Saturday, July 7, 2012

Almost a month since the last update.  CYC Sailing School is underway with the new CANSail curriculum and so far feedback and retention are good.  Maura D has headed back to Victoria, we have had more great attendance at Tuesday Night Race Team with as many as 13 people on multiple occasions and a good fleet attending Thursday Night racing as well.  Each time we have hit the number 13 in Race Team attendance we have had a different group of people so if everyone shows up to the same practice, we have the potential for a very impressive group. 

Maura D, Finn G, Kelsey S and I travelled to RVanYC Waves on the weekend of the 23rd to 24th.  I finished 6th in laser class (tied for fifth with a Royal Vic athlete that I have been coaching in past years: Max G).  I won the last race which was a thrill finishing a couple of boatlengths in front of Al C,  that was my first bullet at a Waves Regatta.  Maura D finished fifth in the Radial Fleet earning a prize and Finn G put together a strong regatta in the demanding English Bay conditions.  Kelsey S was hired to coach RVicYC Opties and ended up as the most experienced coach on the course helping out with all aspects of the Opti course.  Good to see that Alberta is producing strong Coaches as well as strong athletes!

Last Weekend was the BC Laser Masters Championships on Nicola Lake.  I can't find results for it, but second hand I hear that it was very windy, Al C won again (he also won Waves), Thom S had a spectacular first day and would have had a great regatta if gremlins had not stolen his hull plug.  I believe that not having your hull plug is a right of passage of some sort.  Everyone seems to have a story about sailing without one.

This afternoon was the Commodore's Cup club championships, one single pursuit-style race with a complicated staggered start system designed so that all classes of boats should finish together and so the order of crossing the finish line is the order of results.  This is contrasted with the X-fleet style racing where all boats start together and their times are recorded and a calculation is required to figure out the results. 

In first place was Ian H sailing Laser.  He snagged the victory by a clever move on the last full upwind leg.  From the outset he said that he had promised himself not to sail within 50 metres of the shore.  When he saw Leslie and Steve R sailing shore-wards and myself following them, he recognized that we were all sailing the headed tack and so tacked towards the middle of the lake.  I had a respectable lead on Ian H and had foolishly discounted him.  I considered tacking to cover him, but my eyes were for the leading boat of Leslie and Steve.  They seemed to be sailing well until the shore effect becalmed them and we both got a big header.  I tacked and sailed away from shore on a lifted tack avoiding the worst of the lull and passing Steve and Leslie R.  But upon tacking, I saw that Ian H had stayed in better pressure and had drawn well ahead of me.  I spent the rest of the race chasing Ian H down, but he was sailing very well heading down in the puffs and up in the lulls on the reaches.  In the end Ian H won, I was second and Mike H was third, all three of us in Lasers.

I had an interesting equipment failure on the first leg of the Comodore's Cup race.  The block at the end of my boom came unriveted so that my mainsheet went from the mainsheet block to the middle boom block to the fairleed and then straight down to the traveller block where it ended.  This got rid of all of the mechanical advantage and so it was too difficult to hold the sheet in through the main sheet block.  The way that I jury rigged it was to sheet directly from the main block and make a lot of boom vang adjustments.  Sheeting from the boom meant no ratchet, but it also meant that I did not need to use my arm strength to pull the boom down, so it was easier.  From the boom block, I could sheet the boom in and out, but sheeting it in did not pull the boom down.  This meant that the sail stayed very powered up.  In order to get the boom down and simulate the normal upwind block to block setting, I pulled on a huge amount of boom vang.  Through a lot of sheeting and vang adjustment, I was able to keep my boatspeed competitive and I even wondered if the way it was rigged gave me an advantage on the tight reaches with my overly powered up sail.  The trouble came when I tried to go close hauled.  I kept on oversheeting past the back corner of the boat and stalling out or else footing off too far.  In the end I had raw hands from the lack of mechanical advantage and a new perspective on sail trim, decoupling vang tension from mainsheet trim.  So learn from my mistake and check the rivets on your boom!

Looking forward, we have a new regatta added to our schedule.  I have added it to the excel schedule embedded in the first Laser Salience Blog Post.  The embedded excel sheet now includes D22 Championships at Flathead Lake in Montana, US.  A very scenic and friendly place to sail, well worth the trip.  Here is a link to the North Flathead Lake Yacht Club.  There is a link to the NOR on the website but at the moment it is broken, however the PDF has been circulating widely on Laser mailing lists.  If you need it, ask me or most anyone else who has subscribed to email lists to forward it to you.

While on the topic of NORs, here is another link to the Newell Prairie Wind Regatta NOR.  Also I have been instructed to pass on the message that sailors should come regardless of whether you have been able to book a campsite.  They said that they will make it work.  CYC has prepared special T-shirts... but I won't say any more about that ;)  Another thing about Newell is that Team Sask will be attending.  It is the Dick Degner Grand Prix event that Saskatchewan has chosen to support and it is the Western Canadian Laser Masters Championship.

In order to reciprocate, I would encourage Alberta sailors to go to the Battlefords Sailing Club on Jackfish Lake July 28-29th, here is the NOR.  Or if that doesn't work, go to the Saskatchewan Short Course Championships at Saskatoon Sailing Club on Redberry Lake September 8-9th, 20 races, 10 per day.  Both of these regattas are part of the Dick Degner Grand Prix and you need a Saskatchewan regatta to be scored in this D5 Championship series.

I will leave you with a couple of pictures of the carnage left by the storm that wrecked our middle dock in early June.  The first one shows a very uncommon phenomenon: the prairie tideline!

The second one tells the tragic tale of a shipwrecked Lego man who was found apparently reaching desperately for land when he met his cruel fate below the tideline.  May he rest in peace.


  1. Hole Smokes! 38 Full Rigs, 79 Radials, even 15 4.7s. Still not too late to come to Laser North Americans at the Gorge!

  2. Uhh so... If you're not here this week, what's happening for training?

    1. I have made a lesson plan for Tuesday and Steve Reichenfeld will deliver it with whatever modifications he wants, so I encourage everyone to go out and get another perspective on their sailing. Steve R is a very strong sailor and good at communicating. Go sample his coaching!