March 2010 - North Sails Seminar March 16

Do you think the North sails used by Alinghi in the latest Americas Cup race were legal? Well, we can't tell you because you had to be there last night to find out. Henry Bossett and Ron LaNave hosted about 20 club members at their loft in Point Pleasant. Those who made the trek were treated to an hour and a half tour/seminar. Ron and Henry talked about how sails are designed and fabricated both at their place and at the huge 3DL factory in Nevada. We saw a couple of short videos, one of which you can find here: video on 3DL They were also recently featured on the Discovery channel show, How it's made.

Are you thinking of getting into A-Cats or a new main for your old cat? Henry is currently working on a super cool sail for one of the top A-cat sailors using their newest technology called 3DI. The new process produces a sail that is almost as smooth as a sheet of paper but way stronger. Ron also gave us some tips on how to temporarily repair some minor rips and tears. His biggest suggestion was not to use Duct tape if all possible but to use a Dacron fabric with a sticky back. For example, you can find material like this at . And then, of course, bring it in to the experts for a more permanent repair. Just remember to leave your battens at home. The seminar was followed by a post seminar debriefing at Harpoon Willy's on the Manasquan River where good fun was had by all.

Pictures to be posted on the faceebook site soon.

Race Meeting, March 11
OK, we changed all the fleet racing rules last night. No, just kidding. First, the Keyport Yacht club is a great place to hold meetings and the folks at KYC are happy to have us. A special thanks to Noel Biller for hosting us.

We had a lightly attended race meeting last night at the Keyport yacht club where we went over the upcoming race schedule and mostly talked about ways to improve the racing program particularly aimed at encouraging participation from new sailors. With that in mind, we plan to hold two Novice Race days where members can come out and race in a non-intimidating environment. I encourage anyone who is interested in racing to come out to one or both of those events and give it a try. You can choose to either team up with an experienced racer as their crew or their driver and get a first hand experience on the water. You can also choose to sail your own boat or just hop on the boat of one our experienced racers. The "on the water" days will be preceeded by a "Learn to Race" seminar held at the clubhouse during the week. Here are the dates to remember:

Learn to Race seminar
Where: At the Beach
Tentatively Scheduled for Thursday night May 13th
Time: 7:00 pm

Novice Race I
Date: Sunday June 6th,
Time: 12:00 Boat Rigging/Briefing
1:30Racing Begins

Please Contact Greg Raybon at if you are interested in participating in any of these events. We also will need plenty of help from the experienced racers.

I am looking forward to another great racing season. In addition to the always great giveaways that you get just for participating, (winning is not necessary), we have a couple of ideas that might spice up the racing. First we are going to have a waterproof video camera that will rotate from boat to boat each race. Hopefully we will be able to have post-race video available for everyone's entertainment. The audio may require '""bleeping'"  for the general public. Also, we are going to try and use multiple GPS units to follow the tracks of some of the boats while they race. I know, these are big ideas that require time after racing in addition to doing scoring, and cleaning up, but let'"'s see what we can do. Obviously the more people who can pitch in, the easier it will get.

The biggest change from last year is that we are going to move the starting time for the races held in the warmer months. So the skippers meeting for the first two and last two races will be at 11:00 AM with races starting at 12:00. The rest of the time, excluding the statue race and the one Saturday race the skippers meeting will be at 12:00 and start at 1:00. This change is being implemented in order to try and take advantage of the prevailing summer seabreeze that develops later in the day.

Time to Sign up for race committee. The first two races are covered, but let me now which race you want to sign up for. I will give priority based on the order of finish in last years race series if there are any conflicts.

Rules Seminar at AHYC -- March 3rd
The Atlantic Highlands yacht club held a racing rules seminar featuring rules expert Butch Ulmer from UK sails. Even with last minute notification, 4 fleet members were able to attend. The seminar was taught by having us first take a quiz on some basic and not so basic rule situations. Then we went over each question and graded our tests. Butch said that the average score is in the 55% range and I am proud to say that our four, Rory, Peter, Dave H and myself scored over the average and not only that Peter and I were tied for the highest score in our group. Great job guys.

NJYRA meeting
I attended the recent NJYRA (North Jersey Yacht racing Association) and we will be hosting both the Hobie 16 and Portsmouth Catamaran NJYRA championships this year. The points regatta will serve as the championship event for the Hobie 16 and the Statue Race will serve for the Portsmouth Handicap winner. The championship is among the sailors who belong to clubs that are members of NJYRA. For catamarans this typically includes Spray Beach Yacht Club and Shore Acres yacht club. In general the race ends up being a race among our club members since most people from the other clubs do not compete. In a new wrinkle this year, we should have the trophy in hand to award at the respective events. The winners are also invited to a reception after the season is over which includes a guest speaker to be determined.