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Interclub Race 2 Recap 2012

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 30, 2012

Results:  5th in Fleet, 18th of 58 Overall.

Crew:  Kim, Mark, Rosemary

The race from Erie to Port Dover is one of the mainstays of the Interclub.  It always begins begins before 6AM and we almost always reach out the channel on the offshore from the night before.

THIS DAY BEGAN INAUSPICIOUSLY.  Shortly after I woke up, I found that the key to my car was missing.  I had it at 11:30 when I went to the marina the night before the race.  I went directly to bed on the boat.  When I got up in the morning I felt in my jeans pocket for the key (to let the crew in through the gate) and it was not there.  We looked for that key during every off moment of the series.  Yesterday and today, I took the entire boat apart, all the way down to the hull; I opened everything, I felt inside everything.  The key is not on the boat.  No one turned it in to the marina, so I can only think that it’s in the water under the boat.

So we left the slip and went to the starting area in the Bay.  When we went to raise the main, Kim took the main halyard forward and lost the clevis pin from the main shackle in the water.  Once again we never heard it drop.  So we cut the shackle off and tied the halyard to the head of the main (and we did that for the rest of the series).

We shook it off and had a good reaching start.  We raised the masthead chute under control and took off down the bay.  The chute performed well, and we were in the top three as we headed to the channel.  We passed one of the leaders, and were aimed at the number one boat when we slowed down.  Could have been a hole, but the speed dropped about a half-knot and the rudder was sluggish.  The other boats did not slow down and we dropped back.  Maybe we hit a seaweed patch?  It has happened before in the Bay and the channel.  In any case, we sailed on and continued fairly well.  The breeze held through the channel and a photographer, Brian Berchtold, on shore got a picture of us in the background while he was shooting a picture of the blue heron that landed at the channel as we were traversing (see below).

After leaving the channel we turned north and were  able to sail the course directly to Long Point (about 14 degrees) on a broad reach.  We sailed the high line on the course and several of the other boats in our fleet took the low side.  We were still sailing fast, and it took the big boats a long time to lap us, so we knew it was going to be a small boat day.  We love reaches with 10-15 knot winds.  But the other boats in our fleet were pulling away from us ever so slowly.

Then, about a quarter of the way out, it happened.  There was noise behind the stern.  When I looked out I saw us a trailing a balloon on a ribbon.  Yes, a blue balloon on a ribbon.  We held Mark as he leaned over the stern and pulled the balloon in.  And luckily, he was able to free the whole LONG ribbon from the rudder post.  There were two broken balloons also attached to the ribbon.  The balloons are imprinted from The Boardwalk Complex (in downtown Erie).

So here’s what we put together about this:  We now believe that we picked up three balloons and the ribbon in the bay when we slowed down.  They must have been trapped on the keel, so we never saw them.  It took several miles, but eventually two balloons broke, allowing the final balloon to slide backwards.  The clump of ribbon then got stuck on the rudder post, allowing the balloon to be seen trailing the boat like a sea anchor.  The balloons had clearly been slowing us down for the whole time.  Since the breeze was strong enough, our speed was not affected as noticeably as if it were light air.

Well, after we cleared the ribbon and balloon, we sailed on.  After that the other boats in our fleet stopped sailing away from us, however the damage had already been done.  We gave Long Point wide berth, as did everyone; we never saw less than about 50 feet of water as we rounded.  After rounding it was a close spinnaker reach and 15-mile drag race to the finish.  The actual elapsed time was 7 hours 54 minutes, which is about average for the race.  The race was 41.54 miles, so we averaged 5.25 knots over the course.  The number one boat in our fleet averaged 5.40 knots.

All-in-all, it was a great race.  We love a Reach-Reach-Reach race!  We finished well, despite the balloon.  And we can only imagine how much better we would have done without the balloon.  We certainly could have closed a little of the gap of 0.15 knots without that balloon.

We kept our sense of humor, and for the rest of the trip we joked about the clown in the hold who attached the balloons to the keel… 🙂

Red Herring in the Channel

We’re the red boat in the middle sailing through the channel. Picture credit: Brian Berchtold.

Balloon From The Rudder Post

Here’s the evidence: This is the balloon and ribbon that we found trailing behind the boat! Curse you, Evil Clown! (And patron of Boardwalk in Erie)

Posted in Hunter 27X, Interclub, Race Recaps, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Two Views Of Sailboat Racing

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 29, 2012

I’ll be posting recaps of the rest of the Interclub over the next couple days.  In the meantime, here are two views of sailing you might find enlightening:


In The Bay on the way to Port Dover.

A little before 6AM after the start of the Erie-to-Port-Dover race we were screaming down the bay watching the sunrise! Beautiful. 

