Race #9, August 30, 2020
North basin, Maclaren Point
Wind: NW (but shifty); 5 to 15 kph
1. Tyler Gray
2. Ian Maclaren
3. Dan Gray
4. Duncan Vipond
5. Terry Ford and Ann Croll
Five boats started the regular Sunday race in what started as a fresh 15 kph breeze. Tyler Gray, Duncan Vipond and Ian Maclaren were across the start first followed by Terry Ford/Ann Croll and Dan Gray. Tyler quickly doubled down on the fresh wind with strong hiking to take a comfortable lead. The wind began to dissipate and temporarily shift north as the boats headed past Mound’s Is. to the first mark near the Poole cottage.
Tyler held his lead to the first mark, however Ian had closed the distance to within a few boat lengths. The race was far from over. Duncan rounded soon after followed closely by Dan Gray and the sole Albacore, sailed by Terry and Ann.
By the second mark Ian had found a groove and rounded first followed by Tyler. Dan and Duncan were positioned close as they split tacks toward the second mark. Dan benefited from some different wind to round the second mark ahead of Duncan.
As the boats steered back down the lake toward the Narrows the wind was up and down, as well as oscillating from NW to W and back. This required constant sail adjustments and keeping a lookout over your shoulder to see where the new wind was coming from next. Dan sailed a littler high to catch the wind puffs and closed in on Tyler and Ian while moving out on Duncan. This didn’t last and the order around the next mark, at the mouth of the Narrows, remained the same. Yet, despite just a short sail to the finish and positions looking fixed, the race apparently still wasn’t over! As the boats headed north toward the finish the wind abruptly shifted in strength and direction favouring Tyler who rolled up beside Ian with good speed and used the momentum to carry him to first across the line. An exciting end to an exciting race. Dan kept ahead of Duncan to finish third.
The boats from the south end of the lake finished and started for home in a strengthening wind while the three north end residents took advantage of the fresh breeze to have an unofficial, second race. It was close all the way with Tyler and Dan taking an early lead. Ian redeemed himself from the first race by making a comeback to finish first followed by Tyler and Dan.
Thanks to Ian for setting the marks. To Duncan for performing the start sequence timing and to Don Poole and Cal Gray for collecting the marks. Also to Katie Gray who timed the start of the second race from her kayak. Note: Don was so efficient in collecting the two northerly marks that unknown to the sailors he had already collected them by the time the second race got underway. Cal, who was spectating in an aluminum boat came to the rescue after some prompting from Tyler to act as the windward mark!! Another fun day on the water.
Race #8, Aug 23, 2020
South end start, off Pothecary dock
Wind: W 3-15 kph
Results for race #8
1. Ian Maclaren (Laser)
2. Dan Gray (Laser)
3. Duncan Vipond (Laser)
4. Terry Ford and Ann Croll (Albacore)
5. Chris Wanczycki (Laser)
DNS Tyler Gray
DNF Warren Stroud
Several boats had late starts from home today! Dan Gray looked like he was not going to make it to the start line in time but in fact was only a few seconds late and then overtook all the other boats except Ian Maclaren. Tyler Gray was less lucky and never made it to the start line, although he did meet up and sail with the fleet for a little while. Meanwhile, Warren Stroud was late to the start line and then did not finish the race — he apparently stopped off to see a man about a boat! Chris Wanczycki took his new (to him) Laser for its inaugural race and managed well despite his late start and some rigging issues.
Thanks to Guy Cogan, Terry Ford, and the Stroud/Wanczycki household for looking after the markers. Thanks to Sarah Pothecary and Marie Desmarteau for timing.
Race #7: August 16 2020
FOUNDERS REGATTA, held off Maclaren point. This yearly event is held to commemorate the people who started the Grand Lake Sailing Association in the late 1950s. More than sixty years later, it is still going strong. Thanks to Ian Maclaren for not only organising the regatta but also blowing the start whistles, blowing the whistle as each boat crossed the finish line, scribbling down the results with pen and paper, and handing out the ribbons — all from his sail boat whilst also taking part in the races! All this was to ensure that, in this strangest of years, we are COVID compliant.
