Search This Blog

Sunday, September 27, 2015

SAILORS CELEBRATE A FINE 2015 SEASON

(photos courtesy of Lisa Duret)
Sailors and Volunteers gathered on a gorgeous, warm late September afternoon on Wayne and Arlene Truex’s patio overlooking the lake for a final “protest meeting” to celebrate another fine season of sailboat racing.  

(The perfect background music for reading this post is "Sailing" by Christopher Cross.  Just click here, then come back to this tab in your browser to continue reading while the music plays.)
 
Had we known the weather was going to continue to be so ideal for another two months, perhaps we would have extended our sailing season.  And perhaps your blogger would have been more timely in posting this report instead of enjoying the great weather.   Last year’s casual format of t-shirts and shorts was deemed a success, so we did it again.  The pitch-in “snacks” became very much more than that, so we were very well fed and many probably skipped dinner later.
Wayne and Arlene welcome some sailors and guests.  Shown seated at the table in the foreground enjoying some wine are our ghost-sailor-of-the-year recipients.  You'll see more of them later...

The 2015 Season in Numbers:
  • 50 different individuals participated in our races as captain, crew or volunteer.
  • Our sailor roster for 2015 was 27 sailors, averaging 10 per race. 
  • We had 23 committee boat volunteers, averaging about 5 per race. We averaged 8 boats per race with a high of 11 boats.
  • We had 20 individual races on 10 race days.
  • We have roughly 3 generations of sailors represented at every race, matching wits, skill, experience, ...and a little skulldudgery.
We recognized and thanked the many people who contributed to a great season:

Hosts of Our Events:
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 Spring Social 

Tom & Julia Schroeder for hosting the Season Orientation Event

Jeff & Gloria Voelz for hosting the Memorial Day Breakfast
 Ray and Sheila Ison for hosting the July 4th Breakfast

Max Henry for organizing and conducting the Kayak Race

Harry and Sandy Meshberger for hosting the Labor Day Breakfast.


Committee Boat Volunteers:
Without them, we cannot sail!
  •  Beth Auld, 
  • Dick Bray, 
  • Lisa Duret, 
  • Steve & Gretchen Fisher, 
  • Ross Kunkler, 
  • Allie Lindhorst, 
  • Dave & Linda Maudlin, 
  • Candy & Dave McClean, 
  • Harry & Sandy Meshberger, 
  • Jack & Sandi Miller, 
  • Donna Mount, 
  • Bob Orben, 
  • Jim & Mimi Riffle, 
  • Angela Shelton, 
  • and Bob & Tricia Zachidny.  
Committee Boat chair Beth Auld (center) recognized our volunteers.  Here she is pictured with volunteers Bob Orben and Mimi Riffle

There are more pictures of our Committee Boat volunteers enjoying their time on the water in the Starboard Column.  Over there -->
Good Samaritans:
It seems every year someone comes to help out a sailor who is needing some assistance, or helps in some other extraordinary way, and we like to recognize them: 

John Gall, for ceasing the rigging of his boat, and speeding barefoot with a stethoscope around his neck to a fellow sailor's side.  He advised them to set sail not for the starting line, but instead for the emergency room. It was a good thing.. the surgery was that afternoon.

Mike Mullinix, Paul Hass and John Auld for adding layers of fine wood to our many-decades-old historical trophies since we were running out of room for engraved labels for the new winners.   We joked that instead, we could have made enough room on the trophies by consolidating Jim Voelz’s many yearly engraved labels on to one large engraved label listing all the years he had won them

        

Club Officers:
Tom Schroeder for his role as Commodore, etc.
Mimi Riffle (Secretary/Treasurer) for Soliciting memberships at every event, recruiting hosts for our events, arranging for the  trophies, serving on committee boat many times, and helping out with social events.
Beth Auld (Committee Boat Chair) for recruiting volunteers, serving on committee boat many, many times this year.  No sailor was required to serve on the Committee Boat for lack of volunteers.  Beth was our “paparazzi” this year, taking  photos of each of our sailors in action.  She used them to create picture-frame trophies using nautical-style frames Mimi Riffle opportunistically found at a great price. Beth also pitched in to help with our other events as well.
Kevin Preuss (Race Chairman) for organizing all the races, helping many of our sailors set up and/or take down the race course and offering help on any and everything.

