Thursday, February 26, 2015

and There Was Wind

The Girts Rekevics Foul Weather Race kicked off another year of sailboat racing for the Anacortes Yacht Club with great style.  Chris Roethle has done a phenomenal job of putting this race/cruise on for as long as I've been a member and it is truly one of the highlights of our year.  Chris and his family deserve a big thanks from all of us for the dedication they put into the event. Each year we've participated has provided a unique story for me personally, and many of them are instigated by getting to the dock 4 hours prior to dinner with nothing better to do.  I'm pretty sure the majority of the over 100 sailors and cruisers at the event experienced something uniquely similar.

This year sailors were met with a sustained breeze of 18 knots in the bay prior to the start that made for some commotion while the race was getting kicked off.  The current was ripping down the Guemes Channel and the winds continued to pick up to the 22-24 knot range as boats passed the Bellingham Channel.  Reefs were popped in and the small sails were dusted off as sailors made their way to a pile-up at Thatcher.  Some shifty light breeze and back eddy's made things interesting as sailors worked their way through the pass on the way to more big breeze and the beat up Lopez.  Throw in some reachy stuff in Upright Channel on the way to the finish boat Ruffian, manned by Brad Blymer, and you have yourself one heck of a race.  Fleet 1 was paced by Count Enrico and his court on Jah Mon while Fleet 2 (and overall) was won by Gavin Brackett on Avalanche.  Thanks to all those who came to share in the fun, the San Juan Island Yacht club for the hospitality, along with Brad Blymer, Kyle Saum, and Chris Roethle for their volunteer efforts.  The fun has now begun!

Do you know Knowles?

Saturday March 7th is the first of the AYC's distance race series the "Tri-Straits". The hein Bank Race takes sailors from the West end of Guemes Channel out Rosario Strait and the Strait of Juan de Fuca rounding hein Bank just South of Cattle Pass and return a distance of 37.6 miles. When I first began racing in our club this race had a 24hr time limit. With the advent bottom paint and dacron sails this has been cut to 12hrs so let's move with some alacrity out there:) The fleet splits are still set at 180 but Gavin is out of town so maybe someone else will get to win after his dual victories at Shaw and Foulweather. Ed Knowles had a Spencer 35 "Theark" and later a 33' pilothouse by the same name. He was fierce competitor and a former USCG officer so he was always quick to make sure things were done proper. Rarely was he without his wife aboard and they also both made great contributions to our club. Back in the 80's there were enough boats competing out of Skyline Marina, Doctor Ruth, Honeybunch, Alakazam included we had several races each year out in Burrows Bay. So if you are hoisting a taco at the club Friday night or hoisting a sail on the course Saturday take a moment to remember all those terrific sailors that have gone on before and made AYC what it is today.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Let there be wind....

This Saturday, Feb 21st, the crowds will gather at the top of Cap Sante to watch the inaugural event of the AYC racing and cruising season. After the proper amount of posing and posturing about how wel waxed your cruising boat is or how well you have trained your racing crew over the winter the horns will sound and the flags will will fly and the fleet will be underway off the tanker docks. Or we will just start on GPS time, but in any case a start will happen !The winds are predicted to be snortin outa the NE and with a Westerly course this should result in many a happy skipper and crew. The class breaks are up and what can best be described as joyous news from fleet 1, the winner of last week's romp around Shaw, Gavin Brackett has been assigned to fleet 2. In fleet 1 the heavyweights from Alger the Blackfoot skippered by Mick Corcoran are early favorites. The J-30's will be a duel between the Bottles family from Conway and former Commodore of Oak harbor Yacht Club Rex Dupuis and his lovely wife Suzy. The lead bellied money guzzlers will be represented by Pete Shainin and his crew of sailing luminaries challenged by the disc golfing, cribbage playing, pranksters aboard Jah Mon led by The Count. In fleet 2, chasing Gavin, the smart money may be at the small end of the fleet with the upstart Wind Warriors challenging the perennial favorite Little Annie. Dockmates Emoyeni and Kymodoce may be hard names to understand but their is no misunderstanding their affinity for hanging the big rags and letting the chips or masts or booms fall where they may.
Grab your coat and hat and hop a ride on the ferry. The new Commodore will be holding court on board.  Come join the fun in Friday Harbor. Rumor has it the festivities at the host SJIYC will feature a special guest. Door prizes to include haul outs and plenty of tasty libations on hand.
In other news:
Space on the dinghy dock is available, see Roger Jewett about this.
Watch for our celebrity chef Walt Meagher aboard his new ride a J-35 on the water.
Trivial pursuit question of the week: When was the last time neither Pangaea or Handyman was not on the start line of the Girts Rekevics Foulweather Race/Cruise?
In closing in the words of Warren Miller, "If you don't do it this year you will certainly be a year older when you do it."

