Search This Blog

Sunday, June 28, 2015

JUNE 28TH RACE REPORT: Back From "Down Under" and a Moratorium Foiled

Matt Schroeder captained his first race.  Our mischievous Grandview wind is back from “down under” and has copped an attitude.  The gourmet Committee Boat team from the last race performed an encore of the feast enjoyed at the last race, and picked up some new volunteers in the process – Harry and Sandy Meshberger (welcome!).  They also may have aided sailors who were taking advantage of loopholes in a hastily issued GYC moratorium.  And our regular sailors continue to very slowly come out of winter hibernation.

Our thanks to our eight floating foodie Committee Boat volunteers Steve & Gretchen Fisher, Harry & Sandy Meshberger, Jack & Sandy Miller, Donna Mount, and Mimi Riffle.  While officiating the race from the Committee Boat, they enjoyed another gourmet picnic complete with table cloth and floral centerpiece. 
Jack, Steve, Gretchen and Harry enjoying a 1st class lunch.  We hear there was also a sailing race occurring somewhere on the lake.
Wondering what was on the menu this time?  The appetizer was ham and pepperoni prosciuttos wrapped around mozzarella cheese sticks (Sandy Meshberger), and a main course of hot ham & cheese sandwiches with a slaw with sesame, and sliced tomatoes with basil & oregano (Gretchen Fisher).  
Dessert was apple slices with caramel, and chocolate chip and oatmeal scotchies cookies (Mimi Riffle).  The centerpiece consisted of lilies and various other flowers (Sandy Miller).   GYC officials are concerned about the bar having been raised too high for the Committee  Boat experience, but are pleased that objective #1 of our race guidelines (see 6/14 race report) is  being achieved. 

Because of a similar feast at the last race, GYC officials were also concerned about sailors “jumping ship” from their sailboats to the Committee Boat, and in a preemptive move to keep sailors actually sailing,  issued a temporary moratorium on sailors serving on the committee boat.  Loopholes were found and taken full advantage of though, with food from the feast being shared with those who might otherwise have been sailing.   Jim Riffle for instance, who was allegedly unable to sail in this race, was prohibited from joining wife Mimi on the Committee Boat.  Instead he served as a backup “safety boat” from his pontoon boat, and accepted a plate of food that was passed to him from the Committee Boat. 
We are thankful to Kevin Preuss for coordinating the race and to  Lance Snider for setting up and taking down the race course.  It was a good course despite Lance's apologies for the wind shifting after he set up the course. Lance, observing the race from his powerboat, even shortened the course after determining the wind had died down considerably since he set it up.  Lance’s stated reason for not sailing was “the sailboat is not quite ready”, but they “hope to sail at the next race”.  We are a bit suspicious though and have not yet been able to determine if Lance also used the loophole, and accepted a plate of food from the Committee Boat, and whether that is the real reason he was idling close to the Committee Boat instead of sailing. 

Committee Boat chairperson, Beth Auld and her sister Kathleen,  served as official GYC paparazzi photographers moving about the race course taking photos of sailors  We look forward to seeing the photos at some future date. 
As you can see, Beth and Kathleen were also offered a plate of food from the Committee Boat.
Steve asks Beth if she is sure she does not want any dessert with that

 Sailor emeritus Bob Orben was also observing the race from his wooden boat “At Last”.  And Tom Jennings and Wayne and Arlene Truex along with their many guests watched the race from the GYC’s “home port” at the Truex dock.

With so many observing the race from so many vantage points, and with this blogger only observing from one boat, we encourage additional comments on race occurrences to be shared by clicking on the “# comments phrase way down at the bottom right of this post (then follow the prompts).   Click on that phrase to read the comments of others also.

