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
January Race Meeting a Huge Success! My thanks to all who attended the first Race Ready meeting on January 25. We had about 30 members attend. We covered some of the changes we are making to the racing program this year. It was great to see such a huge turnout and we had a lot of great discussions. New Permanent Racing Mark The biggest change for 2017 will be the addition of a new permanent racing mark. We are going to move permanent mark #2 to a new location due west of mark #5 and will be adding a new permanent mark #Y directly north of mark #X and slightly northeast of where mark #2 used to be. Click HERE to see a diagram of the new mark locations. This will let us set up more race courses using just the permanent marks in just about any wind. It will also allow us to set up both windward-leeward courses (for red and green fleets) and triangle courses (for blue and white fleets) from the same RC boat position. Hopefully, this will make Race Committee duty easier. RC Duty Signup Speaking of Race Committee duty, ECSC members who participate in the Wednesday and Sunday racing series are expected to sign up for one of the two RC duty slots for each series they are participating in. If you typically only race in the Wed series, then you will need to sign up for RC duty 3 times – once for spring, summer and twilight series. Likewise, for the two Sunday Series. If you don’t sign up, then you will be assigned a day for RC duty. So, if you want to choose your RC week instead of having it chosen for you, please go to the signup site and register – CLICK HERE. We need Volunteers – You need work credits. Can we work something out? Note: you do not get work credits for this RC duty – it is just expected as part of competing in the racing series. Club regattas are a different matter. Because of the time commitment, we do give club work credits for serving on Race Committee in any of our 6 regattas. We have several positions to fill for each regatta including: Principal Race Officer – in charge of on-the-water activities, watches the start/finish lines Recorder – records the positions of boats at the start and finish Timer – announces the time remaining to start and the times of boats as they finish Signals/Flags – raises/lower flags & sounds horn to signal starts, finishes and penalties Safety Boat/Mark Set – Sets temporary marks, monitors pin-end of start line, monitors mark roundings, assists boats in distress Safety Boat / Mark Set #2 – Assists on Safety Boat Regatta coordinator – in charge of overall regatta, coordinates shore-side activities (event check-in, trailer storage, food & entertainment) The dates of the regattas are: Dates Regatta Comments 5/20-5/21 Mayor’s Cup Regatta, catering, band or DJ 6/10-6/11 Flying Scot Regatta, catering, no band 7/8-7/9 ECSC regatta Regatta, beach party 9/16-9/17 Governor’s Cup Regatta, catering, band/DJ 9/30/17 ECSC Championship Regatta only 10/14-10/15 Hornback regatta Regatta only Other than the Principal Race Officer position, prior knowledge of racing is not required. As for the Principal Race Officer position, we can quickly get you trained on how to run a race. I would like to get more “non-racers” active in helping run the race program. It’s a great opportunity to spend the day on the water and watch the race from a great vantage point (the middle of the race course). In addition, regatta volunteers get to attend the dinner and party for free, and get a free T-shirt. Plus, you earn work credits!! What could be better than that? Contact me for additional information. I also have the following other work credit volunteer jobs: RC food pickup: Make a weekly run to Gordon Food Service to make sure there is enough food for Wednesday and Sunday post-race cookouts. One-Day Race Management Seminar March 11, 2017 On March 11, 2017, ECSC and ISC will host a one day seminar on Race Management. Our instructor will be Steve Harris. Steve is the US Sailing Area Race Officer for our area. Students will receive expert instructions and best practice tips for running a club-level race. The cost is $45. This includes course materials and lunch. If you are in the racing program and are unsure how to run a race, or if you are not in the racing program and want to get some work credits working the Race Committee crew, or if you are a little rusty in running races, you should sign up. As an added incentive, I will reimburse up to 10 people who sign up and attend the seminar. Please click HERE to see a brochure for the event. Click HERE to go to the US Sailing web site to register. Just scroll down to the March 11 event at ISC and register. Come out for the Social Side of Racing Over the past couple of years, we have been trying to merge the racing program with our social program and have our racing events double as social events. Non-racers are invited to come out for the dinner and party. The cost is $10 per person to cover the cost of the meal. It’s a great way to enjoy your club even more. Next Race Ready Meeting Our next Race Ready meeting will be held on February 22, 2017. During that meeting we will cover: Rules changes for 2017 Rules at the start Rules for windward legs Rules at the windward mark If you are racing or interested in racing, please come out for some FREE PIZZA and a discussion on the Racing Rules of Sailing. Geoff Endris, Racing Chairman
