Category Archives: Sailing

Race Night Report, July 20, 2017

Now THAT was a good turn out!  We had 16 boats on the water (13 boats racing) with 23 racers on my score sheet.  Encouragingly, many of our Learn-To-Sail graduates were coming out for their 1st race of the season (7, by my count)!  Winds were actually pretty decent for the first race (9 knots maybe, from the W — enough to have some fun hiking) although they died down to ~6 knots for race 2, and there was a good amount of “floating” for race 3.  Speaking of race 3, the unthinkable happened — read on!

(Note – I’m awful with faces and names, and errors are possible with the score sheet.  If you notice any mistakes like “I’m pretty sure I finished in front of Tony” or “I was sailing an Albacore with Bill, not a Laser by myself”, please let me know.  Links to the score sheets at bottom of post)

Race 1

I knew it would be a good night what I saw Corinne, and Leopold blasting along in an Albacore.  We had several LTS graduates in Albacores, a few in Lasers (and a Byte), and some of the race veterans sailing a mix of catamarans, Tasars, Albacores, Lasers, and even a Laser 2.

The area around the start line was pretty crowded, but several of the sailors stayed well back of the line before the start sound — I guess they read about Carla/Jean’s OCS last week and got scared off.  This let Ken/Peter S (sailing the Laser 2 together), Jason (Laser), Chunshu (Laser) and Jean/Frank (Albacore) to get a jump on the fleet.  Cameron/Matt (Albacore), Gabriel (Byte), Corrine/Leopold (Albacore) and Tony/Annie (Hobie 18) followed, with Mark/Ellen/Yona  joining in later.  It wasn’t long before the first mistake… Jason tacked onto port and tried to cut ahead of Chunshu who was on starboard tack.  Chunshu had to turn to avoid and you know what that means — penalty turns for Jason.  To make matters worse, he got tangled in the mainsheet hanging down from the boom as he was doing his turns, and was near the back of the fleet by the time he got things sorted out.

The cat, Frank/Jean’s Albacore and Ken/Peter’s Laser 2 played leapfrog for most of the race, while the rest of the fleet separated out.  The exception was that Jason was able to catch up to sneak past Chunshu and Corrine/Leopold on the second reaching leg by heading up a bit to gain boat speed, and rounded behind the leaders.  Chunshu was right on Jason’s tail, a little too much so, and bumped Jason’s transom at the leeward mark.  Doing his turns, Chunshu was passed by Corrine/Leo, Mike R/Lynn and the 3-person Mark/Ellen/Yona Albacores.

Meanwhile, the Annie/Tony cat was in 1st place, but when she rounded the windward mark, she took a wrong turn and headed to the gybe mark.  After realizing her mistake, she turned to head to the proper finish line, but had been soundly passed by Ken/Peter.  The cat was in a drag race for 2nd with Jean/Frank’s Albacore, and it came down to about 6 inches… the Albacore took it!  In terms of rookies, Mark/Ellen/Yona scored a respectable 6th, Cameron/Matt nabbed 9th, and Gabriel 10th.

Race 2

This race we were joined by Steve/Carla in a Tasar.  Norm/Tom N in an Albacore, James in a Laser and Lydia in a Laser.  Thirteen, count ’em, thirteen boats racing!  I think that’s a KSC record, at least within the past few years.

The start was a lot more competitive, with numerous boats threatening the line.  Steve/Carla were flirting quite dangerously with the start line, and I admit I was kinda hoping one of the veterans would come from downwind and enforce its right-of-way to push Carla/Steve over early.  Alas, didn’t happen.

The wind was starting to slow, and the upwind legs were very much about who could hold speed through their tacks, and squeeze out power from marginal conditions.  The single-handers didn’t fare too well, with the jibs on the double-handers helping them point.  Steve/Carla led the fleet (by a mile) while Ken/Peter, Mike/Lynn, Jean/Frank, Jason, and Chunshu were all duking it out for second.  Jean/Frank ran afoul of a boat (Mike/Lynn?) and had to do some penalty turns on the second reaching leg.  Mike/Lynn were leading by the second upwind, a good distance ahead of others.  While most boats elected to tack early and head to the left side of the course, Jason spotted some dark water in the distance and sailed right.  This move paid off, and he had caught up to Mike/Lynn by the windward mark.  Somehow Frank/Jean also caught up with Jason and Mike/Lynn — Frank won’t tell me how they made it upwind so fast, but the end result is we had 3 boats rounding the windward mark at the same time.  Yes, Carla/Steve were done the race before anyone else even got to this point, but you already knew that.

Jason was able to get on the inside, and round the mark with about 1/2″ room to spare  (which prompted some choice comments from Mike).  He started his downwind run with a few boat lengths lead over the double-handers.  Jean/Frank were sailing wing-on-wing while Mike/Lynn tried to get their Tasar on a deep reach.  Jason held on to take 2nd, with Jean/Frank just passing Mike/Lynn (3rd and 4th).  A few of our normally faster racers got caught in a patch of dead air, and we had surprising results like Norm/Tom finishing 13th, Tony/Annie 12th and Ken/Peter 8th.  Weird.  That’s okay, the scoring system we use lets you have the odd bad race without killing your season (see the “Dropped scores” section).

Race 3

Before the race, Steve and Jason switched boats — Steve was now in a Laser, and Carla/Jason were racing a Tasar together, with Carla at the helm.  The wind continued to slow, and we sailed a shortened course, with the finish line at the end of the 2nd upwind.

