Monday, July 30, 2012

Spinnakers at Oak Orchard - the jibe

Photo by Kara Muscarella aboard Sciabola
Spinnaker flying can be a lot of fun at times, but it takes a skilled crew to make it look effortless. When the spinnaker is flying well it's a joy to behold, but sudden confusion at any moment may require liberal doses of adult language, skill, and luck to bring the beast back under control - or not.

Thinking about spinnaker jibes brought back to memories of the 2010 Oak Orchard Yacht Club Invitational Regatta. The green boat is OOYC's EMERAUDE that I had the pleasure to be aboard that day. Seen here, we are sailing into a mass of spinnakers at the mark that my father, EMEARAUD's ownwer, had advised me to stay clear of. After just coming back from a twenty-year hiatus from sailing, I felt confident that we had room to maneuver. This was a slow-motion train wreck that ended well. If interested, the link to the rest of the photos is at:

I was searching tactics for jibing a spinnaker and found a bit of a different situation for the sailboat EXPEDITIOUS as she broaches with her spinnaker after attempting a jibe. In researching sailing tactics for the spinnakers, I watched this epic unfolding of events and wondered what could have made this situation better. I usually don't read comments for videos because they seem written by teenage boys who excel in the art of bad words and bad spelling, but this one had some interesting thoughts.

The video ends with the eventual grounding of EXPEDITIOUS.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

How to Follow US Olympic Sailing

How to Follow US Olympic Sailing
U.S. Olympic Sailing Team Bios at:

Live Streaming - Sailing London Olympics

For a schedule of racing at the London Olympics the BBC has posted them at:

NBC has rights to stream live video of sailing events. To view the streaming live on your computer it seems like you will have to do the following:

Go to Live Extra NBC:

Follow the steps to signify the service provider you use for your TV. You will be allowed to view the videos on up to four devices.

Frequently ask questions about this service:

Q: What is NBC Olympics Live Extra?
A: A video experience featuring live streams of select U.S. Olympic Trials (June 23-July 2) and every sport on the London Olympic program, including Swimming, Gymnastics, Track & Field, Basketball and more. It’s available exclusively online at and via the NBC Olympics “Live Extra” mobile/tablet App (available early July).
Q: What is required for accessing Live Extra content?
A: You will need to verify that you subscribe to a cable, satellite or telco video tier that includes CNBC and MSNBC. There is no additional charge.

Photo credit:

Thursday, July 26, 2012

First Race of Mid-Summer Series

A beautiful evening for sailing. It looked a bit daunting at first with storm clouds looming over the west. But, as the race was underway it brightened and winds remained pretty steady out of the south-west.

Name------Place.-----Corr. Time

Spinnaker Fleet

Red Line ---------DNR-------
Emeraude ---------1-------50:19
College Tuition-----DNR-----
Blast Wave-------DNR------

Genoa Only Fleet

Sea Dog-----------4------57:48
Col. 26-2---------DNR-----------

Bob Elliot of GYC crewing aboard EMERAUDE on this first race of the second series.

Point Breeze Yacht Club - Racing History

I'm not sure of the circumstances that lead to the creation of yacht racing at PBYC, but I do remember the wonderful time I had almost twenty years ago racing with the club. I raced my wooden 1958 Knarr sailboat, Arbor Love. At the same time, sailboat racing at Oak Orchard Yacht Club was going strong, and some folks belonged to both clubs and would sail in both races. Back in 1993, I was able to join PBYC for $50, the same price my grandfather paid to join OOYC in the 1950s. This may have been an influential part of the decision to race at PBYC for sailboat owners that were interested in mainly racing over other club activities and amenities.

Someone might be able to help fill in the gaps of the history of PBYC racing. I do have all the race times and finishes for the 1993 season, but I'm not sure that there was ever another season of racing.

Here are the overall standings for the 1993 Yacht Racing Series at Point Breeze Yacht Club:

Monday, July 23, 2012

Race 5 Photos

Photos courtesy of Bob and Irene Frost:

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Results: Race 5 of Spring Series

Last race of the Spring Series with gust 15 to 20 knots out of ENE.

Name------Place.-----Corr. Time

Spinnaker Fleet

Red Line ---------DNF-------
Emeraude ---------2-------41:30
College Tuition-----1-------38:39
Blast Wave-------DNR------

Genoa Only Fleet

Sea Dog------------DNF-------
Col. 26-2---------DNR-----------

Friday, July 13, 2012

Testing Your Knowledge of Racing Rules

The racing rules are revised and published every four years by the International Sailing Federation (ISAF), the international authority for the sport. The current edition is for 2009-12 and is available in pdf version at:

It is a pretty dry read for most people, but an online video quiz can help the average sailor examine and practice the rules in a more real-world way.

Video Quiz:
Check out by Uli and Wolfi Finckh. Click on Easy, Medium, or Hard based on what kind of rules quiz you would like to try.

An example of situations will be like the one below. The red boat calls for room to tack and then dips below the green boat after blue tacks away.

After you decide the correct response you are scored and given the rule that covers the situation:

Just great sailing TV:

Thursday, July 12, 2012

4th Race of Spring Series

Another beautiful evening of sailing. Wind was out of the east and steady at 6 to 8 knots.

BLAST WAVE an Evelyn 32 out of Oak Orchard

Name------Place.-----Corr. Time

Spinnaker Fleet

Red Line ---------5-------57:06
Emeraude ---------1-------50:22
College Tuition-----4-----57:00
Blast Wave---------2-----55:36

Genoa Only Fleet

Sea Dog---------2-------1:07:06
Col. 26-2---------DNR-----------

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

SailX - racing simulator

Okay, SailX Simulator is very cool...

Over the winter I tried SailX out several times, but I must admit my nerves were shot after a few minutes of racing against (better) sailors online. I spent most of my time sailing on courses that were not active so I could just see if I could make it around the buoys without tragic errors. Then, every once in a while, I would get up the nerve to jump on an active course and try to make some tactical moves as the 10 min. gun started me off on another palm-sweating race.

If you want to practice sailboat racing when not on the water - this is the place to do it. It will take some practice for sure, but once you get a handle on the key-strokes you need to tack and set and dowse the spinnaker you will be having fun... In two-dimensional views or three-dimensional, with zoom-in and zoom-out, there is a lot to do to keep you glued to the screen. The mark roundings will really keep you on your toes while you get to use real race rules in a virtual world - very much like real racing.

SailX Home Page

The Newbie page - A MUST READ :) 

Sample video of how a race looks while you are in it: