By Kenneth Johnson -
The Lake Fall Regatta held on Saturday September 11 capped the 2021 Lake Racing Season. Light shifty slowly-dying winds challenged the excellent Race Committee (PRO Troy Childs ably assisted by Catherine Picha) and the skippers and crews of the participating J-24s, San Juan 24s and Thistles.
Racing started at 11 am in a 6-7 knot wind that shifted erratically from south-east to south – forecasted (unfortunately all too correct) to slowly die to 1-2 knots by early afternoon, causing the final races to be mercifully shortened. Somehow the small three boat J-24 fleet got in three races, with Staff Commodore Jakob Lichtenberg on “Hair of the Dog” consistently finishing first. No such consistency for the other two fleets. In the 7 boat San Juan 24 fleet, CYC Director Mark Bradner on “Return” and Staff Commodore Ken Johnson’s “Grauer Geist” split their two races, each winning fairly easily after a good start by Return in race 1 and Grauer Geist in race 2 and building large leads by the first weather mark. As the wind began to die in the shortened second race, Return (which was last around the prior mark) and Mike Irish’s “Manhattan Transfer” traded leads in the last 200 yards before the shortened upwind finish, with Return getting the last wisp of wind to finish 2nd by “2 or 3 inches” and thus earn a deserved win for the regatta.
The 9 boat Thistle fleet saw the most inconsistency, with Graham Vaughan combing a 1st and 5th on “Zugzwang” to edge out Marc Daudon’s “Fleetfoot2”’s combined 4th and 3rd place finishes to win the regatta. “Heart of CYC” capital raising chair Wayne Balsiger’s first on “Rainbow” in the second race could not overcome his 7th place finish in race 1, and he finished 3rd for the regatta.
For the 2021 season, both the Tuesday night J-24 racers and the Wednesday night fleets of SJ 24s, Thunderbirds and Thistles got to race on 17 of the 20 scheduled race nights, with the lack of wind (and one errant power boat that careened into the docked Race Committee boat) winning just three of the nights. For the J-24s, with up to 23 boats racing, Kevin Downey on “Sine Nomine” bookended the year with wins in the Spring and Fall series, Lucas Lafitte on “Big Tuna” took the Interim series and Scott Milne on “Tremendous Slouch” won the Summer series.
For the 4 boat fleet Thunderbirds on Wednesday night, Craig Burnell’s “Predator” won each of the four series. Almost as consistently, Director Mark Bradner’s “Return” took first in the Spring, Interim and Summer series in 8 boat San Juan 24 fleet before being dethroned by Staff Commodore’s Ken Johnson’s “Grauer Geist” in the Fall series. Johnson commented that Grauer’s success was greatly assisted by him being with family on the East Coast for most of the series with his crew, led by Treasurer Remmert Wolter helming, sailing the boat in his absence. The 16 boat Thistle Fleet saw Graham Vaughan’s “Zugzwang” finish strongly by taking the Summer and Fall series; JD Reddaway on “Hakana Matata” won the Spring series, with “TTFN,” jointly owned by Neal Freeland and Brooke Stabbert, taking the Interim series.
All in all, a successful season with participating building during the year as more crews became vaccinated and comfortable in racing. Thanks to some in the J-24 fleet, we got to see the successful introduction of robo-marks (which had their fits at the beginning but became very helpful by the end of the season). And much appreciation to Fleet Captain-Racing Matt Wood’s continued support, PRO Troy Child success in finding fair courses in the challenges of Lake sailing at its best, great work by the unheralded whaler drivers and finally but not the least to the Race Committee volunteers.
Continuing their participation in the Northwest Youth Racing Circuit, sponsored by the Sailing Foundation, the CYC Juniors had a strong showing at the John Adam’s Memorial (JAM) Regatta over near Bainbridge Island with 6 Optis and 5 FJs show up for the event.
This year, the organizers separated the fleets into two courses. Alpha Course was off the north end of the island. The Bravo Course was sailed inside the protection of Eagle Harbor just off the maintenance facilities of the Washington State Ferries. The wind gods were not with the Race Coordinators. The forecast was not favorable for getting much racing done all weekend. Forecasts during the week shows “zero” for both courses most of the time.
