April 6, 2018

Racing April 2018

      How to Start Faster In case you missed the last racing seminar: It’s make or break time out on the racecourse, how to get a flying start and what to do when things don’t go quite to plan. When the race officer sounds the starting signal for the Super Sunday races, he can already see which boats are going to compete in the leading pack, which will be fighting with the mid fleet masses, and which crews will consider a recovery to the mid fleet a success. For most racers, the first five minutes set the agenda for the entire race. Yet, unlike sprinters or tennis players, who spend hours and days practicing starting and serving techniques, most of us are content with the 15 minutes or so starting practice we get each weekend in our local club races, compared with the three hours course-racing practice which inevitably follows each start. We all experience elements of a bad start from time to time: no space to leeward so no opportunity to accelerate without being lee-bowed; blanketed by boats to windward; starting at the unfavored end and seeing the fleet crossing boat lengths ahead within minutes of the start; in irons going backwards when the gun goes; or simply being pinned on starboard tack unable to follow any preset strategy. Worse still, sticking out from the crowd in the event of a black flag or individual recall. Consistent good starters avoid these dangers by applying a mix of skills. Many are class specific: the fastest way to learn is by watching your class expert. Sadly, these skills can’t be learned simply from reading. They must be learned just the same way the expert learned them – through time on the water. Strategic Awareness when Sailing A clear race strategy leads to a definite starting objective. A starting objective enables realistic priorities to be set; rather than trying to win the start outright we might aim for a more conservative approach, which achieves these priorities. For example, in light conditions the top priority for a keelboat is generally speed off the line, while in a dinghy it’s clear wind. If there is a wind bend favoring the right-hand side of the course, the priority will be a clear lane to tack onto port.   How to handle the boat Practicing some specific boat handling skills will enable you to accurately position the boat on the start line: Stop quickly by pushing out the boom, keeping the boat’s alignment constant. Learn to maneuver at slow speed, using sails and body weight. Practice holding the boat on station in semi-stalled mode; (between close hauled and head to wind) using rudder and sails; maintaining control all the time. Try bearing away fast without acceleration, then promptly returning to semi-stalled mode. Learn to tack when in semi-stalled mode, using body movement and sails, without gaining forward momentum. Accelerate quickly from semi-stalled mode.   Boat Awareness Things we need to learn about our own class: What wind and wave conditions allow a stable semi-stall mode? (In big waves or wind, a controlled speed approach may be safer). How long does our boat take to accelerate from semi-stall to full speed (through a range of conditions) and what is the minimum space we need to leeward to achieve this? What are the techniques for ‘hanging in’ – maintaining a lane after the start when we haven’t created quite enough room to leeward? How fast does our boat move sideways through the range of conditions? Time on distance – how long does it take to sail five boat lengths in each wind condition? (Sailors who have developed this skill well can judge the distance to the line in time as well as distance.)   Observational Skills Practice measuring the line bias – judging how far you are from the line, observing the trends in the fleet, spotting the gaps and the hot spots.   Know your rules To ensure good starting, we need a clear knowledge of the rules, make sure that our competitors are aware of this, and control close situations before they become incidents. WE HAVE MORE RULES PAMPLETS JUST ASK.   Sailing Routine All good starters have their own favorite routine. As with any complicated task, a checklist, breaking the task into manageable portions, makes the whole procedure less daunting. Starting the first race of the club or world championship becomes as straightforward as eating your cornflakes. If it helps, write it down. Here’s an example: Practice beat Practice run Wind patterns? Is your boat set up for the conditions? Check shrouds, forestay, lowers and jib cars. Tide/current? Course? Beat strategy Which spinnaker/which bag? Line transit Line bias Start objective Identify the relevant starboard lay line Weed check Bias check I flag? Black flag? Where are boats lining up? Final decisions Final line up Check Cunningham, centerboard and vang Now all you need is practice!!!! See you on the water, Bob Hickok Racing Chair  
March 5, 2018

