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2005 Race Reports

Congratulations to the winners of the 2005 season racing series.

Season Hi Point Championships

Working Sails

Place                 Boat                          Skipper

1st                      Rascal                     Jack Caldwell
2nd                     Great Excuse         Mike Dukes
3rd                     Windever                  Anderson’s
4th                      TwoFourJuan         Jeff Marshall
5th                        BOB                         Bill Jenks
6th                        Scout                     Paul Von Stubbe
7th                         Sublime                 Jeff Miller
8th                          Freyja                     John Hawkinson
9th                         #7                         Ron Swenson

Spinnaker Class

Place Boat Skipper

1st Charmed Juan Stephen Jensen
2nd Wooglin Chris Popich
3rd PGS Juan Gene Adams
4th Serendipity Roland Clausen

Spring Series Champions

Working Sails

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Great Excuse Michael Dukes
2nd Rascal Jack Caldwell
3rd BOB Bill Jenks
4th Sublime Jeff Miller
5th TwoFourJuan Jeff Marshall
6th Windever Anderson’s
7th #7 Ron Swenson

Spinnaker Class

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Wooglin Chris Popich
2nd Charmed Juan Stephen Jensen
3rd PGS Juan Gene Adams
4th Serendipity Roland Clausen

Road Warrior series

Working Sails

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Rascal Jack Caldwell
2nd Great Excuse Mike Dukes
3rd Scout Paul Von Stubbe
4th Windever Anderson’s
5th TwoFourJuan Jeff Marshall

Spinnaker Class

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Charmed Juan Stephen Jensen
2nd Wooglin Chris Popich
3rd PGS Juan Gene Adams

Fall Series

Working Sails

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Rascal Jack Caldwell
2nd Scout Paul Von Stubbe
3rd Windever Anderson’s
4th TwoFourJuan Jeff Marshall
5th Freyja John Hawkinson

Spinnaker Class

Placing Boat Skipper
1st Charmed Juan Stephen Jensen
2nd Wooglin Chris Popich
3rd PGS Juan Gene Adams
4th Serendipity Roland Clausen

Spring Series Race #1

Wow! We had 9 boats show up for Fleet 1’s first spring race and that was without two of our hard core regulars. Windever is still in dry dock getting a new keel gasket and PGS Juan’s skipper had an accident at work and damaged his hand rather badly. Gene showed up anyway and sailed with Chris on Wooglin. I guess it takes only one hand to work the tiller. This of course allowed Chris to once again take the spinnaker class to town.

In the Working sails, we had Great Excuse sailed by Mike Dukes, TwoFourJuan with Jeff Marshall, Sublime single-handed by Jeff Miller. Two new boats, #7 helmed by Ron Swenson and returning member Bill Jenks with #19.

This may be quite a year for Fleet 1.

The Spinnaker class was represented by Wooglin skippered by Chris Popich, Serendipity with Roland Clausen, Jack Caldwell aboard Rascal, and Charmed Juan helmed by yours truly.

Winds were in the 10 to 15 mph range with some gusts over 20 under partly cloudy skies. Under these conditions, it’s difficult to see what’s going on out on the course so I really don’t have any idea who was dicing with who. I had my hands full just keeping myself out of trouble. Of course I got into trouble a couple of times anyway. Especially in race one where I tried to get the spinnaker up.

Before the first start, #19 with Bill Jenks sprung a leak at the keel pivot bolt and had to retire.

In the second race, the winds continued to build and I reefed the main before the start for the upwind leg. I was surprised to find that I was not falling behind the other boats going to the windward mark. I shook out the reef on the downwind leg. I caught glimpses of others struggling, especially Jeff Miller who was single handing. Both Sublime and Great Excuse decided to call it a day and headed for the docks at the end of the second race. The rest of the boats wanted to go ahead with more so we got two more races in.

In the third and fourth races, the winds were a little more manageable but still it was a handful at times.

So for the day, Jeff Marshall with TwoFourJuan takes the day in working sails with two first’s, a second, and a DNF. He had some sort of trouble in the first race and wasn’t able to finish. Second in Working sails was Jeff Miller with Sublime with two firsts and two DNS’s. Third was Mike Dukes with a second, third and two DNS’s.

In the Spinnaker class, it was once again Wooglin skippered by Chris Popich taking four firsts. Charmed Juan and Serendipity tied for second and Jack Caldwell was fourth.

Our next race is on March 26 at Magneson Park (Sand Point) with a 11:30 start. Let’s please try to be on time so we can get in lots of racing. Please plan on having your boat in the water by 11:00. Due to the limited dock space we should have our skippers meeting in the parking lot around 10:00 while we are rigging up.

Spring Racing Series #3

Differing conditions were the norm for our third Spring Series race held on Lake Washington at Stan Sayers Pits. Good winds in the first two races, light to no winds in the third, and heavy winds in the fourth.

We had 6 boats on the water, three in each class. Mike Dukes with Great Excuse, Bill Jenks with his newly named “Bob” and Jack Caldwell with Rascal represented the Working Sails. Gene Adams returned with PGS Juan after missing the first two races with an injured hand, Chris Popich aboard Wooglin, and Stephen Jensen with Charmed Juan were in the Spinnaker class.

The Weather had partly cloudy skies with wind coming from the south to south west at speeds in the 5 to 15 mph range later changing to westerly 10 to 20 mph.

We set up a 0.8 mile long course and got in 4 races even with a lunch break after the second race to move the marks as the wing shifted.

In the first race, Wooglin rounded the mark first with Bob and Charmed Juan close behind. On the downwind leg, winds showed a reach but PGS Juan and Wooglin brought out the chutes. Charmed Juan kept hers in the bag. She kept up with them until the winds shifted a couple of degrees to the benefit of Wooglin and PGS Juan. PGS Juan nipped Wooglin at the finish line for first with Charmed Juan third. Bob, was next over with Great Excuse coming in fifth.

The second race saw the spinnaker boats pull away from the working sails boats on the downwind leg. At the finish, Wooglin took first with Charmed Juan holding off PGS Juan. Bob once again took fourth (first in Working sails) with Great Excuse and Rascal rounding out the field.

After the second race, we moved the marks to adjust for the wind shift.