The Alpha Course is where the Opti Fleet Champs of our Juniors were to participate. There were 27 boats were registered in the Opti Champ Fleet. We had Nathan Bereson, Esmeralda Klinemeier, Andrew Lin, Garrick Pease, Samantha Schreiber, and Ben Yuret on course representing CYC. Sam Airhhart was coaching the team. The Alpha course had an extreme lack of wind and called it a day after only completing two races on Saturday. After the first day of racing, Barret Milne (co SYC/CYC sailor) was leading with two bullets with Andrew Lin close behind with two seconds in very light, shifty conditions. The next day, Alpha course had just a bit more wind and were able to complete 3 more races allowing for one throw-out in the series. Barret had a “bad day” and Andrew kept up his second place consistency with only one 4th place finish (his throw-out). With this great effort, Andrew won the blue age division as well as the Opti Class Overall! Barret came in second overall/blue division. Ben Yuret achieved a 3rd place finish in the white age division. Congratulations Andrew, Barret and Ben!
(Andrew Nelson with the bullhorn and to the left Andrew Lin / CYC / 1st holding blue trophy blanket and sporting the “JAMmies” and Barret Milne / SYC/CYC / 2nd holding red trophy blanket to Andrew’s left. Ben Yuret / CYC far left hold a grey trophy blanket for getting 3rd in his division.)
Meanwhile, the Bravo Course had the FJ (double-handed) part of CYC’s JV and Varsity Racing Teams. There were 21 boats participating in the FJ fleet. Representing CYC were Jacob Jones and Francesca Dougherty, Nathaniel Pease and Henry Thomas, Max Hanson and Mia McNabb, Anna Cezik and Phoebe Howe, and Zev Fort and Penelope Faulhaber. Geoff Pease and Kris Thomas were coaching and assisting. Unlike the Alpha Course, Eagle Harbor has its own “wind generator” and had somewhere between zero and 8 knots both days providing challenging, oscillating conditions that all the sailors needed to watch closely and use all their skills to traverse. The fleet had an amazing 7 races on Saturday. After that day’s racing, Jacob/Francesca were in 2nd place with Nathan/Henry trailing them in third by one point after throw-outs. The next day the wind shifted slightly to the north and the race committee was able to get 5 more challenging races in. Lots of excitement as first place finishers changed a lot breaking the dominance that PMYC has their first day. Jacob/Francesca, Max/Mai and, in the last race, Nathan/Henry all had a first place finishes during the series! In the end, the leaders from PMYC – with a picket fence of firsts from the first day – held onto first place with net 17 pts. Jacob/Francesca were 8 points behind with 25 pts. And Nathan/Henry came in third place with 30 pts. Congratulations to Jacob/Francesca and Nathan/Henry!
(From left to right: Nathan Pease and Henry Thomas / CYC / 3rd, Lauren Heinzelman and Elliott Chalcraft / PMYC / 1st, Francesca Dougherty and Jacob Jones / CYC / 2nd)
Feedback from the teams was that JAM is an “awesome event.” They loved the music playing during the Regatta – a play list that the competitor’s chose while registering. They loved the awards of blankets. And, they loved “jammies” (instead of a normal tee-shirt) as the swag from the event. They will be back next year!
Here is a link to the results: Johnny Adams Memorial (JAM) Regatta 2021 (theclubspot.com).
(They are a team – this is all CYC FJs “hanging on” after completing one of the races on Saturday. They did this after every race.)