The start was slow, and favoured the pin end.  Generally good starts with little drama.  The fleet had separated by the end of the first leg, with Steve leading (no surprise), Jason/Carla close behind him (surprise) and Ken/Peter coming on strong too (no surprise).  The path around the course was largely processional, with the exception of rookies Matt/Cameron.  They had a start near the back of the fleet but Cameron was using every trick in the book: tacking on headers, maintaining boat speed through turns, hitting the gusts, and generally moving up the fleet constantly.

Steve rounded the leeward mark a few boat lengths ahead of Carla/Jason.  The wind was virtually dead on the right side of the course, so both boats tacked and went left after the mark, and stayed on starboard tack to try and ride the wind as long as they could.  (This next part may or may not be a bit embellished…)  Are you sitting down?  Okay, here we go: Steve made a tactical mistake.

Knowing that both boats would have to tack onto port to hit the finish line, Jason/Carla kept their eyes on the dead right side of the course.  A small, narrow gust was starting to develop.  They knew they’d never beat Steve if they stayed on the same tack as him, so they elected to tack early into the developing right-side gust.  Steve decided to stay in his wind instead.  About 30 seconds later, Steve hit the layline and tacked toward the mark, but missed the opportunity to stay in the fresh air that was developing.  Carla/Jason were able to take the race by a few seconds.  Believe it or not, this is the first time Carla’s won a race (other than when she’s sailed with Steve).  She’s one of the strongest sailors at KSC, and almost always in the top 3, so I was shocked when I found out.  Congrats, it must’ve felt good!

So what could Steve have done in this situation?  Given that the Laser can tack very quickly, he might have tacked as soon as Jason/Carla went on port to “cover” them and get in front of any wind they were hoping to catch.  I don’t know whether or not it would have worked, but it’s what he mentioned after the race.  Regardless, I expect him to have formulated a plan for next week, and I don’t expect him to lose a race this way again.

Ken/Peter finished 3rd.  Remember how I mentioned Cameron/Matt’s efforts to move up the fleet?  They were rewarded with a 4th place finish, ahead of veterans like Frank/Jean (5th), Mike/Lynn (7th), and Norm/Tom (12th).  Great job guys!  A huge shout out also goes to Mark/Ellen/Yona’s 3-person Albacore (6th), Corinne/Leopold (8th), Chunshu (10th) and Lydia (11th).  Note the online score sheet doesn’t list anyone has having finished in 9th place.  I’ll have to check the paper version, but there may be adjustments to the final standings.

Apres sail & Season/Series Standings

The on deck party was a fun time as always, and some leftover beverages from Sailpast were a nice touch (big thank you to our social director, Annie).  Tony brought burgers and race night was a complete success.  We had light winds, but next week (July 27) we expect bigger air.  Come on out, rain or shine (we cancel in the case of thunder, but don’t let rain scare you away)

Speaking of July 27, that’s the last night of “Summer Series 1”.  The scores for the series can be found here.  Steve is in the lead by a mile, with Ken S in 2nd.  The complete season (spring series + summer series 1 + eventually summer series 2) scores can be found here.  Please check your scores and let me know of any mistakes.

KSC 12-Mile Island Event this Saturday, July 29, 2017

Each year, Kanata Sailing Club holds a “12-Mile Island” event as a long distance race.  We’ll be doing things a bit different this year, so please read on.

Where is 12-Mile Island?

The island, also called Ile Allen, is upriver (i.e. away from Ottawa) a good distance from KSC.  You sail North-West, past Pinhey’s Point, through the narrows at the Port-of-Call Marina, past Baskin’s Beach (both on the Ontario side), around the island, then back downriver to KSC.  Note that we recommend that you stay near the centre of the channel, especially when you’re sailing on the Quebec side of the island as it can get a bit shallow there.

How long does it take?

Depending on the wind conditions, and the type of boat you sail, a round trip journey generally takes the better part of a day.  The record, as far as I’m aware, is just over 2 hours (set in a fast catamaran, on a big-wind day, by ridiculously skilled and fast sailors).  On a more typical day, it’ll take 3+ hours in a cat, 4+ hours in an Albacore.  A light wind day could take 5 or more hours.

I don’t want to sail that far.

We have another option, and we’ll get to that.  Please keep reading.

How is it fair to people who sail slower boats?

We “handicap” the time.  There are generally accepted ratios as to how fast different boats sail.  The RYA (the UK equivalent of Sail Canada) maintains the handicaps for a bunch of boats.  According to their numbers for example, the Albacore is slightly faster than the Laser.  So, if a Laser can do a course in 60 minutes then it should take an Albacore 57 minutes and a Hobie 16 catamaran should be able to do it in 44 minutes.  We don’t consider the handicaps on our normal race nights, but will do so for this event.  The 2017 list of Portsmouth handicap numbers for monohulls can be found here and for cats here (we’ll be using the “PN Look-a-like” numbers for the cats).

Smaller numbers mean the boat should be theoretically be faster.

Okay, so let’s say I want to participate in the 12-Mile Island Event.  What’s the plan?

In previous year’s we’ve run the event as a “race” with a start line, and finish line, etc.  This year we’re doing things a bit differently since it’s really boring for a race committee to wait 4 hours for a boat to finish.