The third race saw the winds die right at the start. Three boats were stuck too far away from the start as the horn sounded. The winds filled in quickly and the fleet was off. On the run to the finish, Wooglin went right and Charmed Juan went left. There was wind on the left side and Charmed Juan took the lead but then the wind died. It filled in on the right side and Wooglin surged ahead. PGS Juan also accelerated up to Charmed Juan. Charmed Juan tacked to go across the finish but PGS Juan tacked as well and was then between Charmed Juan and the finish. Charmed Juan should have tacked earlier to avoid being pinned.

The Fourth race saw some increased wind speeds at the start. Rascal got a great start and was the windward most boat. Charmed Juan led at the windward mark, just getting around Great Excuse approaching the windward mark. On the downwind leg, the wind gradually shifted so the spinnakers came out. Charmed Juan didn’t get her spinnaker down quickly enough and still had the poll up when they rounded the mark and couldn’t tack so Wooglin gained the lead and held it to the finish.

For the day, Wooglin took top honors in Spinnaker class, PGS Juan second and Charmed Juan third. Bob was the winner in working sails with Great Excuse second and Rascal third.

Our next race will be on Lake Union on April 23rd. Start will be at 12:00 with a skippers meeting on the water at 11:40 or so. Once you get to the lake, please wait to raise your sails until after the skippers meeting.

Remember that if you launch at the 14th street ramp, it’s about 2.4 miles to the Lake so assume about 30 minutes to get there, more if you want to open the Freemont Bridge. I have been able to go underneath it every time so far. Also remember the power lines at that ramp. These are not a problem as long as you remember them.

Spring Series Race #4

I like Lake Union. Where else can you see the Virginia V, ancient Chris Craft Yachts, get a salute by the old Alki fire boat and have numerous sea planes taking off and landing right next to you, have to dodge numerous kayaks and other row boats, yep, I like Lake Union.

We had a full field of 10 boats show up for Spring Race #4, five in each class. Sublime, TwoFourJuan, Great Excuse, Bob, and Rascal represented the Working Sails class with PGS Juan, Wooglin, Windever, Serendipity, and Charmed Juan for the spinnaker class. Jeff Miller aboard Sublime and Mike Dukes with Great Excuse were the only boats single handing today. They had their hands full on a couple of times with the Puffy conditions.

Winds were out of the South to Southwest at 5 to 15 mph with partly cloudy skies. We got 5 races in. What’s impressive is the fact that all the boats are staying close. No long waits for the last boat to finish.

There was enough wind for me to have to keep my attention on my boat and not on the field outside of my immediate tactical situation, so I don’t have a very detailed blow by blow description of the races. The first couple of races happened in moderate winds, 10 to 15 mph range out of the southwest. There were little pockets of higher gusts, and if you caught them, you gained an advantage. I do remember several tacking duals covering Wooglin on the way to the finish line and in another race, holding Wooglin on the east side of the lake on the run up to the weather mark.

One time, I think it was the third race, I was going up the east end of the lake, Heeled over at 20+ degrees for a long time, with Wooglin just behind me an to leeward, when I looked under my boom to check how close to shore I was, I saw Great Escape not 15 feet away right behind my mainsail. I had no idea he was there, or how he got there. I had to tell Mike that I couldn’t pin him against the shore and he could tell me to tack away when he wanted (as I understand the rules).

After the first couple of races, it seamed that the east end of the lake was the way to get to the Red Nun buoy we were using for the weather mark.

The winds really picked up after the 4th race, but the group wanted to go for another. Fortunately the winds moderated just a little right after the start. No one was having any serious problems, although I did see Serendipity take on some water over the combings during a tack.

On the down wind leg of the 5th race, only Wooglin popped the chute (they had 3 crew aboard) and took off for the weather mark. They lead from the weather mark to the finish. Charmed Juan held off PGS Juan on the downwind run and took second.

Mike Dukes won the day in Working Sails with 8.25 points (4,1,1,2,1) This is the first time Mike has won the day competing against a full field. Congratulations Mike, you have come a long way in just a year and a half.

Bill Jenks took second with 11.75 points (2,3,3,1,3) Jeff Miller with Sublime took third with 13.75 points (1,4,2,3,4)

In the Spinnaker class, Charmed Juan took top honors with 7.25 points (1,3,1,1,2), Wooglin second with 7.5 points (2,1,2,2,1) PGS Juan third with 14 points (3,2,3,3,3)

Yep, I like Lake Union.

Spring Series Race #5
Brownsville Marina, May 21, 2005

Six boats took the trip around the Sound to the Brownsville Marina for our 5th Spring Series race.

TwoFourJuan, Great Excuse, Rascal, and Windever were there for the Working Sails class. Wooglin and Charmed Juan represented the Spinnaker Class.

Conditions were much the same as the week before in Des Moines, Winds very light and shifty.

We launched at low tide and didn’t see any currents as it came in.

The first race took a long time as the winds came and went, mostly went. TwoFourJuan and Rascal got stuck in a hole at the starting line. They were stalled there for quite a while. Approaching the finish line, the winds started to pick up a little. Charmed Juan held off a rapidly closing Wooglin for first with Great Excuse third and Windever fourth. A long wait later, Rascal and TwoFourJuan crossed.

We decided to shorten the course by going up to the windward mark and then back to the finish line. In this race the winds again were barely there to non existent.

Charmed Juan led from the beginning and took first with Wooglin second, Windever third and great excuse fourth.

It was now just passed 3:00 pm but every one wanted to do another race on the short course because the winds now were picking up.

Wooglin got a good start along with Great Excuse. Great Excuse led around the weather mark with Wooglin second and Charmed Juan third. When Wooglin rounded the mark she made a rare mistake. She put up her spinnaker without checking the wind direction. The winds were shifting more and more so when she rounded, she was again going into the wind and the spinnaker filled in backwards stopping her dead, right in front of an oncoming Charmed Juan on starboard tack.

Now things got interesting. Charmed Juan called “starboard”. Wooglin answered she had no helm. Charmed Juan answered “OK” and altered course to go behind Wooglin and was still able to head up to make the mark.

Now the question is did Wooglin foul Charmed Juan? Does Wooglin need to do a penalty turn? Charmed Juan did not call foul and ask Wooglin to do a penalty turn. I assumed it was understood.