By: Chris McMuldrochh: Al Johnson organized a really fun 14 boat Commodore Gibson weekend race to and from Port Ludlow for us. This year we had way more boats finishing both races than in recent years! And we had fabulous sunshine (with fog precursors in the morning each day). Thank you Tom and Carrie aboard "Island Mist" for being our committee boat again. Your start time coaching for the pursuit starts over VHS was a huge help to us. Al moved the start line from Meadow Point to Apple Tree Cove Point on Saturday, as there was no wind and a ton of boats fishing at Meadow Point. From Kingston we had Ok wind, little wind, and for "Wind Dancer: on the Whidbey Island side lots of wind - up to 14 knots and 7.5 knots over the ground :) until the finish where lots of boats fought the ebb tide with only light air. Saturday in the late afternoon we enjoyed a spaced out social recap of the day under the big tent at the resort. Sunday's down wind start had a strong start, reaching from Foul Weather Bluff to Point No Point. From there it was all spinnakers flying. Wind Dancer fell into the Kingston wind hole, while the smart money headed earlier for Point Wells, and had excellent runs down to Meadow Point. Wind Dancer fought hard to cross the sound in zero wind, but managed to catch the breeze on the East side, and stay ahead of "Vinca" who was hot on our heels all the way to Meadow Point. Congratulations to Al on "Charlotte" for showing us the way, and winning both days!
This year's boats were: Island Mist, Maggie May, Blur, Sea Geek, Outlaw, Wind Dancer, Vinca, Gratitude, Dulcinea, Puffin, Charlotte, Lolo, Those Guys, and Second Sun - who did 23 hours in the previous 2 days from way North of Nanaimo BC to Port Ludlow!
Earlier this August, Erik Anderson, Sebastian Dougherty, Francesca Dougherty, and Catie Vandervort (along with coach Annie Sorensen and Nancy and Dave Vandervort) travelled to Marblehead, Massachusetts to compete in the 100th anniversary of the US Sailing Sears Quadruplehanded Championship against 10 tops teams from around the country. This year the event was hosted by Eastern Yacht Club and sailed in RS21s- a new, light, and fast keelboat. Catie Vandervort, tactician and main trimmer, had the following to say:
“This event introduced me to so many new aspects of sailing, and I’m so grateful for the experience- both racing, and all the on-and off-water memories shared with my team.
We were given a clinic day to figure out the boats before racing started as most teams competing had never sailed the RS21 before. Our team had been practicing in J70s on Orcas Island throughout the summer, and we were glad to have practice and some coaching on specific aspects of the RS21. The RS21, for example, had a fixed mainsheet instead of a traveller, the control lines for the spinnaker and backstay were in very different places, and we got to play with a jib downhaul for the first time.
After the clinic we experienced some of Eastern Yacht Club’s opening ceremony traditions- like a burgee march, a cannon firing, and flag hoisting, and were treated to a presentation from guest speaker Rich Wilson, a two-time Vendee Globe competitor (he also gave us all his book!)
The next two days of racing were filled with lots of highs and lows, and tons of learning. It was an evenly matched fleet which provided extremely competitive starts and some of the most challenging racing any member of our team had experienced. We ended up in 6th place overall (our top finish was a 2nd) and grew so much in not just our boat fluency and roles in the RS21, but our ability to communicate effectively and keep a positive, stable attitude during the sometimes-frustrating racing. We discovered new ways to support each other in sailing and in life, and my teammates are some of the most amazing people I know.
It was incredibly fun exploring Massachusetts outside of racing, making friends with other teams, and getting to race at such a beautiful venue. I’m so thankful I was able to be part of this team and I appreciate the support of the CYC and greater PNW sailing community in helping us prepare for this event.”
Most of us have seen the schooner Adventuress gracing the waters of the Salish Sea more than once as we’ve cruised, raced, or simply hung out on our boats. But, do you know what her mission is? [CLICK HERE] to read more about the Adventuress and the upcoming Adventuress Cup!
Although formally canceled due to logistics concerns, thank you CYC club member, Sean Busby, who summarized the member-organized Moonlight Race (see the summary below). The CYC will work hard next year to make it an integral, and larger, part of the 2022 Lake season.
From Sean - The 2021 Moonlight Regatta included three San Juan 24s and two J-24s. The five boats and crews participated in a single class distance race for bragging rights and beautiful views. The competitors in the event were Fancy, Sweet Jesus, Crazie Cadie (Lake Union), Wild Rumpus and Irrational.
The race began with a meager Southern breeze making for a challenging downwind spinnaker start in light air of 2 to 5 knots. Sweet Jesus hoisted their spinnaker early and built up some speed at the start line and took a substantial early lead on the course. Crazie Cadie had missed the start and was coming in from the North so she jumped into the pack to join the fun. It is an “unofficial” race after all!
Shifty winds and big waves from large power boats slowed the fleet as the sailing fleet fought their way up the lake. Some talented spinnaker trimming kept all of the boats moving and thankfully the wind picked up along with the racing as the boats clumped closer together.
Fancy decided to take a unique route up the Western end of the lake while the two J24 boats and Crazie Cadie chased Sweet Jesus up the Eastern shore along Mercer Island. Before the fleet could see Bill Gates house, Irrational had glided ahead of Sweet Jesus teaching them a lesson in walking on water. The fleet approached the 520 bridge and Crazie Cadie expertly navigated the 520 underpass as they buried Sweet Jesus and set their sites on chasing Irrational. Beyond the bridge, the wind picked up with big gusts from the Southwest which tossed a few of the boats around while the crews scrambled to adjust. Wild Rumpus sailed well through the conditions and started to catch Sweet Jesus and Crazie Cadie while Fancy was not far behind, all boats being within a minute of each other.
As the boats made their way to the rounding mark, the wind took a dramatic shift and clocked due Northwest. Irrational did not have their jib rigged so the one-man crew tied down the tiller and stumbled up to the foredeck to hank the jib. Fortunately, no sandals were lost, nor a drop of beer spilled as Irrational pulled it off and managed to get around the mark with a nice lead! Meanwhile, Crazie Cadie fought off a final prayer from Sweet Jesus as the two boats rounded the mark in close succession. Wild Rumpus had passed both SJ24s but then appeared to overstand at the rounding mark dropping them back into fourth place. Fancy continued to catch up with the fleet and was now closer to the other SJ24s and Wild Rumpus.
On the windward leg headed back to the 520 bridge Wild Rumpus made their move and passed Sweet Jesus, catching up with Crazie Cadie. Irrational continued to build on their lead as none of the boats could match the single-handed skipper on this night.
The final stretch through the finish sailed like a victory parade as the wind steadied and became a consistent 8-10 knots. Fancy put up a fight and came within 10 boat lengths of Sweet Jesus, but otherwise the boats held their places.
It is unknown whether Crazie Cadie or Wild Rumpus finished the course in second place. The respective skippers and crews were not available after the race to finalize the results, but Crazie Cadie had not completed the start to the race so they were ruled a DNC. Crazie Cadie still deserves an honorable mention as they sailed brilliantly. The race committee are a tough bunch and require lavish bribes for a favorable ruling. The final finish order is as follows; Irrational, Wild Rumpus, Sweet Jesus, Fancy, Crazie Cadie.
The 2021 Moonlight Regatta is in the books. Congratulations to Bill Vlases and his impressive single-handed campaign of Irrational for a deserving win. Many people contributed time and effort to successfully coordinate and execute this informal Moonlight Regatta. A hat's off thank you to all the skippers for rounding up crew for the event. Thank you to Jeff Kendall for creating the NOR and SI while also providing awards to the top three finishers. And finally, a special thanks to the crew of Crazie Cadie for making the trip from Lake Union.
A few of the CYC Junior Varsity Sailing Team travelled to the Bellingham Yacht Club (BYC) Youth Regatta the weekend of Aug 7th & 8th. Garrick “Gary” Pease (Opti), Ben Yuret (Opti), Andrew Lin (Opti) and Nathan Pease and Henry Thomas (FJ) made the journey along with Geoff Pease PRO’ing his first non-CYC event with LOTS of help. Thanks to the help of many volunteers - some grabbed at the last second - the event when off without any problems. Thanks to additional CYC volunteers Wanda Creitz, Kris Thomas, and Adam Yuret for pitching in!
The first day had a great breeze (up to 12 knots) from the South which is the typical wind direction for the shallow (~30ft) Bellingham Bay. With the tide going out, the surf was a little rough in the morning. By the end of the day, wind conditions were ideal. There were 5 fleets – Opti, FJ, Laser 4.7, Laser Radials and C420 fleets. Each fleet was able to get 5 races in except the Opti’s – there were pretty tired by the end of their last race and when in early to avoid the dock rush. Being a “big brother” Nathan Pease missed two of the 5 races that morning. He helped his brother after he submerged his Opti for the first race of the day. At the end of the day, his FJ was still in 3rd place after having TWO bullets and a second in the three races they did complete. Andrew was having mixed results in the Opti fleet with Ben and Gary having a “bad day” (in Gary’s own words).