We’re setting a target finish time of 3:30pm.  You can start whenever you would like (be it 11:06am, 9:48am, noon, 1:21pm if you’re really optimistic, etc).  There will be a bouy in front of the sailing club to act as a starting/finishing point.  Sail from downriver, as close to the bouy as possible, to start your island rounding.  Record what time you started.  As you finish, pass the bouy as close as possible again and record your finish time.  Alternatively, you can use a stopwatch to track how long the run took you.

We’ll figure out an “adjusted time” based on your elapsed time and your boat’s handicap.

Once everyone is back at the club (target 3:30pm with a 4:15pm cut-off) we’ll crunch the numbers and see who did the rounding in the least amount of adjusted time.  Winners to be announced as soon as is practical after everyone is ashore.

As of July 25, the wind forecast is for moderate winds (maybe on the light side of moderate).  I would encourage monohull sailors to target a start time of around 11:00.  This would get you home right on time if the rounding takes you 4hr 30min.  Having a group of monohulls all leaving at the same time also allows you to keep an eye on each other.

What to I win?

Bragging rights, and a round of applause at the club’s AGM.  Also, this counts as one of the roundings for the 12-Mile Island Challenge and the trophies that go along with that.

12-Mile Island Challenge?  What’s that?

KSC founding members Harry Adderley and Ken Eaves have challenged the members of the club to round 12-Mile Island as many times as they can in a season.  There are trophies for those who complete:

  • the most roundings in a cat
  • the most roundings with a double-handed monohull
  • the most roundings with a single-handed monohull

If you round the island as part of this event, it counts towards your yearly total.  Note that in 2016, there were no single-handed monohull roundings, and only 2 (I think) double-handed roundings, so if you had done the 12-Mile Event in a Laser, you would have won.  On a tangential note, I had heard that Carla challenged Norm to round the island in an Opti, so we’ll see if that pans out.  Norm, I suggest you leave the club at 8:00am to make it back by 3:30.

I’m not ready to commit to that long a voyage.  Is there another option?

Yes!  I’ll be dropping a bouy in the middle of the river just past Pinhey’s Point.  This is about 1/2 way to 12-Mile Island.  We’ll actually announce two winners — the fastest time around the island, and the fastest time around the 1/2 way mark.  So, if you can’t get to the club until say 12:30, you might be able to grab a boat and do the half-run before the cut off.

I’m sold, how do I sign up?

Just show up at the club on Saturday July 29, rig your boat, and start your sail!  I aim to have the start mark in the water by 10:00, and the 1/2 mark shortly after.  As mentioned, aim to finish as close to 3:30, as possible, so everyone arrives back at the club around the same time.  Bring something to BBQ, a drink or two, and we’ll go through the results.  We’ll consider boats not finished by 4:15 disqualified.

Boats are first-come-first-serve.

Why the 4:15 cut off time?

This gives us time to crunch numbers, announce winners, and go out in the powerboat to pick up the half-way mark.  If we see any KSC boats struggling to make it back to the club, we’ll also give them a tow home, but please be advised that KSC should not be considered a rescue service.  Use your good judgement to take into account your sailing skills, experience, and weather conditions (both forecast and observed).

I don’t want to sail solo.  How can I find a skipper/crew?

Send me an email at sailing@kanatasailingclub.com if you’re looking for someone to sail with.  I’ll try to get people who email me in touch with each other.

 

Race Night Report, July 13, 2017

We had a huge number of highlights, so let’s dive right in!

Winds were steady (for a change) about 6-8 knots from the SE, slowing and shifting from the S as the night went on.  At the suggestion of one of the racers, we experimented with a modified course (with a downwind finish). Feedback on the course was positive, and it was a heck of a lot easier for the RC to set, so watch for a amendment to the SIs coming soon which will formalize the new course as KSC standard.  Lots of Lasers out, with a couple of Tasars, a cat, and only one Albacore.

Race 1

People were still getting their bearings on the new course, and most people elected to do the safe thing — follow whatever boat Steve’s in.  Steve/Devin (Tasar) led the pack throughout the race, with the only real challenger being Ken S (Laser).  Jean/Carla (Tasar) took 3rd, Annie/Tony (Hobie 18) 4th, Chunshu (Laser) 5th, Tom N (Laser) 6th, and just-graduated LTS students Dan/Joanne (Albacore) in 7th.  Mike R (Laser) didn’t make the start line in time, and ended with a DNS 9 points.

Race 2

Wow, this was one to write home about.  First of all, everyone had their “safe” tour around the course, so they decided to be aggressive.  Maybe a little too aggressive.  Ken tried pushing Jean/Carla up above the committee boat before the race, and this encouraged the Tasar to really nail the start.  While running along the start line, the edge of Jean/Carla’s boat was across by about 6-8″ and once the start sound went, it was followed by the individual-recall flag.  Jean/Carla couldn’t believe it, but turned back and restarted anyway (behind the rest of the fleet).  Methinks they were not happy about it.

Meanwhile, Chunshu was on his game!  Not only was he keeping pace with Laser master Ken, and veteran Tom, but the 3 Lasers were right behind Tony/Annie’s cat by the leeward mark.  I’m not sure I’ve ever seen 4 KSC boats that close at that point in the race.  Chunshu pulled an AWESOME move.  Recognizing that the 3 boats in front of him were going to have to “pinwheel” around the mark, he cut in right behind the cat (the inside boat) and tacked right after rounding.  The cat continued on, leaving Ken and Tom struggling in its wind shadow, while Chunshu gained on all of them and was sailing in clear air.  You should have heard Heidi in the RC boat “That’s my student! I’m so proud!”

