Welcome ECSC Sailors, The following is a guest article Written by our own Sailor/Racer Rich Fox. Improving Blue/White Fleet Boat Racing Performance By Rich Fox Many ECSC members purchase their boats to enjoy day sailing with family and friends. If you race, or want to race your boat in the Blue/White Fleet, and have not been exposed to racing in your one-design class at the national level, then the tips below may be a good starting point to help you improve your boat’s’ performance. Tuning Guide – several sailboat classes and sailmakers publish Tuning Guides. You can do a search on the Internet to find them, if available for your boat. Applying the techniques in a Tuning Guide provide insight into setting the mast-rake and shroud tension for the boat. Sail Trim Guide – in addition to a Tuning Guide, a Sail Trim Guide provides good information to help the new sailor better understand how to set many of the controls on their boat, depending on wind conditions. North-U publishes a good book (“TRIM”) on this topic. Better yet, taking a North-U “TRIM” course when one is offered in the area, or watch their videos. Balanced Helm – what do I mean by a balanced helm? A sailboat will achieve its best performance when the position and trim of the sails are aligned with the position and shape of the keel and rudder. I always think of my boat’s sails and keel as one continuous airplane wing. When everything is in alignment and working together (balanced), then my boat will achieve its optimal level of performance. This takes years of experimenting to tweak. To get started, go out sailing in in 8-12 mph wind and look at the position of your tiller. Is the tiller in the center of the cockpit? Or, do you have a lot of weather-helm where the boat has a tendency to round-up and you have to fight with the tiller? Is your rudder creating a lot of drag? There are no quick answers or easy numbers to provide, although a Tuning Guide will help provide a very good starting point. You will need to experiment and adjust the mast rake, rigging tension, and sail trim to find the best combination of settings where the touch of tiller feels light in 8-12 mph wind. Finding the “sweet spot” (a balanced helm) where the rudder has minimal resistance will greatly reduce rudder drag. The result will be an immediate improvement in your boat’s racing performance. Whisker Pole – unless you are using a spinnaker, you will want to use a whisker pole for the downwind leg, which is half the race course. If you are not using a whisker pole, you will often struggle to finish in the top half of the Blue/White Fleet. If you have a whisker pole, work with your crew on developing a consistent and coordinated set-up/take-down technique. Sit Forward Downwind – many Blue/White Fleet boats will perform better sailing downwind when the bottom of the transom is not submerged below the surface of the water. When sailing downwind, the crew should sit on the foredeck and any crew in the cockpit should also be sitting forward. When the wind is light to medium, I almost always sit on the leeward side of the boat. This allows gravity to help induce the curved shape (draft) of the sails and keep the sails full…improving boat speed. It also makes it easy to watch the telltales. Telltales (Don’t Pinch) – when coming out of a tack, allow the boat to build up some speed before pointing higher. Building up speed after a tack will allow for improved air around the sails and improved water flow around the keel (resulting in lift) and get the boat quickly “into the groove”. As boat speed increases, you will then find yourself able to point higher. Don’t point too high or you will quickly decrease your boat speed. Check the telltales along the luff of your Genoa for information. If the telltales are flickering up, you are pointing too high. If the telltales are streaming aft with some flickering up, you are doing great. If the telltales are drooping down you have room to point higher or pull in your Genoa. The wind is never steady on Eagle Creek Reservoir. Learn to read your Genoa’s telltales, and your performance will quickly improve. That wind indicator at the top of the mast is great to see wind condition when sailing downwind. But if you are watching the wind indicator, and not the telltales, you need to break that habit and focus on watching telltales. Your performance will greatly improve. Good Sails – when racing a Blue/White Fleet boat, the use of good sails with good shape will have the greatest impact on your finishing position at a Club race. If you are using blown out sails, or sails that originally came with your 30-year old boat, consider making an investment in new sails. Racing Rules – learning, understanding and applying the Racing Rules of Sailing will greatly increase your confidence on the race course and will also improve your finishing positions at races and regattas. How can this be? If you know the Rules, you will be able to identify the best locations to be on the race course to avoid possible penalty situations requiring 360 and 720 degree turns, competitor protests, or disqualification. You will also reduce any confusion about what the Race Committee is doing at any given time during a regatta. If you are relatively new to sailboat racing, the North-U “Racing Tactics” book is an excellent starting point. Tiller Time – the best way to improve your boat’s performance is more tiller time and regular participation on the Club’s racing and regatta program. More tiller time, combined with the above eight tips, will greatly improve your performance in the Blue/White Fleet at ECSC.
