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Sunday, August 26, 2018

TORTOISE/HARE CONFUSION: August 26th Race Report

Another well attended race.  With wind!   Sails appeared along various shorelines and self-assembled until we had nine boats racing including five with both mainsail and jib, making for a picturesque lake scene if you happened to be taking photos.  Winds were enough for a good race, and unpredictable and gusty enough to keep everyone on their toes even during some calm spells. Phil Bush, crewing for John Auld became familiar with Y-Flyer boom vang head clearance when quickly moving from leeward to windward during sudden gusts.  
  
That blue line running from the boom to the mast is the boom vang. Duck!
Thanks to Beth Auld, Cindy Bartlett and Bernice & Terry Rains for volunteering on the Committee Boat (Bernice and Terry made themselves available at the last minute).  And Terry!- Way to set anchors so that the pontoon boat was floating smack dab, exactly, precisely next to the yellow flag the entire race!  And they took in all of the race markers after the race which was much appreciated in the heat. Thanks to Beth Auld for coordinating volunteers for the race, this being a tougher one to cover.  And to Kevin Preuss for organizing the race and setting up a good course with Lisa’s help.  Arlene Truex graciously extended her hospitality again for our post-race gathering.  Thanks everyone! 
 
Sailor’s pre-race practice runs benefited from plenty of wind particularly in a wide area near the start/finish line.  The wind was plentiful on the way to the first mark. The run to the second mark was slow but steady.  Upon reaching the second mark, in both races the winds stopped until there was a large gunwale-to-gunwale gathering of boats all in the same place.  The lull was not long enough for an agenda to be agreed upon though.  Then wind-reading skills and some luck took over once the wind re-appeared.  Slightly different courses were set to the third mark, stretching the field of boats out once more, determining much of the finish order.   The final run from the third mark to the finish line was also interesting with no wind direction to be taken for granted.  John Auld and Phil Bush successfully stayed closer to the shoreline than to the center of the course from about lot 256 to lot 249 in the first race when the wind was coming from S-SW and funneled along the shoreline.   But when they attempted this again in the 2nd race, they found the wind had shifted more to W-SW and they just inched along. Meanwhile the Cartwrights in the Thistle stayed toward the center of the course and passed them handily.  While both Auld/Bush and the Cartwrights2 thought they finished ahead of the other double-sailed boats in the second race, they and all others will be surprised by the handicapped result. Sailors were also covering each other’s next moves, using their rights-of-way to their own advantage in the chess game with their opponents.   Kevin Preuss and Matt Bartlett mused after the race that perhaps their sparring allowed Laura Garret to slip ahead of them for a win in the Laser class.
Dianne stands on centerboard.  Step#1 in righting a sailboat
Later, always helpful Lance and Bianca assist Dianne.  Here Bianca lifts top of mast to make the righting process a bit easier.

Our sailors will be surprised, shocked even, at the result of the 2nd race.  Various sailboat models have an official handicap to account for differences in their inherent speed. We apply this handicap to the elapsed finish time recorded on the stopwatch. In the second race, we had a tortoise-beats-hare story. In the fable, the tortoise wins.   But in our case the hare, the MUFFIN BUNNY, became the tortoise in the fable. Got that?   The “MUFFIN BUNNY” hopped to a first place finish!  The Sniders sailboat #2, named the Muffin Bunny, an AMF Sunbird with a high handicap captained by Bill Kent and crew Gay Lawson won first place in the International Class in the second race. The boat is inherently slower than the rest of our fleet (our fleet’s handicap factors range from 83 for the Thistle to 115 for the AMF Sunbird).  And indeed they finished the second race about 7 stop-watch minutes later than the 2nd place finisher, and were even 5 minutes behind the stop-watch finish of the last place finisher.  That is quite a long time. So long that many were much of the way back to their docks when Bill and Gay were enjoying a wind that gave them a rapid straight shot from the third mark to the finish line. But when you factor in its handicap, Bill and Gay out sailed their competitors by half a minute with the handicap.  Well done!  Come back!  


For an idea of which boats in our fleet are faster/slower by design, here are their handicaps with fastest listed first and slowest listed last:  Thistle 83.0, M-Scow 85.2, Hobie 86, Y-Flyer 87.9, Laser 92.3, JY-15 92.4, Butterfly 109.4, AMF Sunbird 115.

Sailors winning first in their class or overall in either of the two races were John Auld/Phil Bush, Matt Bartlett, Laura Garrett, and Bill Kent/Gay Lawson.
We enjoyed a well-attended relaxing gathering at GYC’s “Home Port” at Arlene Truex’s.  Some weren’t quite as gregarious as usual due to the toll taken on their energy by the sun and heat while fighting gusty winds.  At least three sailors were too whupped to attend the full moon gathering that evening.

Race Results:
FIRST RACE (“LABOR DAY”TROPHY RACE):
Laser Class:  Laura Garrett 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, Dianne Fisher 4th.
International Class:  John Auld/Phil Bush 1st, Tom Schroeder 2nd, Jeff/Tom Cartwright 3rd, Bill Kent/Gay Lawson 4th, Lance/Bianca Snider 5th
Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Laura Garrett 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Kevin Preuss 3rd, John Auld/Phil Bush 4th Tom Schroeder 5th, Dianne Fisher 6th, Jeff/Tom Cartwright 7th, Bill Kent/Gay Lawson 8th, Lance/Bianca Snider 9th.
SECOND RACE:
Laser Class:  Matt Bartlett 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th
International Class:  Bill Kent/Gay Lawson in the MUFFIN BUNNY 1st,  John Auld/Phil Bush 2nd,  Jeff/Tom Cartwright 3rd, Tom Schroeder 4th, Lance/Bianca Snider 5th.
Overall results on handicapped basis (not for scoring purposes):  Matt Bartlett 1st, Laura Garrett 2nd, Bill Kent/Gay Lawson in the MUFFIN BUNNY 3rd, John Auld/Phil Bush 4th, Jeff/Tom Cartwright 5th, Dianne Fisher 6th, Kevin Preuss 7th, Tom Schroeder 8th, Lance/Bianca Snider 9th.

NEXT RACE
Our next race is September 9th.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

MIX-MASTER TAKES ITS TOLL: August 5th, Race Report

Photos courtesy of Sandi Miller
We had good winds on a hot day with our “gourmet” volunteers and a visit from the newlyweds from out west.   We also had a couple of capsizes, with a collateral “victim”, and other frustrations in an area notorious for unpredictable winds.

Our Committee Boat volunteers were wave-riding gourmets Jack and Sandy Miller, Mimi Riffle, Steve and Gretchen Fisher, and Harry and Sandy Meshberger.  Jim Riffle and Terry Rains performed safety boat duty and got a workout.  John Auld set up a good race course considering the air was calm at set-up time.  Kevin and Beth Auld organized the race and Committee Boat.  Arlene Truex again hosted us at “home port”.  Thanks everyone!

Welcome back to John Gall and his bride Rachel visiting from Wyoming.  They sailed the Riffle’s M-Scow and were very competitive.  This was the first time the M-Scow was out since its memorable 2017 trophy winning voyage (“glub, glub”).  We were also fortunate to have Sherri Agnew join us before she said good bye to her Butterfly, now sold.   In total we had eight boats with eleven sailors. Our numbers have been good, with our less frequent sailors making up for absences of our “injured-reserve” sailors (not sailing-related injuries mind you).

The first race was very close among the 6 boats that started on time (2 were delayed in arriving on time for the start so they finished later).    The wind was plenty good with the usual shifty character produced by Grandview’s surrounding topography.  Our gourmets were happy for the cooling breeze on a 92-degree day.   But the breeze made for a fast race, the finish of which interrupted their lunch of BBQ chicken, sandwiches, fruit salad and brownies.



Lasers at the start

More starters: L to R, Lasers  JY-15 in foreground, Y-Flyer


The third mark (last before the finish line) was in a location infamous with sailors for totally unpredictable winds from one moment to the next –a mix-master of sorts.   If you draw a line from say, lot 311 to the north end of the slalom ski course, you will get a rough idea of the mix-master’s location.   Maybe it’s caused by the high ridge above that point.  Maybe it’s the impact of two inlets on either side of the point.  Maybe it’s the updraft coming from the nearby steep dam slope next to the less steep emergency spillway slope.  Maybe it’s a combination of all of those factors.  Whatever, it is reliably unreliable.  After rounding the marker in that area, each sailor had to figure out what line they could sail with the wind direction chosen just for them by the mix-master.  The victim in the first race was Tom Schroeder and crew Phil Bush who couldn’t figure it out fast enough.   Before rounding that last marker they were about 4th in fairly tight group of 5 boats.  Tack this way, no wind, tack that way, no wind. Meanwhile about ten seconds behind them, Auld/Hass rounded the mark and were able to find and ride a nice sliver of wind, just for them, all the way to the finish line.  Schroeder/Bush didn’t finish till about a minute and half later.    Others were about to be dealt a more costly blow.
Finish of 1st race: Kevin Preuss finished first and is not in this pictured.  He was followed by (left to right) Matt Bartlett, Dianne Fisher, Laura Garrett ( all in Lasers) and John Auld/Paul Hass in the Y-Flyer on a special sliver of wind just for them.  Another special wind for them arrived shortly thereafter.....

Just as the starting horn was about to sound for the 2nd race, with the starting line not far from the mix-master, a strong gust from an unexpected direction capsized Laura Garrett.   She did a nice job of righting her Laser quickly (somewhere over in the starboard column is a photo of her showing how it is done)  It also hit Auld/Hass hard under circumstances that didn’t give them enough time for the usual countermeasures that sailors like Laura employ for fast recovery.  To make matters worse their Y-flyer flipped onto the stern of another sailboat preventing it from moving.  And the Y-Flyer “turtled”, with its mast pointed straight to the bottom of the lake and that nicely painted hull pointed skyward.
 
The turtled Y-Flyer with its bow on top of another sailboat. The orange pole marks one end of the starting line.
 The Y-Flyer was unable to start the second race, and the other boat was significantly delayed.   Jim Riffle and Terry Rains came to their aid and were able help get the Y-Flyer righted shortly after the finish of the second race.  Thanks Jim and Terry!

Those winning 1st place in their class and/or overall on a handicapped basis were Kevin Preuss, John Auld/Paul Hass, Laura Garrett, and Tom Schroeder/Phil Bush
Race Results:

First Race
Lasers: Kevin Preuss 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Laura Garrett 4th
International Class on Handicapped basis:  John Auld/Paul Hass 1st, Tom Schroeder/Phil Bush 2nd, Sherri Agnew 3rd, John & Rachel Gall 4th.
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring):  Kevin Preuss 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Laura Garrett 4th, John Auld/Paul Hass 5th, Tom Schroeder/Phil Bush 6th, Sherri Agnew 7th, John & Rachel Gall 8th.

Second Race
Lasers: Laura Garrett 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th.
International Class on Handicapped basis:  Tom Schroeder/Phil Bush 1st, John & Rachel Gall 2nd.
Overall on Handicapped Basis (not for scoring):  Laura Garrett 1st, Matt Bartlett 2nd, Dianne Fisher 3rd, Kevin Preuss 4th, Tom Schroeder/Phil Bush 5th, John & Rachel Gall 6th.

Our next race is scheduled for August 26th.  Come join us!