www.LHYC.org October 2009
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.
As we place the proverbial tarp on our club marking the end of the sailing season, it is a good time to reflect on the past year: all the races, the cruises and beautiful days and nights we spent in our little slice of Huntington Bay heaven. It has been a very good year for our club, despite a weather pattern that had us baffled many times, nearly freezing us in July and as of late. But nonetheless, we ran most of races (only two summer series races were abandoned) and our race registrations were off from last year by 5 %, in a mere three events. Our club is still a very healthy organization striving to provide a multitude of services and events to a varied range of sailors and their watercraft. I am wary about limiting that to sailboats, because at our decommissioning on Oct. 11, the few that had come out to maintain that tradition did so on powerboats, except for the stalwart PC Chris Schneider. Truth be told, he did barrel out of Northport Harbor kicking up a rooster tail, like the fastest Wellcraft in our fleet. But the small group that was out and endured the chilly, late afternoon had delicious spiked hot chocolate, from PC Leigh Sterflinger, delicious linzer tart cake from Elicia and Steve LaPorta and an array of goodies from VC Joe Scarpulla and the Belles.
Another grand tradition of the club is for our diehard racers to pack their boats up and head to the Manhasset Bay Fall Series for two full weekends of racing. We kid ourselves by thinking that we will get an Indian Summer day, but more than likely we will be pelted with chilly 50 degree waves and wind burned from 20+ kns. of daily breeze. This year, similar to all the prior years, we were not disappointed. Lloyd Harbor’s six boat flotilla (Challenge IV, Dreadlocks, Resolute, Rift, Tizona and Vex ) battled the 40 degree weather the first Saturday, celebrated a fortunate abandonment due to gales all day Sunday, then wind, rain and squalls the second Saturday, and lastly a glorious day for a 15 mile distance race on Sunday, Oct. 25. And don’t forget about the scrapes and scars from sailing against competitors like Gold Digger, Hustler and Deviation! But we are a time tested lot and in true Lloyd Harbor fashion, we prevailed and once again took home our share of hardware, as well as the coveted Huguenot YC team award for the best three finishes in the series: Challenge IV won the J-44 one design division, Vex placed second in PHRF Div. 4 and Dreadlocks was second in PHRF Div. 6. Our respective crews filled the Manhasset YC ballroom for the award ceremony and made the event that much sweeter being surrounded by our club friends. I look forward to this same feeling and seeing everybody at our upcoming Awards Dinner at Northport YC on November 7.
In the meantime, let’s winterize our engines, water systems and cover our boats before the real bad weather starts to set in. But, let your recent memories of our varied sailing exploits carry us over the long winter season, until we are back at it this coming spring. Until then, I’ll be frostbiting our JY 15 starting November 8, and hope to see as many of my fellow club members out there as possible. Cheers!
More About the YRA, written with information provided by PC Jon Ayers
LHYC has an involvement with YRALIS that goes back as far as 1975 when PC Jon Ayers was elected to the YRA board of directors and was given the assignment of investigating a program then called the Pacific Handicap Racing Fleet. This rating system was enjoying some success in southern California and was being considered here for the YRA to revive flagging membership and treasury. The program had recently been changed from a golf handicap type system to one that assigned handicaps on the basis of perceived performance, and it had begun to prosper in the form of independent groups in other areas of the country. The name was later changed from 'Pacific' to 'Performance.'
Jon determined that it would work in our area, but that it would be best if it were constituted as a part of our YRA, that it should be made up of active racing sailors whose judgment was already recognized and that an annual fee of $25 be assessed. Membership should be spread around the YRA area so that performance could be assessed locally. Handicapping services were to be made available upon request to individual clubs so they could organize local events without the need for formal handicaps. These recommendations were accepted, and, as they say, we were off to the races. That's the system that is in place today and its success is due to the skill and dedication of the dozens of members all along the way.
The PHRF program was an immediate success and Jon was awarded the Ned Anderson trophy for individual service in 1976, a distinction that was later awarded to June Kendrick for her service. In subsequent years, Jon also served on the YRALIS Nominating Committee, and did all the scoring for the YRA season trophies as a member of what was then called the Distance Racing Committee. During that time, the YRA used the Cox-Sprague system which required that all results be calculated by hand and the best option for each boat was chosen. Thankfully those days are behind us. Incidentally, there has always been a LHYC member on that committee since its inception.
My Day in Court: Going Before the YRA PHRF Committee
Similar to going before the local zoning board of your community to obtain a variance, or to contest a speeding ticket in traffic court, I had the pleasure of seeing our YRA dues at work and appeared before the YRA PHRF Committee, accompanying PC John Storck, on Oct. 8 to appeal a six second penalty on the J-80. I was nervous, but glad to have the opportunity to explain my lack of luck (except in love) to the committee. As soon as my check cleared, the 80’s rating went from 135 down to 129, only to suffer another sudden, inexplicable mid-season penalty, putting the one design rating now down to 123!