Their Spouses! Jim Riffle, Julia Schroeder, John Auld, and Lisa Duret who participate in all of the above.



Next, Kevin Preuss, assisted by Mimi Riffle awarded the racing trophies:


Holiday Trophies
Due to boat traffic, we no longer race on the major holiday weekends, but we keep the tradition alive by awarding trophies for the next-closest race day:

“Memorial Day” Race Trophy- Laura Garrett
See: plenty of room on the base of that trophy for another fifty years worth of winner's names
 

“July 4th” Race Trophy – Kevin Preuss
that's him, hiking out


 "Labor Day” Race  Trophy:  Jim Voelz 
 



Crew Awards
1st Place: Paul Hass
Paul (right) with captain, John Auld

2nd Place: Arlene Truex

 



  3rd Place: Tom Schroeder
He was lucky enough to crew for Catey Hale, Tom Jennings and Jim Voelz

Butterfly Class:

1st Place: Peggy Voelz
Peggy (right) & Laura




2nd Place: Laura Garrett
 

3rd Place: Sherri Agnew

Sherri in her blue-winged Butterfly



Laser Class:

1st Place: Jim Voelz

2nd Place: Kevin Preuss

3rd Place: Riley Leonard

 



International Class:

1st Place: Tom Schroeder
 

2nd Place: John Auld
 

3rd Place: Catey Hale
 



Rookie of the Year:
Matt Schroeder
There is Matt (right) learning to "sail" using a trolling motor with his Uncle Tom.




Ghost Sailors of the Year:

(This tall, ornate, heavy, and transparent trophy is awarded to the sailor who were physically absent from the most races, but were there “in spirit”):  The Winners are
 Lance and Bianca Snider

Tom (right) watches as Lance (left) and Bianca (middle) proudly display the beautiful Ghost Sailor trophy.    And you guessed it; they were the ones in the chairs in the first photo of this post.
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):
 
John (left) a good sport, cheerfully accepts the "booby prize"

The winners for the second time were John Auld and Paul Hass.  Their boat developed a leak and had to be bailed regularly while they raced.  They also tried a battery operated bilge pump.  Normally we decorate the trophy in a manner appropriate to the event for which it was won.  But this time we determined the pot was perfect “as is” for bailing out a boat.


2015
SEASON CHAMPION
(more points earned than any other sailor)
Jim Voelz



..and after all those awards, it was time to head back to the desert table for 2nd helpings...

" By the way, make that four generations!"


And that's the end of the 2015 Season. See you next year!

Is the background music still playing?  Have you not finished your beverage yet?  Why not visit the Starboard (right) Column-->
and view some pictures of our finer moments? 
 
All are welcome to come sail with us next season!  Are you going to be a new sailor in 2016 and want to study up over the off-season?  Contact Tom Schroeder to check out the best beginner sailing book, and obtain a copy of our GYC orientation materials. 

Sunday, September 20, 2015

SEPT 20TH RACE: Banking Off of the Northeast Winds, Sailing on the (Last) Summer Breeze

Photos and videos courtesy of Lisa Duret
For some very appropriate background music, Cue Harry Nilsson HERE (recommended):

As in Harry's lyrics, we enjoyed fabulous "northeast winds, sailing on a summer breeze" just about a month before many Grandview snow birds begin "going where the sun keeps shining through the pouring rain,....going where the weather suits their clo..o..o..o..thes".

The winds were so good,  the weather so nice, and the lake so calm that we couldn’t help but sail three races (kindly offered by our Committee Boat volunteers) instead of just two.  Eleven sailors and four volunteers soaked in the sunshine and the fun of really fine races just a few days prior to the autumnal equinox.  It was the last race day of the season.

