Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 28 and 29, 2009 THE END OF MARCH - and what a weekend for Laser sailors— but not many of us.
Three on Saturday. Sam was going to go out to keep the numbers up, but by the time that he had gotten the RC off, the big gust of wind came from the south when Scott was trying to get his MC off the dock with a great flapping and crackling of sails and stuff —Sam just said to himself, "we don’t want a nutty old guy out in this" and he just got the binoculars out to watch.
Alejandro Illera had the radial rig, Rob Krentel had a full and Craig Yates was out with the full rig. Alejandro is staying with Rob or ahead of him and sailing up wind with his board up about 10 to 12 inches. (I am making this estimate from about ½ mile away.) We have been sailing full rigs on windy up winds with 3 to 4 inches of board up. Alejandro is smiling and saying , "It was working!"
Craig was going a little slower, more heel and more rock and roll with the gusts. From a ½ mile away I think he should have supper vang with the boom out a little more and sailing a little deeper. This will let him sail flatter and faster with the same amount of hiking. Then if it turns into "survival" get the vang off and let the top of the sail luff as much as it needs to.
The high school "whirl wind sailors" came late. They made it out for the third race which turned out to be the last race. In that race Bart Eckhart and Jonathan Watson got to beat "hot shot commodore" Ben Getchel and Seth Bahr who usually beats them in the 420s.
Conner Kechriotis got his Laser rigged with the 4.7 and looked pretty good going out. He got caught is the big wind that come in before he was able to get into any of the racing.
Then when it was sure all the racing was over the Laser RC couldn’t get anchor up. Craig turned his boat down and got on the RC boat got the anchor up and ended up towing Conner’s boat back in on its side. Various other MCs and things were out sailing and some getting into trouble. I remember these things better on Saturday than on Tuesday (this day of writing).
The big boat PRO called their part off . I think we had other boats over and exciting sailing back into the club and coming into or crashing into the dock. Jon Pomerleau and his MC was swamped and towed in about the same time we were getting Conner back in.
Charlie Jensen arrived late and missed all the fun but he sailed a Full rig in the afternoon just for some blasting around. He reported that it was Glenda Libby weather– what she would love.
Rob got the sailboard going.
Craig had the 420 sailors out and the Optis were sailing– beginners class! Congratulations folks.
SUNDAY the wind had shifted to the west with a few white caps and with predicted thunderstorms. I had trouble getting any action and finally put the marks out — and, Oh Boy, we now had some waves, yes little waves, but 18 inches plus and minus.– enough to work up wind and down wind. Rob came but wanted to go home and sail later, but Alejandro showed up and shamed him into it. With begging we got the RC out in the boat. Alejandro with the Radial and Rob with the Full and Sam dug up a 4.7 to see if he could sail it up to its rating– more on that later.
Alejandro and Rob continued to trade places and occasionally Sam would be close enough at the windward mark (we were sailing triangles) but lose it on the reaches. I had sailed the 4.7 in light wind and heavy, but not in races before and it was clumsy for me. The radial sails pretty much like the full, but the 4.7 has lower boom and a lot different feel, at least for me on Sunday. It got better– more about that.
Luke Yates and Coach Jennifer Burno came out with 4.7 rigs for the last two races. Coach Jenn brought Faith and Natalie out with her on the Laser 4.7. "Family racing" and they beat Sam in the last race.
Luke really sailed well. He went by me nicely on the reaches and could hold on going up wind.
The waves. Some were big enough to work (up the upside and down the down side) but most were just sure you have the "bow down" (sailing fast) to power through. When they get bigger, sometimes you want to let the boat heel more so the solid water that comes over the bow mostly rolls off to leeward and not back to fill the cockpit. Going down wind we were able to get some waves under the stern and a good rush out of the bigger waves. That is mostly looking for the deep spots in front and heading into them, followed by a turn down the side if it is more than one little hump. Try and stay riding down it until you get to the end.
We had some rain that come through about 11 AM and maybe that was what put the other racers off. I think everyone was already pretty wet and didn’t care.
We kept asking"You want to sail another race?" until we had 7 races in and the RC was all done with us.
Sam was unhappy with how the tacks felt and the last two gybes at the leeward mark had caught the transom and brought lots of havoc, so he strayed out practicing tacks and gybes. Jennifer without the family and Luke came back and wanted to race more – so we just went around the marks a few more times and they continued to beat up on me.
Rob was sailing with his friend and the Sunfish and then with his friend on the Laser.
Overall for the weekend we had 10 races and Rob finished first most of the time, but when we did corrected time Alejandro was first most. Sam never got near on corrected time nor did the other 4.7s. Maybe if I get excel spread sheet I can send the data out or at least put it up on the bulletin board.
It was a weekend– FUN TO SAIL OR TO WATCH....

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Well if you missed sailing on Saturday or Sunday, you missed the whole bag. We had everything going. Light winds, big gusts, big holes, 180degree shifts, sailing from patch to patch and sailing right through some of the glassy spots.
