www.LHYC.org April 2010
The objects of the Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club shall be to encourage and promote interest in, as well as to foster the art and enjoyment of, the sport of sailing by providing the opportunity and means for the development of individual skill and knowledge, encouraging excellence in seamanship and navigation, and by providing participative events wherein these qualities can be exercised under the aegis of the LHYC burgee.
April is here and that means time to pull off the covers and start all of those boat projects that you have been longing to get to. With a couple of fine weekend weather days in the past few weeks, I know many have gotten a head start – rumor has it a few boats are ready to go in!! Anyway, in our efforts to get you all ready for the coming season and to help get those sailing juices flowing the LHYC board made it possible to present you with two great Spring Speaker Series events. I am sure you saw the flyers that circulated detailing the events and I hope you made it out to one if not both of these great programs.
The first in our Spring Speaker Series held March 11th, was the brain child of our Vice Commodore Steve LaPorta who put it all together. Entitled OLYMPIC FEVER it hosted two of our local area youngsters (OK they are out of college, but I am getting old!) that are campaigning for positions at the 2012 Olympics in England. First up was Debbie Capozzi, from Bayport, NY, sailing out of the Sayville Yacht Club. In college, she sailed for Old Dominion University winning the Intercollegiate Sailing Association National Championship, and was named an All American. She won the Women's Laser Radial North Americans, Rolex Women's Match Racing Championship, the US Women's Double-Handed Championship, and the Intercollegiate North America Dinghy Championship. As tactician, jib trimmer and motivator she helped her Team Seven Yngling team place seventh overall in the 2008 Olympics in Qingdao China. She is currently campaigning with Anna Turnnicliffe in the match racing class for the 2012 Olympics. She gave a brief explanation of the match racing game – its rules, differences and excitement as it is boat on boat competition at its very best. She described her rigorous training schedule and it was easy to see the dedication, desire and shear determination required to campaign for the Olympics. Big thanks to Debbie for coming to LHYC to share her experience. If you’d like to follow her and her team’s efforts visit www.team7sailing.com.
Second, up was our own Erik Storck, who grew up here in Huntington and started sailing locally at Centerport YC. As the son of LHYC Past Commodore John Storck and his wife Colette, he grew up racing in many LHYC events on his father’s Ericson 39, Jonrob. As a youngster, racing in the Optimist, Erik won a North American Championship. In the Club 420 he won both the U.S. Youth Championship and the U.S. Youth Double-Handed Championship. Erik graduated from Dartmouth College in 2007 and was a four-time All-American and two-time finalist for College Sailor of the Year (2005, 2007).
He and his sailing partner, Trevor Moore are now campaigning for a medal at the 2012 Olympics in the 49er Class. The 49er is a hot high performance double handed dinghy or a rocket ship on the water reaching 18-20 kns at times. He shared some highlights of his past experiences in sailing, traveling, and the logistics behind his campaign as well as some of the experiences while competing in the ISAF Sailing World Cup. He did show some recent video footage of them in action and it is a wild ride where any false move makes you a candidate for the Crash and Burn highlight reel. Check out the video footage, interviews and follow their progress at www.storckmooresailing.com.
Big thanks to Erik for taking the time out of his busy schedule to come and share his experiences with us. Obviously, campaigning for the Olympics is a costly endeavor, so I encourage you to help support the efforts of these young Olympians by making a contribution of any size – it all adds up. Finally, I would like to send our thanks out to Chris Buncke of the local North Sails loft who again allowed us the use of their great facility on West Shore Road.
The second in our Spring Speaker Series held March 24th was A Night with GARY JOBSON. Gary Jobson is a world class sailor, television commentator and author based in Annapolis, Maryland. He is President of US SAILING, the national governing body of sailing. Gary has authored 16 sailing books and is Editor at Large of Sailing World and Cruising World magazines. Gary has been ESPN's sailing commentator since 1985. He has won many championships in one design classes, the America's Cup with Ted Turner, the infamous Fastnet Race ’79 and many of the world's ocean races. In College at SUNY Maritime he was an All American sailor three times and was twice named College Sailor of the Year. Gary was inducted into the America's Cup Hall of Fame by the Herreshoff Marine Museum. He won the Nathanael G. Herreshoff Trophy, US SAILING's most prestigious award. Gary is the National Chairman of The Leukemia Cup Regatta. Over the past thirty-five years Gary has given over 2000 lectures throughout the world. He started his career as a sailing coach at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy and the U.S. Naval Academy. Gary is also an active cruising sailor. He has led ambitious expeditions to the Arctic, Antarctica and Cape Horn. He currently races a Swan 42, named Mustang, and an Etchells.
The idea of getting Gary was suggested by our Rear Commodore Dave Willis and we said knock yourself out, thinking it a dream – if you can get him we would love to have him. Well Dave did just that – he made the calls, made the deal, got the venue and put it all together. With the help of Steve LaPorta who provided beverages (humped a lot of beer up those stairs) and John Belle who supplied the projector and did the meet and greet (collected money!!) the program was set. Gary provided us with his usual - great personal sailing stories and his seemingly endless supply of fantastic videotaped sailing footage. We saw a history of the Americas cup up to the recent multihull extravaganza in Valencia, Spain; Olympic coverage of both big and small boat racing, match racing, some crash and burn footage and more. It was a great night and it was a great honor for LHYC to host him. We all left that night pumped up and ready to get out on our boats and start the new season! Thanks go to the Halesite Fire Department for making their facility available to us. The space worked perfectly and the estimated 125 members and friends of LHYC were treated to a great night. Thanks again to Dave Willis, Steve LaPorta and John Belle for their tremendous efforts and to the entire LHYC board for their hard work and support.
UPCOMING EVENTS: You should all have received your invitations to the LHYC’s New Members Party scheduled for April 17th. This is one of our clubs best events of the year and it will again be hosted by Leigh Sterflinger (Mike too!) at their beautiful home in Greenlawn. The 5:30pm start time should allow you plenty of time to shower after a day of wet sanding your bottom!! (boat bottom that is!) Please send in your RSVP’s and don’t miss this event.
THE RACE FOR THE CASE – by now you should have heard a lot about LHYC’s revised format for our Spring Series Regatta May 22-23. A two-day series where every boat entered receives a bottle of rum and the overall winning boat gets a case of rum!! The after-race party Saturday night will be held at the Huntington Yacht Club and free food and beverages will be on hand for skippers and crew. Check out the flyer and NOR on the club website and sign-up early.
CRUISING – Cruising chairperson Dan Corcoran held a cruising meeting at his home a few weeks ago to put together a calendar for the upcoming season. Seven LHYC couples attended and along with the feedback from Sue Belles survey and much discussion, a plan was made starting with a great Memorial Day Weekend excursion to Saugatuck Harbor Yacht Club, Westport, CT in conjunction with Masthead Cove Yacht Club – June 12: Tri-club raft up at Port Jeff moorings - Lloyd Harbor YC, Northport YC, Centerport YC - July 4th Weekend: American YC and City Island. - Aug 8: Sheffield Is. with Masthead Cove YC - Labor Day Weekend: Milford YC, Milford, CT and then Port Jefferson - check out the website for more information.
LHYC Ski Trip 2010
Over a half a foot of snow on Friday morning, February 26 in Huntington got a small group of LHYC skiers in the mood for the annual ski trip. After clearing the driveways and taking advantage of a school snow day, five cars headed north to Mount Snow in southern Vermont for two days of skiing. The Scarpulla’s (Commodore Joe & daughter Lena), Powers (PC Charlie, wife Janet, daughters Christine and Stephanie and their 2 friends), Sterflinger’s (Mike and son Peter), Keller’s (Steve & Martha), and Belles (John & Sue) made up the group.
Everyone arrived safely on Friday night with only the last few miles involving white knuckle driving. At an informal get together Friday night, Sue Belle predicted an early start Saturday since there was new snow on the ground. Mike Sterflinger took her up on the offer being ready to go before 8 AM. Sue was still drinking coffee at 8, but quickly geared up. Everyone was on the slopes by 9 for a full day of skiing in several inches of new snow. The group spread out all over the mountain, from the fun terrain park to the steep North Face even encountering a real live moose along the trails. The best conditions of the year overshadowed some long lift lines and crowded lodges. The first of two ski days wound down by late afternoon with the group retiring to the Scarpulla/Belle condo (ironically a larger two bedroom for four people than the two bedroom for 8 in the Powers/Sterflinger condo) for snacks and drinks, and to share tales from the slopes and even larger tales of past achievements on the water. Janet Powers supplied baked ziti for dinner, and we never had to leave! A full day of skiing resulted in many smiling faces and tired legs, so most retired early in order to be ready for another day of skiing on Sunday.
A second day of fantastic conditions welcomed the group on Sunday, which once again spread out all over the mountain. After everyone rendezvoused for lunch in the Main Lodge, most skied together in the afternoon. Charlie Powers guided a group of 12 to the very last chair ride on the Sunbrook chair before it closed, and a last run to remember down the main face to the bottom. Yes, it was another full day of skiing. The group headed for the cars and the drive home with memories of one of the very best ski trips ever. Thanks go out to Sue Belle for organizing the event and to Commodore Joe Scarpulla and Vice Commodore Steve LaPorta for putting it all together. Can’t wait ‘til next year’s trip!! - John Belle
Board Meeting Bullets: The March Board Meeting addressed the following as part of our agenda:
Back to School (part two)
Winning in One-Designs, Dave Perry - Chapter 24 Tactics in Wind shifts
Now, let’s quickly review some of the important tactical considerations when sailing upwind in an oscillating breeze. Before the race, get a feel for the frequency and size of the oscillations and the strength and directions of the puffs and lulls (see chapter 23). Force yourself to remember that the object of the first beat is not to be first at the mark. The object is to sail the shortest possible distance in the strongest wind and end up somewhere in the hunt. Unfortunately, you never know what that course is until after the beats over. So, up the first beat, stick with the good odds, keep in touch with the bulk of the fleet and resist temptation to go for it all.
The tactician’s total energy must go toward position, and the key word is separation. The large the separation between you and other boats, the larger the gains and losses will be. The closer you are, the less you’ll lose and gain. Stay close to hang in there, get away to pass—simple. The more in the middle of the beat you are, the more open your options are: the closest to the layline, the fewer your options. Shifty breeze can be fickle, so continually drag yourself back to the middle. Don’t necessarily wait for five more degrees. Open your eyes, sail toward a puff and use the puff to take you back to the middle. If you’re right of middle on port, and getting headed, tack onto the starboard lift and get across the middle as quickly as possible for the next header. Foot in the lifts, point in the headers. Tack back to leeward and ahead of boats coming in to the middle. This gives you more fighting room, more options, and you’re less likely to be tacked on. Watch the other boats to determine wind shifts. You don’t actually gain on another boat until you’re on converging tacks. As between two boats on port, the one to leeward and ahead gains in the header. But he doesn’t actually realize the gain until he tacks over. If you can cross or get close to a boat that was previously further ahead, do it! Grind down boats little by little.
When the wind starts to shift, when should you tack? If the shifts are fast and frequent, tack immediately in a header. If the header is slow and gradual, tack halfway through it or at the mean (halfway between the most lifted and most headed course on that tack). Above all, be on the tack aiming you closer to the windward mark. If you’re to leeward and ahead of some boats and start to get lifted, decide what the odds are of the wind shifting back before you reach the layline. If good, hang on. If bad, tack.
Finally, here are some thoughts on boat to boat tactics in a shifty breeze. If you’re on starboard going the way you want and a port tacker is approaching, wave him across your bow. That’s much better than having him lee-bow you, forcing you to tack. If you’re on port, ask the starboard tackers if you should tack or cross. Chances are good they’ll let you go. (Don’t forget---the port/starboard onus is still on you). If you’re on starboard or port and a boat is clearly going to cross you, pinch up to close the distance. This will delay or prevent them from tacking on you. And if they do tack on you, have it already figured whether you’re going to drive off or tack to free your air, so you can react immediately. The elements that make the good tactician great are:
When sailing in shift and puffy wind, you have to be thinking continually. Racing is a game of minimizing mistakes; good sailors don’t make fewer mistakes than others, just smaller ones. Probably the best way to improve your own consistency and finishes in shifty air is to watch a good series. When you can get out and look at the entire picture, even the smallest mistakes become obvious. You’ll also get a good mental image of how the top guys attack the race. Most important, you’ll get a much broader feel for the dynamics of the race course---the laylines, the effect of bad air, current effect, sail shapes, etc. ---much more than you could ever get inside your boat.
Tactics in wind shifts are frustratingly fundamental on paper, yet deceptively difficult to apply consistently. Just for fun, pick a series and plan to sail it the way you know you should be sailing it. Who knows---it might be the best chance you ever took.
March & April 2008