Racing at SISC



Series A

Hot Rum Race  1 Jan
Ben Mohr Rock A 17 Jan
Ground Hog A  31 Jan
Channel Islands A 14 Feb
Walker Rock A 28 Feb
Spring Regatta A 12-13 Mar
Round Prevost A 27 Mar
Bas Cobanli A 17 Apr

Series B

Opening Day Sail Past Race 1 May
Round Saltspring B  20-21 May
Wednesday Night Jun I B*  1 Jun
Wednesday Night Jun II B* 8 Jun
McMillan Trophy B 12 Jun
Wednesday Night Jun III B*  15 Jun
Moresby-Portland B  19 Jun
Wednesday Night Jun IV B* 22 Jun
Captain Passage B 26 Jun
Wednesday Night Jun V B* 29 Jun
Wednesday Night Jul I B* 6 Jul
Wednesday Night Jul II B* 13 Jul
Wednesday Night Jul III B* 20 Jul
Jack and Jill 24 Jul
Wednesday Night Jul IV B* 27 Jul

*The Wednesday Night Races will be combined for each of June, July, and August, to become one result for each month.

Series C

Wednesday Night Aug I C* 3 Aug
Wednesday Night Aug II C* 10 Aug
Wednesday Night Aug III C* 17 Aug
Wednesday Night Aug IV C* 24 Aug
Montague Harbour C  28 Aug
Wednesday Night Aug V C* 31 Aug
Jack Langdon C  11 Sep
Night Race C 24 Sep
Round Pender Day 1 C  23 Oct
Round Pender Day 2 C 24 Oct
Long Harbour C 6 Nov



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Long Harbour Race

6 November  2016

Dear Racers,

Well, we did it, we got through another SISC racing season! This one was filled with fun, camaraderie, learning about our boats and about the ever-challenging complexities of our racing playground.

This last race, with its deep foray into the narrow channel that is Long Harbour, is always intriguing. The wind in Long Harbour is usually either entirely absent, or at least highly variable and turbulent. This year it was the later, making for some significant tactical content, to balance some of the unbridled drag races we have had this year.

We had an enthusiastic crowd of twelve well-crewed boats on the starting line— a wonderful way to complete the season, and to anticipate the new one.

The forecast was for light to moderate southeast winds, and that is exactly what we got. The expected showers never came, thankfully, and we were even treated to a few fleeting moments of dappled sunshine, and very mild temperatures for this time of year.

The start was all set to be more organized than for the last race, with the well-appreciated replacement of the club-end start buoy (again!) by Douglas Woolcock and Greg Slakov. However, that simplicity was dashed by not one but two boats moored right on or in front of our starting area. This is in my experience a recent and persistent phenomenon. Anyone with ideas of how to discourage this I would love to hear from!

The beat out of the harbour was marked by frequent wind shifts, some persistent enough to sync with, and others short enough to just confuse. Kaitoa, befitting her fast rating, new sails, and solid crew jumped into the lead on the water and never looked back, taking line honours in the end. Velica and Electra got locked into several close-quarters encounters, one of which required Velica to call twice for “water” as she was being pinned onto the shoals of First Sister. These three boats made something of a breakaway over the course of the race, finishing within two minutes of each other and about six minutes clear of fourth-placed Imp, all on corrected time.

Kudos to Skeena Cloud for one of her strongest finishes of the year, and in a complex race and highly competitive field. Also doing well and entertaining us all with the ringing boys-will-be-boys chortling from the pint-sized crew trainees was First Draft. In the Flying Fifteen division, Kay D had her biggest margin of victory of the year over sister ship Sprite, almost seven minutes, no doubt due to the return of Tony Meek to Martin’s side.

All in all it was a wonderful day on the water, and a great way to tie up the season. I look forward to seeing many of you at the Commodore’s event on November 13 (see the web site for details) and hopefully ALL of you at our own awards evening so graciously hosted again by Bob and Dorothy on November 19— more details to follow soon in a separate email.