Results for the Founders Regatta:
1 Tyler Gray
2 Dan Gray (tie)
2 Ian Maclaren (tie)
4 Duncan Vipond
5 Terry Ford
Sarah Pothecary DNC
With five short, triangular races completed the final results don’t depict how close the racing was out on the course. Mark roundings typically had two and sometimes even four boats jockeying for favoured positions, and the closeness on the downwind leg of the course allowed for shadowing the wind from boats in front of you. The tight racing was as much about tactical thinking and positioning as making your boat go fast. And getting a good start was important, given there’s less time/distance to make up differences. These aspects make the short course racing somewhat different from what we experience in a typical Sunday race with its longer course. The multiple short races is a good way to work on the finer details of boat handling and starting. The effect of a missed or well-executed tack can usually provide instant feedback when other boats are close by. All-in-all it was a fun learning opportunity with no casualties other than the anchor rode on the start mark breaking in the last race, which resulted in an oddly shifted finish line; and Duncan breaking his traveller during one race, which with a quick fix allowed him to carry on.
Thanks to Cal Gray (sailing is a family activity for the Grays) and his friend for picking up the marks; including the start mark that had floated past the north side of Frank’s Island by the time it was recovered. And to the spectators who watched and cheered from on the water, as well as both sides of the lake.
Race #6: August 9 2020
CANCELLED BECAUSE OF RAIN AND TOTAL LACK OF WIND
Race #5: August 2 2020
CANCELLED BECAUSE OF RAIN AND THUNDER
Race 4; July 26, 2020
South end start off Terry Ford dock
Wind: WSW 3 to 15 kph
1. Ian Maclaren (Laser)
2. Sarah Pothecary (Laser 4.7)
3. Dan Gray (Laser)
4. Warren Place
5. Duncan Vipond
6. Terry Ford and Ann Croll
REPORT BY IAN MACLAREN ON RACE #4
Terry Ford course
Wind: WSW 3 to 15 kph
First ‘no show’ from the Sunfish sailors this year. Rumour has it they have a secret sailing project underway that is targeted for rechristening very soon. Despite their absence, six boats were out to experience another great Sunday race. Winds were generally very good, particularly for the last third of the race, but as is typical it came with some variability in both velocity and direction at different points along the way.
Duncan Vipond called the timing today from his Laser. This on-the-water approach is part of the COVID adjustments we’ve made to avoid the need for time keepers. It’s also a role which seems to come with a curse for getting a good start. Ian Maclaren got off the line well with Dan Gray right behind and Terry Ford with Ann Croll and visiting sailor Warren Place following right behind. Duncan was in the hunt but had some boat lengths to make up.
Around the first mark Ian sniffed out a bit more wind to take an early lead on the boats following behind. Duncan picked up this boat lengths and led the rest of the group as the everyone headed eastward towards a mark in the South Basin. They were all chasing down Sarah Pothecary who led after starting 5 minutes ahead. This is meant to act as a handicap adjustment for her smaller Laser 4.7m sail. It was light winds around the second mark for everyone but Ian, who stretched out a sizeable distance on the primary pack as he benefited from better pressure past Zed’s island and the Oblate cross off the Bogie cottage.
Sarah was still in front but the distance was slowly being reduced. Handicaps are never ideal. However, this new format adds a fun factor for both the slower and faster boats as they can immediately assess how they’re positioned as the finish line approaches.
Ian managed to catch Sarah in the last 400m of the race as the stronger winds now in place benefited his larger sail. Duncan was still third around the leeward mark but, it was still very close with the next three boats. The last leg to the finish was going to be exciting. Dan and Warren P. kept a bit more towards the west shore and were slightly inside of Duncan as the wind bent around the point at the Croll’s cottage. This seemed to shortened the distance sailed and proved to be a good move as both Dan and Warren P. worked their way past in the now 15kph wind.
All in all a fun, hot day to be on the water messing around in sailboats. Nice to see a few spectators out – the Dan and Warren cheering squad.
Thanks to Terry and Sarah for getting the marks set today. Next week the race starts and finishes at the Pothecary dock in the south basin.
