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Sunday, September 28, 2014

SEASON FINALE & AWARDS GATHERING

(lots of photos courtesy of Julia Schroeder)

T-Shirts, Sandals and Sunglasses Replace Jackets, Dresses and Ties

We tried a fresh approach to our season finale. Instead of the traditional indoor, evening, dress-up sit-down dinner banquet held one month after the last race, we tried a very casual afternoon event overlooking the lake immediately after the last race of the season (see separate race report following this post).  As usual, all GYC sailing and social members were welcome.   It was a protest meeting (“bring a snack to share”), but with a different agenda: to recognize volunteers and award trophies.  It was held as usual on the Truex’s spacious patio.  The weather was perfect.  

We would appreciate any feedback on this approach from both sailing and social members, especially those who have attended the traditional banquets in the past. You can comment anonymously by clicking on the comment icon at the bottom of this post and choosing "anonymous".  One thing is for sure, and that is the background to the photos is much better (as you will see)!

Sailboat racing is alive and well!  Fun Facts about participation in the 2014 Season

We shared some statistics from the past season:
·         We welcomed 7 new sailors – that’s 2 more than last year and about the same as our banner year of 2012.  Our newest sailors are: Sherri Agnew, Chris Braun, John Cord, Ross Kunkler, Alison Tadd, Steve Tadd and Steve Willment.
·         44 different individuals participated in our races as captain, crew or volunteer.
·         Our sailor roster for 2014 was 29 sailors
·         We had 16 committee boat volunteers, many of whom served multiple times.
·         We averaged 11 boats per race with a high of 14 boats
·         We added 4 boats to the fleet this year, and retired one for a net of 3 more boats.
·         We averaged 16 sailors per race and 4 committee boat volunteers per race.
·         We had 14 individual races.
·         We have roughly 3 generations of sailors represented at every race, matching wits, skill, experience, ...and other attributes.

Lots of People Recognized for Contributing to a Great Season:  
We recognized and thanked:
·         Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting this and all the other protest meetings this season, and for storing & putting out equipment, rigging several boats at their dock for each race,  and being the general meeting place and still the “Home Port” of the GYC.
·         Kevin Preuss and Lisa Duret for hosting the pre-season Sailors and Volunteers Organizational Meeting.
·         John and Beth Auld and family  for hosting the Spring Social
·         Sailors/Volunteers of the Grandview Yacht Club for hosting the Memorial Day Breakfast
·         Dan and Judy Hoyt and family for hosting the July 4th Breakfast
·         Max Henry for organizing and conducting the Kayak Race
·         Brad and Carole Arthur and family for hosting the Labor Day Breakfast
·         Committee Boat Volunteers Beth Auld, Chris Braun, Lisa Duret, Steve & Gretchen Fisher, Ross Kunkler, Maura Leonard, Nicki Leonard, Riley Leonard, Dave McAlister, Jack Miller, Sandi Miller, Donna Mount, Bob Orben, Jeff Rucker, Susan Rucker, Mimi Riffle, Katie Townsend, Arlene Truex, and Jim Voelz.
Jack and Sandi (above) were a couple of many who volunteered on Committee Boat.  See that person sitting in the chair between Jack and Sandi?  He is  there, you just may not be able to see him.  Anyway, he will get an award later.  
Donna (below) also volunteered.
....and so did Lisa