Thanks to many of you for your cooperation, enthusiasm, mentorship and encouragement in this my rookie year as FCR. Special thanks to Philippe for his tireless search for the truth in numbers!

All the best,

P.S.: It is a good sign for continued enthusiasm for the racing program that several of you have already inquired about next year’s schedule. I will be working on that this week and circulating a draft shortly. I think this year’s order of races went quite well, so I plan on making only minor adjustments.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 141 21 141 12:59:35 02:27:06 1 100
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 12:52:52 02:28:35 2 91
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 13:00:52 02:29:02 3 82
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 13:19:00 02:35:09 4 73
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 13:14:03 02:35:13 5 64
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 13:23:18 02:36:01 6 55
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 13:30:56 02:42:53 7 45
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:23:00 02:48:20 8 36
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 195 18 195 13:38:12 02:51:05 9 27
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 14:04:40 03:06:33 10 18
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 120 13:38:07 03:11:03 11 9
SOUL THYME Keith Simpson 111 PHRF NW 111 13:41:11 03:16:56 12



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Round Penders Single-Handed Races

23-24 September  2016

Round Penders is a special event every year— it is a challenging course with lots of tide and wind anomalies; it is an overnight stay in Port Browning with a wee bit of carousing and the telling of tall tales; it is a single-handed race pitting solo brains and brawn in friendly competition.

This year, the event had to be re-scheduled twice, first because the rookie American-born FCR scheduled it on Thanksgiving weekend, and the second time because this cheeky typhoon remnant formerly known as Songda decided to crash the intended party with 40 knot winds and pelting rain.

Last weekend we finally made it happen, and it lived up to the billing in all the above and many more ways.

The start was in a light and highly variable SW wind which got us out of the harbour without too much fuss. At the mouth of the harbour the big choice for Saturday’s leg 1 loomed: Which Way Round. In this case, it was not Saltspring that was the object of the dilemma, but quaint little Prevost Island, which sits smack in the middle of the direct course from Ganges Harbour to Navy Channel. The choice turned out to be key, but not entirely determinative.

Only three boats of our stout thirteen-strong fleet, Kaitoa leading Radiant Heat and Wildfire, opted to leave Prevost to Starboard, and headed off into Welbury Bay. The other ten boats, led by Ogopogo, Imp and Velica, headed directly down Captain Passage where fleetingly the wind seemed better from afar. This turned out to be a cruel mirage. Most of the ten were marooned near Batt Rock for nearly a half hour, helplessly watching as the three renegades heeled over sharply off Scott Point, and promptly disappeared, not to be seen again until just before the finish.

However, the two of the ten endowed with the most massive sail-area-to-displacement-ratios, Ogopogo and Imp managed to wriggle away on some beneficent zephyrs and disappeared around Point Liddell while the rest of us had to wait for a new wind to build in from the East to get going again.

So the top Saturday finishers came from these two groups of wind thieves, while the rest of us fought on to restore some honour to the day. In the end, while Ogopogo had line honours (and would again on Sunday), it was Kaitoa, smartly dressed in her brand new UK sails that made her skipper’s dinner taste finest in Port Browning, even besting Ogopogo on corrected time, a perennially tough thing to do. Imp came third, but due to other commitments promptly did a u-turn at the finish and headed home without contesting leg 2. My words to Craig for next year, quoting the immoral Jackson Browne: “Oh won’t you staaaay just a little bit longer-er.”

A wonderfully cheerful evening among the group ensued, added to by Kim Laidlaw, who offered up Nest Egg as a proper committee boat for our Sunday start. The party began on Second Wind, where Past Commodore Eric generously provided the only cockpit that could actually fit all of us, and lots of contributed delectables were spread upon its spacious table. The evening ended after dinner on Oasis, a vessel and skipper I have come to know as the most welcoming and gracious in our band of warm-hearted sea salt addicts.

Sunday dawned with a shock of sunlight streaming into Port Browning, promising a reprieve from the forecast showers, indeed which never came over us.


