Thursday, July 19, 2018

2018 Mac Race Fleet Party Reminder



This is just a quick reminder that Fleet 5 will host our annual Island Party at Market Street Inn.  We will be in the back yard, just follow the signs into the garden.




Party is at 11am EST and will run until the Awards Party Begins.



Hope to see everyone there.  Best of luck to all our friends.


Thursday, July 5, 2018

Preparing for 2018 NA's

In preparation for the upcoming NA's Fleet 5 conducted sail measurements at Columbia Yacht Club with technical assistance of Mike Considine from UK Sails loft in Chicago. Those present learned a lot about our sails and tested our math skills (they need some work). A big thank you to Columbia, being indoors and on a flat dry surface was a huge help, and to Mike for all his guidance. In all 15 sails were successfully measured.  We own Mike a couple of drinks when we get to the Island.

Sail Fast


Friday, June 22, 2018

Tips on Being a J105 Mast Person

Weekend with Gryphon: What I Learned Crewing for One of the Best J/105 Teams During the
Chicago NOOD

By Muieen Cader

For the Chicago NOOD weekend, I was invited to sail with Bruce Stone on Sam Power’s J/105
Gryphon #29. If you are planning to crew as mast man, this is what you will need to know to
make sure the spinnaker runs as effectively as possible during every hoist and douse. So
effective, you will wish things like airport security or companies like American Airlines ran as
smoothly as your spinnaker.
Preparation: You want to start by running the tapes before you do anything. Start at the clew,
running the yellow tape along the foot of the spinnaker to the tack. After, start over at the clew,
running the red tape along the leach of the spinnaker to the head.
Managing the main controls and especially the vang: while the mast man sets and eases the
cunningham and outhaul, the most important control is the vang. In the prestart (and later
when sailing upwind), you have a hand on the vang in case it needs to be blown to duck another
boat, and tend it when sailing downwind for the same reason. With a lot of wind, easing the
vang can help avoid a broach when a gust hits or you go into planing mode.
Hoist: your bow person opens the hatch and pre-feeds the tack to the bow, then returns to the
hatch to control the spinnaker from flying out too soon. Gryphon has a thin line running across
the deck to a Wichard shackle at the low side, so you can release the spin halyard for the high
side. At the last second prior to the call to hoist, you want to pull the line to remove the halyard
from the shroud. Be careful not to do this too early into the rounding of the weather mark, as
your halyard risks getting fouled on either of the shrouds. If the offset mark is abeam or
downwind, you can do a pre-hoist, where you sneak up the spinnaker 3-4 feet out of the hatch
to prevent it from getting fouled on the jib. If the offset is upwind, you should not prefeed until
rounding the offset, as this is not aerodynamic. During the prefeed, the mast man pulls the
halyard from both ends of the block to prevent the halyard from running afoul during the hoist –
in other words, do not let the slack in the halyard gather at the block at the base of the mast.
As the skipper is generally the only person able to see the mark, he or she counts down to the
hoist. At that point, you want to pull as fast as you can hand-over-hand. During this time, being
in sync with your pit person comes in handy, as the faster the pit can tail, the faster the hoist
and the less likelihood of the halyard running afoul, or the spinnaker making the dreaded
“hourglass” shape during the hoist. Once the spinnaker makes it to the top, you then yell out
“made” and adjust the outhaul and vang to your downwind settings. (During practice, put
electrical tape on the spin halyard where it emerges from the mast so you know it is fully
hoisted without having to look up.)

While the spinnaker is flying, you want to look behind your boat and see what is going on in the
back of the course: are you getting covered, did other boats decide to gybe after the rounding,
where is the wind coming from. If the helmsman needs to head up to protect his wind from a
trailing boat, call out something like “head up for traffic.” If you see better pressure to leeward
or to windward, then it is “soak (or head up) to stay in the best wind” or “you are in the best
wind on the course.” This is a bit challenging, as you are moving with the wind. The trailing boats
are a good tell, indicating more pressure is coming as they might be soaking lower, or it is a lull
and they are sailing higher. The trimmer and driver need this info instantly.
Look for shaded spots on the water and see how they are moving. There are three things you
want to spot: is the wind going to lift or knock the boat, would it be better to gybe to stay in
better pressure, or should you maintain your course with the wind. To illustrate this, tactician
Nicole Breault drew the following diagram (which I have since recreated):



In the diagram above, when the header is coming, you should announce it to your trimmer to
give him an idea of when it should be coming. The nice thing about most J/105s is the wind
indicator at the top of the mast. The wind arrow gives the trimmer an indication of when the
shift has reached the boat, while the anemometer cups spin faster or slower as the apparent
wind accelerates or decelerates. Supplementing this, the main trimmer also has two parts of the

