Sunday, April 13, 2014

Spring has Finally Sprung: Massapoag is Open for the Season

The days are getting longer, and the weather is (finally) getting warmer. The ice cleared from the lake last week, and we've wasted no time getting the club ship shape and ready for action.  The dock is in place, the clubhouse is set up and ready to go, the moorings are set and and the new motor for the committee boat had its first run. Even the BoatCam pitched in, watching the dock being assembled.

While we were at it, we've rearranged a few things.  The dumpster has been moved from it's unsightly central location to a spot more out of the way and easier to reach from the clubhouse. The upper circle for small boats is now more of a line, leading to a small natural slope to the launch ramp, making it easier to get small boats from there to the water. The clubhouse now has hot running water, and there are several new picnic tables.

Racing for all classes starts on Sunday, May 4. The first Wednesday night race is 3 days later on May 7. The Sunfish tuneup series runs on three SUNDAYS in May, the 4, 18 and 25. The next week (May 31) is the 7th Annual Sunfish/Laser Regatta. The regular Saturday Sunfish Series starts a week later on on June 7, and runs through until October.

Meanwhile the MYC@BYC Barrington Frostbite Series has next week off for Easter, then has it's final day of racing on April 27. We don;t have any reports from today's racing yet, but will post them here as soon as we get them.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Wind? We Don't Need no Stinking Wind!

The Sunfish were there, but something was missing.

We finally got a nice, warm sunny day at Barrington, but for a while a couple of things were missing.  Both the wind and the committee boat were no-shows. We waited patiently for them both to show up, and once they did the Committee Boat proved to be the more consistent and reliable of the two.

Light and fluky was the order of the day. About half the fleet had to be towed to the race course. The front and back of the fleet were able to make it under their own power, but the middle was at the mercy of the still air. After the first race, the wind shifted about 50 degrees, turning the windward-leeward course into a two-reaching legs course. After only one race, the Race Committee was forced to delay the proceedings to reset the course.

Once the wind finally decided which direction to blow, the RC was able to get 5 races in.  Andy David took both the last race (more on that later) and the A fleet prize for the day.  IN the B fleet, Erin Abbot put in a stellar day in the light winds, finishing with the A fleet more often than with the B fleet. On the water she claimed that "The light winds really like me".

Alan Silk was the star of the day. He very nearly took first in the last race from Andy David.  After a slow start, Alan snuck up the left side of the course staying in breeze and out of the current, and made up several hundred yards before passing everyone at the final turn to the club. It looked like he was headed to his first 1st, but at the very last minute he got caught in a wind shift, and Andy David snuck by him.

Monday, March 24, 2014

MYCSunfish: AWOL

Artist's representation of what the racing must have been like this week
MYC@BYC updates have been noticeably absent lately as MYC Sunfish's intrepid reporter has been AWOL from the racing.  He says that there have been good reasons for his absence, apparently something to do with his inability to sneak away for several hours unnoticed from Mrs. MYC's birthday festivities. He promises that he will be on the scene next week.

In any case, We do have some results to present this week. Bill Brangiforte reports that the weather was much warmer this week, with a shifty northwest breeze, and that racing was close all day.  Doris Aschman reports that Scott Greenbaum ended Ken Charles' streak of weekly first place finishes, while Bernadette Levesque topped the B fleet. A big Thank You goes out to Doris and Bill!

The BoatCam wasn't idle though. It has branched out into another activity that apparently has a frostbite season. 

Sunday, March 9, 2014

MYC@BYC Week 1: The Curse of the Camera: BROKEN!

Ken Charles beating his way through the fleet on a way winning the 1st race of the 2014 season.

The Spring 2014 Barrington Frostbite season got off to s strong start today, with 10 boats on the line on a beautiful brisk, sunny day.  Winds varied between 0 and 20 mph, with gentle shifts anywhere between 5 and 270 degrees. More than once, boats sailing in the same upwind heading were seen to be on different tacks. Downwind legs mysteriously became upwind legs. Reaches just as mysteriously became runs.

Ken Charles was able to pick his way through the shifts better than anyone else today, taking 1st in the A fleet and overall. More importantly, he broke the curse of the BoatCam! All of the other hapless BoatCam victims have suffered one malady after another on the race course on the day that they were chosen to carry the camera.  Ken decisively broke the curse by taking three 1sts in the 6 races run today.

In the B fleet, John House and Mark Stoughton fought a close duel all day, both finishing the day with the same number of points. John took first for the day after the scores were run through the tiebreaker.

R.I.P. Boatcam One
Today was to have been the first day with dual BoatCam coverage. We had BoatCam 2 on one A fleet boat and BoatCam 1 was returning to service after a year's layoff on one B fleet boat.

BoatCam 1: Somewhere under there, still filming.
During the start of the 4th race, the boom of the B fleet Victim's boat made contact with another boat.  The camera mount snapped, and the camera dangled precariously for several seconds before dropping off the boom into the depths of the Barrington River, still filming.

Boatcam One was getting long in the tooth. It was five years old and had developed a camera's version of Macular Degeneration in the last couple of years, with a large out of focus spot in the middle of its field of view. It was also coming down with Camera Alzheimer's, and would occasionally refuse to write to the SD card, but when it delivered footage, it was always good. It was doing what it loved when it dropped off the boat, and now it will film forever under the waves.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Somebody Forgot to Tell the Wind that Racing was Scheduled Today

No wind, snow problem.
(Photo by Eric Woodman)

This week was supposed to be the first week of the Spring Frostbite series at Barrington, but it appears that the weather gods didn't get the memo. At race time, the wind speed was 0, and things never improved. At that rate, the incoming tidal current would have swept the racers all the way to the Massachusetts line. Initial weather reports for next week are better, with 10-15 mph winds and 40 degree temperatures.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Dreaming of Sailing, or Dreaming and Sailing: Bart's Bash Comes to MYC

During last year's America's Cup, the Artemis team suffered a major tragedy when their catamaran capsized and broke apart. Crew member Andrew "Bart" Simpson was trapped under the wreckage and died. His longtime friends Sir Ben Ainsle and Ian Percy established the Bart Simpson foundation to promote youth sailing around the world.

This fall, September 21, to be exact, the Andrew Simpson Sailing Foundation is attempting to enter the record books.  They are going to attempt to set a world record for the most boats racing simultaneously. Not just at a single club, but racing simultaneously around the world. Massapoag Yacht Club has signed up to be part of the record attempt. The attempt is to be made at 11:00am British time, which translates to 7:00am at Massapoag, where a bunch of sleepy (maybe even still sleeping) skippers will be starting to race before most people are out of bed.

Anyone wishing to participate in the world record attempt is invited to come down to MYC on September 21. We will have people on hand to record our part of the effort that will be forwarded for certification with the people at the Guinness book of World Records

The official web site for Bart's bash is here:

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's Hard to Believe...

It's hard to believe, but it's just two weeks to the start of the Spring Frostbite series in Barrington. The current water temperature in Barrington is 36 degrees, about 5 degrees colder than normal.  Just throw a six-pack of your favorite carbonated and/or fermented beverages into the water at launch, and it will be the perfect temperature at the end of the day! I'm not sure that the same can be said about the sailors.

The Boatcam is warmed up and ready to go, so whoever ends up being the first victim, you have big shoes to fill following Scott's finish last year!

Meanwhile in warmer environments, planning for the MYC sailing season is underway.  The Sunfish/Laser regatta is scheduled for May 31, a week before the Sunfish regionals in Barrington. It's a great regatta to use as a warm-up for the Regionals.