Monday, December 29, 2008


The original point of this blog was to see how many days I sailed this year. The final number is 43. Next years goal will be 52. That would be once a week on average.

I think I'm going to start off by sailing a local Laser regatta on New Years Day.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Some pictures from the National Championships of Puerto Rico.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ever since I switched to the new extra low profile main sheet blocks I've had trouble getting the sheeting to work correctly. The main sheet always wanted to jump the sheave when I was sheeted block to block. Finally at North Americans I figured out what the smart guys were doing and rigged up something temporary. Today I actually moved the becket to make it permanent. This system evidently works great. The trick is moving the becket from on top of the cam cleat to the side of the block.
The two blocks are Harken H2640 and H194.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Go Mike

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

43: Puerto Rican Nationals
Ok we're ready to race now. We started of the long weekend a bit rusty but got back into the swing of things after a few races. I feel like we had just gotten the rust off by Sunday. At any rate it was a fantastic weekend with great racing and parties that were truly unique cultural experiences. We'll be back next year.
Rich wrote some good updates on the HCA website. The final results and pictures are posted there as well.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

40: It was cold and rainy so all the "frostbiters" bailed out of sailing for the day and went to The Black Seal. I went out for a short sail from Essex YC to Pettipaug YC and back. It was not such a bad sail but the wind was on the light side.
I definately will not make the required 70% to qualify for the Fall series since I'll be in Puerto Rico next weekend. That's a small price to pay I guess.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just got results from the Snow and Satisfaction

Snow and Satisfaction Regatta 2008
Yale Corinthian Yacht Club/McNay Family Sailing Center
November 7-9, 2008
4:28 PM 11-20-08

Thanks to everyone who came and sailed or helped out. It was great to have all the 420s filled and to have so much support by alumni helping on RC.

Friday brought warm weather and sunny skies to the group of competitors, but unfortunately the wind did not cooperate. After waiting for one-and-a half hours for the wind to fill in, the Race Committee decided that the conditions were suitable for some practice team racing. The competitors went out and sailed in a very shifty Northerly of between zero and five knots for a few hours, with the last races getting over around 5PM. While no scores were kept as the teams were randomly assigned based on sail colors, it seemed as though all the competitors enjoyed the experience and helped get those who have been out of the boat for a while some practice time in. Thanks to Karl and Cecily Ziegler, Richard Feeny , Cameron Cullman, and Will Turnbull who helped fill in for people who could not make it out for Friday's racing.

Saturday looked much more promising. Under warm weather and cloudy skies, competition got underway at around 10:50AM. Racing started off at the edge of Short Beach Cove in a very choppy sea state with wind from the South, with a number of shifts. Racing was moved in the afternoon farther out into the sound where the waves were larger and the current was stronger. By the end of the day, the sailors struggled against the elements, with rain and light fog disrupting the sailing conditions. Seven races were completed on Saturday in winds of four to 12 knots in the puffs. They were tough conditions to get the boat going in. Windward-leeward courses with a gate and offset were sailed, with a variable number of legs. In all except for the first race a gate was used, something that was necessary due to the congestion at the leeward mark. One breakdown was awarded and three redresses were awarded due to improper procedure in over early situations.

Sunday was a prime example of what the Snow and Satisfaction Regatta is meant for: fun racing. The wind was strong, the waves huge, and the reaches were full on planing. The wind was coming from the West at between 12 and 20 knots. Gold Cup Courses were sailed all day, which made racing especially fun because of the fast, full plane reaches. It was full-on hiking all day long with big waves. Two breakdowns were awarded for a mast that came out of its step. Thomas Barrows and Marla Menninger showed they were in the big breeze groove, winning all five races by large margins.

On Saturday, a great dialog occurred at the dinner, so thank you for everyone that participated. The first topic started out with Ken Legler getting a variety of sailors involved in discussing the past and future of the International 420 class. Isabelle Kinsolving and Skip Whyte then spoke about Isabelle's win at the 2008 470 World Championships. Stuart McNay and Thomas Barrows gave a short look into their experiences at the 2008 Olympic Games. Ski Whyte also enlightened the group with a riveting tale about the medal race for the 49'er fleet. A number of other great issues were brought up along the way, so thank you for everyone who participated in the Saturday evening talk.

