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Interclub Overall

Posted by AJ Miceli on June 28, 2013

I’ll try to do a full recap of the Lake Erie Interclub series for this year.  Here’s the Spoiler.

Race 1:  4th

Race 2: 4th

Race 3: 4th

Race 4: 7th

Race 5: 1st

Overall finish:  3rd of 9 in fleet (good enough for hardware!!!

Overall All Fleets:  26th of 52 boats (top half!)

Crew:  Mike O’Neill, Kim Yamma, Rosemary Briggs, Mark Platteter, Judy Tucci

 

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Posted in Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Interclub, Pictures, Results, Sailboat Racing, Yacht Racing | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Interclub 2012 Total Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 9, 2012

In the 5 races we finished: 7th, 5th, 7th, 6th, 4th (missed 3rd by 14 seconds!) out of 13.

In our Fleet Overall we finished 5th out of 13.

In the Overall races we finished: 49th (bad light air/no air day in Erie), 18th (to Dover, even with balloons on our rudder for a quarter of the race), 42nd (DNF in Dover Triangle in 25-30 knots of breeze), 23rd (drag race to Colborne) and 26th ( 20-mile windward/leeward to Abino with breeze).

In the Overall we finished 32nd out of 58.

The results don’t necessarily show how well we sailed!

Thanks to our stalwart crew of Kim, Mark, Rosemary and Chet for a great trip (and for the mushrooms at the Erie Beach Hotel).

 

Chet, AJ, Mark, Rosemary, Kim and T.H.E. Clown

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

Interclub 2012 Race 5 Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 8, 2012

Results:  4th in Fleet of 13; 26th of 46.

Crew:  Mark, Rosemary, Chet.

A little of everything, a very good race, and our best finish in our fleet.

Before we recap the race, let’s talk about the Clown (see below).   Look back at the recap of the Erie-Dover race and read about the balloons on our keel, and the jokes we made about having a clown in the hold.  Well, just before we left the dock in Colborne, I opened the curtain to the head to make sure that it was ready for the day.  When I did I was confronted with a huge Bozo doll sitting on the commode!  We had seen one of these the night before when we went to the ice cream store along the canal.  Well, someone — and I don’t know who — went and bought it, inflated it, and snuck in the boat sometime (probably with the help of my crew) and installed the clown in the head!  We had a great laugh, and took the clown with us.  I was a little worried that an actual clown on a boat was bad JuJu, but the race went very well — read on…

The race was basically a 20-mile windward-leeward course starting in Port Colborne, to the Seneca Shoals Buoy off Buffalo, and then back to a finish in Abino.

When we started, the mark was almost dead downwind.  We started on a reasonably fast, but broad, reach along the shore toward the shallows at Point Abino, while the others were able to go a little deeper (but still reaching) with their symmetrical chutes.   After a mile or so, we tried a new technique.  The winds were still light at about 6-7 knots, so we went wing-in-wing with the big chute.  It took a little effort to get the boat dialed in.  It was quite touchy, but Mark was able to get in rhythm and fly the chute freehand (the pole would be no help).  This is definitely the first time we’ve been successful with this technique, but it was worth it.  All of a sudden we were clearing the Point AND sailing reasonably fast directly to the mark!

We held that for about 3 miles until the wind built to about 10-15 and the wind went forward.  Then we able to gybe and close reach to the mark.  By then we were still with the leaders in our fleet.   We were sailing fast, and it took a while for the later fleets to overtake us.  As we neared the mark, it was harder to  hold the chute.  We decided to take down the chute about 10 minutes from the mark.  The wind was building, getting fluky, and we were in big-boat traffic.  The chute came down without a hitch, and we reached on white sails to the mark.  Could we have held it a little longer?  Yes, probably, but it really was getting fluky, and several of the other boats had trouble getting their chutes down.  I think we made the right call.

We arrived the leeward mark going fast and in traffic.  We made a wide rounding because Amazing Grace was coming up on us really fast, so we gave her room and then hardened up.  We were with a lot of boats in our fleet.  The two ketches were near us (and winning) because of the long fast reach downwind.

After rounding we looked upwind, and the course was skewed enough that it was going to be one 10-mile upwind port beat to the finish.  By now the wind had freshened and we were able to dial the boat in tightly and point with the rest of our fleet, and much higher than the ketches.  On this leg, the skies grew overcast and a little bit of drizzle moved in.  The waves built to 2-4 so we also had a little spray from time t0 time.  Mark played the main traveler the whole time and we sailed very well upwind in the conditions.

We finished fourth in the fleet, missing 3rd place by only 14 seconds!  The ketches had to fall off and make two tacks to finish so they were not an issue in this race.

Overall, a nice way to finish.  The skies cleared again after the race.  We motored over and picked up a keg at the Buffalo Canoe Club for the awards ceremony.  And, yes, we took the clown with us on the launch to the boathouse!  🙂

Someone left this clown in the head overnight!

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

Interclub 2012 Race 4 Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 4, 2012

Results:  6th of 13 in Fleet; 23rd of 49 in Overall.

Crew:  Rosemary, Mark, Chet

This was another race that was made for us:  Reach-Reach-Broad Reach.  The marks of this course are primarily shoal markers that are to be left to port, mainly to keep us off the rocks and the shallows.

We had a good start in about 8 knots of breeze on a port reach to the first mark with the light air chute.  We sailed well, and when we got to the mark   the top four boats, including us were literally in a row with about 3 hull widths of separation.  We were feeling good about the race.

After rounding, we all came up to a close reach and we were able to carry the chute, and we took off like a shot on that tack and put about a tenth of a mile between us and the other three leaders.  Two of them stayed in shore and we and “white Venture” went out a little.  Every year there’s a post-race discussion about who went “in” and who went “out” and which was better.  We felt good being a little further out (maybe a quarter mile high of the rhumb line) where we still sailing faster than the others.  About two-thirds of the way to Colborne, Dreamer passed us on the high side.

