2022 - 2023
March 12, 2023
Race report by Gregg Takata
Race report by Gregg Takata
Last Sunday (3/12) featured very light and oscillating [but fairly consistently blowing] SSE breeze and flat water. It was a day to stick to basics; in my order of importance; avoid bad starts, boat speed, shifts, …current.
The start and the first-third of the leg was probably 80% of the race! In light air, it’s harder to work up from behind [going upwind] because dirty air stretches much farther, reducing the availability of "clear lanes". Secondly, in flat water, it’s easier for all to see where the pressure is, so the strategy of "splitting tacks" will probably steer you away from the pressure. Avoiding bad starts today generally meant NOT trying to "win" the favored end as the congestion makes dirty air (and a resultant "bad lane"). Secondly, with the pin end often favored (the wind being in a left phase), tacking back to port (when you wanted to) was more challenging the more you "won the pin". A strategy of starting in mid-third of line (closer to favored end when possible), but prioritizing a clear lane consistently got my bow out and freedom to tack when I wanted.
Boat trim specific to light air, gradual oscillations and flat water:
Forestay to set mast plumb fore/aft, side shrouds max loose (bottom hole) to allow mast to fall to leeward without more heel and (as always) to allow the boom to go out farther (and mast lean forward) downwind.
Trim: Outhaul set for flat water, i.e. not too loose (draft ~10" from boom) and a little tighter, ~9" when the air was very light to help maintain flow across the sail.
Vang: there was not enough wind today for the vang to have tension. Any tension would tend to close the leech, in conditions where letting it open was needed.
Related tip: because of the stiff headboard, the leech will not open freely if the halyard is too tight.
Cunningham: increasing luff tension moves the draft forward, so it’s generally less in light air; BUT as the sail ages, the draft naturally moves aft. Most older sails in the fleet will need moderate luff tension to get the draft correct even for very light air. [Simply put, all but new sails need a fair bit of luff tension, visibly pulling out the horizontal wrinkles near the mast]
Centerboard: normal (my normal upwind, 10° aft of plumb)
Weight Balance: upwind, centered a little forward of thwart. At least both legs in front of thwart, to prevent stern drag. Downwind, extreme weight forward reduces wetted surface, and some windward heel to keep the boat moving straight without rudder correction.
Downwind sailing angle: the shrouds, even max loose, prevents the boom going out to 90°. In light air, the sail can’t push much ahead of the boom; therefore, the main is naturally over-trimmed for dead-downwind, even worse if sailing by-the-lee. Trying to avoid DDW (and gybing if by-the-lee) is critical. Having a masthead wind indicator is very helpful. One can be attached with Gorilla tape!
Related tip: a wind indicator is even more helpful when its blowing!
Point: once moving, pointing was reasonably high because of the flat water, tacking angle seemed to be <95° (after recovering the 5° to reaccelerate); rarely did I need to foot for speed.
Clear air can’t be overemphasized. Wind shadows in light air extend much farther than in heavier air, and upwind, "dirty air" extends more laterally as well.
Pressure could be seen by the "cat’s paws" on the water; was generally better on the left side of the course.
Wind oscillation, maybe 10-15° made it important to play shifts to keep you sailing toward the mark. Important only in the gross sense, I never looked at my compass during the day.
Current flow down the course seemed stronger on the right, especially earlier. Probably made the right slower upwind, but helped me on an early Course #2 race downwind when most of the fleet went to the start side of the closed line. Beyond that it didn’t seem to have much affect.
"Crabbing" downwind due to current (or sideslip), making the boat deviate from rhumb line is more influential the slower we’re going. If not already doing so, spotting the next mark against a point on land is how you compensate.
March 4 & 5, 2023
Race report by Carla Murphy
Race report by Carla Murphy
Here is what i remember about saturday, it was shifty and puffy, we sailed as one fleet and a and b kept remarkably close all day so we were able to get 7 fun races in. forecast was for a shifty puffy day and it delivered. lots of fun with large sails in flat water. despite the wild shifts rc team of field, field and bontemps gave us square lines and courses if you averaged them out, at some points it was so shifty the start went from boat favored to pin favored to square to yikes to yay in 2 brief minutes. once a couple of us started on port at the pin ahead of everyone else until BAM a shift and we're all pointing right at a bunch of starboard tackers. the courses were all of an enjoyable length and mostly windward leewards (once and twice around) except for one gold cup course which might have felt a tad long but was kept interesting by constant shouting back and forth between racers from the start almost to the finish about where the heck we were all going and which mark was which. on the upwinds course left paid off in leg 1 race 1 and then never again. it would tempt the gullible with the illusion of more pressure that was never worth the current relief on the right. i had the best finish i've ever had in our fleet, because i went against my character and instincts and kept snowflake course right. poor piotr lost one of his bullets to me when he let the left tempt him away and i beat him by a few inches. kara won the day with the bulk of the bullets, piotr, tracy and i got one each, shig was the victor in b.
