This entry in our SLOG might not directly relate to sailing, but I thought I’d share this information with everyone. There’s been a lot in the news the past year about hazing, bullying, & abuse in sports. This probably isn’t a new problem, but it is one that we all need to recognize and work to eliminate. Even before the news broke on the USA Gymnastics abuses, the US Olympic Committee had already partnered with other organizations to raise awareness of these problems and work to eliminate them in sports at all levels. The result of that effort is SafeSport.
The USOC has mandated that all National Governing Bodies adopt policies implementing required SafeSport training for coaches, volunteers, officials, etc. in their organizations. US Sailing, as the NGB, instituted this requirement this past year. As a US Sailing Race Officer, I took the training. While it may seem like “just another hoop to jump through,” I found the training to be very well done, very informative, and at the very least I think it will do much to help raise awareness of an ever-growing problem plaguing all sport. It’s worth checking out. The training is free to US Sailing members (although only required for certified officials and certain regatta chairs & volunteers at this time). Those who aren’t members of an NGB can take the course for a small fee.
Click on the SafeSport logo above to learn more.
Are you the parent of a youth athlete? SafeSport has also released a FREE “Parent Toolkit” you might want to check out as well as other parent-specific resources available at athletesafety.org
This course is open to those age 18 and older. Whether you are interested in becoming an instructor or simply want to improve your knowledge and skills on powerboat handling this course is for you or anyone you feel would benefit from this course.
In an effort to better communicate with sailors at Buckeye Lake this summer, in addition to this “SLOG,” BLYC will be hosting an e-mail news list through which we will communicate information on plans for the season, upcoming events, race results, etc. Please use the form below to sign up to receive the latest news on sailing at Buckeye Lake…
US Sailing is the National Governing Body for the sport of sailing in the US. That said, what is it really that they do? Membership in US Sailing has a lot of benefits – both directly and indirectly – for all sailors whether they race or not. As our NGB, they are involved in helping to write the rules that govern racing, but US Sailing also offers a number of opportunities in a variety of areas that support sailors – Instructor Training, Keelboat Training, Race Management, Boat Ratings, and much, much more.
BLYC is an organizational member of US Sailing and this allows us to not only host US Sailing sanctioned events at the Club, but also makes us eligible for liability coverage in regards to sailing instruction, dockage, and running races. This type of insurance is not easily affordable through via other avenues.
Individual membership also offers some great benefits to sailors:
A US Sailing membership provides you
Access to world class educational materials
Competitive services and resources to propel you on the race course
Access to educational courses and smears that will expand your abilities
Great discounts at our store and savings through our partners
Certification and insurance opportunities
Opportunities to connect and grow the sport of sailing in your area
A US Sailing membership provides the sport
Certified Instructors are the backbone of ‘Learn to Sail’ programs for youth and adults.
Certified Coaches take these sailors to the next level.
Ratings Services level the playing field.
Certified Race Officers are ready to make the right call at your signature regattas.
Certified Judges and Umpires enforce the rules and provide credibility to your racing events.
National Championships test your skills against the best.
Resources help clubs enhance their programs.
Newcomers introduced to the benefits of sailing.
If you want to learn more, visit the membership pages on the US Sailing website HERE.
After several years off the water, Buckeye Lake is back! BLYC has been selected to host the first I-LYA Junior Travelers Series Regatta of the 2019 season – Saturday, June 1 2019! This is a great opportunity for us to show off our Club and lake as this regatta will attract dozens of youth sailors from all over the Lake Erie region – Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, & Indiana. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! Plans are very preliminary at this time, but it’ll take a strong group of volunteers from the Club to host this event. If you are interested in joining in on the fun, please contact Mike Bruckelmeyer.
