Category Archives: Sailing

Race Night Report, June 27, 2016

Although few boats showed up to race, the ones that were there had a great time.  A 90-degree wind shift just prior to the first race meant that one could *almost* reach the top mark by staying on a starboard tack.  Two Albacores (Ken E with Rob N, and Robert B with Norm Y), a Laser (Ken S) and a 29er (Jason M and Eric M) battled it out to the windward mark.  The double-handers had a great start, with Ken S in the Laser having to fight to catch up.  As the “windward” mark was being rounded, it became apparent (to some) that the leg to the gybe mark was almost dead downwind.  The 29er was slow to realize this and the asymmetric spinnaker (ineffective dead downwind) did more harm than good — their first capsize of the night soon followed as the 29er tried to head up to get wind in the sail.  The Albacores and Laser battled their way around the course, with Ken S in first as he rounded the windward mark on the second lap, and there was no catching him on the downwind.  Ken E and Rob came in second, followed by Robert and Norm.  The 29er, after 5+ capsizes, just made the first rounding of the downwind mark, and was marked as OCF (yeah, yeah, get your jokes in now… once I figure this boat out it’ll be a different story!)

A large sustained wind blew in from the North, leading to an Albacore capsize and retirement for Robert and Norm.  Emily and Heidi in a mark-set boat were able to set the new course, and the second race was run.  A great start for Ken S and Ken E/Rob was contrasted by a lousy start for Jason/Eric.  Ken S again took the race, with Ken E/Rob taking second, and Jason/Eric in another OCF (after another 5+ capsizes, and we barely made the leeward mark).

Kudos to Mario and Corinne for running RC, Emily and Heidi for rescue/mark-set boat, and Jean and Frank for bringing the food/beverages!

Results of the summer season (and the unified complete season, now converted to low-score system) can be found on the club’s Racing page, http://kanatasailingclub.com/sailing/racing/

Race Night Report, June 20 – End of Spring Series, and Looking to Summer

Race Night Itself

The last night of our Spring Series (more info on the series as a whole momentarily) was unfortunately cancelled due to thunderstorms rolling through the area.  Despite the water looking inviting, we had reports of severe thunderstorms rolling in from the West (there was at least one storm visible to the North, and the wind meter at Britannia to the South was showing 40 knots, so we seemed to be in the eye-of-the-hurricane, so to speak).  Mario, as Principal Race Officer, was monitoring the radar, and made the call to abandon the race (around 7:30 I heard thunder and saw lightning, so it was definitely the right one…)

The Spring Series

Uncooperative weather meant we only got to run 4 of the planned 10 races (i.e. we went out on 2/5 nights) so we can hardly say it’s been an exemplary series from a “racing” standpoint.  What was great, though, was the number and enthusiasm of sailors who continue to come out to race!  Once the weather is okay, it’s going to be an amazing year!  The competition was fantastic and we had sailors of all levels in all kinds of boats out there having a great time.

The awards!

No surprise, but Mr. Ken Eaves claims yet another KSC title.  Ken consistently racked up 1st and 2nd place finishes in an Albacore for 58 points (out of a possible 60).  2nd place was awarded to club newcomer Luc who used a Laser to earn 53 points, with Frank hot on his tail in an Albacore at 52 (as of this writing, there is a mistake in the online score sheet, which shows Frank at 51 points, tied with Mike Thompson and Jason McKenna, but he actually earned 52).

Our inaugural “Rookie” award goes to Jean (who scored 52 points as well).  That’s right, the same Jean who was saying at the beginning of the series “I don’t care about winning, I just don’t want to come in last…”  She was followed by Monica (47 pts), with a 3rd place tie between Sarah and Heather (44 pts each).  A big high-five to all the rookies, and the Learn-to-Sail contingent who braved the sometimes-less-than-ideal conditions to come out on race night!  We hope that we were able to help you learn, and hope that you’ll keep coming out racing — see you on the start line!