sunday was a gorgeous sunny day with another one of those forecasts that was all over the place. race committee melissa and fred made a great decision to change from large to small sails before we all sailed out, we were sailing in 2 fleets, it was shifty, puffy and sunny with flat water.
race 1 we did course 4, wl 2x around. the wind was so all over the place that i was over early in race 1 in A and i was able to get back to the middle of the pack by being on the correct side of some shifts. in b fleet simon failed to keep his mast erect, rumor has it that happens to everyone at least once, and mia took advantage of the lovely sunny day to go for a refreshing swim.
for race 2 rc very wisely changed to no gybe #5 and we all set off for our next adventure. i discovered murphy's law 9,782 in race 2. i went left for pressure and lifts while everyone else stayed right/middle for some reason (current relief?) that made the light air and headers seem more appealing to them. my decision paid off and i was 1st to the windward mark in A with bahar right behind me. the run down to mark 2 was very exciting, bahar and i had a nice chat as we scrambled to the sterns of our boats in attempt to avoid becoming submariners and i rounded mark 2 in 1st place. this is where murphy's law 9,782 comes in. if your last name is murphy, and every single person in a fleet that is ahead of you in points for the season is behind you in a race, race committee will abandon the race. some might say to save you from being dunked into freezing water in 30+ knot gusts, others might say to save you the indignity of losing your 1st position in leg 3 or 4, others might say to spite you. i've given up trying to understand murphy's laws, best just to accept what you cannot change.
in b fleet in race 2 tom speyer filled his boat with water in such a way that i'm told it appeared he was going down with his ship in a most cartoonish fashion.
after we all met up at lucky newer sailors partnered with more experienced sailors to have a gloriously fun sail back to beach point in the shifty puffy sunny conditions.
party hosts zach and catherine amazed the fleet by serving hot dogs, you really haven't dined until you've plucked a weiner from a crockpot. they even had both kinds of mustard, the properly brown kind, and the yellow kind for cretins who like the wrong kind of mustard.
thanks to all the crash boat operators and race committee for a fantastic weekend.
Founder's Regatta - February 19 & 20, 2023
Race report by John Field
Race report by John Field
Our mid-season trophy event is in remembrance of our Founders from 1958 - those with names like Mosbacher, McMichaels, Wilcox, Engle, Derektor, Legler and Waters. Since that time there have been and still are so many others that keep us strong and it's a good time for us to thank everyone that makes MFA such a long lived and robust fleet!
Sunday on the water started light with a breeze from the south as forecast, which brought lumpy seas and we sailed with large sails. The sky was gray, and the weather was cool with puffs at times and holes on the course. Slowly the breeze built as forecast and the rollers grew. RC Kara and Melissa ran 7 races, and had set up a no-gybe for the final race but had to cancel before the start as the gusts exceeded our guideline with the sea state growing. Everyone sailed home, which was a "thrilling" reach with "monster" waves - 22 sailors were on the water in a single fleet and everyone stayed upright. Those that were successful for the day kept their boats moving through the chop and were able to shift gears as the wind lightened or built.
Monday looked to be gray day with light breeze - and 18 sailors ventured out for what turned into an unforecast amazing sunny and warm day on the water. The wind oscillated through 30 degrees throughout the afternoon, making courses and line sets challenging but a variety of windward - leeward gate open courses again with large sails were fun for everyone. Keeping in phase with clear starts and open lanes seemed to work best, there were ups and downs for everyone. The predominantly SW breeze kept the water flat, but at the start of the last race the wind went west and built - for an exciting twice around drag race followed by a long beat home in waves and current. Our crashboat team kept busy with mark sets, breakdowns that got back on the water and one of our sailors in a drysuit decided to take advantage of the weather and swim but then went back out to continue racing.
Next weekend on Sunday is day 3 of the regatta - lets hope the weather will be as beautiful as it was today!
February 12, 2023
Race report by Scott Guerin
Race report by Scott Guerin
It took guts on the part of the RC to haul us out in near zero wind, wait around for a bit, then tell the fleets “off ya go” on a triangle course in rising current stronger than the southeasterly wind. Yet so it was for the 6 racers in A and 14 in B. But Bahar’s and David Israel’s bet paid off and the wind built (if it could be said to have built) and shifted east over the afternoon. More than one racer said on the trek back to the dock ”wish this had come in earlier.” A big thanks to Melissa, Bahar, and David for hanging in there!
