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Archive for July, 2009

Urbaniak Race #3 Recap Plus Cloud Picture

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 23, 2009

Results:  2nd (out of 5) plus 2nd for the 3-race spinnaker series

Crew: Andy, Steve, Kim, Judy

The weather had been threatening all day, and before the race a weird Nike-swoosh-shaped cell had blown through the bay (see Steve’s picture below).  The winds had been E at about 6-8 kts.  The cell brought some 15-knot winds, then left us with 5 knots from the north.  So the course ended up being W/L Mark O to Mark S 2x around.

We had a good start, but we got wedged in some bad air between Loggerhead and Outlaw on the left side of the course.   Lady Jane started late but took the right side, which turned out to be favored in the short run.  We all traded tacks on the upwind leg with each of us having our own race, which is pretty typical in light air.  We actually rounded the windward mark in fourth place, with the wind dropping down to 2 knots at the mark.

We had a good spinnaker set then immediately gybed to port.  The wind was busy clocking to the SE, so we actually ended up on a very close reach on the way to Mark S.  In light air we can carry the asymmetrical chute all the way to 50-60 degrees apparent, so we were able to pass above Lady Jane and below Loggerhead (who had gone high on the course with Outlaw).  We moved into 2nd place and would have caught up with Outlaw if the leg had been a little longer.  Outlaw rounded about 2 minutes ahead of us.  As we rounded the mark, the wind speed went back to 5-6 knots.  Prior to all that, however, the course had mercifully been shortened to once around.

We had a very smooth spinnaker takedown with both Judy and Andy on the foredeck, rounded and sailed for the line on a beam reach.  We weren’t able to make up any more time on Outlaw, but we were able to keep everyone else at bay.

We crossed the line in 2nd place, and that held.  Plus, with two 4ths and a 2nd we ended the 3-race series in 2nd place.  That’s worth a red flag for the series, and I DO like those red flags!  Of course, we were helped by the fact that News didn’t sail.  As Kim put it, News is back on our Christmas list!  🙂

About two minutes after we crossed the line the skies darkened quickly.  There was crack of lightning and the clouds dumped some decent rain on the bay.  We motored back to the marina in some heavy rain, but we felt pretty good about the night.

Speaking of the threatening clouds, here’s  one of Steve’s pictures of the swoosh cloud.  Looking back, we wonder if the swoosh cloud formation didn’t risk some tornadic or water spout activity…

Nike-swoosh-shaped storm cloud before the race on 7/22/2009

Nike-swoosh-shaped storm cloud before the race on 7/22/2009

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Hertel and Brown Race #2 Results

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 20, 2009

Results:  8th (of 11)

Crew:  Judy, Steve

A Sunday race in the bay.  We had only two crew members (plus me), but once again, we can sail this boat well enough with only three.  The day did not look all that promising.  The winds were actually reasonable before and through the race at 10-15 knot.   However, the sky had an odd wintry look and the bay had chop and a few whitecaps (the whitecaps were left over from yesterday’s 15-25 breezes).  Overall, it felt more like Fall sailing than Summer sailing.  The course was Mark N-Mark R14 two times around.

We had a decent start at the line going fast enough when the gun went off.  We sailed well upwind in about 10 knots of wind, rounded the weather mark and started tacking downwind.  The wind speeds were enough that we were able to not give up too much on the downwind leg.  Though we rounded the leeward mark near the back of the fleet, we were not out of contention.

We did VERY well on the long upwind leg.  We stayed more or less in the middle of the bay and sailed the long starboard tack first, almost out to the port layline.  When we got to the mark we had made up a ton of time, rounding third in our fleet.

Then, of course, we had the long downwind leg again.  Once again, we were able to sail deeply enough that we didn’t give up everything, but we did slip back a few places.

Very little changed on the final upwind leg.  The wind was building, and the guys flying their number 1s had a  little difficulty holding them.  We handled the increased wind pressure pretty well.  We overstood the finish line a little, but we came back on a very close fast reach.  We had been neck and neck with Silver Wheel on the final leg.  We inched past them and finished 3 seconds ahead of them (though the official results show it the other way around), but it was not enough.  We owe them 2 seconds per mile, so they finished 7th and we finished 8th.

If you see the results you’ll see that we corrected over Serendipity by 1 second.  OK — their rating is greatly dimished, but we did pass them on the first long upwind leg.  In any case, we’ll take it.  The results overall don’t actually show how well we sailed.  We have a very competitive fleet, so even when we sail very well, we still may not place well.  In any case, I was happy with how we sailed, and how well our crew of Steve on the Main and Judy on the Jib did!