Sadly, the colder weather is upon us. Most boats are out of the water. Some members will be continuing their sailing adventures in warmer climates. The rest of us are a bit envious, but we wish you safe and happy sailing. This is a good time to reflect on the season behind us and start planning for next year. All will agree 2016 was a very good year for ECSC. We had the benefit of a great leadership team and generous volunteer support. Social events were great. The racing and education programs enjoyed high levels of participation with many new sailors and racers. Boat trailer parking improved with the removal of several derelict boats. The web site is better organized with a new look and feel. There are many more. Please give a big “thank you” to the 2016 team and volunteers for the many benefits we enjoyed as members of ECSC. The 2017 team will work hard to make next year a success next year. We are already working to complete 2017 budgets in December. We will work to preserve and improve on the 2016 successes. We want to continue making ECSC a fun and safe place for sailors of all ages. We will also work to have an adequate cash reserve for major capital replacement projects. Past Commodores have projected the timing of major capital replacements. Some of those replacements may be drawing near. We have heard concerns about the condition of the boat ramp. Dock board replacement may be accelerating soon due to general age. Lighting maintenance and lighting improvements can further enhance security. The Board and our new Grounds Committee will be carefully reviewing the capital plan. Recent Bylaw changes will have their first impacts next year. The most significant change clarifies responsibility for buildings and grounds that are not part of the Harbormaster responsibilities. ECSC had an on site caretaker for many years. We do not have a caretaker now, and there are significant challenges associated with having another. A review of the Bylaws revealed a need to more clearly establish responsibilities for buildings and grounds. Your Board added an new Grounds Committee, chaired by the Vice Commodore. The detailed responsibilities are available in the Bylaws on our improved web site. We hope to improve online access and items to our Ships Store in 2017. Many sailing clubs are starting to use online services that will put our logo on many more items than we can keep in our inventory. Les Miller has agreed to lead this worthy initiative.
As we close out our 2016 year, we have much to celebrate and be thankful for. We had very successful events this past summer and a big shout out to Nick Mates for a well-planned and implemented Final Bash! The mild weather allowed for several to enjoy sailing to Rick’s and enjoy the balcony and great view! I am already working on the 2017 calendar and look forward to some “repeat offenders” of Hosts and Hostesses! Please let me know if you wish to take on the responsibility again for the upcoming sailing season….it will be here before you know it! I will be looking for assistance in the spring to clean, paint, and organize the kitchen and social shed. This is another great way to earn your work credit!
Hello Eagle Creekers, The first week of December is when we will be counting boats for Winter storage. Please contact myself or Dennis Robertson if you will be removing your boat for the Winter after the first week. Otherwise you will be charged storage fees. Concerning storage of your boat at our club, it is a very good idea to come out and check your boat especially after a rain or snow to see if your tarp cover is holding up. The Club is not responsible for your boat and it may save you money to check it. Of course, if we as the Harbormasters see any problems we will try to contact the affected member. With that said, if you are at the club and you see any problems with other members boat, please take down their “current” member number and contact one of the Harbormasters. The upper trailer lot will likely be expanded this spring. My idea is to expand to the West end and South toward the main road. We will get an estimate for having the old meadow restored to an easily mowed parking area. The trailer parking will be available in April now that the Parks Department has added the trailer storage area to our lease. Thanks to all the members who assisted in Dock board replacement this year, future dock board replacement should be at a minimum for next year. I do know there are several boards on D dock and on A dock still in need of repair Dennis and I are going to submit a bid to replace all the boards and stringers on L dock this coming Spring. The original construction was very frugal and we have been paying for it as that dock ages. It will be up to the board to allocate club funds for this upgrade and up to our great group of member-volunteers to do the work in one weekend. Regarding our Slips and the slip waiting list. We put over twenty boats into slips this year with about fifteen into permanent slips and about five into subleases. Remember to contact the Harbormaster Department before subleasing. Subleases must go through us or you may lose your slip entirely. The reason for this is that there is a “list” and all allocations of slips are based on your seniority (shown by your member number). At this point we have 7 or 8 new members waiting for a slip. If at some point you want a new slip then point that out in your membership document. Slips will be offered to members that are available and you can request what ever you want but we can only offer slips that become available. Timely responses to offers will be accepted, if you don’t respond to an offer you may be stuck in the same slip. The club slip list is going to be run like a real marina from now on so if you have any complaints please contact the Harbormaster Department or the Commodore.