In the first A Fleet race, just before the two minute horn, Guerin paddled furiously through mirrored water toward the obviously favored pin end. Sailor had the same idea and at the start, they left the pin behind at a ripping .2kts with Kevin leading. However, after the windward rounding, a rare mental error sent Kevin toward the leeward mark on a course 4 not course 1, and Guerin rolled over Kev to lead at the gybe and leeward marks by several boat lengths. Then, seemingly to the Jaws soundtrack, Kevin ground 666 down on the last leg and had he 3 more yards of runway, it would have been 33 by a nose rather
than the other way around.
I don’t remember the second race but in the third, RaceQ says we were going a couple of knots boat speed. Tracy and I took the pin-end on starboard and were moving well in a line of breeze. A short hitch to the the layline and that was all she wrote with Guerin winning and Tracy close behind.
Initially RC thought three races were enough but then decided a little more water torture was in order so they ran a windward/leeward. With a square starting line, Sailor and Guerin went left, Berkowitz and Broszkowski went right, in wind that had “built” to a blistering 3 kts. All four met at the orange windward mark with Kevin just getting around in first and Guerin having to duck the two others. Then, it started to get interesting. Peter and Scott went to the left side, Kevin and Marc went to the right. Guerin knew he needed a silver to win the day and fought Peter downwind but couldn’t quite get an inside overlap sowas in third at the leeward mark. His attempt at a tacking duel was a quixotic failure leaving him behind Kevin, Peter, and Marc, resulting in a second place for the day, behind Kevin by a point, and ahead of Marc by a bit. This reporter felt dialed-in for the first time this season and was happy for that.
February 5, 2023
Race report by Erica Conway
Race report by Erica Conway
Parallelicity: the state of bliss achieved when your top batten is parallel to your boom (Origin: Mamaroneck, NY., circa 2023. Popularized by: Scott Guerin)
As we all gathered in the morning, the winds were out of the SSW at about 5-10 knots. After several days of record-breaking cold (Mount Washington in NH measured a wind chill of -108 degrees!), everyone was happy to sail in a balmy 42 degrees.
After bouncing up and down in the chop last week, falling off the seat in my boat, stalling out for the full two-minute starting sequence in one race, and my worst nightmare, hearing, “Your position has been established,” I hurriedly jumped on the volunteer spreadsheet to sign up for race committee. I knew that 7 days would not be enough to recover from my bruised ego and butt. I want to keep showing up, be involved, and learn from all you great sailors, and what better place to do some recon than from the flybridge of Lucky?
Tracy, Melissa, and I set out on Lucky with hopes of creating a great day of racing for the 26 sailors who threw off the bowlines and sailed away from the safe harbor. With the exception of that race in the middle, where the wind threatened to poop out on us, we had enough wind to race all day, fitting in 7 races for the A Division and 5 for the B Division.
My strategy of spying on Gregg Takata created more questions than answers. When everyone keeps barking at me to keep my boat flat, why is Gregg’s boat so heeled over during the starting sequence? Why does he pull the main in by manually pulling on the boom instead of pulling in the mainsheet? And how is he so fast??!? One answer that came easy was finding the sum of his scores at the end of the day. With six bullets and a third, calculating his score for the day could be done on two hands. Congrats to Gregg for taking first place in A Division, followed by Kevin Sailor in second, and Paul Beaudin in third. A shout out to Fred Trefeissen in fourth, as these top finishers kept their total points for the seven races under 28! And despite John Field’s modesty at the debrief, he captured a third in the fourth race.
I overheard some sailors talking about the B Fleet while we all enjoyed Sam’s incredible “Lasagna Chili.” They were remarking on how much more competitive this large division has been compared to just a few years ago. New-ish members are sailing consistently (with one notable exception. oops…) and they are improving quickly. And brand new members, like Felix Host, are taking the field by storm. People are watching this young sailor, whose starts today were en pointe. With three bullets, Felix amassed just 18 points to take first in B Division, followed closely by Marc Berkowitz, who had 20 points. Zach Wininger came in third, with 22 points. The competition was indeed intense, with the first six finishers all coming in under 29 points.
