Sunday, June 30, 2013

Saturday, June 29 - RYF

The forecast for Saturday called for building N winds and waves but both conditions were on the moderate side as the RC set the course up for racing. We chose to go stay closer to harbor than normal given the wave forecast and the slight possibility for weather and set up about a mile SE of the CMRC races taking place at the same time.

    Race 1 started in 7-9 knots and set on a course of 005. During the final minute to a start for the Etchells, two boats on opposite tacks made contact near the top of their masts, resulting in a broken mast for one of them. The disabled boat was towed in by the leeward markset boat while the other boat involved in the incident was able to start about 3 minutes late. As the now 7 Etchells made their way up the first beat, a dense fog rolled quickly down from the north, reducing visibility to just over a tenth of a nautical mile. Starts continued, however, with 4 T-10s, 6 Shields and 2 Luders sent off into the mist.
    The fog began to lift as boats continued up the beat and the signal boat could see the lead Etchells’ spinnakers as they rounded the weather mark located 1.5 nm up the course. For the duration of Race 1 and 2 the wind stayed fairly steady in the 000 to 010 range with some kicks to the right. There was talk about moving to 010 during the races, but the wind always returned enough to warrant no change. Reports from the sailors indicated that the breeze was right shifted as they neared the top of the course, an observation that was consistent to what the RC experienced.
    The Etchells started Race 3 on a 010 course, same distances, but all T-10s and Shields retired before their 3rd start. The two Luders, however, had just came off a tight Race 2, with a rare loss for Bill Simpson, and were game for a third race. They were started almost 25 minutes after the Etchells at 1350.
    By now the breeze was consistently in the 12-18 knot range with 2-4 foot seas, including some occasional 6 footers. In fact, the conditions were such that a sick volunteer was taken ashore off Carrier by Keelboat Director Chuck N. during Race 2, but recovered well once on shore. As will happen with a new course set, the wind, which had been creeping right the first two races, banged left and held rock steady at 000. A Charlie to a new mark at that bearing was made and the final beat and run were square. The Luders, in another heated battle, finished Race 3 around 1455.
    The race committee executed well in somewhat trying conditions, especially late in the day. On the signal boat, a remaining crew of 5 were able to provide quick turnarounds to the sailors while boats were finishing in Race 2. Robin F. handled the flags and was helped by Lisa G’s friend Jason, Rosemary I. recorded, Bob J. drove Carrier and was timer/sounds while PRO Erik S. and DRO Lisa G. called starts and the finish. Marine Superintendent Scott S. and new Interim Race Coordinator Grant E. on the leeward mark boat not only assisted in towed the disabled Etchells to harbor but were fast and prompt in executing directions, At the top of the course, Jeff G. fought off a some discomfort with the help of his crew Cynthia S. and they were fast and accurate in their actions. A really good day that ended with the clouds had mostly gone and a sunny ride back to Belmont.

Erik S.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Friday, June 28 - Hamilton Club Trophy, Chicago to Racine

Twelve yachts ranging from 34 to 70 feet raced the 50 miles to Racine in a freshening norther.  One set of RC started the boats at 6:30pm off Belmont, and a skeleton crew (Rick L, Lynn L and Janet B) drove to Racing, set a finish mark using a borrowed boat then took shifts on the sea wall, waiting.

Setting an 8 foot mark can be problematic when away from home and in the dark.  We powered our inflator by plugging in at a friend's boat, but it didn't fit so well in their cockpit.  Got the job done though, and our friends on Endeavor collected the mark after crossing the finish line.

Sometime after 4am the boats began to arrive and continued almost to the 9am time limit.  Two boats withdrew, but finished under power.  The fleet endured light wind, rain and then a heavy beat, perhaps as much as 20 knots.  

This event is part of CYC's Annual Cruise and the racing fleet was greeted by other CYC members from the Cruising Sail and Power Fleets, who had arrived Friday.  A breakfast for all members was held and a day of activities such as kayaking, biking and swimming pool lounging are planned.  Private tours of the local Kringle factory were sold out and a 3 yacht club cocktail tour ends with dinner tonight at Racine Yacht Club.  All boats will head back to Chicago on their own schedule, and an informal delivery/race is expected Sunday.
    Janet B.