It was interesting to see the shake up in the results this year. Both the first (Thomas Barrows and Marla Menninger) and second (John Mollicone and Maria Mahler-Haug) place teams did not compete in 2007--this was both of their first times competing at the entirety of the event. Stuart McNay, third this year, placed ninth in 2007. On the other end of the scale, the winner the past two years, Justin Law, dropped to 10th this year, while Jesse Combs and Caleb Dorfman, second last year, dropped to 15th this year. Zachary Brown and Grace Becton stayed consistent, placing third in 2007 and fourth this year. This shake up in the rankings is testament to the tough competition at the event--to perform well, everyone truly needs to be at the top of their game.

Thanks for everyone helping to make the regatta a success again. It is great to have such a diverse group both on and off the water and I hope to see many of you again next year. And to those of you who helped: thank you. It isn't possible without you. Congrats to Thomas Barrows and Marla Menninger on their impressive win!
Caleb Dorfman
Snow and Satisfaction Regatta Chair

1. Barrows/Menninger 44
2. Mollicone/Mahler-Haug 63
3. McNay/Hession 86
4. Brown/Becton 108
5. Morris/Rosenberg 120
6. Siegal/Hoyle 122
7. Ferrarone/Killion 123
8. Merrick/Smith 127
9. Huang/Furie 141
10. Law/Gilman 149
11. Hill/Hughes/Zevi Dell 151
12. Barry/Oakland/Levin 152
13. Legler/Hwa 158
14. Macky/ Jackson 159
15. Combs/Dorfman 161
16. Whyte/Coplin 162
17. Strammer/Rabin 164
18. Breault/Stewart 174
19. Cullman/Emhiser 183
20. Helias/DeCollibus 191
21. Farrar/Kinsolving 194
22. Brown/Nebergall 205
23. Besse/Heacock 214

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Since you asked here is the pre-edited version of the article I wrote for Sailing World a few years ago.

Strategy By Bob Merrick

Switching Boats With Success

In preparation for the 470 class Olympic trials, which were going to be held in St. Petersburg, Fla., in October 1999, Paul Foerster and I wanted to do as much racing as possible on site to increase our familiarity with the local sailing conditions. But with only a few 470 regattas scheduled for Tampa Bay, racing in the Lightning Midwinters, hosted by the St. Petersburg YC, seemed like a great way to help develop our local knowledge. During the regatta I often found myself ignoring small shifts in order to sail into a bit more wind, expecting a big gain in boat speed. This strategy works great in a 470 but didn't work very well in the heavier Lightning. It had been a while since I had sailed a boat other than a 470 and throughout the course of the Lightning regatta I was repeatedly reminded that the tactics that work so well in the 470 don’t directly translate to another boat.

The Midwinters did help our Olympic effort, but what I really took away from the event was a number of lessons in how to change classes effectively.

When changing classes, the main challenge facing a skipper is finding boat speed. Every boat requires different tuning and steering techniques. For a tactician the challenge is a bit subtler, but equally as important. The variables you encounter on the racecourse—windshifts, puffs, lulls, tide—won’t change when you switch boats. What will change is how you react to these variables and the order in which you consider changes in these variables when making tactical decisions.

There are three major performance characteristics that need to be considered when you are trying to make good tactical decisions in a new boat: the boat’s top speed, how quickly it tacks and jibes, and its tacking and jibing angles.

Boat speed

The top speed of your boat will determine the importance of sailing to the puffs. In a faster boat sailing to velocity is more often important than in a slower boat. For example, imagine that you are the tactician on a keelboat that reaches its hull speed of five knots in 12 knots of breeze. You are sailing up wind in 15 knots with room to tack. The boat sails into a five-degree header but you spot more wind ahead. What do you do? In the absence of other factors, you should tack. More wind is not going to make your boat go any faster—it’s already at hull speed—so the only advantage to be gained is by taking the shift. In this situation wind shifts are a much higher priority than wind velocity. In a different boat this could be completely reversed. Imagine the exact same situation, but while sailing on a fast catamaran. The speed advantage gained from an additional three knots of breeze could easily outweigh a five-degree wind shift.

