Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The History of Racing Rules

The Royal Yacht Club (eventually the Royal Yacht Squadron) was formed in 1815 in Cowes is generally recognised as the first organiser of yacht racing. 

Interestingly, of the 13 rules of the Royal Yacht Club in 1928, there is only one strongly worded right of way rule, but it lives on in similar form today:

“Vessels on the port tack must invariably give way for those on the starboard tack, and in all cases where a doubt of the possibility of the vessel on the port tack weathering [crossing] the one on the starboard tack shall exist, the vessel on the port tack shall give way, or if the other vessel keep her course and run into her, the owner of the vessel on the port tack shall be compelled to pay all damages and forfeit his claim to the prize.” 
(excerpt from Mark Rushall's History of the Racing RulesThe Racing Rules of Sailing In 2007 ISAF commissioned Bob Fisher to produce a book to commemorate the centenary of our sport's governing body. Unfortunately it was never published. Here is a chapter on the history of the rules, written for the book by Mark Rushall.)

To read an in-depth history of racing rules download pdf at History of Racing Rules. Mark is one of the UK’s leading sailing coaches, a freelance yachting journalist and a highly successful dinghy and keelboat sailor.


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rochester Yacht Club Welcomes Competitors for 14th Biennial Regatta

Getting ready for the Championship Bow: 1, USA-1536, HOT TICKET Helm: Sandy Adzick, Haverford, PA, Crew: Hilary Armstrong, Malvern, Pa, Debbie Gibbons-Neff, Rosemont, PA, Sue Mikulski, Annapolis, SSA/ (Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster)
 “We love hosting this event and we were thrilled when they liked what we did in ’09 enough to give us a second opportunity to host it,” said Regatta Chairman Chris Dorsey (Irondequoit, N.Y.). Explaining that RYC is excited to have many of the competitors back as well as quite a few new faces, Dorsey said competitors should be prepared for “everything” this week. “For instance tomorrow, they’re probably going to have a lot more sea than they have wind because it will take a while for the lake to lay down from what is blowing through here now. And I think later in the week they’re going to have to adjust to having significantly lighter air than what they’re going to have tomorrow." Read more at
TROPHY WIVES Helm: Dawn Shumway, Rochester, NY, Crew: Lisa Dorsey, Rochester, NY, Linda Gardner, Honeoye Falls, NY (Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster) 
 Bow: 33, USA-466, Helm: Katja Sertl, Rochester, NY, Crew: Christine Moloney , Glenwood ,NY, Merritt Moran, Pittsford, NY, Julia Wiesner, R | (Photo By: Rolex / Daniel Forster)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Irene Visits Oak Orchard

Pretty tame day at Oak Orchard as the winds picked up from hurricane Irene gusting to about 30 mph out of the north. It was a dry day as the rain bands stayed just to the east.

  A video clip of the west side of Oak Orchard Creek:

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Video: Oil Tanker Collision at Cowes Week

Excerpt from
"The first day of racing in Cowes Week, Isle of Wight was disrupted on Saturday when the 124,000-ton Hanne Knutsen encountered a fleet of yachts.

One of the racing vessels, Atalanta, was in collision with the 870ft-long Norwegian-owned tanker as it proceeded to the oil refinery at Fawley, near Southampton. The yacht, which normally has nine crew members on board, became entangled in the larger vessel’s anchor and had its sails torn off and mast snapped." Read article

After viewing the video, I'm guessing they saw the tanker behind the sail, and the spinnaker collapsed as they tried to point higher to squeeze by.  Bad miscalculation of speeds. That seems to be the only reasonable explanation for this accident that could have had a much more tragic outcome. It is a reminder to keep checking behind our sails and talking to the skipper. The "right of weight" rule applies here. - Ed.

N.S.H.F. Announces First Inductees

The 2011 National Sailing Hall of Famers

The National Sailing Hall of Fame has announced its first fifteen all-star sailing inductees. Inductees must be American citizens, 45 years of age and up, who have made significant impact on the growth and development of the sport in the categories of Sailing, Technical and Contributor. Induction will be held on October 23, 2011 at the San Diego Yacht Club.

Links to inductees' sailing bios:
Betsy Alison, Hobie Alter, Charlie Barr, Paul Cayard, Dennis Conner, Nathanael HerreshoffTed HoodGary Jobson,  Buddy Melges, Bus Mosbacher, Lowell North, Joshua Slocum, Olin Stephens, Ted Turner, Harold Vanderbilt

Video of Annapolis' Sailing Hall of Fame Center hosted by Gary Jobson:

Virtual tour of Hall of Fame building and grounds:

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Saving Sailing - Winter Reading

I'm planning on building a wooden Optimist with my seven-year-old son this winter. I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to make a real racing class sailboat, but after studying the hull specs I became a bit disheartened - there are 5o measurement points and tolerances as tight as 2mm. So, I'm going to build one to Clark Mills' original plans from 1947. The Optimist was supposed to be the sailing equivalent of a soapbox derby racer. It's not impossible to build one to race, but I wouldn't call it a father/son project. The original purpose of the dinghy seems to have been lost.

In a conversation about the Optimist with my brother who races out of GYC, we got on the topic of "Saving Sailing" by Nicholas Hayes. It sounded like an compelling topic for a book, so I thought I could share it here at the OOYR page for anyone (like me) who was unaware of it.

--Kyle L.

A review of "Saving Sailing" by Carol Standish at Main Harbors:
Available at this link: Amazon

Casual sailors may not have noticed but devoted sailors and the businesses which support the activity are painfully aware that “in the last ten years, Americans have abruptly stopped sailing. Nick Hayes is a market researcher by profession. He is also an avid sailor. Over the course of half a lifetime of sailing he became aware that fewer people were involved in his particular passion so he applied his professional skills to the matter. Beginning in 2003, he interviewed more than 1200 sailors worldwide and analyzed their responses. Saving Sailing is the result of that work.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Last Moments of 2011 Sailing Season

A video capturing the final moments of the last race as Mariah and Second Wind finish out the last race of the 2011 season.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Midsummer Season Results

The Midsummer Season Series was the second series of races that ran on July 28, August 4, 11, and 18. The series was a four race series that counts the best three out of four.


Finish     Boat                     Total Points

1st           The Machine           5
2nd          Red Line                 7
2nd (tie)  Emeraude                7
4th          Sciabola                   9
5th          Advantage              11
6th          College Tuition       15
7th          Mariah                    18

(Just to clarify what happened to third place: In rankings a tie occupies two ranked positions like we have above. As in a foot race, a tie for first place would mean that two people finished ahead of the third runner who is considered to be in third place - no one really finished second in this scenario.)

Also raced th
is season:

Sea Dog
Second Wind

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Final Race of the Midsummer Series

The last race of the 2011 summer. Thanks to all the competitors for making this a memorable and fun summer.

ABC Order------Place.-----Corr. Time

Coll. Tuition------5--------52:16
Sea Dog-----------7--------57:29
Second Wind-----9--------1:04:38
The Machine------2--------48:52
Red Line------------1---------47:16

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Oak Orchard Yacht Club Regatta

The Results of regatta are below:

#1 Spinnaker
Final Place/Boat           Boat Type            Race 1    Race 2    Race 3  

1 - Spider                     B-25                         1               1             1
2 - Walkabout              Laser  28                  3               2             3
3 - High Anxiety         Olson  30                   4               3              2
4 - Red Line                Tripp  26                   2               5              5
5 - The Machine          Evelyn  32                5               4              4

#2 Spinnaker

1 - Celtic Fire              C&C  29  MkI           1              2               2
2 - Thriller                   Olson  25                 2              1               3
3 - Obsession              C&C  29                  3              3               1
4 - Emeraude              Cal  2-27                  4              4               4

#3 Genoa

1 - College Tuition      Soling                      1                2              1
2 - Dolce Vita              Alberg  30               2                1               2
3 - The Beat Goes On Catalina  27            3                3               3
4 - Advantage             Catalina  34             6                5               4
5 - Scibolla                 Sabre  38                 4                 4            DNF
6 - Mariah                                                   5                 6              5
7 - Second Wind        Pearson  28-2          7                 7              6

Friday, August 12, 2011

3rd Race - with the Fantastic Four

Reports came back that the lake was really kicking-up and looking like a rough day for sailing. Things seemed to be looking better by late afternoon, and four went out to have-a-go-at-it.

Conditions at race time:
Winds out of west 10-15 knots
Waves 2-4 feet
Course -  full course


Place                 Yacht                          Corrected Time 

1st                    Sciabola                      51:07
2nd                  The Machine               53:03
3rd                   Advantage                  56:53
4th                   Mariah                        1:06:27

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Craig Wilson of Johnson's Creek

Craig Wilson writes for USA TODAY and grew up at Johnson's Creek, a quick boat ride to the waters of Oak Orchard and Point Breeze and shares a trip home in his recent article Final Word: Staying afloat in style.

Excerpt:  "The water sprayed, the wind blew, the boat pounded against the waves. The romp in the lake was followed by a calmer ride up Oak Orchard Creek..." Link to entire article

Monday, August 8, 2011

An 8 Meter Story from Lake Ontario 1954

The two 8 Meters that met in 1954 live on today in Toronto.

Surviving video from the challenge.

The Canada's Cup was being challenged in 1954 by the Royal Canadian Yacht Club. The Rochester Yacht Club had successfully defended the Cup for over 50 years. Both clubs had to scramble to get boats that could be competitive...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

2nd Race of Midsummer Series

ABC Order----Place.---Corr. Time

Coll. Tuition------6---------1:03:57
Miss Alice------DNR-----------
Sea Dog---------DSQ------1:15:36
Second Wind----9---------1:21:36
The Machine------1----------44:43
Red Line-----------5--------1:01:44

Note: Tripp 26 is now Red Line

A beautiful sky at the end of another day of lake racing.

2nd Race of Midsummer 2011

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Back When

Here is a look back at Point Breeze and Oak Orchard in 1948. The pictures are from Jonie Richmond's Kodachrome collection. The racing of Snipes at the Point had begun ten years earlier with the formation of OOYC, but it was curtailed during the war years. The Snipe activity picked up considerably at the war's end and OOYC once again became a sailboat racing club.

Click on image for larger view: