I think the question from last Wednesday’s race is do you like it wet or very wet? I was looking at some of the facebook comments from the race and someone said “once you put your foulies on and were in the race you didn’t notice the rain”. I would say that was true unless you were on a J-24 and then you had the continuous drip from the back of the boom on your lap.
Hurricane Sally was passing us to the north and gave us some cooler temps and very nice wind. Though they predicted some heavy winds, fortunately we had a nice 10 mph breeze from the east giving us some very interesting shifts and rain all evening, but fortunately not heavy enough to impede our progress around the race course.
A big thanks to Warren Collier, Ted Phillips and Will Brown for braving the elements and providing a great race. I was not surprised that there were 5 boats from the competitive High PHRF fleet. And the winner of this race was the J-22 helmed by Kyle Meyhoefer.
Despite the weather conditions you can’t keep a new addition to our racing passion at home. One of our new contestants in the Cruiser fleet was Missy Jaeger in the Hunter 386 and Spencer Gay in his new Hunter 34. The Low PHRF fleet had a new addition with the J-88 sailed by Mike Stewart and Mike Wroblewski and in the Mid PHRF fleet we had the X95 (Seniorita X) sailed by Juergen Haeberle. Queen Bee, a Beneteau 386, sailed by Rene Ward was the new boat in the High PHRF fleet.
We have 5 more races in this series and a reminder that the start of the Cruiser fleet is 6:15 and the rest of the fleets start after 6:30pm.
Upcoming weekend races are Sunday, Sept. 27 will be LARC #2 and Oct. 3-4, will be the Barefoot Open.
Look forward to seeing you on the race course, Dana
Find your sailing muse
Wow, we managed to complete 6 races out of the 10 scheduled. It has been quite a summer, weather wise. We had our ups and downs, but we persevered. RC went out and did the best job possible and sometimes we got lucky and often we did not, but fortunately none of our RC made us suffer. Occasionally the wind quit in the middle of the race, but RC always found a way finish the race and relieve our suffering.
This last race cemented Kirk Jockell’s place in the cruiser fleet with 5 first place finishes, while David Wright and Kurt Schurenberg battled it out in the last race with David finishing 8 seconds in front of Kurt securing 2nd place in the series.
It was a top dog battle in the Melges 24 fleet, going into this last race Matt Perry and Lenkeit/Morang were tied. Brent McKenzie made a great showing by winning this last race but it wasn’t enough to beat Matt Perry for Top Dog status.
Did everyone see the American Beauty sitting on the stern of Renegade, I bet you that was Jeff’s muse. The Low PHRF fleet was another fleet that the winner of the last race would take the series. It was a tight battle between Jeff Freeman, John McCarthy and Mike Macleod with Freeman and his muse taking the top spot.
This last race of the Mid PHRF fleet was a battle of the Websters. If you look at the scores they almost always finish next to each other, you can tell they both have amazing skills. But in the end the person that won the series was the only person with 2 first places finishes, Jim Kingery. A very tough fleet and growing with the addition of Walter Addison, David Jackson and Jean-Francois Rivard in their boats.
The biggest fleet was the High PHRF fleet with 13 boats. In a fleet this large, you want to win the race but usually sections of the fleet end up competing against those in your competitive group. If you watched a race, you know the obvious winner was Jonathan Stewart/Bill Quinn on Bill the Cat with 4 first place finishes. The rest of us felt like we were chasing him all the time (at least I did). Then came the next group which were the four J-24’s that battled it out each week with Mike Stewart (the Red Baron) floating to the top of the J’s and winning a 2nd place in the series and his protagonist, She-Devil, landed in 3rd place. But the boat to look out for was Doug Britton and his crew on High Voltage, they made a spectacular showing by winning this last race. This fleet had quite a few new members this year in Beisner/Postel and Kyle Meyhoefer in J-22’s, Jim Rapp in the Colgate 26 and Robert Beauchamp in the Harmony 22, Gemini Cricket.
The participation in this series was phenomemal with 39 boats competing on a weekly basis. This is the most participation of any event all year with any type of boat. This is also a tribute to the many people that make this work, but especially the boats and their crews that volunteer to forego racing their boat to provide the excellent race committee each week, often a thankless job but always done with competence. I would also like to commend the officers of the fleet that are behind the scenes making the organization of this usually 20 week event possible. John McCarthy who is on the phone each week lining up competent RC, Randy Phillips who keeps us organized and makes sure we have all the tools we need to run this many races, Gary Umberger who behind the scenes keeps us financially solvent, Warren Collier our diplomatic leader and David Wright who has been instrumental in increasing the Cruiser fleet participation. This is definitely a team effort and impossible for one person to do.
As the summer winds down, we will begin the next set of Wednesday night races. On Sept 16, we will begin the last round of Wednesday night races, the Encore series. This will be the first of the 6 races of the Encore series. Cruiser start will be at 6:15 with all other fleets starting after 6:30.
Congratulations to all participants for your effort and I will see you on the race course, Dana
Randy Phillips and his team certainly pulled the rabbit out of the hat this race. It has been exciting having completed our 5th race of this series with only one more race to go. This has been such a popular series, I noticed we had guests out there tonight. I saw Jim Chambers in his new boat, Wind Spinner, haunting the race course while Rene Ward in his boat Queen Bee along with a Viper that followed us around the race course.
We had some good racing this night which will affect the overall standings. In the Cruiser fleet Sails Call has sailed into the second position overall, while in the High PHRF fleet, the Pussy boat (Bill the Cat) continues in first while his father “the Red Baron” is solidly in second with She-Devil pushing him hard.
The Mid PHRF fleet has one of the closest races with the battle between Your Move and Perpetual Motion who are tied for the second position. But this last race of this series will most affect the Low PHRF fleet because Iniki, Renegade and Wave Bye SR are all less than one point away from each other. This last race should be a lot of fun to watch.
The Melges 24 fleet in their usual fashion have a tie for first between Fellowship and Rapscallion and then another tie for third between Ex-Kahn and Lamorak.
This last race should be an exciting evening.
Just a reminder of upcoming events. The Encore series will begin on Sept 16 and the first race of the Fall LARC series will be this Sunday, Sept 13.
Good luck to everyone, Dana
A Melges 24 kind of night
Congratulations to all the Melges 24’s that made it all the way to the short finish at “A “of this 8th race date of the second series. Fortunately, none of the rest of us had to drift our way through light and lighter air to make our way to A and back to X.
A big thanks to race committee of Mike and Davis Macleod, Brad Buster, Chris Hoffman and Wheeler Sutton, who put a valiant effort in starting a race and then recognizing that it was a futile attempt and abandoned the race for all fleets except those swift Melges 24.
Two more races to go until the end of series 2. The Encore series will begin the next week which will start a half hour earlier.
I am putting some extra quarters in the wind bank to see if we can have some decent wind for our next 2 attempts for a race. Good luck to everyone, Dana
The Accompanying Lighting
To abandon a race, is as disappointing to the race committee as it is to all those that made the mad dash from their job to the lake for a little relaxation called racing! There are many reasons to abandon a race, but RC on this night was extremely justified in their decision. RC could have ignored the bands of rain that came through while we diehards were on our way to X mark, but they could not ignore the accompanying lighting strikes in Cumming. I thought John McCarthy and crew (Randy Baker, Ken Blankenship, Doug Early, Ann Early, William Ruland and Tim Thompson) did an excellent job of assessing the situation and making the appropriate call for this evening.
Of the seven times we have ventured out to the race course, we have only been able to complete four races. We now have only have 3 more races before the end of this second series. As we put on our rain jackets heading to the race course, I was noting what other boats had braved the rain and weather on the chance that there would be a race. Obviously these were the boats that were in contention for one of the top spots in their fleet or they were the CRAZY ones (like us).
What was impressive was there were more boats in the Melges 24 fleet that went out, than any other fleet. That tells me that this fleet is a bunch extreme sailing enthusiasts or one of the most competitive bunch of people we have on the lake.