As eerily warned about in the last race report (… “Prepare ye”), it was clear from the start of the first race that our Grandview wind was back as expected, and had an attitude.   It was on again, off again and hard to guess what direction the next breeze would come from.  Although the wind was promising when Lance set up the race course, it stalled as we were waiting to begin.  Some of our sailors, four coming from the western side of the lake and one from the east, were within hearing distance of the 5 minute warning horn. Normally they would easily make it to the starting line in time for the start.  But the wind having died, those from the west barely made it, while Sherri Agnew did not, and had to wait for the second race.  We had a clean start nonetheless.  At the first mark heading to the south end of the main lake, Tom and Matt Schroeder stayed to the starboard side having tested this strategy prior to the start of the race and seeing that the port side was not favored by the wind pattern.  Only Laura Garret and Jim Voelz did the same thing.  Achieving their objective, none of these three boats had to tack to get around the 1st mark as all the other boats did, but in the end this was of little comfort to two of the three.  The other sailors approached the mark from the port side and were a fair distance behind.
At start of 1st race Tom and Matt (far right) head to starboard, most of others to port.
Jim made it around the first mark, and Tom/Matt and Laura were just a bit short of the mark when suddenly their wind died.  But there was still wind on the port side of the mark that pushed all the other boats around it.  Laura, Tom and Matt meanwhile sat there, not having made it around the mark, with absolutely no wind while all the other sailors made it all the way around not only the first mark, but the the second mark as well!  Tom and Matt were drifting closer to the mark and were about to hit it, which would have required a penalty turn, impossible with no wind.  But just in time some large waves came from behind them, pushing them enough that they could steer away from the mark.  Finally the wind picked up and the three sailors continued on their way, muttering salty thoughts about the temperamental Grandview wind whose absence they had enjoyed in the previous three races when fairer winds took its place.  

Approaching the finish line, Andy Jennings and Jim Voelz were far ahead of the rest of the field. Andy was ahead and windward of Jim, blocking Jim’s wind. But with a bit of a wind shift, Jim started pulling ahead.  Andy admitted to a misstep in deciding to cut in behind Jim, thinking the wind shift was not temporary and he wouldn’t suffer much effect of Jim blocking his wind.  But he was wrong and Jim was able to finish just ahead of Andy.   
Due to the on-again, off-again wind,  the first race took nearly twice as long as the June 14th races.  This gave the Committee Boat volunteers about half an hour to enjoy their gourmet lunch before recording finishing times.  So no one had to gulp down their last bites and complain of indigestion like the last race.  By the way, GYC officials did seriously consider, but decided against buying a special signal flag to indicate “We have now finished lunch; you may now cross the finish line”.
Committee Boat view of John Auld and Paul Hass crossing the finish line after the Committee Boat volunteers finished their lunch.
The wind was somewhat better for the second race having toyed with everyone quite enough for one day frankly.
In the foreground, Kevin Preuss #181287 gets a jump on Andy Jennings #181248 at the start of the 2nd race. 
Riley Leonard and Sherri Agnew, the two who suffered the most from the difficult start of the first race, did particularly well, with Sherri finishing first in the Butterfly class and Riley finishing second in the Laser Class.   Sherri finished just seven seconds ahead of the 2nd-to-finish Butterfly, Peggy Voelz after catching a more favorable wind and passing just prior to the finish.  Sherri and Peggy finished 2nd and 3rd overall on a handicapped basis,  behind only Jim Voelz.
Rookie Matt Schroeder took the helm of the JY-15, his very first time at the tiller for a race.  He did a fine job, and his race results seemed better relative to those that finished ahead of him than his Uncle Tom, for whom the returning Grandview wind seemed to have a particular score to settle.   Detailed race results are down below.

A small, but mighty group gathered at the Schroeder's dock for a protest meeting, the topics of which will remain there.  However on official GYC matters discussed, you may remember from the June 14th race that there was an outstanding question about whether Schroeder/Schroeder  could have demanded "room at the mark" when overlapped well ahead of, and approaching at a ninety degree angle from Auld/Hass.  John Auld reported on the extensive research that he and Paul Hass had done on application of the sailing rules in this instance. It indicated that they indeed would have had to yield to Tom had he asked for room at the mark.  And further, since Auld/Hass were approaching the mark from a ninety degree angle from the rest of the field as well, an imaginary line drawn across the back of their transom would have classified as "overlapped" and therefore also entitled to room at the mark, any other boat close enough to demand it.  Thanks for the detailed research John and Paul!

Our next race is July 12th, and is a "Trophy Race".  All comers are welcome.  For those regular sailors off to a slow start in getting their boat ready to sail this season, please note that it is now, well,  July!

FIRST RACE RESULTS:
Lasers: Jim Voelz 1st Place, Andy Jennings 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th
Butterflies: Peggy Voelz 1st Place, Laura Garrett 2nd
International: John Auld/Paul Hass 1st Place, Tom/Matt Schroeder 2nd
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring, just for fun) Jim Voelz 1st, Andy Jennings 2nd, Auld/Hass 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Peggy Voelz 5th, Riley Leonard 6th, Schroeder/Schroeder 7th, Laura Garrett 8th

SECOND RACE RESULTS:
Lasers: Jim Voelz 1st Place, Riley Leonard 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Andy Jennings 4th
Butterflies: Sherri Agnew 1st Place, Peggy Voelz 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd
International: John Auld/Paul Hass 1st Place, Tom/Matt Schroeder 2nd
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring, just for fun) Jim Voelz 1st, Sherri Agnew 2nd, Peggy Voelz 3rd, Riley Leonard 4th, Kevin Preuss 5th, Laura Garrett 6th, Andy Jennings 7th, Auld/Hass 8th, Schroeder/Schroeder 9th.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

JUNE 14TH RACE: Wind For Our Sailors and a Feast For Our Volunteers

(photos courtesy of Jack & Sandy Miller) 
First,  we are delighted to welcome new Committee Boat volunteer and soon-to-be racer, Angela Shelton, and Matt Schroeder, a new sailor who is here for the summer and experienced his first sailing race crewing for his uncle, Tom Schroeder.  Angela and Matt picked a great race to join up.  We’re not sure who had more fun, the 15 sailors enjoying the fast southerly winds, or the 6 Committee Boat volunteers watching the frenzy while enjoying a gourmet feast.

The first of the eight objectives of our official race procedures is that our races be “an enjoyable experience for committee boat volunteers” (seriously, it is the first of our printed objectives because without Committee Boat volunteers, there is no race).
Well, this group of volunteers did not leave that to the sailors.   Once the race began they enjoyed a feast of mixed fruit salad (Donna Mount), Reuben sandwiches (Gretchen Fisher) and Coconut bars (Sandy Miller). 
Steve and Gretchen are laying out the main course, Gretchen's Reuben sandwiches.  This Committee Boat crew has taken the Committee Boat experience to a new level!
However they reported that because the race was so fast despite the long course, they had to eat quickly to be ready to record the finishing time of the sailors.  As a result, some reported on the race sheet they experienced a bit of heartburn.   On the salty side one might respond that  “the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing”.  However since it is important we accomplish our first objective,  we are considering a new signal flag.  This flag will indicate that the Committee Boat volunteers have finished dining and are ready for the sailors to begin crossing the finish line! 

Our thanks to Committee Boat volunteers Steve & Gretchen Fisher, Jack & Sandy Miller, Donna Mount, Mimi Riffle, and Angela Shelton.  We know you are volunteering for the next race as well and we are hoping that not too many of our sailors decide to serve on the Committee Boat instead of racing.
Our happy and much appreciated Committee Boat volunteers

Our Grandview wind remains in Tasmania (see May 31st race report for details) but is miffed at our enjoyment of its absence, and our courting of better-mannered winds from the South.  Prepare ye for its ultimate return.    In the meantime, this is the third race in a row that the percent chance of thunderstorms in the weather forecast made a race doubtful.  But glass-half-full Race Chairman, Kevin Preuss has kept an eye on the radar, etc., and the races have proceeded in what have turned out to be great sailing conditions.  John Auld and Paul Hass set up a long course, appropriate to the fast winds.  Marks were to starboard, which caught at least one habit-bound sailor preparing to turn to port around a mark.  Thanks to Kevin, John and Paul.  And kudos to Wayne Truex, who came to the Hale racing team’s  rescue just prior to the race, bringing them an assortment of drain plugs from which to choose. One fit their Y-flyer and made their participation in the race possible. 

With 10 sailboats, there are many more interesting occurrences on the course and on the Committee Boat than this blogger was able to observe. Therefore racers or other observers are encouraged to give us their "take" on the race from their vantage point. Clarifications and rebuttals are also welcome.   Just click on the “# comments” phrase at the bottom of this post. 

Due to a pre-race wind shift, the starting line required that those sailing on a starboard tack, (and therefore enjoying the advantage of the right of way) start the race running almost parallel to the starting line.  But doing so required a fairly quick tack to starboard which may or may not have been possible considering the surrounding traffic.  And a few boats started on a port tack which added to the confusion.   This was fun to watch from the Committee Boat - a sensory feast of shouts (of all kinds) among sailors, ratcheting of winches, flapping of sails, and strategic maneuvering of sailboats in tight quarters. And there was the culinary feast they were about to enjoy.   If you haven’t observed a race from the vantage point of the Committee Boat, you really ought to; it’s the best place to be on the lake.   Contact Committee Boat Chairperson Beth Auld to volunteer –we will train you.   
The orange pole in the middle of the frame is the far end of the starting line. The photo was taken from the other end of the starting line (the Committee Boat). Racers had to sail nearly parallel to the starting line.

Once the racers were recombobulated, the race to the first mark got interesting given some wind shifts.  Tom and Matt Schroeder counted themselves lucky in this regard.  Having gotten stuck in traffic at the start, they were initially about 8th out of 10 boats.  But they took quick advantage of a wind shift that benefitted only them, and found themselves third to the first mark behind Jim Voelz and Kevin Preuss.  Jim finished the race first, and Kevin, second.  Approaching the 3rd mark, Catey Hale and son Graham, substantially behind Tom and Matt, but running a parallel course only 100 feet to their starboard, found wind that favored only them.  Taking full advantage, Catey and Graham finished the race behind Jim and Kevin and a minute ahead of Tom and Matt.    Riley Leonard finished ten seconds behind Tom and Matt and was followed closely by John Auld and Paul Hass, then Jim Riffle and Arlene Truex,  and the “Brothers Gall”, Jack and John.   The Butterfly sailboats are slower based on their design (but get an associated adjustment to their time on a handicapped basis) and were next to finish with Peggy Voelz beating Laura Garrett who got hung up at the last mark.  See below for class-order finishes, and handicapped results which can be much different than the order just described. 

The second race also had an interesting start as shown in this photo.    
Tom and Matt in the boat to port (left) decided to cross the starting line with the wind coming over their port side instead of having the right of way on the alternative starboard tack.  Therefore they had to yield by going behind Kevin as you can see here.

The trip to the first mark involved some wind-reading skill.  Rookie crew Matt Schroeder alerted Captain Tom Schroeder that those in front of them had just lost their wind, which caused  Tom to  tack immediately saving them from the dead-spot and gaining an advantage over the others.   Matt is off to a fine start as a quick-learning crew.   Are you interested in sailboat racing, but have never sailed and don’t have a sailboat?  Just like Matt, you can sail with us anyway.   Just contact Commodore Tom Schroeder and we’ll give you some training and get you out there when we need someone to crew.

After rounding the first mark, the course was a run-with-the-wind to the second mark, but from time-to-time the wind would shift to the port side.  Such a shift/blast capsized front-runner Jim Voelz. Getting his boat turned properly relative to the wind before righting it cost precious time and allowed fellow Laser sailor Kevin Preuss to overtake him.  
Jim has capsized. John/Paul pass him.  It is very difficult for another sailboat to assist a capsized sailboat.  And Jim is skilled at righting his boat (As all Laser sailors must be)
But Jim out-jibed Kevin at the 2nd mark regaining the lead over Kevin.  Meanwhile Catey and Graham Hale again found a hugely favorable wind and rocketed ahead of the rest of the fleet, never to be caught, and finishing nearly four, count-em, four!, minutes ahead of, and 22% faster than the next-to-finish boat (and causing some of the aforementioned heartburn on the Committee Boat).   See below for class order finishes and handicapped results.