mainsheet in her hand and advises the helmsman of pressure changes. On some boats, the
helmsman holds the mainsheet and can feel this directly.
The bow team looks for the leeward mark or gate to give input on laylines and to plan for the
approach. With flood or ebb, the layline may come early or late. You try to aim for a spot
upwind of the middle of the leeward gate to provide options. The bow team should always
know which side of the boat the spinnaker has to come down on for the next leg/set and should
be ready for whatever type of douse is required to get it there (windward, leeward, Mexican,
Canadian).
Jibes: the mast person tractors the lazy spin sheet to prevent jams at the blocks, and then gets a
hand back onto the vang to help prevent a broach. This responsibility tends to keep him or her
from helping roll jibe the boat, but, if the other five crew members are rolling to the low side,
then one person on the high side attending to the lazy sheet is not a problem.
Douse: Before the douse, since wind speeds may have changed, it is important to ask the
tactician if the jib leads need to be moved before going back upwind. Also, ask how much
outhaul and cunningham are desired prior to the rounding. Leaving the outhaul and cunningham
only partially engaged adds power in a slow leeward mark rounding, and they can then be pulled
tighter when going upwind.
Open the hatch, laying it down softly to not stress the hinges. Our team has a pool noodle tied
across the hatch to give it a soft landing, while some boats have tennis balls. When the call
comes to pull the jib out, the bow or mast person pulls on it to make this go faster and puts the
lazy sheet behind the hatch.
A clean douse will save you time in the sewer, prevent you having to run the tapes while going
upwind, and makes your next hoist easy-peasy. The way douses work on Gryphon are quite
simple; you generally jump down the forward hatch with the lazy sheet in hand. Toss your hat
into the sink. Trimmer blows the sheet, and pit person eases 6-8 feet of halyard so you can start
the drop by hauling down the leach of the spinnaker, bringing the clew down to the port side of
the forepeak. As the red tape goes taught and it is clear you are in control, your bowman then
asks for the halyard to be blown and you start squirreling, hand over hand, pulling continuously
on the red tape as fast as you can. Every time you let go of the spinnaker, it has the potential to
blow out. Once you get to 4-6 inches from the head, you want to get the head into the
starboard side of the forepeak. Last, you pull the foot and push it into the bow. Avoid standing
to the right where the pole will retract during this process. Bow person closes the hatch. Grab
your hat and with it in hand, return to the deck via the companionway. Don’t wear your hat
below or you might crunch your neck on the doorway to the head. Note that if you were in
heavy seas and took on water during the drop, you might briefly pump the bilge on manual,
then reset it to auto.

Hopefully this works as an effective guide for those planning to do mast on any J/105. The most
painful aspect of being a mast man is getting through the tedious amounts of airport security.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

2018 Spring Meeting

Thank you to all the members that attended the meeting today. Your input is greatly appreciated.

The 2018 Race Schedule has been approved, see schedule on the Racing Series page or download on link below:

                                 PDF of 2018 Schedule

Our Articles of Association and the 2018 Special Mac addenda were approved. The only changes were an update to the Driver  and Crew Eligibility to bring our rules into compliance with the 2018 Class rules. In practice, this is no change from our fleet's previous practices. The Class incorporated what a number of local fleets were doing to help maintain the strength and consistency of our One Design status.

Also, for the Weekend Warrior  Series we agreed to a change in how a pro's weight may be accounted for by adding the following statement: "However, new this year, for this series only, if the crew weight will be exceed; the pro can stay on the center line and will not count towards the crew's weight."

This was done so that you can bring a coach along and not have to bump a crew member off the boat which some what defeats the reason for bringing a coach out in the first place.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Spring Fleet Meeting

We are planning to hold our 2018 Spring Meeting on Saturday April 21 at the Chicago Yacht Club Monroe Station 10:00 am to 12:30 PM. Parking is free.

Need to approve schedule, updated Articles of Association and the Special Addendum for the Mac to reflect the latest 2018 Class Rules. Your input is very much appreciated.

If you can not attend, please do fill out the Proxy below so that we have a quorum and can make the necessary decision. Also, below is the 2018 Fleet 5 Membership form.

Proxy       2018 - Fleet 5 Membership Form       2018 Schedule     Agenda

Friday, December 22, 2017

Quantum Sails will be running a J/105 specific seminar at Strictly Sail with Kerry Klingler on Saturday 1/13 at 10:30am in room 104A.   Everyone is welcome, skippers, crew, and friends.  The seminar is free and they will have refreshments at the Quantum booth afterwards.
 
Here is the link:


Friday, November 17, 2017

2017 CYC Mackinc Awards



The 2017 winners of the J/105 Section in the CYC's Race to Mackinac were recognized on November 4th.  As the largest section in the race, 20 boats were entered with Mark Symonds' Pterodactyl securing the win.  Vanessa Gates skipper Striking to second place and Clark Pellett's Sealark took third.  Mark Gurney aboard Buzz was fourth.  


The race is the longest-running fresh water race in the world and consists of 333 miles of varied conditions on Lake Michigan sailed over a two-three day period in mid July.


Those participating in next year's J105 North American Championships in Harbor Springs who are interested in racing to the Island the weekend prior should make plans now to apply for an invitation to race.  For more information email Clark Pellett at cpellett@aol.com or visit theCYCwebsite:  http://www.cycracetomackinac.com/

2018 Mac Race Fleet Party Reminder

This is just a quick reminder that Fleet 5 will host our annual Island Party at Market Street Inn.  We will be in the back yard, just fo...