Merrily Against the Wind & Frostbiting


Thread starter #41
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Dumb and Dumber?

I set out for my sailing club several hours early today, because I had several things I wanted to do. It also takes me some time to get into the groove of efficient boat setup, so I gave myself plenty of time.

I towed our “new” boat up to the reservoir, number 159059. We got it for fleet building, but John likes the artwork on it so well that he wants to keep it for him. It is a ’96 Olympic Centennial edition with some leaf artwork on the wide red stripe. Very nice.

When I got there, I raked some leaves out of my boat space. We cleaned the club up yesterday, but there were some leftovers under the boat that got moved from the space afterward. I also put some zipper grease on the zippers of my dry suit. That’s something I could have done at home, but I never got around to it. I would need the dry suit, since the water temperature was somewhere just north of 40 degrees F. That’s 4 and ½ degrees C, y’all. The wind was around 8 knots with some gusts, all from the south.

So I rigged the boat and meanwhile, John arrived. He was on Race Committee. He doesn’t have any coldwater gear, so he won’t be sailing for a while yet. John helped me to get the boat out onto the Laser dock. That dock is very low to the water to make launching easy. When we got the boat out there, I saw that the lines I had tied to attach the clew of the sail to the boom had stretched. I asked John to retie it for me. When he touched it the knot that I tied came undone, so it was a good thing that I asked him to retie it.

So anyway, he was working on it with the boat facing east and the boom was out perpendicular to the boat with the south wind. Suddenly a rogue gust at 25 knots or more hit us. It was shifted to the SW, and the boat and dolly skittered across the dock and partially into the water. All didn’t end up in the water because we leaped up and caught it. We were hanging on when our Junior Racing coach, Scott, who had been rigging his Interlake, ran over to help. He saw the whole thing and said it looked really spectacular. Well, I'm glad something good came out of it.

We got the boat and dolly back up on the dock. I glanced over it and everything looked fine. So we fixed the rigging and launched the boat. I sailed off, but not too far, until John could get a crash boat ready. I headed upwind and a gust at around 15 hit and I let the sail out. The mainsheet was wrapped around my leg though and acted as a brake. Over I went, but the capsize was slow enough that I was able to step over the back and stand on that little shelf they put there for that. You know, the centerboard.

I righted the boat and was on my way again, sailing up down and around in front of the club. It kind of freaked me out though, thinking about how cold the water was, and I really did not want to try my dry suit in it. I was having some trouble with my upwind speed. I was two-blocking, plenty of vang, some Cunningham, some outhaul. I should have been screaming along, but the boat was sluggish. I began to think maybe I wouldn’t go to Indianapolis Sailing Club’s regatta next weekend, because my skills just weren’t there. Maybe next month after some practice I’ll try a regatta.

So I was sailing downwind past the club and the boat just wasn’t performing at all. The Junior Racing coach called out, “Janet, you are awfully low in the water!” So I sailed up to the dock, and I realized that I had been sinking. There was no white of the hull left, only red.

He suggested that I’d forgotten to put the transom plug, but I had remembered, and it was still there. John and Mike, the club member in charge of docks this year, ran over to help me. We looked the boat over and found a hole about the size of a half dollar on the bottom near the bow. We holed the boat when we capsized it on the dock, and then I went sailing in it.

I think that it hit either the guide piece on the dolly or a cleat on the dock. So we spent some time de-rigging with the boat in the water and capsized the boat over the dock. We removed the spars and blades, and very slowly John towed it to the ramp after pulling the transom plug. I caught the boat and me and Mike put it on the dolly while it was still in the water. John went off for his race committee duty.

Gradually Mike pulled the boat up the ramp. He held it on the slope for some 10-15 minutes while water poured out of the hull from the transom hole. We very slowly and gradually pulled the boat out of the water up the ramp while it drained. We chocked the wheels and went to collect the rest of my stuff.

Thoughts--Next time any rigging will be better done off of the dock. I’ll pull the boat up to solid ground and point it into the wind. A rogue blast could still get it, but that’s the best I have. I will also look more carefully at the hull if there is ever such an incident again. I have 20/20 hindsight.

