January 5, 2016

2016 Racing season

Hello Fellow ECSC Racers, What a difference a year makes. A year ago we were fighting snow and ice…. This year we have all been entertained by photos of ECSC boats sailing up until Christmas!!!! Thanks El Nino. We are currently finalizing the ECSC Racing schedule for 2016. A preliminary schedule can be found on our racing website at www.ecsail.org/racing . We will go into more details at our first race meeting of the year. This meeting is scheduled for Wednesday January 13th at 6:40 p.m. Place is TBD (I haven’t had a chance to check if DIVSYS is available because our past commodore has been AWOL in Park City, Utah). Remember these meetings are for any one interested in our racing program, regardless of experience. The 14th through 17th of January is the Annual Strictly Sail Sailboat Show in Chicago. Make your way there if you can, there are lots of great presentations, boats and gear to be had. If you make it to the show, check out the gear at Line Honors Performance Sailing. Tell Bob you know me and he might just give you a special price (an additional 5% mark-up…) Also any of you lucky dogs that get somewhere warm this winter on a sailboat, share a picture to our ECSC facebook page. Sail Fast, Rick  
February 5, 2016

Come out to our Racing Clinics

Hello fellow ECSC sailors! Thanks to all those who attended our first Race gathering at the boathouse of the 2015 Season. Mark your calendars for February 17th for the next Race Meeting. Location is TBD. I plan to go through Starting Tactics and Rules, Upwind and downwind rules and tactics. We will also go through some of the exciting plans for this season. We welcome all sailors regardless of experience level. Hopefully some of you managed to get to the Strictly Sail Chicago Sailboat (and RV) show. I made it up for one afternoon and had a great time. Speaking of ECSC Sailors on the move, Past Commodore Tony Hubbard represented ECSC at Quantum Sails Key West Race week in a chartered Farr 280. His crew included his son Jacob and one of my regular crew members Cameron Borkowski. Hopefully you all have seen the email blast regarding the North U. Racing and Tactics seminar at Indianapolis Sailing Club on March 5th. Registration starts at 8.30 AM at ISC. The tactics class will cover strategy, tactics and rules all the way around the race course. These seminars are great to help you build your strategy, develop a racing plan and follow through with results. The instructor is Andrew Kerr. He is a j24 and Santana 20 National Champion. The cost of the seminar is $99 to US Sailing and club members. Be sure to check the member level pricing, or you will be charged the normal $129 rate. Also Junior sailors and students can attend for only $50. For further information and to register Click here. Our 2016 ECSC Racing calendar is set and can be accessed on our club’s website at www.ecsail.org on the racing page or the calendar. Or you can click here to view the a PDF of the race schedule. Spring is just around the corner. See you on the water, Rick Graef and Janet Hickok
March 5, 2016

Racing Tactics Seminar

Hello fellow ECSC sailors! There is still time to sign up for the North U. Racing and Tactics seminar at Indianapolis Sailing Club on March 5th. Registration starts at 8.30 AM at ISC. The tactics class will cover strategy, tactics and rules all the way around the race course. These seminars are great to help you build your strategy, develop a racing plan and follow through with results. The instructor is Andrew Kerr. He is a j24 and Santana 20 National Champion. The cost of the seminar is $99 to US Sailing and club members. Be sure to check the member level pricing, or you will be charged the normal $129 rate. Also Junior sailors and students can attend for only $50. For further information and to register Click here. Our 2016 ECSC Racing calendar is set and is listed below; it can also be accessed on our club’s website at www.ecsail.org on the racing page or the calendar. Or you can click here to view the a PDF of the race schedule. Rick Graef and Janet Hickok  
April 5, 2016

