Red Herring Sailing

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Red Herring Is Still Around

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 15, 2016

Once again I declare that this blog is not dead; it’s just “pining for the fjords.” I’ll see what I can do to at least publish a couple updates…

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48 Days to 2016 Splash

Posted by AJ Miceli on March 15, 2016

I know that I have not been updating the blog, and you might think it dead.  This blog is not dead — it’s pining for the Fjords.

I finally updated the Countdown to Splash page.  Hopefully I’ll be a more consistent, reliable and responsible blogger.

We’ll see…

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Spring 2015

Posted by AJ Miceli on April 19, 2015

First, this blog is not dead yet.  This blog hibernates for the winter (and what a winter it was!).

Second, It’s time for Spring boat work.  The boat goes in 15 days from today (Tuesday May 5), and I will be ready.  Actually the weather has been cooperating and we’ve made progress on the boat.  The buffing and waxing of the hull is complete (the picture below was taken halfway through and you can see where I stopped one day.  Other work is getting done too.  The batteries are back on the boat.  And this is the year for a shiny new sacrificial zinc.  You have to pull the prop.  Lots of work.


Third, I know I say this every year, but I hope to be able to keep this up regularly for the whole season!  We’ll see.

Anyway, we’ll be in the water soon!

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Brier Patch #2 (JAM) Make-up and Series Results

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 26, 2014

Results (8th of 14), 4th (of 14) in the series.

Course: Triangle

Wind: ENE 6-8 kts

Crew: Mark, Judy, Hunter

A few points first: 1) This was a make-up from May and 2) there were 14 boats in our class sailing (more than any other fleet) and 3) the results don’t really show how well we actually sailed.

It was a light air downwind start. We wanted to start on port around the middle of the line, but we got stuck (on port) in the lower third of the line. This actually worked to our advantage because there was a huge cluster at the pin end, and we were actually in a clear lane of our own for the whole leg. We got the wing-n-wing established quickly and sailed well to Mark S, arriving in the top third of the fleet.

After rounding it was a beat to Mark W. We fended off Joker, who tried to roll us, and they had to go below us. However some of the bigger boats caught us right at the mark, and then proceeded to roll us on the final leg. Two or three big boats rolled us, along with the two J-70s. That slowed us down just enough in the light air that we lost of few places.   If the race had ended at Mark W we would have been third or fourth.

In any case, it turned into a beautiful night for sailing and we actually did sail as well as we can in light air (three of the top four boats in our fleet were the small boats: a Star, a J-22 and J-24). The others ahead of us were the big guys with the 155s. At least we beat both J-70s.

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Erie Ale House #2 and #3

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 24, 2014

Here are the recaps for Erie Ale House #2 and #3. [Race #1 was abandoned due to lightning a couple weeks ago – so we still have to sail well to see if we can pull out a 3rd place for the series.] Overall, a beautiful day for sailing, and a nice day for Lake races. The wind was predicted by sailflow to be very light, but ended up being only moderately light.

Race #1 Results: 3rd

Crew: Andy, Rosemary, Mark, Kim, Judy

Wind: ENE 6-8 kts.

Course: Windward/Leeward 2x around

We arrived at the race course about 5 minutes before the A Fleet starting sequence, but we were OK because we were started third. We had a decent start and took the left side of the course for the long leg. As we approached the windward mark we say Infinity hit the mark and take it with them (anchor line on keel). Infinity ended up withdrawing. So we had to take a hitch and kind of follow the mark… However, the course was skewed a little, so after rounding we were able to reach to the leeward mark – we like reaches and we sailed well with the leaders of the fleet.

We had issues again with the upwind mark. That turned out to be problematic because we ended up approaching the mark too close to the port layline and ran into a Port/Starboard situation with Shakes the Clown. We had to crash tack (all my fault) and then come around at the mark. On top of that, I’m thinking now that there was current at the mark. In any case, we finally rounded and reached fast to the finish.

All things being said, we still finished 3rd in the fleet; and we actually corrected over all but one A Fleet boat (thanks to the fact that the wind started building on the second leg of our race).

Race #1 Results: 4th

Crew: Andy, Rosemary, Mark, Kim, Judy

Wind: ENE 8-10 kts.

