Not that it was easy. It was challenging and while we didn't get it 100% right, the sailors gave great reviews of the race committee this weekend.
We had the biggest Inshore Verve in recent history:
Etchells - 12
Soling - 6
Colgate 26 - 3
J24 - 5
Shields - 4
Luders - 3
and on the B circle:
Laser - 8
Vanguard 15 - 12
Rhodes 19 - 9
Truth be told, it was the weather that made the regatta.
On Saturday winds 8 to 10 from the southeast and blessedly steady, made it seem easy to get 3 races on the A circle and a bunch on the B circle. But that's what the sailors saw. Sunday was shifty and although Tom Skilling predicted "gusty", the other forecasts were closer, at 6 to 12 knots.
Saturday, a nervous Janet B, as Race officer, had great support from Helle and Darcy and never had a concern about the starting sequence due to a dependable timer, Karen M and a supporting cast. Setting the course was pretty simple because the wind didn't really switch much, although we talked about it every leg. Bob and "his women" kept things square at the top, while Rick and Joanne raced around the bottom. An nonscientific poll said that most sailors did not want a fourth race, but it was not unanimous. They didn't get one, so it doesn't matter. Warm and sunny with good breeze made it a great day for sailing.
Sunday we had our first Southwester of the season. It wasn't a blower, but about 6 to 12 over the day, with plenty of shifts. Chicago's predominate breeze is southwest, but this season, we haven't seen it on a race day. Hot and sunny, with the upwind view of the city. Nice!
But shifty. 30 degrees difference between the top at the bottom. Olaf signed on last minute, Thanks! and helped Helle keep Janet from jumping off the boat as the breeze acted like a typical southwest shifty breeze. We worked the markset boat teams hard, demanding wind readings, even as they were moving to new locations or pulling marks, But Bob and another set of women (Mary and Stephanie) kept up a cool conversation on the radio and never missed a mark set or a change. All marks got in place in time, which wasn't always easy. On the bottom, we had Rick and Joanne moving the line, squaring the gate and signalling changes. Just two people- they had a busy day and Joanne drove most of the day. Not bad, having joined the RC after Mac this year!
At one point the the windward markset had 220 and the signal boat had 250. In fact, that lasted for a while. So we picked something in between and had a few changes. We set the third race of the day as a 5 legger.
Almost unanimously, the sailors liked it - another nonscientific poll. We stuck an extra 5 minutes between the J70s and the Etchells for all races on Sunday, which made the sequence longer, but it was appreciated by both fleets. On Saturday, the first few Etchells crossed into the back end of the J70 fleet. The Etchells seem faster upwind in the lighter stuff but the J70s seem faster downwind. Either class could start first, but with the same boats again, I would start the Etchells first. The J70s had a bigger spread from first to last. Something to consider- it can go either way.
Race Area B
I wasn't on this course, but short staffed, they were pressed hard because running 3 different classes on various courses makes for a merry-go-round of sailboats. The first sequence goes off, using the "Ollie" for a dinghy start. The Lasers want a long course, the V-15s love it short and the Rhodes add another dimension. So the RC is starting one fleet, finishing another and monitoring winds and making changes throughout. They got in lots of races and all the sailors I spoke with seemed very pleased. The Race officer there was Lynn with only 2 other people on the signal boat. I can't imagine how they did it.
Nancy A did a great job getting the scores in - emailed from the A course from Melissa. I think Lynn entered the scores from the B course. B got in earlier, having exhausted both sailors and RC. Saturday there was pasta dinner, and the usual Verve sponsored cocktails. Sunday had awards at 4:30 and a very lively bar crowd that drifted out to the docks by about 7:30pm. I can't say what happened then, but people were pretty happy.
Another successful showing of the CYC RC. All that training and pressing people into service is worthwhile. It was fun for me, and I think for all that helped this weekend. Your service is very appreciated - let's do it again.
Janet B - my photo's too!