Friday, August 28, 2009

Nationals, In Canada, Eh?

Guess I will try to keep this up to date while we are up here. Unfortunately the turnout is very bad, six boats. Some of the excuses I have heard are legitimate, some of them are just plain not worth repeating. In the end I think every class is having a hard time and the hope is that numbers will return when the economy does. (crossing fingers) I think it shows this year as all the events are scheduled around the Portsmouth Tavern at the entrance of the sailing park instead of in the huge warehouse-like sailing center. Personally, I like it better.

So today begins the big show. Three races scheduled for today and tomorrow and two for Sunday. The first will be the tune-up race and we go from there. Once again the need for a union operator on the crane put a halt to the concept of practice yesterday but we got the boat put together and double checked everything. The new main from Evolution Sails measured in and only needs a couple of tweaks to finishing details to be spot on.

I will wrap this up now. Like I said, will try to update. Will see how it goes.


Friday, July 31, 2009

Update on the Atlantics from el Predidente.

Hey All,

Quick update. After a few emails and phone calls... Atlantic's in Newport on August 8th & 9th is happening. Ross worked out a minimal fee for Sail Newport to use the hoist at $15/day. Jeff is working on race committee. The entrance fee for the two day event should be about $45 including hoist, storage, food and beer. This is Jazz Festival weekend at the Fort, so expect town to be busy. We have always been able to get in and out with boats easily despite that event.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Scorpion Bowl

Long time since an update. Things have been going on but not much in the way of 110's. Here is a report from Ross Weene from the Scorpion Bowl, kind of a warm up for the Districts in Hull. The Districts are in a week or so. Hopefully have some good info from that. And, yes, Ross is playing with an asymmetric kite. I have thought about it in the past. I don't think anyone should get scared but it might be a nice move in the class.

Just back from the Boston Bay Challenge Cup in Hull, an interesting weekend all around! For most folks Saturday was the first day of the season getting back into a 110, and it was a day of trial by fire - 15 building to 20 with gusts to 25, steep chop and endless motorboat wake. I had just spent some long evenings getting the boat back together, new floorboards in, and set up for the new asymmetric chute. Six boats made it out, Ryan Caywood sailed with me in 608. The first race was a mess for almost everyone - the windward mark, which was a government mark, had lost its distinctive red / green colors over the winter and we, and even the local Craig / Clancy boats sailed right by it. The leeward mark was supposed to be a government mark but instead a yellow barrel close to the water, which no one could find - so chaos at that end. In the second race the breeze picked up, and we started getting some big 20-25 blasts on the downwind leg. We were full plane, I was sitting on the aft deck next to the tiller with Ryan almost in my lap to keep the bow up, and we thought we were done for once as we plunged through a wake from a 50 footer crossing the course. Made it through that, but then we had to gybe. Everyone was having trouble with it, wiping out, so I'm not sure why we thought we'd be any different - but tried it and wiped out hard, main in the water. I stood on the keel and reached for the spin halyard, got the boat up and chute in, and started bailing / reaching around with a cockpit at least half full. Thank you bulkheads, we survived this one, got the boat in, pumped out, and started into the beer. Saturday night we somehow got a free room at the Nantasket Beach Inn, funny story, Sunday started out cloudy and cooler, but got sunnier and the breeze died. We saw 3-8 during the day, and was perfect to try out the new asymmetric. Unfortunately we were having too much fun before the start, and when the AP came down we were a bit too far away - so late for the first start. We should have just launched the A-sail downwind to stay in touch, but opted for class-legal. In the second race we picked our way up to the top to final battle downwind with Will Laidlaw and Ben, passed them and finished first. In the third race course was adjusted and we saw half the fleet splitting gybes, down at the leeward mark we rounded 2nd right behind Ann Craig; at the finish we swear we crossed first but think there may have been some local favoritism. On the way in we launched the A-sail again, it works great. Much more power, this is going to be fun - hopefully an evolution of the class. In the end, the RC threw out Day 1 which was fine with us! We ended up 2nd, one point behind Ann Craig and Dave McGrath in 1st. Maggie and Tom Craig finished 3rd, the Clancy Clan in 4th, Will Laidlaw and Ben in 5th, and D Bell / Scott Beeker in 6th. Looking forward to Hull again in a couple weeks!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner

Well, I guess we did okay. I did not know when I last posted that Ross Weene would be on the Swan 80 Selene. He was, and they one the Spinnaker 1 class. Good for them. Josh and I sailed on Privateer in Spinnaker 2. We had a fun week. A couple of break-downs, plenty of sailing along at 18 knots. In the end we won our class, the trophy for fastest around the island and, well, we won the regatta overall. It was a good week followed by good celebration. Congrats to Ross and nice job to all sailing on and involved in the Privateer.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Screaming Pelican Goes Down Island

Not much 110 news to report. Sorry. It has been a pretty good winter so far for the boys, though. Both Josh and Oakley went to Key West Race Week, both on Swan 42's. Oakley, on Phil Lotz's Arethusa came in second, while Josh on Mark Watson's Tiburon came in fourth. Apparently there was some kind of protest which resulted in Tiburon finishing outside the trophies but I cannot remember the details.

I am recently back from the Pineapple Cup, racing from Ft. Lauderdale to Jamaica on Ron O'Hanley's Cookson 50 Privateer. We had a very wet but great ride. The breeze was pretty far forward most of the time with a lot of jib reaching and lots of water on deck. After turning the corner around Cuba we were able to put the kite up in up in up to 30+ knots of wind when at times we were averaging 20 knots with bursts to 25. Still, plenty of water on deck. (to say the least) We squeaked out a Swan 48 which finished 24 hours after us for the overall win. Almost forgot, linky to video of the finish.

Next week Josh and I are off to St. Martin for the Heineken Regatta. We are both sailing with Privateer. We got second last year and are hoping to take the win this time. Time will tell but I need to start packing for warm weather again.

That's about it on the fleet front. Jeff is making a good attempt as scheduling a party/meeting so we can start talking about fleet racing again and the business of racing 110's. Between skiing and sailing we are making it hard for him but I am sure we will all get together soon enough to come up with everything we need for a successful one-design class in Newport and beyond. My thoughts go out to those of you in the mid-west. Brrrrrr. I'll update after Heineken.


Sunday, December 14, 2008


Okay, not 110 news but I was invited to go sailing yesterday with the Jones boys. Oakley the 3rd we all know as crew of the Wharf Rat and his dad, Oakley Jr. who owns a 210 and has been a great moral supporter of Fleet 54 as well as stand in race committee volunteer. They have a spot in the Courageous Sailing Center frostbite series which is sailed in Rhodes 19's. This is my and Josh's old stomping grounds as we both taught sailing there for a number of years. Some things have changed. A lot hasn't.

The day was really cold, around freezing, but fun. It is a pretty good crowd up there wuth Joh Murphy, previous 110 National Champ crew, steering a boat. Steve Clancy, John's skipper during those nationals, with a boat. I met David Robinson, Russell's brother, for the first time who is now forever known as "Just Dave" as compared to "F&*ckin Russell". Nice guy who I think would be good to have a beer or two with pouring over rigging systems, boat prep and the like, him being an engineer. There were some other familiar faces to me like Mark Lindsay and a couple others. On the whole, a good group of sailors.

The sailing was interesting. We found pretty quickly that boat speed was not an issue. All the tools were there and we would be able to outrun, outpoint, out anything anyone in a straight line if we needed to. Oakley Jr. was steering well, making her go, and showed great trust in what Oakley III and I were doing on the course, with his input at all times, of course. So, what it came down to was smarts which we had some of but not all the time. Beyond that there is the whole "sailing under a city" deal. The first start showed what must have been a 40 degree shift to the left which was unfortunate as we had decided to start at the boat end. There was also an incident with the start pin which was on the keel, then on the rudder, still on the rudder. The leaders were rounding when we finally got it off so we cruised around for a little bit before the next start. Oh well.

We never really discussed how the decision making would go on the day but it became a day of group decisions which was fine because the communication was quite good and calm. If I was being looked upon as tactician for the day these are the things I learned, or would have changed. We did not realise the extremity of the "current" out there. With the rain earlier in the week the gates to the Charles were open and the draining river was gushing out of the harbor. We could have pushed the starts harder and been on the line better. I also lost the plot downwind as the day went on, letting people inside us into more pressure and letting them have the inside advantage as the mark. We should have been more agressive downwind and just plain more aware. Just winginng the jib and pointing at the mark was not working and we never changed our behavior.