We are very fortunate in that several club members offered to help with the repair. We’re taking up the guy who is known to give the smoothest gel coat finish.

I feel a little bit in mourning for that beautiful boat! Soon it will be fixed.
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Yikes! The Inaugural Sail

Merrily said:
I'm weighing how much to charge for fleet membership, obviously, not much at this stage of the game. Yet you get what you pay for, and I’m still feeling my way on what you get. So I'm curious how much people are paying in fleet dues, and what they get in return for it?
A couple of us are working on building our local frostbite fleet. It's been going pretty well. We are lucky to sail along with a well established Interclub fleet: they already own 2 crash boats, race marks, a starting/finishing raft, etc.

Our money deal is that you can sail once for free, $20 for the second time, and then after that you pay full freight, which is $75 for members of the club that hosts our fleet, and $125 for everyone else.

We give $50 per nonmember boat to the host club to cover our use of the dock and floats, and a negotiated fee to the Interclubs to help cover their costs (gas for the crash boats, insurance, etc.) That doesn't leave us with much; we may need to increase the dues next year.

What you get for your dues is sailing every week from November through March, storage of your boat right on the float (just flip it over, throw it in the water, and go), two crash boats, access to the clubhouse to shower and change, access to the club bar, and a whole lot of fun.

In the summer I pay, I think, a $200 guest fee to race at a club where I am not a member. That gives me racing twice a week if I want it, very well run races with plenty of support boats around, access to the club grounds and club house to launch/retrieve, shower, and eat/drink. It does not give me boat storage at the club; I think I could get that for extra $ but I never looked into it becuase I keep my boat at home.


Thread starter #43
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and I'm fixing a hole

I'm fixing a hole where the water gets in, and stops my boat from sailing. Where will this go?

It will go to me repairing the hole. Yes, I've to decided to get my feet wet :rolleyes: with fiberglass repair. I'm planning to use the instructions from this website.
Does anyone have any comments on the instructions? Tweaking?


Thread starter #44
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Indianapolis Spring Regatta

Fortunately, the 5200 on the newly installed inspection port of my boat has cured. So we are packing and getting ready to drive to Indy! We're taking a new pop-up camper to sleep in. It's supposed to get cold at night, like near freezing. Yikes! I'm packing plenty of down duvets and sleeping bags and fleece blankets. I have also mapquested the trip, and we've paid for the talk by Gary Jobson on Friday night.

I've done something very, very bad though. I have let my training lapse since Master's Midwinters East. I may poop out and not sail the whole thing. I don't want to injure myself at the beginning of the sailing season. Save that for the end! :eek:

I hear that Geist reservoir is crescent shaped and the race route can get confusing because you are sailing around a point in sort of an arc. I probably can pretty safely rely on following others. :rolleyes:

I've worked on the outhaul system for the boom and dug up my shackle and outhaul sleeve. These are things I've used before, but I figured out that I was putting the sleeve on wrong and I was putting the shackle in the wrong place from what I recall, so there is hope.

John's boat, the boat that I holed, is drying out, and the stuff that went thunk, is I think, the cubitainers. It sounded funky for plastic containers, though. If one of them took on water and then drained since, then that would sound about right. The sound is near the stern. It would not be possible to tilt the boat and get whatever it is to come forward to where the port is, as suggested in another thread. I don't sense chocolate eggs either.

So I'm looking forward to meeting the folks at ISC! See you there!


Thread starter #45
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Indianapolis Spring Regatta

Hey, here is the weather forecast for Indianapolis this weekend. This is from Weatherbug, but the National Weather service says gusts up to 45 mph. Yuck, and a tough night to spend in a camper. We may be sleeping in the clubhouse, or maybe even drive home after Gary Jobson speaks. Dunno.

Low: 32
Colder...breezy. Thunderstorms likely in the evening. Some thunderstorms may be severe. Lows in the lower 30s. North winds 10 to 25 mph increasing to 20 to 25 mph after midnight. Gusts up to 35 mph. Chance of rain 60 percent. Saturday
High: 52
Much cooler. Breezy. Mostly cloudy in the morning then clearing. Highs in the lower 50s. North winds 15 to 25 mph. Saturday Night
Low: 32
Mostly clear. Lows in the lower 30s. Northeast winds up to 10 mph. Sunday
High: 58
Mostly sunny in the morning then becoming partly cloudy. Highs in the upper 50s. East winds up to 5 mph shifting to the south in the afternoon.
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Indianapolis Spring Regatta

Hey Merrily,
That sounds just the like the forecast from last years Easter Laser regatta....


