Tag Archives: byte

Race Night Report, Aug 10, 2017

Not a lot to report this race night. Very light air meant we only got one race in, before the second one was cancelled due to lack-of-wind. It was all for the best though, just as the fleet got back to shore a bit of thunder rolled in, so good call by the RC.

The exciting part of the race was just at the end, when Carla and Ken were neck-and-neck on the downwind leg, each trying to score 3rd.  The wind had shifted slightly, and Ken was to windward of Carla.  With just a few seconds before the finish, a tiny gust must’ve hit, because Ken accelerated and got a foot or two over Carla.  I didn’t see any Rule 42 violations (not that Ken would do that anyway) so the tiny-gust is the best explanation I can come up with (because Ken was windward it affected his boat before Carla’s).  Contrats, Ken!

(edit — I forgot that Michael was helping out the race committee.  Doing RC leg work entitles you to the average points sailed this race, so Michael scores a 3rd place finish too)

Results for the race:

  1. Steve (Byte)
  2. Jean/Frank (Tasar)
  3. Ken (Laser)
    Michael (RC)
  4. Carla (Laser)
  5. Tom/Jason (Hobie 18)

12-Mile Island Results, July 29, 2017

The wind cooperated for our annual 12-Mile Island event, KSC’s longest distance race.  We had a great turn our with 6 boats (3 cats, 3 monohulls) doing the full run, and 2 more opting to do a half-race to Pinhey’s Point and back (one cat, one Byte).  Many thanks to RC Reese for driving the power boat all the way to Pinhey’s to drop the mark.  I didn’t see what happened during the Half race, so the following account mostly covers the full run.

We did things a bit differently this year, with boats setting off “whenever” and timing their run around the island.  After getting back, we adjusted their times against a handicapping factor.

Ellen/Mark and their family were first to set off in a Hobie 18, followed by Denise/Ken S (Laser 2).  We then had 3 boats take off in close proximity — Tony/Devin (Hobie 18), Ken E/Norm (Albacore), and Jason (Laser).  A while later Frank/Jean took a Hobie 16.  Doing the half trip, and leaving significantly later, were Annie/Greg (Hobie 16), Carla (Byte) and a non-racing MG14.

The leg from KSC to Pinhey’s was largely upwind, with a slight starboard tack favour.  Three basic strategies were used:

  • long tacks from one side of the river to the other (favoured by the cats, and Ken S/Denise)
  • sail on the Quebec side where there were fewer waves and more predictable wind (favoured by Norm/Ken E)
  • sail in the middle of the river, tacking on headers as they hit (favoured by Jason)

During that beat, Ken E/Norm were able to constantly extend their lead over Jason.  Both managed to eventually catch up with Ken S/Denise, who happened to be on the Ontario side on port tack when a wind shift caught them and wouldn’t give them a break.  Tony/Devin’s Hobie 18 got caught in the same shift and Jason passed them around the middle of the river just before Pinhey’s.  There may or may not have been some trash talk exchanged, including referring to the cat as “a boat with training wheels”.  Norm/Ken E was by this point well ahead of both and near the Quebec shore, and the shift which penalized the cat and Laser 2 was a lift for the Albacore, which was pointed straight up river.

Past Pinhey’s the wind steadied out a bit, with starboard tack now heavily favoured.  Tony/Devin blasted by Jason (exchanging a few more light-hearted words) and ripped along.  Between Pinhey’s and the island, Jean/Frank’s Hobie 16 also passed Ken S/Denise.  Jason and the H16 rounded 12-Mile Island together, and the cat outpaced the Laser on the downwind.

The downwind leg was a straight run from Port-of-Call to KSC, and the boats had a choice whether to run it, or to make multiple reaches.  The cats and Norm/Ken E reached, while Jason largely ran (focused on surfing the waves, although he would alter course to try to catch wind gusts) and Ken S/Denise got their nice shiny spinnaker flying.

Tony/Devin claimed honours as first back to the club.

Results

The elapsed time (ET) of each boat was recorded, and adjusted according to the Portsmouth Number (PN) handicap for each boat.  The adjusted time (AT) is:

AT = ET * (1000/PN)

Larger Portsmouth numbers mean a boat is usually slower.  For instance, a Hobie 16 has a larger number (809) than a Hobie 18 (740).  This means what a Hobie 16 does in an hour, a Hobie 18 should be able to do in 54 minutes 53 seconds.  If a PN is greater than 1000 then the AT will be smaller than ET.  If PN is less than 1000, then AT will be greater than ET.

So without further ado, here is what we have:

Sailors Boat PN ET AT
Jean/Frank Hobie 16 809 3:51:53 4:46:38
Devin/Tony Hobie 18 740 3:57:33 5:21:01
Norm/Ken E Albacore 1041 4:01:10 3:51:40
Jason Laser 1097 4:11:04 3:48:52
Mark/Ellen/family Hobie 18 740 4:20:57 5:52:38
Denise/Ken S Laser 2 1065 4:26:00 4:09:46

(Note — please double-check my math on the conversions)

The winner, is Jason, in a Laser!  Despite finishing 4th over all in elapsed time, the Laser’s high handicapping mean he just won over Ken E/Norm.  Look at those adjusted times — there’s less than 3 minutes between them over almost 4 hours.  That’s 1.3% difference.  Here’s the other thing… Jason’s Laser was in good shape.  The foils were shiny, the hull was solid, etc.  The Albacore Ken E and Norm were in has probably seen better days, and had scratches, dings, repairs, probably a leak or two.  I’m sure if the Albacore was in as good a shape as the Laser then it would’ve been no contest.

The cats faired poorly overall on the day.  The wind was to blame for that.  Cats LOVE to sail on a reach, and beating into the wind really takes their speed advantage away over monohulls.  The handicapping formula unfortunately considers reaching performance as well as upwind/downwind performance, so the cats were being scored on a scale which assumed they’d be able to use their quick reaches, and conditions were not cooperating.  If the wind was coming directly across river the whole time, there would be no catching the cats.

Similar results were seen on the half-run.

Sailors Boat PN ET AT
Annie/Greg Hobie 16 809 2:15:00 2:28:38
Carla Byte 1147 1:53:00 1:38:31

Carla was able to round the mark in about 20 minutes less time than the Hobie 16 in a Byte (which is supposed to be slower).  The adjusted time was 50 minutes apart.  Again, this was largely due to the leg being “beating upwind, dead run downwind”, where Carla’s Byte could tack on to take advantage of any momentary wind shift, while the cat was going back and forth across the river.

Congrats, Jason and Carla!  You’ve got bragging rights for the year!

I hope everyone had fun, and don’t forget to email Ken Eaves with your “I’ve done a 12-Mile rounding!” story.  For those who don’t know, Ken and Harry founded the “12-Mile Challenge” and there are trophies for those who round the island the most times in the year in a cat, in a single-handed monohull, and a double-handed monohull.

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.

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.