Racing – March 2018

How to Race Your Cruiser: The Boat There’s no reason you can’t be both a cruiser and a racer. Better yet, you don’t need to have a two-boat program either. Quantum’s Jay Sharkey details how to optimize your current boat to make you competitive in the performance cruising circuits. Everyone loves to sail fast, even the hard-core cruiser. When the racing bug bites and it’s time to dip your toe in the local race circuit, there are hundreds of thousands of sailboats marketed as dual-purpose racer/cruisers that fill marinas around the world. These boats tend to be neither overbuilt offshore passage-makers, nor stripped-out high-tech racing machines, but they can fill both roles for most sailors’ needs. However, there’s no need to trade in your trusty cruiser or buy a second boat, there are a number of things you can do to optimize your current boat to be competitive in performance cruising circuits and still be able to enjoy a comfortable sunset sail. Whether it’s your current cruising boat or a new racer/cruiser, they can be optimized for racing or cruising without huge expenses or modifications. In this piece, we’ll examine the racing part of the equation and how to best set up your boat for the racecourse. Optimizing Your Sails The most obvious place to start is with a new set of sails. Many cruiser/racers today come with OEM sails. Being a line item that affects the overall cost of the boat, these OEM sails are usually inexpensively constructed out of cross-cut Dacron panels (the standard since the Nina raced the Pinta and Santa Maria across the Atlantic). Not much consideration is given to their use. These low-tech sails tend to lose their shape after a few years. Even though they appear to be working, they lose efficiency, keeping the boat from performing at its full potential. The most common upgrade is to a radial sail. The design technique allows sail designers to save sail weight by assembling them in a way that orients the sailcloth to the direction of the loads, allowing for less material use in the “unloaded” direction. Radial sails also have more shapeable panels in their construction, giving the designer more room to fine-tune the finished flying shape. At the high-end of the technology scale are Membrane (“string”) sails, such as Quantum’s Fusion M™ product line, where the sails are custom-engineered for the load paths. Fusion M™ sails are built for both racing and cruising applications with options such as double-sided taffetas and light-skin laminates to increase their longevity and long-term shape retention. Once you’ve decided to upgrade your inventory, there are a few things to discuss with your sailmaker, such as the type of racing you’re planning to do (inshore vs. offshore) and whether your sails will be used for both racing and cruising. These details are important because they allow your sailmaker to custom-tailor your inventory for your needs. (Your sailmaker will also be an important ally in tuning your mast and rigging appropriately, as well as helping set up your boat to get the most out of your sails.) Optimizing Your Rigging Upgrading your sail inventory is just the first step. You may need to make other modifications to take full advantage of your new sails’ performance. Higher-tech sails stretch less than the cross-cut Dacron variety, so it’s important to make sure the lines controlling them are as equally stretch resistant. Jerome Sammarcelli, owner of Sailutions, a Marina del Rey-based sailboat optimization company, suggests making the change to Dyneema-cored lines. They’re not only stretch resistant, they’re also lighter aloft. “Owners making the switch should consider going to the smallest diameter lines that will still work with their current deck hardware,” says Jerome. “The weight savings aloft can add up fast, creating the opportunity to take advantage of a righting moment, which was previously not there.”   Optimizing Your Electronics Along with sails and rigging, optimizing your electronics will help you improve your racing performance. The most basic modern electronics package will usually have the essentials: wind speed/direction and boat speed.   Optimizing Your Boat Finally, the boat itself can be optimized for racing with a few tweaks: lightening your boat as much as possible is the cheapest and easiest first step, just make sure not to violate any rules about removing standard equipment like locker doors and cushions. Remove all extra tools, spares, and any other items you won’t need to race (investing in a dock-box will give you a place to store things, like your barbeque and water toys, while you race for the day).   Make sure all water tanks are empty. Stow all gear as close to the middle of the boat and as far down as possible. If you have a fixed propeller, switching to a folding prop will also make a big difference (at the expense of maneuverability under power), as will fairing the keel and rudder. The idea is that the smoother the flow across the bottom, the faster the boat will go.   Ready, Set, Race! Taking the leap from cruising into racing doesn’t have to be intimidating. By following these steps, you’ll see a definite jump in your boat’s performance.   Now comes the fun part – get out there and mix it up! Good luck, and welcome to your new addiction: sailboat racing!   Bob Hickok, Racing
February 3, 2018