See you Wednesday for a bay spinnaker race.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Urbaniak Deli Race #2 Results and Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 18, 2009

Results:  4th (of 7 in fleet)

Crew:  Steve, Andy, Judy

A short windward-leeward race in shifty light air — but this time we got to use the chute.  The wind was SW 5-6 with some 7-8 puffs, but at least there was wind.  We had a decent start in reasonably clear air in the middle of the line.  It was a short trip upwind to mark S.  We sailed OK, but we probably made 2 too many tacks — its hard for me to call the layline in shifting conditions.  However, we rounded S at the “back of the front” of the fleet.  We had a decent set, but the lazy sheet was still coiled on the lifeline, and that did slow us down a bit, but not too badly.

As always we had to tack downwind, but this time our gybes were pretty clean.  When we got to the leeward mark we were on port so we blew the tack and did a windward takedown, dragging the clew around the forestay.  There was a little confusion when the clew got stuck on the jib, but it eventually got under control and we hardened up for the upwind leg.  We followed Coyaba upwind, hoping that maybe we could make up some time on them, but the leg wasn’t long enough.  We came together with Scorpio at the finish.  We tacked and went for the line, but Scorpio still crossed about 10 seconds ahead of us (luckily, Scorpio owes us time, so they didn’t beat us).

The whole race only took 38 minutes, but all-in-all it was a better experience than last Sunday.  In light air it helps to have a nice big red and white sail to use.  And, even though the fact is that the 27X is not a screaming fast rating-beater, it is an easier boat to sail with a short-handed crew.

See you Sunday for a JAM race and a party at the yacht club.

Posted in 27X, Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sunday Race Pix

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 17, 2009

Here are a couple pix from Last Sunday’s races on the lake from Steve Yount.  Thanks, Steve!

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Blake 3 and Hertel & Brown 1 Results & Recaps

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 13, 2009

Ask me how much I like extremely light air (2-4 knots) windward-leeward JAM races in the lake with current and chop!  These recaps will be brief.  Our valiant crew did everything they could in these conditions.  It wasn’t their fault…  Crew:  Judy, Steve, Andy, Kim

Race 1 Results:  10th of 10 (DFL)

The start was in a hole, and we had a terrible start.  Steve thinks we maybe finally crossed the line 4 minutes after the gun.  We made up some time on the first leg and then lost it all (and more) when we had trouble rounding the first mark.  It was in another hole with shifty winds — shades of race 1 of the Interclub.  Then it was a long, slow tack downwind in no wind without a spinnaker.  Then a reasonably slow upwind leg.  And the finish was in a hole.   We really were DFL in the whole fleet, not just the C fleet.

Race 2 Results:  7th of 10

We got a little better start this time but were still at the back of the fleet.  We tacked over and took the right side of the course — so the left side was favored this time.  We got around the windward mark with a little less trouble this time, but still near the back of the fleet.  Most boats tacked downwind like we did, so we didn’t give up as much this time, and we had a reasonable upwind leg, but overall it was just not enough.  We beat some boats this time, but it’s nothing to write home about.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Racing Rules of Sailing, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Spinnaker Repaired

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 10, 2009

FYI — the spinnaker is repaired and ready for the next SPIN race (which will be next Wednesday night).  It’s nice to have a sailmaker in town…

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Blake #2 JAM Race

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 10, 2009

Results:  6th out of 13

The first race back after the Interclub was a light-to-dying air race, but at least it was a triangle.  The A and B Fleets sailed R-14, O, Finish.  The C and D Fleets sailed S, O, Finish.  That worked out pretty well for all but a few boats.

The first leg was a (very) broad reach.   We had an excellent start.  We watched the earlier starts and there were two cluster points at both ends of the line in the previous starts — those boats mostly had bad air.  A couple boats in each fleet started in the middle of the line and just kept going — so that’s what we did.  Three of us were in the middle:   Red Herring, Persistence and Serendipity.  All three of us got a decent start while the others got tied up in the two corners.  We sailed as well as we could on the broad reach.  I still don’t know how, but about halfway down the leg, both Persistence and Serendipity came roaring past BELOW us.  That’s not supposed to be able to happen, and I still don’t know how they did it.  Of course, in extremely light air races everybody gets a different race and gets a private puff from time to time — that must be what happened.   By the time we got to S, Lady Jane was slightly ahead, having rolled us earlier; but we were able to hold off Entson.

The second leg was an upwind leg, plus we came together with the A Fleet boats at the top of the course.  We sailed that leg very well too.   Once again we held off Entson, and we passed Lady Jane, but Keya got ahead of us at the mark (I think the port layline was favored).  We probably overstood a little on the last tack before rounding, but we didn’t want to take any chances.

After rounding, it was a close reach in very dying air to the finish.  The boats that were ahead of us like Serendipity, Persistence, Smokin J and Dawn Treader were WAY ahead by this time.  We passed Keya on the leg and crossed a couple minutes ahead of them, but Entson rolled us all and finished ahead of both of us.  Once again, nobody had the same race.  We were vigilant in our trimming, and we were pretty happy with the way we handled the little patches of wind and the patches of lulls.   We also stretched out over the boats that were behind us, which is always a pleasant outcome.