Thread starter #47
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and my buddy Gary Jobson

Well, I decided to not sail at Indy Spring Regatta. The high today was 42 degrees F with 15 mph winds gusting to 30. It just was not the way I wanted to begin the season. Maybe once I get some practice sailing in and improve, I'll be comfortable with that. Mostly it was the cold.

We did make the 3 hour drive over there to hear Gary Jobson speak last night, and it was excellent! Jobson was tactician for Ted Turner when they won the America's Cup, and he has written a lot of instructional books for U.S. Sailing. He also is the sailing voice of ESPN, so I'll bet most of you have heard him give commentary. He also is a supporter of the Leukemia Cup sailing fundraisers.

His presentation included a number of video clips interspersed with personal stories. It started with some collision pictures to get things rollicking, then we had some college sailors, youth world sailors, Volvo round the world, Americas Cup, and finally a short autobiographical clip. He'd show the video then tell some related stories, all with great style. I won't tell his stories, except to say that he closed with a real riveting groaner about trying to surf in on an 8 foot wave on a Laser along the Jersey shore.

Gary Jobson is fun! It was well worth the trip just to hear him, and I recommend that if you get the chance to see him on the U.S. Sailing speaking tour, that you do so. Below is a picture of me and my buddy Gary!



Thread starter #48
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Weekend Warrior Regatta

The Eagle Creek Weekend Warrior Regatta was worth the trip. John and I went over to Indy on Friday night and camped, but since the regatta didn't start until noon it would have been an easy day trip. We set up our new pop-up camper for the first time, at the edge of the water, and stayed on the grounds in royal style. Eagle Creek Sailing club has roomy wooded grounds. The spring trees were blooming and a number of deer rambled through in the morning.

The wind was from 8 to 14 and fairly steady. Air in low 60s and only a bit of sprinkling late in the day. The air temp made the wearing of wetsuits and dry suits more comfortable. The Race Committee set short Windward Leeward courses. No race lasted longer than 15 minutes and they got in 10 races! Every one of my starts was bad, so I know what to work on. In the first race I did a bad tack, too close and too slow, and hit another boat. I'm working on the gelcoat on the bow of my beauty today. When I tried to make up some time downwind, I deathrolled and got in a little practice righting my capsized boat. At least I finished the race.

There were only 6 sailors and my best finish was 4th. A couple of the people were really, really good, but I have to admit that a 98 pound boy beat me to the finish line twice. Then in the 7th race on the way to the Windward mark, my hands cramped so badly that I couldn't open my fists. I eased the sail and let the boat round up and then drank a lot of water. That helped, but it happened again in the 8th race, so I gave up and sailed in. I think I was sweating a lot in my dry suit, and because it is breathable, I didn't really notice. Next time, more water and sports drinks as I go along.

The Race Committee went for pizza as we put our boats away, so we had a great wrap up, with talk of the racing, and good food. (Yup, no cheese pizza for me!) PRO Wayne Myers exhibited endless enthusiam and he and other sailors had good tips for me at the end of the day. I encourage everyone within a few hours drive to try the Eagle Creek Weekend Warrior next year.

The next event in District 18 is the one-day Lasers in Vermilion on Lake Erie this coming Saturday May 6. This is a High School Senior Project and should be another fun one, but I reckon with sailors John and Kevin Shockey the competition will be fierce. Depending on wind, there could be some big waves. I plan on going. Anyone else?
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Weekend Warrior Regatta

We did the exact same thing at my house not long ago. We watched both the upwind and the downwind versions. The kinematics explanations are excellent. I sailed in 18 to 20 last weekend, and it was the first time I didn't capsize downwind in that kind of stuff..

I want more... Like "The Boat Whisperer Sail Trim Guide..."