Anyway after rounding the mark and seeing Wooglin so close, we gave chase and quickly forgot about the whole thing. The winds started to calm and I thought there was a chance at catching Wooglin. Great excuse was still ahead of both of us. The winds were slowly shifting from being close hauled to becoming a reach. When they went past 90 degrees, Charmed Juan quickly brought out its spinnaker surged up to Wooglin. By the time Wooglin got its spinnaker out, Charmed Juan was up wind of them and blanking their chute. On the down wind legs, I have Jorgen on the helm while I keep the spinnaker flying. When we were alongside of Wooglin, she started taking us up. Jorgen kept our boats apart while I was keeping the chute filled. When Wooglin was clear astern he matched Wooglin’s attempt to get above us to take our wind. I was concentrating on keeping the chute filled and Jorgen was keeping us between Wooglin and the finish line. During all this, both Wooglin and Charmed Juan got past Great Excuse. At the finish, Charmed Juan held off Wooglin for first place and Great Excuse took third.

For the day, Charmed Juan takes first in Spinnaker class with Wooglin second.

Great Excuse won the day in working sails with Windever second and Rascal third.

Spring Series Race #6
Magnuson Park, June 4, 2005

Our final Spring Series race was held on June 4th at Magnuson Park.

Great Excuse and Rascal showed up for Working Sails with PGS Juan, Serendipity and Charmed Juan for the Spinnaker Class.

I talked to Gene Adams on Friday and he told me that he had an ambitious project to complete before he could make the race. He obviously got it done as he showed up with a roller furler on his bow and brand new Ullman sails. He also had another set of brand new Ullman sails in his truck that went to Rascal. This could change things. Rascal has been improving her performance of late but her old sails held her back from becoming more competitive. PGS Juan’s old sails were well past due for replacement.

I knew that I was about 4 points out of first place for the Spring Series and Wooglin was not going to make this race. I needed to have a couple of first place finishes if I was going to catch her.

Once again, the winds were very light as the first race got underway. It took almost an hour to get to the windward mark. Along the way, Charmed Juan was to leeward of Rascal and called her intensions to come up. I had noticed that I was able to sail higher than Rascal. As I came up she did not give way. I again called my intension of coming up and held course. The winds now slowed and both boats lost steerage. Rascal was ¾ boat length ahead when she steered down on Charmed Juan. Charmed Juan ended up spinning out Rascal NASCAR style (this at about 0.5 knots). More Questions as to who had rights and if any foul was committed. Charmed Juan was the Leeward boat. The windward boat must stay clear. However, Rascal said she couldn’t steer any higher. Charmed Juan didn’t call foul as Rascal is in Working Sails and Charmed Juan flies a spinnaker.

Charmed Juan was first to the windward mark but after she tacked, she found herself drifting right into the mark. She couldn’t steer above the mark so she steered below and had to re-round all over again. The allowed the rest of the boats to catch up some. On the down wind run, the spinnakers were sagging limply as there was no wind for the first 30 minutes. The winds started to shift a little and the Spinnaker boats were reaching again. Not the best way to fly our chutes. Charmed Juan fell off a little and then doused the chute and headed up wind to the leeward mark. She rounded first with Rascal and PGS Juan come up hard. The winds were coming up a little from the north east now and after rounding, PGS Juan brought out her Chute. Charmed Juan had to cover so she also popped her chute. Both boats were straining to reach with the chutes. Charmed Juan held off PGS Juan but Rascal passed both boats and took first.

This race took almost two hours so we decided to do a short course. The leeward mark was now the windward mark so this was going to be a very short course. Light winds again kept everyone very close to the starting line. Charmed Juan got a good start and led from start to finish. Rascal was second and PGS Juan third.

The winds finally came in and all agreed to a third race even though it was passed 3:00 pm. Great Excuse had to go in but she agreed to let the others race. Jorgen told me during the race it would have been better if Great Excuse had at least taken the start and then gone in rather than not starting at all. She was scored as a DNS rather than a DNF, A difference of 1 point.

With the winds now up, the boats were going 5 to 6 knots. Charmed Juan was just to leeward of Rascal at the start. She slowed down a little and allowed Rascal to get clear ahead. Charmed Juan was able to point a little higher than Rascal and although it didn’t look like Charmed Juan was gaining, she was well ahead by the time the boats tacked. The winds were now coming from the Northwest. As we approached the shore I was worried about how the hills next to the shore were going to affect the wind. At the first sign of the winds shifting, we tacked back out again. Charmed Juan led at the Windward mark and brought out the Spinnaker. With the higher winds, the Spinnaker boats sped past the working sails boats. Charmed Juan was first with PGS Juan second, Serendipity third and Rascal fourth.

For the day, Charmed Juan took top honors with three first places, PGS Juan second with three seconds, and Serendipity third. Rascal won the Working sails with three firsts and Great excuse took second.

For the Spring series, Congratulations go to, Great Excuse for taking top honors in Working Sails with 22.75 points, Rascal second with 30.25 points, and Bob third with 36.75 points.

In the Spinnaker class, Wooglin and Charmed Juan tied with 16.75 points. The first tiebreaker is how many first place finishes each have. Both Charmed Juan and Wooglin have nine firsts. The second tiebreaker is how many second place finishes each have, Wooglin has 7 seconds and Charmed Juan has 6. Congratulations to Wooglin for winning the Spring Series Spinnaker Class. PGS Juan was third with 39.75 points.

Road Warrior Race #2

Three Tree Point Spring Regatta

We had 5 boats for the second Road Warrior race at the Three Tree point yacht clubs Spring Regatta. This gave us our own start. There were 4 big boats as well. This number is down from years past.

On Saturday, we got in three races in very light winds. In the first race, I got confused as to where the Windward mark was. I thought it was much closer to the start line so I headed into shore. All the other boats kept going out on port tack. This turned out to be a good move as there was wind in toward shore. Charmed Juan was first in class rounding the mark, third overall. On the down wind run, the winds died, then shifted so we were close hauled again. Charmed Juan was first with Wooglin second and Great Excuse third.

With the wind shift a new course was displayed and we headed north to the windward mark. The winds were dead at the start so the big boats had not moved from there start 5 minutes before our start. The conditions favored our light weight boats and Charmed Juan was leading the pack as she approached the mark. She was going close to shore and did a quick grounding. I guess the other boats didn’t see it as several others followed and grounded as well. Once around the mark, the winds picked up a little and we were once again close hauled. A San Juan 28 caught up to us and was pushing us out to the lay line. Charmed Juan felll off just a little and then tacked behind the 28. This also turned out to be a good move as there was again wind in close to shore and dead spots out.

