Great Racing on Lake Erie…

By Steve Harris

So far, the season has been off to a good start.  I’ve had the opportunity to be involved in some great events so far this season and it’s really been a good time.

Mills Trophy Race
Friday, June 8 – Saturday, June 9
Toledo Yacht Club – Put-in-Bay Yacht Club

The Mills is an overnight distance race sailed on Lake Erie from Toledo to Put-in-Bay, the second weekend of June each year.  This was my 4th year serving as the Principal Race Officer for the event.  BLYC member P/C Don Harris also made the trip to help out on race committee along with long-time friends of BLYC Kay Drake (PIBYC) and Judy Kania (NCYC).  We all loaded up into Judy’s van on Put-in-Bay that morning and headed for Toledo Yacht Club – with the cursory lunch break at Tony Packo’s of course.  It was a great afternoon on the water – 13 starts and a luxurious ride to PIB on board our committee boat, the 80′ Hatteras, Sea Dozer.  The winds were light, but all 97 crews made it over the course safely and finished on the island by 8:00 am.  The Mills Party at PIBYC that afternoon was, as expected, a good time as well.  An afternoon Lake Erie thunderstorm can’t do much to dampen the spirits of a few hundred sailors – especially with the Mount Gay rum and beer flowing freely.  While boats in this race are bigger than what most of us at BLYC typically race, it is a good time and I encourage all BLYC sailors and members to check it out.  BLYC has a long history with the race – many of our early members made the trip to TYC to participate and one of the trophies – the Buckeye Lake Yacht Club Trophy – for the event was donated by our 1911 Commodore, George Mooney.

Cleveland Race Week
June 15-24
Edgewater Yacht Club

Cleveland Race Week is another annual event on the lake and encompasses two weekends of racing along with a number of other activities through the week.  The first weekend is One-Design Weekend.  BLYC member Walter Grubb crewed on Mark Presley’s (HSC) Interlake finishing second behind Stu & Matt Fisher (HSC) – grandson and son of BLYC’s 1958 Commodore George Fisher.

Wednesday June 20th was “Junior Day” at the event and BLYC had one Club 420 sailed by Matthew Davis and Oliver Krajewski and 2 Laser Radials sailed by Katy & Susannah Schroeder.  It was a variable day in terms of wind conditions, but generally pretty heavy compared to what our juniors are used to here at Buckeye Lake.  Michael Davis was there as our coach and reports that they sailed well and had a good day on the water.  Also going up to support our team were Tracey Davis, Vic Schroeder, Tami Schroeder, and Steve Harris.

After Junior Day, I took a break on South Bass Island and returned to be the PRO for the PHRF course at Offshore Weekend.  Friday was a rough day on Lake Erie.  With sustained 20+ kt winds out of the northeast the night before and all day Friday, I was a bit worried that they’d suspend ferry service and I’d be stuck on the island (although there are certainly worse places in this world to be stuck).  Saturday brought totally different conditions – light and variable, we were lucky to get two races in on both racing circles.  Sunday, however, was a “Chamber of Commerce Day” off the shores of Cleveland – 10-15 kts, steady out of the southwest.  We had GREAT racing!  We were able to get three good races in on my course and the sailors were happy (always good for the PRO – Rule #1: don’t do anything that makes you unwelcome at the cocktail party… LOL).  BLYC friends on board Flat Stanley won  the PHRF A class and long time BLYC friends and Snowball Regatta participants, the Ruhlman family, took top honors in PHRF B on board Spaceman Spiff.  The event was topped off with everyone’s favorite Lake Erie troubadour, Alex Bevan under the tent.  All in all, a great week on the Lake.

Next up… JUNIOR BAY WEEK!

Sail on Sundays – Racing is tight!

Not only is it GREAT to have sailboat racing back at BLYC… the racing is tight!

This past weekend, all four boats that have been racing with us so far were on the line and as a result of the day’s racing, there are now only 3 points separating the fleet.  No one is winning (or losing) significantly.  You can view the individual race and series results online by clicking HERE.

This week’s winner of the Rabbit Flag for daily first… David Paligo.  Congrats Dave!