The next day had a lower breeze so the chop was less than the previous morning staying in the upper single digits – great for dingy sailing! Nathan and Henry continued their low scores with their worst being 4th. In the seventh race of the regatta, Henry was seen lay across the bow of the FJ. The race committee was like “I guess that is one way to get the weight forward.” It turns out that the jib’s tack had come undone and Henry was holding it down. They lost first place and finished second. One of the coach boats helped them fix it before the next race. Gary had a better day and sailed in all the race while Andrew held his own.
The results were that Nathan and Henry's performance resulted in a 2nd (of 10) place finish even after missing two of the races (one throw-out). Andrew placed 3rd (of 7) in the Opti “Blue” Fleet. Great job for the JV Sailing Team!
Written by Geoff Pease
Fellow club members,
As many place are beginning to reopen and you may be considering going cruising, don't forget that we have reciprocal moorage rights with over 90 clubs (please check with clubs to see how COVID is affecting their operations). Oftentimes, you need to show your membership card. In order to access this, please follow the following instructions:
1. Logon to your account with cyc.
2. Under your profile (which is under the home page, scroll down to the links with a printable card or card to save to your smartphone). See the yellow circle below).
Please help me welcome our newest addition to the CYC Office Staff, Susan Maund. Having worked at several small businesses and volunteer organizations, she brings many skills to the office setting. Also, as an active member for 4+ years with Seattle Sailing Club, she is passionate about sailing and is racing currently on a J/105. Lastly, you can also see Susan out on the water on CYC’s Race Committee Boat, YC5, as a Wednesday night volunteer. Great to have you on board, Susan!
Cindy Barrett, CYC Business Manager
Annie Sorensen, CYC Junior Director of Sailing
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Provided by the event organizers of Anacortes Race Week/Schelleen Rathkopf
SEATTLE, Washington, July 21, 2021 - Today marks four weeks from the day we lost Gregory Paul Mueller in a man overboard incident during Race 2 at Race Week. Despite the work of many who responded to the incident, Gregory never regained consciousness, and was pronounced dead on the shores of Guemes Island.
I haven’t talked publicly about the man overboard (MOB) accident, aside from a press release that I released shortly after the incident occurred. It has been a difficult event to process, and I believe that allowing for some time of reflection was necessary as a MOB has never been a part of my experience in sailboat racing before now. Gregory was on foredeck with the spinnaker full on a downwind leg of the race. He was seen with lines tangled around his ankles, and one of the crew noticed that he was leaning over to untangle these lines. Then he fell overboard with the lines still wrapped around his legs. The lines kept Gregory attached to the boat, dragging through the water before the boat was depowered and Gregory’s body was brought back to the boat. By this point, he was unconscious.
This we know.
From here, is where my mind races through all those things we don’t know. Did Gregory have a medical incident on board, such as a heart attack or stroke that caused him to fall overboard? Why didn’t the skipper sail head to wind to stop the boat? Why weren’t the lines cut that caused the drag through the water? The Skagit Valley Coroner’s Office has deemed Gregory’s death as an accidental drowning. But thankfully, they’re doing a full investigation involving pathology results to determine if Gregory had a medical event prior to the fall, or if there are any other explanations that help us know what might have happened. These results can take months, so in the meantime, we reflect and wait.
My thoughts have centered on three things: 1) Cold shock, 2) Importance of a PFD, and 3) what I, as a sailboat race event producer could ever do to minimize the chances of a death occurring on the course.
We hear about MOB drills all the time. We may have even participated in a class or workshop where we worked as a team in a very controlled setting to practice picking up someone who has fallen overboard. But I think we need to spend more time educating ourselves about what we can expect if it is us that goes overboard, and talk to our crews every single time we board a boat what are jobs would be ‘if’ a MOB happens. Everyone should have a job assigned to them so that when the stress and adrenaline kicks up, and the chaos abounds, everyone is clear what their function is in the event. What the MOB and the crew does in the first 120 seconds before help can arrive is the most critical because of what is called, ‘Cold Shock”, when someone drops into water under 60 degrees (like Puget Sound). You could have a fleet of first responders on a race course, and the outcome would be the same. It’s why skippers must take the sole responsibility of their crew who are offshore, as these are the inherent risks that are accepted in the sport of sailboat racing.
Falling into cold water provokes an immediate gasp reflex. If your head is under water, you'd inhale water instead of air. Initial shock can cause panic, hyperventilation, and increase heart rate leading to a heart-attack. This stage typically lasts less than a minute, and at this point the person should concentrate on just staying afloat with their head above water until this shock passes (and it does pass). My hope is anyone who ventures out on a boat is acutely aware of Cold Shock before they leave the dock. The message is clear: “If you fall overboard, remember what Cold Shock is, and remind yourself that you will be OK if you can just force yourself to relax, and get through the first minute with your head above water. At this time, don’t try and swim, just keep your head above water. Try and relax and float on your back to catch your breath, then try to get hold of something that will help you float.”
The bottom line, don’t panic, and keep your head up. Studies show that most victims who fall overboard never make it to a hypothermic stage since 75% of individuals succumb and die in the earlier stages of Cold Shock immersion.
Next, I think a MOB discussion should happen with the entire crew before the boat leaves the dock. When someone screams, “Man Overboard!” everyone on the crew should have a handle of what their job should be, and one person who knows everyone’s jobs should act as the alternate and take on the job of the person who has fallen overboard. I’m in no way a MOB expert, but these are some of the jobs that I think are important (and should be executed immediately) following the MOB alert:
Spotter: the person who looks only at the victim during the ordeal and never loses sight.
Thrower: the person who throws floatable cushions, LifeRing, or anything that floats off the boat
Skipper: the person who moves the boat instantly head to wind to stop the boat
Radio: the person who goes to the radio to hail the Race
Committee on the fleet channel that there has been an incident
Caller: the person who calls ‘911’ and reports the incident immediately to emergency medical services
Cutter: the person who cuts any lines, sails, that may cause dragging
Assister: the person who stays with the victim when transferred to shore for medical attention
Documenter: the person who is taking photos of the MOB incident and using photo time stamp, video, live commentary to record the event
I have to say, after many sleepless nights, these are the roles I have deemed most important on a boat. Mind you, every boat is different, and every boat has varying numbers of crew. But that is why it is so critical that the conversation happens every time a new crew assembles, and before leaving the dock so that the first critical 120 seconds of the MOB incident are covered. Having crews discuss it in advance will diminish the fatalities that come from crew falling overboard.
In this incident, I’m very proud of the immediate response of our Race Committee. In this setting, (versus being hundreds of miles offshore in the middle of the ocean), there are not only other racers nearby to assist in a MOB incident, but there are also power boats on the course that make up the Race Committee fleet. But this incident cast a new light on just how little we know about the crews on board the boats that are racing in our events, and going forward I think this deserves some attention. Here are a couple of new things I’m considering adding to Race Week planning going forward:
1. Skippers may be asked to register their crews on the registration platform so that crew can be easily identified and next of kin can be easily notified in the event of an accident.
2. Skippers may be required to go over the above personal and crew MOB safety protocols with their crews prior to the participation in Race Week.
3. Skippers may be required to keep a crew log on board.
4. We'll maintain our fleet of judge, umpire, mark set, start and finish boats on the course so that there are resources available to assist when called.
Anyone who ventures away from the shore recognizes the dangers and risks involved. My desire is to not keep people from the fun of sailboat racing, but to remind everyone that we can do better when it comes to safety practices that can help limit fatalities should a MOB happen on our watch. Please spend some extra time with your crews and each other refreshing your MOB protocols. My condolences to the with Grace team, and to Gregory Mueller’s family. Schelleen Rathkopf
Photo of Gregory Mueller and the crew of with Grace available from Jan Anderson IMAGE 0842.JPG
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