The 9th annual Cat Regatta got off without a hitch on Saturday morning with 4 vessels fighting it out for Top Cat bragging rights. Winds blew at a steady 20 kms with some fun gusts up to 33 kms/hr and a warm breeze at 28c. Liam was unfortunately unable to make it to the event so calls went out to other would-be Cat competitors. Robert showed up last minute after discovering that vacuuming on a Saturday morning wasn’t as exciting as he had thought, so joined Corinne on helm and Tom on crew on the H18. Tony and Frank had a few tricks up their sleeves heading to the start in Tony’s Nacra 17. Nathan pulled Connor from the RC to show him what fun can be had in a H18 and adopted him as crew. Jean and Annie had such a great finish on Wednesday race night that they teamed up again to show us their feral cat claws and put in some stiff competition.
The first race showed Tony and Frank with a brilliant start with 3 other competitors trailing but fell to the back of the pack despite Nathan and Connor shredding their jib. Even a wicked tape job wouldn’t hold out for the second race so found the lads changing jibs at the lunch hour break. Jean and Annie, sporting the colours of the French flag on the main, stirred competitive jitters in Corinne . It didn’t faze her in the end as she/Robert and Tom finished in first place.
Race 2 saw some close roundings of the first mark with all 3 vessels in a pack, jostling for the lead. Tony and Frank struggled to find their footing but discovered that some necessary sail adjustments would give them a welcomed boost of speed their boat so badly needed. The wind found the cats flying around the course in race 2 before stopping for a nutrition break.
Race 3 found Nathan and Connor nearly capsizing near the upwind mark as the winds picked up to 25-30 kms/hr. Frank and Tony pulled in closely behind in 3rd place with hopes of overtaking while Jean and Steve (Annie had abandoned racing with better plans downtown) caught them at the rounding to take over the lead. With Frank at the helm and Tony on Jib, a brilliant race was had, as the Nacra flew to a very close 4th place just 3 seconds behind the 3rd vessel.
Race 4 had all 4 vessels cramming at the reaching mark before heading up with Jean and Steve giving way to a pushy Nathan and Connor yelling for buoy room.
Race 5, Corinne/Robert and Tom suffered a massive wardrobe malfunction as their jib also split in 2, resulting in Tom standing on the bow acting as both figurehead and rip stopper. This placed them back in 3rd place allowing Frank and Tony to creep ever so close. Jean and Steve were seen flying on one pontoon only to have Jean teabag Steve just to cool him off after rounding the upwind mark. Nathan and Connor were too far ahead to notice.
1st place, Top Cat …..Nathan and Connor 2nd place, Medium Cat…..Corinne/ Tom/ Robert 3rd place, Kitten award….Jean/ Annie/ Steve 4th place, Participation award…Tony/Frank
Congratulations to all competitors, Carla –Sailing Director.
The Kanata Sailing Club is pleased to announce its 9th annual Open Catamaran Regatta Saturday, 24 July 2021. This event is open to both KSC members and members from other Clubs if they wish to participate. All types of catamarans are welcome to compete. There is no entry fee for this event. Due to CoVID, Lunch and beverages are provided by the sailors themselves. We suggest you assemble your lunch to enjoy on the back deck as we will break during the race for a short lunch. Depending on the weather , lunch time will be discussed at the skippers meeting. Snacks, Water, BYO to consume on the water.
Registration can begin online the evening before starting at 1900h by sending the sailing director an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or will be in person at 0930 -1000h, the day of the race.
For KSC members, KSC boats will be available on a first-come-first-serve basis. Skipper’s meeting is at 10:30 at the Clubhouse back deck. First start will be no earlier than 11:00. We will not start the final race after 1500h. The course will consist of multiple windward/leeward laps approximately 1-2 km apart (depending on wind), with a mid-course entry and reaching finish. (formal Sailing Instructions will follow.) Scoring will be awarded based on fastest across the finish line.
It’s that time of the year again — our evening races have come to an end, and we must reflect on the night, the series, and the season.
Aug 31 results
Alas, we did no racing Aug 31. The cold winds were blowing quite vigorously (11 gusting 16 is my estimate) and were quite shifty. Most people thought that the nice warm KSC fireplace was more inviting that the choppy water. This of course didn’t stop Ken from trying to set some to-Quebec-and-back speed records in the Laser, Carla from getting good practice in on the Byte, and Jason/Steve daring to get the 29er out (with only 2 capsizes!) Good times, and good company afterwards.
Summer Series 2 results!
Our Summer Series 2 was held over 5 weeks in August, traditionally the lightest-wind month of the year. We had to cancel 2 nights (Aug 3 due to low wind, Aug 31 due to high wind) and only 5 races over the course of those 3 weeks. The nights we did have were fairly low-key light air races, but we did get some fun on the water. I personally learned that Hobie 18s don’t come out of their tacks with speed like dinghies do, and that cost me more than a few starts.
Congrats to Steve who took the “old salts” award for the series (4 points), and to Yona who scored the best rookie (34 points)!
This is it, the moment you’ve all been waiting for. We got 26 races in over the course of the 15 weeks in the season (12 weeks actually sailed) and had 38 sailors scored in at least one race. Jason started out strong (a few 1st place finishes in the cold spring when the field was narrow) but Carla had caught up by the end of the Spring Series. Steve came along and started scoring wins on just about every race. The only exceptions were one where Jason/Hannah (Albacore) and Ken (Laser) were able to sneak by him one race when Steve/Frank were sailing a broken Albacore, and a few weeks later when Carla/Jason (Tasar) were able to spot a late-race gust to sneak past Steve’s Laser.
So, was Jason or Carla’s early lead enough to hold off Steve? Heck no! Steve takes the season by a wide margin (again!)
Steve scored 23 points, Carla came in second with 38, Jason was far back at 57, with Tony and Jean rounding out the top 5 with 65 and 73 points respectively, Congrats Steve!
As for the rookies, Devin takes the season with 188 points, followed by Yona at 219
I’m particularly happy with the turn out this year, with veterans, new sailors, kids, and everyone in between. The Tasars got a lot of love this season, especially in July and August, while the kids gravitated towards the Lasers. Tony and Annie were staples in the Hobies, and were often joined by the Watsons, the McKennas, or other pick-up cat teams. All in all, a good variety of boats, and lots of fun after the races too.
A special thanks goes out to Reese, Heidi and Sydney, for running RC through out the year. Also, thanks to Frank/Jean (our BBQ wranglers most nights), and all those who volunteered to bring food/beverages to the deck after racing.
Light but fairly consistent winds from the SW encouraged quite a turn out. We had every Laser (5), every Tasar (3, a first for the club), a couple of Hobie 18s, an Albacore, and a Byte out to play.
Steve/Norm (Tasar) won the night with two first place finishes. Ken (Laser) took 4th in the first race, but moved to 2nd in race 2. Carla (Byte) went the other way — from 2nd to 5th. Jason and his wee crew (8 and 4 year olds) took 3rd in the 1st race in a Hobie 18, passing Tony/Annie’s H18 on the last leg. But Tony/Annie got their revenge, moving from 5th to 4th while Jason/kids went down to 6th. NSC Albacore master Dominic was sailing with KSC vet Chunshu in a Tasar, and they made their play from 6th place in the first race to 3rd in the 2nd.
Complete results below.
Aug 24, 2017
Light winds from N, shifting to NW just before the 1st race. In addition to a couple of Tasars, a couple of Bytes and a couple of H18s, we also had Jason and Frank finally get the the 29er (aka “Mr. Tippy”) out on the water. The boats were joined by Cameron and youngster James for the 2nd race in an Albacore.
Living up to it’s reputation, the 29er suffered a capsize on the 1st upwind leg of the first race, forcing Jean/Carla (in a Tasar, right behind the 29er) to head up past close-hauled and pinch around the boat. What likly happened was that the 29er gained speed in a gust as Jason put more of his weight to windward to keep the boat flat. The extra speed moved the apparent wind forward (taking force out of the sails) which corresponded right with a wind shift or lull (taking more force out of the sails). Jason’s windward weight was not balancing anything, and a capsize to windward followed. Lesson learned: be ready to bear off in a lull, and Jason should put down the donuts.
Steve (single-handing a Tasar) took both races, followed by Carla/Jean taking 2nd in each race. Mike took 3rd in a Byte for the 1st race, with Tony/Annie (H18) finishing 4th, but the two swapped finishing spots for the 2nd race.