Then it happened:  about ten minutes later it looked like Dreamer had stopped dead in the water and we caught up with them.  Then about five minutes later we sailed into a deadly hole and our speed instantly dropped from about 6 1/2 knots to 1 knot!  Powderhound was near us and hit the same hole, “white Venture” too.  Eventually, the breeze came back and we were sailing at good speeds again.  This happened at least two more times to us.  Each time, the wind that came back moved a little more forward, until it was really hard to hold the chute.   After the third time we dropped the chute and came up to a close reach to get a little closer to shore.

By the time we got to the point near Colborne all of our fleet was at the back in sight of each other and the air was full of holes.  At one point the breeze came back so we hoisted the chute again, sailed for about five minutes really fast and then right back into a dead hole.  We dropped the chute again, and that’s when the plane taking pictures buzzed us.  Of course our chute was down, and our white sails were limp — so we won’t be buying that picture.

Shortly after the plane left the wind did a 180 and came back strong from the starboard side, so we hoisted the chute, gybed and sailed fast for the rest of the race.  The wind kept building and there was one more turning mark just this side of the finish.  We rounded the mark and took down the chute rather than trying to gybe in it the now heavy air and lumpy seas.  We sailed the final quarter mile wing-in-wing to the finish.  Actually, that wasn’t such a bad idea.  The finish was in shallow water that good shallower if you didn’t take a right shortly after finishing.  A few of the boats got into some pretty sticky trouble trying to get their chutes down and heading fast toward the shallows.

As you see from the results above, those holes did hurt us, but the real winners were the two ketches anyway, because they close reaching all day with a lot of canvas.  After the race, we talked to the others who went “in” and everyone said there were holes everywhere, so there probably wasn’t a favored side of the course this year.

It stayed breezy as we sailed on to get to Sugarloaf Marina, and we dropped our main in nice flat waters of the protected part of the entrance, just west of the Welland entrance.

All-in-all, another good day of sailing.  I know the results don’t really show it, but we sailed very well, and it really was anybody’s race depending on how many holes you hit.

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

Interclub 2012 Race 3 Recap

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 1, 2012

Results:  DNF

Crew:  Kim, Mark Rosemary

The “Dover Triangle” is traditionally a triangle.  Not this year.  The wind was from the north at 15-20, so we had a downwind start from ED2 to Mark E.  Then we turned left and sailed to Mark D on a reach.  Then we gybed and aimed for Mark C, which was the Bluff Bar Buoy.  Then we rounded and were looking at a 10 mile upwind leg back to ED2.

Well, let’s make a long story short.  We reefed and sailed.  The first two legs went off well.  A downwind leg in 15-20 doesn’t hurt; and, of course, a close reach isn’t bad for us either.

The first problem came on the dead downwind leg to Bluff Bar.  The wind had built to 20-30 by then and the waves were four feet and bigger rollers.  Most of the fleet flew their chutes and went deep downwind fast.  We didn’t.  We tried reaching on white sails.  Eventually we were at the back of the full fleet, and next to a few boats from our fleet.  We were neck-and-neck with “white Venture.”  About halfway down the leg we decided that it wasn’t working so we hoisted the fractional chute.  Then we were sailing fast — very fast.  At one point we saw 11.7 knots down the face of a wave (that’s a record for the boat that we will probably never break).  Yes, we were going fast, but we still couldn’t sail as deep as the rest of the fleet, so we ended up going real fast too far away from the mark.  As we approached the layline we still had to drop the chute and sail about 3/4 of a mile on white sails to the mark.  At that point we gave up any gains we made in speed.  “white Venture” rounded ahead us…  But we get man-points for even carrying the spinnaker in that breeze at all!

We rounded the Bluff Bar Buoy about 2PM.  The GPS said that ED2 was 10 miles dead upwind.  The race had a 5PM time limit because of the 7PM start for the Fish Fry.  We sailed upwind for a little while on starboard and could only do 5 knots in those waves.  We flipped to port to see if we could go faster by taking the waves in a different direction, but it was about the same.  The GPS said that even if we could keep this up we would still miss the deadline by at least 15 minutes.  So we started the engine and motor-sailed back.  Even that took about 2 hours and 40 minutes because we still couldn’t go dead into those waves.

Well, now that I think back on it I still think we made the right decision.  As it turns out, only 5 boats in our fleet made it.  The others struggled mightily upwind but still couldn’t make the time limit.  So, the fact that we got back to the tugboat basin by about 5PM gave us the opportunity to take a shower before dinner.  Worth it!  The course that day was just too long for the small boats.  We would have been better off doing a triangle in the north half of Long Point Bay, rather the polygonal course that was set, and that left us 10 miles upwind for the last leg.

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

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 »

Interclub 2nd Place Fleet Finish

Posted by AJ Miceli on July 22, 2010

It would be hard to say that this year’s Interclub series was our best ever.  Each Interclub has something memorable for the crew and me.  That being said, this year’s most important outcome was our overall finish.  We sailed well enough, and hung in long enough, to finish 2nd in our fleet.  That is our best Interclub overall ever!

Here are a couple pix the celebrate our finish!

[Full recap still coming…  Really…]

2010 Interclub Crew

Steve Yount, AJ Miceli, Kim Yamma, Judy Tucci, Anne Hartley2nd Place Overall -- Hardware!!

Interclub 2nd Place Trophy

2nd Place Fleet Overall Finish -- Hardware!!

 

Posted in 27X, Crew News and Activities, Hunter 27X, Interclub, 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 »

 
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