Hello Sailing Fans, Well, the month of May has come to a close and ECSC is in full swing. Regattas, cruises, chair parties, work parties…..These are all great reasons to come out and play at ECSC. Our harbormasters and our grounds committee has the club looking great and lots of improvement projects, our junior sailors are already bringing in more trophies and making long-lasting friendships all around the midwest, our social events have been fantastic, our race program continues to be fun filled and action packed. But best of all, are those great times we get hanging out with friends for a lazy afternoon sail!! Check out all of ur committee head articles for all there is to know about ECSC! Rick Graef
Hello ECSC Sailors, May is off to a rough and very wet start. My hope is that this bodes well for a dryer and windier summer. Only time will tell. This month I am re-publishing an article submitted by our racing chair, Geoff Endris. It is a retrospective on the Flying Scot on it’s 60th anniversary. The article was written by Debbie Cycotte, the Flying Scot association historian. The Flying Scot, Sandy Douglass’s Crowning Design Achievement, Celebrates 60 Years ~ Debbie Cycotte, FSSA Historian This year the Flying Scot celebrates its 60th anniversary, which seems like a great time to celebrate its designer, Gordon K. Douglass, or Sandy, as he is known to thousands of sailors who own one of his boats. Sandy is considered one of the best small boat helmsmen this country has produced and a brilliant boat designer. He is best known as the designer of three different one-design dinghies, in addition to the 19-foot Flying Scot, he also designed the 17-foot Thistle (launched in 1945, with about 4,000 boats built so far), the 20-foot Highlander (launched in 1951, 1,100 boats built so far). All three classes are boat names that reflect Sandy’s Scottish heritage. Sandy was a colorful, energetic man who lived his life in pursuit of excellence and was unafraid of innovation. He said of himself, “If it can be done, I can do it better.” He brought the concept of a planing hull to the United States and the Thistle, the Highlander and the Flying Scot all reflect that. Sandy believed that the more specialized anything becomes, the fewer people will enjoy it. So his goal was to build boats with a broad appeal, and that included family use. By the time Sandy designed the Flying Scot, he had had 20 years of experience building wooden boats. The Flying Scot was one of the first one-design boats made from fiberglass. Sandy only designed a new boat to fill a void. With the advent of fiberglass, which was lower maintenance than wood and had greater design potential, Sandy now saw a reason to build an attractive alternative to the Lightning. Designing the hull was no problem for Sandy because he had a clear idea of what was needed for a planing family boat. Such a boat should have the safety of wide side decks and also a roomy cockpit. Wide side decks help keep the boat from filling up in a knockdown but leaves little cockpit space. Sandy conceived the idea of having both wide side decks and a roomy cockpit by lowering half of a wide side deck and giving it the shape of a comfortably inclined seat, which provided for a roomy cockpit. He “wondered why no one had thought of this before”? Unfortunately, it turned out that none of the salesmen or engineers of fiberglass who called on Sandy knew much more than he did. Sandy had to teach himself how to build with this new material. Sandy, the gregarious, optimistic and supremely confident and accomplished man he was, stepped right up. Sandy’s goal was to design and manufacture a boat that was well built, but exciting and able to be sailed by a wide range of people, in size, number and skill level. He always felt that a strict one-design boat was in the best interest of all purchasers, past and future, and was the truest test of one’s sailing skill. Advertised as the “culmination of the best features of the other Douglass designs,” the Flying Scot quickly caught the eye of small-boat racers. The Flying Scot is larger, has more beam and is more stable than the Thistle. The prohibition of hiking straps was an effort to make the boat more competitive for smaller-sized people, like Sandy and his wife, Mary, who crewed for him for 30 years. With more than 6,100 boats built and a continuous primary builder throughout its history, the Flying Scot is one of the leading one-design classes in the US. A strong class association ensures strict one-design competitive racing to attract top-caliber sailors. The class also enjoys family camaraderie and teams are often comprised of family members. They are the only one-design class to host a Wife-Husband National Championship each year. There