Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New Kid on the Block...

Today's Skagit Valley Herald (April 28, 2009) contains a picture of the latest addition to our AYC flotillia conducting some secret practice sessions Monday evening in preparation for Wednesday's bouy racing opener.

Rumor has it that this little pocket rocket is being skippered by a 10-year old under the supervision of our Race Committee chairman! We are nearly certain that the skipper has a LOT left to learn, so stay clear on Wednesday night!

No dredging here?

The debate about whether to dredge the entrance channel into Skyline goes on, but meanwhile the boating community ends up like this while properly following their charts - go figure...

Monday, April 27, 2009

2009 Race Packets Available Online...

By popular request the 2009 Race Packet is now available for download on the club website here. If you haven't already done so yet and want to race (the buoy races start this Wednesday) you need to:
  1. Pay your race entry fees ($100)
  2. Submit a signed liability waiver
  3. Provide proof of insurance
  4. Submit a current PHRF certificate
Boats may voluntarily elect to sail in "open" class which is unscored. You can pay your race entry fees and pickup a printed version of the race packet by contacting the Race Committee chairman Andy Schwenk at 360-293-1154 (Northwest Rigging) or e-mailing Andy at andy@northwestrigginginc.com.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hein Bank Results & Recap...

For those of you anxiously awaiting the results from Hein Bank, they have now been posted here! Despite the weather forecast the race proved to be a total drift-fest. The only item of note was that the fleet was able to ride the ebb out Guemes Channel and Rosario Strait; and then the flood back in again...

We are not sure who in their great wisdom wanted to use the south Hein Bank mark, but a number of boats got caught up in the kelp. There were also reports on the radio of a wayward Halibut roaming around with a float attached...

Hopefully next year we can use the north Hein Bank mark!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Hein Bank & Buoy Racing Upon Us...

Just a short reminder that the Hein Bank distance race will be held this weekend (0930 start on Saturday morning, April 25), followed by the start of the buoy racing season in Fidalgo Bay on Wednesday, April 29.

We have heard rumors of much secret pimping of boats going on, so it sounds like we will have a crowd this next Wednesday night. If you haven't purchased your race packet yet, now would be a good time. Contact Andy at 360-770-7035 to get your very own copy!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On-Line Race Registration...

For those racers out there that want to get an edge on the competition, our new on-line race registration system is NOW ACTIVE for the following events:
I am sure you all are aware of the Windermere Regatta, but the Northern Century is a relatively new event consisting of a 100 nm distance race from Anacortes to Point Roberts, Stuart Island, Hein Bank and return. You can find out more about this exciting event here.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Feeling Lucky?

The joy of cooking is currently ready to share with our yacht club friends. Racers please have a look at the Racing section of the website, and then go to Cooking. You'll see a job description (including "if all else fails call Steph and Andy") and scroll down for cooking assignments. The plan is for you to receive a couple reminder emails before the actual night of cooking, and while the email goes to the owner/skipper of the boat, the shopping and cooking is fair game for any crewmember, wife, husband, SO, neighbor, you get the idea... If you need help with the shopping, call Steph or Andy in advance. If you and/or your crew cannot cook that night, it is your job to find someone else to cover for you. Maybe someone will swap with you! Really, I think most people have cooked, but if you haven't I promise it is fun and you'll meet someone new.

Maritime Speaker Series...

Robert Perry, renowned yacht designer and recognized as one of the leaders in performance-oriented cruising yachts will be speaking on Saturday, April 18 at 4:00pm at the Anacortes Public Library Meeting Room.

Come join us and learn about the "performance cruising" movement that introduced the concept of sailing speed to offshore cruising yachts. Many of designs are owned by various club members, so this should be a very interesting meeting. The event is free and open to the public.

You can get more information here.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Southern Straits Recap...

Here is a brief recap of the recent running of the WVYC Southern Straits from the perspective of "Big Blue"...

The start was very light with current pushing us towards the line. Unfortunately most of the big boats set up a little too far from the line and ended up drifting across with the smaller classes which started five ten or fifteen minutes later! Half an hour or so into the race a light 4-5 knot northwesterly filled in and we could get some speed up. We were south of most of the rest of the fleet who kept to the classic route close to the beach. It payed off for us and we were able to get back in touch with the leaders of our class who had escaped the start in much better position than us.

The wind faded again just past Pt Atkinson down to around 2 knots consistent. There was some cris-crossing of routes as boats tried to make the most of the isolated zephyrs that were the only wind available. After a couple of hours of dreadfully light upwind sailing the wind began to fill from the SE. This compressed the fleet and brought the slower boats toward the bigger boats at the head of the fleet. Around 2 pm the wind filled in quite nicely giving a wide angle spinnaker run down to Ballenas Island. The right time to jibe was discussed at length and boats chose very different routes to get to Ballenas. After all that we rounded Ballenas very close to our competition and began the beat upwind in 12-14 knots to Flat Top.

We made quite a bit of time up on the beat to Flat Top sailing in 6-12 knots most of the way. The reach from Flat Top to Halibut Bank was exciting with our big runner up very powered up - only a couple of nightime spinouts! A tug and tow provided some jockeying before the jibe at Halibut. Then the same tug and tow again made some interesting decisions on the next leg from Halibut back to Ballenas! We made up considerable time on these legs are were on Braveheart's stern the whole time.

