all the motorboat wakes converged, causing them to “bob like wobbly weebles” as stated in their protest. And they drew a stick figure (below)  to demonstrate what it felt like.  It raises some interesting questions.  They can thank, as we sailors sincerely do, John Gall and Jim Voelz for setting up a good course for us.   We’ll be looking into a portable breakwater in the off-season.
Question for our Committee Boat artist: Is this a) a woman with long hair whose upper body has been thrown backward by the rocking of the committee boat, b) a volunteer vomiting due to seasickness,  or c) a volunteer going under the "limbo stick"?  (the limbo stick seems to be becoming a recurring theme)


Hey, by the way, we know you've been meaning to get on the Committee Boat at least once this season and enjoy the best spot on the lake.  Well, there are only two races left, and you'll probably be busy for the last one on Labor Day weekend.  And it will be a long off-season  And guess what?  We are in need of some help for the next race since Mimi Riffle and Bob Orben are the only ones signed up at this point.   So Carpe Diem!  You'll enjoy the fun!  Please contact our Committee Boat Chairperson, Beth Auld at 407-5080 (that would be with a 317 area code) to volunteer.  No experience necessary.  We'll appreciate the help and will add you to our honor roll of volunteers (see "port" column).
Mimi keeps her footing on the rocky Committee Boat

For this report, a primer on a few key nautical terms to look for:   "Leeward" (pronounced leward), means downwind; "Skyward" means toward the sky; "Main Sheet" means the line that controls the main sail and;   "Helm" means the position in the boat where the tiller and usually the main sheet are operated, essentially controlling the direction of the boat. Got it?

Ben Hicks had his first full race as captain.   He crewed for John Gall, who decided to accelerate Ben’s learning curve by turning the helm over to him in the 2nd race.  Our scoring system encourages this, so John will receive the same number of points for the second race as if he had been captain.  Kudos to both of you guys.  By the way, if you have a two-person sailboat that Ben can borrow for the next race, please let us know by leaving a comment.  There is a comment icon at the bottom of this post that you can click on, and we'll get it, and I'll put you in touch with Ben.
 
The Grandview wind was its devilish self, but at least it attended the race and made things interesting.  That is the best that can be said about it if one is not going to say something nice.   And most of us did have some salty words for the wind, including Jim Riffle and Arlene Truex.   Seems they fell victim to “high five syndrome” after a huge win over all other boats, including the Lasers in the second race.  Right after they passed the finish line, knowing they had bested everyone, they let their guard down just for a split second. Had they not been so satisfied with themselves, the demon wind might not have been so tempted.  But there they were, really pleased with the race.  Jim still had the main sheet cleated in, and was sitting on the leeward side of the boat.  Awe c’mon how could the wind resist?   And especially after it had a trophy-winning success in an identical situation last season, toying with John Auld and Paul Hass!  A well-timed purely evil tempest swatted the ample square footage of the very tall sailed 18-foot Hobie catamaran.   Arlene found herself on the skyward side of the very wide catamaran as it quickly turned over.  She had not fastened the tether we gave her after last year’s dunking, so she fell to the water from on high.   Mono-hulled boats are usually relatively easy for the crew to get back upright provided the mast is floating on the water, but it’s much more difficult with a catamaran.  And on days with such unpredictable gusts, fellow sailors cannot really assist a capsized boat because they have their hands full trying to control their own boats.  But Lance and Bianca Snider in their stable AMF Sunbird knew just how to handle the situation.   They quickly dropped their jib and eased up to the tip of the horizontal mast of the Hobie, and lifted it out of the water and rested it on their hull.  This was to keep the mast from sinking and the boat from turtling.  Wayne Truex, watching from shore came out in the ski boat.  Arlene then captained the ski boat while Wayne hopped on the Hobie, and attached a line going over the skyward pontoon to the ski boat and had Arlene apply just the right amount of throttle.  And there you go.   Well done everyone!  And thanks to the other boaters and the Safety Patrol who gathered around, picked up the sailors and were willing to help in any way they could.
Arlene secures the line in the ski boat after Wayne positions it properly on the Hobie.  That's Wayne, high and dry, standing on the pontoon in the water.  Earlier, Arlene fell from the "skyward" pontoon - wheeee!

OK Arlene! Gun it!  No, Wait! Where's Wayne?
OK the music probably stopped by now, and you really need it for the rest of the post.  So restart it by clicking here, then come back to this window and read the exciting race results.

 First Race
The start of the first race was a real let-down.  A brisk wind had us all prepared for an exciting start, and then lost most of its velocity.  We are not sure if it was the wind or what, but Riley Leonard started the race backwards.  With the exception of the Hobie, most of the other nine boats were making good progress approaching the first mark, with five boats just a little bit ahead of the others, maybe by thirty seconds or so.   The wind then played favorites and if you weren’t one of those five boats, you were toast for the rest of the race and would finish ten to twenty (!)  minutes behind the first five.   Nonetheless skill certainly had its place in the finishing order.  The Hobie, just a wee bit behind everyone else at the start,  found no wind and Jim and Arlene sat motionless for some time while the rest of the fleet were at least making some progress.  They finished last. Surely this rotten start was intended to add to their eventual glee, helping induce “high five syndrome” upon finishing first in the next race.  What a setup.
Steve gets us off to a good start in the second race
First Race Laser Class:
Tom Jennings edged out Jim Voelz by about 13 seconds, followed closely by Kevin Preuss.

First Race International Class:
The Y-Flyers were among the five non-toasted boats (the others being the Lasers) to make it quickly around that first mark and finish well.  So John Auld/Catey Hale and John Gall/Ben Hicks finished first and second respectively.    They were followed much later (on a handicapped basis) by: Bianca/Lance Snider 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th, Tom Schroeder 5th, Laura Garrett 6th, and Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 7th.
If you handicapped all boats, the Lasers finished 1st, 2nd and 3rd in the order shown above, followed by the International Class boats in their order shown above.
Jim be nimble, Jim be quick, Jim go unda limbo stick!

Second Race
There was no wind at the start of the second race and we were all on top of one another.  Jim Voelz went over the starting line before the starting horn, so had to start over.   Then, like the first race we were scattered all over with the longest finishing time nearly twice that of the shortest.

Second Race Laser Class:
Jim Voelz 1st, finished about thirty seconds ahead of Tom Jennings 2nd, despite having to re-start.  Kevin Preuss finished 3rd.  Had a handicap been applied to the Lasers, a few International Class boats beat them all (see way below).
Jim prepares to pass his entire boat under the limbo stick!

Second Race International Class:
Quite a difference in finishing order:  Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex came in first in this race instead of last as in the prior (high five!).  Catey Hale/John Auld 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, Ben Hicks/John Gall 5th, Bianca/Lance Snider 6th, Riley Leonard 7th.
But Andy Jennings is the champion at limbo!  THIS is how its done!

If all boats were applied their handicaps, the order would be as follows:  Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 1st (double high five!), Catey Hale/John Auld 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd, Tom Jennings 4th, Laura Garret 5th, Kevin Preuss 6th, Tom Schroeder 7th, Ben Hicks/John Gall 8th, Bianca/Lance Snider 9th, Riley Leonard 10th.

Protest Meeting
The protest meeting achieved the “lower deck” threshold (If there is a real crowd we sit down below since there is more room).  And there were truly gourmet fixings to be enjoyed.  Should we worry about the “bar being raised” too high?  Naaaah.  It was a great time as usual. 
Arlene shows Tom Jennings what it feels like to get plucked out of the water.  No, actually this was part of a discussion on what happens when the boom swings to the other side of the boat and the main sheet hardware catches on the top of your life jacket while you are ducking.  See to be a good sailor, you really do have to be a limbo star!  How loooowwww can YOU goooooooo? 

We were delighted to have John Sohn (and Petey) join us again, though there was no protest for him to arbitrate other than that shared by our fine committee boat volunteers.  Thanks for hosting Wayne and Arlene!