Riley sailed, and helped on the Committee Boat
·         Good Samaritans who helped sailors recover from capsizes and equipment malfunctions: John Auld, Rob Bonebrake,  Paul Haas, and Wayne & Arlene Truex.
Tom gives out candy to "Good Samaritans" including LifeSavers of course.  Arlene chose the chocolate mint, even though Wayne preferred the chocolate covered cherries.
·         Tom Schroeder for his role as Commodore,
·         Mimi Riffle (Secretary/Treasurer) for Soliciting memberships at every event, recruiting hosts for our events, arranging for the  trophies, serving on committee boat nearly every race and helping with any and everything.
It was also Mimi's birthday. Arlene baked a cake and we sang.
·         Beth Auld (Committee Boat Chair) for recruiting volunteers, serving on committee boat many, many times this year, raising money and promoting pride in Grandview Lake with T-shirts sales.  She (and John Auld) made our trophies this year, and she helps with any and everything.
Beth with one of the trophies she and John made.  And guess who won this one....John did!  Keep reading and find out how well he did.  Hint:  Pretty darn well!
·         Kevin Preuss (Race Chairman) for organizing all the races and offering help on any and everything.
Tom, Mimi and Kevin
·         Spouses, Jim Riffle, Julia Schroeder, John Auld, and Lisa Duret who participate in all of the above.

Moving Tribute to a Competitor Triggers a Free-for-all of Testimonials
·         Bob Orben asked to speak, and shared a moving (no dry eyes) and much appreciated tribute to his competitor of 24 years, fellow “Skipper Emeritus” Wayne Truex.  The tribute was triggered by the end-of-season change in ownership of Truex’s Y-Flyer to Catey Hale.
Bob seizes the opportunity to ask for the floor to make a tribute
o   Side note:  Some of the sailboats in the GYC fleet have acquired a “lineage” and “pedigree” at Grandview Lake, particularly these two Y-Flyers.  The Orbens acquired their Y-Flyer from GYC racing legend Joe Voelz, and upon Bob retiring as skipper, transferred ownership to John Auld, who sailing that vessel, was last year’s GYC Champion.   The Truexs acquired their Y-Flyer from another GYC racing legend, John Sohn. With the recent transfer of ownership to skilled sailor Catey Hale, this sets up more great races between those two legendary Y-Flyers with very skilled sailors, and with skilled sailor Dick Pitman and his Y-Flyer which is a more “recent” addition to the GYC fleet.  
·        
Even off the race course, GYC Members are not shy:  Bob’s tribute  triggered a series of “testimonials” from and about various participants, and the club itself.  Some well-kept secrets were humorously revealed. 
Sherri reveals Tom's secret race strategy advice - "Just do what Jim Voelz does"... (but do that better than I do!)
By the time everyone had their say, it was apparent that the camaraderie and competition of the Grandview Yacht Club is very much enjoyed.   

Racing Trophies Awarded

Holiday Trophies
Since the Club is over 50 years old, we are running out of room for names on our treasured historic trophies as you will see...

·         “Memorial Day” Race Trophy- Andy Jennings (Andy: Paul Hass and John Auld have graciously offered to attempt to  add another "layer" to your trophy so that we have room for more names.  We hope to have it to you soon!)
·         “July 4th” Race Trophy - Peggy Voelz
Peggy with July 4th Tophy (we are running out of room for winner's names! Any ideas?)
Crewman Paul Hass accepts Labor Day Trophy on behalf of John Auld. Wayne and Arlene donated this trophy about 5 years ago, allowing us to re-purpose the ugly chamber pot trophy as a "Booby Prize" (keep reading).   Plenty of room for more winners names on this one.
·         “Labor Day” Race  Trophy:  John Auld

Crew Awards
·        
1st Place Crewman Paul Hass.  Wife Julie looks on.
1st Place: Paul Hass
·         2nd Place: Arlene Truex
Arlene with captain, Jim, looking on
·         3rd Place: Ross Kunkler

Butterfly Class
·         1st Place: Peggy Voelz
1st Place in Butterfly Class, Peggy Voelz
·         2nd Place (Tie) Sherri Agnew
·         2nd Place (Tie) Laura Garrett
Sherri and Laura tie for 2nd in Butterfly Class. Laura's little one will be competing before you know it and is learning how to graciously accept awards.  Grandad will give a lesson in a moment...
Laser Class
·         1st Place: Jim Voelz
Jim Voelz accepts 1st Place Laser Class Trophy from Mimi
·         2nd Place: Tom Jennings
·         3rd Place: Kevin Preuss
Kevin doesn't know it, but he has another trophy coming....
International Class
·         1st Place: John Auld
·         2nd Place: Tom Schroeder
(with acknowledgement to Catey Hale and Ross Kunkler for the points they earned for him by taking the helm)
·         3rd Place: Jim Riffle
Jim accepts Trophy...lovingly awarded!
Rookie of the year – A tie based on points:
A great start!
·         Sherri Agnew
·         Ross Kunkler


Ghost Sailor of the Year
(This tall, ornate, heavy, and transparent trophy is awarded to the sailor who was physically absent from the most races, but was there “in spirit”):  The Winner is....
·       Chris Braun!
Tom displays the "Ghost Sailor" of the year trophy won by Chris Braun.  Chris is sure to participate in many more races than he did this year now that his Laser is "ship-shape".  Display it proudly Chris!
 Note:  This is the first year that the "Ghost Sailor" award was not in some way associated with Larry Olson's old Laser.

  Booby Prize  (this historically important ugly white porcelain chamber-pot mounted on a pedestal is now awarded to the sailor(s) or volunteer(s) who experienced some sort of noteworthy mishap, perhaps through no fault of their own.  The winner is no longer required to drink from the pot):
·        
The winner is Kevin Preuss for making sailboat racing a “blood sport” (after hitting his head on the centerboard he unknowingly returned from the race with his face covered with blood).
Trophy too graphic for internet - at least on this site

SEASON CHAMPION (more points earned than any other sailor)
·        
Jim Voelz
2014 SEASON CHAMPION JIM VOELZ (With Champion-in-training)
(This trophy will need another "layer" for more names as well) 


Again we would appreciate your feedback on the format of the season finale.  Do you see the "#comments" item below the last paragraph?  Click on it.  Choose "anonymous".  Thanks.
...and the sun sets on another great season of competition and camaraderie at Grandview Lake......

All are welcome to come sail with us next season!  Are you going to be a new sailor and want to study up over the off-season?  Contact Tom Schroeder to check out the best beginner sailing book we are aware of, and obtain a copy of our GYC orientation materials.  It will be a long winter.

SEPT 28TH RACE REPORT

The final race was officiated by Jim & Mimi Riffle, Donna Mount and Bob Orben to whom we are very grateful.  Jim Riffle and Tom Schroeder set up the short course correctly anticipating low wind conditions.  Race Chairman Kevin Preuss organized the race.  Thanks everyone!

Only about five sailors braved the low wind conditions.  The wind did show up in time for the start, and picked up as the sailors approached the first mark.  The dangerous all-female team of Catey Hale and Arlene Truex were first to feel the accelerating wind and skillfully "threaded the needle" by squeezing between the first mark and Tom Schroeder's boat with only inches, maybe less, to spare.

Approaching the second mark, Catey and Arlene stayed closer to the "rhumb line" than Tom (yes, nautical term lesson time: the rhumb line is the direct line between turn markers.  When tacking back and forth between markers, you normally do not want to stray too far from the rhumb line) .  Although this did not appear to be a significant difference in course at the time, it proved to be the winning move of the race.  They were able to get just far enough ahead of Tom that they caught the last decent breeze of the race, getting them through the finish line wile Tom, Sherri and Kevin sat windless for a very, very, very  long period of time.

During that time, with no wind to allow him to control his boat,  Tom drifted so far toward the shore that he dropped his sails, fired up his trolling motor and headed for his dock.  Before doing so, he took the suggestion of mischievous onlookers (spouses of the other sailors who will remain nameless) and motored through the finish line just for fun.  The officiating volunteers denied him the satisfaction of the horn-toot that finishers receive as they cross the finish line.  Satisfied with its victory over Tom's patience, the devilish wind picked up enough to get Sherri and Kevin through the finish line.