Thanks to Jim Riffle for setting up the race…solo!  And also to Jim as well as Beth Auld, Lisa Duret and Mimi Riffle for serving on the Committee Boat- with more great photos and videos courtesy of Lisa.  And to Race Chairman Kevin Preuss for organizing the race.
Kevin and Mimi helped Jim take down the race.  Thanks everyone for providing us with a great day of racing! 

What happens on the Committee Boat?
Lisa's photos and videos of the start of this race combine to help someone who has never volunteered to understand what occurs on the Committee Boat and what tasks are performed - they also bring this race to life.

Here is what happens at the start of the race as shown in the video that follows:   A five-minute horn is blown by the Committee Boat, and sailors and Committee Boat timer start their stop watches.  Sailors try to hit the starting line just as the five minutes are up, but not before starting horn is blown.   If no sailor crosses the starting line prior to the five minutes being up, a Committee Boat volunteer yells "all clear" and the race is on.  Here is the start of the first race;
Here is the start of the 2nd race:




And for the finish:
Here is what happens on the Committee Boat as racers (Riley left, Sherri center) cross the finish line:  Mimi (right) blows the horn as each sailor crosses the line.  Then...
The timer (Jim) reads the elapsed time to the scribe (Beth) who records the time for each sailor.  Later, another volunteer fires up a spreadsheet, enters the elapsed times and converts them to handicapped times using the "Portsmouth Yardstick Handicapping System" which adjusts for differences in the design of the various boats we sail. We only use the handicapped times for the "International" (a highfalutin word for "all other") class of sailboats.  We use the raw elapsed time for the Laser and Butterfly classes.  How about the scoring you ask?  Well, if there are five boats sailing in a class on that race day, and you finished first, you get 50 points.  The second place finisher gets 40 points, and so on.
This happens again (as Kevin crosses the line),

and again, as Peggy crosses the line, and so on until all have finished.

And at the end of the race, before heading back to their docks, one by one the sailors file by the Committee Boat expressing their thanks as Jim demonstrates here.  We think our Committee Boat volunteers are the greatest!

Now back to the race itself:
We were very pleased to have Bob Orben out crewing for John Auld in the trusty yellow Y-Flyer after volunteering numerous times on the Committee Boat this season.
  
Bob serves as a "ringer" on the legendary Y-Flyer
 
He crewed for John Auld
It really was a northeast wind.  The wind pattern changed a bit between races, especially on the way to the first mark.  Getting to the first mark was tricky. In the first race, heading straight north toward, and then hugging the Truexs' shore,  was the winning strategy since the hills to the northeast created a bit of a wind shadow.  

6 Boats make right choice in 1st race and hug Truex shoreline

But in the final two races, the wind shifted to the north a bit and you had to get back away from the shore once near the Truexs'. 

Then, getting to the second mark by the dam had some gusts in store – Schroeder nearly capsized twice in that stretch. Without a crew he was outnumbered by a main sheet, two jib sheets and the tiller (a “sheet” is line that controls a sail – you know what a tiller is).



All is well....La de da...


Until it's not! Oh man, yikes! (and other sailing expressions)
The only time the wind died was in a portion of the stretch from the 2nd mark to the 3rd mark heading away from the dam.  As they sat there motionless in the dead quiet, a sailor began mocking the wind by singing “Call me unreliable, call me undependable, call me irresponsible too…” but sang not nearly as well as Frank Sinatra.  The youngest among us looked perplexed.  They had clearly never heard this tune.  Now they have.  We have several generations of sailors in every race.

An unusual period of no wind.  Someone began taunting the wind as unreliable, undependable and irresponsible too. 
Our easily provoked Grandview wind responded to the taunt by waiting until all had their guard down.  Then from directly behind them a massive gust came bearing down on the unsuspecting sailors. In this situation if the sail and rudder are not positioned appropriately, a capsize can easily occur.  Kevin Preuss was the casualty, capsizing without even knowing what hit him, and not finding out until later at the protest meeting.  The rest struggled at first, but maintained control and enjoyed the now very fast pace to the third mark. Kevin did a fine job of righting his boat as shown below and was back in the race very quickly. 

