Sunday, March 29, 2015

Post Pt post race wrap up

This race featured a staggered start and many yachts were staggering under more canvas than they needed as it was a downwind start. The problem with boats and sailboats in particular is that they don't hold still very well especially with South Westerly winds gusting into the high 20's. It was sloppy wave action and surprisingly gusty just to add to the starting melee. Figuring how to have enough canvas up to be competitive downwind for the start yet maintain control before the start was the tricky part. Vern and the Myrica crew were down course before most boats had left the marina. The second boat to start, Wind Warrior, left most of their new to them spinnaker scattered across the wave tops. Syndicat got started without a hitch choosing to make their donation to Davy Jones Locker just after the Huckleberry/Guemes slot. John Gunn chose the conservative start approach but with roller furling it makes choosing between the big genoa or the small jib a little easier. Little Annie missed being first to Post Point by less than 5 minutes but when the wind lightened up on the way home chose the iron genoa.  Corvus and Spice got underway together and battled most of the way to Post Pt within yards of one another but again the fickle West/east/West /easterly on the way made the engine the logical choice for Corvus. The family affair that is Emoyeni was decimated by a tight work schedule so Chris soldiered on with a rookie crew and proved how nice it is to have your ever lovin son on board when it is windy, eventually opting for diesel power and a trip to the pizza joint rather than drifting home. The red sled Lil' Toonces skippered by local shipwright Steve Tiefischer, with crowd favorite David Way aboard was able to catch the waves even without the spinnaker up. She held the lead in the Sc-27 fleet until the Westerly disappeared behind Guemes Island and the fleet trailers went to school on her and faded East towards Samish to stay in breeze. The recycle project known as Off Constantly with the youngest average crew age in the fleet charged off the line under plenty of white canvas and held on later for a top half finish. Next up was yours truly with my trusty first wife on the tiller extension, which was later added to Mr. Jones tab in a nasty puff. In any case the kite went up and so did the fun meter. With only two on board she surfs into the teens fairly easily but honestly as the wind lightened as went North was still welcome too. I was wondering how we planned to douse it in those conditions. The new kid on the block, the J-30 Taku posted a solid podium finish in her first trip out, where was all that green last Tuesday night? In the big money fleet Kinetic Ki and Passepartout were treated to dying breeze and a fleet with tremendous leads established in much more wind. No boats were spotted taking the scenic route by Teddy Bear Cove, look it up if you don't know,  and Eric Beemer and the bar crew welcomed everybody home.
In other news....
Tulip Regatta NOR is up. Kevin Welch is PRO, Chris Roethle chief scorer, Walt Meagher Grand Exalted Chair (He has done this since the Nixon admin), Steph in charge of shoreside entertainment (don't miss it, similar to Teddy Bear Cove), delicious salmon dinner, free chili dogs, one design and PHRF racing. Sign up now and bring a friend.
Goto and see a new idea in adventure racing Port Townsend to Ketchikan, 10,000.00 for first prize, a set of steak knives for second.
Port Commissioner and AYC member Keith Rubin has recently returned from a adventure race in the Florida Keys.
If you have interest or time in helping maintain and/or running the club chase boats Race Knight a 20' Trophy and the other tri hull whose name escapes me, contact Terry Dorn or Markay Neumann.
For all you drone fans watch as you enter the harbor someone may be watching......
Don't forget if you don't do it this year you will be at least a year older when you do.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Hot Pursuit

This Saturday the 28th is one of the funnest race formats of the year. Instead of an equal start for all competitors and then keeping track of finish times and hanging around the club afterward to find out the facts, this race is the opposite. The handicap splits are predetermined and each boat starts at a given time and whoever finishes first is the winner. The course can be a real drag race to Post Pt near Bellingham and back. It gets shallow in Samish Bay and has collected a few keels in the past and when it is light the Westerly can be fickle. In this case the slower boats get the privilege of leading the way and finding all the parking lots first. If you are gaining on someone be careful it might not be all good.
Wednesday the 25th kicks off the Wednesday night racing series and after a pleasant tune up night on St. Paddy's Day the crews are ready to battle. Eric and Jordan rounded up plenty of Leprechuan Loot and the potlucks were delicious. On the other hand if you think there is enough conflict in the world and just want get out on the water Class 1 is for you. No need to bother with those tricky colorful sails, simply unfurl and enjoy the ride. AYC racing offers something for every sailor.
We have been measuring sails nearly every week and Vince Townrow at Ullman sails and Fleet handicapper Colin Emsley are happy to help.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Set the Green kite

You might think all sails should be green when you see the amount of greenbacks they cost! Tuesday night @ 6pm sharp just out in the bay near the ferry dock we will work up an appetite for the St. Paddys Day potluck at the club by having the first buoy race of the year. Of course wind has been reserved, in fact maybe we can have the wind that we saved by not having much for the Hein Bank race. For those new to the racing scene keep an eye on anchored ships and tugs in the bay, they make fine current indicators. As was proven at the start of the Hein Bank race the current can really move out Guemes Channel. (or in) Ebb tides carry more water in these parts due to the rivers. The wind near the massive rock, Cap Sante can be land effected. It is not uncommon for a reach to turn to a run as you sail NE across the bay. Listen to the instruction on the VHF and review what those flags represent. There are still some crab pots scattered across the bay and again there is no finer current indicator, there are many old timers that the current nearly always runs East-West along in front of the tanker docks. Stay clear of stbd tack boats, they'll be seeing your green running light and you'll be seeing their red, that's where the stoplight colors originated. After the fun on the water come join the fun at the club and bring your favorite snack!