Race results were as follows:
Laser: 1st Place: Kevin Preuss
Butterfly: 1st Place: Sherri Agnew
International: Catey Hale/Arlene Truex 1st Place, Tom Schroeder disqualified for using his trolling motor to finish.

All headed to the Truex's for the final protest meeting and awards gathering - see separate post.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

SEPTEMBER 21ST RACE REPORT – “Uncle” already! The wind wins. Ready for next Sunday?

Thanks to blog-contributor Kevin Preuss for providing 96.3% of the "regular" report and for tolerating the few additions and changes made.  Also, at the end you will find an addition by John Auld who provided his account of his and crewman Paul Hass' wrestling match with the wind.

We had lots of wind with pronounced, sudden, and unpredictable shifts. This proved to be a big challenge.  Nine boats were rigged and seven were brave enough to head for the starting line.  Multiple capsizes and numerous close calls by our capable sailors in all classes of boats led the Committee Boat to cancel the race.   

Thanks to our Committee Boat volunteers Bob Orben, Maura & Nikki Leonard, and Dave McAlister, all of whom answered our plea for help and volunteered on short notice.  They successfully anchored despite the strong wind by using 3, count them, 3 anchors!   Thanks also to John Auld who set the course, and to our Race Chairman Kevin Preuss for organizing the race.

The Protest Party was well attended even with nothing to protest (except the wind).  Thanks to Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting.

John Auld adds the following report:
I think Paul and I were the first to capsize on Sunday when the main sheet got caught in the block or the hatch and I couldn’t dump enough wind. 

I did some reading on sailing in high winds but it takes some experience and quick reactions to keep it afloat.  One suggestion was to move the traveler out to the lee side on each tack to keep a more consistent angle to the wind.  I’m not sure how to accomplish that with one hand on the tiller and the other on the main sheet.  Definitely didn’t want to cleat the sheet with those gusts and shifts.  Maybe you can just uncleat both traveler ropes and let it pull through with the wind on each tack.  Any thoughts?

Regardless, we went ahead and sailed the course to get experience in conditions and made it through without incident.  According to Wayne and Bob, that’s the first time they’ve ever seen anyone able to bail at boat full of water using only the auto bailers.  Took us about 20 minutes but keeping our speed up wasn’t much of a problem in those conditions.  

Sunday, September 7, 2014

SEPTEMBER 7TH TROPHY RACE REPORT

Three new sailors joined us, as did visitors from the Caribbean.  “Good Samaritans” were kept busy rescuing wayward sailors from their mishaps on a sunny day with a cool, but devilish breeze.  Before filling you in on the details of the race, at the protest meeting we realized we are in dire straits for the September 21st race in terms of committee boat volunteers due to some simultaneous absences.  Highly experienced committee boat veteran and “Skipper Emeritus” “Bob Orben will be on board to direct things, but he needs some help. If you can help us out on that day from about 1:30pm to about 3:30pm, please contact Tom Schroeder at 317-873-1637.  We will be very grateful.

Sailing with the GYC for the first time were Chris Braun, John Cord and Steve Willment. All are relatively new, or in John’s case returning, to Grandview. We had been long anticipating Chris’ first race in his now complete Laser.  John crewed for Dick Pitman in his Y-Flyer. Steve crewed for Steve Tadd in the vintage Thistle. All  had "interesting" first race experiences, as you'll see. That makes seven new sailors this year.  Welcome Chris, John and Steve!   If anyone else would like to “come aboard”, there are still two races left this season. You’ll get hooked, be left looking forward to racing in the spring, and studying up on race tactics during the colder months.  

We were also pleased to have Sasha Bouis sail with us again.  He and his bride Tara reside somewhere in the Caribbean aboard larger sailing vessels, and were at Grandview visiting family.   Sasha crewed for John Auld in the first race, and skippered in the second race winning their class.  John recruits “ringers”, and we welcome them!  We were delighted that Sasha and Tara joined us later at the protest meeting as well.

Our race was expertly officiated by the veteran team of Beth Auld, Bob Orben, and Mimi Riffle and was conducted flawlessly.  John Gall singlehandedly set up (and took down, with a little help from Wayne Truex) a course that was really great for the wind conditions.  All of that is in addition to Race Chairman, Kevin Preuss’ organization of the event.  Thanks everyone! 

The winds were great during the five-minute countdown to the start of the first race.  The sailors had all been experimenting with start angles. As we all approached the starting line in unison with just a few seconds left to the starting horn, guess what happened?  What always happens, or so it seems; the wind threw us a surprise.  This time by just stopping. So there we all were, bunched up, well thought out strategies thrown overboard and everyone trying to make the best of it.    Tom Schroeder found himself forced too close to the Committee Boat and made contact with it. His 360 degree penalty turn seemed to take forever.  Shortly though the wind picked up and racing conditions were good. 
  
Early on, near the first mark, Steve Tadd and Steve Willment in the Thistle experienced a malfunction of the rudder, which left them drifting at the whim of the wind and approaching shore.  Good Samaritan, Robb Bonebrake, watching the race from a pontoon boat came to their rescue.  He gave Steve Willment a ride to his lot to get his Wave Runner for towing the Thistle back to its lift for eventual repair (not to worry, racing gets better Steve).  Robb resumed watching the race which turned out to be quite fortunate for another distressed sailor.

Meanwhile (sailing vocabulary lesson alert), Chris Braun with his finally complete Laser, had the “block” (a pulley) on his “traveler” (a rail or line running from one side of the boat to the other near the stern, allowing movement of the mainsheet attachment point from one side of the cockpit to the other to optimize sail trim) snap during the first race and the boom whacked him upside the head.  He got control of his senses and the sail again, and jury-rigged things well enough to keep sailing, albeit not optimally.  Not to worry, racing gets better Chris!

Also meanwhile, having done his penalty turn, and in last place on the way to the first mark, Tom Schroeder found himself suddenly blessed by a strong wind, not yet enjoyed by the others.  It allowed him to rocket ahead, heeled over, making up an amazing amount of time and catching up or passing many of the other sailors, allowing him to ultimately finish the first race in the middle of the pack, instead of dead last.  The wind is never that benevolent without getting the last laugh though, as Tom would later find out in the same place, doing the same thing in the second race.   This time, having the boat heeled over to its absolute limit, the wind gave a nice blast, sending the mast horizontal, past the point of no return and he and capsized.  Standing on the centerboard, high and dry, he was unable to right the boat by pulling on the mainsheet (his mistaken righting technique was later diagnosed at the protest meeting – pull on something other than the mainsheet – a taught mainsheet keeps the boom and main sail parallel to the water surface, keeping it from shedding water that has covered it).  Fortunately, good Samaritan Robb was nearby and for his 2nd good deed of the day came to Tom’s aid.  And Wayne Truex, watching from his dock, fired up the ski boat and also came out to help.  With Robb’s pontoon pulling on a line and Wayne simultaneously lifting the top of the mast off the water, the boat popped back up.  But much time had passed and Tom was doomed to a “DNF” (did not finish) in the race statistics.  The Grandview wind got the last laugh, as usual.

Thanks again to Robb and Wayne for being good Samaritans during the mishaps of this race!

Sailors from the "7th addition" have had better days.  In addition to Tom's capsizing, Dick Pitman and John Cord had their share of mishaps. It seems they hit two marks and another sailboat all during one race.  New sailor John may need some anti-vertigo medication after all those 360 degree penalty turns (not to worry, racing gets better, John).