are over 200 active Flying Scot fleets in the US. The Flying Scot was inducted into the American Sailboat Hall of Fame in 1998. ECSC is proud to be registered as fleet 201 with the Flying Scot Sailing Association. We now have 8 Flying Scots at ECSC – 4 of whom plan to actively race their boat. The Scot has an active group of racers who travel throughout the country. It is common to get 15 to 30 boats at a single regatta. Our National Regatta regularly attracts 60 boats per year. This year, ECSC will host its 4 annual Flying Scot Regatta. We expect at least 15 boats from all over the Midwest. ECSC now has a direct connection to the Flying Scot. Our own Tyler Andrews married Carrie Carpenter, who is the daughter of Harry and Karen Carpenter, the current owners of Flying Scot, Inc. Tyler now works full time at Flying Scot and is having the time of his life selling and sailing Flying Scots all over the country. Tyler and Carrie now compete as a Wife-Husband team.
Publicity If you haven’t been down to ECSC yet this season, you are in for a surprise. The pre-season work crews have been busy. Last weekend Mark Walker and his grounds crew led an exuberant crowd in our annual club opening and clean up party. Dennis Robertson (our Dockside Harbormaster) led the charge to update and renew the dock boards on L or F or D Dock. Which brings me to the interesting observation that we have many names for the same piece of dock???? (someone should submit a guest article on the history of all these names) This dock work is an ongoing project, so anyone interested in helping and earning valuable work credits please contact Dennis Robertson or Kenny Chapman. Back in our Junior sailing area a new Youth shed (Wayne’s World 2.0) has sprung from the beach. This area has covered space for education and training programs and an enclosed space that will be used for storage and even has workout area. The Pressure Sprayer is on and the club is open and ready for business. ECSC now has a new Twitter page – Check it out and follow us at @ECSailor As for happenings in Publicity, Our new FOR SALE section has generated a fair amount of interest. Check back often as I get regular requests to add items to the page. ECSC will soon begin to list several items that the harbormaster has determined are abandoned property. If you are looking for that special boat part or Marine Service here at the club, check out our MARINE SERVICES page. While the club does not endorse these websites and businesses, many have been added after recommendations from fellow club members. If you have something to sell, are looking for some special boat part, or have a suggestion for the marine services page, email me by CLICKING HERE and I will get the info up as soon as possible. As Publicity Chair, I would also like to invite any ECSC club members to submit a guest article. Have you attended a regatta that was incredible?, have you gone cruising in sunny Florida?, have you read a good book on sailing you want to share?, have you recently completed a long and painstaking boat rehab?…. If so, write your thoughts down and submit them here and I will include them in a future telltales article. Sail fast, Rick Graef Publicity
Hello ECSC Members and Friends, I have had many requests to add a “for sale” section to our web site. I am currently working on this. This section will be for members (active or inactive) to advertise boats, boat parts, and boat services for sale or wanted. I consider this to be a useful service to our members. I will include rules for for use on this page. I expect it will be for private party (club members) sellers only. Also, postings will be free for members and will be posted for a two month period. If your item does not sell it will automatically be removed. You can always request it to be re-posted if the item is still available. As a resource for our club members, I be adding a page to list local individuals and companies that do sailboat or engine work. Since “Sailboats” closed it’s doors last year many people have been asking who else in town does boatwork or engine work. I am including several contacts below and will be working to assemble a more complete list on the website in the future. If any businesses or individuals would like to be included please email me at http://firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add you to this list. Clearwater Marine Services – Greg Branham, owner – 317-440-3762 – Fiberglass, gelcoat, outboard motor repairs and electronic installations. Borkowski Boatworks – Cameron Borkowski, Owner – email@example.com – Fiberglass, paint, gelcoat, engine, electrical, commissioning, and commissioning work West Marine – Parts and supplies – (317) 841-0826 – http://www.westmarine.com APS – Annapolis