Thread starter #51
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Weekend Warrior Regatta

lasersailorvbc said:
Hey Janet, Do you have the results of the WW regatta by any chance?
Not yet, but Wayne Myers promised them this week. Tyler Andrews came in first, Bill Hanson second, and Ki Hickok third. There were only six of us, and I was true to form. ;) I'm wondering if the low turn out was due to rain threatening, or your regatta next Saturday at Vermilion. :D


Thread starter #52
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Lasers at Vermilion Regatta

Lasers at Vermilion

We had light air for John Shockey’s Senior Project regatta, and five races were completed with no throw outs. John served on Race Committee and his brother Kevin sailed in the regatta.
The day started off cold, blustery, and cloudy. In the morning the wind swept in at 20 mph from the north of Lake Erie. It whipped up 3 to 4 foot waves, real waves, not Lake Erie chop. The water temperature was in the low 50’s by one account and some of the sailors kept warm in dry suits, some in wet suits, and the rest in shorts and smocks. The gear was not too warm because the air stayed in the low 60’s.
We launched about a dozen rigged boats by handing them over the sea wall with nary a scratch. The sun broke through as we sailed a few hundred yards through the winding channel of the Vermilion River and then out to the racecourse about a mile into Lake Erie.
This sailor had trouble getting her sea legs in the waves with 4 or 5 bad tacks. It was intimidating to go into irons with each tack and slug along through the waves before and after. Canada was miles away and I hadn’t brought my passport. Then a light bulb went on. After adjusting the outhaul--looser, and the Cunningham--a tad tighter, tacking became smoother and the boat began making fair headway.
But by the time the race horn sounded, we still had the waves, but not the air. It was 8 to 10, so there was enough to carry us on the windward leeward courses twice around. I sailed in only two races before calling it quits due to knee pain and a busted rudder downhaul. RC radioed ahead, and I had plenty of help getting my boat over the sea wall.
Afterwards awards were handed out and we were treated to a nice BBQ. More finesse than muscle brought Rick Rothenbuhler first place. After the races he kindly answered my queries on whether he had used his body weight to point the Laser up the waves and fall off the wind behind? Not at all. In the light air he just footed to keep his speed up. I imagine great starts and hitting the shifts had a lot to do with his win, too.


Thread starter #54
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and My Buddy Tracy Usher

Well, people, I don't think anybody but Bradley noticed, since he was doing all the work, but I have been away for the last eight days. My son just graduated with his PhD in Chemistry from UC Berkeley, and my husband John and I had to witness it and help celebrate it. I did check in briefly each day from my son's or sister-in-law's computer, just to see what my favorite folks were getting up to.

Besides the graduation, one highlight of the trip was meeting the Pres of the ILCA-NA, Tracy Usher. Our efforts to meet were stymied due to conflicting schedules until he had a bad bearing on a trailer and was in San Francisco to fix it at a time that worked for me. So John and I braved the big city traffic and headed for Tracy's yacht club.

We talked about top secret Laser Class stuff -- ha, ha ;) -- for over an hour. NOT! Actually it was a pleasant getting to know you kind of conversation. Ever since I took up sailing I've met so many great people. Tracy tolerated Merrily and John bragging about our sons, that's for sure.

He surprised me with a gift of a sample of the outhaul sleeve that class members are voting on right now. That's right. I'm now the proud owner of my very own outhaul boom sleeve very much like the one in this thread.
I plan to try it out this weekend during my club's Leukemia Cup 24-Hour Endurance Race. I'll let you know how well it works then.

I'm going to try to sleep now, though my body doesn't know what time zone it is in.



Thread starter #55
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Great Start to Endurance Race Day

There's an article in today's Columbus Dispatch on our Leukemia Cup. My husband John took the photographer out in our Boston Whaler for the photo session this past Wednesday. She had such a great time that she took over 300 pictures. I guess in the modern age you just hit delete.

They used a picture of me and Matt Givens sailing our Lasers to illustrate a very nice article about our event. And they didn't use the goofy picture! The photographer sent the three photos she submitted to the paper and in one of them I had a make-your-skin-crawl grin. The Laser looked great though because I got a nice gust and was up on plane with spray coming off the bow. Too bad in that way. And sorry Zach Whitt. You can see his boat in the picture but they cut him out to get the frame they wanted.