On the delivery home!
After all the racing we faced a 12-hour overnight delivery. A completely different way to experience the sunrise.  Not-So-Beautiful. But, hey, were we still on a boat!

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

Interclub Day 1

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 23, 2012

Results 7th (of 12)

Not our kind of wind.  We were in postponement for 3 hours before we finally started in next-to-no wind.  We had a terrible start due to the fact that we couldn’t get close to the line prior to the start in the light, light air.  We struggled upwind from patch of 2kt wind to patch of 2kt wind.  The onshore (such as it was) finally started about 2/3 of the way up the two-mile leg.  By that time, the boats that were ahead stayed ahead, and the later fleets started in progressively more wind at their start (we were in the 2nd start of the day).

After rounding we were on a 60-degree close reach with the new chute.  That chute was doing well for us.  We passed two boats (one in our fleet) and closed on the next two boats in our fleet.  If the race had been longer at that point we would have moved up, but the race was shortened (appropriately) at the end of the first reaching leg.

After the race we cracked off to a beam reach and the we passed more boats in our fleet.  Bottom line:  hoping for more reaching tomorrow, and some air…

Thanks to in-port crew:  Andy, Kim, Mark, Rosemary.

Kim, Mark and Rosemary will head to Dover with us tomorrow.

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

A Nice Father’s Day 3rd Place

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 17, 2012

Gerry’s 8th Street Deli — Summer Sizzler #1

Results:  3rd Place    Crew:  Kim, Judy, Andy, Mark

Well, today’s race was supposed to be on the Lake instead of the Bay, kind of a warm-up for the Interclub.  At 9AM the wind was South at 10-15 with gusts to 20, but there was line of thunderstorms that had just passed Cleveland.  The race committee waited til 11AM and then decided on a shorter course in the bay.  So they setup a W-L-W-L-W race.  We started at 11:35.

There was only one start, so we had to start with the A Fleet, but we started close to the line with Double Black to leeward.  The wind at the start was moderate, but it was pretty fluky the whole way up the leg.  We suffered for a while in DB’s bad air and then got away.  Lady Jane started way at the back, but passed us on the first leg.  Our trim must have been off, because we were sailing slower.

We took our time getting the spinnaker set on the first downwind leg, and we used the fractional chute.  We did OK with that but Lady Jane still rounded ahead of us.  We had a bad takedown and were a little slow on the last reach to the mark.

We got the trim right on the second upwind and sailed well, and the breeze was building.

After rounding, we flew the new full-hoist chute.  We struggled a little while because we were near the south shore and the wind was lighter and swirly.  After we got away from the shore, the wind picked up and we were sailing in the 6’s.  We gybed and broad reached to the mark.  The breeze freshened by then and we were sailing in the 7’s.  Lady Jane started behind us and stayed behind us on the leg.

We had a decent takedown and sailed the final upwind leg.  By then we had the right trim solution and we put a lot of distance between us and Lady Jane.  It looked like their bigger jib may have been overpowering them.  We finished in 3rd place, four minutes ahead of Lady Jane.  And a good time was had by all.

We had a little difficulty on the way home.  After we started the engine, the Engine Temp light and buzzer went on.  We turned off the engine, wrested the main down and sailed on the jib, and hailed Lady Jane to standby in case we needed a tow.  I checked the oil — OK.  Then we turned the engine back on and I checked the muffler and I could feel water pumping.  The Temp light did not come back on, so we kept the engine on and motored home.  Maybe we picked up a little seaweed or something that clogged the water intake the first time (maybe even on that first leg), but there doesn’t seem to be a lasting problem.

I’ll watch it this week, because we leave the Interclub next weekend, and we will want the engine working!

BTW — the rain never came, the system broke up before it got here.

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

La Femme Regatta 2012

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 15, 2012

Results:  9th

The winds were NNW @ 4knots, so the race committee designed a 3 1/2 course.  Our crew of Skipper Kim, Judy, Rosemary and Patti sailed very well on the first two legs (we were probably in 5th or 6th place when we rounded the second mark), but the third leg dead downwind in a dying 4-knot breeze was just a killer.

We had a decent start on a port beat and tacked to Mark S, then we rounded and the wind shifted and we had a second upwind leg on the way to Mark O.  Still we were trimmed well, and Kim was sailing the tell-tales well.  After rounding everyone struggled.  We tried reaching first, and that worked for a couple minutes until we sailed into a hole.  So we went wing-n-wing, and that worked for a few minutes until we sailed into a hole.  So we reached again, and that worked for a couple minute.  And so it went.  Everyone’s ratings kicked in, and we slipped to 9th, beating only Wombat.

It was a beautiful night for sailing, and our crew sailed well.