Most boats were lucky just to finish the race.  A few boats in the B Fleet and a few in the D Fleet didn’t make the time limit — that used to be us, so I can empathize.

Thanks to our light air crew:  Judy, Steve, Andy

Two JAM races on the lake on Sunday.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

We Beat Who?!?

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 7, 2009

So there has been some concern among the crew about how we placed in the Lake Erie Interclub overalls.   It is true that last year we placed 27th out of 65 boats in overalls for the 5-race series, while this year we finished 39th of 56.   First of all, you can’t really compare one year to the next — different winds, seas, competition, etc.  But let’s look at another metric.

Let’s look at some (surely not all) of the boats we DID correct over in the fleet in various races (not counting the boats in our own fleet).

Race 1 (Erie Triangle — light and dying air): Pressure Vessel (Borsaw), Messenger (Beneteau 40), Quixotic (J-120), Dreamer (Alden Ketch 55)

Race 2 (Erie-to-Dover — light to moderate, building toward the end): Masego (Beneteau 36.7), Ritual (J-35), Raven (Schock 35), Damn Yankee (Judel-Vrolijk 43), Poison Ivy (J-34), Magic (J-35), Team Rush (Hobie 33), Lanada II (Beneteau 36.7)

Race 3 (Dover Triangle — strong and gusty winds): Poison Ivy (J-34), Strider (Scorpio 35), Lanada II (Beneteau 36.7), Plumb Bob (Beneteau 36.7), Amazing Grace IV (Beneteau 36.7)

Race 4 (Erie-to-Colborne — moderate, building to heavy air): Hot Pursuit (Andrews 30), Lake Shark (J-160 SD)

Race 5 (Colborne-to-Abino — extremely light air): Aries (Borsaw), Taller Cotton (Cal 33), Pressure Vessel (Borsaw), Nyanza (Hinckley SW42), Dreamer (Alden Ketch 55)

When you look at it that way, it looks pretty good, I think.  Those are good boats and good sailors.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Interclub, Lake Erie Sailing, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Video Of The Start Of The Erie-Dover Race

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 7, 2009

Here’s a two-minute video of the fleet approaching the channel and Red Herring sailing in the channel at the start of the Erie-Dover Race.   Thanks to Rick “Barney” Barner for the video.

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Interclub, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Sailboat Racing, Uncategorized, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Lake Erie Interclub Results and Recaps

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 5, 2009

Overall Results:  4th in E Fleet (out of 12), 39th in full fleet (out of 56)

First, thanks and credit for a good series go to our intrepid crew:  Judy Tucci (foredeck, alternate spinnaker trimmer), Ken McCurdy (main trimmer, spinnaker trimmer), Kim Yamma (jib trimmer, alternate main trimmer, alternate driver), Don Behm (jib trimmer, spinnaker halyard and tack, utility player).  Everybody worked together through five days of racing, and five nights in various ports.

Race 1Erie Triangle.  6th in E Fleet, 42nd Overall.

We started in about 8-10 knots of breeze with some residual chop from the night before.  The first leg went OK.  Shortly after rounding the weather mark we deployed the chute and the wind died.  The lake flattened and the race turned into a “shake n bake.”  We struggled to get to the next mark.  The mark was sitting in a hole and almost everyone had trouble rounding, including us.  It took a long time, but we rounded a little better than some.  Then a little bit of a breeze came up and we were able to finish on a downwind run with the chute.  It was a long hot day.

Race 2:  Erie to Dover.  6th in E Fleet.  26th Overall.

The race started in the Erie bay with the normal, but weak, offshore.  We had our best start of this race — ever.  10 seconds before the start we were on a reach about 12 seconds from the line.  We popped the chute with 10 seconds to go and were at the line sailing fast at the start.  Because the winds were light we were able to carry the chute all the way into and through the channel at 60 degrees.  We were the fourth boat to the channel behind Andicapp, Venture and Strider.  In the channel we passed Strider (something we would not do many times during the series) and we were the 3rd boat out of the channel on the way to Dover.  This is our best start EVER!  After that we gybed downwind on the long leg to Long Point in moderate winds.  We gave away a few positions on that leg, then we rounded the point.  The wind picked up as it frequently does in Long Point Bay and we tacked downwind the final 15 miles to Dover.  By the end of the leg the wind had piped up to 15-25 but we were able to hold the chute til the finish.  Overall, not a bad race.  We rafted off a tug just south of the yacht club for the night.

Race 3:  Dover Triangle.  5th in Fleet.  35th overall.