One club member plans to sail the whole thing solo with his son as crew in some gaff rigged cruiser. He's motivated because his granddaughter has Leukemia. She is getting a bone marrow transplant today, so think of little Bailey Sexton.

Think of all of us. The weather forecast now calls for light air, which isn't fair because it's usually a stormy weekend. The Muirfield Memorial Tournament was moved from this weekend to next because of the traditionally wild weather.

Gotta go load up the car!


Thread starter #56
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and the 24-Hour Endurance Race

Merrily Against the Wind and the 24-Hour Endurance Race

The planning and work put into our 24-hour Leukemia Cup paid off with a smoothly run race, and over $6059.50 raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Volunteers filled the scorer’s roster with 2-hour recorder’s stints throughout the day and night, and the race was unusual in that competitors filled the Race Committee and Safety Patrol in their off hours. Even a few crewmembers sailed on various teams. Fourteen boats sailed a total of 413 miles, all in light air.

Those are the dry facts. The truth is, we have never seen our club so incredibly alive with people moving through with a constant round of sailors, support people, and spectators, enjoying a task for charity. We had bagged lunches, free ice cream novelties all day, a pizza dinner, and chicken wings at midnight. We also put on some XM radio on PA speakers in the evening for a bit of atmosphere for the spectators.

The race began at 10:08 a.m., and I sailed the first two-hour leg for my five-sailor team, Team Merrily. The wind was 5 knots to begin with but built to 8 to 10, and I was hiking for a good half mile, enough to regret not training more seriously. I got in 4 miles in two hours. I was happy to stay with Team Intensity and Team Dan Sohner until the leeward mark. Then I zigged when I should have zagged, and I began to fall behind. It was especially frustrating on the first lap to forget to sail through the “gate” where laps were counted and times recorded. I had to backtrack, but just a little.

The next two-hour stints were filled by my team members, Eric Drobny, a Tasar sailor at my club, and then junior racing team members Matthew Givens and Alex Smith. I sailed again from 6 to 7 in light air and got in one 1-mile lap in the dying air. Team member Anne Filbert, International Comet Champion along with her husband Mark Hess, filled the 7 to 8 slot. I sailed again on the midnight to 2 a.m. shift, and the light air was the greatest challenge. A couple of times it was freaky and frustrating, as I was sailing backward with no wind and a bit of current. In addition, it was quite dark, and difficult to see the marks until I was upon them. To compensate, it was beautiful out there. The smooth water gave a perfect reflection of any lights ringing the reservoir. Frogs sang and peacocks occasionally called from the Columbus Zoo. Approaching the south mark I could hear the roaring of water flowing over the dam. Creeping along was frustrating, but I chatted and joked with the sailors around me, and the time passed. I made one lap in two hours, but everyone was in the same situation.

My team was reliable so after trading off at 2 a.m., I showered and went to sleep in our pop-up camper. I got three glorious hours of sleep. It was more than my husband John got. He was on Safety Patrol from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., with an hour and a half nap. I didn’t sail again till 9, and wrapped up the event by sailing 2 laps with some of the best sailing I have done, in a tacking duel with an Interlake. I eventually lost by gambling on wind in the center, when it was along the shore. That’s sailing!

Team Savage, an Interlake team from my club, won the event. This is not surprising as it was led by Scott Savage, who sailed for Navy and also is current Interlake National Champion. Team Hoover from our sister Hoover Sailing Club took second place, also in an Interlake. Team Intensity, which includes two sailors that I know of from the Laser Forum took third in a Laser. They traded off among 4 sailors. Team Hoover brought in the most donations of any team, and Team Merrily brought in the most of the Laser teams with $743. Rick Savage won for longest sailing without a crew change; he and his girlfriend stopped occasionally.

Laser sailor Dan Sohner, who is “lycsailor” of the forum, actually had the most impressive endurance performance. He sailed the event, and sailed well, without landing his boat for nearly 22 hours, sailing 31 miles nonstop. The safety boat took him food and water once that I know of. Just before 8 a.m. he came in, hallucinating that he was supposed to be at graduation practice, which was an event on Wednesday. When he realized his error, he prudently called it a day. When asked for any message for the Laser sailors of the forum who might like to try a similar performance, he said, voice cracking, “Don’t do it.”

