Racing at SISC




Channel Islands Race

Sunday, 15 February 2015

Skippers’ Meeting: 1000 at the Visitors’ Kiosk on the Breakwater

Start: 1030   Time Limit: 1800

Course: Start — Batt Rock buoy (P) — Welbury Spar (S) — Channel Islands (P) — Welbury Spar (P) —Batt Rock buoy (S) — Finish





Series A Series B Series C
Hot Rum Race  1 Jan
Ben Mohr Rock A 18 Jan
Ground Hog A  1 Feb



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Ground Hog Day Race Results

Sunday, 1 February 2015

The weather forecasters — as late as last night — had a pretty bleak outlook for today. But clearly, they have no idea what goes on where we sail at Saltspring Island! And while there was a smattering of rain, the day only got better and better, and as the afternoon wore on, the breeze picked up and the sun came out! It turned out to be a great day on the water, preceded by a great brunch enjoyed by a great bunch of sailors!

From my perspective, today was perfect example of what makes Saltspring Island Sailing Club exceptional. Everybody pitched in to do their part as a team, making light work of the heavy lifting, and having a great time doing it. Thank you to you all. And to whoever it was who stayed behind to make sure all was well in the kitchen after the rest of us left for our boats…a special thanks!

Our intrepid scribe, Martin, offers the following

The Groundhog Day Race and Event!

What a great turn out for this fun event! Thirty six avid sailors and fourteen boats, the club was buzzing with activity. Right off the bat the bar was set high as David Wood made everyone a most excellent omelette and the kitchen volunteers hit a home run, serving up a delicious brunch. My day was made at that point, and as there was no wind, I would have been happy to go home to my boatbuilding shop. However, I had enticed Paul Faget over from Gossip Island to crew for me and his better half, April, came to sail with Philippe. She wanted to keep an eye on us to make sure I didn’t lose her man overboard. So race we must.

The Groundhog Day race is a reverse handicap, so all the number crunching is done by Philippe ahead of time and everyone starts at their own allotted time with the idea that everyone should then finish at the same time. It never happens but the idea in intriguing. With a light wind start and a building breeze, the slower boats are at a tremendous disadvantage, but the reverse is also true, and thats just life for those of us doomed to race in a handicap situation. Rob Denny’s Sandpiper was first away in almost no wind, trying valiantly to eek out a lead that would last. Boat after boat started and 20 minutes and 47 seconds later the mighty Caliente joined the race.

Rob held the lead past Goat Island when Deryn Mor slipped into the lead. Kevin Vine had David Wood aboard and these two hung on to the lead all the way to the Sisters, sailing very well. At this point Imp came through to top spot, closely pursued by a well sailed Radiant Heat. But as the wind increased the big guns were coming up fast from behind. Electra lead the charge to the left while Caliente and Imp went up the middle. Deryn Mor lead a small group to the right, a very risky choice. In my years at the club I have only ever seen two boats make this pay, Bob Jones in Oasis and Philip Grange in Fandango. Kevin almost joined this elite group but at the last minute a huge “Leftie” brought Electra in on a beam reach. Electra, Caliente and Imp arrived at the mark at the same time… Oops, but the flurry on rule numbers was resolved when Caliente manned up and did a penalty turn.

The leaders were slow to put up spinnakers after Batt Rock but a backing wind soon had them coming out. As to be expected with a building wind all the low rated boats were at the front while the slower boats did battle in the rear of the fleet. Some observations on the leg from Batt Rock to Welbury Spar: Deryn Mor put up a very strange asymmetrical spinnaker which only reached half way up the mast, but sheeted well past the stern. Shortly after deploying they took down this sail and replaced it with one of the same colour but much better fitting the boat. I have it on good authority (David Wood) that Kevin Vine packed the spinnaker.

[Though my memory sometimes fails me at convenient times, I don’t remember this part at all, so it can’t be true. KV]

On the other side of the coin, at Welbury, Douglas Woolcock, single handing on First Draft, did an absolutely perfect spinnaker gybe. On board Caliente, crewed by Ian Leckie, Art Munneke, Pete McGovern and another Peter (who did admirable service at brunch as well) clawed back from a penaltly turn to snatch the lead. They lead the charge to the Sisters on a tight reach, the luff of the spinnaker set to perfection. Also well sailed on this leg was the seriously under-crewed Kaitoa, kept on a razor’s edge by April’s steady hand on the helm and Philippe manning the sheets.

