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

Race Night Itself

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

The Spring Series

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

The awards!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summer Series I – Changes to Scoring

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

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

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