We had four races on Saturday and six races on Sunday. Now the big news is I was counting the sixth race on Sunday—Listed on the Official Score sheet as the "FUN RACE"– Well Patrick Daniel got a second in that race and that had he and Charlie Jensen tied for third place for the day. Both had one second, two thirds, two fifths, and one sixth. We beak the ties then on the last race. Patrick had his second and Charlie had a 6. That wasn’t the end of it. The RC claims it was an extra FUN RACE and so labeled it. When Sam went out of his way to cross the finish line with out going to the leeward mark ( which was now the weather mark because of the wind shift) Charlie followed him. Gosh, because Sam is old and stupid is no excuse for Charlie.. THE RESULT is because I don’t want to cook and clean at home, the sixth race is dropped. Charlie Jensen is replaced in third place – remember he is the LASER CLASS FOUNDING MEMBER at the LESC.– AND ALL of you know that while Patrick is 4th, he did get a SECOND.
Alejandro Illera mopped up on the weekend with four or five firsts on Sunday depending on how you count, but Rob Krentel got him by one point on Saturday. Rob had two bullets and Alej only had one.
Pearce Pomerleau was our first and only youth racing regularly with us. I want you to know that he was the first around the weather mark on Saturdays third race, but let Sam and Alejandro go hard by the lee and get into a wind streak down the right side of the course (looking up wind) and Pearce ended up with a third – but a good race and if you feel bad about that, wait till I tell you about Sam’s capsize on Sunday.

The Frenchman is surely charging. All the internationals know that the Dutch started the yachting thing but the French are the leading sailors of the world and on Sunday Marc Solal got a second in the fourth race and tied with Craig Yates for 6th place (Last). That second broke the tie in Marc’s favor and he was fifth, not last place. Not our favorite sailor anymore. Just one of the Frenchmen climbing the ladder to superiority.
Marc and Craig were just one point behind Patrick. Nice close racing in the middle of the fleet.
Craig Yates had a full weekend of sailing and racing. Saturday morning he sailed in the 420 with Conner Kechriotis to second place and in the afternoon coached the high school 420 crews, then Sunday morning when he didn’t get a spot on an MC, he sailed a laser with us. In the afternoon crewed with Francois Simon (another of those devilish Frenchmen) on his Flying Scot– second again. Craig claims that the Kiwis are the best sailors and what we need is a Laser distance race like the Lasers have "down under". Maybe we have that in the works.
The 420s sailed with us Saturday morning and Ben Getchell and Seth Bahr were first, Conner Kechriotis and Craig were second and Bart Eckhart and Jonathan Watson were third. I can’t report much about them as I was busy watching for puffs on the water and trying to keep the boat moving, sitting forward in the light stuff and then back and flat for the puffs. Not a day for a lazy sailor.
Those high school guys and gals are welcome to sail with us on Sunday. We may need to solve the 420 problem, but the Lasers are usually free. I will try to telephone to get the message out. E-mail is wonderful, but we are not sure who reads and what they understand if they read.
Our Race committee was our regular Joan Bryant on both days and Mary Jensen and Caitlin Jensen (granddaughter) filled in while Marjorie took a day off after a few days in the hospital with a little pneumonia /bronchitis thing that she did instead of visiting her friends in Key West. So the Key West thing is put off till later. Well, Marjorie was back on Sunday full of Vim, Vigor, antibiotics and steroids. Thanks, thanks- if it wasn’t for RC, we would be taking turns or doing rabbit starts and really arguing about the finishes.
SOME OBSERVATIONS about what we can do better.
Coming into the windward mark. You are not quite there and need and double tack to make it, but another starboard boat is just above you and on the lay line. Be conservative, take a deep duck to leeward and tack to clear the starboarders transom or gybe around to port tack and go behind him. You have the next two legs at least to catch him. Do the Alejandro thing or at least sail fast and wait for him (or her ) to make a mistake.
Another windward mark thing, it you are trading tacks with someone coming up to the mark, stay to the right of your competitor so on the last crossing you will have starboard and that should be worth at least one boat length.
On the run into the leeward mark, if the last wind shift was from the left (looking downwind) then after the rounding, tack onto starboard as soon as you are clear of down wind sailors coming into the mark. Yes, I know you will have right of way as the close hauled starboard tack boat, but collisions are very slow. If the last shift is from the right (looking downwind) then stay on port tack until things get sorted out.
NOTE- Sam says it is easier to get a second place if Rob Krentel has to work on Sunday. Thanks, Rob, we love you.
Keep track of the upwind end of the starting line. If you get too far to the right (looking upwind) then it is hard to get back to the pin end if the wind shifts left. Use the three minutes– Time the line, get a range and check for the favored end. I think this is a repeat, but it seems we need it.