Jean/Carla (with nobody around them) apparently hit the gybe mark in the meantime, and their 360 cost them even more time.  Devin/Steve won the race (of course), followed by the Tony/Annie cat (2nd), Chunshu (3rd, his best placement to date), Ken (4th), Mike (5th), Tom (6th).  Carla/Jean managed to pass the Albacore to claim 7th, while Joanne/Dan finished 8th.

3rd race

It was after the 3rd race had started that the RC noticed “hey, our gybe mark is gone”.  Way off in the distance, toward Aylmer island and almost in line with the windward mark, the “gybe” mark was drifting down river.  By the time the RC got there, the first boats had already reached the leg, the the RC had no choice but to let the sailors run the course as is (essentially, a windward/leeward course).  Whatever, it was all in good fun.  The wind petered off on the downwind (down to maybe 4 knots), and the race took a while to actually finish, without too much drama or events (at least none that I saw, but I was focused on retrieving the mark).

Steve/Devin got the bullet (AGAIN) with Tony/Annie getting 2nd.  Considering the cat’s (shall we say) “disappointing” placements last season, Annie and Tony have really upped their game this year.  Ken claimed 3rd, followed by Chunshu (4th), Jean/Carla (5th), Tom (6th) and Mike (7th).  Dan/Joanne had to retire due to a previous commitment, but their boat was subsequently claimed for an after-racing sail by Rebecca and Mark.

Apres-sail

Many thanks to Carla for bringing the food/beer, and for Heidi for helping RC.  Frank (not sailing due to a cold) BBQ’d up some mighty fine burgers, and we all enjoyed a beautiful night.  Uncharacteristically, the wind picked up as the sun was going down (up to 10 knots, maybe), so those who elected to stay on the water (Mike, Mark, Rebecca) had some good fun blasting along.

Season score wise, Carla doubles her lead over Jason!  Last week she was ahead by 1 point, this week she’s ahead by 2 (28 to 30).  But look out, both of you… Tony’s coming on strong after a pair of 2nd place finishes, and Steve’s 15-point DNC races are quickly being replaced by wins.  Tom, Chunshu, Jean and Annie are getting in the mix, and adding Ken to the roster of regulars will make it that much harder to get those 2nd/3rd place finishes (can we all just assume that Steve will be finishing 1st?).  Season score here.

The summer series scores are a lot less interesting.  Steve’s whopping butt (his only non-1st-place-finish is a 3rd, and that’s a dropped score).  Ken’s in 2nd with a bit of margin over Carla and Jason, but not enough to “lock it”.  Annie/Tony are tied for 5th, which is AWESOME.  Last year the cats (be it 16 or 18) were typically near the bottom of the fleet, considering our short tack-friendly courses, but this year they’re solidly in the middle of the fleet, including grabbing a couple of 2nd place finishes over Laser/Tasar/Albacore veterans.  If the legs were a mile long, they could very well be beating Steve!  Summer series scores here

Race Night Report, July 6, 2017

Before I write about Race Night, I want to congratulate KSC sailors on really stepping up your race game.  Three or four years ago, you could tell what the race result was going to be just be looking at the boat sign out board.  There was gobs of space between any two boats, you knew exactly who was going to beat whom, and the “race” was just a processional parade around the course.  Last night, competition was the closest I’ve ever seen at KSC.  Around every mark, you had boats catching up with each other, passing each other, making tactical decisions, and fighting each other for advantages.  It was AWESOME!  Keep it up.

Race 1

I’m afraid I wasn’t on the water for this one, so I didn’t get to see the action.  Carla/Steve took the race in a Tasar, followed by Ken S in a Laser, Frank/Jean in an Albacore and Chunshu in a Laser.  Note that as per the sailing instructions, Tom N scored a “2.5” place finish as RC for the purposes of tracking season scores.

Race 2

The existing racers were joined by Jason and 7-year-old Hannah (Albacore) and Annie/Tony (Hobie 18), as the wind picked up to maybe around 8 knots with 12-14 in the gusts.  Jean/Frank, Carla/Steve, and Ken had good boat end starts.  Jason/Hannah were able to make some time up near the gybe mark, with Chunshu and Tony/Annie breathing down their necks.  When the wind gusts hit, the Hobie 18 just started SCREAMING, passing just about everyone on one broad reach leg.  You should’ve seen the smile on Tony’s face (and Annie hanging on for dear life).

The upwind gave the monohulls a chance to make up some distance, and fight the cat on the downwind.  Carla/Steve rounded the final mark first, followed by Ken and Jason/Hannah.  The cat was next followed by Jean/Frank and Chunshu.  A wind shift meant the last “upwind” was more close reach than directly upwind, and it was a drag race to the finish line.  Carla/Steve held on for 1st, followed by Ken S.  Jason/Hannah thought they had 3rd, only to have Tony/Annie come from behind in the cat an take it by less than a second.  Have I mentioned the smile on Tony’s face yet?  Frank/Jean and Chunshu rounded out the race. Tom N as RC scores 3.5 points

Race 3

The wind died a bit, giving an advantage to the lighter weight boats.  Furthermore, a crew swap saw Frank sailing an Albacore with Steve, and Carla sailing the Tasar with Jean.  Hannah/Jason, Frank/Steve and Ken all managed to start right at the horn, with Hannah/Jason getting the favoured boat end of the line.  The reaching legs saw some good battles for position, as Hannah/Jason tried to stay inside Steve/Frank at the marks, sometimes actually successfully.  Jason/Hannah made their tactical success of the night by spotting a couple of gusts, tacking early after rounding the leeward mark, and riding two gusts on two different tacks to hit the windward mark nice and early.  Ken and Steve/Frank went to the other side of the course and got stuck in some slower air.  I didn’t see what Carla/Jean got up to at this point, but I did spot Chunshu taking advantage of the cat’s poor lightwind performance, and passing her while the cat tried to tack.