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Judging Seminar Cancelled

The US Sailing Judges Seminar scheduled for February 28, 2015 at the Anacortes Yacht Club has been cancelled.  The cancellation was in part due to conflicting schedules for the instructors and a low initial turnout.  The organizers will take a look at next year likely in January not to conflict with events scheduled toward the end of February.  Now that this event is off the AYC calendar for Saturday, February 28, there is more free time to participate in the AYC GR Foul Weather Race scheduled for Saturday, February 21, 2015.  Head for the events page and sign-up soonest to make sure you get the great meal after the great sail.

Saturday, February 07, 2015

Friday Harbor or Bust

Now is the time to get ready for one of AYC's best events of the year. The Girts Rekevics Memorial Foul Weather Race/ Cruise is scheduled for Saturday Feb 21st. The start off the tanker dock, slide down the Guemes Channel, choose a pass Thatcher, Obstruction or Peavine, typically a short beat up Upright Channel and choose a place to park. It doesn't matter if it's Southerly or Northerly it's reachy and fun! For the motorboat crowd what could be better than watching those ragbaggers battling the elements while you are snug as a bug in the pilothouse sipping coffee? Well maybe a drink that has some coffee in it even if it's not entirely coffee, maybe just coffee flavored. Strolling up and down the docks a little window shopping, maybe more coffee flavored libations and it's off to a scrumptious dinner. The good people of SJIYC know how to make a down home lasagna with all the fixins just like mama used to make. There luxurious clubhouse is just at the top of the dock and door prizes are for racers and cruisers alike. We're talking free haulouts, salty fashions, the works! If you're old sea dog or just new on the scene this event is just for you! Click right here on the website and come join the fun....
In other news:
On a sad note legendary sailor, builder and designer Ted Irwin has passed. His yacht designs in the 1980's were revolutionary for their day and nothing if not innovative. Get out on the water, it's later than you think...
Next Sunday the 15th OIYC is hosting the Winter Classic around Shaw. If you don't have a PHRF cert they will create one for you. SC-27 one design and two PHRF divs, usually the break is at 100 and if you're not sure just follow Count Ferarri an his merry band aboard Jah Mon.
Friday nights at the club have been hopping and let's not forget to thank our bartenders rather than criticize them. Of course if you think you can do better just take the course and show us your stuff:)
Saturday the 28th AYC is hosting an informal meeting for those interested in helping administrate local regattas. Come find out how to avoid some of the pitfalls that can hamstring a Race Committee, it's informative and free!

Sunday, February 01, 2015

9 outa 10

Rumor has it 9 outa 10 Americans will be watching the Superbowl today. As an AYC member you are entitled, even invited to watch the big game at the comfortable new clubhouse. Bring a snack to share and support your club. Make a new friend and achieve one of your New Years Resolutions by hanging around after the victory party and cleaning up! Rumor has it our new Commodore may commandeer a local police bike and make a few laps... What do I know I'm just here so I don't get fined.....In the unlikely case of a wardrobe malfunction at halftime bust out yer smartphone or have the club secretary burn you a hard copy and get signed up for the Girts Rekevics Foulweather Race / Cruise to Friday Harbor Feb 21st. By signing up now you are assured to get one of the cool shirts that are selling faster than those silly beast mode ones, and imagine eating pickled eggs with former Commodore Sean rather than Skittles! Other highlights include door prizes like free haulouts at local boatyards, merchandise from local marine suppliers and heck there is no snow so maybe the weather guys(gods) will send wind! SJIYC will be our hosts at the top of the dock. Some folks take the really big boats with creative Coastal Salish Native American names that offer senior discounts and is heavily subsidized by state taxpayers and you'll save enough dough you can play pull tabs at Herb's! Emoyeni will be looking to defend her title and hopefully everyone will get squared up with PHRF so boats that do really well won't get kicked to the curb for not having their paperwork in order. Traditionally the cruisers have shadowed the fleet and on at least two occasions have either towed in disabled sailboats or picked up a man overboard. BTW make sure if you are wearing a inflatable PFD it is fully inflated, the club may not levy a fine until after the race or maybe if you celebrated Christmas with the Commodore you will not be fined at all. Again you know why I'm here.