Tuesday, June 25 - All RC Meeting

A meeting was held to update on RC volunteers on the latest happenings and to get some feedback on topics, such as communication.  Some "get psyched for Mac Race" facts and photos were included, courtesy of Rick L.  The meeting also included an educational session on Start and Finish Lines.

The PowerPoint presentation will be posted under meeting minutes.

The RC meeting was followed by another meeting regarding the procedures to be used at the finish of the Mac Race.  It was only for people assigned to the island team.  The session included members of the Mac Committee and was run by Janet C, the PRO of CYC's Race to Mackinac.

Next meeting will be Thursday, August 1 at the Monroe Station.

All RC mid summer Party will be held on Wednesday, July 10 at Monroe.  That's the Wed before the Mac starts.  That's not a business meeting, just a get together and celebration.
     Janet B.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Saturday, June 8 - NOOD Circle C

Saturday began with a postponement on shore for all circles due to a lack of wind. The AP was lowered at 1030, allowing for a 1145 start, but the velocity did not meet race standards for another hour. At 1131 the first warning was signaled for the fleets. With a light but building breeze, the course was set at 060 with weather marks at 1.5 nm and 1.25 nm.

As boats were on the first beat, the course was nearly set when the offset mark got fouled in the weather boat’s prop. They were able to set an anchor, raise the Mike flag (indicating that the boat itself was a mark) and made repeated sounds. That effort maintained the required course configuration and boats rounded the makeshift offset without incident.  The sailors made no complaints, although it was an odd situation and the mark/boat was slightly low of its normal position.  This move saved the race and if we'd had to abandon, we would have lost at least two hours in addition to the postponement.  A Blue Star for Jeff G.

The situation allowed Captain Lynn L to show her best today, after spending most of the morning with the judges on an ORR scoring question (Circle C has no ORR boats, but Circle A has some). Meeting the weather markset boat on Kay Baxter, with Sue R, the rep from Sailing World, aboard, Lynn made 20 diving attempts to free the mark from the prop but unfortunately without success. Jeff G. is also to be commended for making repeated diving attempts as well. 

With the mark unable to be freed from the windward mark boat, Independence, the circle’s leeward boat captained by Jane M, set a new start line before going to weather to re-position the long course marks for the second race of the day. Kay Baxter was able to obtain and set the short course marks before heading down to help call the line for starts. Accurate, efficient adjustments were also made to the gate and finish pin in fashion throughout the day by the leeward mark boat team - a tremendous job that was performed in an upbeat manner.

At the weather end, Lynn and Sue keep track of the wind, provided valuable feedback on the course and eventually towed the Vanenna back to harbor. The quality of the races would have been considerably compromised without their exemplary effort.

In all, three races were sailed by the J/111s while all other sections sailed two. Race 3 maintained the same 040 bearing as Race 2 but the 111s raced a shorter 1.25 nm course. Overall, that fleet has completed 7 races, compared to 6 for the J/109s and 5 for all other sections. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Friday, June 7 - NOOD Circle C

A solid 9-11 knot NNE breeze greeted sailors on Circle C as the race committee set up the course for the first race. While such a breeze is usually consistent, the wind steadily backed left throughout the first series of starts, prompting the RC to change the 020 course to 005 and lengthening for the J/111s, who were the first section to start. There was some separation between the J/111s and the J/109s and as the latter approached the gate the wind has veered back to near 020 so there was no changed signaled for the rest of the fleets.

The wind had freshened to 12-15 knots for the start of race 2, which was set at 005. The racers helped keep the action moving by behaving on the line as the X-Ray flag was raised only three times all day. Races 2 and 3 were extended to 1.75 and 1.5 nm, adding a quarter-mile to the course lengths from the first race. This gave ~75 minute races for the J/111s and ~85 minute races for the T-10s. The wind continued its walk left and a change to 355 was signaled during race 3.

The relative speed of the J/111s and J/109s allowed the RC to provide a shorter fourth race of 1.25 nm at 355 for them. Others fleets finished their day after 3 races.

Overall a solid day for both sailors and race committee. The Blue Star Award went to Debbie N, who noticed that a large log was floating in the middle of the start line during the sequence for race 4 of the J/111s. This caused the RC to postpone and then restart five minutes later, when the obstruction drifted to leeward of the starting area.

Erik S, DRO for Janet B, RO

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Saturday, June 1 -RYF

Shields, Etchells & Luders.  Small fleets.  3 races for Etchells, 2 for the other classes.