Have a sailboat?  Come Sail With Us!  All Buckeye Lake sailors and sailboats are welcome to participate!

Sail on Sunday – 6/17/18

Wind: West, 7-10 kts.
Temp: 90°F, 60% humidity
Partly Cloudy

The winner of the first race of the day was Barb Hein, sailing her Laser.  She is now the holder of the “Rabbit Flag” for the daily first.  Who is going to try and take it from her on the 24th?

From Barb:

Today started out well with 3 skippers, 3 boats and two requiring crew. 3 classes of boats and skippers meeting happened and the decision was made to hope for wind for our start. We started the first race with 2 boats and the wind cooperated and we both finished. Now time for race 2 and all three boats were off to a good start. Going upwind there was unfortunate breakdown in the tiller and the “MacGyver” tricks did not hold, so we were down to 2 boats. We both finished and then the wind decided it was done blowing for the day so we docked our boats.  Thank you to the race committee for setting the course and all who sailed and also helped putting boats away. I am so glad we all sailed and enjoyed, thank you for the day. Hope to see you Sunday to try and win the Rabbit Flag.

From Dave Paligo:

Capri 22 – #1049
Sunday was the maiden race for our Catalina Capri 22 “No-Name-Yet #1049“. Yup, starting all over again with a new boat and new crew.

It was very interesting as I had a newbie crew who has never been on a sailboat, I had to remember the old days about sailing and racing with a beginner and ALL the patience everyone had with me.

So other than breaking the tiller before start #1 we were doing okay until start #2 when the tiller completely broke off in my hand and we had to retire.

All in all, it was a great afternoon being on the water! Big thanks go out to RC and congratulations go to Barb Hein who is the winner of the “Rabbit Flag”.

All Results are posted at:
noticeofrace.net

AP over A

Sail-on-Sunday – Race #1 – May 27, 2018

Temperature: 88°F
Humidity: ~ 86%
Wind: <1 kt., east

AP over A is not the best way to kick off the 2018 season but the 2018 BLYC Sailing/Racing Season has officially started with the new Sail-On-Sunday series. The skippers meeting was held on the front porch of the club. We had a couple of boats entered as well as 2 dinghies ready to go from the youth group. With the lack of wind, RC made the announcement that all racing was cancelled today and encouraged everyone to enjoy the pool, the food and social events of the evening.

Big thanks go out to all who are working hard to make 2018 Sailing/Racing happen. Now we just need Mother Nature to cooperate!

You could be a US Sailing National Champion…

CLICK HERE TO LEARN MORE


2018 US Sailing Adult National Championships:

The Clagett Memorial Regatta and U.S. Para Sailing Championship
U.S. Singlehanded Sailing Championship
International Women’s Keelboat Championship
U.S. Women’s Match Racing Championship
U.S. Adult Sailing Championship
U.S. Team Racing Championship
Championship of Champions
U.S. Match Racing Championship

Sailboat Racing?… Yeah Right!

By Steve Harris

Over the past 15 years, I have enjoyed a lot of great opportunities on the water – I have served on Race Committees for National, World, and International Championships; I have been the Principal Race Officer for National Championships in several classes; I have been PRO for some of the most recognized “big regattas” on Lake Erie – The Mills Trophy Race, Cleveland Race Week, I-LYA’s “Bay Week” Regattas; I have chaired Junior Bay twice; I have been fortunate.

However, as we look to bring more new people into the sport this summer at Buckeye Lake, I find myself reflecting on how I got my start – quite honestly, in a sport in which I didn’t necessarily have an interest.  In the early 90’s, I returned home for a weekend visit to find a 20′ Hunter sailboat parked in my parents’ driveway.  I inquired of Mom, “What’s with the mid-life crisis in the driveway?”  We had sailed recreationally at Buckeye Lake when I was younger (incidentally, it was Mom who was the original sailor in the family, but that’s another story) but we had gotten away from it as my sisters and I grew into our teens and found other interests.  I had done some sailing – not racing – through my work running high adventure programs for the Boy Scouts in the summer.  But sailing was not a passion for me.  Mom’s reply was something along the lines of “Your father bought that at an auction the other day.  And… I guess now we’re also joining the yacht club!”  How little did I know then the opportunities ahead of me.

Well, Dad joined BLYC and started to sail on Sundays with other Club members and “raced” his Hunter 20.  One weekend while I was home visiting, he invited me to come along.  I was apprehensive about racing – yes, I knew how to sail, but racing?  Sounded like more than I was willing to take on – not knowing anything about the rules was enough to scare me off!  But, Dad assured me that it was very casual and “we’d figure it out as we go.”  Well, indeed we did.  It was a good day on the water and, quite frankly, I was instantly hooked.  Me being me, however, I just had to know all about the rules!  It was the early days of the internet and, upon returning home to Dayton, I spent hours searching out the rules, interpretations of the rules, racing tactics, anything associated with the sport.  Granted, Sunday racing at BLYC has never been at the level of intensity as the America’s Cup, but the more I dug in, the more I was, in my mind, preparing for that level of competition.  After all, anyone who knows me will tell you, I don’t like to be wrong – even when I am.  I wanted to know everything I could so as not to embarrass myself.  All in all, we had a good season at the Lake that summer.  I didn’t need (or even try to use) most the information I had amassed.  I found our Sunday racing to be enjoyable and I made a lot of new friends at BLYC.  I, in turn, joined the Club in mid-1997.

In 1998, I took a teaching job in Millersport and moved to Buckeye Lake full time.  Then incoming Commodore Tim Maite immediately started working on me to run for the board.  I was flattered, but I wasn’t initially all that interested.  I enjoyed the Club.  I enjoyed sailing on Buckeye Lake.  But, I really didn’t want to get involved in the running of the Club.  I just wanted to enjoy it.  Well, Tim and others had their motivation in recruiting me.  They needed someone to take the position of “Race, Regatta, & Junior Sailing” on the board.  I was a sailor.  I was a teacher.  I guess I fit the bill.  I ran and was elected to the Board at the “ripe old age” of 29 – the spouses of the other board members at the time referred to me as “Baby Guv.”  Initially, my prime motivation was to increase participation in our Sunday racing.  However, as we got into the season, I found myself spending more and more time focused on the Juniors – particularly the race team.  Over the next three years in that position, and with the invaluable help of many others at the Club, our junior program grew from a team of only two to nearly a dozen.  We purchased new boats for training and racing.  The program was going well.

Running our junior program meant getting involved on the I-LYA Junior Activities Committee as BLYC’s rep.  This opened up more doors and, before I knew it, I was chairing Junior Bay Week in 2006 and was elected to chair the Junior Activities Committee that fall.  That, in turn, led to my election to the I-LYA Board of Trustees in 2007, serving as President in 2011, and then moving up through the bridge to serve as I-LYA Commodore in 2014.  WOW!  All I set out to do was run our “little” program at BLYC.

In this same time period, I was still running our Sunday races at the Club.  In April of 2003, US Sailing held their spring meeting in Cincinnati.  Concurrent with that meeting was a new training course for getting certified as a Race Officer.  Being a bit of an amateur “rules geek” already, I though it a good opportunity to find out what I didn’t know and hopefully improve our level of race management at the Club.  I’ll admit, that day sitting in class, I felt horribly overwhelmed.  I discovered that there was FAR more that I didn’t know than that which I did.  It was eye opening to say the least.  Somehow I passed the test and became certified.  Having that credential led to more opportunities.  In the beginning, I just ran races here at Buckeye.  In that time, we’d host 3-4 regattas each year – a “Shakedown” regatta for the Thistle class in the early spring, an I-LYA Junior Travelers Series Regatta, the Thistle class Lake Erie District “Fall Finale,” and, of course the Snowball.  Somewhere along the line, our friends over at Hoover decided that they needed an “inland guy” to be PRO for Interlake Nationals at their venue in 2006.  It was a great experience and, I’ll be honest, it was really cool to be the PRO for a National Championship.  I then went on to take US Sailing’s Advanced Race Management Seminar that winter and the doors have opened up wide from there – I serve on US Sailing’s Race Officer Training & Certification Committee; I am the administrative Area Race Officer for Area E (Great Lakes); and, I am also the Area E Coordinator, serving as the primary liaison between sailors in our region and US Sailing.  Yea, I’m busy.

