Saturday, November 19, 2016

The Kids are Coming

Yesterdays Supermoon not only brought an extremely low tide, it brought a our friends from UConn. Out of the 10 boats on the line, almost half of the participants were under age 25.  The kids won at least 3 first firsts, topped the B fleet and made a real run at topping the A fleet.

The Supermoon low tide combined with the ocsillating southwest wind meant that some parts of the racecourse had as little as 3 feet of water, although nobody reported bottoming out on the course. Racing was all over the place, with nobody dominating.  Erin Abbot took the B fleet honors, while Bill Brangiforte fought off a strong effort from the kids to take the A fleet.

Racing continues next week. The earliest weather forecasts are calling for rain with temps in the low 50's with 10-13 knot Northeast winds gusting to 40. Might be cold, windy and wet!

Monday, November 7, 2016

If You Don't Like the Weather, Wait a Minute

The calm after the storm
(Photo by Bernadette Levesque)
New England's ADHD weather put on a virtuoso short attention span performance in Barrington this week.  The atmosphere threw everything but snow onto the race course, making conditions challenging for the 11 sailors who braved the elements.

The rain that pelted most of southeastern New England miraculously avoided the immediate area around the Barrington Yacht Club before race time, so all of the boats were bone dry, at least at launch time.  Oscillating north winds wobbled and puffed their way down the river for the start of racing.  The outgoing tide enticed skippers to avoid the current by going to the right, where the swirling winds near shore made progress almost impossible.  Skippers who went right saw huge leads evaporate as they were nearly unable to beat to the mark.

Then the squall came. The winds increased from 12 to about 30 and the skippers were pelted with rain. Those on the downwind run had a sleigh ride, and even some upwind sailors were planing. Some skippers got caught in irons and simply slid backwards down the course and one capsized.

After the squall, the sun came out but was too low in the sky to offer any real heat, but it made up for it by giving us a spectacular pink sunset.

As for the racing, Andy David cleaned up, taking the A Fleet and over all honors, and getting his first first of the season.  Newcomer Fischer (Sorry I don't know his last name) cleaned up in the B fleet, and in fact came in 5th overall. Starting next week, he will be competing in the A fleet.

Racing continues next week. Early weather predictions are calling for temps in the high 40s and 10-12 mph winds. Sounds perfect.

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.