This doesn’t mean, however, that wind shifts are always more important than puffs when sailing a keelboat. In three knots of wind, this keelboat would be well below hull speed and a three-knot increase in wind-speed could easily outweigh a five-degree shift.

These examples point out the importance of being familiar with your boat and what I’ll call its speed curve. The speed cure is the graphic representation of boat speed relative to wind speed. On some bigger boats with electronic instrumentation this information may be readily available during a race. A dinghy sailor needs to develop an intuitive feel for this curve.

(This is usually achieved through experience in a specific class, but being aware of the potential changes can be a big help when switching to a new boat.)

Tacking and Jibing Speed

One of the factors that we ignored in the previous example was the boat’s tacking speed. If you, as the tactician in the previous situation, predict that the five-degree header will only last for two minutes you will then have to weigh the potential gains against the expense of two tacks.

A light, high-performance dinghy will always tack more quickly than a heavy keelboat, but this doesn’t necessarily mean you always want to tack less in heavier boats than you would in dinghy. The amount of time your boat takes to tack and get back up to speed is only part of the equation. This needs to be measured against how much distance another boat could sail in a straight line while you’re completing the tack.

In light winds a heavy keelboat may take a long time to tack and may lose a lot of distance to boats that have not tacked. In this situation the tactician must be very selective in picking which shifts to tack on. In heavy air, the same keelboat will tack more quickly, and as the wind increases and the boats approach hull speed the distance lost to boats that don’t tack will decrease, making it easier for the keelboat to play the shifts.

A planning dinghy will experience an opposite scenario. A light dinghy will tack quickly and get back up to speed in a hurry. In light air the distance lost to tacking is minimal. In heavier air the boats will start to plane and while you may be able to tack and get up to speed more quickly, the boats that don’t tack will be moving even faster in a straight line and the loss in each tack will increase as it gets windier. A 49er may tack as fast as a Laser but the 49er will loose much more distance to its competitors because the boats are sailing faster. As a result the 49er will need a bigger wind shift to make tacking worthwhile.

Tacking and Jibing Angles

The third thing for a tactician to consider when switching boats is the tacking and jibing angles. A boat with broad tacking angles is more affected by wind shifts than a boat that sails closer to the wind. This concept is also true on the down wind legs. A boat that can sail closer to dead down wind is less affected by wind-shifts than a boat that must sail hotter angles. This principal is especially important downwind because there is a much greater variation in jibing angles from one boat to the next.

Consider this diagram. The circle represents one quarter of the compass. A and B are two different boats sailing up wind at different angles but the same speed. By breaking each vector into two components (one perpendicular to the wind, one parallel to the wind) we get a graphic representation of each boat’s speed toward the mark, or VMG in this case.

After a wind shift of fifteen degrees the two boats sail on courses represented by a and b. You can see by the diagram that B’s VMG towards the mark has increased more than A's. The theoretical explanation of why this happens is a little complicated, but it boils down to this; a lift will benefit a lower pointing boat more than it will a higher pointing boat. If you’re sailing a boat with a very broad tacking angle—or one that doesn’t point as well as the boat you usually sail on—it’s especially important to always sail on the lifted tack.

To consider how this principal applies to a downwind leg just change the wind direction 180 degrees. The boat than can sail closer to dead down wind is less affected by wind shifts than the higher sailing boat.
In addition boats that sail lower upwind angles and higher downwind angles will also build more leverage across the course compounding the benefits of staying on the lifted tack.

Jumping into a new boat is always a challenge. Paul and I found this out when we finished tenth at the Lightning Midwinters at a time when we were one of the best 470 teams in the world. Fortunately switching to a new boat does not mean that you will be starting from scratch. Everything that you have learned in your old boat will apply to the new one, only in a slightly different way. By comparing the performance characteristics of the new boat with the design you’re used to sailing you can anticipate some of the differences and speed up the learning process.

How to assess you boats performance characteristics.
-Figuring out the tacking angle of a new boat is fairly easy, simply note your upwind heading, tack and note your heading again. The tacking angle is the angle between the two headings. Notice that the angle may change with different wind velocities.
-A good measure of your boats tacking speed in a particular condition can be measured by its ability to lee-bow a similar boat. If you need to be far ahead of another boat to lee-bow without getting rolled your tacking speed is relatively slow. If you can be almost even with another boat and lee-bow your tacking speed is fast.
-By being aware of the puffs as they move down the course you can gain a sense of where your boat is on the speed curve. While sailing upwind and close to a similar boat pay attention to how close together you are. As the two boats sail into a puff note whether or not one boat makes a gain. Most often when two boats sail into a puff one boat will hit the puff first. If this boat makes a measurable gain chances are you are still on the steep side of the speed curve.

As an example, when switching from a 470 to a Lightning I would consider the following before racing.

In light air both boats will be well below top speed. The Lightning, like the 470, will respond well to puffs. Looking for the best wind will be a priority. Because the Lightning is about twice the weight of a 470 it will accelerate much slower in light wind causing it to have a slow tacking speed. I will have to be more conservative with tacks and jibes in the Lightning when the wind is light.
As it gets windier the Lightning's will become less responsive to puffs than the faster 470. At the same time the Lightning's tacking speed will improve. In windier conditions the focus in the Lightning will move towards taking advantage of smaller wind shifts. On the runs the Lightning's sailing angles are much lower than the 470's. Wind shifts on the runs will be less important in the Lightning. Other factors like fleet positioning should be my main focus.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

39: It was windy out of the West (across the river) in Essex today. The shifts were so big it was hard to go upwind. If you got headed you could easily end up in irons and that happened to me a few times. I almost flipped to windward as well. I definitely flipped more than once on the reaches. One reach had a puff so big I stopped and lufed for a while until it passed. That was the one race I won today. I think I finished 2nd for the day which isn't great. I was kind of just going through the motions in the first two races. At least it was good exercise.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

I just got an updated list for the Puerto Rican Nationals from Francisco.

Francisco Figueroa/Jolliam Berrios PUR
Pedro Colon/Monica Cabrera PUR
Quique Figueroa/Carla Malatrasi PUR
Keki Figueroa PUR
Gabriel Vazquez/Ivan Aponte PUR
Carlos Juncos PUR
Dennys Juncos PUR
Jose Perez/Julio Caceres PUR
Paul Exner PUR
Jorge Torres/Jorgito Torres PUR
Bob Merrick/Liza Cleveland USA
Rich McVeigh/Carol Hilk USA
Jeff Newsome/Michelle Eatough USA
Greg Thomas/John Williams USA
Mark Modderman/Sandra Tartaglino USA
Wally Myers USA
Andrea Mier y Teran/Andrea Dutton MEX
Yamil Saba/Gonzalo Cendra VEN

Still waiting for the last two spots to be confirmed.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

38: Snow and Satisfaction
No racing on Friday due to no wind but we did get out for some team racing.
Saturday had better breeze but it was still kind of light. Our speed was poor so we struggled finishing the day in 13th.
Sunday was windier building to about 18 knots out of the West with big waves. We had to sit way back just to keep the boat from filling up with water upwind, then bail like hell downwind. We did better in the breeze and moved up to 8th for the regatta. Congrats to undergrads Thomas and Marla.
Results should be out soon.

Friday, November 07, 2008

The Snow and Satisfaction regatta starts today.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

35: Beautiful day on the river racing Lasers.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

34: Third day of Frostbiting last weekend. The results are at

Saturday, October 25, 2008

We just made reservations for the Puerto Rican Hobie 16 Nationals in December. With an invite like this how could we say no?

