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Sunday, June 29, 2014

JUNE 29 RACE REPORT

(photos courtesy of Jack and Sandi Miller)

We tied our largest turnout of sailboats in Wayne Truex’s memory (eleven boats, and it happened also in August of 2012). Ross Kunkler skippered his first sailing race and did very well.  We welcomed back Jackson Gall and Brad Stinebring.  And things may be getting a little decadent at the Grandview Yacht Club, what with a co-ed community shower prior to the race, a gourmet meal aboard the Committee boat, and a generous donation.  We also had some exciting action at the finish line, and took a brief dive into a rule-book conundrum and threw up our hands.

OK, the “co-ed” shower was just a brief but heavy rain, and our Committee Boat volunteers got just as soaked as the rest of us.  Thanks to volunteers Steve and Gretchen Fisher, Jack and Sandi Miller, Donna Mount and Mimi Riffle.  Kudos to them for calmly sizing up the rain situation and not cancelling the race in a knee-jerk fashion when the downpour began and the winds got a little gusty. There was no thunder or lightning, and it was pretty clear it was just a squall.  They also did a good job of protecting the decadent gourmet lunch Gretchen had prepared for the group.  And they enjoyed the luxury of a brand new, big, vinyl-coated anchor donated by Jim and Peggy Voelz after Jim’s experience on the Committee Boat at the last race.  Thanks very much Jim and Peggy!  Yeah, things are getting pretty cushy on the Committee Boat these days!  But our fine group went above and beyond the call by hauling in all of the race markers after the race.
Our volunteers take down the markers.  It "takes a village' to conduct a sailing race
  
Thanks to Kevin Preuss and Jim Voelz for setting up a fine course with the start/finish line well away from the power boat traffic.

In his first and second races as skipper, Ross Kunkler took the helm of the Schroeder JY-15, finishing with a very respectable 3rd out of 6 boats in his class in the first race.  According to our scoring system, captains that turn the helm of their boat over to their crew earn the same number of points as if they had captained the boat themselves.  So Ross may not have realized it, but he was actually doing that particular boat owner a favor with his fine debut as skipper. And in only her 4th race as a skipper, rookie Sherri Agnew finished 2nd place in her class of 7 boats and beat the other 2 Butterfly sailboats that are also part of the “International Class”.  In his first time at the helm this season, and with little sleep after  handling the late shift at the E.R., John Gall, with returning crew, Jack Gall, came in 2nd out of 6 in the “International Class” in the first race, and beat the other Y-Flyer and reigning champion John Auld and crew Paul Hass. Jack took the helm for the first time this season in the second race. And finally, Brad Stinebring returned to the Laser class after a year off, finishing 4th overall on a handicapped basis out of the fleet of 11 boats in the first race, looking very relaxed, evoking to some, images of former GYC great, Dave Brown.  So it appears there will continue to be plenty of competition in Grandview sailing to keep things lively.

The first race was a snoozer for an on-looker with a low-to-no wind situation following the pre-race dousing.   For the most part, the finishing times were pretty tight on a handicapped basis though.
Laura tries to squeeze speed out of very little wind.  Jim and Arlene are behind her in the Hobie Cat.
For the sailors, it is just as much, if not more work, since low-wind sailing requires constant vigilance and optimizing.
The fleet heads for first mark. Riffle/Truex in catamaran in foreground

The second race was more exciting with a much better wind, and boats finishing in half the elapsed time.  At the protest meeting, eyewitnesses said that about three boats got in the path of the Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex catamaran which had the right of way, causing Jim to alter their course (at Arlene’s urging).  No protest was made, but could well have been successful if pursued.  Nevertheless Riffle/Truex finished first in their class. 
Start of 2nd Race: Jim Voelz (right) and Sherri Agnew (left) foreground
At the finish line, Sherri Agnew was hiked out to the maximum trying not to have to make a final tack.  She nearly went over, but kept the boat upright, and the committee boat and those nearby erupted into cheers.    Shortly thereafter, Peggy Voelz and daughter Laura, both just a wee bit competitive, were in a photo-finish, just like in the race two weeks ago. Peggy prevailed again, but we hope Laura keeps the pressure on.
Heading for 1st mark in 2nd race (more wind). Brothers Gall in foreground attempting to catch Auld/Hass in yellow boat. Sherri on right, Brad on left.

We enjoyed a fine protest meeting at the Truex's.  Thanks Wayne and Arlene!  We discussed a situation that occurred at a mark with the Riffle/Truex boat and the Jim Voelz boat.  The question was who had the right-of-way when they both turned.  We won’t bore you with the details involving Rule 13 and rule 18.3, but the rule book gave unclear guidance for this particular situation.  We were quite pleased there was no protest upon which a ruling would have to have been made and argued over.  Maybe next time.


Race results were as follows:
1st Race, Laser Class
Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Brad Stinebring 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th
1st Race,  International Class on handicapped basis:
Peggy Voelz 1st , John & Jack Gall 2nd, Ross Kunkler/Tom Schroeder 3rd, Sherri Agnew 4th, John Auld/Paul Hass 5th, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 6th
1st Race,  Overall (not for scoring) on  handicapped basis:
Peggy Voelz 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Brad Stinebring 4th, The Brothers Gall 5th, Kunkler/Schroeder 6th, Sherri Agnew 7th, Auld/Hass 8th, Kevin Preuss 9th, Riffle/Truex 10th.
2nd Race, Laser Class
Jim Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Tom Jennings  3rd
2nd Race,  International Class on handicapped basis:
Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 1st, Sherri Agnew 2nd, Peggy Voelz 3rd, Laura Garret 4th, Kunkler/Schroeder 5th, Auld/Hass 6th, The Brothers Gall 7th,
2nd Race,  Overall (not for scoring) on  handicapped basis:
Jim  Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Riffle/Truex 3rd, Tom Jennings 4th, Sherri Agnew 5th, Peggy Voelz 6th, Laura Garrett 7th, Kunkler/Schroeder 8th, Auld/Hass 9th, The Brothers Gall 10th.
 
The next race is July 13th and is a “trophy race”.  We don’t race on holiday weekends anymore, but this will be for the historic “July 4th trophy”.   In the meantime we hope to see you at the various functions over the Independence Day weekend.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

JUNE 15TH RACE REPORT

Old English proverb: "A smooth sea never made a skillful sailor”.  This stiff-winded race either honed or demonstrated the skills of our sailors, who were skillful enough to stay upright… or mostly so.  We welcomed back some sailors we’ve not seen in a while, Sherri Agnew christened her new sailboat without capsizing, and we have a candidate for the “Good Samaritan” award.

Thanks to Jim Voelz and Dick Pitman for setting up and taking down the race course.  And to our wonderful Committee Boat volunteers Beth Auld, Maura Leonard, Mimi Riffle and Jim Voelz.
Welcome back to Dick Pitman and John Gall.  The two doctors teamed up to give Dick’s Y-Flyer a great shakedown race after its 2-year absence, and they did really well!  As anticipated, rookie sailor Sherri Agnew was sailing her brand new Butterfly sailboat.  Considering the conditions, it was really quite an accomplishment that she did not capsize as she learned about her new boat’s limits while also skippering her first race which can be a little bit of sensory overload especially in high winds – well done!  

Lasers are very responsive sailboats, with the trade off that they also tend to respond to sudden wind gusts by attempting to capsize unless the skipper has lightning-fast reflexes.  So considering the winds, it was impressive that Riley Leonard, in only his second race in his Laser, only capsized once and recovered handily.  Well done Riley!  The rest of our Laser sailors were “Ghost Sailors” for this race: They were either out of town, or on committee boat duty, or had Father’s Day commitments, but all wished they could be racing instead. This included Chris Braun who watched the race with his guests from his pontoon boat, disappointed that parts for his new Laser haven’t arrived yet – it would have been quite a fun first Grandview race for him.   Just to make sure you keep our lingo straight, a “Ghost Sailor” doesn’t race, but “sure wishes they could”; A “Mystery Sailor” doesn’t let us know ahead of time they will be racing, but just shows up, and of course, is always welcome.  Anyway as the only Laser sailor, Riley picks up some points relative to the others, coming in first place in the Laser class.  That being said, from a scoring standpoint, the best time to miss a race is when many of those in your class are also absent.  So seven of our eight Laser sailors were fortunate in the timing of their absences.

Laura Garret capsized as we waited for the start of the second race while the Committee Boat struggled to get its anchors to hold.  She was having trouble righting the craft, so Paul Hass, aboard the John Auld Y-flyer jumped in and helped her out.  Thanks Paul and John!   Laura did quite well in both races, and in fact missed third place in the first race by only two-hundredths of a second behind Dr.s Pitman and Gall, and took 3rd place in the second race.  Laura and Riley were both recipients of coaching from Jim Voelz from the Committee Boat.