Just a reminder that the Encore Wed night series begins on Sept. 16, the Wed immediately following Race 10 of Series 2. Please notify Randy Phillips (firstname.lastname@example.org) or myself of your intent to join us in the Encore series asap so that fleet splits can be determined.
More information on upcoming events of the Fall calendar coming soon.
Looking forward to more wind and less lightning next week, Dana
Dana Stewart 404/849-1809
A gift for Poseidon
I had an interesting view from the Race Committee barge last Wed. While I was praying the wind would appear as I reluctantly set the anchor, I had a different perspective of the pre-race ritual that occurs before a race. To have 30 boats sailing around you was like having a swarm of bees circling the barge. I am sure they all had their best mind reader on the boat, trying to figure out what I was planning on doing. Of course what was going through my mind was “I don’t want to start a race in this!!” Jonathan’s rule of thumb, “3 knots for 3 minutes” kept running through my mind, but I was willing to compromise if SOMETHING came up. I kept looking at the wind anemometer on the barge and it continued to read 0.00. But then Doug Early dug into his pocket and found a SILVER DOLLAR and threw it into the lake. Like magic, wind conditions changed, we (Doug) hauled up the anchor for the second time and off we went to X. Now the sailors are no longer a swarm of bees, but a very sweet bunch of sheep following me around the lake, hoping for better conditions.
A big thanks to Doug Early for pulling up the barge anchor 3 times with no complaint and his helpers Heather Tempske, Terra Bowers and Annie Early. My wind finders and chase boat operators, Brian Clark and Brad Bowers, cruised the course looking for good photos/videos and for anyone that needed help. Speaking of video, they captured many of the boats rounding D mark but my favorite is where Hawkeye deftly rounds the windward mark in front of Bill the Cat (go J-24).
Fleet 4 made no trouble this night, they (as well as everybody else) were extremely happy with the wind conditions, just in time for the first fleet to start. The Cat managed to squeeze by the Red Baron by 3 corrected seconds and taking a first. But the best performance was by Kyle and his merry gang of GT’ers on the J-22 #533 as they finished 3rd over the line and corrected.
Fleet 3, Mid PHRF have had quite a series with Big Red (Your Move) and Perpetual Motion (after having to forego last week’s race because of inability to get his boat out of the marina), managed to place first and second in this race.
While Renegade beat the Hurricane by 33 seconds in the Low PHRF fleet, it was not enough to win this race. Unfortunately, Wave Bye SR had to retire because of main halyard failure. The Melges 24 fleet, had some improved performances this week when Rapscallion took the top spot while Fellowship and Hermes sailed into 2nd and 3rd place. Once again, no Melges 24 has won more than 1 race so far in this series. That is impressive competition.
The cruiser fleet survived the rounding of D mark with Caribbean Soul getting the gun at the finish, but Tween’r corrected to win his 3rd race of the series.
Answer to Rule Question 1, posted on the LLSC Keelboat facebook page.
The Answer to Rule Question 2, will also be posted on facebook.
We started Question 2 with 2 boats on the same tack, heading for starting line. The J24 was clear ahead and the Wv24 was clear astern.
Question 3: Both boats are still on the same tack, but now the J24 becomes overlapped to leeward by the Wv24. Rule 12 was in play while there was no overlap, but now there is an overlap, what rule or rules gives the Wv24 right of way?
Thanks to everyone who has done Race Committee work and I look forward to seeing everyone from the cockpit of my boat, Dana
After the Tornado
What a way to start the week, we were hit by a “tornado” or massive winds that swept eastern part of the lake. I think Aqualand took the biggest hit but LLSC and Holiday Marina also had some damage. We all banded together to help our dock neighbors and friends and managed to get most of the boats out for the race. Unfortunately, our friends on Snowfox and Breakaway suffered the most damage at Aqualand and because of the shifting of several Aqualand docks several boats were prevented from participating in the race. But as always, through pandemic and extreme weather, we carry on.