2016 Racing Schedule set

Hello fellow ECSC sailors! Spring is upon us and we can’t wait to dip our keels and cross our tacks. This Saturday April 2nd, we will be holding a spring Racing Work Party. Come earn some valuable work credits and help out your club. We will get our club boats cleaned and in the water, clean up and do some work on our race shed, and if the weather allows, get the lift for the RIB into the water. Bring your waders or a wetsuit if you have one. On Saturday April 9th at 11 A.M. we will hold an intro to racing seminar at the race shed. We will go over how to run races and the proper operation of our RC and Safety boats. If weather allows, we will hit the water and run several starts and even a short race. We would love to have everyone from the beginner to our experienced racers on hand. We will need a few boats to go out and practice some starts and train with us. The following Wednesday April 13th, our 2016 racing season will officially get under way with our first Wednesday Night Beer-can race at 6:40 P.M. This is the first race of our 12-week Spring Wednesday series. Much like last year, we are scheduling a 12-week Spring Wednesday Series, a 12-week Summer Wednesday series, and a 5-week Twilight Wednesday Series. The first warning for the Spring and Summer series will be at 6:40 P.M. The first warning for the Twilight series will be at 6:30 P.M. Scoring for our Spring and Summer Wednesday series will be the same as last season. Each boat will begin each series with a 7-point slacker-penalty. Once someone from the boat serves Race Committee Duty in that series (and write the boat sail number on the score sheet), that boat moves to non-slacker status and the 7-point penalty is removed. The boat will be scored regardless of the skipper. See the Notice of Race on our website (at www.ecsail.org/racing ) for official information. There are no work credits given for the spring or summer Wednesday race committee work; however work credits are given for Twilight, Sunday, and special regattas. Sign up for your race committee duty the way I used to vote in Chicago…..Early and Often. The link for our sign up page is on the Racing website, or follow this link http://www.signupgenius.com/go/20f084ca9ac22a4f58-race2 Our Sunday series will not begin until Sunday, June 5th. Sundays will consist of 3 short races held between 2 and 4 P.M. There will be two 6-week summer series. All fleets are eligible to race in each series, and each Sunday will have a special class or division championship named. For example, our first Sunday will also be the Catalina 25 Club Championship. Win those three races in your Catalina 25 and you get your name on the Club Championship Trophy in the Race Shed and an extra- special prize. Classes and groups that are included are: Catalina 25, double and triple handed green fleet, J24-Merit 25, Single Handed Green Fleet, Cruisers, Multi Hull, Double Handed Keelboat, J22, Ladies Championship, and a couple of downwind race days. Speaking of fleets, the fleet designation we will use this year will be the same as last year (Red, White (including our old blue fleet), Green, and Green-multi) except we are establishing a Blue Fleet. B is for Blue, B is for Beginner. This fleet is for sailors who are new to racing (around 2 or less years experience in racing) and sail a boat that rates as a white fleet (including our old Blue designation). If you want to race as a Blue Fleet racer you will need to declare yourself to be scored as Blue Fleet to me at racing@ecsail.org. The Racing chair, along with Larry Conrad (our PHRF czar) and Rich Fox (our scoring guru) will need to approve your “beginner” status. Blue fleet will always start with our white fleet. If you race a green fleet or Red fleet boat and qualify as a new racer, let us know also and we will notate that on the scoring sheets. The Notice of Race (the rules of the series) will be published on our website the first weeks of April. Read them… follow them. Our major regattas of the year are: May 14th and 15th – Mayor’s Cup and Party This should be a great event. Two great days of racing. Free Rum pour on Saturday. Dinner and a live band – Catalyst Gypsy – Saturday night. Even if you aren’t racing, come for the party. Free Drinks and a cheap dinner July 9th and 10th – ECSC Regatta and Beach Party What can I say? Nick Mates promises to top last year’s party…. Warm weather, great racing. An all boat raft-up in the cove is planned for Saturday post racing With the band on the beach. September 10th – INDY 200 This event for our boats and crews that race with a PHRF over 200 (or about) We had some great racing last year and this year should be even better. September 17th and 18th – Indiana Governor’s Cup Regatta and Party This should be a great event. Two great days of racing. Free Rum pour on Saturday. Dinner and a live band – Catalyst Gypsy – Saturday night. Even if you aren’t racing, come for the party. Free Drinks and a cheap dinner. October 8th and 9th – Hornback Regatta and Chili Cook off Where the fast start last – Come to one of the most fun regattas of the year. Slow boat??? No worries, The slower the boat, the bigger the headstart. Just watch your rear view mirror as the Multi-hulls try and catch you. Also enjoy some of the best Chili in Indiana for dinner on Saturday Special races during the year include: A match race championship on Saturday, May 7th, The annual Flying Scot Regatta on May 21-22, The Day after thanksgiving race, The Ladies Sail on August 13th, and a night race on November 2nd. The ECSC Boat of the Year championship will use the same formula as last year. It included all Wednesday and Sunday series racing, The Governor’s Cup, The Mayor’s Cup, and the ECSC Regatta. New for this year for the J24 fleet will be a Hoosier championship series between our J24 fleet and the Indianapolis Sailing Club’s J24 fleet. Check out the NOR on our website for details. Events include our Mayor’s Cup and Governor’s Cup and their Geist Guzzler Regatta (June 4 and 5) and their Keelboat Regatta (August 20th and 21st). A champion Club as well as an individual boat will be named. Rich Fox will be handling our scoring for the season and Larry Conrad is our PHRF czar. In order to be scored in any race at ECSC you MUST have a current PHRF form on file with Larry. If you raced last year, Larry has pre-filled out your form and it is in the PHRF box on the official race bulletin board. You will need to check it for accuracy, sign it, and return it to the completed form folder. If you need to fill out a new form, there are blank forms there. If you have any questions, ask any racer. If you don’t know any racers, just hang out near the race shed with an open cooler of iced adult beverages and one will appear. A few reminders: Your gate key opens the Race shed. If you use the race shed (for any reason) clean up after yourself (As Kenny says – The Club is NOT your mother) Sign up for Race Committee When you use the RC or RIB, put all gear away afterwards and pull motors back out of the water. When you use the RC or RIB back the boats out towards the lake, NOT THE SHORE. It is shallow and we have already had to replace propellers from groundings. On the race course…. Don’t hit other boats!! Even if the rules are on your side… you break a rule when a right-away boat fails to avoid a collision (RRS Rule 14) Read it…follow it Don’t bypass the liar’s table after racing…. It is where memories are made Have fun Our 2016 ECSC Racing calendar is set and is listed below; it can also be accessed on our club’s website at www.ecsail.org on the racing page or the calendar. Or you can click here to view the a PDF of the race schedule. Rick Graef and Janet Hickok  
May 1, 2016

2016 Racing is underway!

Mayor’s Cup Update Mayors Cup is just around the corner!!!   May 14th and 15th we will hold our first major regatta of the season. Race Documents and the registration form can be found online at www.ecsail.org under the racing tab.  To Pre-register, send an email to racing@ecsail.org with your boat name, skipper name sail number and class. That will pre-register you and you can fill out the form at registration on the 14th. Come out for great on the water racing, and off the water food, music and beverages. Remember, the Mayors Cup party is not just for Racers anymore. All club members are invited to come to the party, hang with the racers, eat some delicious Yats food, enjoy some beer, soda, or water and listen to Catalyst Gypsee. The party starts around 5 with a Shellback Rum pour. The band will start around 5.30, and dinner is at 6.30.  All this will only be $10 per person for the first dinner bought and $5 each additional dinner. Mayor’s Cup Shirts will also be available (while supplies last) for $10 per shirt. Racers, your $40 early registration fee includes one $10 shirt and your first $10 dinner. If we don’t get an emailed pre-registration the regatta fee is $45. Wednesday Night Series April has seen some great Wednesday night racing. The numbers are growing each week as the temperature continues to rise. Come check out the new tunes at the race shed. Special Thanks to John George and Brian for hanging the Liars swing  in the race shed. ECSC Match Race Championship May 7th will be our 2nd annual ECSC Match Race championship. We plan to run this like last year’s event with an onshore primer on Match racing, then hit the water in a couple of club FJs. Last year, we raced several races in Flying Juniors and all had fun and learned a lot. Come check it out, meet at 11 a.m. at the race shed. Any 2 person teams that want to sail are welcome. Shoot me an email at racing@ecsail.org and let me know if you want to race. Also, we will need help on the RC boat so come on out and have some fun. Annual Flying Scot Regatta May 21st and 22nd will be our ECSC Flying Scot regatta. This has grown into one of our best one design regattas. Last year, we had 15 boats from all over the Midwest.  With only two local boats, that means almost all competitors come from other clubs, including the 2nd, 4th and 9th place finishers in the 2016 Midwinters.  For the second year in a row, our own Tyler Andrews will be coming back to race.  Tyler and his Father-in-Law, Harry Carpenter finished 4th in the 2016 Midwinters.  Come on out and say “hi” to him.  The race documents can be found on the racing website page. Sunday Series The Sunday series will begin Sunday June 5th with the first warning at 2 p.m. It will coincide with the Catalina 25 Club Championship. We have several Catalina 25s that now race. Let’s get them all on the starting line for three short races and crown a Catalina 25 champ!  The winner will get one of our new Sunday prizes. Either a ECSC logo embroidered Fleece blanket, an ECSC Logo embroidered backpack, or an ECSC Logo embroidered sunhat.  Even if you don’t have a Catalina, ALL ECSC boats are welcome to race on Wednesdays and Sundays.  We ask that you fill out a PHRF form that can be found in a holder next to the race shed door. If you don’t have a form on file, we will still score you…. We just will have to use the base PHRF number. Miscellaneous Last month, we held a beginner race seminar. About 20 sailors brushed up on their Race Management rules and learned the ins and outs of our race boats and race gear. If anyone else would like a refresher or to check out our race management book it can be found on the website listed as race committee handbook. It has everything you need to know to run a race. Rick and Janet from Racing  
June 1, 2016