Performance Sailing – http://www.apsltd.com – not local, but a good internet provider of sailing parts and gear – Line Honors – yacht racing outfitters – http://www.linehonors.com – not local – but a good internet provider of sailing gear Jerry Cooper – (recommended by Bob Hockok) works on outboards lives near ECSC – (317) 373-0968 A few reminders from our committee heads, Visit the Racing Page and sign up for Race committee duty. Come to the Race Meetings, they have been very informative. Email Kenny and volunteer for our many work projects and work parties planned for 2017. Contact our Social Chair and take on chairing a social event. Check out this months Social article on specific needs for Social hosts. All of these activities are not only fun, but you earn valuable work credits to apply to next years dues. See you on the water, Rick Graef Publicity
Publicity Hello ECSC Members and Friends, Planning for a great 2017 is underway. Please check out all of the articles in this and next months Telltales to learn more. Geoff Endris has some exciting changes in store for the racing program. The Social events promise to be even better than last year. Kenny and Dennis have plans to keep our club looking and running smoothly. It promises to be a great year. Your board of Directors has put a new Grounds Committee in place to oversee the maintenance and care of our grounds. Their responsibility is to oversee the many duties that our caretaker was responsible for. They will contract the needed lawn care, trash service, porta potties, dumpsters, plantings and much much more. This committee includes the Vice Commodore as its chair (Mark Walker), the Harbor Master (Kenny) and the Treasurer (Tom Moore). As publicity chair I am excited to see our club continue to move into the digital age. Several years back we began publishing our newsletter, The Telltales, only in an electronic format. It has recently moved to a published blog format. ECSC Trivia fact #1- Our newsletter was originally published in 1972 under the name Telltails. The following year it was changed to Telltales. Prior to 1972 it was a sporadic mailing entitled ECSC News. Our membership and all communications (excepting dues statements and payments) have become electronic. We are looking at the possibility of moving or dues and payments to electronic format also. We maintain both an ECSC Facebook page, and a website. ECSC Trivia fact #2 our inlet off of the Reservoir was known as “Shoal Creek Inlet” on early maps. Click here to see Full blog article for Picture What makes our club tick? The following is a reprinted answer from the May 1972, Volume 1, issue no.1 of The ECSC Telltails, Tom Heirmonimus – Editor NEW PRIORITIES ESTABLISHED MEMBERS URGED TO GET INVOLVED Anytime there is a large organization there are complaints. Why are they doing that? They should be doing more! Can’t we get better ——. Well, the answer doesn’t lie in the above statements; it lies in your involvement. The club is run by a relatively small segment of the membership. It is not run that way by choice. It is because all of the committees depend on volunteers. In order to have a better club YOU must participate. This is not the time to be bashful. Ask yourself, “what can I do to help”. You don’t have to be a professional. Just be willing to pitch in. Call any of the committee chairman listed on page two and volunteer your service. We can make this a very exciting and fun filled club if we all do what we can. Very true words that were written 45 years ago! Seems to this current Telltales editor that these words apply not only to our lovely Sailing Club, but to many aspects of life… So, the only change I would make to the previous text is to bring it into the 21st century and suggest that you email your committee chairs if you can find the time to volunteer. Visit the Racing Page and sign up for Race committee duty. Come to the Race Meetings and Learn how to help the racing program. Email Kenny and volunteer for our many work projects and work parties planned for 2017. Contact our Social Chair and take on chairing a social event. These activities are not only fun, but you earn valuable work credits to apply to next years dues. While we are a private sailing club, we have always accepted all comers regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or even sailing ability. Follow a few of our basic rules, help out when you are able and you are welcome to enjoy the hidden gem that we call our oasis – Eagle Creek Sailing Club. Rick Graef Publicity