Charmed Juan was first across the finish with PGS Juan second, Great Excuse third and Wooglin fourth.

Before the start of the third race the winds came up a little. Both Jorgen and I noticed that everybody was going faster than us during the pre-race start. Great excuse told me that he was going to stick to us like glue. I did manage to get between Wooglin and the start line and get a good start. Wooglin decided to go out instead of the proven inside route. We decided to cover Wooglin. We were still slow but didn’t figure it out until after we rounded the mark in fourth place. Jorgen found a very large plant wrapped around our rudder. It was a whole plant with root ball. Then the winds died again. This is Charmed Juan’s forte. At the finish, Charmed Juan caught up an passed all for first with Great Excuse second, PGS Juan third and Wooglin fourth.

On Sunday, the winds finally showed up for the first race Wooglin found her forte and was first across with Charmed Juan second and PGS Juan third and Great Excuse fourth.

In the last race, Wooglin once again lead until rounding the leeward mark when the winds again died. Chamred Juan caught up to Wooglin and was able to pass them as they got snagged on some crab pot lines. Great Excuse and PGS Juan were stuck on the leeward mark and were beign swept north and decided to call it a day and motor back to the marina. Rascal was just a little bit out from shore when the winds filled in and she sped to the finish in first. This is the first race that Rascal has won. Jack Caldwell is starting to show results for all his practice. Charmed Juan picked up the wind and finished second with Wooglin getting free of the snag and coming across in third.

The Three Tree Point race committee was giving the Spinnaker boats a 23 second per mile handicap so we didn’t know who placed where until the awards were given out. In the third race, Great Excuse was 25 seconds behind Charmed Juan. We didn’t know how long the course was so we were not sure who won that race.

In fifth place was Rascal, fourth was PGS Juan, Third was Great Excuse, Second Wooglin and in first place was Charmed Juan.

Road Warrior Race #3

Charmed Juan goes over the hill for the Chelan Regatta.

For some reason, I have never done well at the Lake Chelan regatta. Conditions there are not that different from what we have over on the west side of the mountains, but something keeps me from having any success over there. This year wasn’t any different. OK, it was worse…

We drove over on Friday afternoon and arrived to a very windy and rough lake. The marina doesn’t have a breakwater so the boats were rocking around a lot. We decided to leave Charmed Juan in the parking lot instead of having it beat itself against the docks all night. Fleet 1 boats, PGS Juan, Scout, and Rascal were already there and Wooglin arrived later. We had what is becoming the traditional fleet 1 dinner at the Red Apple Café.

Saturday morning as I arrived back to the boat, I saw it was oddly mottled gray. The other boats as well, but only on their white surfaces. They were covered with gnats; thousands of them, brushing them off just caused them to swarm all over. It didn’t get much better after launching and putting into our slip. Next year I am going to bring some dust masks.

There were 10 San Juan 21’s, four of these In the Spinnaker class, and 6 in Working sails. It was decided to have only the Spinnaker class instead of the All Sails to accommodate the Fleet 1 presence. There were 4 boats in the open dingy class, a couple of C-Larks, a Laser, one of those brand new Nomads from Vanguard. Three larger boats in the open mono class, one of those being the very fast Santa Cruise 27, and filling out the field were only two multi hulls. This was good news to me as I seem to have a history with catamarans. The city of Chelan as jumped into promoting the regatta this year but the turnout was the lowest for seen in many years. However, this was the highest fleet 1 participation I have ever seen with 5 boats.

The winds had abated to the 10mph range and the waters were calm with partly cloudy skies. The forecast of rain never came true but dark clouds did make an appearance later.

The course was set up with A & B marks up lake and a C mark down lake near the bridge. I am not sure if it’s a river or not, or if it is flowing in or out, but there was a current in the area that wreaked havoc for many boats.

The San Juan’s had the first to start with everyone else starting 5 minutes later.

In the first race, I got a good start and Charmed Juan was showing good performance going the C mark near the bridge. I think I was in second or third when it came time to round the weather mark. As we approached the winds shifted and pinching as hard as we could, the current carried us right into the mark. We had to round again. This put us way behind. On the down wind leg, we caught up well and followed the leader around the mark. The leader was Hornet and he turned right into us and we bumped. I was busy at the time getting the spinnaker pole put away and I thought we would be given room at the mark. I guess you must ask for room and there must be an overlap to be granted that room. I am sure I didn’t make any friends there. We ended up hitting that mark as well and having to re-round that mark as well. Not a very good showing for Charmed Juan. After that race, I caught up to Hornet and apologized. After thinking about it, I should have gone outside of Hornet, instead of inside. We were 12th overall.

In the second race, I had a great start going. I was the leeward boat approaching the start line right on time and having rights on Scout who had rights on PGS Juan. I announced my intension of coming up on Scout and PGS Juan. I guess PGS Juan was too close to Scout and she was not able to move out of the way and all three of us bumped into each other. Although I had rights, I may still have been at fault as the Room and Opportunity rule comes into play. It seams that even though you may have rights, you can not “enforce” them. Better to fall off and call foul rather than waiting for you to bump into the other boat. Anyway, I got stuck in irons and it took a long time for me to get across the line.

We again caught up well but didn’t have a good downwind run. We ended up well behind at the finish in 14th.

Starting the third race, my goal was just not to hit anyone, or anything. We kept to the port side of the starting line and away from the other boats. I think we were third or fourth rounding the weather mark and didn’t hit it. We ended up fourth overall.

Now it was Lunch time. Sandwiches were provided at the docks for those who purchased them. After lunch, we headed back out to wait the start of the next race. Dark clouds were on the horizon and we could see rain on some of the hills far away. A couple of thunder claps convinced the committee boat to pack up and head for the docks. We decided to stick next to them as they had the taller mast. They didn’t seem to be very appreciative of us for that.

The weather didn’t improve and the rest of the day was called off.

Saturday evening, Russ Jones had his traditional dinner gathering at his house. A pizza and salad feast, great company, and movies. One of the chase boats had a movie camera and took about 15 minutes of video. It turns out that I was not the only one who had problems at the C mark. It is nice to see video of us sailing.

Sunday morning saw the gnats still preferring the white gel coat instead of their natural homes, what ever that is dispite the rain. The rain lightened and finally stopped during the first race. I was looking forward to having a better day than yesterday.