Great wind for Mayor’s Cup 2016

Well,  Our 2016 Mayor’s Cup Regatta is often our windiest regatta of the year and this year’s weekend did not disappoint. We had several boats make the trip across town from Indianapolis Sailing Club as part of the new J24 Hoosier Championship Series. The Mayor’s Cup was won by the J24 2XS from Chicago in a seven boat fleet. 2XS is owned by Mark Soya. Both days had very tight racing in steady 18-22 knot conditions with gust recorded at the airport over 30 knots.  Second place in the J24 Fleet went to Jason Hubbard, sailing Absolut and third place went to Commodore Perry Cameron in Sublime. The Highlander fleet sent out a guinea pig boat to test the wind on Saturday which quickly scampered back in the cove and the fleet decided to not race on Saturday.  On Sunday, the wind dropped slightly and they got in several races. The Highlander Fleet was won by Japikse, second place was Jamey Carey, and Hollingsworth was third. The PHRF fleet battled the conditions both days and was won by Jack Hale in his Merit 25. Second place was Leroy Leeman in his J22 and third went to John Kohne also in a J22. Jack Hale aboard his Merit 25 Buzz Off Full Results can be found on the racing page along with the J24 Hoosier Championship Series Results. The dinner was catered by Yats and the Band was fantastic. Thanks to Sheela Smith Krout for taking some great pictures. They can be found at https://www.flickr.com/photos/42535445@N04/sets/72157668696401316 Wednesday night racing has been fantastic with lots of beautiful evenings on the water. Sunday June 4th is our first Sunday Funday Race.  Racing will consist of three short races from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. All boats are eligible and there will be prizes warded by the race committee that day. Also this Sunday doubles as our Club Catalina 25 Championship.  Have a Catalina 25???   All you have to do is race that day and if you come out on top, You Win Club Champion Bragging rights for the year (and a great Prize) Sunday June 4th  is also the Geist Guzzler Regatta  at Indianapolis Sailing Club. This is a keel boat regatta that is the 2nd regatta in the J-24 Hoosier Championship Series.  Any keelboats from ECSC would be welcome, however, any J-24s that attend will count towards the J24 Hoosier Championship. The average of the top three boats from each club will count for the overall club championship.  I would love to see 3 J24s make the trip. Last year yours truly took first in the J24 fleet and my son Austin placed second in a borrowed boat. Sunday June 12th is another Sunday Funday race that will also double as the two and three handed green fleet champs. That means Thistles, Flying Scots, Highlanders…. Let’s get them all on the water. The following Sunday, June 19th is not only father’s day (see social calendar for times for Father’s Day event), but also the Father’s Day Downwind regatta (it will also count as a regular Sunday series race. We will run 3 short downwind start races. The final Sunday in June doubles as the J-24-Merit 25 champs.  For the Sunday series these races will be scored with the normal PHRF ratings, BUT for the champs….the boats race boat for boat. As for Race committee – We have had good turnout during May, however the sign-up sheet looks pretty bleak in June. Don’t forget to follow the link on the racing page and sign up for your volunteer spot.  Thanks to all the volunteers who have helped with RC duty, food and fuel so far this year. See you on the water,   Rick  
July 1, 2016

