Monday, July 28, 2014

MYC (and Others) @ The Regionals

2014 Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club Sunfish Regional Champions
Drew Buttner, Doug Kaukeinen, MYC's Kevin Buruchian and Dan Hesse

Kevin Burichian, Gary Werden, Bernadette Levesque and Mark Stoughton braved the Cape Code traffic to represent the Massapoag YC in the second round of the 2014 Sunfish Regional Championships at the Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club.

The Wequaquet Lake Yacht Club is located in a picturesque setting at the southern end of Wequaquet Lake in Cernterville. It is a small family supported club very much like Massaopoag, with all of its members chipping in. Commodore Mike Mirtir pulled grill duty, cooking dozens of hamburgers and hot dogs for participants and families alike. (Ok, That's unlike Massapoag, where our Commodore isn't allowed near the grill for the safety of everyone involved) Like our club, WLYC also has a small launch ramp and very limited parking. Most of all, it has swirling winds that come at you from nearly random directions. It felt like a home away from home.

The weather forecast called for thunderstorms on Sunday, so the very capable race committee pushed to get as many races in as possible on Saturday. The stormy weather cooperated and sent its wind in advance. We were greeted with strong breezes right from the get go. By the time the first race was run on Saturday, it was blowing 15 at the starting line, and things built from there.

Day 1 saw Amanda Callahan, who won the round 1 Regionals at Barrington, repeat her winning ways, posting firsts or seconds in every race. A prior commitment kept her from racing on Sunday, and gave someone else a chance to win.  Even with three 30 point DNS's scored, she still came in 10th.

Sunday dawned even windier than Saturday, and the clouds held off, allowing a full slate of races on Sunday too. It didn't begin raining until the awards ceremony was almost complete.  Doug Kaukeinen from the Rochester Canoe Club in upstate New York was able to step up in Amanda's absence and became only the fourth person in the last 10 years to win at Wequaquet.  Drew Buttner, who has won 7 out of the last 11 WLYC regattas, took second, Massapoag's Kevin Buruchian took third and Dan Hesse from the Saratoga Lake Sailing Club took fourth.  MYC's other representatives didn't fare so well.  Bernadette Levesque finished 22nd, Mark Stoughton 23rd and Gary Werden (who was unable to sail on Sunday) finished 25th.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Double Secret Series: All Spread Out

This is next

There wasn't a cloud in the sky as the Double Secret Wednesday Series braved the Thunderstorm forecasts with four boats, including long time Sunfish sailor Harvey Davidson.

The wind was blowing a gusty 15 at the start, easing off to about 12 by the end of the race.  Gary Werden continued his picket fence building, taking the start and building his lead from there. Bernadette Levesque continued her strong performance from last Saturday, finishing just behind Gary.  Harvey took third, about 5 boat lengths behind Bernadette, and Mark took his worst finish of the series in 4th.

Full Double Secret Series results are here.

The boats aren't just spread out all over the course.  They are spread out all over the map this weekend. Gary, Bernadette, Mark and Kevin Buruchian are going to be representing MYC at the Second Sunfish Regional Championships at Wequacket Lake Yacht Club in Hyannis this weekend.  John Houstle is going to be competing at a regatta at Eagles Mere Yacht Club in Eagles Mere, Pennsylvania. Good luck to all of them!

P.S. We apologize for the late race result postings. MYC Sunfish's state of the art data center has been offline. We will have results posted as soon as the Data Center magicians can recover the files.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The Wind Breaks at Massapoag

Sagging Sunfish and Scot Sails

The blustery conditions that have pummeled the Sunfish and Laser fleets since the regatta in June have deserted us in July.  Racing on Saturday was cancelled due to lack of wind, and this week's Wednesday Double Secret series was almost as windy.

The light winds gave both Gary Werden and Mark Stoughton the chance to try out light air rig configurations that they had both heard about recently.  Gary rigged the new "Light Air Jens", while Mark sailed with his sails set as flat as possible with the gooseneck moved back several inches.

Gary, with the Light Air Jens, proved faster on all upwind points of sail. The rigs performed virtually the same downwind, but upwind, Gary just walked away from Mark, who found that the flattened sails improved pointing and eliminated weather helm, but they also stalled very easily, killing boat speed. Gary had no such problems, beating Mark by about 100 yards.

Neither of them were able to counter the huge sail area of the Flying Scots, with their jibs and spinnakers. They had all passed Mark by midway through the third leg and three four of four had passed Gary by the start of the fourth leg.

Double Secret Wednesday Series Results are here:

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Races? What Races?

The flag was blowing around like this all day

The wind decided that it would be better to save up all of it's energy for the big boat racing tomorrow.  The three racers who braved the calm were faced with the prospect of paddling out to the race course were disappointed as racing was cancelled. 

Racing resumes with multi-class racing tomorrow, and the Double Secret series on Wednesday.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Lasers Have Returned, Some Thank You's and a Couple of Recommendations

Tillerman - Blogger Extraordinaire

Judy Krimski - Blogger Extraordinaire

We're going to interrupt our usual Sunfish coverage to pay some attention to the other small boat fleet at Massapoag, the Lasers.  After going virtually extinct last season, the Prodigal Son Laser Fleet has returned.  Last week, the Lasers outnumbered the Sunfish by about 2:1, with Massapoag Sailors being joined by sailors coming from as far afield as Duxbury and Aquidneck Island.  They also brought a breath of fresh air, running the infamous "Harry A" course, all the while coordinating starts and sharing the course with us Sunfish.

