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Sunday, September 11, 2016

NEW SAILOR RECORD BROKEN: September 11th Race Report

(Photos Courtesy of Lisa Duret)
We’ve broken our previous record (for as far back as anyone can remember) by adding nine new resident-family sailors so far in 2016.  We welcomed Tom and Sarah Cartwright, who also added a new boat to the fleet, a handsome, fast (and handicapped accordingly) Thistle that Tom carefully restored.  
 
Introducing Tom & Sarah Cartwright and their Thistle

Dianne Fisher, also new to Grandview, added her recently acquired Laser to the GYC fleet and raced it for the first time.  We now have ten Lasers in the fleet along with eleven other sailboats. We enjoyed excellent temperatures and a nice crowd of eleven boats which helped make up for the not-so-excellent wind.  We also had a couple of protests that turned part of our protest meeting into, well, an actual protest meeting.  We also enjoyed welcoming the Cartwrights and some general horsing around including a rather humorous discovery.

Thanks to our Committee Boat volunteers Cindy Bartlett, Lisa Duret and Jim Riffle for an excellent job.  And to the “Brothers Gall”, John and Jackson, for setting up a course that was well suited to the wind.  And thanks to Kevin Preuss for organizing the race and Beth Auld for making sure our Committee Boat was so well staffed.

The pre-race wind was deader than a door nail. Those from the western end of the lake were fortunate to receive tows out to the main body. Then we sat there, wondering if we would have enough wind for a race.  But right on schedule, at the start of the race, a breeze appeared and allowed reasonable progression around the first, second and third marks. 

Sailors converge on the first mark which is right in front of the rainbow colored sail.  Its a "marks to starboard" race meaning you turn right to go around the mark. In this kind of congestion the rules are very important.  If you are overlapped with another boat within 3 boat lengths of the mark, you must give them "room at the mark" to squeeze between you and the mark.  If there is no overlap established within 3 boat lengths the squeezer is out of luck.  The boat just to the left of the rainbow colored sail did not have any overlap established, was not entitled to room-at-the-mark, but managed to squeeze through anyway without incident or protest.

Making steady progress toward the 3rd mark.
Then, we again sat motionless for long periods of time between the third (and last) mark and the finish line.  Those ahead of the pack were punished when the wind hit those behind first, a great equalizer.  However Jim Voelz and the Cartwrights were so far ahead that they still finished ahead of the rest of the pack. 
On the way to the finish line: After sitting motionless for a long period of time, you can see traces of a light wind rippling the water in a few streaks.  Jim Voelz in yellow in the foreground and the Catamaran with colorful sails on the left are finding themselves in the right place at the right time and will inch forward.  Most of the others will continue to sit.
 The Cartwrights had been ahead of Jim Voelz for most of the race, but Jim caught the resuscitated wind prior to the Cartwrights and slipped in first.  Jim Riffle on the Committee Boat credited the Cartwrights with being diplomatic by not crossing the finish line first in their first race with the club.  

After sitting motionless for so long on the way to the finish line, there was some uncertainty about attempting a second race.  The tempting wind (a.k.a. Lucy holding the football) showed up giving us renewed enthusiasm. 

Like Charlie Brown, we took the bait, started another race and again sat motionless while trying to round the third mark, and even longer on the way to the finish line. Good grief.

Despite the lack of robust wind, the second race was eventful, with three protests and a capsize.  Before we get to the events and protests, lets start with the finish and mention that Laura Garrett SMOKED the rest of the fleet.  The next-to-finish (on a handicapped basis) was her Dad Jim Voelz, also sailing a Laser and finishing six minutes behind her with a time thirty-eight percent longer than hers.  Wow!

Tom Schroeder got “whacked” by a rogue wind gust, or so he says (no one was watching), and capsized between the second and third marks.  Having equipped his boat with a line fastened at the point where the boom meets the mast he was able to get plenty of leverage while standing on the centerboard to right it without assistance and was back in the race in no time.

At the first mark, Jim Voelz and the Cartwrights were in close proximity and in the turn to round the mark, the Cartwrights made contact with Voelz invoking a protest. 

At the third mark, many boats were congregated in close quarters waiting for the wind to pick up. Jackson Gall did have a little momentum though, and squeezed between the catamaran and the marker flag causing catamaran captain Matt Bartlett to alter his course, thus invoking a protest. 

In sailboat racing the rules can be used to one’s advantage, but only if a sailor is willing to warn another sailor not to make a certain move, and/or to protest that move.  So warning calls to other boats and protests are just a part of sailboat racing and are usual and customary, and not abnormal (although newbie sailors are usually taken aback).  This is why sailboat races (not just at Grandview) are always followed by a “protest meeting” where final decisions are made about the protests to determine the outcome of the race.  We have been trying to encourage our sailors to file protests instead of being so accommodating and “letting things slide”.  Deciding protests is a way for us to learn the rules and incorporate them into our racing strategies.  So we were delighted to have a few protests to settle at the protest meeting.    In the first case we determined that Jim Voelz won the protest against the Cartwrights, although not for the reason he initially laid out which was that the Cartwrights had tacked from a port to a starboard tack without warning him while in close proximity.  We determined that the Cartwrights actually had the right of way since they were leeward (downwind) of Voelz and although turning, stayed on a starboard tack as was Voelz.  Nevertheless, since contact was imminent, a warning was called for and contact is to be avoided (but occurred).  Therefore the protest was decided in Voelz favor.
In the second protest, Matt Bartlett felt that "barging" or "room at the mark" was involved, and since he had to alter his course, thought Jackson Gall should have taken a penalty turn once notified of the protest, but did not.  We determined that based the "barging" or "room at the mark" rules were not applicable in this case, and that instead the leeward right of way rule would apply. Since Gall was leeward of Bartlett, he had the right of way, and had enough room to scoot through.  So this protest was decided in Gall’s favor. Just another day in sailboat racing.