I will be taking over as Race Committee this year. First though, I want to thank Rick Graef for all the wonderful work he did as Race Committee the past 2 years. Thanks to him, the racing program is in good order and the transition went very smooth. I will be continuing a lot of what Rick started. We will have the regular Wednesday evening races, the Sunday races and the 5 major regattas. In addition, we will continue with Rich Fox’s Indy 200 regatta for White/Blue fleet boats, and the Ladies’ sail. We will continue with the 4 fleets this year. Red Fleet: higher performance keelboats with low PHRF ratings and gung ho skippers. Green Fleet: dingy/planing sailboats & catamarans White Fleet: keelboats with higher PHRF ratings Blue Fleet: higher PHRF boats and novice racers. We have seen a huge increase in the number of “cruisers” who have come out to try their hand at racing in the Blue/White fleet. Based on the numbers, it looks like they are having a good time. This year, I want to make a change to the Sunday racing series. I would like this to be a little more “family friendly” and encourage more cruisers to come out. So parents, bring your kids out for a Sunday sail and a little friendly competition. Races will start at 2:00 and end around 4:30 followed by hot dogs or burgers afterwards – just like on Wednesday nights. We will also have our major regattas: The Mayor’s Cup in May, the Flying Scot Regatta in June, the ECSC Regatta in July, the Governor’s Cup in September and the Hornback Regatta in October. These are all great events that are well attended. I would like to remind the “non-racers” that everyone is invited to the regatta parties at the Mayor’s Cup, Governor’s Cup and ECSC regattas. We will have music and food for a low fee. As a reminder to all skippers: ECSC is sponsoring a Club Race Officers training class on March 11, 2017. This is a great opportunity to deepen your knowledge about how to run a race. Mark the date on your calendar and make plans to attend. More to come next week. All racing events have already been posted on the web site calendar. I will be updating the Race Committee signup web site soon. As in the past, we will have 3 pre-season racing meetings for those interested in racing this year. During these meetings, we will register skippers for racing, get people signed up for Race committee and go over the rules of racing. The topics are as follows. Date Event Topics Wed Jan 25, 2017 Race Ready Meeting #1 Racing registration Race Committee sign up 2017 Racing program/events Wed Feb 22, 2017 Race Ready Meeting #2 Changes to racing rules Rules at the start Rules going to windward Rules at the windward mark Wed Mar 22, 2017 Race Ready Meeting #3 Rules at the leeward mark Rules going downwind Rules at the finish
Welcome to new members: Mike and Jill Overton of Indianapolis. They will be sailing a Compac 19 as they will become co-owners with Jane Schmidt. Kevin and Mary Crothers of Indianapolis sailing a Catalina 22. We’ve had a very active year at ECSC with 26 new members joining since 1/1/16, bringing our present total membership # to 255. This total breaks down as follows: 168-Family; 62-Regular ; 16-Social; 4-Lake ; 4-Lifetime; 1-Race Fellow During 2016, Christy has conducted 3 different New Member Orientation sessions as well as many individual tours of the club site for prospective member. Jane and Christy will continue to head up the membership activities in 2017 and will continue the above activities as well as the following: annual mailing of dues statements, entering all the incoming data into the data base, sending out new decals and keys, compiling data for the harbormaster to use in the assignment of slips, pulling data together for the printing of the membership booklet, preparing lists for committee heads to use in tracking work credits throughout the year and compiling the list needed by the harbormaster to count boats at the end of the season. As this sailing year winds down, we look forward to the next sailing season. Late in January, you will be receiving your 2017 annual dues statement, wet slip form and winter storage form. Due date for the return of those, along your check for payment, will be February 28, 2017. Please take this chance to notify us of any change in mailing and/or email addresses so that your renewal forms will reach you in a timely manner. email@example.com. Feel free to call 317-575-9837 with any questions regarding membership.