Sunday, November 23, 2014

Standing Room Only

If you didn't make reservations it was hard to find a good seat on the river today
It was Standing Room Only at the Barrington Frostbite Series again this week, as 19 skippers took advantage of the nearly perfect conditions on the river today.  There was excellent racing in both the A and the B fleets, and it seems that everyone got the hang of rounding marks in currents this week, as there was markedly less bumping and shouting at the marks, although a few sailors managed to find out that sailing upside down is slow.

Amanda Callahan (seen standing in the photo) who never finished deeper in the fleet than third,  beat out Bill Brangiforte and Andy David for the first place trophy glass.  Massapoag's Bernadette Levesque turned in a stellar performance to finish 7th in the fleet!

The increased turnout is due to a number of younger sailors discovering the Sunfish.  It is wonderful to see so many younger skippers racing with us.  They charge around the course at full speed,  in boats of various vintages, laughing  and shouting encouragement at each other the whole time.  Like the older folks, their skill levels run the gamut, and the better sailors are always helping out the noobs.  I only wish some of them would take pity on an old fart and let me beat them once in a while.

Some photos from this weeks racing are on the MYCSunfish Flickr Site at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mycsunfish/sets/72157647106912514/

Don't forget, racing takes a week off for Thanksgiving, and resumes on December 7.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

A Complete and Utter Lack of Entropy

There wasn't enough wind to get the boats to the racecourse today.
Entropy is the measure of energy in a system.  The more energy there is in a system, the higher the level of entropy.  There was no entropy whatsoever at Barrington today. Everything was calm, cool and collected. Especially calm and abnormally cool.  15 people showed up to race today, but the sun and the wind stayed in bed.  At race time the wind was 0 knots from the South, and the temperature never made it even within 10 degrees of the forecast 48.  So everyone packed up their boats, ate the post race soup, and went home.

After two weeks of extremely light (or in today's case, nonexistent) winds, everyone is hoping that the atmosphere will show up next with it's vigor restored.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Current Events and Traffic Reports

There were a lot more boats that these this week.
This past week saw 50 degree temperatures, a ripping current and an astonishing 20 boats on the water at the Barrington Yacht Club frostbite series.  Almost all of the usual suspects from last year returned, as well as a number of new frostbiters from around the region.

The racers struggled with the current for most of the day, including a starting line that faced upwind, but down current. It was odd to see a number of boats a hundred feet or more behind the line at the 30 second mark.  Races would take about 3 minutes to get to the windward mark, then 15 to get to the leeward mark against the current. The leeward mark proved to be particularly troublesome, with lots of bumping and protests as a number of racers misplayed the mark and instead of rounding, got pushed back into the rest of the fleet.  Sometimes 10 or more boats were caught in the jam ups.  Skippers who rounded well to the outside tended to gain a number of places just by sailing around the traffic.

Barrington newcomer Pete Giuliano beat all comers to finish first for the day, with Bill Brangiforte taking 2nd and Les Johnston taking 3rd.  Barrington newcomers but well known Sunfishers Will Kresic and Bill Shaw rounded out the top 5. We'd also like to welcome Glen Elliot, Marta Chlus, Richard Smith, Max Curry and Adam Klipfel, along with Massapoag's John Houstle to the Barrington fleet.  It's great to see so many new faces in the BYC Frostbite fleet.

Even Massapoag upped their ante a bit. MYC Member John Houstle joined the fray at Barrington for the first time, and beat out Bernadette Levesque and Mark Stoughton to finish first among MYC members.

Racing continues next week. Current forecasts call for another day of light winds, but the current will be flowing towards the club, making the last race to the dock a bit faster.

Monday, November 3, 2014

MYC@BYC: Mother Nature Makes it Hard to Report Race Results

Not only was there no sailing, you couldn't even enjoy a cup of coffee!

I know this sounds whiny, but why did Mother Nature have to have a tantrum on Race Day?  The wind speed nearly exceeded the temperature, and the temperature was in the 30's.  Our reporting staff  sallied out to the local coffee emporium to drown our sorrows, and were greeted by...SNOW!

Anyway, there are no racing recaps to report for this week, because there were no races to recap.  Racing will resume next Sunday, and the early forecasts are calling for 8-10 mph winds and temps in the 50s.

At least the Patriots won.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

"He Came From Out of Nowhere"

John was just one more finish like this short
For the second year in a row, the Saturday Sunfish Championship came down to the final day of racing before a winner was determined.  And for the second year in a row, the winner was determined by a tiebreaker. And for the second year in a row, John Houstle fell just short of claiming the championship on the very last race of the season.

There were 4 sailors on the line for today's racing.  John Houstle, Mark Stoughton, Alex Sellar and Alan Silk. Alan has been sailing a lot on a J29, and this marked only his third or fourth time in the Sunfish this summer. Alex Sellar put in a stellar performance today, which he attributed at various times to either a sudden religious conversion, or a few more colorful alternatives.  More than once, he came out of nowhere on his own private puff to challenge the race leader, gaining three 2nd place finishes along the way.

Going into the final day of racing, John was just 4 points behind series leader Bernadette Levesque. By the rules of the throwout formula, five 1sts would have allowed him to take first place for the series from Bernadette, who was out of town and not able to race today.  John and Mark Stoughton raced neck and neck most of the day, being within touching distance on most legs. John had superior boat speed all day, but Mark had better pointing ability, which made the difference when things were really close.

In the first race, only Mark Stoughton gauged the starting line properly, leading for the entire race. John made up ground by the last leg, and within a few boat lengths of Mark when Alex Sellar came from out of nowhere, riding a puff to pass John and challenge Mark at the finish.

John got a better start in the second race, and led all the way, although Mark put up a fight. John cemented his win on the last leg when he was lifted on starboard tack while Mark was headed, forcing him to tack. John took three more firsts, all closely fought battles.  In the last race of the day (and the season), John was leading as late as the last turning mark and it looked like he was on his way to taking the championship, rounding about a boat length before Mark.  Mark was able to out point John on every tack on the last leg, and took the win by about 4 boat lengths.

John's four 1st place finishes today gives him 40 points for the season, and ties him with Bernadette for first place. Applying the Racing Rules of Sailing Tiebreaker procedure, Bernadette Levesque is the 2014 Saturday Sunfish Series Champion by virtue of her 16 first place finishes to John's 14.

That concludes the 2014 Summer Sunfish Series. Congratulations to Bernadette for winning the series, and to Gary Werden for taking the Double Secret Wednesday Series.

Next week sees Massapoag close the club for the season, and the week after that the Barrington Frostbite Series begins. Again this year, we will be providing our MYC@BYC coverage each week through the entire frostbite season.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

All in The Family

Bernadette is no longer the only Levesque in the series

Due to yesterday's bad weather, the Lasers being done for the year and the lack of big boats on the lake today, the Saturday Sunfish Series took to the water on Sunday this week.

This week we also welcomed Noah Levesque to the Sunfish fleet, and he took to it like a Sunfish to water, taking a first and two thirds, and beating his mom twice, in the five races sailed today.  Today was a Levesque family affair, as Pete stepped in to perform Race Committee duties on short notice.

Gary Werden and Dave Ryan took advantage of the lack of Lasers to race today as well.  Except for losing a race to each of the Levesques, Gary was the skipper to beat, taking three 1sts, with two horizon jobs.

With one week left in the Summer Sunfish Series, Bernadette has what might turn out to be an insurmountable lead with 32 points. John Houstle has 38 and Mark Stoughton has 42.  Full results for the series are here: http://mycsunfish.blogspot.com/p/sailwave-results-for-2014-saturday.html

Don't forget, in just 3 weeks, the Barrington Frostbiting season begins. You can get the NOR and Registration forms here: http://barringtonyc.com/racing/frost/

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

The Wind Gods At This Place Have Some Serious Issues

Everybody lining up for Chowder and Desert

This past weekend, Bernadette Levesque, John Houstle and Mark Stoughton ventured down to the Orleans Yacht Club for the Yankee Duo, two separate regattas, at the same venue, run by the Sherborn Yacht Club.  First up was Saturday's Chowder Cup. There were 17 boats on the line, and Massapoag was the second most represented club with 3 members represented, outdone only by the Bolton Lake YC in Connecticut, who sent four.

There were a total of 5 races run in winds that were shifty enough to make one pine for the steady consistency of Lake Massapoag. Forty degree plus wind shifts were common. Skippers would sail into holes in the wind and stop dead, while others less than 10 feet away sailed on as if nothing happened.  More than once skippers were heard pleading with or cursing the Wind Gods, while a few gave the fickle Wind Gods credit for the horizon jobs that they pulled on the rest of the fleet.

Sunday saw the Orleans Yacht Club's Just Desserts Regatta pick up right where the Chowder Cup left off.  The winds grew steadily weaker all day, and the no-wind holes got bigger, but the frustration level stayed just as high.  Five more races were run, and the results looked much the same as the day before.

Bill Brangiforte beat out Alan Beckwith for first place on both days, leading Alan to claim that he really wasn't letting Bill win.  Eric Woodman put in stellar performances in the fluky winds, taking third in the Chowder Cup and third in the Just Deserts, beating out Dave Davies, who missed the first race of the day because he was driving up from New Jersey after competing in a SANJL regatta.

As far as MYC skippers go, Mark Stoughton took 11th, John Houstle 12th and Bernadette Levesque took 14th on Saturday. Mark sailed alone on Sunday, taking 9th on Sunday.

The Yankee Duo wraps up the Sunfish Regatta schedule for 2014. Massapoag's Saturday Sunfish Series continues until October 11, and two weeks later, the Barrington Yacht Club Sunfish Frostbiting series begins.