In the fourth race, I decided to sail well beyond the lay line having learned the lessons of yesterday. Didn’t work, the winds died and we were being swept right into the mark. We jibed away spun a 270 degree turn and tried again. Not enough and had to jibe away again. Finally we made it around the mark but no where near the leaders. We put up the chute and headed off to the shoreline side of the course. The other three Spinnaker boats were all to the other side. As we approached the committee boat, Jorgen reminded me that the start line was closed. We couldn’t go through it. OOP’s! We pinched up as much as we could and up passed very close to the committee boat before turning back to the leeward mark. We rounded right behind Wooglin and Hornet, and headed off to the finish line. I was not very optimistic at the start of this leg, but the winds had settled more into Charmed Juan’s range and we were starting to make an impression on Wooglin. I thought we might make a race of it. We ended up sailing around the outside of Wooglin on one tack and ahead enough to tack in front of them. Hornet was still off to the side and ahead, and I decided to keep covering Wooglin by keeping Charmed Juan between Wooglin and the finish line. After a brief tacking duel kept us ahead, we started to catch up to Hornet. At the finish, we missed second place by only 6 inches.

OK, I was feeling really good when the fifth race started. We were headed upwind to the C mark on the outside of Wooglin and getting slightly ahead but unable to tack as we were both on starboard. We were approaching the shore line and I thought we would be able to tack as you can’t be pinned against an obstruction. Well, this rule only applies when the boat pinning you is close enough to you that you can not tack without hitting them. If you have room to tack, it doesn’t apply. After tacking, we either had to tack again or pass behind Wooglin. We tacked again and Wooglin tacked right after. We tacked over again and headed to the windward mark behind Wooglin but catching up. It would have been a good rounding but we were on port tack and Scout was coming on Starboard tack, we had to tack early and fall behind them to tack back over to make the mark. The downwind leg was a copy of the last race and we met Wooglin and Hornet again at the leeward mark. Again we had a race to the finish. The winds started to die again and Charmed Juan showed its light wind ability again by passing Wooglin but couldn’t quite catch up to Hornet. We got another third overall.

The winds were gone altogether now and the Fleet 1 boats rafted up together. We amused ourselves by looking down through the amazingly clear waters and identifying objects on the bottom about 20 feet down. We waited over an hour before the day was finally called.

For the regatta, we ended up fourth of four in the San Juan 21 Spinnaker class and fifth overall of 19 boats. Wooglin got third in Spinnaker and fourth overall. The Nomad took first in open dingy and third overall. Hornet was second and Rob Anderson on 2064 was and first for the Spinnaker and overall scores. The top scorer in the working sails was Pat Merriman on Mojo with David Baum on 2471 second and Josh Jones borrowing his dad’s boat 2342 in third. Fleet 1 took fourth and fifth and sixth with Scout, PGS Juan and Rascal. Gene sailed in working sails for this race as he didn’t have his regular crew.

OK, I am ready to see if I can improve my results next year, I certainly can’t do much worse.

Road Warrior race #4
Norm Blanchard Regatta,
September 24 & 25, 2005

Our fourth and last Road Warrior race was held under bright sunny skies and warm temperatures September 24-25 at the Center for Wooden Boats on the south end of the Lake Union. Sailing on Lake Union is special, The shores lined with so many very large luxury yachts, the beautiful and not-so beautiful house boats, seaplanes taking off and landing every couple of minutes, tour boats running up and down the lake, kayaks and rowing boats, the constant boating traffic going to and from Lake Washington and Puget Sound, all of this on a lake that is only one mile long and a half mile wide. When the Center for Wooden Boats puts on the Norm Blanchard Regatta, you add another 40 or so sailboats racing around this little lake and you can imagine how special it can be. The thing that keeps this from becoming a disaster is the 7 knot speed limit.

I launched Charmed Juan on Friday from the 14th street ramp and motored down the canal with Windever, we passed under the Freemont Bridge with at least 12” to spare. It looks scary when you are on your own boat, but I was behind Windever and got a good look at the distance between the mast head fly and the bridge. As long as you can see 5 boards showing above the water on the side of the bridge abutment, our boats can pass underneath with ease.

Winds were in the 15+ mph range and I raised the sails. I had made some changes to Charmed Juan’s set up and wanted to test them out. One of these was the flattening reef that is a standard item on Kerr mainsails. It’s a grommet about 8” above the clew, sort of like a reef grommet but it’s intended to pull the sail aft and down. This is used when everything is full tight and you still need to flatten some more. It basically is an outhaul on steroids since it sort of bypasses the shelf foot that limits the regular outhaul. I mistakenly had it rigged like a reef line with the block pulling the grommet more down instead of aft. I moved the block aft to correct this. This has a dramatic effect on the sail. The winds were in the 15+ mph range, a little stiff for single handing, and I was pinching to keep the heel at a reasonable level. The main had a large flapping bubble in the leading edge. After pulling the flattening reef line tight, the sail became almost board flat, the bubble disappeared completely, the heel angle lessened, and I was able to point higher. I am not sure if it increased my speed any, but I liked the shape vs. the flapping bubble.

When I arrived at the Center for Wooden Boats, TwoFourJuan, and Windever were already tied up. I guess Windever had forgotten that the mooring space they had taken was suppose to be reserved for the boat that fly’s the Norm Blanchard Burgee, given to the highest placing Fleet 1 boat the year before (me). Rascal came in later with Wooglin making an appearance around 5:30 pm. PGS Juan came later after we left for dinner at the Outback restaurant across the street.

On Saturday, the races were to start at 12:00, the winds decided to wait until around 1:00 or so and then they showed up with a vengeance. A 20+ blow for about 30 minutes wreaked havoc with some of the smaller boats, and the A and B marks on the north end of the lake. They dragged their anchors and head south through the start finish line. After the winds subsided a little, they were put back and we got under way around 2:00 pm.

There were 3 class starts; the first being the larger wooden boats that included two thunderbirds and several beautiful 30+ foot wooden boats. Our San Juan 21’s, started second and the 22 foot and smaller one designs boats third. A second race course, separate from ours, was set up for the smaller wooden boats like the Pelicans.

