Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Sailing Season is over, Long live the sailing season!

For us diehards, the Christmas parties are over, the presents unwrapped, and the Sunfish season has drawn to a close.  Now it is time to reflect on the past season, and to see what we can take forward into next season.   
  • Twelve Sunfish skippers have re-established the Sunfish fleet as an active and viable fleet at Massapoag. We ran a series of 66 races over the summer. The racing was so close at the top that we had to resort to multiple tiebreakers to determine a winner.
  • The competition continued into the fall, where three MYC skippers participated in an additional 84 races at the Barrington Fall Frostbite Series. This series hones everyone's skills, because it is where the best of the best, including several former North American Championship winners, sail on a weekly basis. MYC members took 4th place in the A fleet, and 1st and 2nd in the B fleet.
  • We set club records for the number of Sunfish participating in both the Spring and Fall regattas.
  • We've sent representatives to regattas at different clubs, and to the regional championships, and learned a lot about how other clubs run race series.
  • We've impressed the National Sunfish Class Association, who direct people to MYC as an active program for people looking for Sunfish racing.
  • We've even converted a couple of Laser sailors (or at least got their attention).

Looking to next year, we're planning on tweaking the Sunfish Series a bit, extending the season both earlier in the spring and later in the fall, introducing some new courses, possibly some new formats, and adding some off the water elements that didn't come to fruition last year. We are also investigating building a set of storage racks so that we can get most, if not all of the Sunfish out of the top circle and onto the beach. It looks like next year will be as busy as this one. Let's hope it is as successful.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 8: The Curse of the Camera

Word is getting around that the BoatCam brings bad luck. We see no evidence of it whatsoever.

Today was the last day of the fall frostbite season at the Barrington Yacht Club, and the late season turnout was as strong as ever.  Eleven boats took part in the racing today in the fog and murk that blanketed the Barrington River near the clubhouse.  At some points skippers in the middle of the fleet couldn't see the boats at the front.  There was never a point where the whole course was visible at one time.  A shifty 12-15 mph south wind pushed some big waves up the river, making downwind legs more like toboggan runs than sailboat races, and making for interesting mark roundings.  The current caused at least one general recall, and an unusually large number of individual recalls.  Eventually the fleet lined up 10 or so boat lengths behind the line at the 10 second mark, and even then, some boats were over early.

Ken Charles was the force to be reckoned with today in the A fleet with three 1st's, two 2nd's and a 4th. Bill Brangiforte took 2nd and Scott Greenbaum took 3rd.  Mark Stoughton took the B fleet ahead of Alan Silk, Mark Amaral and Erin Abbot.

Overall for the fall season, The A fleet sees Andy David finishing in first place, Bill Brangiforte in 2nd, Ken Charles in 3rd, and MYC's Gary Werden in 4th.  MYC's Mark Stoughton and Bernadette Levesque have continued their summer rivalry right into the fall season, finishing a close 1 and 2 in the B fleet, with Alan Silk riding a late season surge into 3rd place.  The full fall season results are available on the Barrington Yacht Club web site.

This week's BoatCam sailed with Scott Greenbaum this week, and he graciously provided posed for the picture at the top of this entry. Some skippers are complaining that when the camera is mounted on their boats, their performance suffers. We at MYC Sunfish Fleet News say Balderdash, because we are getting some great shots for the blog, like the one above, and great videos for our You Tube channel. The BoatCam couldn't be a better tool!
You can judge the efficacy of their claims for yourselves in this weeks BoatCam video featuring Scott Greenbaum:

Sunday, December 15, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 7...What Week 7

Idyllic Scene...but the Sunfish are missing.

Once again, Mother Nature has wreaked havoc with our frostbite season.  Like a bad party guest, the snowstorm arrived late, and stayed too late, and left a mess, and the fleet decided that discretion was the better part of valor.  Travel to BYC proved to be the dealbreaker. A headcount by the BYC race Committee this morning showed 9 no's and 1 maybe for racing today. Since you can't run a race with maybe 1 boat, the Race Committee cancelled racing for today.

We've dug into the archives for a Sunfish repair tidbit from a boat repair seminar put on by LaserPerformance a few years ago.  In this clip, Joel Hanneman explains how to fix a puncture hole in the hull.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

MYC@BYC Week 6: Current Events

Beware: Turning marks are farther away - much farther away,  than they appear

Two weeks ago, racing was cancelled because the Wind speed exceeded the temperature by double digits. This week, the current speed exceeded the wind speed, making for maddening mark roundings and an abandoned final race. Extremely light air was the order of the day, allowing the current to wreak havoc, particularly on the B fleet, giving them plenty of opportunities to practice the boat handling pointers that Bill Brangiforte had given them back at the dock earlier in the day.

The dying, shifty North wind combined with the current to push competitors to the brink, even pushing them backwards sometimes.  Skippers who were 5 feet from the windward mark sometimes required three or four long tacks to make it around because of the lost ground due to the current. The final race was abandoned when it proved impossible for any skipper at all to make any progress at all.

Ken Charles took the day in the A fleet. Alan Silk put in a stellar performance to take home his first 1st place cup of the season.

This weeks' BoatCam features Andy David, who graced last weeks post with his insights into light air racing.  This week you can see Andy in action, putting his money where his mouth is.