We rounded Ballenas the second time about 1 am under a beautiful night sky. The full moon through the clouds gave lots of visibility and NO RAIN which was very nice. The beat to Entrance Island was full of interesting navigational and tactical decisions. Better wind outside to the east but much better VMG on port tack to the west inshore. We had to make good decisions on when to head east on Stbd and did a good job of playing the shifty land breeze which was all over the place. Ended up rounding Entrance no more than a mile behind Braveheart in very light shifty land breeze.

After getting away from the land the wind steadied out from the SE around 10-14 knots on a close reach back toward Pt Atkinson. We cruised along in the mid 10's with the blast reacher up and the boat felt very good and steady and fast. Kurt Gurtunca took the helm for the last two hours to steer us to the finish in fine form. Peeled to the Code2 jib a few miles from the finish as the wind backed to more Easterly closer to the finish. The wind slacked and the end of the race was very difficult giving us hard decisions where to tack in order to stay in the breeze.

We did a good job though and finished only thirteen minutes behind Braveheart after 130 miles. On corrected time the top boats were only separated by a couple of minutes!

We ended up fourth over all beating out Glory (Buchan) and Dark Star (Jonathan McKee) and losing to Braveheart by only two and a half minutes on corrected. Kudos to the smaller boats who were able to correct on us in TOD format after 130 miles which is a good accomplishment.

Overall we had a great race with a great crew. Everyone did a good job in their role and our result is definitely something to be proud of for only our second big race and the first distance race with some other big boats that are rated very close to us. Results can be found on the Southern Straits website. Check out the corrected times and how close they are showing a very competitive fleet (even the next div smaller boats who sailed long course).

Hot Pursuit

Viti Rocks Race this weekend. This will be our second attempt to have a pursuit race. Vivacity the slowest rated boat will start @ 10.00 am and each boat will start thereafter based on Time-on-distance handicap. Therefore who ever gets home first wins. Last year we attempted this but there wasn't any wind so we waited then just had a regular race. Kyle will have start times shortly, standby...If you're planning on participating and haven't purchased a packet you must do so in order to be eligible.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Solid Performance

The Big Blue Boat, "ICON", was the sole AYC entrant in 2009 Southern Straits Regatta out of West Vancouver Yacht Club. She faced a star studded class including Olympic class champions, Americas Cup sailors, and many National and International class champs. Winds were light off Dundrave pier at the start, but there was plenty of current too keep things interesting. Within the hour she was hull down on the horizon from my 4kt vantage point so we we will have to wait for a full report from Mistaken. I can tell you this, she had 2nd place to Braveheart a customized TP 52 until a couple smalll boats slipped in to drop her to fourth. Well Done AYC members including our Commodore Jerry, Big Rich, Slightly Sundholm, and if I sat here long enough probably others.....

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Girls On The Boat

Women's regatta coming to your very own yacht club this summer! Chime in on the forum if you want to be part of this! We'll get registration and all that good stuff soon. We're also putting together a singlehanded regatta on Sunday of the same weekend. Save the date on your calendar: June 20-21 weekend, right after Windermere.

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Lucky 7 @ Tulip!!!

7 Races and lots of smiles was the order for the weekend @ AYC. Actually five races for C fleet. Grafix showed early season speed in winning A fleet with A fleet newcomer Celebration hot on her heels; Pangaea rounded out the trophy group. In B fleet it was all Inferno all the time followed by the Wild Rumpus and the sole Bellinghamsters Blackfoot. In C Lucky Duck showed the way with Little Annie putting on her best performance so far and Charles and Spence in Vivacity, which is for sale. Brian H and crew did their best in some tricky winds and currents to get the races in. The permanent marks seemed to work, in fact Jerry H and crew found the long lost NW mark. Chuck T kept the chase boat on plane all day setting and resetting marks. Saturday night door prizes ensured nearly everyone went home with something, or in Clay's case almost nothing, (pictures to follow...) Callie reluctantly volunteered to be trophy girl and the always popular Jennifer Bowman artwork made the hardware glow! Bartender Pam Edwards was the belle of the ball, and Jeri and Thomas nailed the kitchen duties. Sure, some of us still have lawns to mow and eggs to dye....

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Bring on the DogFIGHT!

In a unanimous decision today, the New York Court of Appeals threw out CNEV's challenge and pronounced the Golden Gate Yacht Club the Challenger of Record for the 33rd America's Cup. The judges decided 6-0 that the Deed of Gift's "annual regatta" requirement was not met by CNEV and called SNG's argument that "having" a regatta meant that it could be in the future an illogical conclusion and went so far as to award legal costs to BMW/Oracle. You can read the complete ruling here.

The judges also wrote that "it falls now to SNG and GGYC to work together to maintain this noble sailing tradition as a perpetual Challenge Cup for friendly competition between foreign countires", but given the previous rivalries between the two groups most doubt that it will be anything but friendly!

This event will likely see more time in the courtroom as both sides play the measurement, construction nationality, and racing rules game - however one thing is for certain, if our local Core Builders was under the gun before to come up with some trick new parts for DoGZILLA, they must be really feeling the pressure now!

Let the games begin!

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

On-Line Tulip Regatta Registration Working...

Several people have now successfully registered for the Tulip Regatta using our new online registration system - you can be the next!


We will be bringing up registration for the Windermere Regatta and the Northern Century shortly, so stay tuned!