Sunday, October 19, 2008

33: Another Sunday of Laser sailing. It was windy with big lulls. Fortunately the current was going upwind so hiking was at a minimum with short windward legs. I had a good day and was first around every mark all day but almost flipped a bunch of times.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

32: Laser sailing in Essex started today. We had nice wind out of the South and lots of current. I'm a little rusty in the Laser. I had to leave early so I didn't get to see the scores for the day.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Wally Myers Trophy
It's official. Liza and I finally managed to win the Division 11 High Points this year. Take a look at the list of past champions and you'll see why I think it's time we rename this award the Wally Myers Trophy.

2008 Bob Merrick & Eliza Cleveland
2007 Mark Modderman & Mike Kast
2006 Mark Modderman
2005 Rich McVeigh & Lisa Griffith
2004 Wally Myers & Tyler Myers
2003 Wally Myers & Tyler Myers
2002 Wally Myers & Tyler Myers
2001 Wally Myers & Tyler Myers
2000 Wally Myers & Tyler Myers
1999 Wally Myers
1998 Wally Myers & Mark Santorelli
1997 Wally Myers & Mark Santorelli
1996 Wally Myers & Mark Santorelli
1995 Wally Myers & Mark Santorelli
1994 Wally Myers & Mark Santorelli
1993 Wally Myers
1992 Wally Myers
1991 Wally Myers
1990 Wally Myers
1989 Wally Myers
1988 Wally Myers
1987 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1986 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1985 Jim Glanden
1984 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1983 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1982 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1981 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1980 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1979 Wally Myers & Lynn Myers
1978 Bob Shoemaker
1977 Rob Sterling
1976 Rob Sterling
1975 John Flanigan

Monday, September 15, 2008

31: North Americans

Sunday: We made it out for a little warm up sail in light air.

Monday: Two races today. Race 1 we spent too much time tacking in the middle when the wind was out on the sides. Starting off with a 16. Race 2 was not much better but we got a sweet heading puff on the last run and passed about 20 boats to finish in 12. Not a good start to the regatta.

Tuesday: No wind.

Wednesday. The RC decided to beat the hell out of us and run seven races in 15 to 20 knots. We had good speed in the beginning of the day and got a 2-8-5. In the fourth race we were winning on the last run and pitch poled to finish 19th. The next two races we were in a bit of a funk and not sailing fast. We had a 15-18. We got it back together and won the last race of the day.

Thursday: Five more races in heavy air with some puffs at 25 knots. We were fast. Our starts were bad but the right was favored so tacking out after the start didn't hurt. It was basically the same pattern all day. We had a 5-7-5-1-3. Finally a good day.
We briefly moved into second but the Guatemalans got redress for a race where they crashed and we were in third. Evidently the Guatemalan crew, Cristina, got her trapeze wire wrapped around the leeward shroud of a windward boat at the start of race 13. She got twisted around and as the boats separated she went up to the top of the mast. The boats flipped and somehow she got free.

Friday: One race started in just over five but ended in a complete drifter. We were deep at the last windward mark but got the last puff on he final run and finished 10. We finished third overall.

Complete Results

Saturday, September 06, 2008

We just arrived in Iowa for the North Americans today. Hopefully we will get out for a sail tomorrow.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

25: We went for a little shake down cruise to check out a new jib before North Americans. Fortunately it looked good. We launched from Branford harbor and sailed up wind to Short Beach. We then turned around and headed east past the Thimble Islands into Sachems head before heading back to Branford. It was a nice day with winds from 5 to 15 knots.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Michael Bagley has put up a bunch of pictures up from Wildwood.

News at 11:00.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

24: Wildwood, NJ -- 34 Boats in A fleet. Light, shifty and puffy off shore breezes all weekend.
We started off the regatta with a terrible start by getting fouled by a boat bearing off over us. When we tacked out to clear our air we fouled another boat, but at least we did our circle. Fortunately we had a decent comeback finding some good puffs to finish just inside the top ten.
The next race was better. We had a good start and got out left and tacked in a good header to lead at the mark. We were in first all the way around until we failed to stay in the puffs on the last run and dropped to third.
In the third race of the day another boat fouled us in the same way at the start. We tacked out right but there was a big left shift and we were deep. We never ground back.
Sunday we had two races and somehow we spent the entire day on the headed tack. A terrible regatta for us. At least Liza is happy to have a bad regatta before North Americans. She says it would be bad luck to win five regattas in a row before the big one.
We are still waiting for the results. I'll post a link when we get them.