The Cruiser fleet had a new winner this week in David Wright on Sails Call after their fleet was postponed (due to lack of wind), they moved to the back of the starting order. The Melges 24 fleet once again proved they were competitive spirit by earning a general recall and were also sent to the back of the starting order. But once started, Davis Macleod swam to the 2nd place spot in this race.
In fleet 2, Mike Macleod and John McCarthy are battling for control of their fleet and Mike (with his new top batten) came out on top this night. We had a new winner in the Mid PHRF fleet when Stefan Schulze finished close enough to correct to first place, but it is amazing that the first FOUR boats in their fleet finished within a sixteen (16) second period of time. Good thing RC were on their toes this night.
There was some trouble determining whether there was an individual recall for the troublemaker fleet (fleet 4), but a request for redress ended up exonerating those boats. Tom Graham and Mark Turner managed to squeeze in between the Stewart sandwich which had dominated the fleet and sailed to 3rd place.
The racing rules questions for this week is:
“What are the rules for 2 boats on the same tack at the starting line?”
Let’s look at this example and determine who is right?
A J-24 is approaching the starting line as the windward boat on starboard and a Wv-24 is accelerating to leeward of the J-24 also on starboard. As the Wv24 approaches the J-24 to leeward, he begins hailing the J-24 “go up, don’t come down”. If the J-24 clear ahead, then what is her response or responsibilities at that time? Will it change when the Wv24 achieves overlap?
The answers to this and last week’s question will be on the LLSC Keelboat facebook page.
See you on the racecourse, Dana
This was a tough night to set a course, there are a few wind directions that make it hard to set a “true” windward-leeward course and the southerly wind is one of them. Thanks to Race Committee, Chris Jackson, Warren Collier, Leigh Ann Collier, Connor Flanagan, Will Brown, Chris Lewis, Greg Manning and Kyle and Liz Stadele for all their effort.
With 2 races under our belt and one pseudo hurricane/tornado on the books, this has been an exciting season so far. With the many different weather patterns that are popping up it feels like a carnival ride from one race day to the next.
The High PHRF fleet had an upset last week with High Voltage and She-Devil putting the moves on the Red Baron (Breeze), giving son Jonathan some breathing room with one point separating the top 2 boats and a tie for third place. Sotally Tober has got that Pearson flying while Chris and Linda (both on J-27’s) now tied for 2nd place in the Mid PHRF fleet.
The hurricane Iniki made it to the top spot in the Low PHRF fleet, which puts him in 1st place and WaveByeSR in 2nd place overall. Uncle!Uncle! has taken the top spot because he has been the most consistent in his fleet while Lamorak and Fellowship are tied for 2ndin the Melges 24 fleet. The Cruisers continued to be dominated by Tween’r and Beau Gust in the top 2 spots.
Racing requires two very different sets of skills. The obvious first skill is to be able to make your boat “go fast” in the required direction but the second is the ability to determine what tactics you want to use in any given situation and usually you have to make quick decisions that may affect you and other boats. Starting line and mark roundings are excellent examples of situations that require important decisions to be made quickly and knowledge of the CURRENT racing rules. The most important would be “what can I do to avoid hitting another boat”, often difficult to do on the starting line.
I am a silver lining girl but when I heard there was some drama on the racecourse I was so happy it wasn’t me and it wasn’t in Fleet 4 (the troublemakers). This time there were harsh words and rule quotes being flung around at the start of Fleet 2 and 3. I believe “Mast-abeam” was thrown around to the dismay of several sailors.
I am going to pose some race rule questions at the end of each of my race review. At some point the answers will be posted to either the website or facebook. So here goes:
Question 1: Mast-abeam was once a very popular race rule, what was it’s purpose and when was it deleted from our current set of rules?
Look forward to seeing everyone on the race course, Dana
PS If your boat is undamaged, but you are unable to get to it by land but you can by water, please contact some of your friends or other sailors and we can certainly try to give you a lift to your boat. Reach out to your friends and fleet members for help. We are a very close community and want to help.
Another Three Horns
Who took my magic bottle that contained my genie? It’s tall, black and red and has She-Devil written on the side. I would have used one of my wishes to conjure up some nice 8+ wind with a cool breeze and beautiful sunset, but without my genie, I am helpless.