Complete results below.
Season so far
The result table is too big to fit in a printer-friendly PDF, so please use the table below. It’s not pretty, but…
Results are provisional as of 18:17 on August 27, 2017
Sailed: 26, Discards: 6, To count: 20, Entries: 38, Scoring system: KSC Low-Point Scoring System 2016
Albacore: Norm/Devon, race 1 – 33 minutes; race 2 – 29 minutes
Albacore: Mary/Kathy/Grace (6 years old) – social sail
Albacore: Dengfeng/guest – social sail
Skipper meeting went well. We discussed route, markers, timing and landing. We also discussed what to do in case of thunder or lighting. Important note: We emphasized – no crash beach landings!!! 😉
The first Albacore Mary/Kathy/Grace (new blue taggers) set sail just before 11 am. We decided to wait until they were close to Aylmer Island before starting our race. Tony/Annie got some good speed on their start but unfortunately sailed too close to the Ontario side hitting possibly the only patch of no wind that day. This helped Frank/Jean judge where to avoid and sailed in good wind across the river on one tack. Eventually, Tony/Annie caught some stronger wind and picked up their speed as they sailed into Lac Deschenes. Norm/Devon took some time to find the wind and once they did, they were able to blaze across and were almost unstoppable. Frank/Jean caught up to Mary/Kathy/Grace just before heading into the beach in time to jump out and help catch the arrival of our boats as they landed. Mary/Kathy/Grace (new blue taggers) had a successful maiden voyage to Aylmer Beach. The climax of their trip was their exciting beach landing – an accidental gybe with the shrill of a six year old in some strong winds. All sailors were fine as the boat came to a stop as it pointed into the wind. The second Albacore landing with Norm/Devon increased the excitement as the boat was coming for a crash beach landing just as a few of us lunge to catch and turn the boat into the wind to bring it to a stop. Originally, Dengfeng and his wife weren’t sure if they were going to join us for the sail and lunch. They were the last to launch from the club but quickly caught up to us at the beach. All boats landed safety and were brought ashore. We had a lovely lunch on the patio with some friendly ribbing between the Cat racers.
On the second stage of our trip, the winds had picked up and the sky was looking interesting… the possibly of rain was increasing. Rain coats were worn for the return trip and some of the Albacores switched up skippers. The Albacores were safely launched off the beach first to give them a head start. Then, the Hobie skippers converged and decided that it would be best to sail around than to race back. We sailed back and forth enjoying the winds and waves before heading to shore. There was a bit of light rain but we were all ready for it, and the winds calmed as the boats returned to our familiar, beautiful shoreline.
A big thanks to all who came out to race and participate on Saturday. The spirit and the comradely of the KSC people are the best.
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)
The KSC Catamaran crew seemed lukewarm on the idea of a Cat Regatta like we traditionally run. But some were still looking for an excuse to hit the water.
Jean stepped up and will be running a pair of races to and from Aylmer Marina on Saturday, Aug 19!
Those who did the 12-Mile Event this year will find the format familiar — these will be self-timed races between two points, so bring a stopwatch. You sail from a mark in front of KSC to a point on Aylmer beach, and time your run. We’ll then break for lunch (and possibly a beer or two) at the marina. A second race from the beach back to KSC will cap off the day. Once we get back to KSC we’ll figure out the “adjusted times” of each boat for each race.
Points in the vein of Appendix A will be award, with the “total adjusted time” being the tie-breaker.
Monohulls are more than welcome to come join the fun, but this is our one “cat event” of the year, and only the multihulls will be scored. I would ask that any monohulls sailing avoid enforcing their right-of-way if coming up to a cat to allow the cat to score her best possible time.
Our Principal Race Officer (PRO) Jean will hold a skipper’s meeting at the KSC beach at 10:45am and the first race sets off at 11:00. We anticipate boats to arrive at Aylmer by about 11:45. After enjoying a lunch, rig up, and start race #2 at about 1:30 (or whenever everyone is ready, at the PRO’s discretion) to arrive back at KSC by about 2:15.