At the first start, I was on time and in a great position, looking to make a good start. I was on Starboard tack heading slightly toward the starting line and planned to tack to port to delay my arrival to the line. Rascal was on port tack heading away from me, after I tacked I heard Rascal call starboard. They must of tacked at the same time I did. I had to steer behind rascal (I think I missed him by at least a foot) and that caused us to be late at the start. We caught up a little on the upwind leg to the A mark and reached over to the B mark. We lost some ground on the downwind leg to the C mark and headed back to the A mark. Not sure what happened but Wooglin must have caught some sort of divine wind and flat left everybody. After rounding the B mark for the second time we caught up to and passed PGS Juan, by about 1 boat length. Approaching the finish, PGS Juan found a little more speed and was in front of us by about a foot at the finish. Wooglin of course crossed the line first, with PGS Juan second, Charmed Juan third, Windever fourth, Rascal fifth and TwoFourJuan sixth.

Scoring for this regatta was going to be time on time. The Working sails boats were credited 1.3 seconds for every minute of the race. Based on this, the order of finish was Wooglin, Windever, Rascal, TwoFourJuan, PGS Juan, and last, Charmed Juan. These finish points were for the Norm Blanchard regatta trophy. Our Fleet 1 points will be scored based on finishes across the line in each class.

The second race saw us getting a better start. But we struggled to get around the A mark. I swear there must be some sort of current there as we were being swept into the mark. We had to make an extra tack to avoid it. We caught up to Wooglin on the reach to the B mark but lost ground again on the downwind leg. We kept distance with Wooglin for the remainder of the upwind and reaching legs and caught up a little on the last downwind leg to finish second behind Wooglin. Rascal crossed in third, TwoFourJuan was fourth, then PGS Juan and Windever. The Corrected times had the same results.

After racing, we settled down at the docks of the Center for Wooden boats and had a relaxing time until the dinner was served.

Sunday promised to be just as great weather as the Saturday. The Haze burned off and we headed out to wait the coming winds. We waited and waited,,,,,,,,,, and waited. After sailing around at 0.1 to 0.4 knots, we rafted up with Rascal and PGS Juan. Sometime after 2:00 pm, the winds picked up to around 5 mph coming from the south. Not much but enough to get a start.

We started well and headed up wind to the Red Nun at the South end of the Lake. It seemed that every time we tacked the wind shifted against us. We were not making good speed and I started to worry. We were falling further behind and it looked like we were not going to do very well. It still amazes me that it can take so long for me to realize something must be wrong. I started to look around the boat, I remembered the time when we had a whole potted plant (not just seaweed, a full potted plant, root ball, stem, branches and leaves minus the pot) stuck to the rudder and thought I should take a look. Then I saw that the outboard was still down! We were second to last rounding the weather mark and the winds started to die. We raised the chute to zero winds and watched the rest of the fleet heading down wind to the A mark. We were left drifting with a slack spinnaker. After a while the rest of the fleet also caught the lull. The winds started to picked up behind us and we started to move forward. We caught up to the fleet and started to move through it. Wooglin was just ahead of us when the winds died again. Our mast fly was starting to point north, Wooglin doused their spinnaker but what they couldn’t see because we blocking their view was a wooden Gaff rigged boat coming up behind us still on a run. We kept our chute up and headed a little to the northeast while Wooglin headed northwest. The winds filled in a little from the west and pushed us along to the northeast while Wooglin continued northwest on a close haul. Their winds died while ours continued. Now things were now looking good for us, but I wasn’t counting my points yet. We still had several buoys to get around.

As we approached the mark we saw the committee boat had set up station there. The course was being shortened since we got such a late start and boat speeds were down in the light winds. So Charmed Juan took first with Windever crossing in second, Wooglin in third and Rascal in fourth. PGS Juan still stuck in the hole back on the south end of the lake gave up and headed back to the docks. TwoFourJuan did not race today and Skipper Jeff Marshal was crewing on PGS Juan.

With the corrections the order was Charmed Juan, Windever, Rascal, Wooglin, PGS Juan, and TwoFourJuan.

So Wooglin takes first place with 5.5 points and gets his name on the Frank Faget trophy which will be presented at the end of the year Christmas Party. He also takes the Norm Blanchard Burgee from me which I expect him to fly proudly from his back stay at all of the future races (he needs the extra drag). Charmed Juan took Second with 8.75 points, Rascal third with 9 points, Windever fourth with 10 points, TwoFourJuan was fifth with 15 points and PGS Juan sixth with 16 points.

We have been granted Honorary Wooden Boat Status by the Center for Wooden Boats and will be back next year. This will be the biggest regatta in the northwest next year so I hope everyjuan puts it on your next year’s calendar.

Fall Racing Series #1

We had 3 boats for the first of our fall races at Stan Sayers on September 3rd.

Jack Caldwell with Rascal and new member Paul Von Stubbe aboard Scout (#1085) sailed in the working sails with Charmed Juan in the Spinnaker class.

Winds were in the 10 to 15 mph range with higher gusts, quite a handful for both Rascal and Scout as they were basically single-handing. I saw the keels of both boats several times.

Since I was the only spinnaker boat, I decided to make life comfortable and put a reef in the main before the start of the first race. Even with the reef, Charmed Juan heeled over enough to get water in the cockpit a couple of times. I was amazed at high I could point with the reef than either Rascal or Scout, granted both of them were struggling with the winds. The Windward mark was close to shore and with the winds coming over the hill things got interesting around that mark. Winds would shift and die, then shift again.

Charmed Juan led around the first mark with Rascal in second and Scout in third. We shook out the reef going down wind and put it back in before rounding the leeward mark. Rascal rounded next and Scout still in third. It stayed that way until the finish.

In the second race, Charmed Juan once again started out with a reefed main and again was able to go higher than the other two boats. This time Scout led Rascal around both marks to take second behind Charmed Juan.

The winds started to abate some before the start of the third race so we took the reef out. Rascal and Scout are getting better at starts and we ended up to leeward of both boats but enough away and ahead to not be stuck in their wind shadows. It took a long time but we were able to get ahead and to windward of both Rascal and Scout, definitely not as easily as we had done in the first two races with the reef. Charmed Juan led around the windward mark and was not challenged for the rest of the race. We did put a reef back in before rounding the leeward mark. Scout came in second and Rascal third.

We got a really bad start in the fourth race. We started without a reef and got stuck to leeward of both Scout and Rascal and in their wind shadows. We tacked over to clear air but I stayed on that tack too long. By going toward shore, I got stuck in the bad air at the windward mark. Rascal rounded first with Scout second and Charmed Juan third. We tried to catch up by deploying the spinnaker on the downwind leg but it wasn’t enough.

On the run to the finish line, Scout was to leeward of Rascal, both on Starboard tacks as they approached the port finish line flag. Scout tacked to port, thinking they were enough ahead but this caused Rascal to have to duck behind Scout. Although she crossed the line in first, she accepted a second because of the foul.

So we had a tie in the Working sails with both boats getting two first and two seconds.

Don’t forget the Norm Blanchard Regatta on Lake Union September 24 -25th.

Fall Series race #2

Port Orchard, WA
October 8, 2005

We had 5 boats show up at Port Orchard for Race #2 in our fall series and two more show up on the water. TwoFourJuan and Rascal in the working sails, PGS Juan, Wooglin, and Charmed Juan for the Spinnaker class rigged up under the Clock Tower. Once we were on the water, another Juan showed up from Brownsville, Tangerine #1519 a fixed keel. New Member John Hawkinson arrived later aboard his new boat Freyja #87 for his first ever race. This is one of the boats Gene Adams and Jeff Marshal rescued from the Sea Scouts. Welcome to the club John.

The weather was partly cloudy, with light winds coming from the southwest. Rain was forecast for the afternoon.

In race #1, Charmed Juan started on port tack while everyone else was on Starboard. Charmed Juan passed behind a couple of boats but was first at the weather mark with Wooglin a couple of boat lengths behind. After rounding the marks, the winds were having us on a reach. Once the winds clocked behind us we both brought out the Spinnakers and headed off to the leeward mark. Wooglin was to starboard of Charmed Juan. Both boats were neck and neck for most of the downwind leg. When the chutes came down, Wooglin was just a little ahead of Charmed Juan and rounded the leeward mark in first. Charmed Juan followed Wooglin to the finish. Rascal finished in third with TwoFourJuan in fourth and PGS Juan fifth. Gene was single-handling today and managed to get the chute up by himself, something that only experience allows.

In the second race, Charmed Juan once again led at the weather mark with Wooglin right behind. Going down wind, Charmed Juan kept the lead but lost it after rounding the Leeward mark as Wooglin did a better job of dousing the spinnakers and getting headed up to windward than Charmed Juan did. Both Wooglin and Charmed Juan were on port tack heading for the finish line with Wooglin having a lead and being to windward. Charmed Juan had a little more boat speed and once ahead enough, tacked over to Starboard. Wooglin passed behind and Charmed Juan tacked immediate to cover. Then the winds shifted and slowed. Wooglin got a bit of a lead and tacked on Charmed Juan. Instead of passing behind Wooglin, Charmed Juan tacked over and now both boats were side by side and only about 10 feet apart. Wooglin was between Charmed Juan and the finish line and in control. Charmed Juan was just enough ahead of the Wooglin’s wind shadow not to fall behind. In the lighter winds, Charmed Juan was able to get ahead and in front enough to tack without interfering. When Charmed Juan reached the layline, she tacked over and took first place. Wooglin was second. It looked like TwoFourJuan has found some extra performance as they were in third in front of PGS Juan. TwoFourJuan was on Starboard tack paralleling the finish line when a wind shift had them headed away from the line. I guess they thought they could force PGS Juan to tack but realized too late they were falling behind. PGS Juan crossed the line in third with TwoFourJuan in fourth.

Before the third race, Freyja showed up and sailed around the area.

I can’t remember much about the third race, except that Wooglin and Charmed Juan swapped the lead several times. Wooglin crossed the line in first with Charmed Juan second, TwoFourJuan in third, PGS Juan fourth, and Rascal in fifth.

The winds started to pick up now to the 10 to 15 mph range when the fourth race got under way. Charmed Juan once again did a port start and Wooglin went off on starboard tack. Wooglin looked to be getting well ahead now on port tack, TwoFourJuan and Rascal were ahead of Charmed Juan still on port tack. Wooglin tacked over at the layline well ahead. The winds at the weather mark were shifty and several boats had to tack again approaching that mark in previous races. Charmed Juan, Behind TwoFourJuan and Rascal sailed well beyond the layline. Wooglin having tacked too early had to tack over to port but was able to call room at the mark. This caused TwoFourJuan, and Rascal to both have to pinch up and slow down. All this bunched up these four boats nose to tail as they rounded. Wooglin and Charmed Juan brought out the spinnakers and headed away from Rascal and TwoFourJuan, but not very quickly. Charmed Juan was able to catch up to Wooglin but not pass, TwoFourJuan stayed ahead of Rascal.

Wooglin takes top honors in the Spinnaker class (1,2,1,1)

Charmed Juan second (2,1,2,2)

PGS Juan third (3,3,3,3)

TwoFourJuan takes the top spot in the Working Sails class (2,1,1,1) and

Rascal second with (1,2,2,2)

Freyja gets DNS status (4,4,4,4)

I forgot to mention the final scores for the Road Warrior series in the Norm Blanchard write up.

In the Working sails
TwoFourJuan takes fifth with 45 points.
Windever fourth with 40.5 points.
Scout third with 34.25 points.
Great Excuse second with 29 points.
Rascal takes top honors with 14 points.

For the Spinnaker class.
PGS Juan is third with 22 points,
Wooglin second with 10.5 points.
Charmed Juan in first with 9.25 points.

Fall Racing Series #3
Coulon Park, Renton
October 22, 2005

I thought it a bad omen when I saw a co-worker in the parking lot Friday after work putting the top down on his convertible. The forecasts for our Third Fall Series race Saturday were for partly cloudy skies in the morning and showers in the afternoon. Fortunately, Saturday morning dawned cloudless and any chance of rain was put off until much later. Winds were in the 5 to 12 mph range coming from the south.

We had 5 boats rigging up in the parking lot, PGS Juan and Charmed Juan for the Spinnaker class, Windever, Rascal, and Scout for the Working Sails class. The Renton Sailing club San Juan 21 also met us out on the water sporting a fresh looking sail with the #40 on it. Maybe I wouldn’t have to chase #40 today!

After launching and setting up a 1.6 mile course, I noticed a large amount of milfoil weed on the rudder. This would be an important clue I should have heeded later.