Hello ECSC Members, January is definitely a quiet month for us sailing types. While most of us sit at work, we day dream about warm breezes and the sounds of water rushing past the hulls of our sailboats or the organized chaos that is a yacht racing starting line. Many of our members are lucky enough to head south for a week or two or twelve. I doubt that I am the only one at ECSC that actually misses their boat during these cold winter months. As for publicity, I would like to start a member article section in the coming months issues of our beloved newsletter “The Tell-tales”. If you are interested, just write an article and send it along to me at firstname.lastname@example.org . Write about anything sailing related; your favorite cruising spot, a regatta you attended, your favorite ECSC memories, why cruisers are more fun than racers, why racers are more fun than cruisers, your own stupid boat tricks, how you managed to ground your boat on the point….Anything sailing. Or even just a regatta report as I have done below. Between Christmas and New Years I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Open Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami Florida. For years our club has sent juniors down to compete against the worlds best youth in the Junior Orange Bowl Regatta, so I have attended this event many times with my kids and other ECSC Juniors. This year I was able to take my Ex-Junior son, Austin Graef along for some racing. He and I competed in four days of very competitive and challenging Laser racing. Coconut Grove Sailing Club hosts an adult Laser regatta in conjunction with the junior event that also occurs during this time. Conditions ranged from one day of postponement (light winds) to steady 18 gusting to mid 20’s. While the fleet was small (17 entrants), it was chock full of laser olympic hopefuls, former laser Masters world champions, Star mid-winters champions, and even a former Snipe world Champion. Having not been in a Laser in almost a year for both of us, the learning curve was steep. After the first day of racing (three races) I was able to hold a solid mid-fleet position slightly ahead of Austin. I guess the old man does still have some tricks up his sleeve. Day 2 was a great day for Austin as he moved up in the standings….ahead of me (I knew it was inevitable). His best finish of the day was a 3rd!! (beating several world class sailors) Day 3 was a sit and wait day with light and variable winds. The 4th day brought a cold front and winds sustained near 20 knots with higher gusts. With Austin only a few points ahead of me, I saw my chance to show him I could handle the heavy air and regain my place ahead of him. . . . After leading him around the upwind mark I thought my sail looked a little dry, so I capsized and watched him (and another boat) shoot past me. So much for race 1 in the heavy air. Raced 2 was looking equally as promising for me… until I decided to practice my death-rolling skills…twice. Needles to say, Austin handled the heavy air in a much better fashion and had some nice finishes. In the final race that day, I chased Austin around the course and just couldn’t quite get him….until the last mark when the death-roll bug hit him during the final gybe not 500 yards from the finish. After finishing nine races in 4 days Austin finished with a solid 6th overall, beating me by a solid four points ( I was7th place overall). Not that I like being beaten, but it is a proud day when a junior sailor (who is also your kid) who you have trained and coached all of his life not only beats you but competes solidly against some of the worlds best racing talent. Congrats on a great regatta to Austin. I hope you all stay warm. Start making lists of all those spring boat projects. I will see you on the water in a few short months. Rick Graef Publicity Chair
Hello ECSC members, followers and wanna-be’s, Somehow I managed to convince Geoff Endris to switch roles with me at the club for the upcoming season. I thought I pulled one over on him…..until I started learning about Mailchimp, and wordpress, and FTP, and …well, you get the idea. So, as I prepare the November newsletter, I realize two very important things: 1) I have a lot to learn, and 2) ECSC owes Geoff Endris a BIG THANK YOU for the work he has done over the previous couple of years to enhance our club’s profile and run the publicity department. As for my plans for publicity, I would like to generate more media content on both our Facebook Page and our website. Our newsletter articles will also contain more media. So please forward any “appropriate” media to me at email@example.com . Also remember that our website should be your one stop shop for any and all information about our club. As Publicity chair, I am responsible for sending out club email blasts and generally communicating with our membership. If you are not getting emails from the club, let me know at the above email, and I will try to rectify the situation.