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
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
July 5, Newport, RI - The National Sailing Hall of Fame (NSHOF) announced today eleven sailors comprising its 11th anniversary class of inductees, which includes Carl Buchan and Dick Rose.
As both active members at CYC, we are so pleased with the involvement and contributions that they provide to our CYC community, and that they are getting the recognition that they deserve!
You can read more about this at:
Hall of Fame - National Sailing Hall of Fame (nshof.org)
The office staff is looking to expand its support to members and guests by hiring a part-time office assistant. If you are interested in this position, please email your resume and a detailed cover letter describing why are you a great fit.
Click on Job description to see the details.
J-24’s - Despite Covid and a sometimes challenging Leschi moorage situation the Seattle J/24 fleet is still going strong! We consistently have ~ 22 boats on the starting line, including two new skippers and once several of the regular "old timers" are back we’ll be approaching 27-28 boats. It’s so great to be out on the water again with full crews, waving at all the other boats, and seeing the smiling faces of our RC folks, especially Troy and Cathy! An entertaining and great addition to our lake racing has been the new bright orange bots (more in a future article). These smartphone controlled marks have made all the difference when having to reset marks quickly. It also results in some hilarity when you sail past the bot end of the starting line to "ping" it and it suddenly starts moving away from you! As you might imagine, those boats with the most experienced J/24 crews (some teams have been sailing together for upwards of 20 years!!) consistently finish in the top 5, but to acknowledge newer and improving teams, Keith Whittemore is sponsoring a Handicap Trophy whereby boats are scored on their actual finish position and adjusted for their handicap based on previous finishes (think golf handicaps) Notable finishers for the Spring Series were veterans Boat named Kevin, Big Tuna, Tremendous Slouch, Irrational, Baba Louie, and Suspence with relative newcomers Amuse Bouche and Habanero placing in the top eight boats. Congratulations to Kurt Dammeier and Denny Vaughen teams; your hard work is paying off!!
In closing, best wishes to team Furio (reigning J/24 World Champions) as they reassemble for first time since early 2020 and compete in 2021 NA’s starting June 16th on Long Island ( Sayville Yacht Club).
Thistles - We currently have 12 boats racing, similar numbers to last year but with several new boat owners. We have tight racing with a number of boats churning up and down the standings. Regattas have resumed this year with Districts at Eugene July 10 weekend (delayed from Memorial Day) and Yale Lake is July 17th weekend. The 75th Thistle Nationals are in Cleveland the first week of August and Wayne Balsiger, Melanie Edwards and Julie Irwin representing CYC and Fleet 61. Our second Districts are at Sequim Bay on August 21 weekend. We have two Districts this year because 2022 nationals are in early 2022. The PCC (Pacific Coast Championship) will be during the Spud Cup at Sandpoint, ID on Labor Day weekend, site of the 2019 Nationals. Several Seattle boats plan to represent the fleet there.
In December of 2019, after five years of discussion on when the next haul out would take place, CYC’s Haulout team began discussion with vendors to fill distinct scopes of work for the fall of 2020.
Renovation of the Hull, the number one priority, had an initial budget in 2019 of $160,000 which included $10,000 in contingency. The budgets for window and siding replacement at $60,000. In addition, race equipment needs and “Additional Clubhouse” Stuff dock’s, finishes and electrical upgrades brought the 2019 budget to $334,500 with long term vision of an additional $225,000.
The clubhouse haulout schedule was developed in early 2020, with a departure the last week of August and return the first week of December 2020. The actual schedule was a departure of 1 September 2020 and return 3 February 2021.
Lake Union Dry Dock (LUDD) was the most competitive bid and was awarded the contract. They took care of all of the work related to the barge, including activities such as Steel renewal and painting of the hull.
Dyna Contracting was the most competitive bid for installing the new siding and replacement windows as well as management of a number of selected vendors which required extensive coordination.