Red Herring La Femme Crew (l-r) Rosemary, Patti, Judy, Kim

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

Fritts and Hanna Group JAM Series Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 11, 2012

Results:  Race 1 = Did not race (in Chicago for a conference); Race 2 = 3rd; Race 3 = DNF (dropped out to practice with the new chute in very light air — see below).  Series Finish = 5th.

Crew:  Andy, Mark, Rosemary

As noted above, I was in Chicago for a conference for Race 1 (and, in fact, that night I was at Navy Pier watching Chicago boats race on Lake Michigan).

Race 2 was a light air W/L 2x around.  We’ve been focusing on our starts this year, and we had an excellent start.  We started on the left side of the course, and that turned out to be somewhat favored, so we rounded the first windward mark in first place.  Downwind, everyone went wing-n-wing.  We held our own, but Lady Jane passed us by the time we reached the leeward mark.  We had another good upwind leg and rounded the windward mark in 3rd, and then everyone held their same places to the finish.  Overall, we had an excellent race despite the relatively light air.  — Oh, and did I mention that we just can’t keep floating winch handles on board?  Rosemary accidentally let go of one during the first race.  We watched behind us as we sped away.  Yep, it was floating!

We had another excellent start in race 3, but the other boats got smarter upwind and the grouping was much tighter at the windward mark.  We rounded in 3rd place.   The reasonably tight grouping continued downwind, but again we gave up a few seconds to the other boats, including Good Vices, who passed us on that leg.  We were at the back of the pack after rounding so we flipped to port and looked for better air.   By then, the winds were getting lighter and there were no favored tacks, so we rounded fifth.

After rounding the windward mark for the second time the winds were getting lighter, and we didn’t have a hope of increasing our position, so we dropped out in order to test out the brand new light-air-runner that just came last Friday (so again, don’t get used to us just retiring for no good reason).

We got the chute flying.  It looks a lot like the old chute but it’s taller and uses the masthead halyard.  We sailed downwind and tried to take pictures, but it’s hard to take a picture of a chute from the boat, so here’s our best shot.

Red Herring’s new Light Air Runner

We’ll just have to keep doing races until someone on another boat takes pictures of us.  Where’s Dave Fresch when you need him?  🙂

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

Spring Series 2 And Not 3

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 3, 2012

Results:  8th and DNS

There’s been a big red LOW sitting north of us for a couple days, and the wind has been blowing 15-25 for two days now.

The first race started in 15-20, with chop and rain.  We got stuck in the wrong place at the start and had to start on port.  Upwind we were seeing speeds of high 5’s and 6’s.  After rounding the windward mark we went wing ‘n wing.  We could have flown the chute but we opted to just sail comfortably.  Even without the chute we were doing high 6’s and low 7’s.  The breeze freshened for the second upwind and we had a lot of work avoiding rounding up, but we did well (putting Lady Jane far behind us).  I had planned on using the chute for the second downwind leg, but after rounding the breeze continued to freshen so we just winged it again.  We finished about where we deserved.  If we had used the spinnaker we probably would have moved up a couple places.

The second race promised to be more of the same so we opted out.   Normally we wouldn’t do that, after all we come to sail, so don’t think of this as a trend.  But there just didn’t seem to be enough reason to beat up the boat and crew for another couple hours today.  We went back to the dock and had sandwiches and Pringles with sprayed-on flavoring.  We will sail again another day!

Thanks to our breezy crew:  Andy, Kim, Judy, Mark, Rosemary

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

Another Light Air Spinnaker Night

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 1, 2012

Spring Series #1 Results:  5th

Wednesday night was another start-in-6-knots-and-end-in-dying-air night.  We had a good start on Outlaw’s stern.  Outlaw tacked to port after starting, so we stayed on starboard in more or less clear air.  We sailed the long leg first, staying in the middle.  Almost everyone else went in.  There was less wind in there — so when we all came together at the mark we were close enough to Outlaw and News to correct over them, and we were comfortably ahead of Lady Jane, Infinity and Ponemah.  We had a good rounding and pretty much matched Outlaw’s and News’ speed downwind (a rare treat).  We sailed well downwind, paying attention to angles and trim, and playing the puffs.

On the next upwind leg the others weren’t fooled again, so we all held our places.  After rounding the weather mark the second time the wind started dying and we entered a poor-get-poorer race.  Outlaw and News were closer to the finish, so we lost the time we had carved out, but we stayed ahead of Lady Jane.  Infinity and Ponemah ended up withdrawing, so once again the results don’t show how well we did.  But we did beat Lady Jane boat-to-boat.  And we corrected over three A-Fleet boats:  Element, Silver Wheel and Double Black.  So we’ll take it.

And did I mention that it was just another beautiful night for sailing, even if the lack of breeze was troubling?

Thanks to light-air, constantly trimming crew:  Judy, Kim, Andy, Mark.

Looks like a LOT of wind predicted for Sunday.

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

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