The first race got underway at 12:40 with winds in the 5-10 mph range. We got a good start but were to the lee of Windever and Rascal. All three of us were going about the same speed. I checked the rudder and removed another several strings of Milfoil. Rascal has done something good as their up wind performance has improved dramatically since the last race. Windever was first around the Weather Mark and Charmed Juan called room inside of Rascal. We were very close to the mark and I thought it was going to hit us when our bow wake bounced the mark away from the hull. A quick shove of the tiller swung the aft end away from the mark as it tried to rebound back. On the down wind leg, Charmed Juan brought out the spinnaker while PGS Juan went wing on wing with the rest of the fleet. Gene was once again single handing and decided not to bring out the chute by himself. Charmed Juan passed Windever about half way down the course and rounded the leeward mark in first. Windever was second and Scout third. Windever had a little better pointing ability on Charmed Juan but Charmed Juan kept between them and the finish line to take first. Windever was second, Rascal was third, Scout fourth, and PGS Juan fifth.

The winds started to shift coming now from the Southwest. The forecast said it would be shifting from the south to the east. Rascal took a good lead at the start of the second race and had fantastic boat speed as the boats headed off to the windward mark. Windever who heading off on port tack at the start managed to get in front and rounded the mark first. Rascal called room inside Scout but touched the mark and once passed, did a 360 degree turn. We passed them as they were finishing the penalty turn, and I told Jack the proper remedy for hitting the mark was to re-round the mark again. They headed back to the mark. Charmed Juan followed Scout and started to raise the chute hoping to pass the two boats in front with the big sail. Unfortunately, the winds now were coming from the east and the chute was not helping. The winds continued to shift more east and we had to douse the spinnaker. Windever rounded the lee mark well ahead Scout who was well ahead of Charmed Juan. Rascal was now behind PGS Juan after re-rounding the weather mark. Windever crossed the line still well ahead with Charmed Juan catching up a little on Scout who took second.

During the race I cleared weeds off the rudder several times, after the race we raised our keel and saw a huge mass of milfoil weed pass under our stern.

The winds now were still coming from East Southeast as the third race started. We cleared our keel again just before the 5 minute signal and another mass of weeds came off the keel.

Charmed Juan was right on time and at full speed as they passed right behind PGS Juan who was paralleling the line. Charmed Juan lead the way to the weather mark. There was no need to tack on this reaching leg. Later Gene told me that he had sheeted his jib to his Genoa tracks outside of the shrouds. I have always thought the jibs would look better if the clew wasn’t pulled in toward the center of the boat. Maybe a barber haul of some kind will allow the jib sheet to be moved out to the edge of the hull for reaching.

The winds started to fail as Charmed Juan rounded the Weather mark and headed down to the leeward mark. The rest of the fleet rounded and were caught in the lull that had deepened at the mark. Charmed Juan escaped and rounded the Leeward mark well ahead and headed off to the finish. As Scout lead PGS Juan and Windever at the Leeward mark, It looked like PGS Juan was passing Scout around the outside. Something happened as PGS Juan went off course and sailed around for a while. Gene had attempted to adjust his outhaul when it went full slack, this bunched up the sail at the front of the boom and it took some time for Gene to get it back inside the groove and reset. Scout took second ahead of Windever with Rascal fourth and PGS Juan fifth.

So Windever takes first for the day in the Working Sails class (1,1,2) and Scout takes second (3,2,1) and Rascal third (2,3,3)

In the Spinnaker class, Charmed Juan takes top honors (1,1,1) and PGS Juan takes second (2,2,2).

Fall Racing Series #5

Last race of the year

We had a good turn out with 7 boats on the water for our last race of the year. PGS Juan, Serendipity, Wooglin and Charmed Juan flew the chutes, while Scout, Windever, and Rascal kept to the little jibs.

With the constant air stagnation reports all week, I was sure I would do well in our last race of the year. Charmed Juan has always done well in light air.

I set up a .4 mile course under cloudy skies that turned out to be just the right length, orientated in what turned out to be the almost the correct direction despite being set up with absolutely no wind.

In the first race, Windever, Rascal and Scout were leading the way with Charmed Juan and Serendipity following close behind. PGS Juan and Wooglin got caught in a hole at the line. It took Wooglin about 12 minutes just to get across the start line.

OK, I was feeling good, Wooglin was way back there and the boats in front were in working sails except for Serendipity and he was single handing so I didn’t think he would be able to get his chute up on the down wind run. The winds started to fill in behind and off to the east side and Wooglin was headed that way. Our group of 5 boats slowly approached the weather mark when somehow Wooglin got there first.

After rounding, Charmed Juan was the only one to bring out the Spinnaker and headed off to the south thinking to go that way for a while and then drop the chute and reach the rest of the way to the leeward mark. It didn’t work. Wooglin was way out ahead with Windever second and Rascal third.

PGS Juan was way behind and having some sort of problem. When they got back to the finish line we noticed one of the spreaders was bent up at a 60 degree angle. They had to call it a day and retired.

At the finish, Wooglin crossed way ahead of Windever with Rascal taking third and Scout fourth.

In the second race, Wooglin got a much better start and lead from start to finish. Winds were very light at the start and built slowly.

As we approached the leeward mark, Charmed Juan was approaching Rascal who was fourth to round the mark behind Scout and Windever. I chose to go inside and try to call for room. Rascal said he could not go any higher and I didn’t think I could either so we had to jibe and do a 360 to avoid hitting the mark. Sometimes the fast way around the mark is to slow down and get around without fouling other boats or hitting marks.

On the run up to the finish, Charmed Juan stayed to the weather side (south end of the course) while Windever, Scout and Rascal stayed a little north. The winds filled in on the south end and pushed Charmed Juan ahead to take second ahead of Windever who was just ahead of Rascal.

This has been a great year of racing. We had 15 race dates this year with a total of 51 races overall. We had 13 boats on the scoring list with four of those being new boats added to our fleet, Bill Jenks aboard BOB, Paul Von Stubbe with Scout, Ron Swenson with #7, and John Hawkinson aboard Freyja.

Congratulations to the winners of the Fall Series.

Working Sails;

1st Rascal
2nd Scout
3rd Windever
4th TwoFourJuan
5th Freyja

Spinnaker Class;
1st Charmed Juan
2nd Wooglin
3rd PGS Juan
4th Serendipity