Among the fleet this weekend were two of the most prominent Laser bloggers on the internet, Judy Krimski, author of the Center of Effort sailing blog, and Derek Stow (better known to the online sailing world as "Tillerman"), author of the "Proper Course" sailing blog. Please take some time to become regular readers of their blogs, you'll be better sailors for it.

Derek posts "Proper Course" entries on a nearly daily basis, offering entertaining, irreverent and always insightful observations about the Laser and small boat world. Judy's "Center of Effort" blog is a bit more technically oriented, highlighting sailing techniques, tips and tricks to make your Laser (or any small boat) go faster. Both blogs are on the required reading list for any small boat sailor. Both Judy and Derek chose to write about their experiences at Massapoag this week.  

Judy offered her take in her post entitled "A Lake Sailing Love Story" She describes her thoughts about sailing at Massapoag, and offers tips for sailing here, and for lake sailing in general.  She beautifully captured what goes on inside the head of just about anyone who sails here at Massapoag: 
"I will not capsize to windward. I will not..." This is a chant lake sailors repeat to themselves. That's because sailing on a lake is akin to running a minefield. Auto tacks are common as the breeze will drop down out of nowhere. Capsizes to windward are common until sailors get the hang of tacking really really fast."
Derek's gave his post the understated title of "10 Reasons Why Massapoag YC Might Be the Best Sailing Club on the Planet. A sampling of his reasons shows among others, 
"They sail Lasers there on Saturdays""They sail Lasers there on Sundays" "They let ME sail there".
We at Massapoag Yacht Club would like to give a big thank you to the entire Laser fleet for coming home, and an especially big THANK YOU to Judy and to Derek for writing such kind words about our club and our lake. We would also like to with Derek a belated happy birthday, a birthday which he chose to spend at our club, sailing with his son.  We hope to see a lot more of you.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Double Secret Wednesday Series: Gary Keeps Building his Picket Fence

This is about as close as anyone got to Gary all night
Gary Werden continued building his Double Secret Picket Fence tonight, as he cruised to another first place in the Double Secret Sunfish series.  This week, he established his lead right from the start, sneaking under Mark Stoughton and John Houstle to take the favored end of the line, and he never looked back. By the first mark Gary had a three boat length lead over John, and five over Mark. On the third leg, Gary and Mark went left and John went right...into a hole. It was all over by the end of the third leg, as Gary had an insurmountable lead, and Mark had passed John and then held on to take second place.

Gary has extended his first place finish streak in the Wednesday Night Series to 6. Mark is just behind with 4 second place finishes and 1 third in 5 races sailed.  Next up is the Saturday Sunfish Series, and the weather looks to be a bit less blustery than last weekend.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Harry Anderson + 28mph Wind = Sleigh Rides in Summer

Sleigh ride - Massapoag Style
(Photo by Roger Sharp)

This week's "racing" brought lots of lasers, and a new race course to add to MYCs arsenal. The "racing" was actually more of a survival competition, as winds at race time were from the Northwest at 15, with gusts up to 28 and the course was the infamous "Harry Anderson" course which forces three gybes on each downwind leg.

John Houstle leads Bernadette Levesque
and Mark Stoughton up to the third gybe of the
downwind leg of the infamous "Harry A"
(photo by David Gilman, provided by Eric Aker)
The wind was so strong that it created a 1 foot chop with whitecaps on the lake, which made sure that everyone got thoroughly wet, even if they didn't capsize. The Race Committee managed to get six Sunfish races off, along with two abandonments because too many competitors struggled with hardware problems in the strong breeze. 

John Houstle tuned his boat perfectly for the conditions, and took firsts in 4 of the 6 races, with Mark Stoughton taking the other 2.  Bernadette Levesque took three seconds and 3 thirds in the testing conditions.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Double Secret Series: Nobody Beats the Small Boats!

Not to much in front (Lots of Scots behind though!)

The Wednesday night pursuit race belonged to the small boats tonight, with the Sunfish and Laser classes combining for 5 of the top 6 spots, and relegating the top finishing Flying Scot to 5th place. Sunfish also took three of the top four spots.

Gary Werden, Mark Stoughton, John Houstle waged a close race over five legs in the less shifty than normal conditions right from the start.  Bernadette Levesque was plagued by equipment problems and was out of the running early in the race. By the third mark Gary John and Mark were still within a few boatlengths of each other, and it was anybody's race. After the third mark however, Gary blew the race wide open by going to the right and finding more pressure, while John and Mark went left and found noting but headers. By the fourth mark, Gary's lead was insurmountable and he cruised to a leisurely first place finish.  Mark and John exchanged positions several times on the first four legs, but Mark managed to open up a gap on the final leg to take second, John came in about 30 seconds later in third and Bernadette, 4th.

Overall in the pursuit race, Gary took 1st, Mark 3rd, John 4th and Bernadette 8th. Newcomer Meg Haviland sailed a brilliant race in her Laser to pass Mark on the last leg and take 2nd overall.  Randy Rubenstein was the first Flying Scot skipper to finish, in 5th place, ahead of Dan Abram, sailing is Laser tonight. Harvey Davidson, Wally Leuders and Bernadette Levesque rounded out the fleet.

Double Secret series results are posted here:

Wednesday night Pursuit race results are here:

Next up: The Saturday Sunfish Series 3/5/14 @3:00pm.