The final act of this race was the descent into the harbour, that terrifying sight of the last hundred yards to the finish line looking as flat as glass. The top four, Caliente, Electra, Imp and Kaitoa went in and in the words of the crew of Caliente “It was panic stations”. Spinnakers collapsed, were dropped, re-hoisted and everything was up for grabs. The second group of four, Velica, Radiant Heat, Wildfire and First Draft  went in and ground to a halt. Hopes were raised aboard the first two of the slower boats, Kay D and Deryn Mor as they brought the wind down to the parking lot, hoping to improve on 9th and 10th place.

But it was not to be, Caliente found the wind again and took the crown. Kaitoa took second with Electra third. Not long after the majestic “Effervescence” crossed the finish line with massive spinnaker pulling, to bring a rather enjoyable race to a conclusion.

What had looked to be a complete bust at 11.00 o’clock turned out to be a fun day on the water. Aboard the Kay D I was delighted to sail with Paul Faget, the usual skipper of Ogopogo. Paul has a great skill set that is obvious in his handling of his very fast boat and which he transferred seamlessly onto my low tech 68 year old designed Flying Fifteen. It was a true pleasure to sail with him. It was also good to see Coda out for her second race and see Hugh Greenwood obviously enjoying himself at the helm. It seems like the racing fleet is finding its form, thank you Kevin for your steadying hand on the helm, it looks like it is going to be a great season.

Martin Herbert grinning under the boom of the Kay D

And the results from the indomitable Philippe…

Boat Skipper Finish Time Place
CALIENTE Andersen 02:42:30 1
KAITOA Erdmer 02:43:20 2
ELECTRA Kibble 02:47:30 3
IMP Leitch 02:49:19 4
KAY D Herbert 02:51:50 5
FIRST DRAFT Woolcock 02:53:44 6
VELICA Argiro 02:54:43 7
RADIANT HEAT Brogan 02:54:46 8
WILDFIRE Keating 02:58:05 9
DERYN MOR Vine 02:59:45 10
SECOND WIND van Soeren 03:04:10 11
CODA Greenwood 03:08:20 12
SANDPIPER Denny 03:09:00 13
EFFERVESCENCE I Bortz 03:16:13 14



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Ben Mohr Rock Race Results

Sunday, 18 January 2015

While the weather reports for the Ben Mohr Rock Race suggested a good breeze, the race started pretty placidly. However, by the time it was over, it had gotten pretty exciting. Everybody finished by 12:30! What a blast of a sail!

The fleet discovered today that when a Flying Fifteen starts to plane, it makes a loud “Yahoo!” noise.

Speaking of which… here’s our faithful scribe: Martin Herbert

Ben Mohr Rock Race, the first counting race of the season, was a mixed bag of conditions. The race was perhaps best summed up by Theo Woolcock, the  youngest racer present and the only official carrier of a stuffed giraffe, as “squirrelly-whirrely!”  Vincent Argiro’s excellent instruments had the gusts topping out at 28 knots during the race and the pre race milling about saw the wind swing through 360 degrees more than several times.

None the less the start was nailed by Kaitoa hands down and although many boats were on the line Philippe steered his yacht masterfully on a line of wind into a clear lead. The rest of the fleet split into groups, one favouring the Goat Island side of the harbour and the other playing the Saltspring shore. First one looked golden, died and then the other found more wind. Out past the Sisters there was promise of real wind on the water.

The big red Caliente moved forward, and when Kaitoa hugged the Sisters a little too close, moved into the lead. Oasis, with Bob Jones at the helm, played the middle and also moved up well. At the Sisters the wind filled in and the gusts were superb. The fleet was closely packed with the three boats that chose to fly spinnakers providing some excitement for the rest of the fleet. Just before Wellbury spar buoy the wind swung round to a dead run which brought on some impressive death rolls as boats tried to squeeze to port to clear Prevost Island without gybing.

At this point Oasis pulled off the tactic of the race, threw in a gybe, and made a bee line for Ben Mohr, leaving several of the leaders bearing off for Active Pass. The reason for this remains unexplained.

The rounding of Ben Mohr Rock seemed an exercise of mass chaos. The wind had swung even further making Ben Mohr essentially a lee mark with a beat to windward to get back to Captain Passage. Caliente rounded and tacked and went into immediate reef mode. Oasis and Kaitoa rounded overlapped with the former inside also tacking immediately and the latter following suit. Next was Kay D overlapped inside Electra and wanting to stay on Port tack for a hitch away from dirty air. A quick look under the jib revealed Kaitoa on Starboard tack just three boat lengths away. A quick moment of panic until I realized that Kaitoa was moving backwards at a fair clip and we would cross her bow. When the dust had cleared Caliente still held the lead but Kay D was in second, Oasis third and Velica in fourth.