8. Chris Wanczycki (Sunfish)
REPORT BY IAN MACLAREN ON RACE #3
Wind: S. 5 to 12 kphThis summer the sailing races are operating without onshore timers to coordinate the starts and record the finish times, and adjusting for handicaps between faster and slower boats. The change is requiring some experimenting with earlier start times for the slower boats and on-the-water countdown signals to the start at 5 and 1 minute. Sarah Pothecary in her Laser 4.7 was started off first as part of her handicap adjustment. At the same time the rest of the fleet was given its 5 minute Warning signal. At one minute to go to the start only two of the five other boats were near the start line. Tyler Gray and Ian Maclaren started on time a minute later and took off for the first mark. Terry Ford and Dan Gray both started behind a couple of minutes and Duncan Vipond was an additional couple of minutes late. After a good battle around the course Ian held off Tyler and they both caught up to and passed Sarah. Dan got by Terry to round the second mark in fourth leaving Terry and Duncan in a battle for who would follow around next. The wind was fairly stead (very steady for Grand Lake) leaving little room for positions to change much more. The Sunfish sailors, Chris Wanczycki and Warren Stroud, had a good race between themselves after arriving at the start area after the others had headed off. Everyone found favourable winds as they headed back to finish at Maclaren’s point. Following the race it was determined there were different understandings on what would trigger the start of the race and even with the sound signals some boats were not aware of the start sequence. The led to some discussion and the clarity for the next phase of our 2020 COVID-19 experiment.
Race #2 (July 12) results:
1. Ian Maclaren (Laser)
2. Dan Gray (Laser)
3. Tyler Gray (Laser)
4. Duncan Vipond (Laser)
5. Terry Ford (Albacore)
6. Warren Stroud (Sunfish)
7. Chris Wanczycki (Sunfish)
REPORT BY IAN MACLAREN ON RACE #2
Terry Ford course (south end)
Wind: WNW 5 to 10 kph
Dan Gray and his son Tyler (avid sailors visiting the lake for the summer) were each sailing a Laser and got off to clean starboard tack starts after Ian Maclaren, on port tack, had to duck behind their sterns at the start. Terry Ford, sailing solo today in his Albacore, and Duncan Vipond also in a Laser were both right close behind as the starting signal sounded.
The boats were closely packed as they rounded the first mark and started the next leg. With the wind behind and sails led as far out as possible the boats headed toward the next mark, near the Pothecary dock in the South Basin. Ian gybed first in anticipation of some fresh wind coming down the channel from the North across the water. It worked and he surged into an early lead. Warren Stroud and Chris Wanczycki in their two Sunfish started late (they were delayed with getting the second mark out) but were having their own race together behind the rest of the fleet. The wind freshened some and shifted back and forth between a W and a NW wind. This changing wind created some adjustment in positions within the fleet past Zed’s Island and around Taucers point. As the boats closed on the last mark, near the south end of the channel, Ian had held his lead and the two Grays were second and third. This positioning held to the finish back at Terry Ford’s dock as boats finished in the best wind of the race.
Thanks to Terry, Warren and Chris for setting the marks. Next week the race is at the north end off Maclaren’s point.
Race #1 (July 5) results:
REPORT BY DUNCAN VIPOND ON RACE #1
Terry Ford Course
Wind: Variable WNW 3 to 10 kph
The start to a new season!
This first race was started from the fleet rather than by starters on shore, to conform with Covid regulations.
It was good to see 7 boats at the start and all on time! Typically for Grand Lake, the winds were variable. The handicapped boats were given a start a minute before the other boats. Unfortunately, they sat becalmed as the other sailors sailed away. Duncan was the first away followed by newcomer, Dan, then Ian and then Terry/Ann. As the winds shifted, there was some movement of the distances between the boats but no change in the results. Terry/Ann had a great second leg as they chose a course farther into the lake. Duncan had a difficult decision after his hat blew off — retrieve it or go for the win! He bought a new one yesterday!
Thank-you to Terry Ford and Sarah Pothecary for setting the marks for today’s race.