Prior to the entering contracts with LUDD or Dyna and relocating the clubhouse to Lake Onion, inspection of the barge was undertaken to provide better quotes for the steel renewal and to uncover any major unforeseen condition. Two issue surfaced right away 1) the men’s shower had a leak that was damaging the barge’s top deck under the shower and 2) the wood supports for the lower entry door had extensive dry rot and would need to be replaced. The shower floor had to be removed to access and repair the Barge top side. Change orders were issued to both Dyna and LUDD to complete the work. Several inspection ports were installed to allow future access to the barge top and allow ventilation of the space.
While the clubhouse was in the dry dock. Dyna requested that 5/8” studs be installed on the north side of the barge to allow a construction platform’s to be installed to facilitate window and siding installation at the Dyna dock’s. After reviewing the long term potential of this walkway, additional 5/8” studs were installed to support the new isolation transformer, and to provide a permanent walkway around the clubhouse to replace the concrete floats.
The hull steel was repaired and alarms installed in all of the barges six compartments, an impressed current protective system has been up graded, and an isolation transformer system has been installed. All the window and exterior doors have been replaced with thermal double pane windows. The exterior skin of the clubhouse has been completely replaced with new state of the art weather barrier and a combination of Hardi panels or metal siding. Three sky light have been replaced with hard roofs with windows to match the other new windows. A new entry sign has been installed on the east side of the clubhouse.
Following the completion of the exterior, the team of CYC Volunteer’s began the renovation of the interior of the clubhouse. Beginning on the upper level, the carpet and flooring were removed, electrical upgrades were undertaken, and a sound attenuation ceiling was installed in the bar and meeting area. The Bar window were replaced with new windows and the bar was upgraded with a tile back splash. The remaining walls and ceiling were painted prior to the installation of new carpet and wood base.
Downstairs the men’s and women’s rooms were painted and ungraded. The wood flooring was refinished and the exit door, stairs to the dock and deck railing were reconfigured and ungraded. The downstairs meeting room has been repainted.
2020 Cruising Awards
(A slideshow of the nominated and winning boats will be available shortly)
Performance Awards – earned on the water
Presented by Al Johnson winner of the Commodore race in 2018 and 2019
Commodore Race, August 15, 2020. Won by “Those Guys,” a J/35, skippered by Jennifer Heins and Tim Huse (CYC). 10 boats started and all but one finished,
Gibson Race. August 16, 2020. Won by “Second Sun,” a Young Sun 43, owned by Andrew and Katherine Bereson (CYC). The race was shortened due to lack of wind, and Second Sun was the only boat to reach the shortened finish line.
Discretionary Awards – voted by the Board
Boating Family of the Year
Presented by Geoff Pease winner of the Boating Family in 2019
Chosen from families active with keel boats or one designs, with sailing together or separately in a variety of events. Contributions to fleet activities, to CYC and to other sailing organizations are considered in addition to sailing achievements.
We had one nominee for this award for 2020.
David & Karen Barnes and Family (teens: Ethan, Coleman and Benjamin) were out sailing and cruising locally many times in 2020. Their boat GRATITUDE (Hanse 415) was one of the few boats we saw out earlier in March and April - sometimes David and his sons, sometimes with Karen, and other times the whole family. GRATITUDE has continued her weekend cruising most of the year. The family did a trip to the San Juan's this summer in addition to multiple weekends in the central sound. David’s middle son, Coleman, races on the CYC Race Team and on the Ballard High School Team. Coleman also helped as Junior Sail Camp Volunteer this past summer. David drives a whaler for the Club sometimes - including the day he jumped in one to go help the junior sailors that ended up on the breakwater during a surprisingly windy day. David and Family racd GRATITUDE on Puget Sound in the Center Sounds Series and TYC’s Winter Vashon as well as the CYC Commodore Gibson. Besides cruising and racing on the sound, David races with the competitive J/24’s on Lake Washington crewing on R.Y.L.A.H. The Barnes Family fit the image of a complete sailing family from personal family cruises and club cruises, to PHRF and J/24 class racing, to Junior programs, and dad helping out in the Club whalers.
Greig Memorial Trophy - Cruising Boat of the Year
Presented by Peggy Watt. Peggy and Ron won this award in 2014
This trophy has been awarded to world-class blue-water cruisers and to those who are active in the regional or local cruising community. This award may recognize leadership as well as cruising accomplishments.
There were 5 nominees for this award for 2020. There is no doubt that cruising was a great COVID activity and escape last year. In alphabetical order, by boat name:
Altair, Sceptre 41 - Paul Baker and Suzette Connolly
Paul and Suzette were out cruising on ALTAIR a great deal last year, primarily very local, being at anchor 4-5 nights each week from early March through the end of October. They started in March with a 10-day trip, just as COVID was heating up, and went as far south as Gig Harbor. ALTAIR was frequently been found at Blakely Harbor or the West End of Blake Island, both have been wonderful for the shore access and extensive trails for long walks. They needed to be back each week for Suzette to see her mom so were on a short geographic leash. They have also anchored at Eagle Harbor, Port Madison, Manzanita, Poulsbo, Dyes Inlet (a new spot) and the Blake Island Marina. Paul and Suzette did make two quick one-week trips to the San Juan’s - the first in May with hardly anyone there, and the econd trip in September with all of the smoke and quite full anchorages, with up to 76 boats in Prevost Harbor on Stuart Island the Friday after Labor Day.
Atalaya, Seawind 1160 Lite 380 - Paul Benson and Erica Johnson.
Paul and Erica took delivery of ATALAYA in September 2019 and have been living aboard full time since then. Besides local anchorages close to Seattle they explored the South Sound and the San Juan's last summer. In August, Paul and Erica headed down the West Coast, harbor hoping south to San Francisco and other ports before arriving in San Diego. Paul and Erica then sailed in the Nada Ha-Ha from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico and are now somewhere on the Baja California peninsula. Plus, while out cruising they have continued participating in the CYC Cruiser ZOOM Socials, which is fun for us back at home.
Their trip has all been double handed except when Paul’s sons have joined them cruising in local waters. They plan to stay out as long as it’s fun and future destinations will depend on how things go with COVID restrictions. Paul and Erica previously explored our local waters on DOLPHIN QUEST, their Shannon 38 PH.
Asylum, J/44 – Jamie Thomas and Kyle Caldwell.
Jamie and Kyle left Seattle in August 2019 on ASYLUM heading south down the West Coast after a shake-down cruise in Canadian waters. They have been “stuck” in Mexico due to COVID but things are still enjoyable and they are enjoying the cruising. In December 2020 there were just north of Puerto Vallarta. They have added two rescue puppies to their family while in Puerto Escondido near Loreto, Baja this summer. They spent much of their summer rescuing dogs and finding homes for them and think they have helped 12 Baja puppies now. As with many cruisers, they are contributing by helping improve things in the local area.
Eleanor, Peterson 44 - Lauri and Chris Bushue
In early May, Lauri and Chris headed north to the San Juan’s and stayed out for 45 days. Their longest cruise to date! They also did a 2-3 week trip to Port Townsend and the San Juan's later the summer. In addition to living on their boat at Shilshole and exploring our local waters, Lauri maintains the CYC Cruising Reciprocal List.
Kismet, Passport 40, Kevin Connell
In spring and summer 2020 Kevin was out a great deal cruising locally for several days at a time while working remotely (Blake Island, Blakely Harbor, Poulsbo, and Gig Harbor among the local anchorages) then back to Shilshole for more remote work and boat projects getting KISMET ready to head off shore and down the West Coast. Being single, Kevin wanted to have crew for the trip from Seattle to San Francisco and welcomed aboard fellow CYC members Craig Williams, Scott and Karen Tobiason and his brother Sean, a non-sailor but great engine mechanic. KISMET departed in August headed for San Francisco and made the trip south with one stop in Newport, Oregon for a week waiting out a big storm off shore. Kevin was in touch with CYC members Paul and Erica on ATALAYA as they left Seattle around the same time and they spent the week in Newport together.