Knee High by the fourth of July

Ahoy ECSC Racers.   Well, it is July in Indiana, the corn is knee high, and our racers are ripping it up here on our home waters and across the country.  Our Wednesday Spring Series has just concluded with great racing all Spring.  Congrats to Les Miller for winning the new Blue Fleet in his S2 6.9 Turbolina.  The winner of White Fleet, our largest fleet (13 boats) was Mike Clark sailing his Precision 23, Logos. Green Fleet was won by Dr. Bob and Kenny sailing the Highlander, Kowa Bunga. The always competitive Red fleet was topped by Bob and Janet Hickok in Spontaneous Combustion (J24). Sunday Racing has been building strongly this year. Sunday races are scheduled from 2 to 4 during June, July and August.  New this year are club championships that will be sailed concurrently with the rest of the Sunday fleet. Our innaugural Catalina 25 Championship was won by Bob Hickok. Check the schedule for upcoming club championships. Speaking of championships, the 2016 J24 Hoosier championship are 2 out of 4 regattas in.  This is a new series between the J24 fleets of ECSC and ISC. ECSC Mayor’s Cup and Governor’s Cup along with ISC Geist Guzzler and their Keelboat regatta count for the series. With Mayor’s Cup and Geist Guzzler completed ECSC is in the lead. There will also be an individual winner named. Jason Hubbard finished highest from our sister clubs in the Mayors cup, and Perry Cameron was on top during the Geist Guzzler. The scoring system for this series is a high point scoring system. After the accountants at ECSCScoring.notarealwebsite.com  tabulated the results…… Jason and Perry are tied with 13 points each.  Full scoring for the regattas and the Hoosier championships can be found on the racing page. Don’t Forget the ECSC Regatta and Beach Party is coming up on July 9th and 10th. Our Past Commodore Nick Mates has great plans for the beach Party. Dr. Bob and Kenny will be sharing Race Officer duties. The NOR is available on the website and the SIs and entry forms are posted at the bottom of the race page.   Last month we had several of our ECSC members make the trek to Chicago for the Americas Cup World Series racing in Chicago.  This was the first time any Americas Cup racing ha s ever been sailed in fresh water! Chicago put on quite an amazing event and the Americas Cup is sure to return in the future. The AC 45 catamarans tore up the waters of Lake Michigan and even set a new speed record during a race.   ECSC will be represented in this years Port Huron to Mackinac race.  This is an annual race sponsored by Bayview Yacht Club. Captain Tony Hubbard has entered  his deep-draught Ocean Racer s/v Integrity. She is a 1961 Alden Challenger Yawl. Your fearless race chair will be aboard for this momentus race. We will be sailing the Shore course (slightly shorter than the Cove Island course) which is 235 miles long. For more info check out the website at www.bycmack.com . There is also a tracker on the website so you can be part of the action. Integrity is in Class N and will proudly be carrying an ECSC Flag and Burgee.  I believe that this is the first time a boat registered from ECSC has competed in this race.   Special thanks to everybody that has kept our race program running smoothly.  See you on the water.   Rick  
August 1, 2016

August Race Report

Hello fellow ECSC Sailors and Racers, July has been a great month. Wednesday and Sunday races continue to be a blast.  Temps are high, but so are water levels. ECSC Regatta and Beach party proved to be one of our best Racing events of the year. Saturday had some great racing, but unfortunately Sunday the wind didn’t quite cooperate and there were no races Sunday. Dr. Bob and his crew handled the Race Committee duties with expertise and we had some great racing Saturday. Nick Mates and his crew threw one of the best parties of the year. The band played until the wee hours and the dancing and singing was plentiful. Red Fleet was won by Nan Schulze in Dutch Mob, 2nd was Perry Cameron in Sublime, and Austin Graef finished third in Don’t Panic. White/Blue Fleet was won by Rich Fox, 2nd went to Chuck and Nancy Goff, and third was Mark Walker.  The green fleet was won by Geoff Endris.   On another note, Our club was represented for the first time ever in the Bayview Yacht club’s annual race to Mackinac.  This is a large yacht race from Port Huron, Michigan to Mackinac Island in Michigan. Club Member Tony (“Toe-Knee”) Hubbard entered his John Alden Challenger.  She is 38 feet long and was built in 1961 in England.  Her home port is Sandusky, Ohio, but she proudly sailed for and displayed the Eagle Creek Sailing Club Burgee.  Her crew included family, along with extended sailing family. This included  many former junior sailors that Tony has mentored over the past decades. Aboard for the race were Toe-Knee Hubbard,  his sons Jason and Jacob Hubbard, Cam Borkowski, Barrett Rhodes, John Bergan, and myself – Rick Graef. Delivery crew also included Jim and Bonnie Wolfinger. The adventure began with a three day delivery from Sandusky to Put-in-Bay to Bayview Yacht Club, then on to Port Huron.  After several days of race prep in Port Huron,  Integrity began her first race in decades. We battled light air, medium air, and even squalls filled with lightening, rain that pelted your eyeballs and 45 knot winds. Our only casualty was our asymmetric kite (from a J105) that exploded in 20-25 knots of wind. Integrity finished a respectable 7th out of the 15 boats in her section, and 15th overall out of the 109 yachts competing on the shore course. Following the race, her crew relaxed for a few days on Mackinac Island before beginning the long delivery home to Sandusky.  There are lots and lots more stories – so saunter up to me or Captain Tony at the liars table and we would love to share them. As I write this blog three ECSC J24 crews are preparing their J24s to head north to Put-In-Bay, Ohio to compete in the I-LYA’s Bay Week Regatta.  This is often referred to as Senior Bay so as to not confuse it with Junior Bay week. Don’t Panic, Dutch Mob, and Quixotic  are all making the trip and will race this Friday through Sunday.  This is also the J24 District championships and should be a great regatta. Have fun, sail often, and sheet in.   Your race chair,   Rick Graef