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Sunday, June 25, 2017

FLIP, FLIP, FLIP. FAST, FUN AND PERILOUS: June 25th Race Report

Photos courtesy of Jack & Sandi Miller -all taken from the committee boat
HOLD ON!  (but don't cleat-in)
We had very fast and gusty winds. The usual banter tossed from boat to boat was attempted but not heard due to the flapping of sails, the slapping of hulls on waves and the speed of getting out of earshot.  Sailors admitted to being scared.
Andy Jennings hikes to the extreme to avoid capsizing.  He is still in control and believe it or not is still holding on the tiller extension and the main sheet.  Remarkable! Andy is also our "limbo" champion (see bottom of starboard column).  He isn't old enough to endorse joint medications quite yet.
After the June 25th race, our sailors are more skilled, and our sailboats will be more seaworthy.
This in keeping with the proverb that " A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor",
and...
"Whenever your preparations for the sea are poor; the sea worms its way in and finds the problems."
- Francis Stokes

WHY?  YOU MIGHT ASK (if you are not a sailor)

So why were so many sailors, fourteen in all, in eleven boats willing to go out on such a windy day? Well, good winds are a precious commodity at Grandview Lake in the summer, so sailors cherish it.

Wind is to us what money is to life on shore.
-   Sterling Hayden
And
A ship is safe in harbor but that's not what ships are for
- William G.T. Shedd

Despite the numerous capsizes and other mishaps, our sailors reported with enthusiasm that it was fun and exciting. 

LUXURY SUITE TICKET HOLDERS ENJOYED HIGH AND DRY EXCITEMENT (and fine food service)
As for our committee boat volunteers (the gourmet crew), they ventured out because they had prepared another feast to enjoy by golly!  And how could you not go out and enjoy the excitement of fast and perilous races from the best vantage point on the lake?   
 
Windblown Jack and Gretchen enjoying lunch

Just check out the fun video (below) they took at the start, and their great photos in this post.   The video begins with the blast of the starting horn and a shout of "all clear" (no one was over the line before the horn blew).  Sailors tighten their sails, gain momentum and sail away. Then you will see that sail #1287 (Kevin Preuss)  is trapped "in irons".  Sail#1260 (Laura Garrett) is also caught "in irons" but chivalrous Steve Willment (sail #4484) hooks the front of Laura's boat with the end of his boom, pulling it in the right direction, allowing Laura to catch the wind and sail off, all to the delight of our volunteers.

( To be "in irons" means that your bow is pointed directly into the wind.  The sail then acts like a weather vane and resists "pointing" at an angle to the wind.  If your sail is not at an angle to the wind your boat will not move forward.  Getting out "of irons" is difficult.  Sometimes a bail bond or "get out of jail free" card is needed)

"Thanks Steve" Laura yells.  "My pleasure, think nothing of it" Steve yells back.

 
Kevin now out of "irons", takes off.  He did quite well,  finishing 2nd in the Laser class in both races and 2nd overall in the 2nd race.

The committee boat crew did a great job of anchoring, using every bit of anchor line (six times the depth is called for in such winds) and two anchors.  Thanks to Captain Jack & Sandi Miller, Mimi Riffle, Steve a.k.a. “Head Anchor Thruster” & Gretchen Fisher, and Ed & Dolores Krome (their first time). 
Oh yeah, the menu:
Italian (meat/cheese/veggie) Calzones with Marinara Sauce;
Deviled Eggs;
Assorted Fruits and
Assorted Cookies.
The starting horn is blown, and the sailors are off (but fighting the wind). Tom Jennings (2nd boat from right) is starting on a port tack (wind coming over port side of boat),  All the others are starting on a starboard tack.  Tom won the Laser class in both races and was first overall in the 2nd race. More on port vs. starboard tack below next photo....
A little "tap" of boats in the foreground in close quarters at the start.  Steve, with the multi-colored sail, is on a "port tack" and therefore must yield to the other boats in the photo which are on a "starboard" tack (wind coming over "starboard" -that would be the right - side.)  A sailor will yell "Starboard"! to remind an approaching port-tack sailor to yield.  To avoid a penalty that sailor may yell back "hold your course!" to indicate that he/she will be the one to make the maneuver to avoid contact.
The boats have just sailed in front of the bow of the committee boat, crossing from the right side of the committee boat to the left side.  They are enjoying/struggling with the fast wind and gusts.  Peggy in the pink hat to the left, Kevin to the right in the foreground.


MOST GOT VERY WET (all but three)
Laura demonstrates how to right a sailboat.  Stand on the centerboard for leverage and pull the boat toward you (preferably with a line from inside the boat), then just hop in.  Easy Peasy - unless its not.

The total number of capsizes was over 30. That is 3 times of the number of boats in the race.  That's a lot. Normally there are just a few in total.  You’ll notice from the race results below some “DNF”s (did not finish) and absence of some boats from the second race, not wanting to tempt fate any further or having no strength left to recover from another capsize.  Fortunately, the race course took into account the heavy winds, staying away from the heavily traveled perimeter of the main body of the lake.  Thanks Matt Bartlett and Tom Schroeder for setting it up, and our blessed volunteers for taking it down.  Thanks also to Kevin Preuss and Beth Auld for organizing.

WE GET BY WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM OUR FRIENDS – MISHAPS AND WARDROBE RECOVERIES

 Matt Bartlett and Jim Riffle in the M-Scow were unable to right the boat from their only capsize (fewer capsizes than most others Jim points out)  and were towed with the M-Scow on it’s side to the Truex shore by very patient and skilled boat handler,  good Samaritan Mark Cassidy. It took quite some time to carefully tow the waterlogged boat without damaging it. Jim and Matt stayed in the water all of that time by choice. 


Matt with capsized M-Scow. Mark in black pontoon. Jim is in water borrowing more life jackets (to keep top of mast afloat) from safety patrol.

Those on shore were amazed at mariner Mark’s ability to somehow get the overturned sailboat placed right where it needed to be, all from the cockpit of his pontoon with one shouted instruction to place a rope on one corner of sailboat and pull at his command. This was clearly not Mark's first maritime rodeo. Early on Matt and Jim borrowed from the safety patrol an extra life jacket or two to keep the top of the mast from sinking,  and a good long rope for towing.   Matt, Jim and the gathered able-bodied Truex clan (see photo below) eventually got the boat righted and bailed out.  
With the fast and eventful race to watch and the righting of the M-Scow, there was plenty of excitement and a beautiful afternoon for the gathered Truexes.  Wayne would have loved to be in the middle of all that action and "messing about in boats"!
Jim and Matt take down the sails

Matt captured the M-Scow incident in this cartoon
In a now well-practiced, but still very difficult and skillful routine, Paul Hass, crewing for John Auld, jumped in on two separate occasions to help two capsized sailors,  Dianne Fisher and Peggy Voelz. Both are very grateful.  Meanwhile, Captain  John was able to maintain control of the mainsail and jib of his Y-Flyer in Paul’s absence despite the gusty winds, and was able to get back to him and pull him back into the boat without capsizing himself.  This was an extraordinary accomplishment of helmsmanship – ask anyone sailing a multi-sailed boat on that day! Peggy is grateful for Paul’s recovery of her pink hat, which he wore until it could be retrieved for her.  The Committee Boat found John Auld’s treasured Tilley hat later in the day floating by the dam.  He was glad to get it back.  Other hats were lost to Davy Jones' locker.
Drying out

Peggy is having quite a time!  Hat or no hat? The Auld/Hass boat is coming up from behind, but wait -their bow looks pretty low in the water!  Hmmmmm......Could be trouble.
John and Paul in boat to right.  Yes, the bow is riding low.

While able to finish first overall in the first race, and able to finish the second race,  Auld and Hass subsequently became aware they were taking on water in an enclosed forward bow compartment that could not be bailed.  Realizing they were in some degree of peril, they limped to the Crandall’s lot and beached.  They were kindly given a tow home by  their own good Samaritans,  Nancy Crandall,  her daughter, and son-in-law Ward Witte.  The Y-Flyer will need some repairs to a two foot long crack in the the hull, but John and Paul both reported having had one heck of a great time.

Bob Orben kept track of things from "At Last". We benefit from his pointers at the protest meetings.  I'm sure he'll have a few to share from this race.

There was no protest meeting, but we're sure this race will be re-lived at the next one since our sailors have already been oozing stories.

RACE RESULTS:

NOTE: A CHANGE TO JUNE 18TH RACE RESULTS:  June 18th Results have changed based on follow-up on a protest.  See the June 18th Race Report for corrected results.  Sailors:  For right of way or starting violations you must make two 360 degree penalty turns, not just one.  It is touching a mark that requires just one 360 degree turn.



RACE RESULTS June 25th  FIRST RACE  


Laser Class:  Tom Jennings  1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd,  Andy Jennings 4th, Laura Garrett 5th, Steve Willment 6th,


Butterfly Class:  Peggy Voelz 1st


International Class: John Auld/Paul Hass 1st, Catey Hale/Tom Schroeder 2nd, Matt Bartlett/Jim Riffle (dnf).



Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  John Auld/Paul Hass 1st, Tom Jennings  2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Jim Voelz 4th,  Andy Jennings 5th, Peggy Voelz 6th,  Catey Hale/Tom Schroeder 7th, Laura Garrett 8th, Steve Willment 9th,  Dianne Fisher – dnf, Matt Bartlett/Jim Riffle – dnf.



RACE RESULTS June 25th SECOND RACE


Laser Class:  Tom Jennings  1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Laura Garrett 3rd,  Andy Jennings 4th,  Jim Voelz 5th,  Steve Willment 6th,


International Class: John Auld/Paul Hass 1st



Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Tom Jennings 1st, Kevin Preuss 2nd, Laura Garret 3rd, Andy Jennings 4th,  John Auld/Paul Hass 5th,  Jim Voelz 6th,  Steve Willment 7th



NEXT SCHEDULED RACE:  July 9th – A Trophy Race
 

Sunday, June 18, 2017

A FATHERS DAY FINISH - June 18th Race Report

Sailors enjoyed great, consistent winds making for a fine Father’s Day race.  After beating his dad Tom in the first race, Andy Jennings succumbed to a last minute maneuver by his Dad in the second race that resulted in him finishing one second or less behind Tom.  Committee Boat volunteers were wondering if Andy really “succumbed” to that maneuver, or rather “allowed” it as a Father’s Day gift to Tom.  We’re guessing it was a legit win by highly skilled Laser racer Tom. Everyone enjoyed watching the close finish.   
 
Andy (left) and Tom Jennings after the close finish

Jim Voelz encouraged some pleasure-sailing teens to go ahead and race with us in the second race.  They did, but were unable to finish.  We hope they give it another go at future races. Thanks to our Committee Boat team of Beth and John Auld and Jim and Mimi Riffle.  Thanks also to Jim Voelz for substituting as Race Chairman for the race and for setting up the race course.

We also had a fine, well attended protest meeting in beautiful weather.  Thanks Arlene for hosting us!  Like at the last protest meeting, an ode to something we can do without, was read.  At the last protest meeting it was an ode to no longer tolerable smelly socks.  This time it was to gall bladders that have become angry, the removal of which kept one of our regulars from sailing in this race.  Thus it was a “protest” of sorts. The last verse was as follows:

Little organ holding bile,
Since you have become so vile,
Causing me to ache and pout,
I am going to put you out!
                            -BJ Schwartz

Sailors are encouraged to continue to address the assembled protesters with readings of amusing poetry that is at least loosely related to our sailing adventures.    
RACE RESULTS FIRST RACE

Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Andy Jennings 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Dianne Fisher 4th
International Class: Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex 1st, Tom Cartwright (dnf).

Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Jim Voelz 1st, Andy Jennings 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Dianne Fisher 4th, Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex 5th

RACE RESULTS SECOND RACE

Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd,  Dianne Fisher 3rd
International Class: Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex 1st, Tom Cartwright (dnf).

Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Jim Voelz 1st, Tom Jennings 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Matt Bartlett/Arlene Truex 4th

NEXT SCHEDULED RACE:  THIS SUNDAY June 25th.

STAY SOCKLESS MY FRIEND (and gall bladder-less if you must)!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

STINKY AIR! June 4th Trophy Race and Sock-Burning

Photos Courtesy of the GYC Photo Committee: Lisa Duret, Jack & Sandi Miller and Julia Schroeder

Our first race of the season was well-attended with nine boats (six of which were Lasers) and six Committee Boat volunteers.  The protest meeting attracted a crowd and we burned lots of smelly socks at lakeside as a rite of spring, with hopes of not wearing any the rest of the season.  

THE BEST SEATS FOR THE RACE:
Thanks to our Committee Boat volunteers Jack & Sandi Miller, Steve & Gretchen Fisher and Harry & Sandy Meshberger who did their usual first-rate job, flawlessly executing the procedure as if they had been officiating races all winter.  And to Bob Orben who kept an eye on us from his wooden boat “At Last” and thus was able to provide comments on race strategies at the protest meeting.
 
A familiar sight with this particular Committee Boat team:  A checkered table cloth and lots of great food.  We are told the menu this time was salami / cheese appetizer, seafood pasta salad, BBQ chicken wings, lemon bars, and some beverages. L to R:  Jack & Sandi Miller, Sandy & Harry Meshberger, and Gretchen Fisher.


 
Gretchen and Steve Fisher.  Steve contemplates licking the plate.  The long races (see below) gave our volunteers plenty of time to finish their leisurely lunch before recording our finishing times.  We think they saved desert for the second race.


Shortly after start of 1st Race.  Bob Orben (wooden boat "At Last" in the middle) keeps an eye on the fleet.

THE RACE
We had promising winds at the start of both races, only to experience lots of random and changing dead spots after rounding the first mark during both races.  Boats that were within 50 feet of one and other were treated very differently when the wind picked up. As a result we had a very spread out fleet with sails sprinkled all over the course around the main body of the lake.   It was a warm day.  One of our sailors employed a “beer assistant” to make a speedy visit alongside his boat after the two races had concluded.  The rest of us waited for refreshment at the protest meeting.  Race Results are way down below:

Race Chairman Kevin Preuss arrives to compete and make the tough calls
Tom Jennings goes under the "limbo stick" ("boom").  We have an entire "limbo collection" in the right (starboard) column, way down at the bottom, complete with limbo music.
Sailors are in position near the line, keeping an eye on their stopwatches, waiting for the start after the "5 minute warning horn".  In foreground are John Auld and Paul Hass.
Okay, the starting horn was blown and now the sailors are off to the first mark.

Schroeder (left) follows the time-tested strategy of doing whatever Jim Voelz (right) does.


THE PROTEST MEETING AND SOCK BURNING:
The protest meeting was very well attended with some new faces, some little ones, and lots of food.  Some of us were able to skip dinner.   We gathered around a fire pit next to the shoreline and conducted our first sock-burning.  This rite of spring ritual for sailing clubs (aka “yacht clubs”) was allegedly begun about a century ago by the Naval  Academy at Annapolis to get rid of stinky socks worn all winter, and celebrate the ability to go sockless until fall (off-duty we presume), but there are many other versions of the ritual's history.  Regardless,  we are in favor of fun ways of celebrating the arrival of warm weather.  Here is the poem that Dianne Fisher read as we burned socks:

“Goodbye to winter,

Only deck shoes we wear!

For the socks we are burning

Leave a stink in the air!”
Sock-burners hold up their stinky socks (and hold their noses) prior to burning

The Voelz grand kids were particularly excited about the “sock-fire” that they had been looking forward to all day.  They were proud to be able to burn the tiny socks they wore long ago "when they were little”.   
Oops, she overshot the fire when throwing the pink sock in the foreground.  This was quickly corrected before brewing disappointment set in.  The smoke was not pink in case you are wondering.

Thanks to Arlene Truex for bringing the sock burning ritual to our attention,  and for hosting us!  Thanks also to all who pitched in on set-up and clean-up.

NEXT SCHEDULED RACE:
Sailors have next Sunday "off", then we’ll have two race Sundays in a row on June 18th and June 25th.   Beginning sailors and volunteers are always welcome.  We will help you get started.   Meanwhile... 
STAY SOCKLESS MY FRIEND!


RACE RESULTS FIRST RACE – “MEMORIAL DAY TROPHY RACE”

Laser Class:  Jim Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Dianne Fisher 5th, Steve Willment 6th.
Butterfly Class: Peggy Voelz 1st
International Class: Tom Schroeder 1st, John Auld/Paul Hass 2nd.

Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Jim Voelz 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Tom Jennings 3rd, Peggy Voelz 4th, Tom Schroeder 5th, John Auld 6th, Kevin Preuss 7th, Dianne Fisher 8th, Steve Willment 9th

RACE RESULTS SECOND RACE

Laser Class: Tom Jennings 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th Steve Willment 5th, Dianne Fisher 6th
International Class: Tom Schroeder 1st, John Auld/ Paul Hass 2nd.

Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Tom Jennings 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Jim Voelz 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, Kevin Preuss 5th, Steve Willment 6th, Dianne Fisher 7th, John Auld/Paul Hass 8th.