At the debrief, we talked about the chop, which was brutal on starboard tack. The rockstars all gave tips on how to handle it. I was busy eating Sam’s ginger bars, so I can’t tell you what to do next time we encounter this sea state. Paul Beaudin, who is also our Doyle rep, gave us a talk on sail trim, reinforcing the tip we all received a few weeks ago, which is to use the telltales on the shrouds and try to keep them pointing at a 45 degree angle, aiming right for the middle of the seat. Paul relies on these telltales more than the ones on the sail. Not looking up means you can keep looking out. Let’s all try that tip next week. Paul also talked about adjusting the vang and outhaul to help with the chop downwind (maybe? Next time, I’ll take notes…) Finally, Scott Guerin invented a new word. He stressed the importance of getting your top batten parallel to the boom. I didn’t hear why this is important. My inner editor was laughing too hard at “parallelicity.” Maybe he’ll talk more about it at next week’s debrief. I hope to see you all there! If I’m actually out there in a Dyer, let’s consider that progress…
Thank you to RC Melissa Bontemps and PRO Tracy Kingsley. Thank you also to Tim Baron, Nick Waters, Avi, and Peter Winder on the crash boats, who put lots of marks IN the water and didn’t take any people OUT of it.
Please keep an eye out for an announcement about a coaching day this coming Saturday. We need volunteers!
Also, I took a lot of photos today! Please be sure to follow @mamaroneck_frostbite on Instagram to see your beautiful smiles out there on the water today!
January 22, 2023
Race report by Scott Guerin
Race report by Scott Guerin
Steely skies greeted the 26-odd racers waiting to be guided by RC Chair Allan Freedman around the
marks. Melissa Bontemps captained Lucky and we give thanks to her skills and great radio voice!
Given a building Southerly wind in the 15kt range, predicted to gust past 20kts and delivering choppy
water around race time, pre-race discussion centered on the large or small-sail decision. Tough call but
large sails it was with the knowledge we might heave-to if it got too hairy. A new moon put the high tide
such that it would have been a great last day to pull the boats out as the angled dock was level with the
As we got off the docks it should be noted that two racers pulled out given the heavy chop and
predicted wind. No loss of honor there, racers must weigh the risk with care and MFA fully supports
those decisions, rare as they are.
The first few races were non-gybe courses. In A-Fleet, Gregg Takata (196), Fred Trefeissen (1), and
Scott Guerin (666) managed to make the podium in all three. Then, in race 4, the wind began to fade
and gears had to change. Some managed that well, others, like this reporter, could not get his groove
back. Gregg and Fred continued trading gold and silver with only a minor stumble along the way while
Kara Licata picked up the slack in the lighter air. In the end, Gregg, with 12 points (1, 1, 1, 5, 1, 1, 2)
took gold by a point over Fred (2, 2, 2, 1, 3, 2, 1), and Bahar got in front of Guerin 35 to 38.
We did see Piotr take an uncharacteristic bath at a windward mark when he got tangled up on the wrong
side of the boat. He got his boat re-rigged but missed a few races.
In B- Fleet, I sense a fierce battle for the yo-yo trophy given to the sailor who moved between fleets most
often. I won’t name names as I’ll surely jinx them in their quest to walk the dog to A-Fleet stability. David
Israel had solid third (4, 2, 3, 3, 4, 3), then John Schneider (2, 5, 1 ,4, 1, 2), and on top, Mr. Berkowitz
with a stellar (1, 1 ,2 ,1, 3, 1) to win the day. John and Marc go up to A.
Kevin Sailor, on crash boat duty, when asked after the race what he saw said, in so many words “there
weren’t enough roll tacks. In this kind of chop you need to accelerate out of the tack or you stop dead
when the next wave hits.”
January 7, 2023
Coaching report by Erica Conway
Coaching report by Erica Conway
I arrived in Mamaroneck on Saturday morning at 10, ready to lend a hand as a crash boat operator for the coaching session. I loved working on the crash boat last week with Henry. It was my first week back this season and it was a great way to ease back into it while mustering up some courage (I got overwhelmed last year and didn't make it through the whole season, though I eventually returned for the last two weeks in April.) I felt proud of myself yesterday for finding such an amazing excuse to procrastinate getting on a Dyer again. I mean, who is going to judge me for VOLUNTEERING, right?
I bounced around, feeling super important, with my VHF antenna sticking out of my life jacket, helping Tim to get the CBs in the water, starting up the outboard engines, and chatting with Bill and Catherine. I may have bragged too loudly about my iron-clad method of procrastination, because all of a sudden, my VHF was taken away and Colley was offering to let me use his boat so that I could be a coach-ee.