Results are up

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

22: I went PHRFing with some people from work on a Melges 32. Wednesday night beer can racing in light air. We were the fastest boat in the fleet and a leg ahead at the finish but who knows what happened on corrected time. The highlight of the night was tacking arouund the leward mark with the spinnaker up after a big wind shift.

Monday, July 21, 2008

More Pictures from Michael Bagley.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

21: Barnegat Breezer
Race 1: The wind was about ten knots out of the Southwest going South as the sea breeze filled. We had a good start in the middle and were in the top group going out to the left. There is lots of power boat traffic in the channel on the far right so the left with flat water is usually a safe bet at this regatta. There is also a lefthand shore that causes a lefthand shift on the port layline when the wind is out of the seabreeze direction.
The two boats in front of us tacked out early, but we went to the layline and found a little more wind to round first. We stayed there and won the race.

Race 2: The wind was building to about 18 knots. We had a terrible start and had to tack out which was not the way we wanted to go. Fortunately we found a nice puff before we got too far right which allowed us to tack back left and be about mid-fleet. We climbed back up to third, at the last mark and just caught Wally and Gladys at the finish to get second.

Race 3 and 4: Were in the 20 to 25 knot range. Our speed was good but we were making mistakes. Fortunately we didn't flip, and a bunch of people did, so we managed to finish with two 3's in the last two races of the day.

Race 1: Wind was about 10 to 12 kts out of the Southwest again. We had a good start and a clear lane out left with good speed to round in second in a tight pack of three. We had great speed downwind and got out in front to win the race.

Race 2: Was about 18-20 knots. We were set up for a terrible start so we got on the trapeezes and started racing down the line about 20 seconds before the start hoping to get to the pin. We got there but had a second row start. Fortunately we were able to foot under one boat and get into free air. We must have had good speed because we were first to the mark and won the race.

We won the regatta and I think we have wrapped up the Division 11 High Points spot for the season. What a great weekend -- warm and windy both days. You can't beat that.

Thanks to Michael Bagley for the pictures.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

19: I spent the afternoon racing Sonars at Sachems Head Yacht Club with an old friend of mine. We had a nice one design fleet of about 12 boats. The wind was out of the East at about 10 knots, about as good as it gets on the Sound during the summer. We won two races and finished about third in the last race. Not a bad afternoon.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

18: Shore Acres

Saturday, race 1 was light and lumpy with powerboat chop. We were in a terrible position in the middle of the line about twenty seconds before the start. Trying to get out of trouble we jibed out and tried to salvage a late port tack start at the boat. This sent us off to the right but it was looking like the left had more wind. We tacked back to the left but it was too late. We were last to the left and almost last to the first mark. We only managed a seven.
In Race 2 the breeze was building to just double trapping. We pullet the rig way up and had good speed after a nice start. Fortunately we managed to get out in front and stay there to win the race.
Race 3 we were too early to the line and had to dip down a bit just before the gun. The fleet got a jump on us and we were third row quickly. To make matters worse we fouled another boat when we tacked out and had to do a circle. The breeze had increased and we had good speed to stay in the mix. On the second beat we got to the right of the fleet and got a nice right shift to make a gain. We played some shifts on the run to catch a few more and ended up in third with a nice comeback.
The last race of the day was windy (over 20 knots) We had a great start and good speed it was quickly a three boat race between us the Payne's and Wally and Gladys. Rich and Fluffy had been launched but fell back after some swimming. The Payne's flipped late in the race and we managed to stay out in front to win.
Sunday race 5 was light again but I was thinking that the breeze was building so we had the rig pulled way up. We had a good start but were not pointing well and rounded the first mark in fourth of fifth. We had a slow first run as well and lost a few more. We eased the right off and had better speed for the rest of the race but passing lanes were hard to find.
Race 6 was another good start with good speed in just double trapping conditions. We rounded the first mark in third. Tyler and Andy were winning with Wally and Gladys in second. At the gate Tyler forced us both to the starboard gate. We got around Wally on the run and lead out to the right. It didn't look like we needed to go left at this point so we went right with good speed, nailed the layline and rounded in first. Wally tacked short of the layline and lost some boats.
We won another squeaker by one point over Wally and Gladys. Rich and Fluffy were third. Full results are on the Division 11 website.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Pressure Drop