Racing – February 2018

Racing Seminar #1 Recap: We would first like to thank everyone that turned-out for the first of the three Racing Seminars for 2018. There was a great turnout, 27+ racers! It was great to see everyone, and we know you are all excited as we are for the season to start! Special thanks to our guest speakers Reagan Lessick and Adam Ondrejack. Reagan gave a great presentation and synopsis of her racing exploits at the Orange Bowl in Miami, while Adam updated us on ISC racing plans and schedule for 2018. We would also like to thank Rich Fox for his continued dedication to ECSC. We are VERY lucky to have such a person that continues to take the fleets rhetoric and abuse, all while maintain a calm demeaner and his constant smile (we could all take a page for Rich’s book on how to conduct ourselves in calm & respectable manner). Rich has worked diligently to formulate some new PHRF ratings for ECSC in hopes of tightening up the fleets that will be implemented this coming season. Rich has dedicated himself for the past seven years or so and has complied a great deal of historical data that supports his adjusted PHRF ratings. We feel this is a great step forward to having very competitive racing series for years to come. Thank you, Rich! Click here to sign up for for RC Duty – SIGNUP GENIUS   Please sign up as soon as possible. Sign-up deadlines are 4/12/18 for Spring Series, 6/28/18 for Sumer Series, and 9/5/18 for Twilight Series. The Race Chairman will fill all open slots after the deadlines posted above. Captains & Crew will be obligated to switch or have covered their assigned RC Duties. Here are a few excerpts that we’ve come across that pretty much sum-up RC Duty at ECSC and around the world. Enjoy! WTH? I’m On Race Committee?! What would you rather do? Race or do race committee? Well, the answer is easy! We go to the trouble of buying boats, maintaining them, practicing with them, stocking the cooler for our crew, and most importantly – spending down marital credits to disappear for a day or two (the price varies according to season, mood, time of month, and whether or not we’ve been attentive to her/his needs) all because we want to sail and compete against other sailors! So, lots of sailors moan about, bitch about, and even actively shirk their race committee duty, even though it’s glaringly obvious that if there is no race committee, there is no racing. I’ve never really had a problem with doing race committee, though it often seems a shame when we have to pull from the fleet that is racing, thereby reducing the fleet by one or more boats, in order to form a race committee. But it is what it is, and we should all try and do our part with a smile and positive attitude. We all have met (and maybe are) sailors who always seem quick to complain about a race committee. That seems unduly ungrateful, and most sailors endure whatever mysterious trials that the Race Committee puts them through because they’re RACING!, instead of stuck doing, well, Race Committee. But all of us, even if we try to be patient and keep our mouths shut, sometimes find ourselves wondering, “WTH is Race Committee up to?” The best antidote for Race Committee grousing is, of course, to do Race Committee. It’s refreshing to see the fleet and the racing from the anchored perspective. It’s also a fun and interesting challenge to try and deliver lots of good racing, especially on Eagle Creek. Next time we are racing, try not thinking “WTH?” Instead, try to think “They must have their reasons” …..up to a point, at least. 😊 Race Chairman & Assistant Race Chairman: ECSC is a great club, thanks to our members. We are fortunate to have all types of sailors and people (not just racers). We should all strive to conduct ourselves in a courteous & respectful manner whether we are on the water, off the water, social media, gatherings, etc.                
January 1, 2018

Racing January 2018

Racing January 2018 Well, it’s the heart of winter, 3 inches of snow on the ground, and -3 degrees or something like that and I am writing my first racing article.      Well…you might ask what am I wearing?  I’ll tell you, because I’m thinking about the warm, sunny and windy weather of summer.  Picture this: I’m wearing swim trunks and flip flops in the heart of winter and I’m not even in Florida. Hah! But the hot tub is calling my name.         OK,  maybe don’t picture me in my  flip-flops, but YOU: sailing away from the dock on your boat at ECSC and you’re going out to your first race ever. You went to a couple of winter racing seminars (which are the fourth Wednesdays in Jan, Feb and March), you have learned about safety, starting, sailing the quickest course, finishing the race, AND having a blast doing it!  The best part? Lively discussions around the liar’s table with the seasoned salts and new buds, having a bite to eat and a beverage to boot.  It’s going to happen, and sooner than you think!   Race Meeting #1 January 24th-6:30 9247 N. Meridian St. Food and Beverages Provided The Race Meetings are open to ALL who are interested in racing or LEARNING to race or even just wanna hang around the cool kids. The 1st meeting will include a discussion of the racing schedule, the recommendations of our PHRF(handicap) ratings (led by our scorekeeper Rich Fox), some reminders concerning safety while racing, and (hopefully) a special guest speaker who is sure to enlighten and inspire! Race Committee- Bob Hickok & John George   2018 Strictly Sail Chicago Boat Show Show Location: McCormick Place—South Building, Chicago, Illinois Show Dates: Wednesday, January 10, 2018 through Sunday, January 14, 2018 Show Times: Wednesday: 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm Thursday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Friday: 11:00 am – 8:00 pm Saturday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm Admissions: Adults: $14.00 Seniors (62+): $10 Wednesday, January 10th only!!! Children (15 and younger): FREE When accompanied by a paying adult.
October 6, 2017

October Racing

September was a busy month for us at ECSC. We hosted 3 regattas, closed out our Summer Series and started the Twilight Series. Weekly Series Update The Wednesday and Sunday Summer Series have concluded. Results have been posted to the 2017 Series Racing page of the web site. Winners of the Series’ will get valuable points towards the Boat of the Year trophy. Speaking of Boat of the Year, the current standings have been posted to the web site. The final event for the BOTY is the Hornback. Scoring is set up such that the Hornback standings can significantly affect the overall BOTY standings. September Events: The Purdue Sailing Club hosted their Boiler Cup regatta on Labor Day weekend after a several-year absence on the collegiate sailing calendar. Turnout was light due to the late notice, but the sailing was fierce. The clubs were tied going into the last race. We hope to have better turnout next year as the Boiler Cup is now back on the sailing calendar. Thanks to Tom Moore for helping out on RC. The Indy 200 Regatta was a huge success again this year. We had 8 boats compete and almost 40 people participate. Larry Conrad won the Regatta on his Seward 26. Bob Hickok finishing second on a Catalina 25. Bob McCoun was third on his S2 7.3. Other competitors included: Tom Newgent on his S2 7.3, Les Miller on his S2 6.9, Chuck & Nancy Goff on their Cataline 25, Steve Earnhart on his Catalina 25, and Dan & Karen Orndorff on their ODay 23. Special thanks to Rich Fox for coordinating this event for the Blue/White fleet boats and to Tom Moore for helping out on RC. The Governor’s Cup regatta had a lighter than usual turnout this year. We didn’t get any Highlanders and no ISC J24s. Winds were light and variable, but we managed to get 7 races in over 2 days. We had 2 Green fleet boats – a Laser and a Finn. It ended up being a grudge match. One White fleet boat, 2 J-22’s and 5 J-24s. Ed Spengemon from Louisville won Green Fleet on his Laser. Les Miller won White Fleet on his S2 6.9 . LeRoy Leeman won the Red Fleet on his J-22. Rick Graef won the J-24 Fleet. Rick Graef also won the Governor’s Cup. Results are posted on the web site.   Hoosier J24 Championships This year our ECSC J24 competed in the second year of the Hoosier J24 Championship series.  This series includes ECSC’s Governor’s Cup and Mayor’s Cup Regattas and ISC’s Geist Guzzler and Keelover Regattas. Last weekend 8 J24s raced in the final regatta (the Keelover regatta) at our sister club across town. While ECSC Member Richard Graef and his crew aboard Don’t Panic won the regatta, ECSC member Jason Hubbard scored enough points to claim the Overall title for the 2017 season. Jason Scored 23 points overall and raced in all four regattas.  Congrats to Jason and his team aboard Green Hornet for the individual title. The club championship was awarded to ECSC again for the 2017 season. This series has been successful in building our local J24 fleet. This year we had 12 boats from both clubs that participated. Results can be found below. Club Sail number Mayor’s Cup Score Geist Guzzler Keelover Regatta Governor’s  Cup Overall 1 ECSC 1745 – 2253- 2903Hubbard 7 J24 5 7 4 23 2 ECSC 2607 – Graef 0 J24 0 9 6 15 3 ECSC 4146 – Shulze 2 J24 0 4 2 8 4 ISC 1458 –  McGinty-Varga 3 J24 3 1 0 7 5 ECSC 2783- Hickok 5 J24 0 0 1 6 6 ISC 2720 – Dyar 0 J24 0 6 0 6 7 ISC 4510 – Rogers- Lawhead 1 J24 2 2 0 5 8 ISC 3525 – O’Brien 0 J24 0 5 0 5 9 ISC 2253 – Onndrejack 4 J24 0 0 0 4 10 ECSC 1473 – Douglas 0  J24 0 0 3 3 11 ISC 4146x – Townsend 0 J24 0 3 0 3 12 ISC 440 – J. Jordan 0 J24 1 0 0 1   October Sailing The ECSC Championship regatta will be held on October 7. This is the first year for this regatta. All boats will race both in fleet and PHRF on the same course with a single start. We will announce a fleet champion and an overall club champion. Qualifiers for the event include: Tom Newgent, Larry Conrad, Les Miller, Bill Grant, Rich Fox, Mike Clark, Geoff Endris, Chuck Goff, John Kohne, Scott Douglas, Rick Graef, Bob/Janet Hickok (J24), Nan Schulze. Our final regatta for the year is the Hornback regatta. This is always a fun race because it is a pursuit race. This means that instead of starting everyone at the same time and adjusting the finish times, we stagger the starts so that the first boat over the finish line wins the race. Always a good time and always some interesting courses. This year, we are bringing down Purdue Sailing Club members to crew. So, if you need a crew, send an email to Geoff Endris. The Hornback is now included in the Boat of the Year standings and can have a huge impact as the Hornback is scored as a single fleet.   Don’t forget to go to the RC Signup page to sign up for RC duty. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084ca9ac22a4f58-2017  
September 6, 2017