Jason/Hannah held on to win the race, followed by Ken S (2nd), Frank/Steve (3rd), Carla/Jean (4th), Chunshu (5th) and Tony/Annie (6th).

Race 4

Great starts all around, and we had a couple of close battles on the first upwind.  Steve/Frank, Hannah/Jason and Ken S all wanted a win, and were fighting for it.  As a result, I didn’t see much of what the other boats were doing the first part of the race, so the play-by-play will have to focus on these 3.  Steve/Frank rounded the windward mark first and found the route to the next mark was almost directly downwind.  They elected to gybe early.  Seconds later Jason/Hannah followed, but didn’t gybe (they were hoping a shift the other direction would happen), and were joined by Ken.  The three boats were all in a line approaching the “gybe” mark.  Let’s see how well you know your racing rules.  Who has right of way in the diagram?  Does right of way change once one of the boats reaches the 3-boatlength-circle around the mark?  What should each boat do to maximize their advantage?

Send your guesses to sailing@kanatasailingclub.com

Regardless the next leg started with Ken S in front, Hannah/Jason next, then Steve/Frank.  Hannah/Jason then felt their boat slow right down, and get tons of weather helm.  “You rudder came up!” commented Steve/Frank.  As Jason moved to the back of the boat to pull the rudder down (as wasn’t watching where he was going) a puff of wind hit.  “Up!” shouted Ken, moments before Hannah/Jason’s Albacore gave the Laser a love tap.  Two penalty turns later, and both Ken and Frank/Steve are miles ahead of Hannah/Jason.  Lesson learned: if you have to take your eyes off of where your boat is going, make sure your crew is looking ahead.

Frank/Steve were able to outpoint Ken on the upwind, and rounded the mark first while Jean/Carla’s Tasar started to catch up to Hannah/Jason.  On the downwind (i.e. broad reach), Ken decided to head up to try to pass Steve with boat speed.  Steve defended his position and headed up as well, with the two leaders heading farther and farther up and away from the rhumb line.  Jason/Hannah didn’t want to get involved in that game, and made a dash straight at the leeward mark, followed closely by Carla/Jean.  The Jean/Carla boat tried to get around Hannah/Jason but the Albacore managed to fend off the Tasar.  Meanwhile, the race leaders had enough fun on their own, and had to gybe to get to the leeward mark, essentially losing almost all their lead over Hannah/Jason (and now Jean/Carla).  Steve/Frank rounded first, followed by Ken, the Hannah/Jason seconds later and Carla/Jean just after that.  The upwind to the finish line was pretty close with Frank/Steve taking it.  Jason/Hannah were able to outpoint Ken’s Laser and were just able to catch up and sneak by him for 2nd.  Ken took 3rd, with Jean/Carla 4th, Tony/Annie 5th, and Chunshu 6th.

Post race

Tom N supplied some excellent sausages (seriously, Tom, where did you get those?), salad, potato salad and beverages.  Many thanks to Tom for also volunteering to help short-handed Reese with RC duties, and thanks to Hannah for helping to announce the race results.

Next race night is July 13, come join the fun!

Race Night Report – June 23, 2017 (and Spring Results)

Spring Series Results at end of post.

Race Night Report

We had a good turnout for our final outing of the KSC Spring Series, with 13 racers!  In fact, all available Albacores were out on the water, along with a Tasar, a Laser, and 2(!) Hobie 16 catamarans, despite the lighter conditions.

A delay getting people on the water (and finding boats…) meant that race 1 was sailed by 3 double-handers and a Laser.  To the surprise of absolutely nobody, Steve and Carla blasted around the course in the Tasar, leaving a couple of Albacores to fight with a Laser for the remaining places.  Jean skippering her very first race (she just got her blue tag!) and Frank were able to win second, followed by Ray and Chunshu.  Tuan (our first rookie this season) was awarded an on-course-finish in a Laser.

The second race saw the racers joined by Tony/Annie in a Hobie 16 catamaran at the start.  A second, very overloaded,  H16 started later in the race (Norm, Tom N, Jason, and rookie Devin).  Carla/Steve took the win (again) followed by Jean/Frank (again).  This time Tuan took 3rd, with Ray/Chunshu following and Annie/Tony scoring the first cat finish of the season.  The 4-men-on-a-cat was awarded an OCF to allow the 3rd race to get underway.

And what a nuisance that 4-man cat made itself that 3rd race :).  Just before the gun, the overloaded cat decided on an aggressive start at the boat end, enforced it’s rights, and pushed the Tasar across the start line early.  Ha ha, take *that* Steve.  The move was just a couple of seconds too early though, the H16 had to bear off and and the Tasar was able to duck behind the cat, do a dip start, and led the whole way though the race.  Still, it was fun while it lasted.

After rounding windward in 3rd place (behind the Tasar and H16), Jean and Frank made use of the Albacores superior direct light-downwind performance on a wind shift on the second leg, and passed the overloaded cat, who had to head up to maintain any speed.  The overloaded boat made up distance on the second reaching leg (more of a beam reach than a broad reach) and were able to establish overlap just outside the zone and round the leeward mark on the inside.  Remember how I said she made herself a nuisance?  Jean and Frank tacked quickly to get out of the cat’s dirty air, and the cat made a big tactical mistake… she tried to tack to stay in front of the Albacore, and just got stuck in irons, and was passed by Frank/Jean as well as Chunshu/Ray (lesson learned — when sailing a cat, don’t get into a tacking duel).  At the windward mark the overloaded cat was passed AGAIN, this time by Tony/Annie’s H16, who came from behind.  End results, Carla/Steve 1st, Frank/Jean 2nd, Chunshu/Ray 3rd, Annie/Tony 4th, Jason/Norm/Tom/Devin OCF 5th.

Apres-sail was a blast, as always, and a huge shout-out to Ray for bringing the beer/burgers!  Thanks again goes out to our RC (Reese and Sydney) without whom the race would not have been possible.

Spring Series Results

We got in 8 official races over 3 nights, in addition to the 2 races run on the practice night when the water was still too high to keep the boats at the beach.  This means that we have 2 dropped races (1 drop per 4 races) to take into account for series results.

Going into the night Jason had placed first in the prior 5 races, but with two drops, it was anyone’s game if Jason dropped the ball and placed poorly (which he did).  Tony (with a few 1st places), Carla, and Norm (2nd and 3rd place finishes) were all in contention.  Basically, if Jason scored poorly, and either of them got a few firsts, then it would all come down to “how poorly did Jason score”.

And, as we know, Jason scored poorly in the 4-man-cat, while Carla won all 3 races on the final night…

So who won the series?  (drum roll please…) The net result, including dropped races is a TIE at between Jason and Carla at 10 points each!  We now have to go to the score excluding drops for the official series winner, and it looks like Jason wins with 22 points vs Carla’s 40.  Congrats Jason, bragging rights are yours for a few weeks.

We had two rookies come out this series, Tuan and Devin.  Between the two, Tuan takes the “Best Rookie Award” and bragging rights, at least for the next five weeks. (Note: a previous revision of this post said that Devin had won, because I didn’t realize Tuan was a rookie — the official scoring chart, below, will also be updated)

Complete Spring Series Results

Summer Series 1 Starts June 29

Come on out next week when we’ll all start with 0 points for Summer Series 1 (June 29-July 27).  I especially invite our Learn-to-Sail students to come on out and exercise those shiny new blue tags.  We have a “best rookie” award, and great food/company afterwards.  Even if you don’t want to race by yourself, let your humble* sailing director (Jason) know (sailing@kanatasailingclub.com) and we’ll make sure we get a skipper or crew for you.  “Nobody left ashore” policy is still in effect; if you want to sail, we’ll get you on the water regardless of circumstances.

*well, he may not be so humble for the next few weeks — if you want to take him down a few pegs, come on out and beat him around the course!

Race Night Report, June 15, 2017

Sit back and hear the tale of the amazing submersible Albacore.

Race night got off to a great start!  We had a good number of people show up, although most elected to take double handers which reduced the number of boats on the start line.  The wind showed up as well, with steady winds of about 12 knots and gusts in the 16-18 knot range, from the East.  A fairly short course set by Sydney and Reese let us get three races in.

Race 1 was all about figuring out the course.  A shift in the persistent wind meant that most people figured out that port tack would be favoured for most of the leg.  Tony and Jason (Tasar) decided to roll the dice and try a port tack start near the pin end.  With only about 5 seconds before the start, Norm and Carla (Albacore) were coming up to Tony/Jason on starboard, and it looked like Tony/Jason would have to cross early or tack (screwing their start), but Norm/Carla elected to tack onto port right as the gun went (giving Jason/Tony a repreve).  Chunshu and Tom (Albacore) decided to not repeat Tom’s OCS start last week, and gave the start line plenty of room.  The positions held through the race, with Jason/Tony winning, followed by Carla/Norm.  Tom/Chunshu ended up taking on some water and decided to abandon the race to bail their boat.

Race 2 found us joined by Ray (Laser).  By this time most of the sailors had figured out that the port tack start was the winner, but it seemed that Tony/Jason had the favoured pin end all to themselves.  They were able to make the windward mark first, but a battle between Ray and Carla/Norm meant it was neck-and-neck through for second.  Bad judgement on Jason’s part during a shift meant that both 2nd and 3rd place boats gained on Tony/Jason during the downwind leg, with Carla/Norm just a few feet away from establishing overlap around the mark.  Tony/Jason held on for 1st, while Carla/Norm took 2nd and Ray 3rd.

The final race, the game was on!  Norm/Carla won the start with Ray and Chunshu/Tom close behind.  Tony/Jason mistimed their start and had some catching up to do.  But what’s this?  Why is Carla/Norm on starboard tack?  A mistook mark and, the Carla/Norm Albacore was off the course, and had a lot of catching up to do.  Meanwhile, Tom/Chunshu had some trouble at the upwind mark!  Oh no, it looks like their tipping!  Capsize!  Jason/Tony went on to win the race, followed by Ray and Carla/Norm.

The amazing Albacore U-Boat

The real fun was at the upwind mark where Chunshu/Tom were still having trouble.  When the boat was righted, it was sitting rediculously low in the water and would capsize again immediately.  Three capsizes later, we find that their tiller has broken completely off from their rudder head.  They were towed to safety by our intrepid RC (thanks, Reese & Sydney!) with a special shout out to Tony who jumped in the power boat to lend a hand if needed as well.  When the boat got back to the shore, we found that not only was the rudder head busted, not only was the boat full of water, but 3 of the 4 bouyancy tanks were filled as well.  No wonder it was so hard to right!

Race 1 Results: 1st Tony/Jason (Tasar), 2nd Norm/Carla (Albacore), DNF Chunshu/Tom (Albacore), DNS Ray (Laser)

Race 2 Results: 1st Tony/Jason (Tasar), 2nd Norm/Carla (Albacore), 3rd Ray (Laser), DNS Chunshu/Tom (Albacore)

Race 3 Results: 1st Tony/Jason (Tasar), 2nd Ray (Laser), 3rd Norm/Carla (Albacore), DNF Chunshu/Tom (Albacore)

A thank you also goes to Jean and Frank who tended the BBQ and great beer/burgers were had by all.

 

Race Night Report, June 8, 2017

Boats are at the water, and race season is off to a start!

We had two races in light but very shifty conditions (the wind flipped 180 degrees, and we raced a Windward/Leeward course since the gybe mark was on the wrong side of the course).

Tom N and Norm took out an Albacore, and an OCS start cost them in the first race.  Ray in a Laser and Jason in an Albacore battled it out to the windward mark when Ray’s mainsheet let go of the boom block and became unthreaded.  Jason took a couple of penalties on the second upwind, but managed to hold on for first.

1 – Jason
2 – Norm, Tom N
DNF – Ray

With Ray’s boat jury-rigged, Race 2 was held.  The wind however unfortunately died further and Jason was just able to finish before we were in drifting conditions.  Rather than go into shore like any sane person (Ray), Norm and Tom elected to spend an extra half hour on the water to complete the final leg and claim 2nd (rather than DNF)

1 – Jason
2 – Norm, Tom N
DNF – Ray

Post race beer/burgers were enjoyed by all (many thanks to Frank and Jean for cooking!) as we discussed the best way around the modified course using paper plates and beer bottles


Photo credit to Frank Boyaner

Race Night Report – Thursday June 1, 2017

The high water (and fact that boats weren’t yet at the beech) meant that the June 1 race night was a practice race, and will not officially count towards the season score.  We did get a few boats on the water though to run through the course and work out some kinks in our race plan.

Weather

This was really the story of the night.  A forecast 10 knots (with gusts of 15) did not come to pass.  Instead, we got about 6 knots with gusts in the 12-20 range.  A couple of capsizes happened throughout the night, but those who managed to hold on were flying in the gusts.

The Results

Chunshu and Norm (Albacore), Ray (Laser), Carla (Byte) and Jason (Laser) braved the couple of races, but end results were not tallied.  Notably, Jason sailed the wrong course in the first race, and others apparently chose to follow (pro tip — never assume Jason knows what the heck he’s doing)

The Apres-sail, the RC, and other comments

Many thanks to Frank and Jean for bringing hamburgers and refreshments, and instructors Sydney and Reese for doing Race Committee duties.  They set a course and ran a couple of quick races, all while keeping an eye on the fleet from a safety perspective.  As a final note, the Ottawa Skiff and Cat Grand Prix (OSCGP) is running this weekend, and Nepean One Design (NOD) is running the weekend of June 14.  KSC members are more than welcome to take a KSC cat to OSCGP and to take an Albacore or Laser to NOD.  See nsc.ca for details on these regattas.

How Scoring Works – Appendix A Demystified

The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) contains a suggested mechanism for scoring at regattas, detailed in Appendix A of the rules.  A regatta doesn’t have to use this mechanism (the Sailing Instructions, or SIs, for the regatta will describe the scoring system) but Appendix A is a popular choice.  This article describes how Appendix A works, and talks about the changes to Appendix A that KSC uses for our weekly race series.

The Basics

In simple terms, you get one point for being first, two points for being second, etc (Rule A4.1).  At the end of the regatta, the boat with the fewest points wins (like golf) (Rule A2.1).

Sounds simple, right?

The devil is, of course, in the details.  What happens if a boat doesn’t race?  What if a person crews for one boat one race, and a different boat the next?  How do “dropped races” work, that kind of thing.

Breaking the Rules

Generally speaking, a boat that breaks a rule (or doesn’t race) is scored as if it finished “last place plus one”.  If there are 10 boats in the regatta, you’d normally expect the scores to be 1 point (for the first place boat) to 10 points (for the last place boat).  If only 8 of the 10 boats participated in the race, they would score 1 to 8 points, and the two boats who did not race are scored 11 points each.

Boats might not race for a number of reasons — maybe the didn’t show up for the race, they were unable start the race in time, they were over the start line early (and didn’t rectify the issue), they had problems and had to leave the race, etc.  Under Appendix A, these situations are generally treated equally (by awarding “last place plus one”).

The other situation where a boat will be scored as “last place plus one” is if the boat is disqualified.  This typically occurs when a boat breaks a rule (maybe it caused a collision when the other boat had right-of-way).  A boat can exonerate itself by doing penalty turns (usually two 360 degree turns) as soon as it is able to safely do so.  If a boat doesn’t do its turns, it may be disqualified and awarded “last place plus one”.

There are other conditions which could cause a change to a score.  The judge could decide to award someone a score based on where they would have likely finished if a boat were interfered with, or a boat may be penalized a certain number of points for some types of infractions.  Generally speaking these cases are quite rare, but you should know that they do exist.

Some common “scores” which you’ll see on a scoring sheet:

Code Meaning
DNC Did not come to the starting area (didn’t show up for the race)
OCS On course side (you crossed the start line early)
DNS Did not start the race in time (other than DNC or OCS)
RET Retired (you started the race, but headed back to port before finishing)
DNF Did not finish the race in time (but were still trying)
DSQ Disqualified (broke a rule and didn’t do your turns)
BFD Black flagged (started early when black flag was up)
UFD U-flagged (started early when U flag was up)

 

Dropped Scores

Everyone has a bad race now and then.  Furthermore, maybe there was a tough situation and you got disqualified for breaking a rule one race.  This might not make a big difference in a regatta with only a few boats, but in a big regatta with 50+ boats, then having one bad score can completely kill your chances of placing well.

Enter “dropped scores”.  This lets you ignore your worst scores from the regatta.  Appendix A allows you to ignore your worst score in the series (Rule A2.1), although it is more typical for the SIs to specify a number of scores to exclude based on the number of races sailed.  This might be worded something like “excluding her worst score when 5 – 11 races are scored, or her two worst scores when 12 or more races are scored”.

In regattas, one dropped score per five or six races is typical, whereas weekly race series often allow for more dropped scores.

Boats and people

One final thing to note about Appendix A (and the RRS in general) is that they talk about a boat as the entity participating.  In other words, the people on the boat don’t matter, it’s the boat that races.  Let’s say you have an Albacore with sail number 8034.  The Albacore’s place will be scored in each race regardless of who is skipper, who is crew, etc.  At the end of the regatta, it’s the score that “Albacore 8034” has which determines it’s position.  For most regattas, this is fine — the boat will typically be skippered and crewed by the same people for every race.

Kanata Sailing Club Races – Changes from Appendix A

KSC took the Appendix A rules, and makes a few adjustments to suit our needs.  The first big one is that we score people, and not boats.  At KSC race nights, where we have people constantly changing boats from one week to the next, scoring a boat doesn’t really work.  Our solution is to have every sailor pretend to be a boat (as far as scoring is concerned), and we score each sailor as if they finished in the place their boat did.

Let’s say that Alice, Bob, Charlie, and David are racing.  Bob is crewing for Charlie.  In the first race, Alice finishes first, Bob and Charlie second, and David third.  Alice gets one point, Bob and Charlie each get two points, and David gets three.  In the next race, David wins, followed by Alice, and finally Bob/Charlie.  David gets one point, Alice two, Bob/Charlie three.  The total score at the end of the second race is: Alice (3 points), David (4 points), Bob (5 points), Charlie (5 Points).  Scoring can continue from there the next week even if Bob and Charlie sail in different boats, or Alice/David sail together, etc.

The second change we make is that we allow for a lot of dropped scores.  We might be changing the ratio in the future, but as of 2016 we allowed for 1 dropped score for every 4 races scored.  This means that if you miss a week you’re not overly penalized.  But it also means that you do have to show up for a few weeks and score consistently well during those weeks to win the series.

Unlike a regatta, we don’t know how many people will show up over the course of the series.  On a good night we might have 10 boats racing (maybe 3-4 Lasers, 3-4 Albacores, a Byte, maybe a 29er or Hobie Cat, etc).  Basically, we figured that we probably won’t have 15 boats.  We chose the number 15 as a the score for people who don’t show up (“DNC” or “Did not come to starting area”) so people who don’t show up get an automatic “15th place”.

A final change we made is that we thought it would be better to reward those who made an effort to race above those who didn’t show up.  Boats who are disqualified, do not start in time, forced to retire, etc are awarded points better than the 15 points awarded to those who didn’t start. In the following table, the number of points “n” indicates the number of points for the last boat who finished the race normally.  Note that even if we do have an abnormally huge number of boats racing, your score will not be higher than 15.

Code Points Meaning
DNC 15 Did not come to starting area (no show)
OCF n+1 On course finish
DNF n+2 Did not finish race
RET n+2 Retired (started race, but left to go back to club)
DSQ n+3 Disqualified (ex. broke rule and did not do turns)
DNS n+3 Did not start (is on the water, but didn’t cross start line in time)

2016 KSC Open Regatta

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It’s that time of the year again, Labour Day is approaching and (with it) the KSC Open Regatta!  Come one, come all to our club and test your skill against some of the Ottawa area’s best racers.

Albacore and Laser sailors can expect a great 2-day event with lots of fun and great people.  We are pleased to announce that this year’s prizes are beautiful beer mugs with club and class logos etched in (mug for first place Laser, and a mug each for skipper and crew of first place Albacore).

As always, sailors of other classes of boats are welcome to participate in fine racing (however will be ineligible for prizes).

A change over previous years is that a light lunch will be provided on the water for all participants who register before Saturday August 27!  So sign up now!

Details:

Date: Sept 3-4, 2016 (Sat/Sun Labour-day weekend)

Entry fee: Single-handed $25, Double-handed $35 (discount for classes with no prizes)

Notice of Race

Sailing Instructions