Peggy Voelz won both International Class races in a fine performance. Although it would have been nullified by a disqualification, the two Y-flyers, each with experienced sailors, had quite a close battle in the second race, finishing within thirteen seconds of each other.  Final maneuvers approaching the finish line made the difference.  John Auld feels their last strategic tack won the race for him, but Dick Pitman thinks he would have won had he not mishandled his tiller extension, fouling his main sheet in it in the process.  His claim is based on the wind having just provided him a “header”  that would have provided his boat with a shorter distance to the finish than Auld’s boat. Nevertheless, the fact that Pitman/Gall touched the third mark without taking a penalty turn (as confessed at the Protest meeting) disqualified them anyway.    

A small group gathered for the Protest Meeting on the Schroeder’s dock and enjoyed the breeze, cheese, fruit and lively re-living of the race.   Dick Pitman forthrightly spilled the beans about touching a mark, which resulted in his disqualification in the second race as mentioned above.

Race Results were as follows
1st Race Laser Class:
 Riley Leonard 1st.

1st Race International Class: 
Peggy Voelz 1st, John Auld/Paul Hass 2nd, Dick Pitman/John Gall 3rd, Laura Garrett 4th, Tom Schroeder/Moe Lar  5th, Bianca & Lance Snider 6th, Jim Riffle/Ross Kunkler 7th

1st Race Overall Results on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): Riley Leonard takes 6th, moving Sniders and Riffle/Kunkler down one place each.

2nd Race Laser Class:
 Riley Leonard 1st.

2nd Race International Class: 
Peggy Voelz 1st, John Auld/Paul Hass 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd, Tom Schroeder/Moe Lar  4th, Bianca & Lance Snider 5th, Sherri Agnew 6th Jim Riffle/Ross Kunkler 7th

2nd Race Overall Results on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): Riley Leonard takes 5th, moving Sniders, Agnew and Riffle/Kunkler down one place each.

Our next race is June 29th.   

Sunday, June 1, 2014

NO OOCHING! June 1 Race Report

(Photos courtesy of Dick Pitman)

Highlights of this very well attended race  included welcoming a new sailor, a miraculous come-from-behind win,  a protest denied, some interesting and humorous  rule-book lessons, and new nautical term – “ooching” (you are not supposed to ooch), a fun protest meeting with gourmet food,  and greeting  some of our sailors  for the first time since last fall.  Those are the highlights. The wind, however, was lousy (only during our race).

 

Sherri enjoys her first race
First, a welcome to our newest sailor, Sherri Agnew who will be sailing her new Butterfly sailboat.  This time though she crewed for Tom Schroeder  to learn the starting procedures, basic right-of-way rules, and  low-wind racing techniques such as when to call it quits and find a tow back to your dock.  We look forward to seeing Sherri in future races.

Many thanks to our volunteers!  The Committee boat was handled by Beth Auld, Ross Kunkler, and Bob Orben. 
Bob prepares race sheet while Beth and Ross wait for participants to check in
Beth readies racers for the start
Race set-up/take down was performed by Dick Pitman and Tom Schroeder.  We are also grateful for Wayne and Arlene Truex for being “race central” before the race and hosting the protest meeting at their home, which is the “home port” of the Grandview Yacht Club.  Oh yes, and Dick Pitman turned paparazzi and got some good photos.


The start was a crapshoot as far as strategy was concerned.  The variable, if even present wind gave no indication of its likely direction in the moments prior to the starting horn.  


A directionless start.  Which way to go?
Andy Jennings was over the line before the starting horn and had to return and restart.  Four boats, including Andy, chose to bear to the port side on their initial tack and soon found themselves in a very time consuming “dead spot” with no wind.  Meanwhile the other seven boats headed toward the starboard and had at least a little wind, but not much.  Andy Jennings somehow got ahead of the wind-starved three boats which were all trying to get to starboard with the others where the better wind appeared to be.  Andy however decided to keep his bearing, taking him far, far to the port of the first mark until it was almost ninety degrees to his starboard side, and he was actually near the second mark.  Then he changed his course and enjoyed a strong wind coming across the port side of his boat pushing him quickly toward that elusive first mark.  He now moved so fast that even with a much longer total distance to travel, he got to the first mark before all of the other ten boats, even the seven that were enjoying a little wind. 
Andy sneaking by Jim
Andy sneaking up on Arlene & Jim
Despite his need to re-start the race and an unlucky initial choice of bearing, Andy won the race based on that strong wind he somehow found and put to use.


The field of boats was very spread out because of the “dead spots”.   
2013 Champion John Auld & Paul Hass

Riley in his new Laser
Peggy and Kevin try to catch Jim

Captain Schroeder with first-time sailor Sherri Agnew sat without wind for so long between the first and second marks that Schroeder decided that since in last place anyway, he would forfeit that
While waiting for a tow, Tom entertains Sherri with almost true stories about the other sailors
position and accept Dick Pitman’s kind offer of a tow from the dam all the way back into the seventh addition inlet so that they would be able to return to take down the race course markers and still have a chance of joining the protest meeting.
Uh...excuse me.... I would gladly pay you Tuesday for towing me to my dock today...
Lance and Bianca Snider who were nearby, gutted it out, and finished the race when a bit of a wind came up just as Tom and Sherri were being towed.


