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AUG 24TH RACE REPORT: Vintage Thistle has Thorns

Photos by Jack and Sandi Miller
We welcomed some winning new sailors in a classic wooden “Thistle” sailboat, the decadence continued on the Committee Boat, and we had some interesting moves, tactics and mistakes out on the race course by the twelve boats. 

Unannounced “mystery sailors”, first-time Grandview racers Steve & Allison Tadd, debuted in their fast and beautiful vintage wooden “Thistle” sailboat.  You know the one:  You’ve gone by their recently-purchased home on the east side of the west inlet, and noticed the beautiful wooden mast with the multiple spreaders and shrouds crisscrossing their way to the top.  You wondered what the rest of the covered boat looks like. 
Steve & Alison debut with their Vintage Thistle

Well, as you can see, the rest of the wooden Thistle is as beautiful as the mast would have you believe.  In it, Steve and Allison trounced the rest of the International Class of sailboats. They finished six handicapped minutes (that’s a lot) ahead of the next boat in the class, presenting a thorny competitive challenge to the International class of sailboats. 
GYC “Skipper Emeritus” Bob Orben watched nostalgically from his wooden Chris Craft, since the wooden Thistle is the same model of boat he first raced as a youngster.  Joe and Jim Voelz also raced a Thistle early on in their racing days.  Welcome Steve & Allison, and congratulations on your first of hopefully, many, winning races!   
Bob watches the Thistle's debut

Our Committee Boat was well staffed with a repeat performance by veteran volunteers Jack and Sandi Miller, Steve & Gretchen Fisher, Donna Mount and Mimi Riffle (they also teamed up for the June 29th race).  
Steve holds umbrella while Donna keeps statistics.  Please move the umbrella a little to the left there, Steve.

We are grateful to them for making our race possible.  After getting us off to a flawlessly executed start, they passed the time enjoying Gretchen Fisher’s chicken salad (Her Mom’s recipe from 1952).
Committee Boat decadence
They also enjoyed a watermelon selected by the Riffles using Jim’s “alternating spin” method for finding a perfect watermelon (and it was).  Ask Jim to explain this method the next time you see him. 

The wind was light and there were several dead spots, making for a long race.  Another GYC “Skipper Emeritus”, Wayne Truex, watching from the GYC’s “home port”, reported that at the start, all of the boats appeared very close to the starting line with no real laggards. As you can see in the photo below, Jim Voelz was first across the starting line.
A pretty good start. Jim crosses first

Jim Voelz, Tom Jennings and Steve & Allison Tadd read the wind better than the other sailors from the start to the first mark, putting those three boats way ahead of the other nine boats.  Jim would end up finishing ahead of Tom Jennings to win the Laser Class.  He also had the fasted handicapped time versus the rest of the field, although the Tadd’s were close behind on a handicapped basis, and crossed the finish line ahead of Jim.   The brothers Gall (Jack and John), Schroeder/Kunkler and Riffle/Truex also did pretty well approaching the first mark, but for various reasons lagged the leading three boats.   Schroeder/Kunkler stuck with their favorable wind taking them toward, but a bit to the port side of the first mark.  They were going to tack hard to starboard to finish the trip to the mark. Unfortunately they had to yield to the leading three who had all just rounded the mark, and were all on starboard tacks giving them the right of way, and throwing Schroeder/Kunkler off their chosen course and out of contention.  Meanwhile, the brothers Gall, who had been following Schroeder/Kunkler,  chose to tack much, much earlier and were in good position, but fell victim to a very clever tactic, a “head-fake” of sorts by skipper Steve Tadd:   It seems the brothers Gall needed to tack, but with the Tadds right behind them ,  had to wait for the Tadd’s to tack first, otherwise they would be heading straight toward the Tadd’s without the right of way, and would have to yield by taking a nonsensical course costing them precious time.  So, they just waited for the Tadd’ to tack first.  The Tadd’s began what looked like a tack, so the Galls did the same, executing a full turn, only to realize that the Tadd’s didn’t complete their tack, and had returned to their original course.  Now heading straight at the Tadds, the Galls had to yield by going off course, costing precious time and allowing the Tadd’s to take the lead.  The Galls were still ahead of Schroeder/Kunkler though.    Meanwhile Peggy Voelz, whose Butterfly sailboat is slower than Galls’ Y-Flyer and Schroeder/Kunkler’s JY-15, sailed a better race with the handicap factored in, and by the end of the race, beat both of those boats coming in second only to the Tadds in the International Class. 

The light winds had made for a long race, and we were thankful to our Race Chairman, Kevin Preuss, for choosing not to attempt a 2nd race, and for organizing the day’s racing.  Tom Jennings, who had set up the race course (Thanks Tom!) was grateful, as were the rest of us, for our Committee Boat volunteers taking down the race course markers, which was above and beyond the call.

Many of us gathered for the Protest Meeting after the race and finished off the watermelon and other great munchies.   Thanks to Wayne and Arlene for hosting us again at theirs, the “home port” of the GYC.

Race results are as follows:
Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th, Brad Stinebring 5th

International (after applying boat handicap)
Steve & Allison Tadd 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Jack & John Gall 3rd, Tom Schroeder/Ross Kunkler 4th, Laura Garret 5th, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 6th

All boats on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes)
Jim Voelz 1st, Steve & Allison Tadd 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th, Jack & John Gall 5th, Schroeder/Kunkler 6th,  Kevin Preuss 7th, Laura Garrett, 8th, Riley Leonard 9th, Riffle/Truex 10th, Brad Stinebring 11th.

The next race is Sunday, September 7th at 2pm, and is the "Labor Day Trophy Race" (delayed from actual Labor Day, because we have recently decided to avoid racing on busy holiday weekends).



Due to weather we had to cancel a race for the first time this year - pretty darn good for middle of August.  And it was going to be a very well attended race, with a couple of our ghost sailors planning to be  there “in the flesh” (really, no kidding, honest, sure-as-shootin – they were).  So they and the rest of us ALL became ghost sailors - wishing we were able to sail, but not being able to.

Thanks nonetheless to those who would have made the wet race possible including committee boat volunteers, Beth Auld, Bob Orben, Mimi Riffle and Tricia & Bob Zachidny.  Catey and Doug Hale and family took care of taking down all the race markers after Catey and Tom Schroeder set up the race earlier in the day.  And thanks also to Race Chairman, Kevin Preuss who sweated out the weather and the decision to cancel or not, while also entertaining a house full of company.   Good call Kevin!

We did not miss the chance to gather after the non-event.  Yes, we had a protest meeting at the Truexs’ and had fun catching up with former sailors/lot owners Dave and Marlene Brown.  Thanks Wayne and Arlene for hosting!

The next race is August 24th.  Don't be a ghost sailor - be there!