Course: Windward/Leeward 2x around

The wind built a little for the second race, and the race committee squared the course. We had a good start just to the west of a big “cluster” of shouting and boats pushing each other over at the boat. We were clear and fast at the start. The rest of the race went reasonably well, though we continued to be challenged at the windward mark (continuing “current” issues?). The downwind legs were wing-n-wing which we did efficiently and sailed well. Overall, a satisfying race (especially because we corrected over the J-70 – we like beating the J-70).

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Posted by AJ Miceli on June 23, 2014

The forecast said all along that we should expect storms about race time last Wednesday (June 18th).  About 6PM it was still clear, so we went out with our light air all-woman crew (Kim, Rosemary, Judy).

About 25 mins. into the race the skies darkened to the west and then the lightning came — and the end of the race.  We hurried back to the dock and got back before the squall hit.  The yacht club instruments said the winds topped out at 57 knots — then the electricity went out at the club!


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Gerry’s 8th Street Deli #1 & #2

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day! Two Spinnaker Races on the Lake. The winds were light and we had a crew of two plus me. Good practice for the Interclub (we’ll have three plus me). The racing started at 11:00AM. We left the dock a couple minutes after 10, and made it out to the race course with only 5 minutes to spare. Phew! I guess it’s all good practice for the Interclub

Race #1 Results: 7th
Wind: NE 3-6
Crew: Mark and Rosemary
Course: W/L 2x around

A light air start. We were almost at the line at the start, but in a lot of dirty air. The first upwind leg was slow — not a lot of power and some chop on the nose on both tacks. As we approached the mark we got headed and had to do two short tacks to make the mark. The first downwind leg was slow going, but we were able to go wing-n-wing with the chute. However, the fleet still sailed away from us.

The breeze was abating by the second windward leg, and once again we were excruciatingly slow against the chop. The second downwind leg was even worse. We still went wing-n-wing, but it we were only doing a couple knots downwind. The whole fleet finished 15 minutes ahead of us and just sat there waiting us to finish.

This boat is not a light air boat, even though we had a light air crew. I know people think I like drawing attention to myself, but I really am an introvert, and I really don’t like everyone sitting waiting for us to finish!


Race #2 Results: 7th
Wind: NE 5-10
Crew: Mark and Rosemary
Course: Olympic Course (Triangle then W/L)

The wind thermal wind finally started near the start of the second race. This race went better. The first upwind leg was in a little more breeze. We had a decent start, but tacked away to clear our air after the start. There also seemed to be a little more wind on the right side of the course. We rounded near the fleet. After rounding we flew the chute for a very nice easy reach (we really like reaching in about 8 knots of breeze). At the gybe mark we dropped the chute in a good takedown and sailed a nice fast close reach back to the leeward mark. This race was going much better. We weren’t winning, but we were in touch with the fleet after three legs.

The next upwind leg went OK, but we had to take a hitch at the mark again. After rounding we deployed the chute on the port side but needed to gybe. That took a little while, and we gave up some time there. After that we sailed on a fast reach to the finish. We sailed 7+ knots on that leg. Nice!

Even though we finished last again (we beat Silver Wheel from the A Fleet who didn’t fly a chute) we sailed well for being shorthanded.
Then we just kept on sailing back to the channel, dropped the chute and the main and motored through the channel. In the bay we saw the Niagara on her way out. It’s always cool seeing her out.

Oh, and a broken boat part. While motoring on the way back the tiller extension separated from the tiller. That has apparently been in the works for a little while, with just some plastic holding it in. I just ordered a replacement ($53) so we should get that repaired before we leave for the Interclub. It would have been bad had that happened while we were sailing with the chute up in a decent breeze!

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Home Instead Senior Care Series #2

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 9, 2014

Results:  6th

Crew:  Andy, Kim, Mark, Rosemary, Hunter, Megan

Wind:  ENE 2-6

Course:  W/L 2x

It was a going to be a light air day no matter what we did. The wind was predicated to be Southerly at 10AM and then backing to Northeasterly. The Race Committee postponed the start of the first race until the wind shifted, so we started at 11AM.

Even then, at the start, it looked like the pin end would be favored, so we planned to start a little up the line so as to avoid the cluster at the pin. I thought I found a space close to the line just behind Joker. I didn’t see Infinity coming when they lee-bowed us. So, we got stuck above both Joker and Infinity and we got scrubbed off at the boat. We had to come around to avoid those two, so we started too late at the wrong end of the line.