I know it is summer and storms are swirling around us, but does it have to happen EVERY Wed night! Thank you Race Committee of Jim Kingery and crew of Sotally Tober for recognizing that the storm was not going around us and it might be safer if we removed ourselves from our 30+ foot lightning rods. Almost everybody made it to their dock before the wind and rain became a serious issue. This was one night that everyone had their boat buttoned up in record time. No hanging out on the docks this Wednesday.
Also on the menu this week is the LARC Moonlight series. SSC should be running the skipper’s meeting on Sat. Aug 1 at 6pm. More information about this race on Thursday.
Look forward to a race without a storm looming on the horizon,
A Night to Remember
Race Committee sure worked hard for their credit this week. We had 3 course changes to deal with the almost 60 degree shifts that occurred during the starting sequences and then add moving the barge twice while having difficulty getting the anchor to hold can be quite a challenge. Add to that the weather starting to do somersaults; first rain, then no wind and then a 10+ breeze appears at the start of the last fleet and this was a challenging night for Mike Iuvone, Paul Stouffer, Jeff Lehman, and Scott Merewether (spell?) and I applaud their tenacity. The weather certainly did not cooperate and then the “piece de resistance” as they are busily trying to finish the race a thunderstorm rolls up. Fortunately all the boats that sailed the proper course and went through the shortened course gate, completed their race before the lightning struck.
There were a lot of lessons to be learned from this night. One of the most important was to double check the course board before your start sequence, the lead boat of your fleet is not always going to the correct mark and the weather forecast is usually not correct.
We had some great competition tonight and this was a night where several factors were in play for those top finishers. In the Cruiser fleet, Tween’r and Beau Gust finished at the top of their fleet. Lamorak finished first in Melges 24 with only 2 second between 2nd place Fellowship and 3rd place Uncle! Uncle!.
The Low PHRF fleet had a winner when Wave Bye SR crossed the line and in the Mid PHRF fleet the competition was fierce when Sotally Tober finished first, but 2nd and 3rdplace went to instant Karma and Perpetual Motion with only 20 seconds between them. Does that help or hurt when your wife beats you in a race? ( Love you guys :) ) Finally the last to finish, but the closest in finish times was the High PHRF fleet. The top 3 boats finished within 20 seconds of each other with Breeze taking first (curse you Red Baron), Hawkeye with a second (welcome back Tom Graham) and silly Billy the Cat taking a third. Then the next 5 boats were within 20 seconds of each other. Awesome sailing and difficult for RC.
It was definitely a night to remember and I applaud the RC for their supreme effort.
Upcoming races: Race 2-3 on July 22, Race 2-4 on July 29 and Moonlight #3 on Sat Aug 1.
See you on the race course, Dana
It was a thunderous beginning of the second series of the Wed night races. RC of Jonathan Stewart and Bill the Cat crew (Bill Quinn, Will Shirley, Steve Sudderth and Rachael Green) made the maximum effort to run a race. I think many people have included their crew in their family circle and if not, there was always the example of the masked crew of Strega (thanks for being a good example). But we ended up following the RC around, trying to find something and when the wind came up so did the thunder and lightning.
Technology is great, now we have tools to aid in the decision-making that RC makes for each race. Not always a popular decision (you can never make everyone happy), but usually a safe decision. Most of us came prepared for a possible rainy night, but fortunately the rain (did you see the rain in Cumming) stayed in Cumming and we didn’t get our sails wet.
Look forward to seeing everyone for Race 2. Dana
Wednesday Night Race #4 • June 24, 2020
I think the best comment of the night was when I spoke to the awesome 2 person RC of Ted and Dora McGee (what a finely honed team) and we discussed the possibility of rain and storms. Ted’s comment to me was “Rain is not going to bother me”. I was in love with our fearsome and experienced RC and knew he would make safe decisions.
We had lower attendance in this race but the threat of rain probably kept many people at home, but it paid off to those of us that decided to stick it out. We had great weather and a beautiful sunset.
We had several ties coming in to this last race and the competition was close. In the Small sport fleet, no one had won more than one race, so with a throw out the game was on. Ex-Kahn pulled ahead of the fleet by taking a first in the last race. Renegade continues to dominate the Low PHRF fleet. Walter Addison, new owner of refurbished J-27, sailed the wheels off his boat in his first series to take a 2nd in the Mid PHRF fleet. Congratulations Walter.
In the High PHRF fleet the Red Baron (Breeze) flew around the race course for this last race and really shook up the fleet. Bill the Cat finished 19 seconds behind his dad with our new contender, High Voltage, racing to 3rd place in this last race.
There was some excellent racing in this last race of the series in the competitive Cruiser fleet. Tween’r revved up his crew and sailed to his second first of the series and our own Randy Phillips raced his new Beneteau to 2nd place.
The first race of the second series will be Wed, July 8. I hope everyone has a very “social distant” holiday.
Thank you everyone for making this come-back to racing so successful. Watch for news about trophies and upcoming events.
Happy 4th of July, Dana
Wednesday Night Race #3 • June 17, 2020
Let me reiterate our thanks to our unsung heroes, Race Committee. Week one on June 3 was Mark Turner and family, then on week two was Bill Overend and members of J-24, High Voltage and last week was Randy Phillips and his excellent band of reprobates.
We had our first general recall of the season and not too unusual for a fleet of 9 boats. As usual the wind was shifty and large pockets of dead air were all around waiting to trap the unsuspecting sailor. This night tested every sailor out there; did you tack on a 10, 20, 30 degree shifts or take the hit and continue on your planned course. You roll the dice and hope for the best.
This game we play can often be quite agonizing and hard on the crew. A couple of weeks ago, my crew called me CRANKY. I was quite upset that I might have let this game we play make me irritable. Wearing a mask makes me irritable, sailing doesn’t.
We now have 2 races under our belt and 1 more to go in our abbreviated Series One, which will end next Wednesday, June 24thand after a hiatus of 2 weeks (one Wednesday) Series Two will begin on July 8th.
We have some very competitive races going on all the fleets. In the cruiser fleet, Kirk Jockell is winning but there is only 1 point separating each of the top 3 boats. Spencer Gay and Kurt Schurenberg will be pushing Kirk hard in this last race. The High PHRF fleet is being dominated by Jonathan Stewart and his “Bill the Cat” team. But the real fight will be between the two J-24’s, Breeze and She-Devil. I can only hope that the Devil takes out the Red Baron again in this last race. It will be Stewart vs Stewart vs Stewart. Let best looking Stewart win!!
The Mid PHRF fleet is being led by the team of Chris and David (sorry about your broken arm) Jackson. Linda Webster has a good hold on second place while our new J-27 sailor, Walter Addison and his boat, Reckless Abandon are securely in third. Low PHRF is a tough race between Jeff Freeman on his Flying Tiger and Mike Macleod with his newly purchased Elliott 770 from the estate of our long-time sailor friend, Greg Bell.
The Small Sport fleet consisting of Melges 24’s have a couple of contests occurring within the fleet. Second place will be a tough race between Gary Umberger and Brent McKenzie. There is a tie for fifth place between Morang/Lenkeit and Tony Stanley and then there is the battle for seventh place with Cellamare/Harbin and Pat Finnick. A very, very active and competitive fleet. Good luck to you all.
Upcoming Keelboat events:
Wed, June 24 Race 1-4 (last race series 1)
Sat, June 27 Moonlight race by BFSC (this will be the first of 3 remaining races)
Wed, July 8 Race 2-1 (first of 10 races of series 2)
Just a reminder that all LARC races (Winter, Moonlight & Fall series) are free to anybody that is a member of one of the 4 sailing clubs on Lake Lanier. Attached will be the NOR/SI for the LARC 2020 series of races.
Don’t forget to send any pics from our races to me, so that we can post them on the website. We have seen some great sails and sunsets.
Look forward to seeing you on the race course,
Wednesday Night Race #2 • June 10, 2020
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Dana Stewart | She Devil