Monday, July 27, 2015

I See Sunfish... They're Everywhere!

This is just some of the boats at the Sunfish Regional Championships this weekend.
It was impossible to get al of them into one shot.
It was the weekend the Sunfish took over the lake as the Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club hosted part II of the New England Regional Championships.  The club was bursting at the seams as thirty nine boats competed in the open division, while another five took part in the youth division and three in the double-handed division.  It was also the toughest fleet at a Sunfish regatta in a long time, as sailors came from all over the country to compete, with many of them making a double header of Wequaquet this weekend and Massapoag next weekend for the Masters North Americans.

The weather couldn't be any better, as 10-15 knot winds pushed the fleet fast enough to allow for 6 races on day 1 and 3 more on day 2.  Doug Kaukeinen had an unbelievable weekend taking first place with 16 points in 9 races and no finish worse than 3rd for the whole regatta. Dan Hesse took second, 10 points behind Doug, and Amanda Callahan continued her winning ways, taking 3rd in a tiebreaker with Bill Brangiforte.  Massapoag's Kevin Buruchian came in 7th.

Next week is the Master's North American Championships at Massapoag.  It looks to be another strong fleet. Since Kevin Buruchian is too young to compete he is going to serve as PRO. Diane Kampf is once again outdoing herself as Regatta Chair to make it a great time for everyone.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

No news here...But in National News

Amanda Callahan (top) and Bill Brangiforte (bottom)
represented our local Sunfish fleet at the North Americans.
Amanda came in 8th and Bill came in 12th

Not much going on at Massapoag this weekend, as racing was preempted for a Laser Team Racing tournament (which was itself cancelled).   Racing resumes next weekend.

Meanwhile, the Sunfish North American championships were held this week at the Rush Creek Yacht Club in Texas.  Joao Hackerott from Brazil took top honors, beating out Greg Gust on the last day of racing.  Local sailors Amanda Callahan and Bill Brangiforte put in very good showings in a tough fleet, taking 8th and 12th place respectively.

Congratulations to Amanda and Bill for their excellent showings!

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Gentle Breezes?

Bernadette Levesque (4158) showing her son Noah (4062) how to sail a fast downwind leg.

29 boats, and their skippers showed up for an easy sail in the gentle 21-30 knot breezes at the Massapoag Small Boat Rodeo Regatta yesterday. Capsizes were the order of the day in all three fleets. Some of the boats threw their skippers, and others sailed away without them, and there were a couple of breakdowns due to the wind.

The competition in the Championship fleet was fierce. PRO Greg Kampf summed it up perfectly, saying "Tough Fleet" when he found out that one quarter of the fleet was made up of current or former North American Champions. Dan Hesse travelled all the way from Saratoga Springs NY to take the regatta with 8 points in 6 races. He bested Bill Brangiforte, Scott Greenbaum, Alan Beckwith and Ken Charles.

The Sunfish Challenger fleet ended up with a 3-way tie for first place. John Houstle took the tiebreaker and first place, even after sailing upside down most of the day.  Mark Stoughton too 2nd and Noah Levesque took 3rd.

The Levesque family is trying very hard to match the Charles family for the biggest family Sunfish Fleet.  Bernadette was joined by her husband Pete and her son Noah, who are both new to the Sunfish class.

Dwight Escalara of Wakefield, RI took the Laser honors, beating John Eckart, Judy Krimski, Nat Cook and John Dugan.

The regatta also marked the inaugural of RS Aero racing at the club.  It's a new class and they guys in that fleet are generating a lot of interest in the boat.  Eric Aker took first place, winning all six races. Derek Stowe took 2nd and Gary Werden took 3rd.

Thanks to MYC's Scott Rosa for taking a lot of fantastic photos, which are up on our MYCSunfish Flickr site.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Safe and Legal

Mike Goldstein emphasizes some of the finer points of motor boat operation

Two important parts of good racing are safety and good race committees.  Yesterday we ran extensive training sessions for both.  In the morning, several new and returning members took part in Massapoag's start of the year Safety and Race Committee Training program.  

The seminars were put together by MYC's Education Chair, Bernadette Levesque, and featured boat safety presentation by Mark Stoughton and Mike Goldstein, followed by powerboat operating procedures by Mike Goldstein.  Mike took participants through all the aspects of each of the clubs powerboats.  All participants were also actively encouraged to take Bob Gaffney's Powerboat Certification course later on this year. 

Joe Honor, Marta Kovat and Raplph Lambalot
taking charge of the Committee boat
After the safety seminar and lunch, Mark Stoughton and John Houstle took 9 members through that basics of service on a race committee.  Conduct of a race and the responsibilities of each member of the race committee was presented on shore, then everyone headed out onto the lake, where each participant took turns in the crash boats and the committee boat. Each participant got a chance to drop and move marks, set up a course, and run a mock race. 
Dan Abram even provided
the feeling of a real race
To finish out the safety related weekend activities, today, members of the Coast Guard Auxillary were at the club to offer free safety assessments for anyone at the club who wished to have their boats checked out.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Next Week: How to

It's time to go back to school.  Next Saturday is MYC's annual Safety Seminar.  It is a day long seminar focussing on how to stay warm and safe and dry. (Well, except for the Sunfish, Laser and Aero sailors, who are expected to be wet.)

You will learn what needs to be on your boat, and more importantly, on you (Like a lifejacket).  This seminar is mandatory for all new members, and recommended for everyone.

The class starts at 10:00am and runs until approximately 12:00pm, rain or shine.

Immediately after the safety seminar (12:00 noon), there will be a second seminar teaching the rudiments of Race Duty.  You will find out that running a race is more than just pushing the button on the Ollie.  You will learn how to set a race course, how long to make the starting line, how long to make the legs, course choice, mark boat positioning, and more.  We heartily recommend this course for new members, and anyone else who wants to improve their race duty game.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

First Day of Racing - Well for the Big Boats Anyway

The only small boat in sight is the kayak

The first day of racing at Massapoag got underway today. Well, at least for the big boats.  With at least 4 Lasers out of commission, and two Sunfish up on the repair lift, there were no small boats on the water today.  Roger and Kate Sharp, John and Connie Eckart and Jim Cavenaugh with crew John Houstle had maiden voyages for their new Scots, After two races, Roger/Kate and Jim/John along with Greg Kampf, with crew Harvey Davidson filling in for Diane, are in a three way tie for first place with various ways of getting 5 points, with John/Connie being one point behind.  

Just a reminder, there is no racing next weekend because of the Mother's Day holiday. Racing resumes on May 17.  In addition, on that day the club will be offering free Coast Guard safety inspections for all comers. Wednesday night racing begins on May 20.

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!