Congratulations once again to Ken and  Jean, but don’t despair, other sailors… we still have two more series (Summer Series I and Summer Series II, 5 weeks each) and bragging rights are again up for grabs (hopefully we’ll get more races in…)

Summer Series I – Learn-to-Sail Graduates Joining the Fleet

We try to schedule the race series and lessons such that a new series starts after the 1st Learn-to-Sail classes finish.  Sometimes its tricky (some lessons get postponed due to weather, and make-up-lessons are scheduled) but it looks like it worked out this year — we should have two Learn-to-Sail contingents completing their lessons this weekend!  All you sailors with shiny new blue-tags are invited to come out racing on Mondays!  Grab a Laser/Byte if you’re in a solo-sailing mood, or find a friend and grab an Albacore, and hit the start line for an evening of sailing followed by BBQ and beverages!  Not only is it the safest time to go out and hone those new skills (there’s tons of other people on the water if you get into trouble) but it’s also the best way to continue to learn and there’s lots of friendly folks to ask for advice or tips (most of us won’t shut up).

If you haven’t come out racing yet (but want to) it’s generally recommended to show up around 5:30 or maybe 5:45 if you rig fast (later than that is pushing it).  This give you enough time to find a crew/skipper (if you’re sailing a double-hander), change clothes, rig up a boat, and get to the start line for a 6:30 start.  Even if you miss the first start, there’s typically a second race starting around 7:20 or so (occasionally, even a 3rd race if the sun and wind are holding!)  Send me an e-mail (sailing@kanatasailingclub.com) if you have any questions, concerns, or if there’s anything I can do to help you get out to the start line.  You can take a look at the course here and our official formal SIs (Sailing Instructions) here.

Summer Series I – Changes to Scoring

Two changes to scoring will be applied for the summer series.  First, we’re moving to a low-point scoring system. Sailing is typically scored with the low-scoring mechanism described in Appendix A of the Rules book (1st place gets 1 point, 2nd place gets 2 pts…) and the person with the lowest score at the end of the series wins.  KSC has traditionally used a high-point system, but it’s a headache to track because most of the scoring software has much better support for low-point.  Switching to low-point means we won’t have to use custom spreadsheets or hacks to the software.  An update to the SIs (Sailing Instructions) has been made, and the new instructions 2016 Summer Series I SIs have posted with details for anyone who’s interested.  If low-point had been used for the Spring Series, the overall rankings wouldn’t have been affected, they’d just be expressed in a different way.  For example, the scoring for the Spring Series using the new mechanism can be seen at Spring Series Results.

The second change we’ll be making is to even the field for RC (Race Committee) participants.  Previously, RC volunteers effectively scored 0 points (in the old high-scoring system, or 15 points in the new low-scoring system) since they didn’t race at all on a given night.  They were scored the same as someone who didn’t show up.  This is in spite of the fact that they showed up, and are doing a service to all other racers.  That struck me as unjust.  After chatting with some of the racers, people seemed quite supportive of the idea of awarding the RC volunteers middle-of-the-pack points.  For example, if a race had 5 boats, then the RC would be scored the same as the 3rd place finisher.  Someone will never “win a series” by sitting in the RC boat every night, but this should allow for someone to help out the RC now and then without killing their chances.  The SIs have been updated to reflect this change (although the change will not retroactively affect the concluded Spring series).

If anyone has any concerns (or other suggestions for how to run the races better) please let me know at sailing@kanatasailingclub.com.

Race night report, Monday June 13, 2016

Wow, that was an eventful night…

Although the forecast called for sustained winds of about 7 knots, with gusts of up to 18, Those arriving at the club were greeted with winds at a sustained 15 knots and gusts of who knows how big.  The waves were huge (if you were in a trough in a Laser, you would look “up” to see the next wave coming).  But, KSC sailors are not so easily daunted, and Mario was out dropping marks, so into the boats we went!

As start time approached, the wind intensified.  The AP flag flew, and first start was postponed since so many people had trouble launching in the heavy chop.  A few minutes later (now that a few boats were out) the sequence started, but few folks were anywhere near the start line.  At least one Laser sailor (who shall remain nameless, but who may or may not be writing this post) got stuck going backwards for several minutes — as soon as he’d get out of irons, the wind induced so much weather helm that it spun him right back in!

A few minutes later, when it was obvious that no one was going to be able to cross the start line, let alone run the course, the race was called, and people did their best to point their craft to shore.  A few dramas were had as people fought to get their boats in, but in the end everyone made it back to the deck safely for well earned burgers and drinks (and lots of “Let me tell you about my nasty capsize tonight” stories).

At the end of the night, Mario sent out the recorded wind speeds — sure enough, sustained winds of around 16 knots (manageable) and gusts of 29 (not so manageable, at least for me in a full rig)!

A huge shout out goes to RC Mario and Andy, food-duty Arthur, Luc who helped another sailor get a Byte back to shore and to the club after it had blown downriver.  Also, let’s hear it for our Learn-to-sail contingent (Heather and Andy L) who braved the elements (please let me know if I’ve forgotten anyone)!

wind reading

Race Night Report, Monday, June 6, 2016

Shifty gusts made for an exciting night, with several capsizes which had an effect on the standings.  Mario was joined in the RC boat by instructor Heidi who (after a catamaran capsize) decided she had worked enough for one day.

The first race got off to a rocky start, as a few folks on shore had trouble launching and getting to the starting area in time (note to self… arrive sooner).  Despite the rush, a good race was run, with particularly close racing on the reaches.  With only a few boat lengths before the finish line, Jean and Frank (at the front of the fleet) capsized and the were passed by the other contenders.  Rookie Sarah and old hand Arthur took the race in an Albacore, followed by Heather and Ken E (2nd, Albacore) and a photo-finish for 3rd between Mike R (3rd, Laser), Monica/Jason (4th, Albacore).  The three person Albacore (5th, Corinne, Mike T, and 8-year-old Leopold) and Luc (6th, Laser) rounded out the pack, with Jean and Frank (7th, Albacore) as an OCF.  Mike R sailed over, capsized his own Laser and helped Jean and Frank right the boat before the second race.

With more boats on the start line, race 2 was all about playing the shifts, as the wind oscillated back and forth.  More capsizes followed (although people got their boats up quickly), and close racing ensued.  The Heather/Ken (1st) and Sarah/Arthur (2nd) Albacores switched positions, but 3rd was grabbed by Luc in his Laser.  He was followed by Max (4th, Laser Radial), Corinne/Mike T/Leopold (5th, Albacore), Monica/Jason (6th, Albacore), Mike R (7th Laser), Jean/Frank (8th, Albacore), with Jenny (9th, Byte) having retired.

According to the latest results, Ken E (58 pts), and club newcomer Luc (53 pts) have established themselves as #1 and #2, the real story is the 4-way tie for 3rd (51 pts) with Jean, Frank, Mike T, Jason.  Jean leads the rookies (51 pts) but Monica (47 pts), Sarah and Heather (44 pts each) are within striking distance.

Many thanks to Mike T for bringing the food/beverages and Heidi for joining Mario in the RC boat.  On a serious note, we have to be better and helping out the RC.  Mike T volunteered for next week, but if anyone else wants to volunteer (and learn a heck of a lot about racing) send me an e-mail (ksc.sailing@gmail.com) and we’ll make it happen.

Race Night Report, May 30, 2016

The wind made up for last week, and a great time was had by all!  I counted 6 Albacores, 4 Lasers, and a Hobie out (with at least 9 actively racing, and a couple others out for a leisure sail) and even more folks who showed up for the apres-sail.  High gusts (along with a bit of equipment failure) led to several capsizes before the first race but the wind calmed to about (a relatively steady) 7-8 knots for most of the evening.

Old-hand Frank and rookie Jean took home the most points of the night, with a 1st place finish in the first race, and a 4th place in race two (Albacore #86).  Only one point behind, old-hands Andy W and Liz took 5th place in the first race, and 1st place in race two (Albacore #90).  Rounding out the top 3 was club newcomer Luc who placed 4th and 3rd (Laser #281).

A special shout out goes to all our rookies who came out (Jean, Fanny, Andy L, Monica and Bill — apologies if I forgot anyone), our race officer Mario, and Frank and Jean for bringing the food/beverages to the apres-sail!

Complete results can be found at Results – May 30, 2016.  As always, results are provisional for 72 hours, so if we missed your boat, please let me know!

Race Night Report – Monday May 23, 2016

People showed up for the 1st Race Night in our Monday Night series, but sadly the wind did not. With dead air (< 1 knot) prevailing, and the few “gusts” there were up to 4 knots, the race was abandoned at 6:15pm.

Still, the company was great, and the beer, burgers and sausages helped to sooth disappointed hearts. Of particular note was the large contingent of Learn-To-Sail trainees who showed up and the enthusiasm was great to see!