Kevin quickly stands on the centerboard and pulls the boat back up.
 Before we get to race results, how about some more photos?
Jim and Kevin approach finish line in 1st race

Sherri in 2nd race
Kevin, in the middle, on port tack (and therefore no right of way), dodges the other boats at the start of the 3rd race.
Shortly after start of 3rd race Tom (left) and Jim (right) head for the Truex's shore.
We see you Riley.
Laura had a good day, beating her Mom and Dad in 1st race and her Dad again in the 3rd race (on a handicapped basis).
Race results are below, but come back to the blog again in a few weeks to find out about final standings for the year, trophy winners of all sorts, and other comments about our season.

First Race Results: 
Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Riley Leonard 3rd
Butterfly Class: Laura Garrett 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Sherri Agnew 3rd
International Class (on handicapped basis): Tom Schroeder 1st, John Auld/Bob Orben 2nd

Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): Laura Garrett 1st, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd (yes the dynasty continues), Kevin Preuss 4th, Tom Schroeder 5th, Sherri Agnew 6th,  John Auld/Bob Orben 7th, Riley Leonard 8th.

Second Race Results: 
Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Riley Leonard 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd
Butterfly Class: Peggy Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Sherri Agnew 3rd
International Class (on handicapped basis): John Auld/Bob Orben1st, Tom Schroeder 2nd

Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): Jim Voelz 1st, Riley Leonard 2nd, Peggy Voelz 3rd,, Laura Garrett 4th, John Auld/Bob Orben 5th, Kevin Preuss 6th,  Sherri Agnew 7th, Tom Schroeder 8th

Third Race Results:  (fewer sailors)
Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Riley Leonard 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd
Butterfly Class: Laura Garrett 1st, Sherri Agnew 2nd
International Class (on handicapped basis): Tom Schroeder 1st

Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): Laura Garrett 1st, Sherri Agnew 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd Riley Leonard 4th, Tom Schroeder 5th, Kevin Preuss 6th.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

SEPTEMBER 13 RACE: An "Air Sandwich" and "Chain of Fools"

Photos and video courtesy of Lisa Duret. 
We had eight boats, nine sailors and six Committee Boat volunteers.   Perhaps hoping to keep the ghost sailor trophy from haunting his house again, Chris Braun sailed with us for the first time this year, and it was good to have him back in competition in his Laser, and he did quite well.  Jack Gall raced the Laser his brother John fixed up.  Not capsizing was remarkable since it was his first time sailing it, and it is, well, a Laser.  John Gall meanwhile sailed the Truex Hobie with Arlene as crew.  We welcomed back Ross Kunkler and Allie who returned to the lake to help out on the Committee Boat, assisting Beth Auld, Jim and Mimi Riffle and Candy McClean.  They all did a fine job of it, and we are thankful.

Thanks also to Kevin Preuss  and Lisa Duret for setting up and taking down the race, to Lisa for the photos and videos in this report.   And to Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting the Protest Meeting, and for all those that made the delicious treats we enjoyed.  A shout out to Owen Gall who, in abstentia sent delicious
cheese/pepperoni/olive appetizers and deviled eggs over with John and Jack.

It seems the wind throws us a different challenge at every race. A wind from the Northwest is rare...Eh?   We had good wind for the starts and finishes, but in the middle it was just air, little REAL wind.  I guess we were delivered kind of an "air sandwich".
From the first mark to the third mark, anticipating the wind was a total crap shoot in terms of speed and direction.  One had to be ready for anything.  Or nothing.  In such circumstances sailors must be especially agile, versatile, and always watching the water, waiting for the next wind direction clue and ready to trim their sails appropriately (rather than mentally drifting off into never, never land, or in banter with the other sailors, not paying enough attention).  This is demonstrated in the videos below.

Below is a video of the start of the first race – plenty of wind.

Below is a video of the random nature of the wind between the 1st and 2nd mark.  Note how some boats have wind, some don’t.   And those sailors that are moving are not necessarily moving in the right direction!
  
The title for our music selection for this race tells what trap one of our racers fell into at the start of the second race. You can cue the music, "Chain of Fools" by Aretha Franklin by clicking here (recommended).  Later you will learn why the title describes a common sailing trap, and who fell into it.

At least with few power boats on the lake it was easy to read the wind on the water as you may be able to see in the photos if you squint real hard (and accelerate that salty, weathered-sailor look). 

A good start to 1st race. Two outliers.  Predictably you can tell which one will finish first.  Many races are won at the start. 
 
Some are on their way to the 1st mark (flag at far left) , some have rounded it and are on their way to the 2nd mark.

Can you "read the wind" on the water in this photo?  If so, you should be out there racing with us.  We'll show you the ropes. These sailors found themselves a little to the left of the wind on their way to the 2nd mark.
1st place finisher Jim Voelz in background has rounded the 2nd mark.  2nd place finisher, his daughter Laura, is about to round the 2nd mark.  Jim and Laura finished 1st and 2nd in both races on an overall handicapped basis.  In the first race, Jim finished an impressive 5 minutes ahead of next-to-finish Laura (on a handicapped basis) and a whopping  9 1/2 minutes ahead of the next Laser.  In the second race Laura was only 9 seconds behind her dad (on a handicapped basis). The dynasty continues....    Oh yeah, and a sailing technique note: if you squint real hard again you can see that Jim has the centerboard of his boat raised up.  That is because he is sailing downwind with the wind directly behind him.  In that situation the centerboard serves little purpose but creates drag, slowing the boat down a bit.  Once he turns at the third mark he will have put the centerboard down again.



Start of 2nd Race:  All boats are near starting line, but spread out.  Schroeder is well behind starting line on far left.  He made a rookie mistake:  Well positioned and stalling for time just prior to the starting horn, he let too much of the wind out of his sails, lost momentum and found himself "in irons", or the "Chain of Fools". (The nautical term "in irons" means that heading straight into the wind, the sailboat acts like a weather vane and resists any attempt NOT to head straight into the wind, so the boat becomes trapped in a direction that prevents forward progress.  Thus it is "in irons", or in "chains", or Schroeder's case, the "Chain of Fools").
At the finish line of the 2nd race on the right side of the above photo, Kevin Preuss was trying to get by Andy Jennings, but Andy stayed in front of Kevin not letting him get by (Like at the Speedway, but an hour south).  They were very focused on each other in this battle to cross the finish line and did not notice a subtle wind shift that would have allowed them to turn slightly and have a shorter path to the finish line. Meanwhile,  Tom Schroeder (far left) running just behind them took advantage of the wind shift, turned slightly, and beat both Kevin and Andy by 3 seconds. Finishing within10 seconds of each other were Schroeder, Jennings, Preuss and Jack Gall - all have the same handicap.
 
 A FINAL OFFER (Oh yeah, and the race results):

Our last race of the 2015 sailing season is THIS SUNDAY, September 20th. Tom Schroeder has offered that any first-time potential sailing recruit for next year can join him as his crew in this last race for 2015.  No experience necessary.  You'll go out early to learn the ropes (there are only two of them), practice a bit before the race, and then help him win.  Give him a call at 317-873-1637.  
Race Results, 1st Race:
Laser Class: Jim Voelz 1st,  Andy Jennings 2nd, Chris Braun 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Jackson Gall 5th
Butterfly Class:  Laura Garrett 1st
International Class:  Tom Schroeder 1st John Gall/Arlene Truex 2nd
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring):
Jim Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Andy Jennings 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, Chris Braun 5th,
 Kevin Preuss 6th, Jackson Gall 7th, John Gall/Arlene Truex 8th

Race Results, 2nd Race:
Laser Class: Jim Voelz 1st,  Chris Braun 2nd, Andy Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Jackson Gall 5th
Butterfly Class:  Laura Garrett 1st
International Class:  Tom Schroeder 1st John Gall/Arlene Truex 2nd
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring):
Jim Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Chris Braun 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, Andy Jennings 5th,
 Kevin Preuss 6th, Jackson Gall 7th, John Gall/Arlene Truex 8th