It’s pretty typical to see strong winds for this race.  We started the race in 10-20 knot winds.  We held our own as well as we could in the long upwind leg in breezy conditions and 2-4 footers.  We stayed along the shore, tacking to stay inland as much as possible.  This is the same route that all the locals took, so we felt fairly confident that it was the place to be on the course.  By the time we got to the weather mark the winds were 15-25.  Most boats stayed with white sails on the 2nd leg and so did we.  On this leg we caught up with and passed Habenero.  That moved us into 5th.  About halfway through the leg we met up with a freighter.  Several boats crossed in front of it, but it didn’t look to me like we were going to cross it, so we decided to duck it.  As we got closer we noticed something odd:  it had an anchor chain!  Because of the wind and the waves breaking on the bow it had looked like it was moving from the distance.  We ducked an anchored freighter!  Boy did we feel stupid (we heard afterwards that maybe four or five others also ducked it).  Well, safety first (and it didn’t hurt us too badly to duck).  After rounding the final mark we stuck with white sails, though we probably should have reefed the main and threw up the chute.  We were able to keep our time on the boats behind us, and ended 5th.  That night we rafted off Venture (who was rafted off our old tug).

Race 4:  Dover to Colborne.  6th in E Fleet.  41st Overall.

Some days the bear gets you…  And this was one hairy, mean bear!  First, this was not your typical Colborne race.  Normally there is no wind at the start and we end up motoring 10 or 15 miles before we finally start the race.  This time there was wind at the start with the prospect of the wind building through the race all the way to the finish — and that’s exactly what happened.  The race started badly for us and got worse.  Right before the start, a couple boats next to us tangled and there was much shouting.  I got distracted watching them, and we went over the line before the start.  We were called and we dipped back below the line and restarted.  Then we proceeded to pop the chute and tack downwind.  The wind was dead down, so we started giving away positions.  After about an hour we decided to follow some of the smarter boats in to shore.   This is frequently a winning move on this race, and since we were following smart boats (Graffiti, Lake Shark, Powderhound, etc) we thought it was a good percentage.  Well, the winds went VERY light toward shore, and even though the water was flatter, our speed dropped from 6’s and 7’s to 4’s and 5’s.  By the time we came back out to the rhumb line we were pretty much at the back of the fleet.  Combine that with some bad gybes (we wrapped the chute on the forestay at least three or four times) and we had some tough going.  Then the winds built to 15-25 and waves built to 4-6 footers.  We had some trouble carrying the chute, but were able to carry it until one very big round-up about a mile and a half from the gybing gate.  We got the chute down, and even struggled with our gybes under white sails all the way to the finish (and even after the finish on the way into Sugarloaf marina).  Overall, it’s a race we’d rather forget.  That night we ate at the San Marcos Restaurant in Port Colborne and had a nice walk along the Welland Canal afterward.

Race 5:  Port Colborne to Point Abino.  3rd in Fleet.  32nd Overall.

No wind at the start, so we motored almost all the way to Abino before starting.  Markset set a triangle course.  The first leg was a 3-mile upwind leg.  The winds were a light 3-6 knots and there was at least 2-feet of chop left from yesterday, so it was a long upwind leg.  We had a decent start and we did our best to sail the compass and stay on the favored tacks.  At one point we crossed tacks with Strider (they were on starboard, so we crossed right behind their stern), but they had about two minutes on us by the time we got to the weather mark.  We rounded and popped the chute.  We sailed to get under control, then gybed.  During the gybe the chute wrapped and tore right in the middle, but in those light winds (still just 3-5 knots) we just sailed on.  We sailed the hottest angles we could and gybed downwind.  The course was shortened so the second leg turned into the final leg, a 5-mile downwind run.   We crossed the line third in our fleet, but we were not able to correct over the other two boats (Strider and Knot So Fast), so ended third — but that won us our first Interclub flag in a long time.  All-in-all, a good day, despite the tear in the chute.

OVERALL: Well, thanks Venture and Andicapp not sailing the last two races we were actually in the hunt for third in the fleet overall.  We needed a 3rd on the last race to tie, and we needed a 2nd to have third to ourselves.  Well, we got our 3rd in the race and that tied us with Oud @ Sea with 26 points.  Their best finish was a 2nd and ours was 3rd, so the tie breaker went to them.  Still, we had a good series.   We learned a lot, we sailed fast (in the Dover triangle the speedo said our max speed was 10.2), no was hurt, and the boat held up well.

DELIVERY: Dave Hyland picked up Judy, so we had four going home.  We took a shower at the Buffalo Yacht Club summer station, then we left for home at about 6:30PM.  We motor-sailed the whole way home with Otto (the auto-tiller) driving.  We had a couple issues with a Crazy Otto or two, but the trip home was fast.  We arrived in bay by 5:30AM.

Full results here:

Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Interclub, Lake Erie Sailing, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

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