Sunday, August 30, 2015

It could happen to you......

For those scoring at home you might note that traditionally the Northern Century takes place the weekend before Labor Day. That would have been this weekend. If you were looking out your window on Saturday you may have noticed wind gusts into the 60's.  This kind of breeze even in protected waters like the San Juan Islands can be problematic. As we head into the fall season what better reminder to check your safety gear. Having you been thinking about upgrading your ground tackle? (Anchor and rode) Make sure if you do your chain fits your windlass. Riding at anchor in a steady 50kt breeze will be lively and a sentinel may be needed. If you're not sure what a sentinel is get with someone that knows anchoring and make a plan. Check out a few weather sites and plan accordingly. Maybe buy a few extra fenders and mooring lines. Be prepared fellow travelers.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Dude where's my boat?

Aloha race fans!
The Northern Century is here!
Goto Northerncentury.swiftsure.org to follow the fleet's progress! Each boat is fitted with a "SPOT" tracker device and you can click to your heart's content.
For all you armchair skippers the Nifty Fifty should be easy to predict, 3 spots on the podium and 3 contestants...The Fully Crewed 100 and the DH div are split nearly evenly and don't forget about human powered, Jack and Jill, Canadian and other special divisions. From 24-47.7 feet, multi, cat and mono there is something for everyone. Join the crowd at the top of the rock to watch the start or join the throngs of folks at the finish line.
In other news:
Work boat races in the channel Saturday, don't miss it!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Final Friday Plan

This Friday the 17th good 'ol AYC is hosting the Northern Century Regatta. Boats are due to arrive as early as Wednesday but mostly on Friday. Please contact Eric Beemer or Stephanie Schwenk if you are willing to be part of the legendary hospitality at AYC. Duties that could certainly use some help on Friday include: T-shirt sails, registration, assigning SPOT trackers, food prep and of course the ever popular clean up duties. This is what AYC is all about. Fun in the sun with members and guests. Please call or email if you can help:)

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Rollin on the River

Guemes Channel, the river of which I speak in the title, was a veritable cornucopia of sails last night. The Big Blue Show was in action with a skeleton crew. The Son of Raven with her illustrious new graphics was in attendance and Tom Stockton nailed the start and led the fleet, if only briefly. Local rising sailing star Nate Keller handled RC duties and masterfully or is that mercifully called a chort course at the weather mark allowing everyone to go home and feat on Chef Wenger's delectable Caesar Salmon Salad. The Sc-27's were out in force and Colin's bastard boat was chewing up the fleet singlehandedly. Two divisions were decided by less than 3 seconds total. Lesson learned? Get in the river, stay in the river. Join us next week for the ever popular "What the Huck?" It's Summer Fun so almost anything goes, even women are allowed to take the helm for this series:)
In other news:
It appears we will soon have 3 competitors in the Nifty Fifty, the more civilized version of the Northern Century. Heck 50 miles? Yes you can do that! Alden Bank and back any course you choose. Let's give them something to talk about and have a flotilla of AYC boats join up today!
Thanks be to Jah we have a crew of volunteers to help clean up Friday night ,Aug 21st,  but they will need help, Please, before you go out to dance the night away until the early morning hours, swing by AYC about 1830 and lend a hand, many paws make for light work and this regatta make$$$ ca$$h for Member$$$ if you under$$tand the me$$$age so please come help out for an hour, yes the bar will be open:)

Sunday, August 09, 2015

N-100 and you!

2 Weeks and counting..... Okay so we have broken the magic 23 boat barrier. Everything from a multihull from the peoples republic of California to perennial Canadian Stalwart Wayne Foulds and crew aboard "Lightcure". AYC has received a challenge from yours truly to field a competitor for every boat from out of town. There is no penalty if we exceed that goal. There is still time to get measured in, get a PHRF-NW rating, round up yer pal if you're going doublehanded or put 1/2 the neighborhood in a headlock if you like company. Wind is not guaranteed but appreciated,  as a veteran of at least 5 I can tell you there is usually enough to get 'er done and if you bail early you will live to regret it, (sigh). For you hardworking types the start is late enough on Friday to accommodate your schedule. Delicious spaghetti(veggie option probably means just salad and cheesy noodles), seriously though get on in there early to carbo load, activate your tracker and swap a few theories about currents and wind. The Northern Century is a terrific opportunity to challenge yourself but also have the option to drop the hook in a comfortable anchorage and join the mob again when the wind and sun fill back in.
In other news:
Kevin Welch and the Mikey crew gorged on the conditions at Cascade Locks to battle to a hard earned 2nd place at the Melges 24 Nationals. Boat speeds exceeded 20 kts and teams came from as far as Germany to compete.
The Wally's Tours series wrapped up and 4 of 9 winner's were 27' long. Three were under 27' and and one was 29'. Representin for the luxury liners was Ed Kennedy in the always spicy "Spice". Newcomers Jeff and Steve walked away with honors in class 3. All those interested should note 3 SC-27's are for sale locally. Come join the fun. As long as you have insurance, rating details can be worked out retroactively, unless you are on the edge between classes 2 and 3. class one is always open to No Flying Sails boats. For race details contact Eric Beemer or Andy Schwenk.
The Cheney Cup named for noted prominent attorney John Cheney is this weekend and the Lummi Island course can turn into a drag race that allows the speedier boats to stretch their legs.
Wednesday nights feature the Summer Fun series so let the foredeck ape take the helm or put the skipper in the pit to pass out.......Pass out beverages not literally pass out:)

Monday, August 03, 2015

Chris' Canadian Cows

Each year the PNW Multihull crowd  gets together for the annual Cowichan Bay Regatta typically held the weekend after Whidbey Race Week. For the first time in recent memory the perennial powerhouse that is Dragonfly was not on the scene, For those new to cruising these waters Cow Bay is not to be missed. Just a stones throw North of Sydney BC and adjacent to the waters that take you to the Butchart Gardens this bay is a cruisers paradise. A quaint fishing village that dates to aboriginal times is slowly transforming itself to a cruising destination with but not limited to an ice cream factory, coffee roaster, 4 star hotel and restaurant, numerous B and B's on the water and off and of course a sailboat regatta in the summertime.
2014 was the year of the Son of Raven skippered by Chris Sherman, this year Chris was back to defend his trophy and he nearly did, Chris and his merry band settled for a second. Of note in this class was Kim Alfred's foiling cat with a PHRF rating of -200!!! When PHRF was invented the fastest boat in the sound was rated 0. The only other AYC boat was the Wild Rumpus holding on for a third place after running low on sunscreen and holding off the hard charging Giant Slayer populated with Jim and Staci Bottles and other Celebration regulars.
In other news:
Kevin Welch and Ian and Joy Sloan continued their winning way in the Columbia River Gorge rattling off 7 bullets in seven races denying any competitor the feeling of victory and preparing for the National Championship this coming weekend.
The Northern Century entry list is hovering near 20 boats, most new entries lured by the fact Walt Meagher has promised to make spaghetti Friday night before sailing out to compete in his Sunshine Girl. Also be on the lookout for the Marstrom 32 in from Orinda, California after recently smoking the fleet in a 250 mile offshore race in Southern California.