So, what’s the point of this long story?  Most of my leisure time today is now spent in the sport of sailing.  It has opened up amazing opportunities for me.  Not everyone who gets involved in the sport will – or will even want to – become a champion sailor, get involved in the management side of the sport as I have, or necessarily even spend that much time.  But, had I not tried racing at BLYC back in the mid-1990’s, my life would be very different today.

Give sailing and sailboat racing a try!  You never know where it may lead…

Cleveland Race Week – 2018

Cleveland Race Week (CRW) is the largest sailing regatta on Lake Erie and has become one of the largest in the country. The annual event, now celebrating its 38th year, attracts over 300 boats from across the U.S., Canada and internationally. Nationally, Cleveland Race Week ranks as one of the largest sailing events based on number of sailing classes and attendance at the event.

Founded in 1980, CRW has developed into 10 days of racing and special events. Edgewater Yacht Club, which recently celebrated it’s Centennial and underwent a clubhouse renovation, will be the host club for this event, scheduled to take place June 15 – 24th. CRW annually draws over 2,000 national and international participants and offers significant marketing exposure to a premiere demographic of sailing professionals, nationally ranked amateurs, junior sailors and female competitors.

One design fleets that participate include J/22, J/70, J/24, J/105, Melges 24, Melges 32, Tartan 10, Thistle, Highlander, Dragon, Ensign, Jet-14, VX, Interlake, and Star classes. The Handicap (PHRF) Class is represented with nine racing divisions and three JAM divisions.

CRW continues to be the premier sailing regatta on Lake Erie, and has consistently maintained or increased participation year after year. Our strong sponsorship network provides continuous support placing Cleveland Race Week in the upper echelon of US sailing events and further enhancing CRW’s status as a major national regatta.

The Racing Rules of Sailing…

When getting started in the sport, many people find themselves a bit overwhelmed by the apparent complexity of the racing rules.  After all, there are 92 rules, many with sub-sections and sub-sub-sections, and the book is nearly 200 pages long!  That said, however, the basic rules that you really need to get started are few and relatively easy to understand.

CLICK HERE for a brief primer from Ken Quant with the Milwaukee Area Sail & Trail association that will help you get started.  Feel free to download, print, and distribute at will.

CLICK HERE for an animated version of US Sailing’s “Handy Guide” to the Racing Rules.  (It’s a few years behind, based on the 2009-2012 rulebook, but the changes since that time aren’t really applicable to this basic primer so it’s still a very good introductory resource)

We hope to see you on the water for our first Sail on Sundays race on May 27th!

2018 Interlake Regatta Schedule Announced

The Interlake Sailing Class has announced their 2018 Regatta Schedule and BLYC is honored to be hosting the final event of the season this year. The dam remediation project has kept us off the water in recent years, but we are confident that we’ll have enough water this year and the class agrees with us.
All Interlakes are invited to join us at the 2018 Snowball Regatta on Saturday, October 13. It will great to
welcome all of our Interlake friends back to BLYC and we’re looking forward to a great day on the water!
CLICK HERE for more information on the Interlake class.


2018 Regatta Schedule

Date Location Event
May 5-6 Leatherlips YC Chief’s
June 2 Jolly Roger SC Cattail
June 9-10 Sandusky SC One-Design Regatta
June 16-17 Edgewater YC Cleveland Race Week
June 23-24 Hoover SC George Fisher Memorial
July 7-8 Indian Lake One Design Regatta
July 14 Lorain SYC One Design Regatta
July 25-28 Edgewater YC National Championship **
August 25-26 Grand Traverse YC Great White Regatta
September 15 Portage YC Hot to Trot
September 22 Mohican SC Haphazard
October 6 North Cape YC Fall Blowout
October 6-7 Indianapolis SC Poltergeist
October 13 Buckeye Lake YC Snowball