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Sunday, July 27, 2014

SAILING TERMS "HEADER" AND "LIFT"

In a previous post, the term "header" was incorrectly defined. Credit to Catey Hale for catching the error.   Below is a correct definition of "header" and its opposite term "lift"

Header: a shift in true wind direction more forward on a boat’s sail plan, which makes the apparent wind stronger and more forward. Upwind, a header causes you to bear off and to point farther from the direct course to the windward mark. Downwind, a header has the same effect, which causes you to bear off and to point more directly at the leeward mark. If you are sailing upwind and want to point as close as possible to the windward mark, sail on lifts and tack on headers. If you are sailing downwind and want to sail tighter and faster down the rhumb line, sail on headers and jibe on lifts. A header usually arrives in a puff moving laterally across a boat’s course from forward of the prevailing wind direction; e.g., fewer than 45 degrees aft of a close-hauled sailing course. The opposite of a lift.

Lift:  a shift in true wind direction more aft on a boat’s sail plan, which makes the apparent wind lighter and more aft. Upwind, a lift allows a helmsman to head up or alter course to windward and point closer to the direct course to the windward mark. Downwind, a lift causes a helmsman to head up and point away from a direct course to the leeward mark. Upwind, sail on lifts and tack on headers so that you point as close as possible to the windward mark. Downwind, sail on headers and jibe on lifts so that you sail tighter and faster down the rhumb line. A lift usually arrives in a puff that moves laterally across a boat’s course aft of the prevailing wind direction; e.g., more than 45 degrees aft of a close-hauled sailing course. The opposite of a header.

JULY 27TH RACE REPORT "JOINT EFFORT"

The storms were punctual in their departure from the area prior to the race. The wind and a few sailors were fashionably late and not as strong as expected. And the Race Chairman, unlike The Weather Channel and Windmapper.com, was clairvoyant and calm (and also fashionably late).   A Joint Effort was unveiled at the protest meeting, and a sailor was informed he had no rights.

Our thanks to volunteer Committee Boat veterans Beth Auld, Donna Mount and Mimi Riffle for a superbly conducted pair of races that had been skillfully set up (and later dismantled ) by Jim and Peggy Voelz to whom we are also very grateful.

We were supposed to have 13 mph winds gusting to 23mph all morning and afternoon (those kinds of gusts are Laser-flippers), so our sailors were surprised to get out on the lake and find little if any wind.  Many had a hard time even getting out to the starting line in time.   As the rest of us sat there drifting as the heat increased, the crowd started getting a little surly (just a little).  There was talk of cancelling the race for lack of wind.  The Commodore deftly deferred to the Race Chairman when asked by the Committee Boat for a decision.  Dr. Preuss, recognizing this as a non-life/death decision,  calmly answered “patience”.   And lo! About a minute later,  ripples on the water from the west side of the lake swept toward us, and a fairly race-worthy wind showed up.  We had ourselves a race!  Unfortunately the wind never did live up to its forecasted strength, which would have been quite exciting.

Ever since Jim Voelz's “tips and tactics” seminars, our racers have been getting better and better at hitting the starting line in unison as the 5 minute countdown strikes 0.00 (many races are won based on the start).   Our rookie sailors even seem to have figured the starting line timing out earlier in their racing careers than their predecessors.  Congratulations by the way, to rookie Sherri Agnew who won a race for the first time!  The boats were not strung out as much as usual, so it seems all were sailing very well without much in the way of mistakes.   Tom Schroeder fessed up to one though.  At the second mark he made sure not to let any of the boats close behind him get inside of him at the mark, but after making the turn he should have followed through by not letting those same boats turn sharper than him and get upwind.   They did though and he suffered “dirty air” (see prior posts for the definition… not gross in any way) from Peggy Voelz and Riley Leonard.  Riley, by the way, got the best of Peggy in the same way Peggy got the best of Tom.  Some other successful race tactics were also revealed later at the protest meeting.     

We’ve heard comments that the races are getting more interesting to watch with more participants and as skills improve.   So, come on out and watch the action.  The best place of course is on the Committee Boat where you’ll be practically on top of, but not in the way of the sailors, and where you’ll learn about sailboat racing and get into the spirit and camaraderie of things.

The protest meeting was well attended and lively, with more hypothetical rules questions hotly debated.  The highlight was the unveiling of a modern art woodwork/sculpture entitled “Joint Effort”. “Joint” because the raw material consisted of numerous practice woodworking joints of various types, the effort of Mike Mullinix as part of a class he had taken.   Wayne and Arlene’s granddaughter (and GYC race fan) Mayra, contributed the brilliant creative design of a sculpture that joined the joints.  And Wayne and the Truex’s grandson (and water skiing instructor) Tanner provided the skill and effort of actually joining the joints to Mayra’s design and specifications.   After oohs and aahs, the sailors were informed of the name of the sculpture and got into the "joint effort" spirit of things.  They added a few temporary adornments to the sculpture to make it more “nautical”, such as sweaty sailor’s hats and, yeah, beverage containers (empty). 

"Joint Effort":  With Mayra and Wayne in the background. The sculpture cannot be fully appreciated in this photo because it has been obscured by the sailor's adornments.
That's more like it
A question was raised and Jim Riffle was surprised to learn that an according to an unintuitive rule, a sailor who finds him/herself between a start/finish line marker and another sailboat, has no right-of-way rights whatsoever at the start of the race, and that sailor is considered to be “barging” (Jim and crew Arlene were in that position and were being given the squeeze by John Auld and Paul Haas).  So try not to put yourself into such a position at the start of a race.  One other race rule question was kicked around, but when asked if the rule book should be retrieved and consulted,  those involved knew that the equivalent  of consulting the IRS code would be a party-killer and said…”naaah”.  Also, John Auld and Jim Voelz were asked why they deviated from what seemed the obvious shortest distance to turn markers under wind conditions at the time.  They both had correctly read changes in the wind pattern on the lake far ahead, better than the rest of us, and while their chosen courses didn’t seem to make sense, they proved very advantageous to both.  In that regard, race results were as follows:

First Race:

Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th.
International Class (on a handicapped basis):  John Auld/Paul Hass 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 3rd, Sherri Agnew 4th, Tom Schroeder/Ross Kunkler 5th, Bianca & Lance Snider 6th.
All boats on handicapped basis (not for scoring): Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Auld/Hass 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th, Kevin Preuss 5th, Riffle/Truex 6th, Riley Leonard 7th, Sherri Agnew 8th, Schroeder/Kunkler 9th, Sniders 10th

Second Race:

Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th.
International Class (on a handicapped basis):  Sherri Agnew 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Auld/Hass 3rd, Riffle/Truex 4th  Ross Kunkler/Tom Schroeder 5th,  Bianca & Lance Snider 6th
All boats on handicapped basis (not for scoring):  Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Sherri Agnew 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th, Kevin Preuss 5th, Auld/Hass 6th Riffle/Truex 7th, Riley Leonard 8th, Kunkler/Schroeder 9th, Sniders 10th.

Our next race is August 10th.   There are five race dates left of the total of eleven scheduled this season, so if you are interested in joining us this season, now is the time to hop aboard.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

JULY 13th TROPHY RACE REPORT

(Photos courtesy of Wayne Truex and grandaughter Mayra)

We set a record for number of sailboats in “recent times” with 14 boats participating. “Recent times” are defined by Wayne Truex as going back to the sailboarding days.  I think that would be the 1980s.
All 14 boats & Committee boat on right. Lance in powerboat in foreground. Yeah, get out your magnifying glass, this column is narrow.

Katie Townsend, and Jeff and Susan Rucker, guests of the Aulds, helped Beth Auld and Mimi Riffle on the committee boat.    The thunder in the distance made sailors a wee bit nervous, but Jeff was watching the storm closely on radar (on his smartphone) and the storm stayed well south of the lake. They also  watched diligently for any lightning.   The committee boat volunteers love the new anchor donated by Jim and Peggy Voelz!  Thanks everyone!

Meanwhile, Tug Townsend, Katie’s husband, crewed for John Auld, and was teasingly identified by the other sailors as a “ringer”, and indeed, he is a very experienced sailboat racer and came in 1st in the International Class in the second race.   And speaking of ringers, we welcomed back Catey Hale for her first race day of the year, as she captained Schroeder’s JY-15 to that boat’s best finishes since… well, since the last time she sailed it!  Ross Kunkler added to his sailboat repertoire when Jon Gall turned over the helm of Truex’s Y-Flyer to Ross in the second race.  At this rate, Ross will be an experienced skipper by the time his AMF Puffer is refurbished. And Bianca Snider welcomed guest crew Stacy Able.  She and husband Walter are developing an interest in sailing, and we hope to see them again.

Thanks to Lance and Bianca Snider for setting up the course.  They jostled us out of our marks-to-port habit with a rare marks-to-starboard course.  Even though Grandview sailors have to very nimble and adaptable given our ever-shifting winds, more than one captain just about blew it in the first race at the first mark, ready to round it on their port side as usual.

Tom Jennings won 1st in the Laser Class in both races.  Peggy Voelz won 1st in the International Class in the 1st race and, as mentioned, Tug Townsend/John Auld finished first in that class in the second race. Both races had exciting starts with all fourteen boats crossing the starting line fairly close together.  But the field spread out after the second mark as a “dead spot” just prior to the second mark wreaked havoc, particularly in the second race followed by variable winds between the second and third mark.  In the second race, Tom Jennings was the only sailor to reach the second mark prior to a very extended period of no wind in the dead spot, and as a result, he finished the race well ahead of all other boats. Based on their relative positions, about half of the boats in the second race experienced pretty much no wind in the second half of the second race, leading to excruciatingly long elapsed finishing times.
The "dead spot": On far left, Tom J.  is first to mark with a wind no one else benefits from.  He goes on to win race by a wide margin




Rain sent the protest meeting indoors at the Truex’s where we also had the pleasure of being greeted by visiting Truex grandchildren Myra and Tanner.   Kevin Preuss had a chance to discreetly clean up after sailing most of the second race with blood all over his face from hitting his head on the centerboard.  He arrived at the Truex dock looking like he had suffered a far worse accident.  After getting started, we waited till enough bottle caps and corks were available for use in diagraming some situations that could have been viable protests.
Corks represent sailboats and the bottlecap represents the 3rd mark
We again had to consult the rule book which can be as clear as the tax code including “defined terms” such as “room at the mark” which led to a separate defined term for “room”, the definition of which assumes you are sailing in a “seamanlike" manner.   We wondered if Auld/Townsend’s boat did a witnessed-360 degree penalty turn for not giving Gall/Kunkler room at the mark as we concluded they should have, or if they had committed some other infraction.  When John arrived later at the meeting he was advised to answer all questions very carefully. And when asked the reason for the penalty turn, he gave the right answer – failing to give room at the mark.  Yes, you have to keep your wits about you when arriving later to the protest meeting.  And if you are there early, make sure to keep your back to the wall and eyes on the entry! And try to act in a seamanlike manner. Thanks Wayne and Arlene, and Myra and Tanner for your hospitality! 