The early 9:30 start turned into a bit of a challenge for a few boats who were a little groggy getting out to the Razor Point line. This FCR figured there was no time to reliably postpone the start, and so we held to the time and went for it, despite the two Flying Fifteen having been valiantly towed up to the line at literally the last minute by Ogopogo and First Draft.

After a light wind getaway, the wind built in sharply from the San Juans with gusts spilling over South Pender at up to 16 knots. The fleet thus made it swiftly out of the south end of Plumper Sound and through the narrow strait between South Pender and Blundell Islet. Kaitoa was through first, followed closely by Ogopogo, and after a few minutes, by Velica. The SE wind held strong until just before the entrance of Bedwell Harbour, where, as many of us have experienced before, all chaos broke loose. Just as the flood current that stubbornly goes south to race through Boundary Pass against us began to fade, so did fade the wind. A number of us, led by Radiant Heat, found a lane of breeze close by Pender Bluff and made good progress there, most under spinnaker, until that lane visibly disappeared into a waiting mirror. Meanwhile, Ogopogo and Kaitoa and gone off shore. Ogopogo, again blessed with her low wind requirements found enough pressure to get away from all of us.

Kaitoa, had a unique and private experience best told in Philippe’s own words:

“On Day 2, the skipper of KAITOA had the humbling experience of sitting for an hour in his private offshore hole at the Pender Bluffs while watching the fleet sail by. The wait was enlivened by a pod of 6 humpback whales which came over to investigate the bobbing boat, vocalizing, snorting and blowing copiously. A bit of adrenaline was produced on board when they emerged on both sides of the bow and their primeval breath gave a peek into long decayed organic material. The adrenaline was then converted by the skipper into a renewed chase instinct for the rest of the day.”

Back on the Pender Shore, Velica held a leading position among the remaining boats, having snuck by Radiant Heat with a couple timely gybes on shifts. Kay D and Sprite had come up very close behind, less than 100 metres. Velica gazed out to see the Ogopogo was no longer flying a spinnaker, and was well-heeled in some new wind that had to be a Northerly. I saw a wind line slowly creeping toward us, and my sails and windex started dancing in all directions. I struggled to tame the vortices with some quick tacks, some fruitless, some effective, and a few minutes later, I was fully in the new North wind and accelerating to four knots, five knots, and more. I watched with a mixture of satisfaction and dismay as the fleet shrank to dots behind Velica, especially the vulnerable Flying Fifteens. Eventually this wind rescued everyone except Deryn Mohr, who having been left in the same spot before, opted for the iron and the guaranteed arrival time back at the dock.

For the remaining fleet of eleven, it was a beautiful but incredibly demanding beat all the way back to our cherished club. The demand was not so much of muscles, but of concentration and determination. The wind faded to 5-7 knots by the Channel Islands, and the current now, again, turned against us, in the genuine ebb. Every tack and trimming adjustment was an opportunity for gain or folly. Velica tried her best to run down Ogopogo, and for a while was gaining, but The Dart and her brilliant skipper were head-and-shoulder above a match on this day. Nonetheless, Velica was happy to match wits and tacks with the renovated Kaitoa and her whale-inspired skipper, who charged hard from miles back to come within a minute and a half at the finish. Notable also was a great push by First Draft, whose skipper Douglas reported being “in the zone.”

And in various ways and with the blessings of comradeship, we were all “in the zone.” Long Live Round Penders, and in this year congratulations to Kaitoa and Philippe for the trophy win.

A few closing words from Philippe:

“But the highlight of the expedition was the most enjoyable time spent with all of you – the band of brothers on OASIS after dinner telling roaring tales and reorganizing the world was the type of fun you simply cannot buy.”

Indeed, indeed.

Leg 1: SISC to Port Browning

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 126 13:46:02 03:17:15 1 100
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 99 21 99 13:42:42 03:22:21 2
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 14:11:45 03:23:35 3 92
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 14:07:59 03:32:07 4 83
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 14:47:15 03:51:36 5 75
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 14:27:13 03:54:20 6 67
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 14:28:15 03:56:04 7 58
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 14:52:40 03:56:28 8 50
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 195 18 195 14:53:03 03:59:08 9 42
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 14:46:27 04:02:38 10 33
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 14:31:25 04:12:17 11 25
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 246 15:37:30 04:20:56 12 17
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 114 14:59:00 04:35:47 13 8


Leg 2: Port Browning to SISC

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 99 21 99 15:23:05 06:10:46 1
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 15:57:45 06:23:02 2 100
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 126 15:59:19 06:31:44 3 92
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 16:26:33 06:34:07 4 83
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 17:01:12 06:46:12 5 75
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 17:06:32 06:51:00 6 67
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 16:28:00 06:54:11 7 58
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 16:37:20 06:55:49 8 50
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 16:26:00 07:14:44 9 42
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 195 18 195 17:45:08 07:30:07 10 33
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 114 17:17:55 07:59:44 11 25
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 DNF DNF 12 8


Round Penders Single-Handed Trophy

Boat Skipper Total points Place
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 4 1
VELICA Vincent Argiro 8 2
SPRITE Greg Slakov 11 3
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 12 4
KAY D Martin Herbert 13 5
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 14 6
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 14 7
IMP Craig Leitch 16 8
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 19 9
OASIS Bob Jones 20 10
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 24 11
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 25 12



The committee boat — Nest Egg — starts the fleet at Razor Point


The two Flying 15s alongside the 41-foot Oasis and the 30-foot Wildfire…


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Jack Langdon Trophy Race

11 September  2016

Today’s Jack Langdon Trophy Race was the last of the astronomical summer (as opposed to the meteorological summer; see here for explanation of the distinction). And actually, while it felt quite autumnal at the start, it was positively summery at the finish.

Today’s race was a reverse-handicap or pursuit race. Since some of our readership may not be familiar with these terms, I will explain briefly. In most handicapped sail races, everyone (or at least each division) starts together and then the finishing times are “corrected” based on the handicaps applied to each boat and a standard formula. So in this case, we do not know for sure who has won right after the race, or who is winning during the race. Philippe has to run the numbers first. Alternatively, if the handicaps are applied beforehand, and each boat starts at its own pre-computed time (intrinsically slower boats ahead of faster boats), everyone should finish at about the same time, and the order of finish immediately indicates the final ranking— first over the line is not just “line honours,” but the true winner. This is a reverse-handicap or pursuit race, and this is what we enjoyed today.

I mention this in detail because I realized today consciously for the first time that this format completely changes the psychology of the race, and the feeling one has during it. If you are in the middle of the pack, as Velica was, you are hunting every boat in front of you, and you are the hunted for every boat behind. Every success you have or mistake you make in boat speed or tactics is immediately and obviously reflected in your relative standing in the race— there is no fooling yourself. I found today the tension in myself palpable, as I sought to run down the boats ahead, and stay ahead of the boats behind, particularly during the last two miles back into Ganges harbour.

All right, such is the abstraction, here is the concrete account:

The fixed course for the race is Start – Batt Rock (P) – Ben Mohr Rock (P) – Batt Rock (S) – Finish, direct distance of 13 nm. On this day, we all probably sailed very close to that minimum distance, given the wind angles. In fact, I described the race afterward as a series of four drag races punctuated by turning marks.

The weather and wind forecasts were incredibly accurate. The former predicted steely morning skies giving way to nearly cloudless sunshine by early afternoon. The later predicted a strong 15 to 20 knot north to northwest breeze at the time of the skipper’s meeting gradually declining during the race period to 5 to 10 knots, still from the north to northwest. And by north to northwest, I do not mean north-northwest. In fact, the wind was oscillating quite sharply and unpredictably through those cardinal directions throughout.

In our assembled fleet, Imp and First Draft started first and almost side-by-side and traded the lead several times, even in the initial broad reach/run to Batt Rock. Next to start was Wildfire, who elected to try to set their snappy new spinnaker right before the start line, and when it did not behave as intended, found themselves over early by 30 seconds. They continued on rather than re-starting, but fessed-up and disqualified themselves honourably on the docks afterward. Next came Velica and Radiant Heat, both keen to catch the trio in front. Velica stayed more to the chain island side, while Radiant Heat took a more direct route, in stronger wind, closer to the Salt Spring shore. By so doing Radiant Heat got by Velica on the approach to Batt Rock. In the big-boat trailing group were Oasis, Second Wind, and esteemed race officer Rich Ballantyne’s Jolly Mon, fully-crewed and making their much-welcomed season debut.

By Batt Rock, the fleet had tightened by at 25%, by my eyeball estimates, just as the reverse-handicap is supposed to effect, when everyone is sailing close to their target speeds. On the second close-hauled/close-reach leg to Ben Mohr Rock, however, some indication of the final results began to manifest. Velica began to hunt down the four leading boats. She passed Radiant Heat by footing through her lee sharply enough to avoid being bogged down, and trusting the current to lift her back up to the lay line to Selby Point. Wildfire was steadily catching First Draft and Imp, and Velica was reeling them all in gradually. Behind us, Oasis and Jolly Mon were looming larger.

At Ben Mohr Rock, Imp rounded first, followed by Wildfire and then First Draft, with Velica licking at First Draft’s heels. On the broad reach back to Batt Rock, Imp stayed out front, but Velica passed First Draft and Wildfire while they were each setting spinnakers. Once the chutes were up and pulling, First Draft and Wildfire both re-passed Velica, and were vying for second place with each other. Once through the adverse flood current in the narrows of Captain Passage, the lay line became closer to a run, though the wind was still swinging through at least 30º, making constant trimming essential. This gave the big chutes and long waterlines of the big boats behind big leverage, and said spinnakers started to take up a larger and large portion of our view over ours transoms.

At the return to Batt Rock, Imp held onto a narrow lead over First Draft, but First Draft was slow with their spinnaker takedown and struggled to get away from the mark. The elected to tack onto port and head back out into the channel. This looked like a good idea for a while, but the greater distance sailed caught up with them and the leverage to windward was insufficient once back on starboard. Imp took a fairly low line to the Salt Spring shore initially, and while cracking off a bit gave them speed, they had to pay the piper eventually. Actually, they related on the docks that they were already paying at this stage, having snagged a good hunk of kelp. Wildfire held a higher line and was closing down the distance to Imp steadily. Velica took an even higher line, patiently gaining leverage to windward as Second Sister approached.

The home stretch into Ganges Harbour was incredibly closely fought—at one point Velica, Wildfire and Imp were essentially side-by-side, with Jolly Mon and Oasis charging hard right behind us. Stepping through the pools of little puffs in the dying wind was crucial, intuiting when to take a lift up toward the Chain Islands and when to crack off and accelerate toward the finish.

In the end, Velica passed all these tests of intuition, and crossed the line only two minutes in front of the persistent Jolly Mon. Wildfire, Oasis, Imp and First Draft all followed within just over three more minutes (alas Wildfire having to withdraw).

Radiant Heat was a further four minutes back, though I did not catch an account of why.

We were sorry to see Second Wind motor in, apparently having had big spinnaker problems early and eventually finding the short end of the expiring wind.

All in all it was a pretty grand day to be out on our watery playground in the bright sun, bidding adieu to astronomical summer.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 13:10:46 1 100
JOLLY MON Rich Ballantyne 120 18 120 13:12:50 2 88
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 13:15:24 3 75
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 13:15:31 4 63
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 13:16:00 5 50
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 13:20:02 6 38
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 114 DNF 8 13
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 DSQ 8 13



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Wednesday Night – Aug #5

31 August 2016

With last night’s race, our official summer racing season has come to an end, just as Autumn comes distinctly into the air. Maple leaves are turning, temperatures are no longer really warm, and the wind is starting to blow more forcefully from the southeast.

This last characteristic gave us an opportunity for one of the best and fastest races of the Wednesday Night series. The course was set for Start – Batt Rock (P) – Horda Shoals (P) – Finish and most boats finished in the about the target 1-1/2 hours. It is a pity we had only six boats for such a fun and furious race in 15 to 20 knots winds and a dying flood current.