The rounding of Ben Mohr was Kaitoa’s undoing. Kaitoa generously opened opportunities for the rest, which they greedily took… [KV]

At this point I will segue into my usual rant about short course racing and how are fleet needs to work on mark rounding and boat handling. A simple addition of a lee mark could make all our Wednesday Night races give us practise of dowsing our spinnakers in the heat of battle and rounding a lee mark. We should consider the summer evening races as a training ground to increase our skills. Rant over.

The rain now came down and the course went ghostly white, gusts singing in the rigging, as we slogged back up to Peile Point. Oasis, with the bone in her teeth regained second place and was off snapping at Caliente’s heels. Just off Nose point the wind went lighter and the bigger boats started making inroads and moving up the fleet. Just before the Sisters Velica moved into third and Kaitoa moved up some places as well.

Actually, Kaitoa sailed from behind, then in between, and then on beyond, both Kay D and Electra who were hoping their spinnakers would  make a difference. And they did! But not in the way their skippers were hoping for. What a treat!  KV

The rain stopped and the sun came out to round out the conditions of the day to “everything”.

The distance between Caliente, getting line honours, and Wildfire, ably single handed by Martin Councell, was very short. It was a tight and exciting race, and a great workout on the water, a fantastic opener for our racing season.

Martin Herbert… clinging to the side of Kay D and hooting every time we went over 11 knots.

And our faithful results-guy, Philippe Erdmer who says: A great gusty day with lots of tactical decisions – and sailing mistakes all around. Congratulations to the podium winners! 


Club Rating Rating As Sailed Boat Skipper Finish Time Corrected Time (Time on time) Place
213 188 188 KAY D Herbert 12:27:15 01:47:39 1
105 142 163 OASIS Jones 12:23:36 01:48:07 2
147 177 195 WILDFIRE Keating 12:29:30 01:48:38 3
141 147 147 VELICA Argiro 12:24:38 01:51:43 4
102 108 144 KAITOA Erdmer 12:25:20 01:52:54 5
144 144 144 ELECTRA Kibble 12:27:00 01:54:32 6
69 78 78 CALIENTE Andersen 12:22:50 02:02:39 7


Club Rating Rating As Sailed Boat Skipper Finish Time Corrected Time (Time on time) Place
213 188 213 KAY D Herbert 12:27:15 01:43:58 1
141 147 147 VELICA Argiro 12:24:38 01:51:43 2
147 177 165 WILDFIRE Keating 12:29:30 01:53:24 3
102 108 138 KAITOA Erdmer 12:25:20 01:53:56 4
105 142 126 OASIS Jones 12:23:36 01:54:18 5
144 144 144 ELECTRA Kibble 12:27:00 01:54:32 6
69 78 69 CALIENTE Andersen 12:22:50 02:04:31 7


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Hot Rum Race

January 1, 2015

It turned out to be yet another lovely day on the water for the 11 boats that ventured out this morning. The breeze was virtually non-existent, and it took an hour and a half (give or take) for the fleet to finish the less-than-two-mile course! Nevertheless, there were several exciting moments as the closely grouped boats threaded their way in ultra-slow motion around the course…

Here’s Martin’s report:

The New Years Day Classic followed the tradition of the last few years and was a light wind tactical chess game of a race. Eleven boats showed up to duel for the rum. The first duel took place at the skippers meeting where Kay D vehemently protested the use of the “Breeze” as a mark because of the huge wind shadow this mammoth boat casts and how boats with short masts are unfairly disadvantaged. Kaitoa responded with the advice to round wide if you were a little boat but finally relented after extracting a promise that this would be the only request from the Kay D for the rest of the year. Fair enough. Mark’s trimaran was selected as the first mark, followed by the 5 knot marker and then home.

At three minutes to the start a small whisper of a wind rolled down the hills making the start line impossible to cross on Starboard tack while making the lee end much closer to the first mark than the weather end. As a result the lee end was crowded with boats stalling on the line. Ricochet was just to windward of the pack and keeping some speed was able to bear off and win the start. All along the line boats were struggling to get up to speed and some at the lee end had to make turns to keep from fouling the mark or other boats. At the weather end of the fleet, seemingly well back were First Draft and Kay D.

First Draft also had been hovering on the line and so was trying to accelerate but Kay D, on the first hint of the puff had sailed away from the line on a close reach, gybed at a minute and a half to go and did her final approach at full speed, 1.7 knots. This allowed her to roll most of the fleet and arrive on the windward quarter of Ricochet in second place. This puff faded out before some of the bigger boats even got up to speed and allowed Ricochet and Kay D to stretch out their lead.