Race results were as follows:
1st Race (Trophy Race), Laser Class
Tom Jennings 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Andy Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Riley Leonard 5th, Brad Stinebring 6th.
1st Race, (Trophy Race), International Class on handicapped basis:
Peggy Voelz 1st , Catey Hale/Tom Schroeder 2nd, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 3rd, John Auld/Tug Townsend 4th, Laura Garrett 5th, Sherri Agnew 6th, John Gall/Ross Kunkler 7th, Bianca Snider/Stacy Able 8th.
1st Race, (Trophy Race), Overall (not for scoring) on handicapped basis:
Peggy Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd, Hale/Schroeder 4th, Riffle/Truex 5th, Auld/Townsend 6th, Andy Jennings 7th Laura Garrett 8th, Kevin Preuss 9th, Sherri Agnew 10th, Riley Leonard 11th, Brad Stinebring 12th, Gall/Kunkler 13th, Snider/Able 14th.  
2nd Race, Laser Class
Tom Jennings 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Andy Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Riley Leonard 5th, Brad Stinebring 6th.
2nd Race, International Class on handicapped basis:
Townsend/Auld 1st, Hale/Schroeder 2nd, Sherri Agnew 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th Laura Garrett 5th, Riffle/Truex 6th Kunkler/Gall 7th.
2nd Race, Overall (not for scoring) on handicapped basis:
Tom Jennings 1st, Jim Voelz 2nd, Andy Jennings 3rd, Townsend/Auld 4th, Hale/Schroeder 5th, Kevin Preuss 6th, Sherri Agnew 7th, Peggy Voelz 8th, Laura Garrett 9th, Riffle/Truex 10th, Riley Leonard 11th Kunkler/Gall 12th Brad Stinebring 13th.

Friday, July 4, 2014

INDEPENDENCE DAY BREAKFAST & KAYAK RACE REPORT


In addition to Independence Day, there was a sub-theme of “Christmas in July” with inflatable Christmas lawn ornaments in every nook and cranny of the Hoyt lakefront, creating a lot of red and white to go with the blue water.  
Hoyt's place ready for a celebration
View of Hoyt's after the fireworks.  Tree is in blue.
It was also quite a scene all lit up the night after the fireworks display.   A Christmas tree was decorated with ornaments made at the ice cream social the day before.

Ruth and Harry in red, white and blue.  Ruth picks up on the Christmas sub-theme.
It was quite a big crowd. We even ran out of name tags.   We stopped, reflected, and cheered the reason for all the weekend’s celebrations:  In 1776, a brand new nation was conceived in liberty.  This nation declared that all men are created equal with God-given rights, that power ultimately resides in "we the people”, and that our government would be “of the people, by the people and for the people”.  Revolutionary!    Dan Hoyt made us aware of a charity called “No Greater Sacrifice” that he has become familiar with.  They honor the sacrifice of fallen service members by investing in their children’s capacity for greatness through education: www.nogreatersacrifice.org


Lot owners made some interesting entrances, by kayak, by antique boat, and most noteworthy;  the group rowing the big swim raft with paddles and rakes, while  singing the Star Spangled Banner! 
Patriots arrive by sea at Hoyts via swim raft they paddled from across the lake
 

Bringing to mind General Washington and his troops rowing across the Delaware River, (below) they sang the Star Spangled Banner as they rowed with rakes, oars, and paddles. Look for brooms and shovels to be added next year!

After thanking the Hoyts for hosting breakfast and recognizing them, the Sanders and Marcums for hosting the ice cream social the    day before, and Beth Auld for overseeing the ornament decorating table at the social, we turned it over to Max Henry who directed the kayak race starting from under the row of checkered flags dockside.

The kayak race was exciting!
An energetic start to the kayak race.  Jack takes an early lead, but....
Steve cuts in on Jack and John at the first turn (around the pontoon boat manned by patriotic Jim Riffle)
Malachi pauses to pose
Gene gives it his all.
Corrine digs in hard with her paddle
Bea takes her turn paddling, giving Kristin a rest
John Gall (1st place) and brother Jackson Gall (2nd place) again dominated, but had a serious challenge by Steve Willment (3rd place).  Other racers were Malachi Henry (4th), Gene Zoellner (5th), Corrine Orben (6th), and Kristin and Bea Orben (7th).  Max Henry had prizes for the racers.  Thanks to Max for organizing and to Jim Riffle for assistance with the course.