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– by Steve Harris
From time to time, as we rebuild our sailing programs at BLYC, it seems easy to feel discouraged. While we had a great season, the numbers were still relatively small. I know that Governor Paligo was discouraged several times throughout the season as well.
This past weekend, I gained a new perspective on how we define success for club racing. It’s easy in our area to compare ourselves to the stronger participation over at Hoover, or some of the larger Lake Erie clubs. I know that most of the events I’ve worked as a race officer lately have been large, “stereotypical” regattas with beer tents, parties, bands, and plenty of onshore activities. Usually, these have included a number of top-level teams and often sailors who are more than a bit serious about the rules, course configurations, and more. But this weekend, I had the opportunity to be the PRO at Cave Run Sailing Association for their Grand Annual Regatta. It reminded me that we do this (or should do this) for fun first, and everything else second.
Cave Run Lake is a man-made Army Corps lake near Morehead, Kentucky completely surrounded by Daniel Boone National Forest. There are no structures on the water – even the Club doesn’t have a physical “home base” from which to operate. However, even without the clubhouse amenities that most of us are used to having, CRSA is a vibrant, fun group of sailors who just love to sail and race. Being that the lake is nestled in the mountains, light and shifty air is usually the norm – it certainly was this weekend. I know a lot of sailors who would never even attempt to race in such a venue, but to the members of CRSA, it is home and a place of which they’re justly proud and happy to be able to enjoy their sport.
The “base” for the weekend was a shelter house in the woods in one of the National Forest’s camping areas near the marina where most of the members dock their boats. Most people either stay on their boats for the weekend or camp. The Club provided breakfast and lunch both days and a phenomenal Cajun dinner on Saturday evening with… you guessed it… BLUEGRASS music. (Yes, everything was cooked in camp) It reminded me more of a weekend camping with friends (even though they put me up in a nearby hotel) than it did a “typical” regatta. It was relaxing and fun.
Winds on Saturday were very much light and shifty (180° shifts within one 5-minute starting sequence at one point) but we were finally able to get off four races – good, not great races – but four nonetheless. Everybody seemed happy with the day – After all, they’re used to these conditions. The wind gods were far less kind on Sunday. With no wind visible on the water and forecasts of 0-3 kts all day, we stayed ashore, talked sailing, traded war stories, and then gave out the awards about 11:00 am and everyone packed up and headed home.
There are a lot of things about the weekend that some may view as not being a “success.” Like our sailors here at BLYC, Cave Run is also struggling with participation, building a strong junior program, trying to get new people into the sport, and an aging group of current participants. But, I think it just may be the most enjoyable event I’ve worked this year. No, it wasn’t some high-level championship – we didn’t have the big parties sponsored by Mount Gay Rum – the winds were, well… barely wind – but, it was a great time sharing the camaraderie of fellow sailors and a day on the water. What could be better?
I think we can all learn a bit from the folks at Cave Run.
THANK YOU FOR A GREAT DAY OF SAILING
The return of the Snowball Regatta to Buckeye Lake was a great success!
We had 11 participating boats including several visitors from other Clubs. Conditions were, at times, challenging, but the day was a success with four races sailed in each class.
Thank you to our Race Committee volunteers who helped to make the day a success – PRO Steve Harris and Mike Bruckelmeyer on the Signal Boat, John Albrecht on the leeward mark boat, and Dave Chapman & Tom Clark from Chesire Cove Sailing Club at the windward end.
Hoover Sailing Club
Mohican Sailing Club
Hoover Sailing Club
Below is an excerpt on developing a strong pre-start strategy.
Your strategy is an invaluable guide to keep you on the right track throughout your race. It must be in place when you come off the starting line, and this means you have to begin working on your gameplan well before the start of the race.
There are many things you should consider when putting together a gameplan. Here is a simple three-step process you can use before the start of any race to come up with a solid strategy. The steps are explained in greater detail throughout the rest of this issue.
Step 1: Figure Out What the Wind is Doing
I’ve put the wind in Step 1 because it is often the most crucial strategic factor. In most races, even a small change in the wind can produce a big change in the results. That’s why, in most cases, you should think about the wind more than other strategic factors. The wind is almost always changing in both direction and velocity, and you must consider this when making up your game plan.
This past Saturday, June 1st, Buckeye Lake Yacht Club hosted the kickoff to the 2019 I-LYA Traveler Series. Seventy-five youth sailors, aged 6-17, made the trip to Buckeye Lake, east of Columbus, and enjoyed a great day of racing. Buckeye Lake, after several years of low water, was back in top form with comfortable temperatures and steady southwest winds blowing 6-15 knots. Spectators lined the piers of BLYC and the new North Shore bike path to watch the racing up close. The series continues next week at Alum Creek Sailing Club in Lewis Center, Ohio and will continue throughout the summer with the finale at Hoover Sailing Club in August.
Thank you to all of the BLYC volunteers who made this event successful. It was truly a team effort and the comments from competitors, parents, and other visitors were very complimentary of the Club and the event.
Full results can be viewed here:
Learn more about the Traveler Series here: