Saturday, January 16, 2010

Racing Program Thoughts

Three thoughts on improving our race program.

1. I am in the process of listing on the web everyone racing with SSSS who won something this summer. That led me to question what we are doing with the Stars. I seem to be turning out volumes of paper that no one wants. Maybe I miss something, but I see Bill has to find the people to give them their awards; they do not seem to want it enough to stop by his truck, let alone ask after it. So why are we doing it? Should we stop handing out certificates? Should we do something else? Should we even worry about awards? I do not have answers. But we should find some. At present it seems like the awards are a waste of time.

2. Our “gate course,” is not working as planned. The starting line makes a gate way too long. It does not function like a gate one would experience at a well run regatta. It is not good practice for sailing a gate at, say the Worlds. I was one who said the start/finish would work; I was wrong.

A gate is suppose to cut down on crowding at the leeward mark by offering an alternative way to round. Our course does not succeed in doing so. The marks are so far apart that the difference in course sailed to round the other mark is too far to count on getting it back with a clear rounding. So most everyone goes the same way and the mark is crowded.

Your choice as to which side of the gate to round should be more tactical, made closer to the time you want to round. Our marks are far enough apart the decision is more strategic: you often choose your side as you round the windward mark. That changes the game and does not give us experience with a gate as one will see it else where.

Again I am better at raising questions than at supplying solutions. A gate set mid line, downwind of the line? Would it get in the way of the start?

3. I think we talked about this already and agree, the offset mark at the regattas was too far from the windward mark. The courses became triangles; not Olympic triangles, but triangles still. This time the answer is obvious.


Friday, January 8, 2010

Approved Bottom Paint

The Technical Committee of BISF has met and reviewed the options for bottom paint since Boaters World closed and the paint we have been using is no longer available.

In accordance with PART II BISF RULES, Section 1 – BISF Star Definition, Rule 5, the Technical Committee approved bottom paint for the upcoming season is Interlux Epoxycop (link to paint specs).  This paint is hard modified-epoxy paint in compliance with DOE rules on in-water cleaning. So scrub away without the worry of John’s $10,000 fine. The paint comes in blue, black, red and green.  Anyone not complying with Rule 5 will be protested by the Technical Committee and disqualified from any race that they participate in with unapproved bottom paint.

If you purchase the paint through the fleet the cost is about $70/gal (only black and blue will be available through the fleet). If you purchase it on your own it will cost approximately $100/gal. I suggest you start thinking about when you plan to get your boat ready for the season.

The following are the tentative launch dates:

First Launch - March 20, 2010
Second Launch - April 3, 2010
Third Launch - April 17, 2010
Season Champion’s Clinic – April 18, 2010
Black Star Regatta – April 23rd – 25th 2010

You need to contact Bill if you want to work in his shop and I suggest you plan early.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Stupid Wet Sailors

It could only happen in Olympia. That’s what I thought to myself as I huddled damply in the driver’s seat of the boat. Not a place you would want to be while the sky poured a never ending flow of water.

Not only was it freezing out on the first Monday in May, which can be expected, if not liked, but it was pouring a rain so thick that it was nearly impossible to see even a few feet in front of the boat. But none of this would have mattered to me if I was actually on a sailboat instead of huddled on a tiny motor boat with a sunshade that, instead of repelling water like it was supposed to, actually seemed to drench me more than I would have been if I was not under it. And if there had been, you know, wind.

No, the water was as smooth as glass, or, more correctly, it would have been as smooth as glass except for the rain. This was a sight that would strike fear in the hearts of sailors everywhere. Without wind, the simple fact is, there’s no sailing.

Only in Olympia would racing in these conditions take place. Only here would six stupid sailors get drenched in freezing rain in hopes of getting a few measly races off. It would be a good start to the season for them. With only three boats out, they would have a huge lead over those who weren’t so dedicated to the sport. I still couldn’t forgive them for showing up. If they hadn’t been there, I would be nice and comfortable at home where it was dry.

I couldn’t help but glower at them under my damp hair. Finally, time to go in. Soon I would be in the warmth of Tugboats, sipping hot chocolate with feeling in my hands again. Only in Olympia would people be so stupid.

Star 7094