Please send the Sailing Director (email@example.com) an email so we know how many people to expect, along with your preference of boat (Hobie 16, Hobie 18, or one of the monohulls). First choice will be given to those who reply to the Sailing Director first.
The ugly details (SIs)
What would a race be without ugly details laid out in Sailing Instructions? These are not formal SIs, but should be enough to get us through the day. The PRO will clarify any questions you may have about the race.
Any of these instructions may be changed by the PRO at any time up to the end of the Skipper’s Meeting.
The races will take place Saturday Aug 19
Each boat shall track her own time for each race using a stopwatch or similar means.
Times for each race shall be reported to the PRO after the 2nd race
The 1st race shall be between a mark in front of the KSC clubhouse to a point on Aylmer Beach designated by the PRO. The boat shall pass as close to the KSC mark as possible and start her time. The boat shall finish when the crew disembarks from the boat at Aylmer Beach.
The second race shall be between Aylmer Beach and a mark in front of KSC clubhouse. The boat shall start her watch when she pushes off from Aylmer Beach (that is, when the crew are all aboard). The boat shall sail as close as possible to the mark in front of KSC and stop her watch as she passes it.
Crews shall disembark or push off as close to the Aylmer shore as is safe and practical. Boats with crew disembarking or pushing off far out into the river may be penalized or disqualified at the PRO’s discretion if it is felt that they did so to try to reduce their time.
RRS right-of-ways rules when racing.
Boats should start as soon as is safe and practical after each other, and should not unduly delay their start in anticipation of changing winds or other conditions
There will be a Skipper’s Meeting at the KSC beach beginning at 10:45am
The 1st race shall start at 11:00am or as close to that time as the PRO deems fit
Arrival at Aylmer is anticipated at approximately 11:45. Boats should pull up onto the beach and possibly lower sails to prevent flogging.
Lunch (at the crew’s own expense) shall be at the Aylmer Marina
Your Humble Sailing Director can’t make it that day, so have a beer for me 🙂
The 2nd race shall take place after lunch at the PRO’s discretion, with the PRO giving boats time to rig up before the start. A 1:30 start time is expected.
Arrival back at KSC is expected by about 2:15.
The SCHRS for Hobie 18 is 1.091. The SCHRS for Hobie 16 is 1.193
SCHRS numbers for any other class of multihull may be looked up online
The Adjusted Time (AT) for each race/boat shall be the Elapsed Time divided by the SCHRS number for the boat
AT = ET / SCHRS
Hobie 18 Elapsed Time of 35:05
AT = 35:05 / 1.091 = 32:09Hobie 16 ET of 36:23
AT = 36:23 / 1.193 = 30:30
The Hobie 16 would be the winner
Each boat shall be awarded points according to the place it finished in for each race, based on Adjusted time.
1st place gets 1 point, 2nd place gets 2 points, etc
The winner after all races shall be the boat with the lowest number of total points.
If there are 2 boats with an equal number of total points, the tie shall be broken by comparing total Adjusted Times
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.
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:
(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.
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.
The wind was the big story of the night, with constantly changing (and sometimes challenging) conditions. Congrats to the brave souls who looked to the water, saw some big air, and said “looks like fun!” This was also the last race night of the “Summer Series 1” so take a look at the end of the article for a series summary. Summer Series 2 starts Aug 3, so until then you can say “Yeah, I’m tied with Steve for the top spot…”
Big winds meant boats were flying out of the gate. The start line was long enough that a few skilled sailors (Steve/Carla and Jean/Frank in Tasars, Tony/Annie in a Hobie 18, Ken/Peter in a Laser 2) could start on the favoured port without being interfered with by those doing starboard tack starts (Chunshu in a Laser, Jason in a Laser, Mark/Ellen/Yona in an Albacore). The first leg was all about keeping the boat flat in the big winds and big waves, with Carla/Steve rounding the mark first, followed by Jason (although the cat outran him on the reaching legs like he was standing still). The battle I was watching throughout the race though was Jean/Frank in a Tasar vs Ken/Peter in a Laser 2. Here were two quick boats, about the same size, designed by the same person (Frank Bethwaite) around the same time and each sailed by competent sailors. The Laser 2 had the advantage of a trapeze (with Peter hanging off it) but the trap really works best in steady winds while we were experience gusts/lulls. These two boats were playing leapfrog throughout the race, with Mark/Ellen/Yona able to insert their Albacore into the fray downwind.