Then I promised about Sam’s Sunday capsize. It was in the fourth race at the gybe mark with the biggest blast of the day surrounding the mark and Marc Solal right in front of Sam. Marc gybed around the mark and Sam figured he had room to gybe and go above Marc. Sam was concentrating on getting turned enough to get above Marc and caught the sheet on the transom. Now the sail is trimmed in. Drop the sheet and it doesn’t go out. The boom end goes in the water. Sam is looking over the high side at the centerboard and still thinking he might come out of this. Then the sail is in the water, and now he climbs over to stands on the centerboard and we will be right back in the race, but when the boat comes up, he has tacked through the wind and the whole thing blows over on top of him. Now get around and pull on the centerboard climb in the boat– he is heading the wrong direction. Nice sixth place. Glad we didn’t have 20 boats or it would have been a 20. Thank goodness for the warm weather! Did anyone say boat handling was important or it needed practice?
If you can’t figure this stuff out, e-mail me the question, and maybe we can get some diagrams or something simple. This part of the message will go in the how to sail the laser blog at howtosailthelasser.blogspot.com so you can look at it again with all the other junk there.
Stu Einhorn came by to talk about sailing lesson but he is an old Sunfish sailor so Sam stole him and sent him out his Laser Sunday afternoon. He did fine and we have him on our e-mail list. We are still looking for more Laser sailors and with the evening hours and warm weather it is time to get them sailing. Call Sam if you need help.
Monday the Wayfarer fleet painted a great number of mooring buoys with the International horizontal blue stripe on the white buoy AND THE PERMIT NUMBER so any international traveler will be able to identify those little white and blue things on the water . The State of Florida Department of Buoys will also be happy and we have the Wayfarer fleet to thank for that. Thanks guys and gals.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Lasers finished up February with 12 boats and eight races. Randy Rea and the two Erics came over from Crystal River and brought the brisk winds with them. Dave and Caroline Chapin came from Winter springs and between Randy and Dave took all the first places, but Randy got six of the eight.
Rob Krentel set up a triangle course so he could have windy reaches, and he made good use of the increased winds.
Alejandro Illera dropped out of his usual first place. Maybe it was a day for his radial?
Craig Yates was next in line. He was really proud of his third place in the third race. This is probably the time that he finds out that Darcy Jensen, sailing the 4.7 to fourth place, bumped him out of third when we did corrected times.. Sorry Craig, but you crossed the line third.
Charlie Jensen got a second in the second race and then the fatigue factor set in. He ran 5s and 6s. Charlie, that is what happens to Grandfathers. Charles sailed Friday night, 5 to 6, off Ferran Park so we could show George Fest Visitors what a sailboat looked like. Then he sat with us latter and on Saturday to help look for more sailors.
Caroline and Dave Chapin came a little late and missed the first race. Remember that, if you are a little late just keep coming and join in with the races when you get here.
David then added to the excitement in the second race by braking his upper mast with a big bang followed by a top mast paddling demonstration back toward shore (you just use it like a double paddle– after you get it out of the sail.) Actually the Laser race committee radioed for a tow for him. The regular race safety boat helped him in so he was able to get ashore, another mast section and out for the last five official races. After the races stopped at noon, three boat stayed out for rabbit start races.
Next was Darcy Jensen from your high school program sailing the 4.7. Her corrected time in the third race put her in third place and bumped Coach Craig back to fourth. She moved ahead in a couple of other races also. Great job Darcy. First youth and woman.
Then we had the Erics, Sr. And Jr., Sr. Ahead mostly on the basis of a fourth place in the first race and then they were trading places after that.
Marc Solal had a 6th place in that famous third race. Keep those coming Marc.
Pearce Pomerleau and Caroline Chapin were the radial team and were still over powdered. They went in after the third race. Pearce was beating people and Caroline was bring up the rear. She got some sailing in later in the day with a 4.7. Yes, it is hard to pick the right sail when the wind can shift all over the place.
Sam Montondo and Marjorie Chapin did the Race Committee. Thank, you RC. And they brought the committee boat to Sam down at Ferran Park. We used it to set the Laser marks for the Canoe Racing. Maybe you didn’t know that LESC is into Canoe racing. We love it all.
The big hit at the park was Coach Jennifer’s "Fleet Capsize" twenty feet from the shore. Seven Opti capsized, then righted, swamped, crew up bailing water out to see who is up going first. The shore was lined with spectators. And it was obvious the kids were having a good time! Nothing like a big disaster to draw attention. Lute Yates was a big capsizer in the morning and did the same thing with the 420 just before the Canoe race in the afternoon.
Sam spent Friday evening and most of Saturday at Ferran Park. Friday evening really spectacular fireworks shot from three barges on the lake. The fanciest I have ever seen and that is a lot of years watching. A tribute to Evelyn and Johnnie Smith’s grandson that died this year. The rest of the time talking to sailors and would be sailors. Well, sometimes just sitting. Thanks to Marjorie C., June Howells, Candi Robb, Charlie Jensen, Jane and Dave Hepting, and Aggie and Carleton Brown whole helped hold the chairs down and chase after tourists that might be interested in sailing.
And THANKS to Vera who keeps reading this junk.