The board consisted of many LHYC friends: the Kendrick’s, PC Ed Dole and Matt Berger, as well as a few other names of sailors whose boats are well known and race the sound wide. Also present was the complainant, the owner of a LS-10 Lunatic Fringe (the newer version of the Tartan 10) and the owners of two other J -80’s. The crux of the “stated” argument was that this LS-10 felt that the J-80 beat them consistently out east in a Peconic Bay sailing venue. Ironically, that’s an area is not rated by the YRA of LIS! Also, Rod Johnstone’s published estimation of his designs’ boat speed, based off the J-29, was fodder for the committee.
Not knowing how to launch an argument with meaningful data to sway this committee, myself and the group yielded to John Storck who was loaded for bear. What I did learn was that the committee wants information showing relative boat speeds of boats in your immediate rating band, in windward leeward races, and of course the boat must be prepared and sailed in its optimum form. While race results may count for something, but not everything, John had plenty of those to show; some races were won by other boats and some went to the 80, but a photo montage of the J-80 getting rolled on a starboard tack lay line, visually proved the point.
While the nuts and bolts of the presentation were reviewed behind closed doors, the upshot was that we were awarded three seconds, still a net loss of three seconds this year. Sailing in a one design fleet certainly has its distinct advantages, but in many cases is not available to most sailors given the type of sailing and racing we do. For me, it prompted planning a revolution for the rating system (tentatively referred to as LURF – Lloyd Harbor’s Rating Formula by the Rubel rating committee), perhaps based loosely on the Mudhead system, or some such evolutionary process that strives to give more sailors a stake in the winnings. But until that day, we will continue to play by the rules, exercise our rights for protest (a form of speech still covered under the first amendment, I believe) and challenge the PHRF Committee for what we believe we deserve. I am certain that there will be more to tell about boats near and dear to us in the months ahead.
Mooring Fees Owed
This past month I did an e-mail blast advising the membership of our poor rate of remuneration for our members’ use of club moorings. We are striving to make paying your mooring fees easier, by doing so on-line through our Compete At program and by accepting credit card payment. As you can imagine, the replacement of mooring equipment, the launching and hauling, and the annual permits are very costly and the club underwrites a large portion of those costs. However we cannot continue to do so at such a declining rate; cruisers must be reminded that the fee structure for the moorings are outlined in our roster and that payment is expected as soon after their use, as possible. I would like to thank the following for making their prompt payment for the 2009 season and urge others to do so ASAP: Amante, Calder, Corcoran, Kendrick, Maher, Powers, Todaro, Voulgaris and Walters.
Miscellaneous Illuminations: Our Stratford Shoals race in July is a fundraiser for the Make a Wish Foundation, and our $2000 donation, we were advised went to help three families. Rachel, age 5 with a heart condition and Grace, age 3 with Dravet Syndrome, are to go to Disney World with heir families. Ramon, age 17, who has kidney failure, will have his wish to go on a Caribbean cruise with his family. Thank you to all the sailors that came out for this charity event. ~~__/) Condolences are extended to the DeCarlo family on the death of Patty’s mother Carmela Yondola, who passed away on Sept. 10. Ms. Yondola, hailing from Pembroke Pines, FL was 85 years of age. ~~__/) The Fall racing season started with the American YC series on Sept. 19, 20, 26 and 27. Representing LHYC was Resolute in the J-44 Class and Shakedown in the J-105 class. As of the third race date, Resolute came from behind to take the lead for the series. Unfortunately, on the last, rainy day of the series, Golddigger was not to be denied and battled back, with both tying for the lead with 17 points, and three bullets each! Having one more second place finish, the overall win went to Golddigger. In the 105’s, Shakedown battled valiantly in the large 23 boat division and on the last day garnered a fourth place finish, moving them up to better than mid-fleet, finishing ninth overall. Kudos to both of our traveling racers. ~~__/) A little closer to home, Centerport YC ran their 29th Vanderbilt Cup race on October 3. With a 90% chance of a downpour and a thunder storm, CYC managed to get off an 18 mile race for 23 boats, more than half of them hailing from our club. The rain held off, the wind stayed somewhat steady at 8 kns., and we were able to sail the course in a little over three hours or so. Congratulations to Rogue who won their division, Rascal and Marie who came in first and second respectively in JAM division #4. Hopefully the Vanderbilt Museum will regain its financial footing and be around for years to come to host and/or maintain the namesake of this old and fun harbor tour race. ~~__/) US SAILING’S 2009 Rolex International Women’s Keelboat Championship was sailed on Oct. 7 -10. So far, the overall leader is Olympic Gold Medalist Anna Tunnicliffe (Plantation, Fla.) with Canada’s Jennifer Provan in second and South Africa’s Dominique Provoyeur in third. In total, 35 teams representing five countries and 15 U.S. states are competing. Kaitlin Storck, who was named the 2008 Quantum Female College Sailor of the Year, won the day’s first race and now sits in fourth place. ~~__/) Congratulations to Jordan, Shannon and the extended Shakedown family on the arrival of a bouncing baby boy, Grady Samuel , born on October 13, 2009, 1:39 PM, 8 lbs. 14 oz., 21 ˝." Reports are that mom and dad are doing well and little Grady will be heading to the pointy end of the boat real soon.