***Warning to non-sailors.  You are about to be bored to tears.  If you are reading this to find out about "ooching" you can just skip to item "C" under the "Lessons" section down below.  And yeah, its worth it. You're welcome.***

It doesn't happen often enough, but there was a protest to be decided at the Protest Meeting.  One of the boats touched a turn marker flag and should have taken a 360 degree penalty turn before continuing with the race, but did not.  The perpetrating sailors touched a mark with their sail after having gotten past the mark successfully without touching it (at low speed),   but then were blown backward.    They assumed since they had initially gotten successfully around the mark, their subsequent touching of the mark did not require a penalty 360 degree turn. At the protest meeting, a small “race committee” was hastily deputized to give a ruling on this protest as well as answer a general question posed by a sailor about whether or not it is  allowed to “scull” the boat (move it forward by rapidly fanning the rudder from side to side).  The committee gathered the information that was available to them at the meeting (accounts given by the perpetrators; the protester was not present).  Then they disappeared around a corner for a “sidebar”.  As they were reading the rule book boisterous laughter could be heard at one point, followed by the sounds of more serious deliberations.  Commodore Tom Schroeder delivered the race committee’s ruling on matters as follows:


1. The protest for touching the mark was not valid because the perpetrators were not notified by the protesting sailor promptly enough for them to take action (a penalty turn).   Those who protest the actions of another boat must notify that boat immediately so that that boat’s sailors have a chance to take a penalty turn, etc.   The protester did eventually notify the perpetrators, but did not do so in timely enough a manner.  As required, the protester did notify the Committee Boat of his protest immediately after the race.    Being present at the protest meeting or otherwise delivering an account of the incident within two hours after the race is also required.  If either party is not at the protest meeting we rule based on the information gathered at the protest meeting.  If a party was not present at the meeting and is not in agreement, they may appeal the decision when notified of the outcome. In this particular case an appeal would be moot because of ruling #2 below.


2. Although the protest itself was not valid, the fact that the boat touched the mark, regardless of at what point in time, disqualified that boat because the sailors did not take a penalty turn before continuing with the race. 


LESSONS FROM THE RULE BOOK INCLUDING TOUCHING A MARK, “SCULLING”, “OOCHING”, ETC.


A. Until reading the rule book, even a couple of those on the “race committee” were unaware that it doesn’t matter when you touch any mark, you must take a penalty turn regardless.  Yes, even if you got around that mark at some point, or the mark you touch is not the mark you are to round next.  For instance, in this race Andy Jennings sailed very near the second mark on his way to the first mark just because of the bearing he chose.  Had he touched the second mark on his way to the first, he would have been required to take a penalty turn. 


B. In answer to the question about “sculling” and whether it is allowed:  The answer is that “sculling” defined as “repeated movement of the helm not necessary for steering” is prohibited.


C. During their full reading of the section describing “Prohibited Actions” (including sculling) the committee broke into raucous laughter when they discovered that “OOCHING” IS PROHIBITED.  “Ooching” is a nautical term and is defined as “sudden forward body movement, stopped abruptly”.  No kidding it is right there in the rule book in section 42.2(c).   Also humorous was that when Tom Jennings arrived and heard what we were laughing about, he said “Oh yeah, ooching, that’s in section 42”.  Now THAT is encyclopedic knowledge of the sailing rules!


As usual, we enjoyed some great munchies.  Then Lance and Bianca Snider arrived and broke out some just-prepared sizzling-hot gourmet roasted stuffed peppers along with some sushi.  A fine protest meeting indeed, and it broke up just before the thunderstorm we were happy not to be sailing through.    

Oh yes, and the race results are as follows:

Laser Class:

Andy Jennings 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Riley Leonard, 5th.


International Class: (handicapped results for all boats other than Lasers)

John Auld/Paul Hass 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd, Bianca & Lance Snider 4th


Overall handicapped results (not for scoring)

Andy Jennings 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, John Auld 5th, Peggy Voelz 6th, Laura Garrett 7th, Bianca & Riley Leonard 8th, Bianca & Lance Snider 9th.



Our next race is Sunday, June 15th at 2pm.  Committee Boat volunteers are needed.  New sailors and volunteers are welcome to join in.  Contact Tom Schroeder for more information.