Carla/Steve finished 1st, Tony/Annie 2nd, Jason 3rd, Jean/Frank 4th, the Watsons 5th, Peter/Ken 6th, and Chunshu 7th
The wind started to die down, but continued its shift. A couple more boats joined us (Matt/Cameron in an Albacore and Sara/Charlotte in a Laser). Port tack heavily favoured by this time. This race was quite processional with the first leg seeing the most movement. Tony/Devin had a decent start and were able to pass Frank/Jean, Ken/Peter, and Jason. The two new boats unfortunately didn’t have great starts, and were unable to catch up. The top 3 finishers were the same, in the same order, but Peter/Ken held on to 4th over Jean/Frank (5th), and Chunshu (6th) was able to beat the Watson Albacore (8th). Matt/Cameron scored 9th, followed by Charlotte/Sara (10th).
So here’s a question for you — in this case, a wind shift make the pin end of the start line (and port track) heavily favoured. But, the wind is fairly slow at the pin end (6 knots, maybe), and is stronger at the boat end (9 knots). Where should you start?
Boat A has the favoured end, and the favoured tack, but boat B has right-of-way over boat A. A has to either tack or bear off and duck B. B would likely try to force A to make a move (tacking or ducking) and then tack onto port in front of A, but if B does a sloppy tack and loses speed, then A (assuming A ducked) could pass her to leeward and get into clear air. C meanwhile is starting with more distance to sail upwind. If the wind continues to shift counterclockwise, C is screwed. But if the wind shift back to “head on” then C has much more wind to work with and can beat A or B. Tricky situation indeed.
Race 3 started out slow, the wind built over the course of the race, starting on the right side of the course. By the end of the race it was over 15 knots all over the course, probably closer to 20 on the Quebec side. Carla/Steve (who took the “boat A” position in the diagram) won the race, with Devin/Tony second (again). Jason had a bad start (he had planned to be boat C, but wasn’t paying attention and drifted downwind before the start) so Frank/Jean and Ken/Peter were duking it out for 3rd. Peter eventually got on the trapeze as the wind built, and the extra leverage meant they could keep their boat flatter that Jean/Frank. They took 3rd/4th respectivly. Chunshu showed solid skills as he kept his Laser ahead of the rest of the fleet. Jason was able to pass Charlotte/Sara and Matt/Cameron and was catching up with Mark/Ellen/Yona, but didn’t get to them in time. Mark & family finished 6th, Jason 7th, Cameron/Matt 8th, Sara/Charlotte 9th.
Lesson learned: once that class flag goes up, don’t start fiddling with your boat drifting downwind, make sure you’re in a good starting position.
After the race
Remember how I said the wind was building? Well, some of the braver (or stupider) sailors took advantage of the big air and went to Quebec. That was fun — planing on a reach the whole way there, hulls screaming, spray flying everywhere, bouncing the boats over whitecaps! Peter was hanging off the trapeze trying to keep the Laser 2 upright, Carla/Steve and Jean/Frank were practicing steering-for-balance, the Tony/Devin’s Hobie 18 was close to flying a hull. A couple of capsizes and some aid from kind sailors/RC (thanks Carla, Heidi, Reese!) and everyone made it home safe.
Apres-sail was fun, as always, and may thanks for coming out!
This was the last race of our “Summer Series 1” set of races, with “Summer Series 2” going from Aug 3 – Aug 31. We got 13 races in over the 5 weeks, which meant you can drop your worst 3 scores. Steve convincingly won the series, taking 1st place in all but 3 races (a 2nd, a 3rd, and a Did-Not-Start). Carla finished 2nd with a number of 1st place wins, as well as a handful of 3rd/4th places finishes. Ken S rounds out the top 3, with a win, and solid 2nd/3rd place finishes. For the rookies, we have Devin as the victor with some 1st/2nd place finishes, but the weeks he missed (Did-Not-Come-to-Starting-Area) hurt his overall placement among the veterans. Complete results here.
Season wise, Carla is still in the lead by a couple of points over Steve. Jason has fallen back to a distant 3rd. Current standings here
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)
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.
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).
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.