So… you want to get more involved in sailing life at BLYC, but you don’t know how to (or don’t want to) sail and race? We have the opportunity for you! Get involved on the Race Committee. This off-season, we will be providing two opportunities for you to learn more and to get involved. Race Committee work can, at times, be a bit hectic (even stressful) but at BLYC, our races are designed to be fun and casual and our Race Committee is very much the same way. Consider joining us…
Race Committee 101
This 2 hour introduction to Race Committee work was developed by US Sailing over the past few years to give RC volunteers an introduction to what we do and why we do it. It’s not a comprehensive training course, but rather intended to help you become more comfortable with what we do and why we do it. We have scheduled this for Sunday, March 3rd. If you’re interested in getting involved – even if you’ve volunteered some in the past – this short introduction will help you to become more involved and join in the FUN! Steve Harris will be our instructor
One-Day Race Management Seminar
This is the US Sailing training course for Club-level certification. For those who want to learn more, dig in deeper, and perhaps eventually earn US Sailing certification, this one-day (~8 hour) course delves deeper into the “whys” in addition to the “hows” of Race Committee work. This course is planned for Saturday, February 9. US Sailing tries each year to have several of these courses in our area (Area E – essentially Lakes Erie & Ontario and inland waters surrounding and to the south). We attempt to hold one that is taught in and focuses more on inland lakes and the unique challenges they represent. This year, BLYC and Hoover Sailing Club will co-host this course at BLYC. Our instructors will be Steve Harris and Jamie Jones.
Jamie is a US Sailing Regional Race Officer and Past Commodore of Hoover Sailing Club with extensive racing and race committee experience. He has been a course PRO at the I-LYA Junior Championships (Junior Bay Week) for several years now in addition to many other high-level events. This past year, he was a course PRO for Chubb US Junior Championships and the PRO for the US Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championships for the Ida Lewis Trophy.
Steve is a Past Commodore of both BLYC and I-LYA. He has been a PRO for Junior Bay every year since 2007 and has been the overall PRO the past 4 years. In addition to many other high-level events, this past season he was again the PRO for the Mills Trophy Race, course PRO for Cleveland Race Week, course PRO for the Chubb US Junior Championships, and PRO for the US Team Racing Championship for the Hinman Trophy. Steve is also a member of the US Sailing Race Officer Training & Certification Subcommittee and is the Area E administrative Race Officer.
Team Racing may well be the most exciting of all the sailing disciplines, but it seems that even the most seasoned sailors are not particularly familiar with it. I was fortunate this past fall to be invited by Sam Patterson, Sailing Director for The Foundry in Cleveland to serve as the Principal Race Officer (PRO) for this year’s US Team Racing Championships for the Hinman Trophy held at The Foundry’s new sailing center in Cleveland’s Inner Harbor. The Foundry’s story is, itself an interesting one. Opening in late 2015 as a non-profit rowing and fitness center, The Foundry occupies several buildings of old industrial space in the Flats of Cleveland. They have one of the largest installations of indoor rowing tanks in the United States. The operation soon expanded into sailing as well. The Foundry’s Sailing Center is located in the Historic Coast Guard Station, on a small island just north of Wendy Park. Abandoned by the Coast Guard in the 1970s, there is much work to be done on the facility, but the operation is in full swing and hosts some of the most active community sailing programs in the midwest. This year, they were able to purchase a fleet of 12 brand new Zim 420E sailboats. It was these boats, that we used for the Hinman racing this year.
That brings me back to the racing… Team Racing. Most are familiar with our more “typical” fleet racing discipline… The boats all start at the same time, on the same starting line, sail the same course, and the point is to beat everyone else. Team racing however is a lot more like speed skating – in more ways than one. For starters, teams race against each other in a round-robin format. At this year’s Hinman, we had 12 teams from all over the U.S. In a rather complex format, teams of 3 boats (6 sailors – 3 skippers, 3 crew) race head to head against other teams of 3 boats. Certainly having all three of your boats in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd would mean you win, but there are multiple combinations of finishes. In a three boat format, with each boat getting points equal to their finish position, there are 21 total points in a given heat. The point then, is not to necessarily get 1st place (as in fleet racing) but to get 10 points or less, therefore winning that race and receiving 1 point for your team in the standings. In team standings, the highest point value wins. You could easily win the race with your boats finishing 2, 3, 5 (10 points) as your opponent, while crossing the line first, still earns 11 points (1, 4, 6). This makes team racing much more tactical than almost any other discipline. Keeping your opponent from finishing well is just as important, if not more so, than doing well yourself. Of course, all the same right of way rules apply as in any other sailing discipline, so it can get very interesting. Here’s where the sport is sometimes less like speed skating than it is like roller derby. Generally, these races are umpired on the water. Umpires make nearly instantaneous calls and penalties are given out during the race – no waiting to fight it out in the protest room afterwards. It’s fast paced and exciting. We had a stellar RC crew in Cleveland and, on average started another race about ever 4 1/2 to 5 minutes. For the three day event, we ran an amazing 178 races. If the wind would’ve been a bit more cooperative on Sunday, we would have done that with time leftover and could’ve maybe have gotten even more!