Kevin single handed south, harbor hoping from San Francisco to San Diego. He joined us on a Cruiser ZOOM meeting from an anchorage off Avila Beach near San Luis Obispo. It was great to hear about the trip to date first hand. While in Southern California, Kevin sailed back and forth for several weeks between exploring the Channel Islands and boat projects in Santa Barbara. Kevin picked up his brother Sean and more CYC crew for the trip south to Cabo San Lucas. Early November, Kevin participated in the Nada Ha-Ha from San Diego to Cabo San Lucas. Kevin is now exploring the stunningly beautiful Sea of Cortez side of Baja, currently in La Paz.
And the Winner is:
Atalaya - Paul Benson and Erica Johnson.
Per George Harris, the Northwest Marine Trade Association (NMTA) President and CEO)
This morning I testified before the Senate Transportation Committee opposing a new proposal to double the watercraft excise tax. This is the tax Washington boaters pay annually when they register their boats.
Boaters are the only user group that pay an excise tax and we think it is unfair and inappropriate to increase this tax.
The funds from this Vessel Excise Tax go directly into the state general fund.
Please take action now and let our state senators know you do not support this increase. It only takes one minute! Click this LINK now to send a message to your state senator.
If you were unable to join the Women's Third Thursday event with Janna Cawrse, you can enjoy the presentation via the recording link below:
Janna Cawrse Esarey (Women Who Sail book curator and author of The Motion of the Ocean) as she shows fantastic pictures of her family’s attempt to sail through the Northwest Passage, a route newly open due to climate change.
Access Passcode: %9M0j?%$
The last weekend in February we had the first cruise of 2021 to the Blake Island Marina. It was a nice weekend with moderate southerly winds for a beat down on Saturday and a nice run back to Shilshole on Sunday with some boats hoisting spinnakers. Six CYC boats with 14 people attended plus a family of three that were thinking of becoming members. They had a great time with us on Saturday and signed up to become members via the CYC website Sunday morning. The wonders of modern technology!! Welcome to Nathan, Vanessa and Evelyn!! We are excited to have you as some of our newest members.
The marina was full with 17 boats Saturday night. An additional 15 other boats had tried for spots without luck. The marina was a busy place on a nice winter weekend. All of the CYC boats managed to get a spot on the dock with Cruise Leader Morris Lowitz arriving last and having to wait on a mooring outside the marina until they could take the Load/Unload spot at dusk. A spot on the dock opened up first thing Sunday morning so they had a place on the dock instead of having to go back out to a mooring for breakfast. Morris brought his three person J-80 crew to help him sail his Jeanneau 44 Keala for the weekend. Thanks Morris for stepping up to lead this cruise. In fact this was not only Morris’ first time as Cruise Leader, but also his first CYC Cruise period. The other boats on the cruise were Solstice, Altair, Tula, Mara andMaggie May plus our new members on their Beneteau 393 Equilibrium.
Saturday we had informal socially distanced cocktails on the dock at 5:00 with some people sitting on their boats. Everyone then did their own dinner before meeting up ashore for a fire. The group at the fire was never more than ten as people came and left during the evening by chance. We had a second campfire going in the event the group was larger at any one time and we needed to split up into two groups. The Shelters that we usually use for a potluck dinner and fire are currently closed due to COVID Restrictions. We took hikes around the island or out to the West End in small groups, great exercise and the chance to visit with old friends or make new acquaintances, even if the trails were a bit muddy in places. A great start to the CYC Cruising Season and a wonderful group.
[More Lives Lived]
[More Cruising News]
Corinthian Yacht Club of Seattle7755 Seaview Ave NW Seattle WA 98117(206) email@example.com
47° 41.14' N 122° 24.22' W