Dear Fleet 413,
What a great 1st day to kick off the 2022-23 Frostbite Season! Sunday was 64 degrees and sunny with a medium light SW wind, 38 boats, and 6 great races thanks to Moose, Kelly and Jessie on RC.
As this year’s fleet captains, Scott and I would like to say welcome to all the new-comers this season. It is great to see so many new faces and young sailors joining us, thanks for coming out! Steve K won the day and Okyanus Arikan was the top Radial. Results are posted.
- Please register online at newportlaserfleet.org, pay your fleet dues and either print and sign a waiver and give it to one of the fleet captains, or find us to get a printed waiver to sign.
- Check the results to make sure your name and number appear correctly and email Christine with extra info like what school you go to or what rig you are using.
- Race Committee: Traditionally, each fleet member has taken turns running races throughout the year. Lately, and this year, we are extremely fortunate to have Moose McClintock and Kelly Ferro heading up the RC for most days. It’s really incredible that they are donating their Sundays to sit in a power boat in the winter while we race around the buoys, and they do a world class job providing good square courses without any waiting around in the cold in between races. Please say thank you to them when you see them. We still ask each sailor to sign up for a day of RC by e-mailing the fleet captains, the goal is to have 4 people ready to do RC each Sunday, and if only 2 or 3 are needed because conditions are mild, then some can sail instead. We still need 2 to sign up for next Sunday.
- Check out Moose’s videos from Sunday on the facebook page.
- We’d like to get the Words Of Wisdom tradition going again. If you sail particularly well one day, look out, you may be asked to write a paragraph or two with your take on what was important for the day. Steve Kirkpatrick wrote some great WOW after winning Sunday. Check it out below.
- Sailing Instructions are posted online – better late than never.
Don’t forget to join us after racing at IYAC on Thames St – the pizza will be hot and discussion lively.
See you next Sunday!
-Christine and Scott
Words Of Wisdom – from Steve Kirkpatrick for Nov 7, 2022
Please register, sign up for RC, pay your dues, and remember to help Moose, Kelly, Christine, Scott, and all the other volunteers. Also, please join and support Sail Newport wherever possible. It is a great organization that helps thousands of people go sailing every year and is our excellent winter home.
Sunday’s racing was absolutely beautiful. Wind from the southwest ranging from 7-15 and gradually dying all afternoon. The current was dead low when we were starting racing and then coming in. The windward leg was long as there were 38 boats.
My strategy was to try and get to the top mark in the top seven by winning a side. I wanted to get a good start and stay in my own breeze as much as possible and hope that my side won. I thought if I won my side and it won, I would round first. If my side lost, I would round about seventh. Trying to average in the top 10% usually wins the day, so I was trying to average a 3 or better (It looked like there were about 30 boats). Getting to the top mark seventh and passing two boats gets you a fifth. Assume your side wins 50% of the time and you average 3 with this strategy. So your odds are pretty good if you can pull it off…
So what helped pull it off on Sunday?
Good starts. I always had a line sight so I knew where I was relative to the line. At go, I tried to have a hole to leeward that I could accelerate into for speed and then height. This was not always the case, but having good “down speed” boat handling helps everything work out better than if you are a little out of control. In one race I got a bit lazy in my pre start routine and ended up with a meager hole and got shot out the back. That race did not follow the statistical plan laid out above with a 10 on the scorecard…
Downwind, I tried to pick a side early and work the hip of the pack in clear air. This sometimes meant going high off the pack and at other times looking for the lane back to the rhumb line by getting the breeze clear to leeward of the pack behind. Having a loose vang, set at 25″ pin to pin, sets the leech perfectly when the sail is pressurized by the lee. In light air it seems fast to give a few inches of vang on when the flow is normal (luff to leech.)
By the end of the day the current was coming in along the Sail Newport side, flowing up into Brenton Cove, and then down along the NYYC and Ida Lewis (east) shore. This meant that going high on the runs late in the day was getting you into favorable current, whereas going low was at risk of putting you in adverse current. Realizing this and working the hip on this side of the run helped a top mark seven turn into a three.
On the final beats I tried to cover if I was ahead and use pressure and shift differences to pass people if I was behind. By the end of the day I was favoring the right side a bit for current, but generally trying to stay in pressure and on the favored tack. Hiking hard always helps here so I was grinding hard to pick off boats ahead.
In the final analysis, Adrian could have won the day but for a few lucky breaks in my favor.
It is great to see so many fast college and high school sailors joining us this winter.
Radial sailors should try to line up a full rig for light air days. Cutoff point is person dependent, but in under 8 knots in my opinion everyone who has one should put up a full rig. 130 pound kids go whipping by the fat boys! Get your same sail number as your radial if at all possible.
Great job as always by our world class race management team.
See you next week.