Having great races based on overall handicapped results were, in alphabetical order: John Auld/Sasha Bouis (John captained the 1st race, and Sasha captained the 2nd for 3rd overall in both races), Laura Garret (finishing just barely behind fellow Butterfly sailor, and her mom, Peggy Voelz in both races for 2nd place overall in the first race), Kevin Preuss (2nd overall in the 2nd race), Jim Voelz (1st overall in the 2nd race) and Peggy Voelz, as mentioned above (1st overall in the 1st race). 

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Sailors & Volunteers:  You can make the race reports more fun. Lots of interesting things happen in the various groupings of our spread-out fleet of boats. They cannot all be observed by one person especially if that person is capsized. So, if you would like to add or read someone else's report of an interesting race occurrence that was not described here in the original report, please feel free to click on the shaded “# comments” link at the bottom of the posting (to the right of the envelope icon) . Once your comment has been “moderated” by the GYC blogger, your comment, or a reasonable facsimile thereof, will appear for others to read.  Guidelines for acceptable comments will appear when you go to add a comment.
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The protest meeting was protest free, and was lively and well attended with a number of delicious, specially-prepared delicacies enjoyed by all.  Thanks very much to Wayne and Arlene for hosting us again!

Race Results are as follows:
1st Race (Trophy Race)
Lasers:   Jim Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Chris Braun 3rd

International Class (on handicapped basis):  Peggy Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, John Auld/Sasha Bouis 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, John Gall/Ross Kunkler 5th, Sherri Agnew 6th, Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex 6th, Dick Pitman/John Cord 7th

Overall, both classes handicapped (not for scoring):
Peggy Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Auld/Bouis 3rd, Jim Voelz 4th Kevin Preuss 5th Tom Schroeder 6th, Gall/Kunkler 7th, Sherri Agnew 8th, Riffle/Truex 9th, Pittman/Cord 10th, Chris Braun 11th.

2nd Race
Lasers: Jim Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Chris Braun 3rd

International Class (on handicapped basis):  Bouis/Auld 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd, Gall/Kunkler 4th, Sherri Agnew 5th, Pitman/Cord 6th, Riffle/Truex 7th.

Overall, both classes handicapped (not for scoring): 
Jim Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Bouis/Auld 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th, Laura Garrett 5th, Gall/Kunkler 6th, Sherri Agnew 7th, Pitman/Cord 8th, Riffle/Truex 9th.

Our next race is September 21st.

Monday, September 1, 2014

LABOR DAY BREAKFAST REPORT - NEW LOT OWNERS WELCOMED

Thanks to Brad and Carole Arthur and their family for hosting a wonderful Labor Day Breakfast on a beautiful morning overlooking the lake, on the 20th anniversary (to the day) of their arrival at Grandview.  Wisely, on that day twenty years ago, they postponed unpacking and attended the Labor Day Breakfast hosted by Don and Betty Boyle. As a result, they were immediately “plugged in” to the welcoming Grandview community to their and our benefit.

In our usual welcoming of newcomers we were able to introduce Clark & Sally Millman and Dave & Denise Scheidler, both couples are new to Grandview Lake.  We also welcomed back longtime-residents, now returning to Grandview Lake, John and Gwen Cord.

What a great community-builder these breakfasts are!

In that regard, GYC Commodore Tom Schroeder again requested volunteers to host any of next year’s Holiday Breakfasts.  You do not have to be a member of the Yacht Club.  The Yacht Club will provide the coffee makers, coffee, creamer, sweetener, stir sticks etc., and $100 to buy some donuts and orange juice.  If you are concerned about weather, you are welcome to make it a fair-weather-only event and, in the event of rain, cancel, and contribute any left-over donuts to the food bank.  Or, if you would be willing to host the event at the lot owners building parking lot, we can arrange for a tent and some tables.  We did this for the Memorial Day Breakfast this year.  We also need hosts for the casual Spring Social pitch in of appetizers on an evening of your choosing in May.  If interested, Tom would be glad to hear from you and can be reached at 317-873-1637

Thanks again to Brad and Carole Arthur.