Top to bottom, the Foundry did an amazing job hosting this event and I was very honored to be invited to be a part of it. I’ve had some exposure to team racing before, but nothing like the intensity of this particular championship. It was something else. Team racing is starting to become more popular in High School Sailing and, with the growth of high school sailing in central Ohio, who knows? We might see some of it around here. I’ve included some links below if you’re interested in learning more about the discipline. And… if you happen to be in the Cleveland area, stop by the Historic Coast Guard Station and see what Sam and his team have accomplished there. And, YES… they sail pretty much year-round. It’s frostbiting season and where else but Cleveland would sailing fit that name more aptly.
So, I need to prep this SLOG with a little background. This is not so much about the Old Fox Regatta, which has been a standing regatta for many years, but about a Catalina Capri 22 and its rookie crew. A few weeks back I was searching the web for Capri 22 for sale and stumbled across one that was for sale out of Newark, Ohio. So, being a fan and owner of Capri 22s, I wanted to know why this one was up for sale. The owners, Jeff and Jen said they wanted to downsize because this sailboat had a spinnaker and they did not know how to fly it. Oh, music to my ears! So, we arranged to meet at Alum Creek and have a spinnaker lesson. The day of this lesson there was no wind at all so we launched the spinnaker and put the o/b motor in reverse to fill the kite. Using this technique, we were able to practice some launches, douses and end-for-end gybes. The owners were excited and this immediately developed into a new friendship.
So now, as Paul Harvey would say “Here is the rest of the story” … I heard about the Old Fox Regatta and called Jeff and asked him if he wanted to enter his Capri 22 in this 2-day regatta. His answer was we’ve never raced before but if you coach, then yes, so I suggested we go for the gusto, enter PHRF Spin Class and not race JAM. Jeff and Jen were hesitant so I told them I would find one more crewmember and let’s just go for it even if we come in DLBF every race. They agreed and submitted their electronic on-line application.
On Saturday the first warning was 1100 hours. As we set up the boat our goal was to stay 5 boat lengths away from EVERYONE. Our first start we were 5 days late to the start line, our second start we were only 6 minutes late to the start line and our third start we were only 1 minute late; what an improvement. We were so slow in that first race that RC sent out the mark boat and told us to motor back to the start line and they would finish us in place. Not bad as RC saw we were really trying, big smiles, having fun and great Corinthian spirit toward the fast and furious sport boats. I’m only going to say that RC saw our enthusiasm and then started ‘helping’ us get around the (shortened for us only) course a little faster.
Sunday met us with more wind and our newly seasoned crew looked forward to this day’s possibilities. We were engaged closer to the start line, we tacked better, had better windward and leeward rounding and our competitors started to cheer for us as we finished the races. BTW, in all our 8 races we finished dead last and had the biggest smiles in the entire fleet.
Below is video of our 3rd race on Sunday and us avoiding the hectic 9 boat scrum start line. Enjoy!
Temperature – 70° mostly cloudy
Wind – NE 7-8 knots, gusting to 10
My mentor has always told me to practice to race and not race to practice so when the rest of the BLYC PHRF fleet said they were unable to race on Sunday, we decided to do as my master and commander had taught me, Go Practice. Our team consisted of our regular crew members Bill and Chad, plus Gloria who had never sailed before, and myself.
First, we got the trimmers to practice tacking & gybing with the jib and main only. This was very successful with the light winds so we decided to fly that dreaded 3-cornered sail called the spinnaker. We furled the jib, set the spinnaker pole for a bare-away launch and hoisted the kite that filled with a pop–what a great sound. We practiced trim, made a few end-for-end gybes, then decided to take down the main so this crew could easily watch the sheet and guy trim and its affects. At one point, we were free flying the kite–what a beautiful sight. We continued to practice a few takedowns and relaunches from the cabin.
It was a beautiful light wind day so we let the trimmers take turns driving, allowing them to see our trimming so they could get a better understanding on how their trim affects the boat’s performance. We were having so much fun doing ring-around-the-Rosie (no wake markers) we lost all sense of time. After we put the boat away, we slid up to the YC bar for a few barley-pops to discuss the day’s adventure. A good time was had by all.