Many agendas were brought to the protest meeting even though there were no formal protests.  We lamented Tom Jennings not being part of the race even though his absence had been planned long in advance.  Best wishes from your fellow sailors, Tom!  Kevin Preuss bemoaned the fact that despite Jim Voelz’ s time consuming capsize, Jim still beat Kevin by out-jibing him at the 2nd mark. Jibing is when the wind is coming from behind your boat and you change direction such that the sail and the boom move from one side of the boat to the other – duck!   Jibing, if not well controlled, can easily cause a capsize.  One sailor fessed up that at the 2nd mark he was tempted not to jibe, but instead to turn into the wind and make his tack that way instead (inefficient, but safer).  But he didn’t want to look like a weenie, and went ahead and jibed carefully.   John Auld learned that Jim Riffle yelled “room-at-the-mark” even though they were far from being overlapped within the required 3 boat lengths to which Jim defended himself with a depth-perception exception (still checking the rule book on that one);   We found out that some had trouble finding the darned 1st marker flag costing them precious time (tip: when you are directly downwind of a marker, you can’t see the side of the flag);  Tom Schroeder  reflected that when he and crew Matt were approaching the third mark he could have claimed the right of way over John Auld and crew Paul, and should have yelled “starboard” and/or “room-at-the mark” instead of yielding. But John Auld did a little post-protest meeting research and determined that according to the rules, and (please take note): starboard / port rules are suspended once a boat reaches the mark zone (3 boat lengths from the mark), so Tom would have lost a protest on that basis.  However, since they were coming to the mark at a ninety degree angle from one and other, would John have to yield if Tom asked for “room-at-the-mark”?   Stay tuned or read/post comments below.  We were happy to hear that the visiting brothers Gall will be sailing with us on and off during the length of the summer;  And  many expressed wonder at Catey and Graham Hale’s remarkable performance in the second race.  Arlene cleared the mystery up for us - they needed to get Graham to the airport in time to catch his flight, and so they “made it thus”.  OK then!  Our thanks to Wayne and Arlene for their hospitality, hosting us at the GYC’s “Home Port”.

RACE RESULTS

FIRST RACE
Laser Class:  1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Kevin Preuss, 3rd Riley Leonard
Butterfly Class: 1st Peggy Voelz, 2nd Laura Garrett
International Class – handicapped: 1st Tom Schroeder/Matt Schroeder, 2nd Catey Hale/Graham Hale, 3rd John Auld/Paul Hass, 4th Jim Riffle/Arlene Truex, 5th John Gall/Jackson Gall
Overall On Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): 1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Kevin Preuss, 3rd Tom/Matt Schroeder, 4th Catey/Graham Hale, 5th Riley Leonard,  6th Peggy Voelz, 7th Auld/Hass, 8th Riffle/Truex, 9th Laura Garrett, 10th Jack/John Gall

SECOND RACE
Laser Class:  1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Kevin Preuss, 3rd Riley Leonard
Butterfly Class: 1st Peggy Voelz, 2nd Laura Garrett
International Class – handicapped: 1st Catey/Graham Hale, 2nd Tom/Matt Schroeder, 3rd Auld/Hass, 4th Riffle/Truex, 5th John/Jack Gall.
Overall On Handicapped Basis (not for scoring): 1st Catey/Graham Hale, 2nd Tom/Matt Schroeder, 3rd Auld/Hass, 4th st Jim Voelz, 5th Kevin Preuss, 6th Peggy Voelz, 7th Laura Garrett, 8th Riley Leonard, 9th Riffle/Truex, 10th John/Jack Gall.

Monday, June 8, 2015

QUANTITY DISCOUNT EFFORT UNDERWAY FOR THOSE HOPING TO BUY A SAILBOAT

Jim Voelz is organizing a quantity discount effort for purchase of JY-15 sailboats.  For details, please go to Port Column, and scroll down to the item entitled "Hoping to Buy a Sailboat? Quantity Discount Effort Underway"