So, another day of sailing in the books. It is always a pleasure sailing with the Jones's and yesterday was no exception. I also came away, I think, a little bit smarter which reminds me that it is important to go sailing, even if it's a community sailing fleet of Rhodes 19's. I just looked at the scored which were respectable, I guess. They show us as not finishing the first race, which is wrong. I would like to see our real tally but don't really care that much. I learned some things and really enjoyed that beer after sailing around in the cold for the day. Thanks Oakleys.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Atlantic Coast Championships

The Atlantics were held this past Saturday. Because of the low turnout the class pulled out of the Sail Newport Regatta this year leaving the trophy without a regatta. The guys from Fleet 12, Eastern Long Island Sound, had promised to host a weekend so Sail Newport's loss was their gain, a big old trophy to present. The late season regatta was the brain storm of Cal Brouwer and Tom Welsh who normally sail out of the Thames Yacht Club. They worked a deal with the Niantic Bay Yacht Club to use their facilities, namely their hoist, in order to run the event.

Josh and I were on the fence about going to this event. Hard to schedule a weekend regatta when the weather could be anything from great to, well, very cold rain. The numbers were looking a bit grim so Josh made the call to rightly support Fleet 12 as they have for us in the past and attend the event which was changed from a two day to a one day event. In the end there were five boats, including us and the newly married Ross Weene and Holly Kindl from the Newport fleet. Josh decided to use his "newer" boat, US Blues. We had not sailed her in two years so we thought it a good time to check her out and see how she was doing.

The drive from Rhode Island was painless and we found our way to the beach cottage town of Niantic. People were putting their boats together and we got to work putting US Blues together while the Weene's showed up. After a bit of a late start the hosts provided us with sandwiches, chowder and our choice of water, soda or beer. Afterwards we got the boats in and headed out to the course, a short sail into the bay.

Conditions were light but mostly stable. Five windward-leeward races were run. Before the first start we watched the "unknowns" sailing around and noticed that #525, Reprise, with Bobby and Casey Cullen looked good going through the water. Knowing Ross quite well we decided to concentrate on him. Most starts found us tied at the hip where we tried to get the advantage. If he tacked, we tacked. It was kind of fun in that we had a lot of down-speed, boat handling situations where trim and course could mean winning or losing. We held our own and managed to get win four of five races. The good news for the Fleet 12 members is that they are sailing pretty well. The race we lost was to the Cullens on Reprise. We were in touch with them during the beat and next time we looked around they were leading around the windward mark. All the boats were mixing it up pretty well with Jack and John Erhard on Deja Vu and Tom and Bob Welsh on Riff Raff were never far off the pace. (yes, it was a bit of a family affair down there) Ross and Holly had to work hard to get through some of those guys as did we.

It was certainly interesting sailing the "old girl" again. Coming from the Screaming Pelican Josh and I both felt a bit slow on the US Blues. The day after racing we started a work list via email and it is already up to 20 items. Some read like "move traveler cleat", some are a lot more drastic. It is a good boat, though, and moves fast enough apparently. Don't forget, she'd for sale!

In the end I think the Atlantics were a great success. We felt very welcome by Fleet 12 and the Niantic Bay Yacht Club. The commute was easy, the waters and wind were ideal for mid-October. The only way it could have been better is if we had more boats. I really hope this venue carries on in future years and it would be great to see numbers build in years to come. Thanks to Cal Bouwer and Tom Welsh for living up to their promises and making it happen. Thanks to those who did participate. As always thanks to Josh Hill for the existence of the Screaming Pelican/US Blues racing program.


Mark Van Note/Josh Hill - US Blues - 6 points
Ross Weene/Holly Kindl - The Good Foot - 11 points
Bobby Cullen/Casey Cullen - Reprise - 16 points
Jack Erhard/John Erhard - deja vu - 21 points
Tom Welsh / Bob Welsh - Riff Raff - 21 points

I think I am doing some kind of go-fast ritualistic dance here.