The rest of the race was just a light air W/L race. We did what we could, but there was no way we were ever going to overcome the bad start. If it helps any, Joker finished out the money too because, even though they were at the line, they were still at the wrong end of the line.

Then came  the rain (and some lightning) and the second race was abandoned.

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Home Instead Senior Care Spring Series #1

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 5, 2014

Results:  4th

Wind: Clocking SW to NW, 2-8 knots

Course:  Triangle

Crew:  Andy, Mark, Andrea, Hunter, Rosemary

The night did not look very promising when we arrived at the boat:  light rain and very little breeze.  About a half-hour before the start the rain let up, and a little breeze kicked up.  By the start we had about 3-4 knots of breeze from the SW.  We had a couple right of way issues prior to the start.  We were at the line at the start, but going pretty slowly.

The first leg was a downwind leg in very light breeze, and about three or four minutes after the start the wind went slack.  We floated for a little while and then noticed the wind clocking to the north.  We tacked over to port and ended up beating in about 6-8 knots of breeze.  We figured it out pretty early and we were able to point well, so we were able to round with our fleet leaders.

The next leg was a reach in about 6 knots.  We held our own despite getting rolled by K-9 and TAZ.   K-9 stayed on our left hip and probably stopped us from going a little faster – but Empress (J-70) was on our starboard side and was never able to pass us from below.  After rounding we finished on a fast close reach.  We tried to stay as high and fast as possible to minimize getting rolled by bigger boats, and we were able to hold off a few of them.

We finished 4th out of 10 in our fleet.  That’s just fine with us, we are positioned well for the series and we didn’t lose any seconds off our rating.  And, we corrected over all of the B-Fleet boats except one, and we were only 6 seconds per mile slower than the leaders in our fleet.

So, not a bad night overall!



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Venture Fasteners #2 and #3 and Series Results

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 1, 2014

All in all it was a beautiful day for sailing, but the winds were challenging for everyone today.  There were many more B Fleet boats than A Fleet boats.


1st Race today results:  8th in fleet, 11th overall
Crew:  Judy, Kim, Rosemary, Mark, Andy
Course:  Windward/Leeward 2x
Wind:  SSW 0-18 (The results say 18, but that was the peak wind, and it was only at the start)


The B-Fleet was supposed to start first today, but so many people were over early that there was general recall, and then we started after the A Fleet.  There was decent breeze at the start, but then the wind went down as the race went on, and became variable in both velocity and direction.  Sometimes the breeze was swinging 45 degrees on the same tack.


We had a good start in the fleet and then flipped to port to get out of traffic.  We stayed on the right side of the course on the first upwind leg and did well, rounding close to the fleet.  The first downwind leg went well, sailing most of the leg with the masthead chute wing-n-wing.  We sailed well again on the upwind leg, rounding less than a minute behind Hardware Chimps (Vamanos).  Then once again we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.  Just as we rounded, the wind literally dropped to Zero and we sat in a hole for about 3-5 minutes.  The Monkey Boat was just outside the hole, still in breeze, so they sailed on, leaving us shrimping.  After we finally left the hole we sailed fast and well to the finish, but it was too late.


Still, if you look at the results we corrected to within 55 seconds of Pagan.  But also look where the Monkey Boat (Vamanos) corrected.  Had we not sailed into that hole we would have corrected well!


2nd Race today results:  6th in fleet, 10th overall
Crew:  Judy, Kim, Rosemary, Mark, Andy
Course:  Windward/Leeward 2x
Wind:  SSW 2-8


The wind picked up where the first race left off – light and variable.


The B Fleet started first.  Everyone sailed from hole to hole on the first upwind leg.  In this race, the challenge happened at the first upwind mark.  Predictably, the A Fleet arrived at the mark at the same time as us.  We got rolled and and backwinded a few boat lengths from the mark.  We ended up sailing slowly away from the mark on port tack, and JUST crossed an A Fleet boat going reasonably fast on starboard.  Phew!  But that wiped out the results of a good first leg.


After we finally rounded, the downwind leg went well.  The next upwind leg continued to challenge everyone but we hung in there.  On the final downwind leg we got the wind first and made up a ton of distance on the fleet.  Yes we finished 6th, but we beat Powderhound (a rare treat) and look at whom we were bunched with.  It’s rare that we’re less than a minute from NEWS, Graffiti and Outlaw.  We’re going to count this as a moral victory.


Series Overall Results:  7th in Fleet, 11th of 15 Overall


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