“Like, right now?” I asked. I asked three times if they had enough people to run the crash boats, but they were all set. They asked if I had my drysuit with me and, damn, I had to admit that it was in my sail bag… I mustered up some “gratitude,” decided it might be better to just rip this Band-Aid off quickly, and went off to get ready.
Colley was amazing and helped me rig his boat, since I haven’t done it since last April. I felt true gratitude, because his boat looked really great and I felt lucky to start the season on it. He asked me about my trepidation. I told him about how overwhelmed I got last year. I wasn’t doing well in the races, I was worried about capsizing, and I found it too much to concentrate on what was going on INSIDE the boat as well as what was happening OUTSIDE the boat. I remember standing around at the debriefs feeling like I hadn’t been out there with the rest of the fleet. They would go on and on about shifts and favored ends and what had happened in the 5th race, while all I remembered was getting tangled in the main sheet, stalling out twelve times, and being pretty sure that there were only 4 races. But maybe, more than anything, I felt ashamed that after 50 years on the water as crew on everything from 65’ powerboats to 420’s to a Tripp 40, and after living on and operating my 47’ Beneteau, I found it really challenging to drive a single-person dinghy. I “should” be better.
Colley assured me that I was going about it all wrong. (You don’t say.) He suggested letting go of the outcome of the races, coming to grips with capsizing, and taking my time learning the boat handling before I worried about what was going on outside the boat. He also pointed out that crewing on big boats, and even operating my own boat was not the same as a Dyer Dhow. They are just a whole different animal and I shouldn’t be embarrassed. It was great advice, much like all the support I’ve gotten from the seasoned sailors at MFA. As a results-oriented person who has generally succeeded at the things I’ve set my mind to, I know this will be more than just a sailing lesson. It will be a shift in my life philosophy that will free me up to try new things and keep pushing myself outside of my comfort zone.
Catherine saw my panicked look in the parking lot and gave me some encouragement. I started to feel like I could do this. It’s just like riding a bike, I convinced myself. Then they decided to switch to small sails. If there’s one thing I learned last year, these people don’t like using small sails. So if we were switching, it must be pretty damned windy out there. I decided I needed to just forget all about that and figured it was a decision made because it wasn’t a race day and most of us were pretty new.
We had our safety meeting and Carla went over the plan for the day. We would practice sailing from windward to leeward, do some practice starts, and maybe even have a practice race. Off we went. Colley’s boat was launched on the jetty side of the dock and he casually assured me that I’d be fine sailing the boat out between the dock and the rocks. I looked at him like he had three heads and asked him if he liked his boat or not. No. I would not be sailing his boat out of this narrow passage. I couldn’t even promise to bring it back in one piece. So I got in and walked myself down the dock until I felt like I had enough room to fill the sails.
Out on the water, I felt a thrill when the boat took off and heeled a little. With the wind in my face, I felt more confident than I had anticipated and tacked a few times to remember how to move from side to side on a boat that has you sitting backwards (I’ll never understand this). As soon as I realized it was time to go downwind, I felt nervous. But rather than putting off the inevitable, I jibed. Huh. Not as bad as I remembered. (Yes, I know. We were still just off the docks, and I was protected from the full wind. But still. I felt a moment of accomplishment and let it fuel me.) My hat kept popping off my head with the boom constantly swishing past it. I finally stuffed it down my life jacket. It took me an hour to get all the knots out of my hair last night! I saw one woman with a fleece headband. I’ll try that next week.
We headed out to the harbor and started practicing sailing from windward to leeward. I remembered how many things there are to think about and tried to incorporate all the suggestions I heard from the coaches, assuming they were all for me:
“Are you reading the tell-tales?”
“You are really pinched! Come down a bit! See? Now you're moving!”
“Don’t hike by just leaning your shoulders back! Move your butt to the edge!”
“What is that weird way you are holding the tiller about?”
“You look tense! Relax a little!”
It was ALL helpful, and I appreciated every single piece of advice that the coaches gave. It was a lot of work, following us all around and figuring out how to best help each of us to move the pin forward on our progress as sailors. I can’t wait to be good enough to give back.
By the time we got to the practice starts and races, I was feeling excited. Last season, I felt like my biggest improvement was in the starts. I had been really timid in the beginning, starting last and stalling out in practically every race. By the 4th or 5th time out, I was getting more aggressive, shoving myself into the pack, and trusting my ability to move out of the way if I got too close to another boat while on port tack. I decided to pick up where I left off last year and got a lot of advice from Bahar, who made sure I had a strategy and knew which side I wanted to start on. I practiced timing how long it would take to get to the boat end of the line so that I could start right at the boat, my favorite place to start when the line is even or favored. I got it right on one of the practice races and found myself towards the front of the fleet, with Bahar screaming encouragement at me like I was qualifying for the Olympics.
In another practice race, I got it wrong and I was facing the wrong way in the middle of the line when the gun went off. “Let it go! Let it go!” I sang to myself, even though, ironically, I wasn’t Frozen. I got right back in there and actually recognized a lift when it smacked me in the face, and rode it all the way to the layline. Thank you, Greg, for reminding me to actually LOOK at the tell tales. With Behar’s help, I approached the windward mark on port (which I don’t like doing), threaded the needle between two starboard-tack boats without fouling anyone, and nearly caught Bill on the downwind run to the finish.
It was an amazing day on the water. Here’s what I learned:
Showing up is the only way to get better.
MFA members are some of the most generous and supportive people I’ve ever met.
That said, they will trick you into sailing, even when you are nervous, so consider yourself warned.
Really overstand the upwind mark in strong current. Like, way farther than you think.
Don’t scrunch your shoulders up for 3 hours straight because you are nervous. You’ll wake up with a massive tension headache the next day.
When in irons, straighten out the rudder, let go of the sheet, and pull up the centerboard. It’s sooooo easy, according to one coach. #eyeroll
Small sails are super awesome and I vote for them every time! (Sorry, A Fleet!)
Sailing a Dyer Dhow isn’t like riding a bike. It’s more like riding a unicycle on a trampoline while juggling.
January 1, 2023 - New Year's Regatta
Race report by Allan Freedman
Race report by Allan Freedman
Saturday was all fog and no breeze (and canceled). Sunday was all breeze, and all smiles.
Sure there was the slight transition to manage – big sails, small sails. What a drama: Lots of huffing, and puffing and sail changing and the usual small sail/big sail grousing and kvetching. We’re sailors – well I won’t speak for myself as apparently I am the only one not doing dry January, cause I have a few New Year’s bottles to hum through, but I digress, a lot – so you expect the kvetching no matter what the call. But once the call was made, then changed, and we sailed back in, and changed, and then went out again, there were 6 races awaitin’ for A and 5 for B. Turned out the whole big/small drama was only the opening act. Can we talk about those shifts. Let’s. They were the product of a Westerly with one wicked sense of humor. The breeze plopped, and fanned and then disappeared, velocity up, velocity down, the bow spinning, right then left, then right again.
I am getting the spins just writing about it.
The RC clocked top 20 knots right before race time – thus prompting the sail change – and a couple of no jibe courses for the appetizer, but then the entrée was more in the 6-12 knot range, with mostly course 4s and an up and down drag race for the last race in A. (Editorial comment here: Yo, we killed that course for a reason! It’s the Living Dead of courses. It has more sequels than the Marvel franchise.) Here is where I am supposed to offer lots of sage advice about how to sail in that kind of breeze. I am still too traumatized by losing the three way tie for 3rd to the obviously superior sailors Bahar Gidwani (3rd) and Fred Treffeisen (4th), so Kara Licata with 4 bullets (1st) and Greg Takata (2nd) are better narrators. Or go ask Aaron Wheeler in first in B, followed closely by Marc Berkowtiz. See all the scores here.
But will try anyway. The boat is so brutally underpowered with the small sail that keeping it powered in the lulls is as important as tacking on every shift. The key was more about sailing to the breeze and keeping it going through the lulls. Sure line position mattered and there was some serious right skews on the upwind mark. But those first ten meters, and speed off the line is what gets you popped into sequence. The faster you could make it off the line and to the first wind fan was usually the make or break up the first beat. Note to self: If you’re not getting powered up 10 seconds to the gun, you’ve lost the race before it began.
Sunday was the opening of the annual New Year’s Regatta, which will continue next Sunday. It was hard not to start the New Year with a big grin, given the warm, sunny temps and enough breeze to make things loads of fun. Big thanks to RC Carla Murphy who negotiated a very difficult call that had us all sailing and having a great start to the year including the afternoon aerobics (see huffing and puffing above).
Shout outs to Melissa (as always) and Tim B for running those crashies like our besties.
Thanks Team for an awesome day on the water!
December 4, 2022
Race report by Bahar Gidwani
A westerly wind left over from the storm shifted and puffed enough that RC put both fleets into the small sail. It was a good choice. We had a couple capsizes, but most of the 20+ boats managed to stay upright through eight races.
We sailed course 4, windward-leeward twice and got in 8 races. Those who got a clean start had freedom to tack on the shifts. Those who didn’t start clean could try to go to a corner (both left and right worked at times) and look for a pressure line to ride back in. Working up the middle should have been good, but wasn’t—the pressure was coming in from the edges.
A short first leg led to crowds coming in from all sides at the windward mark. Sometimes both fleets arrived at the same time. The result was jostling, shouting, and a fair number of penalty turns. There wasn’t much current for the first six races, so most people made the mark, turned through traffic, and dodged their way downwind through the boats that were still coming upwind.
A short downwind resulted in more interactions at the leeward mark. RC put in a gate around race four and that sorted things a bit, but there was always someone threatening from behind—even on the run to the finish.
Helen (who won the day in A) pointed out that she couldn’t just sit on the line at the start and wait to accelerate. Thanks to the chop she had to be moving and driving forward if she wanted to separate from the pack after the start. Carla started several times on the right (taking advantage of a skew to the right side of the course for the mark) and danced up the right side by herself. She seemed to enjoy tacking as needed, in clear air.
First places in A were scattered among five sailors. Two other sailors in A had seconds. Everyone (including the leaders) had at least one seventh place.
A couple more notes for the day. Keith Bell made his debut in A and did not finish last! Catherine notched her first bullet ever in MFA. There were no intra-boat protests to mediate after racing. I can’t see the results yet for B, but I am sure there were other interesting events.
Two tips for sailing the downwind legs of course 4. The first downwind tends to be pretty short. It is easy to run out of time to get ready to round the leeward mark. Start drifting early off the rhumb line in a direction opposite to the way you plan to round. (E.g., if you are rounding to port, drift to the right.) Jibe if you will need to do it when you round, put your board down a little, and cheat in on your sheet. You can then put board the rest of the way down and come into the mark from the side (you won’t need to jibe as you round). You’ll get a faster exit and a higher line out of the mark.
On the second downwind, you should head to the left (looking downwind) after the windward mark, as the finish is on the starboard side of the RC. Stay on starboard after the rounding for a few boat lengths (so you have rights over the port boats that are still coming to the mark). But, keep your board down and steer as far left as you can before you jibe. If you can get to the left edge and reach a bit towards the pin, you’ll keep clear air (it will be coming over your left shoulder and boats behind won’t bother you). If you can’t do this, bear back down and separate from the folks who are heading to the pin. The RC boat is sometimes favored and you may have a nice run with clear air if you go towards it. Plus, dead down can be a tiny bit shorter distance to sail.
No sailing on Christmas Eve. Regatta the weekend after! Hope to see 30+ boats for the Regatta days.
December 4, 2022
EXTRA EXTRA READ ALL ABOUT IT
● 30 boats on the line!
● New members and guests invigorate competition!
● Mike D’Agostino has his first bullet after trying for 4 years!
● This week’s Mark Spitz medal honorees named
Former MFA racer Brad Seiler was in a small aircraft Sunday and took this photo as he flew over the
fleet heading in.
What a day. Sunny, mid 40s, with shifty winds from the NW in the 3 knots to get-up-on-the-rail range
that drove a staggering 30 boats split 14/16 between A & B Fleets respectively. Kudos to Mighty Miss
Bontemps, Steve Wade, and WIll Sheck who ran the committee boat and wrangled the cats. A big
shout out to our crash boat pros and volunteers, endless gratitude to Tim Barron, and boat owners, if
you are not racing, think about lending your craft to others in need as several did this Sunday.
So many boats on the line meant the competition was fierce in both fleets, so let’s go to the imaginary
videotape and see what happened. (Deep Boomer Cut).
In B Fleet’s 5 races, there was a big group of new or newish members on the line and I hope they feel the
“old timers” are making them welcome with help on the docks, rigging, racing tips, and general
merriment as they settle in. It’s such a simple looking little boat but there is a lot going on with all those
lines and settings. If Charter boats are not available, there may be non-racing members’ boats available
for use so don’t hesitate to reach out. Just ask.
I’m going to ignore Fleet Captain John Field who raced in B for an ego boost and go to Zack Winniger
who was just 4 points behind with a 2,3,2,2,3 combo. What consistency, and Zack will go up to A Fleet
for his spanking. In second place was Keith Bell in his legendary plaid Jameson’s boat with a nice
4,5,4,3,5. His smooth starts and consistent sailing put him in the lead at one point, but for that darn last
leg! The story from Anna Dyer was that she spent weeks finding a close-enough to Jameson’s tartan that
she could embed in the gel coat so it could sit on one of the family’s yacht’s. And then there is Mike
D’Agostino who finally put a bullet in his shopping cart and overcame his Chicago Cubs Billy Goat curse
with a win that helped him get past his 3,10,8,5,1 series on his way to third base. Hmmm, excuse the
metaphor but way to hang in there and congratulations Mike.
Many of A Fleet’s finest were on the course for 6-races with the addition of a guest, Paul Clifford, who
worked the boat like his bassinet was a Dyer Dhow. Paul took third place behind Kevin Sailor who won
by a tie breaker at 17 points, 2 wins to 1. The other Paul, Paul Beaudin, was frighteningly perfect in a
day when any error was costly. His 1,1,3,3,1,8 demonstrated his mastery of the wind, the current,the
boat, his kinetics, and, most importantly, his mind. (Disclaimer: he sells us our sails!).
Kevin told me afterward that he was trimmed in with a flat sail reasoning that the flat water didn’t require
power to overcome but helped his upwind angle even though it was a disadvantage at the start when
power was needed to get going. Watch Kevin, he is one with his boat.
The starts were almost the whole race in A. With a pin end that was favored in almost every race, I saw
John Schneider port-tack the fleet which took guts given all the sharks at his heels. But I usually saw
Paul, Gregg Takata, and Kevin, squirt out through impossibly tight gaps, get clear air, and head to
the mark from the left and middle sides of the leg.
The reaches were uneventful but the last leg shuffled the middle of the fleet. If you follow the rule of
thumb to sail the long tack first, the shifting winds caused some to go left at the leeward mark while
others hoped the phase would shift and stayed on port tack, then, taking the knock, be lifted to the pin.
There was an interesting protest at a windward mark rounding between Piotr Broszkowski and John
Schneider which resulted in a DSQ for John but there may be an appeal so standby. If you protest
someone, be sure you state the rule you are protesting under. And if you witness an incident, you will be
asked to state just the facts of what you saw.
This week’s Mark Spitz Medal honorees include Jacques Cousteau Society founding member Bill
Zobrist, along with Samantha, Dino, and Jurgen.
Lastly, while this reporter, having had to skip a season, came back ready to be a contender, his mind
and body would not cooperate. He had lost his kinetic touch, he was out of phase, was slow at the
starts, he fidgeted about, and he committed penalty-bound and tactical errors. Sound familiar? These
are abilities learned through literally years of racing in Dyers (and,of course, in other boats too). But fear
not those starting out; there are MFA racers with 30+ seasons on the water with you. We still love the
challenge, want to help you learn, and we remember fondly our early seasons, as you will.
November 27, 2022
Canceled due to high, gusty winds
November 20, 2022
Canceled due to high, gusty winds
November 13, 2022
Race report by John Field
We made it off the float to a brisk westerly at the top of our wind range. It turned into a beautiful day with a more normal November frostbite feel. Although 24 boats made it off the dock and sailed in the channel, the RC made difficult calls with gusts to 24 by Hen Island, and then tried to get a no gybe course in the harbor set but the build and shifts were excessive so racing was cancelled for the day.
On the positive side, no one capsized and no boats are broken! We had at least 8 more new sailors who learned about the quirkiness of the Dyer in heavy air and the debrief with Bahar Greg and Rob was super helpful for small sail trim and position technique. Plenty of warm soup and beer from Rick K was enjoyed by everyone.
November 6, 2022
Race report by John Field
An awesome first day to start off the 2022-23 season! 25 sailors were on the water with warm weather and overcast skies. Of the 25, we had 8 new charter members from the group of 25 who have joined us this season. Everyone get to know these awesome newcomers as the season gets underway!
A stiff breeze was in the forecast with a coastal front sliding north but stayed inshore giving us variable mild conditions throughout the day. The RC set a course close to the harbor, and raced the group as one fleet with seven races. The lumpy sea state, light southerly and patches of pressure made the race challenging. Getting off the line and keeping a clear lane mindful of the ebb from the harbor was a key to success, and our lone capsize (in shorts) reported the water was quite warm, promptly rigging and rejoining the racing!
Consistency was the key to success. In A fleet Helen took the day a few points ahead of Bahar and Kara, and in B fleet we had Jed followed by newcomers Simon and David. Scores of course are all provisional and will be up on the website links as they are tabulated. Great pictures from the day are also on various instagram feeds - follow us and others in the fleet!
The post race party did not disappoint, with Bill's Mac and Cheese and Bahar's careful discussion of rules based on two protests. With a large fleet the refresher on applications of 18.2 room at marks and Rules 12 and 13 for tacking too close was very helpful. Many guides are online and should be reviewed for these and other fundamental right of way topics by all of us.