At this point there appeared a very tantalizing streak of wind on the Goat Island shore. Wildfire, who got away well from the start line and was the most right of the fleet gybed over to get to the new wind and several other boats did likewise, including Ricochet. At about the same time one of the live aboard boats rousted out of bed and put on the stove. Shortly after the smoke started to rise it showed a renewal of the wind from the hills and the Kay D took over the lead.

Not for long though, as she sailed into a transitional area between Grace Islet and the main harbour and slowed. The fleet closed and when the next puff came it took Kaitoa through into the lead. Velica, who had done a turn at the start line was making a great comeback was second around the trimaran. Kay D slipped around third just ahead of First Draft.

The second leg was a reach to the five knot marker with the wind coming in waves from down the hills by the club. Kaitoa chose to go to leeward of the Breeze despite the dire warnings of the Kay D at the skippers meeting. Hmmm, big wind shadow. Meanwhile Velica and Kay D played a close game of cat and mouse as the faster accelerating Flying Fifteen pulled ahead on the start of a new gust and was reeled in as the wind faded, the momentum of the bigger boat bringing her on.

First Draft and Ricochet decided to go to A Fleet and hoisted spinnakers. On the score sheet A fleet is designated with the letters DSQ which seems a little unfair to your scribe and should perhaps be reconsidered before next year. Usually the Kay D also joins this group but this year the wind never got into the useful range for her tiny spinnaker. I must say Ricochet looked gorgeous as she abandoned any attempt to go to the next mark and rounded up on a close reach towards the club with her big asymmetrical pulling valiantly. It was like a slow motion replay of Comanche’s spinnaker reach out of Sydney Harbour, where she grabbed the early lead of the Sydney Hobart race in fine style. So Richard, thanks for making it home from that amazing race to join our humble event!

The puffs won over the lulls and Kay D rounded the five knot marker in the lead and road a line of wind over to Saltspring shore. Velica read the same signs and followed. Both boats watched the fleet coming down and used the information of their trim to guide the tactics. Careful note was taken of Deryn Mor, ghost along Goat, always a threat but momentarily in lighter wind. Velica played the inside while Kay D played the centre but taking hitches over when possible to avoid a big split, protecting her lead. A larger gust had Kay D hit 4 knots, with Velica closing at 5 knots, but the finish line too close for a change of position. So Kay D took line honour, raced to her slip, where tactician Tony Meek got out his potato cannon to finish the fleet with a bang.

Velica took second over the line and on handicap and Deryn Mor sailed into third.

We made our way up to the clubhouse where Staff Captain Betsy Johnston and her crew put on a lovely lunch. Vice Commodore Paul McManus welcomed us all and read a list of all those who helped put the event together. I makes me very proud of the club when so many throw there shoulders to the wheel and make everything work so well. Hats off to our wonderful club.

Martin Herbert aboard the Kay D

And the results, thanks to Philippe:

Using PHRF-CC ratings:

Club Rating Rating As Sailed Boat Skipper Finish Time Corrected Time (Time on time) Place
213 188 209 KAY D Herbert 11:53:09 01:14:08 1
141 147 147 VELICA Argiro 11:54:53 01:22:43 2
234 243 261 DERYN MOR Vine 12:14:40 01:27:07 3
144 144 168 ELECTRA Kibble 12:03:35 01:28:25 4
102 108 144 KAITOA Erdmer 12:00:35 01:28:40 5
225 225 243 CODA Greenwood 12:15:45 01:30:05 6
105 142 163 OASIS Jones 12:10:00 01:35:10 7
147 177 195 WILDFIRE Keating 12:15:30 01:35:55 8
123 157 184 SECOND WIND van Soeren 12:24:30 01:45:43 9
171 174 204 FIRST DRAFT Woolcock DSQ DSQ 10
117 117 135 RICOCHET Clarke DSQ DSQ

Using PHRF-NW ratings:

Club Rating Rating As Sailed Boat Skipper Finish Time Corrected Time (Time on time) Place
213 188 234 KAY D Herbert 11:53:09 01:11:41 1
141 147 141 VELICA Argiro 11:54:53 01:23:28 2
234 243 252 DERYN MOR Vine 12:14:40 01:28:08 3
144 144 168 ELECTRA Kibble 12:03:35 01:28:25 4
102 108 138 KAITOA Erdmer 12:00:35 01:29:29 5
225 225 243 CODA Greenwood 12:15:45 01:30:05 6
147 177 165 WILDFIRE Keating 12:15:30 01:40:07 7
105 142 126 OASIS Jones 12:10:00 01:40:37 8
123 157 150 SECOND WIND van Soeren 12:24:30 01:51:05 9
171 174 201 FIRST DRAFT Woolcock DSQ DSQ 10
117 117 135 RICOCHET Clarke DSQ DSQ

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