Saturday, July 23, 2016

Horribly Misshapen Sunfish

One of these boats is not like the others

Ninety plus degree temperatures and gusty siroccos greeted the brave souls who showed up for the Saturday Sunfish Series this weekend. Even more astonishing was the fact that nobody capsized, purposely or otherwise.

There were five racers at the start, including Derek Stow, who showed up in a horribly misshapen Sunfish that looked as if half its fiberglass had been removed, a spar was missing, and its sail had been mauled in a horrible sail loft accident. The poor boat didn't look like a Sunfish at all.

The condition and USCA class legality of his unfortunate boat notwithstanding, Derek took the first race by a wide margin. After which, he graciously agreed to give the class legal Sunfish a minute head start, which evened things up considerably.  Each race had a different winner and a different number of legs, thanks to some confusion and fancy footwork by the Race Committee. Even so, several races were decided by inches.

A couple of weeks ago, we posted a video showing an RS Aero blasting past a Sunfish.

This week we post the rebuttal:

This week marks the last week of racing for a while for John Houstle, who is undergoing surgery on Monday. He says the procedure will make him lighter and more nimble in the boat. Based on his results today, if that's true, he's going to be hard to beat. We wish him good luck and a speedy recovery and return to the race course.

And we really have to pitch in to get Derek a better Sunfish.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

MYC Small Boat Regatta - AKA: I See Aeros...They're Everywhere

If you look carefully, you can see Sunfish in the background
(Video by Colin Snow, Photos by Bob Gaffney, Edited by Gary Werden and Annie Pennington)
Watch the full screen video on YouTube here:

MYC held it's 9th Annual Small Boat regatta this past Saturday.  There was a great turnout of sailors in both the Sunfish and the new Aero class, which seems to be converting Laser sailers by the boatload. We had 13 Sunfish 3 Lasers and 16 Aeros, which makes our little regatta the 2nd biggest Aero regatta ever in North America. Kudos to Derek Stow and Gary Werden for doing such a good job beating the Aero drums.

Despite a very calm morning, the winds picked up to about 10 out of the Northeast by race time, and built throughout the day.  The northeast wind ensured that the courses were short with lots of tree interference, making for extra fluky shifts, especially at the turning marks.  Racing was close with lots of position changes and pinwheels at the marks.

In case you were wondering, Gary, Annie and Colin released a Sunfish video after we went to press. Here is more of their wonderful work.

MYC had members on the podium in all three classes.  Amanda Callihan took the honors in the Sunfish class, followed by Andy David and MYCs Kevin Buruchian.

Topping the 17 boat Aero fleet was Gareth Griffiths, who came all the way from England, Marc Jacobi and MYC's John Eckart. John's performance was even more impressive when you take into account the fact that he had never sailed an Aero before the regatta!  Matt Russell beat out Dan Abram and Jack Eberhart for the Laser top spot.  Full results are here:

Thanks go out to Greg and Diane Kampf, who organized the on-the-water and onshore activities respectively.  Greg did a fantastic job with the courses and maintaining fleet separation, while Diane did a superlative job coordinating the shore crew.  And thanks to the Rest of the Race Committee and shore crew. Nice job everyone!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Time to Come Out of Hibernation

Waking up the big boats from their winter slumber. It's a lot easier to wake up a Sunfish.
Although we at MYC Sunfish HQ heard from My2Fish that it snowed in Michigan yesterday, winter has given up the ghost around here and racing has started.  At least for the big boats.  We're going to start the Sunfish racing a bit later this year, with the hopes of extending our season deep into October.  In previous years, we've had trouble getting racers early in the season, but a lot late in the season, so we've opted to shift the season a bit so we can segue from MYC Racing straight into the fall frostbite series at BYC.

Sunfish racing this year starts with our Small Boat Regatta on June 18, and continues after that every Saturday at 3:00pm until the club closes for the season in October. 

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 4 at Barrington

Bill Brangiforte finds himself with unfamiliar competition, Bernadette Levesque and John Houstle
Once again the weather cooperated at Barrington as 14 skippers took to the water under nearly perfect conditions.  There was a strong ebb tide current running perpendicular to the wind, forcing everyone to alter their tactics to make sure that the current didn't push them where they didn't want to be.

The pin end and startboard tack starts were favored all day, but the current forced everyone to tack almost immediately to avoid overstanding the mark due to the current.  The first race started with about 12 knots of breeze, but dies as the afternoon wore on, and by the last race, there was almost not enough wind to overcome the current.

Racing was close all day, with the B fleet sailors finishing close to the A fleet all day.  Andy David, Bill Brangiforte and Corey Charles, who had a stellar afternoon, took the top 3 spots in the A fleet, while Erin Abbot broke the MYC stranglehold on the B fleet by spending most of the day with the A sailors.  Marta Chlus and Bernadette Levesque rounded out the finishers in the B fleet.  Results will be posted on the Barrington Yacht Club web site as soon as they are available.

Racing continues next week, same boat time, same boat station.

Monday, November 9, 2015

MYC Awards Plus Week 3 at Barrington

Bill Brangiforte goes over the Jens Rig with MYC 2015 Sunfish Champion Marta Chlus

Marta Chlus took home just about every conceivable piece of Sunfish racing hardware at the Massapoag Annual banquet.  She took home the Most Improved Sailor award, and as if to prove how much she improved, she took home the 2015 MYC Sunfish championship.  Just to rub things in, she took the top prize in the club raffle too! Not a bad haul for a new Sunfish sailor.

She gets to defend her championship in a slightly revamped MYC Sunfish Series next year.  To encourage MYC members to get out on the water more,  we are working on ways to include MYC member results from the two Regionals Championships (Barrington and Wequaquet), the North Americans as part of the summer series.  We will post more details as they are worked out.

Meanwhile, week 3 at Barrington saw a lot of close races and a surprisingly large number of capsizes. Three of MYC's contingent of four went over, as did a few other of the 13 skippers on (or IN) the water.  John Houstle mentioned that he saw a weather prediction for 13 knots.  He was right.  The wind blew 13, For a second. As it was going from 0 to 20. Or back to 0. Then again, maybe that's why there were so many capsizes.

Those who weren't done in by the wind were done in by the current.  Almost every race had someone over early or hitting a mark.  For a while it seemed as if you could win just by making the fewest mistakes.  Bill Brangiforte snagged 2 firsts and 3 seconds on his way to taking the day, followed by Scott Greenbaum and John Coen. For the second week in a row, MYC ruled the B fleet, taking the top 4 spots.  Bernadette Levesque, Marta Chlus, Mark Stoughton and John Houstle took the first 4 spots respectively. Bernadette, Marta and John did it in spite of each of them capsizing.  Mark stayed dry, but made up for it by being over early 4 times.

Racing continues next week.  The water is still warm, and so is the air when the sun is out, so there's no excuse for missing the races.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Gentle 20 Knot Zephyrs

Cory Charles getting ready to go out while the boats sails snap in the wafting gales

Can't the weather settle on a happy medium?  Last week brought howling 6 knot gales, this week brought gentle 20 knot zephyrs.  Even that didn't deter the 16 sailors who ventured out onto the river or the 11 who survived all 6 races this week.  Five people were forced to go in early due to frequent capsizes and breakdowns of various boat and body parts.

Those who were lucky enough to survive all 6 races got in some good heavy air sailing in a gusty south-southwest wind that the National Weather Service tells us ranged from 17-23 miles per hour and a strong outgoing current.  Starts were a mixture of aggression and caution, and PRO Frank Hearn, believes that we set a club record for general recalls, as everyone tried to either keep the wind from blowing them backward or keep the current from pushing them over the line.

The fleet stuck pretty well together most of the day, with frequent traffic jams at the marks.  Almost nobody finished out of the running all day, which is a testament to everyone's boating skills.

The last race of the day found a breeze that had lightened considerably, and the sailors who went to the left shore to get out of the current found themselves nearly stranded as those who braved the current to take advantage of the dying wind in the middle of the river made out like bandits.

Scott Greenbaum took 4 firsts in the 6 races to carry the day, followed by Bill Brangiforte and Bill Shaw.  The Massapoag Contingent ruled the B fleet. Bernadette Levesque, Mark Stoughton and John Houstle finished 1-2-3 there this week.  We will post a link to the full results here as soon as they are up on the BYC web site. Racing continues next week.  We had 15 boats the first week, 16 the second, can we make 17 or better for the third?

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Howling 6 Knot Winds

Andy David and Erin Abbot battle the 6 knot gales and 1-2 inch seas

Weather forecasts called for howling south winds blowing steady at 12 knots with gusts to 25 to start off the 2015 Barrington Frostbite season.  15 skippers, including 4 from Massapoag, bravely faced down the forecasts to make their way out to the course, which was bearing the full brunt of the 5-8 knot southerlies to start the 2015-16 Barrington Frostbiting season.

Leo Berendes and the Race Committee got 6 races off in good order, choosing simple windward-leeward courses which were easy to adjust as the wind clocked to the west.  The westerly track of the wind made for a good imitation of Massapoag conditions, with swirly winds, and many spots where there was no wind at al, which made some of the races real wild cards.

Results were all over the place, with 4 different skippers taking first place in the 6 races.  Ken Charles took the day with 15 points, beating Bill Brangiforte by a point.  Bernadette Levesque took first place in the B fleet. Bernadette also finished 7th overall.  Mark Stoughton took 10th overall, while John Houstle took first in the Masters division and 11th overall, and Marta Chlus took 13th.

Racing continues next week.  Full results will be posted on the Barrington Yacht Club web site.