Forecast for Monday May 30 looks better — as of Thursday the 26, WindGuru is calling for 9-15 knots (WindGuru) so hopefully we’ll make up for it! (Light rain is forecast, but we race rain-or-shine as long as there’s no lightning)

Much appreciation to Mario and Frank for running Race Committee (or trying to…)

2016 Monday Race Series – Sailing Instructions (Draft) posted

Ahoy folks,

A draft of the 2016 Sailing Instructions (SIs) for the Monday Racing Series is now available.  The SIs are to be ratified for the Spring Series on Monday May 16 at a meeting at the clubhouse (6:30pm).  If you see any errors, or whatever, please let me know by sending an e-mail to sailing@kanatasailingclub.com, or we can discuss them at the meeting tonight.

“What are SIs?” you may ask… generally speaking, they’re the formal definition of the “house rules” for the races.  The Racing Rules of Sailing (RRS) published by World Sailing is the blueprint for running races, and the SIs are amendments/modification to the RRS for the purpose of racing at the club.  They include what time/dates races will be run, how our start sequence differs from the standard sequence, how scoring will work, that kind of thing.

Many thanks again to Mario for putting these together!

KSC 2016 – Monday Evening Series – SI – Draft 6

Pre-Season Race Meeting, Monday May 16 at 18:30

The racing season’s almost here, and it’s time to get things sorted out!  Come out to the club Monday May 16 for a pre-season meeting and we’ll talk all things racing.   For those who have  never raced before (or, if its been a while) we’ll give a once over of all-you-need-to-know-to-get-started (what to do when you arrive on race-night, what the race course looks like, how the races are started, basic rules, etc).  For the old-salts, we’ll go over this year’s SIs and how they are different from last season (especially scoring).

We will be hosting a formal “Racing Clinic” later in the season (after the first Learn-To-Sail lessons are over) as well, but the meeting on the 16th should get us started for the Spring series of races (May 23, water-levels-permitting, to June 20).

Many thanks to Mario for again volunteering as our Principal Race Officer.

If you’ve been on the fence about whether or not to race, let me try to persuade you

  • you don’t have to be fast — we’re all in it for fun and for many sailors, race night is just an excuse to get out on the water at least once a week
  • it’s the safest time to sail — you’re surrounded by lots of other sailors and the crash boat is out on the course if you get into trouble
  • racing’s the best way to improve — even if you are dead last (unlikely, if I’m sailing that day) I think you’ll be surprised at how quickly you move from “way behind everyone else” to “just behind everyone else” to “in the middle of the fleet” to “challenging the leaders”
  • tips from the pros — watching and talking to the fast-folks is a heck of a lot easier than trying to figure things out on your own
  • “nobody left ashore” policy — if you’re interested in crewing, you can always find a skipper (and vice-versa)
  • apres-sail is a blast
  • it’s free — as members of KSC, there are no entry fees or other costs to you!

See on you Monday the 16th!

Strapless chiffon over charmeuse beach wedding dress

2016 Ontario Albacore Championships, May 28-29 in Toronto

Did you know that as a member of KSC, you’re entitled to use any of our Albacores in Canadian Albacore Association events?  Well you are!  The 2016 Ontario championships are being held in Toronto this year at Mooredale Sailing Club, for anyone who’s interested!  Check out http://albacore.ca/ontarios/ for links to the registration page.

Pre-Announcing Photo Day

We already have a pretty full calender this year, but I’m pleased to propose/announce a new addition — Photo Day!  While everyone has a picture or two of themselves on the beach, standing beside a boat, here’s a chance to get some real frame-it-and-hang-it-on-the-wall worthy action shots on the water.

Here’s what I’m picturing (pun intended):  At some point (some time after at least the first batch of trainees have graduated) we’ll watch the forecast for a nice weekend day with sunshine and decent (but not too strong) winds.  When a good looking day is coming up we’ll notify the membership, and arrange for a photographer to come out to ride along in the power boat for a few hours (we already have a volunteer!)

Rig up your favourite cat or monohull and we’ll do our best to get some great action shots of you — whether you’re flying a hull on one of the cats, hiking out with your kid (or, dare I suggest, spouse) in an Albacore, or planing along on a Laser, we’ll be sure to capture it!  It’s your time to shine, so get ready show off your stuff!

Fun for the family!