Racing September 2017

As we head into September, we still have a lot of sailing to do. In addition to our weekly series racing, we have 3 regattas. Weekly Series Update   
August 11, 2017

Racing August 2017

Weekly Series Update   
June 30, 2017

Racing July 2017

Weekly Series Update We continue to have challenges with the weather on Wednesday nights, but so far, we’ve been able to run 9 races of 11 races. The Spring series will end on Wed June 28. On July 5, we will start the Summer Series. Sunday races are still a challenge as we haven’t had any Sunday races since May 14. If you have any suggestions on how to make Sunday racing more appealing, I’d love to hear them. Flying Scot Regatta Results Our annual Flying Scot Regatta was a great success. We had 12 boats with 10 of the boats coming from out of town. We had perfect weather for a long north-south course. Rich Fox was the PRO and did an outstanding job. We managed to get 4 races in on Saturday. Competitors were treated to root beer floats after a hard day of racing, followed by a great BBQ dinner from Squealers. Sunday’s weather was similar to Saturday. We got another 2 races in before calling it a day. Here are the race results. Congratulations to Chuck and Nancy Goff for sailing in their first Flying Scot Regatta. Skipper Crew Club Total Place Tyler Andrews* Cody McCoun Deep Creek YC 9 1 Bruce Kitchen* Lynn Kitchen Cowan Lake SA 22 2 Andrew Fox* Doug Fox Birmingham YC 23 3 Frank Gerry* Marianne Gerry Clinton Lake SA 27 4 Bronson Bowling* Rachel Bowling Carlyle Lake SA 32 5 Ben Williams* Tom Yeagle Clinton Lake SA 35 6 Eric Bussell* Perry Cameron Clinton Lake SA 37 7 Ryan Malmgren* Stacey Rieu Ephraim YC 48 8 Eric Sutton* Marshall Akers Carlyle Lake SA 52 9 Geoff Endris Tom Moore Eagle Creek SC 58 10 John Casada* Paul Dixon Carlyle Lake SA 64 11 Chuck Goff Bill Grant Eagle Creek SC 67 12 * Denotes non-club member Next up: ECSC Regatta and Beach Party The ECSC Regatta is scheduled for July 8-9 with the newly resurrected and highly acclaimed ECSC Beach Party scheduled for July 8. Bruce Berner is the PRO for the regatta and is looking for volunteers to help out on Race Committee. RC Volunteers get to attend the Beach Party for free and get this really nifty soft sided cooler in their choice of colors. The beach party was a huge success last year with over 160 attending. Nick Mates promises to put on another great event this year. The meal will be catered by Stacked Pickle, with tunes from local band “Dwight Lightning and the Conch City All Stars.” It is sure to be a great event. Tickets are $10 per person, which pays for dinner, drinks and dancing. You can buy a commemorative T-shirt for $15. Folks it doesn’t get much cheaper than that. You will need to register and pay in advance just like the LobsterFest. Go to this site to register. http://www.regattanetwork.com/event/15069.  Registration fee for the regatta competitors is $70 and includes 2 full meal packages (2 breakfast, 2 lunch, 1 dinner).  Extra meal packages for extra crew are available for $20 each. Event T-shirts are available for $15 each.  Be sure to pre-order a shirt to make sure you get one in your size. Non-racers should go to the same site, register as a non-competitor and purchase additional meal tickets ($10) or event T-shirts ($15). Race Committee Boat Motor Update On Friday June 23, we took possession of a new 30 HP Honda outboard motor and had our other Honda 30 HP outboard serviced.  We will replace the damaged motor on the Aircraft Carrier and use the damaged motor for spare parts. Race Committee Signup   We only have 1 race covered in the Summer series so far., so be sure to go to the RC Signup page to sign up for RC duty. http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084ca9ac22a4f58-2017