In addition to resolving protests at the protest meeting, we also had an enjoyable time welcoming the Cartwrights to the sailing community.  And during protest adjudication, we tripped on an obscure rule in the official U.S. Sailing Association’s racing rule book.  It seems that over the years, creatively competitive and mischievous sailors have found ways to propel their boats forward faster in weird ways, resulting in equally weird rules.   Back in 2014 we were amused at Rule 42.2 (c) which prohibits “ooching” which is defined as sudden forward body movement, stopped abruptly (to move the boat forward, presumably with no wind).   Well at this protest meeting we discovered Rule 53 entitled “Skin Friction”.  It states that “a boat shall not eject or release a substance, such as a polymer, or have specially textured surfaces that could improve the character of the flow of water inside the boundary layer”.  So rest assured that we are well aware of the rules related to ooching and skin friction and encourage protests of any rule infractions!

Thanks to Wayne and Arlene Truex for hosting us for the protest meeting after the race.

Race Results:
1st Race (Trophy Race)
Laser Class:
1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Kevin Preuss, 3rd Laura Garrett, 4th Jackson Gall, 5th Dianne Fisher
Butterfly Class:
1st Peggy Voelz, 2nd Sherri Agnew
International Class (on a handicapped basis):
1st Tom Schroeder, 2nd Tom & Sarah Cartwright, 3rd Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex, 4th John Gall/Erin Gall
Overall (on a handicapped basis, not for scoring, just for fun):
1st Jim Voelz, 2nd Peggy Voelz, 3rd Sherri Agnew, 4th Kevin Preuss, 5th Laura Garrett, 6th Jackson Gall, 7th Tom Schroeder, 8th Tom & Sarah Cartwright, 9th Dianne Fisher, 10th Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex, 11th John Gall/Erin Gall

2nd Race
Laser Class:
1st Laura Garrett, 2nd Jim Voelz, 3rd Kevin Preuss, 4th Dianne Fisher, 5th Jackson Gall
Butterfly Class:
1st Peggy Voelz, 2nd Sherri Agnew
International Class: (on a handicapped basis)
1st John Gall, 2nd Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex, 3rd Tom Schroeder
Overall (on a handicapped basis, not for scoring, just for fun):
1st Laura Garrett, 2nd Jim Voelz, 3rd Kevin Preuss, 4th John Gall/Erin Gall, 5th Peggy Voelz, 6th Dianne Fisher, 7th Sherri Agnew, 8th Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex, 9th Tom Schroeder 10th Jackson Gall.

Our next race is Sunday, September 18th at 2pm.

Monday, September 5, 2016

AN EVENTFUL LABOR DAY BREAKFAST AT THE BARTLETTS'

(photo courtesy of Ben Hicks)
Enthusiastic gathering:  Delighted with great weather for this holiday weekend,  lot owners gathered at Matt & Cindy Bartlett’s and enjoyed their fine waterfront venue for the last big gathering of the summer season.  We are particularly grateful for their willingness to host us shortly after moving here despite being in the middle of a big remodel (looks great!) and not sure it would be done.   Thanks also to the Kromes who provided parking space since the Bartlett’s new driveway had just been poured. 
Newcomers welcomed:  We were pleased to introduce some new faces we hope to keep seeing at our events (and out on the race course):  Welcome Tom & Sarah Cartwright (Lot 7), Mark Cassidy & Dianne Fisher (Lot 135), and Ken & Colleen Rogoski (Lot123A).
Volunteers Emerge: A request for breakfast hosts for 2017 during announcements was met with much welcomed enthusiasm!  Steve &Marisa Willment volunteered for Memorial Day, and Mark Cassidy & Dianne Fisher for July 4th.   Steve & Vicki Zeller had already volunteered for Labor Day.  So, all of those still wanting to host an event,  we are still in need of hosts for the coming 2017 Spring Social, or we will gladly reserve one of the 2018 events for you!
Labors recognized:  In the spirit of Labor Day we recognized the association and sewer board members and committee and project volunteers whose significant labors we have to thank for our enjoyment of Grandview Lake.

GYC Leadership announcement:  We also applauded the results of all of Mimi Riffle’s enthusiastic efforts to make Grandview Lake a better place as she completes her eighth and final year as secretary/treasurer of the Grandview Yacht Club.   Mimi reminded us that those hosting the various Grandview gatherings, as well as those that attend them, have made Grandview a welcoming and tight community.    And we thanked Lisa Duret, who has volunteered to succeed Mimi as secretary treasurer of the club, a repeat performance for Lisa in this role.