Laser Results:
Team Intensity sailed 38 laps (34.618 corrected), Captain – Patrick Shipe, Crew -- John Riddle, John Shockey, Kevin Shockey, Brett Freeman
Team Merrily sailed 33 laps (30.063 corrected), Captain -- Janet Rupert, Crew --Eric Drobny, Matthew Givens, Alex Smith, Anne Filbert
Team Dan Sohner sailed 31 laps (28.241 corrected), Dan Sohner
Team LYC Junior 1 sailed 24 laps (21.864 corrected), Captain --Brady Reys, Crew -- Doug Reys



Thread starter #57
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and the 24-Hour Endurance Race

Oh yeah, I almost forgot. My business sponsors were The Laser Forum, Rafiel's Signature Salon, and a matching donation from West Marine.


Thread starter #58
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and Deep Creek Lake Laser regatta

We drove to the western panhandle of Maryland to a Laser regatta at Deep Creek Lake. It was worth the five hour drive despite the light winds. We set up our pop-up camper in the back yard of a private residence in a park-like setting. The free camping was just a few steps away from the club and the home owner offered us coffee and beer! This was just a preface to an extremely friendly and fun club.

On Saturday we ventured out in very light air and bobbed in the boat wake of the surrounding skiers. We waited and relaxed until the wind built and voila, we got in an entire race on a triangular course before it died. I was thrilled to finish ahead of a few boats.

Then the race organizer offered to take us waterskiing. We decided a boat ride around the lake was more to our liking, and we enjoyed the open beertaps, as well. Then in the evening we had a great grilled chicken dinner, and a very good band called The Remedy played tunes from 60's and 70's. There was a horn section and several good vocalists. The entire club showed up to dance the night away. Beer, wine, and "Laser Puckers" (rum with grapefruit and other juices) flowed freely.

There were still light winds on Sunday but with enough air for 5 races on triangular courses. I even had to hike for a few seconds a couple of times, but I had terrible starts every freakin' time! I'm not used to triangular courses either and I kept losing the finish line--it never seemed to be where I expected it. I finished near the end of the fleet in each race, but not DFL! I'm thankful for the guy who was at his first regatta and also his first time sailing a Laser. ;) I think I need to try to visualize the course from above with all the surrounding stuff included. I tend to be too localized in what I'm looking at.

Anyway, it was a good time. They will be putting on another Laser regatta next year, and I highly recommend it.


Thread starter #59
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and My Buddy Joni Palmer

One exciting aspect of the Deep Creek Lake Laser Regatta was getting to meet 2-time Adams Trophy winner Joni Palmer. The Adams is US Sailing’s Annual Women’s National Championship, and Joni skippered her team to win in 2003 and 2005, when the events were held at Deep Creek Lake in the western panhandle of Maryland.

What’s truly special to me is that Joni grew up in Columbus and learned to sail at my club, Leatherlips YC. This talented woman was in charge of the instructional and racing programs at Leatherlips while in high school and college.

Joni went on to run the sailing program at San Diego Yacht Club. Eventually she became Executive Director of the U.S. Optimist Dinghy Association and now is Director of Finance and Administration of the U.S. Naval Academy Sailing Program. I’m sure there’s much more to her bio than I know about, as well.

Joni sailed in the regatta with her friend Margaret Podlich, who is campaigning for the Olympics in an Yngling. They stressed that they were new to Lasers and that they were out for fun. They didn’t win it, but they did well, and I was thrilled that I got to sail with them! Sailing is so cool! Where else can a relative newbie compete with the best?

Joni was also excited to see someone from LYC, and on the evening of the first day as we looked at recent photos of her friends and mentors, she expressed gratitude for her early years at Leatherlips.



Thread starter #60
Re: Merrily Against the Wind and My Buddy Joni Palmer

More bio--Joni Palmer followed Tracy Usher as coach of the UC Irvine Sailing Team in 1983. This before she went to San Diego.