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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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).
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?
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.
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.
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)
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 (email@example.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!
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)
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
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.
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.
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.