Board Meeting Bullets: The October Board Meeting was held at the Sterflinger residence. The following was addressed as part of our agenda:
Blustery Season Closer
Kudos to NOAA weather and the other weather pundits who pegged the 20-25 kns. of breezes that graced the racecourse for our Fall Target Rock Series on October 10. Ditto to the 20 boats that signed up and our intrepid race committee comprised of PC Ed Dole, Masthead’s Matt Berger, Bill DeCarlo and son Nick. The day, billed as a warm-up to the gear busting Manhasset Bay Fall Series, was slated to be a wild one and did not disappoint. Winds started off at around 15 kns. out of the west and then proceeded to build and go NW and then almost due north. This provided the spinnaker division a moderate beat to Nun 6 and then two crazy reaching legs to can 13 and then back. This course seemed to favor the three sprit boats and Shakedown was off like a bullet. Soul Rebel managed to fly their chute most of the way, picked off three boats and then needed to douse quickly, before ending up on the rocky shore of Eaton’s Neck point. Sleepy Head had their share of problems and needed to retire from that race. Always in the hunt, Liquid Soul stayed with the fray and managed to correct out to second place in both races behind Shakedown and their two bullets. The JAM fleet suffered a few break downs and DNF’s, sailing a slightly longer course than the spinnaker division, enabling the PRO to get a second race off for them in a most expeditious fashion. Congratulations go out to Rascal for winning Div 2, This is It for coming in second (and selling his boat and racing successfully with its new owner; the flowery clad crew will be missed in the competitive JAM ranks) and Son of a Sailor in third. In JAM 3, our winners were Jumping Jack Flash from Masthead Cove, new to the podium, Scott Shoman on his J-24 Quetzel in second and our mystical FC, Gary Victorson on Merlin.
The day got wrapped up somewhat early, however the breeze continued to build and most of us were glad to call it a day and conclude the season with our post race soiree at Nicky’s. Our partnership with the Masthead Cove YC in the running of this event, the Spring Series and possibly some cruising ventures continues to be a desirable situation for both clubs. With some breathing room in the spring calendar we will explore the possibilities of attracting some other classes of boats and moving the venue to the sound where we may be able to attract boats from Oyster Bay and CT. Stand by for more details.
Huntington Light House Fog Horn
The Greater Huntington Council Boat & Yacht Clubs has been monitoring a development regarding the USCG installing a new activation system on the Huntington Light House and they implore us to help them get the USCG to reconsider. Back in April they sent out a notice that the USCG was going to remove the current fog sensor and install a new system in which you have to turn to channel 78 on your VHF and then key the transmit button five times - this will activate the fog horn which can go for a continual 45 minutes, even on a clear day. The majority response was that this would be a nightmare!
The Greater Huntington Council poses the following questions/issues:
1 - How will they educate the boating community in the use of this new system? How will they get the word to everyone?
2 - You know as well as I do that every teenager and others will be out there on a clear day keying the system because it's fun! This will have the fog horn blasting a lot more than if it were employed only when there is fog.
3 - Why not use the money to upgrade the existing system which is old and then it would not go off occasionally when it shouldn't?
4 - Why do this change for a few disgruntled neighbors who don't like the sound of a fog horn?
In short, the entire boating community is opposed to this new installation and the system should not be changed for the worse because of the complaints of a few non-boaters. While the time frame to respond may well be past the time you receive this newsletter, the USCG’s Commander of Aids to Navigation, New Haven, CT at Troy.email@example.com , Keith.A.Basilici@ uscg.mil and Pamela Setchell, President of Save Huntington's Lighthouse, Inc. at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 631-421-1238 was seeking to hear from us. As this situation develops you can be sure that you will be kept apprised.
Mark your calendars and make your reservations for the hottest event of the year, the 2009 Lloyd Harbor Yacht Club Awards Dinner at Northport YC on Saturday, November 7. Sign up on line through the Compete At program from our website or contact VC Joe Scarpulla with any questions.
March & April 2008