Sunday, April 19, 2015

Scrambled Lasers and a Side of Areo

Getting ready for another season
Massapoag Yacht Club opened for the season today, as about 80 members, plus the Sharon High School sailing team, gathered to put together the docks, set up the clubhouse, clean the grounds, set the moorings and do a thousand other things that make up the Spring Work party.  Rear Commodore Eric Hemmendinger proved to be an able drill sergeant, seemingly appearing at several areas of the club simultaneously to direct the efforts of the members.

This egg would make a huge omelet!
While the club itself fared well, the brutality of this past winter took an unexpected toll on the Laser fleet.  The weight of nearly four feet of snow was too much for several Lasers. When the tarps and boat covers were removed, we found several Lasers looking like so many cracked eggs.  A number of dollies were flattened as well.

At least three of the Lasers are considered total losses, and a couple more were damaged, but can be repaired. Only two or three Lasers were undamaged.  Two for the three Sunfish stored in the same place were undamaged, and the third only suffered very minor damage.

Providing a welcome distraction from the carnage in the laser fleet, Gary Werden showed up with the latest offering from RS Sailing, the Aero.  Designed as a "21st Century Laser" this 66 pound wonder gathered a lot of attention.  Getting in close to see the boat was tough, as everyone wanted to get a good close look.  Gary offered test sails, but only one person was equipped and brave enough to test the boat in the 50 degree water.

The boat looks to be well thought out, with all of the control lines within easy reach of the cockpit. The kick up rudder pulls down into position with a line on the tiller, so you don't have to lean out over the stern to get the rudder down like you would on a Sunfish. Water clears out of the cockpit and stays out with a piece of brain dead simple engineering.

The Aero is a new fleet this year at Massapoag, and we should be seeing a lot of them.

Don't forget that the spring tuneup series starts Sunday May 3rd 1:00. Also, next week is the last week of Sunfish frostbiting at Barrington.  Sunfish sailing will be on Sundays from next week until June 6, when the Saturday series starts. We've moved the start time or the Saturday series from 3:00 to 2:00pm, so don't be late!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Getting Ready for the Season

Coming soon to a Lake Massapoag near you

It's good to know after the seemingly interminable winter, that the ice is finally departing and it's just one week until the Spring Work Party at Massapoag.  And just another week until racing starts.

This year is going to be like last year, with a couple of changes.  Sunfish racing will be on Sundays at 1:00 from April 26 until May 30, the weekend of the Small Boat Regatta. Saturday racing will begin on June 6 at 2:00.  Please note that the racing is going to start at 2:00 on Saturdays, not 3:00 as it has in the past. Second, we will be having a new class join the Sunfish and Lasers this year.  Three racers have purchased RS Aeros, which is similar to a Laser, and hope to establish the first Aero fleet in the Northeast.  They will be participating in both the Saturday racing and in the Small Boat Regatta on May 30.

While you're waiting, please remember that Barrington Frostbiting is still going on through April 26.  Unfortunately your intrepid reporter has not been able to partake of the racing there so far this spring, so our reporting has been rather lax.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Racing Today is for the Birds

A couple of birds enjoying a sushi lunch by the ice flows in Barrington

"THE FLEET HAS SPOKEN" was the first line in the email from Leo Berendes last night announcing that racing has been cancelled for the second week in a row at Barrington.  With any luck, the week of 40 degree temps will make things toasty enough for racing next week.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Say it Ain't Snow!

These guys were supposed to be racing this week.
Today was supposed to be the first day of the spring Frostbite season at Barrington.  The racing was cancelled because the river is still clogged with ice, the dock replacement project is running late due to the weather, meaning that the support boats had nowhere to dock, and a lot of Sunfish were still snowed in. Not to mention that the wind speed (5 mph) exceeded the temperature (1 degree F).

Thanks to everyone who showed up to shovel out boats and move them to the North parking lot.  The boats are all huddled together like penguins for warmth.  

Keeping warm
Racing next week is questionable, for both logistical and safety reasons, not to mention that it is still just too damned cold for a lot of people to race.  We will post an update here as soon as we  have word about racing.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Frostbiters, Start your Sails


Barrington is getting ready for the start of frostbiting next week in two weeks.  They have asked that all Sunfish owners come dig out their boats and move them to the new designated storage area on site.

We have received the following notification from the Yacht Club regarding any boats that are stored on site:

Frostbiting Sailors, BYC will have management staff onsite this coming Saturday from 10am-1pm and Sunday between 11am-1pm.  We have set aside those times this weekend to allow participants to come down and dig out there sunfish.  Please bring your own shovels.  Storage will now be located in the sand lot which is located north of the main parking lot. Scott Nichols, General ManagerBarrington Yacht Club 

The club has been good to us over these many years, so if you have a Sunfish at Barrington, please come down this weekend to move your boat. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

It Appears that Mother Nature is Out of the Loop

Can Someone please tell Mother Nature that we want to start racing.

This coming Sunday is supposed to be the start of the 2015 Barrington Spring Frostbite Season.  Nobody told the weather.  The temperatures around Barrington have hovered in the teens or below for almost a month, and Mother Nature has seen fit to try to move all of the snow and cold weather from Alaska to new quarters in New England. Right now there are large ice flows in the river all the way down to the race course, the launching area is covered in two feet of snow, and any boats stored over the winter are just lumps in the snow pack. 

To complicate matters further, the club has attempted to install new docks over the winter.  That project has been stalled by the weather, and as a result, the boat storage area is completely unreachable, blocked not only by snow, but by the construction activities.

We received an email from the club advising that the spring frostbiting season may have to be postponed until they can figure out a safe way for the fleet to get in and out of the water.  Right now, the March 1'st racing is in jeopardy. There is no word on March 8th.

Here is the letter from the club:

Due to SNOW, Ice and construction the area where the boats were stored last fall is closed to all.  DO NOT come down to the club and go into the construction area.  The project team is working on a plan to resolve this ASAP and will be meeting this week.  In addition, there is another delivery of docks and pilings scheduled early this week.
The current status is a combination of the weather and the construction project being ahead of schedule and then running into a full stop on site due to conditions.
Please take this as advanced notice that the March 1 Frostbiting may be cancelled.
I will keep you all informed as to status and plans as things occur or change.  
Any questions email or call me.
Leo Berendes

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Wind Chill and Solid Water

Wind chill and solid water have no chance against the hardy souls at Massapoag. A few days ago, not content with the two month break in the frostbiting season, John Houstle took his iceboat out onto the lake.  He hadn't taken it out in a number of years, and reported that it needs some tweaks to get going really fast, but from the looks of things, he got it going pretty well.

Now back to your regularly scheduled snowstorm.