Thursday, March 24, 2011

Congratulations, Colin Orsini

Colin Orsini, who grew up participating in AYC's various racing programs, has been named to the All-American Offshore Team. He is one of nine under age 30 sailors selected. The team will participate in four major races: Around Block Island, Annapolis to Newport, Transatlantic, and the Fastnet. Colin is the son of Rear Commodore Steve Orsini and has been carrying Steve to victory in one-design competitions for several years.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Tulip Regatta about to bloom

April 9th &10th marks a sure sign spring is here. The AYC Tulip Regatta! This year Walt meagher and Vic Childs have been working overtime to assure success. Skippers meeting Friday night, famously good eats (Thomas Childs) and a great band Saturday, and free chilidogs while we laud the winners on Sunday. Oh yes and sailing three one design fleets: for the first time ever F-18 catamarans, venerable SJ-24's and those colorful SC-27's. PHRF classes will be split into 3 divs. If you have never competed in a weekend regatta or if you never miss one sign up now on-line. If you have already purchased your race packet you are also eligble for a $20.00(us) discount. New flags, reconditioned inflatable marks, terrific new chase boat, guaranteed wind, great door prizes, beer sponsor, raffles, colorful repartee, smiling bartenders, 75% discounted moorage, and the usual hijinks and capers. Go online sign up now! This REALLY helps regatta planners figure out meals, t-shirts, class breaks, on water finish sheets, bar supplies, and registration.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

AYC Tri-Straits Series -- Smith Island Coming Up

Looking for a chance to get out on the boat and stretch your legs - this Saturday March 19 at 0930 is the second event in the AYC Tri-Straits Series -- the Smith Island Race.

The Tri-Straits Series consists of three races that start at the west entrance of Guemes channel -- the first to Lawson Reef in Rosario Strait; the second out and around Smith Island; and the third and longest race the club sponsors is out and around Hein Bank.  Each of these races have been carefully timed so that you can ride the ebb current out and the flood back home.

These are some of the most challenging yet fun distance race events sponsored by the club as they give you a chance to get out in some consistent breeze and some wave action.  If you haven't done it before, here is your chance.

Smith Island Rounding

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Champagne I, Jack Island Recap – Team Emoyeni

Despite the strong prevailing SE winds, Emoyeni managed to leave the dock w/o a lot of yelling or questionable boat handling. This was going to be a cold and blustery race, kinda like that one Wednesday night a year ago. Leaving the Cap Santé breakwater we immediately took 3 or 4 waves to the starboard beam and Kyle was ready for a fresh set of foul weather gear before we even put up a sail.

6 boats showed up, 5 C fleet boats +1 wet & Wild Rumpus, proving once again if you want early season competition buy a slow old boat, preferably with a heater. The start got off with Rumpus, Emoyeni, & Hasenpfeffer leading the way, starboard reach, w/ Kymodoce & Little Annie in tow, and Syndicat in the back trying to salvage spilled rum. Reefed main sails and small jibs (rumpus a storm jib?) were employed, save for Kymodoce elected to sail their 180% genoa hoping for extra ponies in the stiff breeze. Decision constipation struck, do we go left or right of Huckleberry island (?) and we let Hasenpfeffer get by. Hasenpfeffer celebrated by rounding up a couple times and giving it all back to us. Andy & Steph hoisted their 12oz (actually 1.5oz) pink pride miller lite chute and sped away with double digits. Most boats reached off north w/ Rumpus except Syndicat who stayed dead downwind on rhumbline and started gaining big. Upon notice, Emoyeni winged out the #2 and played the same tactic holding the Catalina off during the starboard rounding of Jack.

After the rounding, hitched early onto port while the rest of the fleet stayed on starboard. The tack paid well but we called an early layline, ebb current strafing us left and we were forced to throw two more tacks to get around R4, allowing Little Annie just enough room to get around before us. She sailed wide, we cut inside going back downwind – again DDW right at R8 w/ Lil’ Annie, Syndicat in tow – Kymodoce struggling to get around R4 and Hasenpfeffer… who knows where they were going? We were the 1st boat in fleet around R8 and now it was a beat back to the finish. Rumpus was a lil’ blip on the Guemes shore, we wanted to stay out in heavier breeze and seas. We must have gotten the only copy of the AYC race packet translated in Farsi and a photo of Andy Schwenk wearing Steph’s lingerie instead of the course map for Jack island – Otherwise we clearly wouldn’t have missed the instructions that said after rounding R8, we keep Jack island to port prior to finish… Emoyeni kept the wrong course, kept Jack Island to starboard, cracked beers and had an great tacking duel to hold off Little Annie, completely un-aware we’ve blown the race by missing the last and biggest mark on the course.

C’est la vie, it was probably the best way to make that mistake as I’m fairly certain we would have remained in 1st place had we not missed Jack Island. Great crew work, a fast sail plan, and generally good tactical calls (save for the beat to William Pt), and Kymodoce motoring back to her slip flying red foul weather bibs from the backstay are memories we won’t soon forget. At the end of the day the only thing puffing more than the breeze was Andy Schwenk who moves surprisingly fast on land but couldn't beat Kyle Saum to break the news of our boneheaded mistake. Big congratulations to John Gunn skippering Little Annie, who sailed very fast and also rounded all the marks (even the big one) and scored his first 1st place finish in an AYC race! Emoyeni scores her first RAF but it was for the best - or at least I'll keep telling myself that.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Hey Jack where you at?

5 C class boats and finally 1 B boat braved the windswept waters of Padilla Bay for the ever popular Jack Island Race. Colin Emsley and Keith Stone pulled start boat duty and the fleet got off together for a windy reach across to Huckleberry. Most boats opted for at least a reef in the main and the Wild Rumpians were actually sporting a storm jib. The fleet was tightly bunched in the gap between Guemes and Huckleberry, during the lull the Rumpus set the spinnaker and when the wind filled on the farside it was double digit boat speed until the jibe and our brute of a foredeck person pulled the pole apart and back to white sails for the rest of the run. Jack was to be left to starboard and the fleet was close enough to throw a blanket over them with the Team Emoyeni leading the way, Kymodoce swapping to a genoa without a big tear in it and Hasssenfeffers proving the turtle doesn't always beat the hare. The beat back to the first red buoy made one realize why gentlemen don't sail to weather, in the words of the great Bill Walton, "I've got people to do that for me!". The run to the second buoy was perfect: rolling waves, hot ruddered bums, surfing to 15 kts, and stereo loud enough so we couldn't hear the foredeck sniveling as they tryed to reset the backup pole during the gybe. By now Team Emoyeni was really digging in, Little Annie was proving that small sails go upwind in a breeze better than big ones and Syndicat was mounting a rally. This race requires Jack Island to be left to port on the trip home and all eyes were on the Emoyeni until it was determined that like many sailors before and probably more later, ya gotta read those instructions carefully...With spray flying and and everyone smiling she mistakenly left Jack Island to starboard. Many tacks and and splashy waves until the sun broke through and it was a fetch to the finish. Now a new race began could I get the boat put away, take Steph home, drop off the babysitter and be back in time to drop the bomb on the Team Emoyeni. Kymodoce won that race and I must say since those two boats park next to one another he did so with Gusto! John Gunn and crew aboard Little Annie earned her first victory and narrowly avoided being thrown in the bay as should be the custom. Chili @ the club along with cobbler left over from Friday night, Walt Meagher covered the bar and Tulip Regatta plans were discussed. In a word it was fun!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Land of Opportunity

AYC has long been known as a home to many kinds of mariners both power and sail. The racing program is supported by both these groups. The weekend races, Wednesday night racing as well as our three premier regattas; Tulip in April, Windermere in June and the Northern Century in August rely heavily on the support of the whole club.

The Race Committee has created a number of tasks to be completed by April 1st in order to ensure the high level of success and revenue that keeps the doors open @ AYC. Take a look at the following list and please email Stephanie @ if something or everything tickles your fancy and you can "Git er done" before April 1st, or in some cases during the regattas...
  1. Transport old chase boat away from club property and store it until it is decided what the long term plan is for it. (boat and trailer not real attractive, effects club rentals, maybe have SVC marine tech students refurbish? options being considered....)
  2. Create or procure code flags A-J at least 2'x2' on six foot PVC 1" tubing for div. class flags @ regattas.
  3. Put up outside tent on grass for outdoor beer sales @ regattas and weather resistant smoking section.
  4. Scrub BBQ's and fill propane tanks
  5. Find missing permanent marks, probably need wetsuit. (see Andy about this, some things are more permanent than others)
  6. Figure out who owns trailer that demo Laser is sitting on by BBQ pit, then figure out what to do with it..
  7. We have one sided course boards "1" and "2" make them double sided and make 3&4 (need white paint ,black paint, and plwood 3x5 for good visibility on water
  8. We would like to have an individual with shotgun skills for Tulip and Windermere regattas, maybe more than one individual.
  9. Flag rack system for new chase boat to display start flags.
  10. RC flag (white RC on fouled anchor, blue background) I think..
Donations/wish list....
  1. Serviceable, comfortable life-jackets for new chase boat
  2. 3' diameter red/pink buoys (fish boat type)for start and temporary marks(inflatables in for repairs)
  3. 10lb and smaller danforth anchors with chain and rode for temporary marks
  4. GPS and VHF for new chase boat, if you're upgrading....
  5. Heat lamps for clubhouse decks during regattas (thanks be to Tom Dixon in years past, no longer a member...)
Grab a partner and join the fun it takes a sailor to "Git 'er done"

Friday, March 04, 2011

Lawson Reef Race this Saturday!

In case you missed it, the first normal club distance race of the season is this Saturday (March 5) at 0930.  This race is from the west entrance of Guemes Island out to Lawson Reef, around a mark at the south end of Rosario Strait and then return -- most years you can be finished in approximately three (3) hours!

There is a catch however -- you will need a current PHRF NW rating certificate and you will need to register for the 2011 AYC racing season.  If you are new to PHRF and need a rating you can talk with our club handicapper Scot Lindberg (his e-mail link HERE).  If you need to renew your PHRF rating you can do so HERE.  Finally, if you need to register for the 2011 AYC racing season you can do so HERE.

We hope to see you out there...

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

How's This for a Catch???

So much for swimming in the Ocean around here!!!!
UCLUELET, B.C. (West side of Vancouver Island)

While the ocean vessel 'Dawn Raider' was commercial fishing for dogfish, this Great White was hooked in the mouth but only resisted slightly for 15 minutes before it came up alongside the boat to have a look; long enough for one of the crew members to slip a rope around it's tail !!!

'And that's when the s**t hit the fan!!.

The Shark took off towing the 42 foot fishing boat backwards through the water at about 7 Knots. Just like in JAWS, the boat was taking on water over the stern and the crew watched in horror as the shark would actually jump completely out of the water at times. This went on for an hour before the shark finally drowned.

She weighed in at 1035 LBS.. It is suspected she followed a weak El Nino Current into local waters in search of food. Although mid 60 deg. Water is considered ideal for these sharks, the larger ones can tolerate water in the low 50s.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Another Perspective on Foul Weather...

We just received this post from Kyle Roethle about the latest Foul Weather Race and thought we would pass it along...

Racing conditions meant most boats would work their heaters as hard or harder than their spinnakers as frozen dock lines were thawed/cast and frozen boats wandered to the Guemes channel starting area in a building S-SE breeze and light snowflakes grazing topsides. With 6 yachts from the great white north and 15 from the greater inland Washington waters, all clear was hailed and the 2011 AYC Foul Weather race was underway. A new twist was competing for the Stanley Cup, aka Stephanie Schwenk’s long lost thermos - replenished with adult lubrication courtesy of our pals across boundary pass.

Kites up and drawing, Grafix was the first of many boats to round up early and often. Excitement developed once boats entered Rosario Strait; the breeze picked up from the south, kite reaching saw fun meters rising and boats beginning to distance themselves and/or threaten any inadequately secured hot beverage with a wipeout. Come Thatcher pass the breeze had built to 15kn and gusting beyond. Emoyeni built a decent lead on her competition and squandered it away with multiple round ups between Frost and Willow Islands. Our wild gybes kept the crew on their frozen toes and surrounding boats entertained/distracted. Apparently it’s hard to trim a kite in blustery weather when your fingers have the same dexterity as a fistful of lil’ smokies.

Our gybe to the Upright Head rounding didn’t go as smoothly as we’d hoped and the starboard spin sheet shackle let go prompting an early weather douse. No word on whether Brian provoked the shackle failure by talking about its mother or some other absurdity. Syndicat had stayed left on rhumbline to pass us and Kymodoce was coming up very hot under kite but both were headed for the “dead zone” – Emoyeni sailed wide right, kept pressure in her sails and regained a small lead for the close reach down Upright Channel.

We navigated through the kelp at the SE tip of Shaw Island and turned down with Syndicat, Kymodoce, Waioli, and the Beneteau’s in tow. Spinnakers on the horizon prompted a hoist met with an immediate round up. Boats behind not skippered by Dean Vandament got their money’s worth watching us crash a few more times and opted to stick with white sails for the reach to the finish. Becker called the line for a 2:34:11 elapsed run from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, which is pretty smoking by our standards.

On correction we placed 8th in the Yankee boat fleet and 9th out of 21 boats overall. Brian and Becker put the sails up quick and untwisted and amazingly only lost one tweaker. Nicole was all over the boat grinding, furling, reefing, squirreling while spin trim kept Fisch so busy he never had a chance to spill any beer on deck. Chris and Kyle worked together and neither lost any self esteem. A great ride with a wonderful crew sailing an awesome boat.

In related observations, I’d like to thank Passépartout for not trying to steamroll over the top of us after the start – karma rewarded them this year. Rumor has it that Wild Rumpus tied up in Friday Harbor with the same masthead fly they started with and all rubber chickens were accounted for. Given the execution of the event, would anyone have guessed this was Chris Roethle’s first time ever chairing a race? Very proud of my Dad! Overall winner Crazy Ivan blew up her kite on the delivery back to Orcas, potentially making Ballard Sails owner Alex Simanis, and 2nd place finisher, the time-on-money winner over the course of the weekend. For the second weekend in a row the delivery sea state was more epic than the racing sea state. If the F31 Son of Raven had a MacGregor outboard hung, could they have made it into Cap Santé on Sunday?