Saturday, October 29, 2016


OCTOBER 25, 2016
As we left the harbor, I knew we were in trouble.  Big waves from the south were nearly breaking across the harbor entrance and the wind was barely existent.  It is a bad combination, very little light, big waves creating choppy conditions and no wind.  It was amazing that there were nearly 15 boats out for this mayhem.  What a group of fantastic people we have on Catalina Tuesday, ready to give it a go in such lousy conditions!  I was really stymied on what course to call as the wind switched from northwest to north, realizing that any course into the waves would be dead with such light wind.  The crowd insisted on a race, so “race” we did.  We gave a 5 minute horn to race to Gov, then to the barbecue.

About 45 minutes into it, I realized we would not finish the race AND have a barbecue so decided that at least Pair A Dice would abandon the race.  For the last barbecue of the season, I really wanted to have a big discussion like we have had for every “last barbecue” for the last several years. I was not disappointed!  The crowd was large and volunteered many comments for a lively discussion.
The consensus is that most boats do not want to take part in the running of the race.  We will once again this year come up with new course cards for next year.  This is your opportunity to convey any courses you would like to see on next year’s course card.   I do not want to call courses like a dictator.  What right do I have to do that?  There are many course options, lets get them on the course cards for next year.  I will make even more course cards next year so everyone should have one.  We will call out a course number and people should have the course.

With my many discussions around the room, one thing that has been missing is a start   line that is close to square to the wind.  One option is to drop a mark for the other end of the line which would be close to square to the wind.   I thought of another option to square up the line.  What if each course card had an image of the “skyline of the land”?  Each major landmark would be labeled A,B,C etc.  Landmarks would be things like Wharf end, Casino flag, lighthouse on Jetty , Flag on crows nest, Blacks point, radio towers etc.  With an outline of the land skyline on the course card, there should be no confusion which landmark to use.  The new protocol would be to call the course with the other end of the line designated.  “ whiskey 1 with Alpha line” should be simple enough.Please comment and weigh in with your ideas on this.

With a square line, the temptation to be OCS should be minimized.  We will monitor OCS situations next year.  I sincerely do not want our Catalina Tuesdays to turn into the mayhem of Wednesdays.  The only way to learn is to start properly.  The motto on Tuesday nights should be: start right, sail right, win right!  There will be times next year where I will run the line from outside the start mark and call boats that are OCS.  If boats are OCS, they will have the choice of restarting or be DSQ’d.  If DSQ’d and are not racing, please respect the boats that are still racing.

I want to thank all participants this year.  This has been an awesome year.  I think everyone is learning a lot and it is time to parlay your knowledge to the next level.  It looks like many of us will participate in the midwinter regatta this year.  There are some great sailors in our group and it will not be easy to win, but I guarantee you will have fun and you will learn.  The races are on the third Saturday of every month, up to 3 races a day.  First day of racing will be November 19.  We will see you out there!

If the group feels it would be beneficial to have a rundown of how the flags and horns work in a real race, let me know and I could lay it all out in next weeks blog.
We will try for one last race next Tuesday.  I am looking forward to a short race to end this phenomenal season we have had.  Thanks to all of you for your participation and patience.

Barry Keeler
Sailing Pair A Dice

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