I finally got the name on the boat last night. Now we need t-shirts.
Lars Guck had a 5o5 named Pressure Drop when we were at URI and I always liked the name. That boat was supposedly named when the owner Dropped a high Pressure teammate.
I guess I'm the high stress teammate here but the Hobie 16 is a big Pressure Drop from 470 sailing. Not to mention that the company I work for sells hydraulic components that Drop the Pressure in hydraulic lines. The line on the logo represents a hydraulic grade line. Oh yea and Pressure Drop is a cool song also.

Monday, June 16, 2008

16: Spray Beach.

Saturday, what a day, warm and windy. The first race was only moderate trapeezing but building. I forget what happened but Liza and I won the race.
In the second race it was about 15 knots and we had a nice mid-line start. Mark and Mike won the pin and were in the lead off the line. We both went left but M&M over stood a little and we got to the mark in first. They passed us back at one point but then got hurt on the right in the last beat. We were on the left with Rich and Carol and got the lead back at the top of the last beat and won the race.
Race three it was up around 18 knots. We had a second row start and had to bail out to the right and paid for it. We were somewhere around last at the first mark. Despite working hard for the rest of the race we only got back to 8th.
Race four on Saturday was a drag race out to the left in breeze. We were well raked with jib leads 5 inches out and Liza was dropping the traveler in the puffs. M&M had an edge on speed but we hung tough with Rich and Carol close behind.
Sunday was light. We got in one race duking it out with M&M again. Mark and Mike got to the top mark in first but we got buy them down wind. We rounded the left gate to go left and they went the other way. They got a nice right shift and passed us back along with a few other boats.
On the run M&M along with Jim and Rakel were sailing low above the port layline trying to make the gate. We sailed higher and did the extra jibe and got an overlap to catch them. We all went right and we managed to hold them off for a second and the win.
Full results.

Monday, June 09, 2008

14: Sandy Hook
It was a hot weekend with temps in the 90's. Saturday I expected a seabreeze that never came. We had a few light air races with winds out of the south. In the first race we had a come from behind third fighting with Tyler Myers at the finish. The kids are good. In the second race we though we were OCS and went back then proceeded to sail to the wrong side of the course to round in last. We finished 10th of 12 boats on the water. Ouch. Good thing we won the last race of the day to save our pride.
Sunday was not much better we had a 6, 4, 1, lucking out in the last race to get a big left shift on the shore going from fourth to first. That was the tie breaker that gave us the regatta win we didn't expect. Bill and Lyn tied us for first. Mark and new crew Gladis finished third. Full results here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

12: Madcatter

Saturday: The first race was mostly single trapezing conditions and a drag race out to the left for more wind. We won the pin and had what I considered good speed but the speedy Puerto Ricans Francisco and Jolliam where grinding us down and eventually rolled us. The good news was that we had legged out on the fleet with two other boats, Enrique and Martin, also from PUR as well as locals Tom and Erika. We rounded third behind both PUR teams and had good down wind speed but not quite good enough to pass. We finished in third.

In the next race we had a terrible start and had to bail out to the right, the wrong side. We were deep in the fleet early and then the wind got really weird and shifted 180 deg. We struggled to finish in 12.

The low point of the regatta was in the third race. We were over early and heard the RC calling our number at about 30 seconds so we ducked below the line and sailed off to the right. About two minutes into the race we remembered that the "I" flag had been up and we were going to be scored OCS. What a bonehead move. Now we had to count the 12.

Saturday night, we win the party. Liza carried the team.

Sunday: It was about five knots at the start and we got off the line well. We dropped the rig way back and had good speed towards some left hand velocity. Francisco and Jolliam where first to the mark and we were second with Tom and Erika right behind, over standing the port layline. We all sailed off on starboard jibe for a while until I saw some breeze coming down the middle of the course. Liza and I were the first to jibe and got the puff first. Then the wind shifted way left and we jibed onto the header towards the mark. We moved into the lead and the wind shifted so much more that the rest of the race was a reach. Nice to be in front when the parade starts. We won the race.

We started another race but it was abandoned.

At the end of the weekend we were in a close third. A three way tie that we sneaked to the top of. Big congratulations to Tom and Erika who won the regatta. Results are here.
Pictures by Mike Walker are here.

Monday, May 12, 2008

10: Rehoboth

Saturday: Wind was out of the NE at about 5 to 10 knots and shifty. Just about everyone could tell the same story at one point during the day, "we were headed about 10 deg so we tacked and the next thing we knew we were headed again." That's everyone except for Randy and Janet who won the first three races of the day sailing their new boat with the bold green sail.

It was a connect the puffs kind of day where you always had to be thinking about what kind of wind you were sailing into. Randy and Janet did that the best by far. Liza and I sailed well to finish the day in second.

Sunday was our day. The wind was out of the SE and building all day. With a left hand shore there tends to be convergence on the left side of the course in this condition and go left was our basic plan for the day. In the first race we won the pin and got out left but boats were lifted inside us. We tacked in a good wind line and got to the mark in third (I think). The right side paid because the breeze was still settling in and shifting persistently to the right. We had a good down wind leg going fast, staying in the puffs and jibing on the lifts to round the bottom mark in first. We went right for the remaining legs as the breeze was still shifting and maintained our lead to win the race.

For the next two races the wind increased. It was also more steady so the convergence on the left shore started to pay off. The last two races were basically the same story. We had a good start at the pin and ripped out left for more wind and a bit of a left shift. On top of that we were going fast. Bob has finally learned how to foot when the breeze is up.

We won the last two races and the regatta. Randy and Janet were second. Rich and were Fluffy third. The complete results are here. Next stop is Madcatter.

Sunday, May 04, 2008

8: We had a light air day fighting the current upwind. About five minutes before the start I was down current of the line screwing around and then the wind died. What a bone head. I was about three minutes late for the start and had a bad first beat on top of it. We were barely making headway upwind. I managed to climb to a 5 with a lucky last beat. The wind then died completely and that was it for the day. The good news is I won for the season.
Rehoboth next weekend.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

7: Today was the second to last Sunday of the Frostbiting season. We had a light air day with long down wind legs bucking heavy current. I didn't win any races today but being consistent paid off and I won the day.
FBYC Frostbiting has been going on in Essex since about 1933 in a variety of classes. The Laser class has been part of the action since 1975. Sure would be nice if we could get a Hobie 14 fleet going.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

The first Hobie 16 regatta of the year for Liza and me is just around the corner. We have a full schedule. Here's what it's looking like.

May 10-11 Deleware State Hobie Champs, Rehoboth Beach,DE
May 17-19 Madcatter, Syracuse, NY
June 7-8 Sandy Hook, NJ
June 14-15 Spray Beach, NJ
June 28-29 Shore Acres, NJ
July 19-20 Barnegat Breezer, Barnegat Bay, NJ
Aug 1-3 North East Area Champs, Rochester, NY
Aug 16-17 Wildwood Classic, Wildwood, NJ
Sept 8-12 North American Championship, Clear Lake,IA
Sept 20-21 Fall Winds Regatta, Shore Acres, NJ
Sept 27-28 Division 11 Championships, Rock Hall,MD
Oct. 4-5 Sharkey's Cup, Rehoboth Beach, DE

6: I'm starting out the 2008 sailing season with some Laser sailing in Essex CT. The series is run by the Frostbite Yacht Club and sailed out of the Essex Yacht Club on the Connecticut river.

I've just recently gotten back into Laser sailing to extend my season a little bit.

Series results are at: