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Sunday, May 20, 2018

CLEVER MOVE IN THE SAILBOAT RACING CHESS GAME May 20th Race Report


We began our 2018 season with participation at “high tide” - fourteen sailors in eleven boats and five volunteers on the Committee Boat.  More importantly we welcomed some newcomers to the sailing community.  The race was a low-wind skills affair with a clever move that allowed several sailors to accomplish a long sought after goal.

Welcome Phil Bush and Margaret Powers to the sailing community!  And we hope visiting first-timer Jeff Cartwright (Tom’s son, Ben’s brother) is a frequent participant as well.  We were also pleased to have visiting Norm,  (Cindy Bartlett’s father), and a guest of the Cartwrights on board for this race.

Jim Voelz set up the race earlier in the day when the wind was decent. He made a wise call to eliminate one of the marks when the situation changed by race time.  Our well-staffed Committee Boat included Beth Auld, Cindy Bartlett, Phil Bush, Margaret Powers and Norm Woodman.  Arlene Truex hosted us for the protest meeting.  And Kevin Preuss and Beth Auld organized the race/committee boat.  Thanks everyone!

Most races are won at the start as we learned from the GYC’s winningest sailor, Jim Voelz, at his racing clinic the day before.  So there was a "crambitious" swarm at the somewhat narrow starting line when the starting horn sounded.  The Committee Boat did a nice job of identifying two boats over the line before the horn sounded and notified the offending skippers who had to start over. Tom Schroeder and Steve Willment in the JY-15 hoped to wait behind the starting line until just before the starting horn, then tightening their sails.  But even without the sails trimmed their boat had momentum,  and they had to turn away from the line to avoid a false start, which cost them precious time.  Others were kept from “barging” (squeezing in between a starting line buoy and another sailboat at the last second) with the threat of a potential protest.  What a show for the Committee Boat volunteers, especially the first-timers!
 
The first leg of the race was upwind from the middle of the lake headed due west.  The wind was okay for this leg.  We rounded the mark and headed straight back east toward a marker near the dam.   

A very clever move by GYC veteran Tom Jennings was reported by the genuinely impressed casualty, Jim Voelz.
Leading the fleet as usual and sailing side-by-side, Jim on the left and Tom on the right, both would soon need to turn right to go around the marker-flag.  Jim could not turn until Tom did.  Tom waited until the very last minute to turn.  He made it around the marker flag without touching it, but it was too late for Jim.  Just a normal part of sailboat racing and very much expected and proper.  Jim had to make a 360 degree penalty turn for touching the flag.  In doing so he fouled Matt Bartlett by getting in his way and causing him to alter his course.   Matt could have protested which would have required Jim make two more 360 degree penalty turns, but gave Jim a “by”.  In return, Jim offered Matt a liquid refreshment to be redeemed at some future time.

The last leg of the race was straight west again, in to a now non-existent wind. There we sat.  Motionless.  For a long time.  A very long time.  Lance and Bianca, not far from the launching ramp understandably shouted their regrets and paddled to their trailer lest the afternoon race stretch into evening.  And the Cartwrights with an offer of a tow, bailed as well.  Some time later a slight breeze surprised us, coming from behind instead of from in front.   The remaining fleet crept ever so slowly to the finish line, with a few accomplishing the long sought after goal of finishing before Jim Voelz.  All courtesy of an opportunity Tom Jennings was able to use to his advantage and win the race.

We had a good turnout for the protest meeting in good weather and enjoyed Arlene Truex’s patio and yard.  Thanks again Arlene!

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

Next Race AND SOCK BURNING:  June 3rd.

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