Saturday, August 29, 2015

Today was Swirly Round Day at MYC...Oh wait.. Every Day is Swirly Round Day at MYC

The steady hand of the artist...If the artist was the wind at Massapoag

Once again, the wind couldn't pick which of the 360 available degrees to use today, so it decided to sample all of them.  Today's PRO Kevin Buruchian, set several upwind marks, and the wind rejected all of them, opting to go left of the left most one, the right of the rightmost one, and sometimes even from behind he starting line.  

Marta Chlus continued her winning ways from last week, taking four firsts out of five races. She's put on a display of blazing boat speed lately, just buzzing past everyone else on both upwind and downwind legs.  Mark Stoughton won his first race in a long time after correctly playing (guessing) the shifts. John Houstle took third almost all day, and newcomer Jeff Sprung took fourth as he tried out a new but not yet tuned boat today, showing good speed downwind but suffering upwind.

Don't forget, the 66th Annual Massapoag Regatta is in just TWO WEEKS!  Signups are available online at  

The Saturday Series takes next weekend off for Labor Day Weekend, however there is the Women's Regatta, the Youth Regatta and the Big Boat Singlehanded Regatta all taking place on Labor Day.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Rain Clouds and Blimps

Clouds, Rain and Even Blimps were in the sky on Saturday

Bernadette Levesque and Marta Chlus put on a clinic at the (very) belated and rain delayed start of the Saturday racing series this week, showing everyone else how to master he crazy conditions on the lake.  Bernadette ruled the course, never coming in any worse than second, and except for a rough second race, Marta did the same, making a one-two punch that kept everyone else looking in from outside.

Conditions on the lake were light, heavy, and exceptionally shifty, forcing the Race Committee to set several potential windward marks.  The wind didn't cooperate at all, frequently shifting outside all of them, and confounding matters by coming from different directions on different parts of the course.  Huge leads were gained and lost several times during the course of each race, and a 10 boat length lead frequently meant nothing.  A skipper who was first around the windward mark could, and frequently was, last around the windward mark, after the wind deserted them.  Bernadette and Marta mastered the winds. Mark Stoughton came in 3rd in almost every race, sometimes losing by just inches.  Scott Rosa joined the racing contingent this week, and did surprisingly well, with a third in his first race.  Skip Russell took a 4th in the 1st race, beating Mark, who went right when the rest of the fleet went left.

Racing continues next week.  Full Results are here:

Sunday, August 2, 2015

I see Sunfish..... They're Everywhere (The Sequel)

There was a Sunfish invasion at Lake Massapoag

The invasion of the Sunfish continued this week.  Not to be outdone by the 40 boat fleet at WLYC for last week's Regional Championships, 45 Sunfish sailors from 15 states descended on Massapoag for the 2015 North American Masters Championship.

The Masters Championship is open to all Sunfish sailors 40 years of age and above.  Sunfish sailors are a hardy lot. Some of the skippers competing this weekend who were already eligible for the Masters championship when the 40 and 50 something competitors were born.  And on the course they showed some of the youngsters how a Sunfish is sailed!

Competitors were treated to classic Lake Massapoag conditions. Day 1 of the racing brought light southerly winds for the first race, a short break for lunch and a passing thunderstorm, and howling west winds in the afternoon.  An unsteady clocking of the wind challenged PRO Kevin Buruchian and the Race Committee to set a square course long enough for a race to be run.  A course would be set, and the sequence started, then the wind would shift 20 degrees, requiring a reset. One time, there was such a large wind shift that the Race Committee simply flipped the course, turning the leeward mark into the windward mark. By the end of the days racing, they were just about out of lake.

On Day 2 Lake Massapoag showed the fleet just how contrary and irrational its winds can be, bringing much lighter winds and less challenging course conditions.  The very light and shifty winds caused a fair amount of head scratching within the fleet as the fleet as skippers tried to figure out how best to make their way around the course. Upwind, swirling headers forced many boats to the left and right. Downwind legs were not always downwind for the entire run.  Looking at a "downwind" run, one could never be be sure you were looking at, because you could see boats on just about every point of sail.

Doug Kaukienen figured out the lake, and continued his winning streak started at the Regionals last week. By winning the Masters, Doug earns an invitation to the Sunfish World Championship in Peru.  Doug beat out Bill Brangiforte, Scott Greenbaum, Drew Staniar and Andy David, who rounded out the top 5.  Andy David won the Apprentice Master Division (aka. The Junior Division). Doug won the Masters (50-60) Division, Drew Staniar won the Grand Master (60-70) Division, and Dave Davies won the Supreme Master (70+) Division.  Full results are available on the Regatta Network on the MYC website.

Dave not only won his division, he demonstrated the best in sailing sportsmanship when he jumped off his own boat during a race to help a skipper who had capsized and was having trouble righting his boat.

PRO Kevin Buruchian and his Race Committee did an outstanding job in difficult conditions, getting 7 races off over the two day regatta, and managing such a large fleet in such a small lake.  Kevin not only ran the races, after the racing was done for the day, he went around making boat adjustments, lending equipment and giving pointers to the MYC Sunfish sailors and anyone else who could use a hand.

On land, Diane Kampf and her crew outdid themselves once again, making sure that everyone was bandaged, fed and well lubricated.  Their job spread out over several days as a number of skippers made a week of it, racing in the Regionals last week at Wequaquet Lake YC and going straight to "Camp Massapoag" and pitching their tents or parking their RVs for a week's vacation by the lake.

Thanks to all the competitors and to all the MYC members who made this a fantastic regatta!