With the small fleet, the start line was bunched to the club end with a lot of overlapping positions. After dispersing across the course toward Goat Island, the fleet began to find their own phases and lanes for progress out of the harbour. Kaitoa lead the way, as is her rated due, with Velica and Radiant Heat close behind. Imp and Kay D had both declared NFS (as had Radiant Heat), and it became apparent that they were going to be hard to shake decisively on the upwind leg. Battle Axe brought up the rear, but closer than had been the case at the beginning of a summer of learning and determination.

Once out of the harbour, most of us began to short tack the Salt Spring shore, feeling the still significant remains of the flood current in mid-channel (about 3/4 knot). Kaitoa and Radiant Heat ventured out a bit further and it seemed to cost them marginally. At the Batt Rock mark, Kaitoa rounded first, but Velica was now within a few boat lengths. Radiant Heat was a few more behind, followed by Imp, the Kay D and finally Battle Axe. The wind had moderated slightly by now, but was still sending some good gusts into the upper teens and boats speeds stayed high.

The short beam reach to Horda Shoals was over in a flash, with Velica outstretched toward grabbing Kaitoa’s transom (see Philippe’s photo below). At the mark, Velica slipped inside and upwind of Kaitoa and managed to pull ahead briefly as Kaitoa set their spinnaker. Then it was a drag race run to the finish, with the wind holding but wavering enough in direction to make constant trimming and some timely gybing necessary.

Kaitoa took line honours, but the wily Kay D stayed close enough (9.5 minutes) to take the win on corrected time from Velica. Imp completed the podium.

Martin suggested afterward that we continue Wednesday Night racing at least through September, “just for fun.” I support this, though my reporting and participation may be spotty.

Having completed the August series, Philippe provides the results below. Imp takes the crown being so well sailed in the light stuff that preceded last evening, followed by Velica and a resurgent Kay D.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points 
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 223 18:37:01 01:24:52 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:27:35 01:26:31 2 83
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 18:35:34 01:27:44 3 67
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 18:25:35 01:29:00 4 50
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 18:32:35 01:29:17 5 33
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 18:59:19 01:46:14 6 17


August Wednesday Night Series


Boat Skipper 03-Aug
10-Aug 17-Aug 24-Aug 31-Aug Points Total Aug Place Club Points
IMP Craig Leitch 1 0 3 4 3 11 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 6 4 0 3 2 15 2 91
KAY D Martin Herbert 12 2 0 1 1 16 3 82
ICBM Matti Troyer 2 1 1 0 12 16 4 73
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 5 3 6 0 5 19 5 64
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 8 7 4 0 4 23 6 55
SPRITE Greg Slakov 3 2 5 2 12 24 7 45
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 0 10 8 5 6 29 8 36
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 7 6 7 0 12 32 9 27
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 4 8 12 0 12 36 10 18
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 12 9 12 0 12 45 11 9



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Montague Harbour Race

24 August 2016

What an exciting race held in near perfect conditions for this complex and often bedevilling course!

Due to my entanglement with a crab trap beside Second Sister while owning a lead over the whole fleet, and having to crawl back to salvage what appeared to be a lost cause, I felt my perspective on the race would be skewed, so I asked our talented former race reporter Martin Herbert to guest write this report. Here is his accounting:

Race morning presented an absolutely yummy wind. Various boats shortened sail for the start with Imp and Kaitoa tying in a reef and Wildfire opting for furling some of the jib. I think they must have done a perfect furl and then only let out what they wanted as I have never seen a partially reefed jib look so good. The wind strength and the puffs made it perfect for two of the boats on the line. For the Flying Fifteen it was just the right amount to have both crew hiked flat and full power on and for Velica with her magnificent high tech sails and high roached main. This style of sail flexes in the puffs and keeping the power on, then dumping it off automatically when you are overpowered.

The inner club start marker was missing so the club IOM marker was substituted which gave the pin end a distinct advantage. The Kay D was able to gab the pin end by ducking first Ogopogo then Electra and because of the wind strength was able to hold them off right to the Goat Island short. Veilca got a good mid line start and showed her stuff right away, going fast and pointing high. It is a testament to the work Vincent has done on his boat, designing the rig and working with the sailmakers. The boat was just in the groove, when a blast hit the boat would just accelerate while others around it lay over and side slipped as their helmsman fought with hull form induced weather helm.

The good wind lasted two thirds of the way out of Ganges Harbour then dropped down to hull speed lunking along, so disappointing. Then at the top end of the Harbour Velica ground to a halt and spent some number of minutes ridding herself of a crab trap. Wildfire came into her own and both she and Radiant heat sailed the shifts well by the Sisters. After the Sisters I thought Kaitoa chose the best line to Nose Point, staying higher and in more wind. Much of the fleet sailed a lower course relying on the lift at Scott Point to allow them to get around but I felt their speed suffered from pinching to make the point. Kay D deployed her spinnaker right at Scott Point and got by both Electra and Wildfire. Ogopogo and Kaitoa upped spinnakers once passed the wind shadow of Prevost Island and suffered some crazy gusts and wind shifts that served to keep those behind on our toes. Velica nailed this leg, sailing by us majestically in the middle when the wind had shifted far enough ahead for us to douse our spinnaker.

For the first time for me, we had wind on the inside of the islands, Julia, Parker and Sphinx. Electra found the best line through this difficult passage and for a short while it looked like the leaders might wait for us. Ogopogo was gybing back and fourth and getting distinctly larger, but then she was gone.

On the beat back to Saltspring most of the fleet crossed early to get tide relief on the Saltspring shore, Electra banged the Galiano side and crossed later. Wildfire took a short hitch to Galiano on a shift as did Radiant Heat. Once on the Saltspring side it was tricky trying to play the tide and the shifts. Velica did this well. By the time the Kay D was making the narrows it was serious shore hugging time but a timely gust got us through and we had an exciting reach under spinnaker to the Sisters, watching Kaitoa and Electra show lots of bottom and round up from time to time. We seriously needed another five knots of wind so that the Kay D could really get up and go.

Ogopogo took line honours and Velica came back to be first Saltspring Boat home. For us it was just over 2 1/2 hours of racing and we got home just before the rain. All in all a good day on the water.

Martin Herbert,
aboard the Kay D

A final note from me. The irony of my crab trap experience was that it occurred because I took my eye off the water for a few critical seconds while I took this photo of part of the (then) trailing fleet. All these boats would pass Velica a few minutes later. Hubris is a stern teacher.



Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points 
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 13:36:49 02:48:11 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 13:22:52 02:50:46 2 88
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 13:39:23 02:53:52 3 75
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:30:15 02:55:24 4 63
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 99 21 99 13:18:20 02:56:46 0 0
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 141 21 141 13:32:53 02:59:50 5 50
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 13:43:05 03:06:12 6 38
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 13:29:50 03:07:02 7 25
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 114 13:51:30 03:26:35 8 13



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Wednesday Night – Aug #4

24 August 2016

I come to you from Horseshoe Bay, after completing my 15th day sailing out of the last seventeen. After my cruise to Desolation Sound and participating in Wednesday’s race, I crossed the Strait again, to take some friends out on Howe Sound for the day today. I sail back tomorrow, in time to host Sunday’s Montague Harbour Race, one of our most interesting (if there is wind).

Back to Wednesday: It was another deeply unpredictable albeit warm and gorgeous summer eve. Occasional streaks of north wind tempted us to set a course a bit bigger than just around the inner Harbour buoys. I decided on: Start – Ganges Shoal (P) – 5-knot buoy (P) – Ganges Shoal (P) – Finish. I stated that this could be a 52 minute race or… Greg chimed in, “or four hours.” Well, we split the difference, despite shortening the course on the fly to the first mark and home, only. Those of us that persisted, gained the finish in two-plus hours of winded-twirling, wind-reversing, fleet-inverting, fortune-twisting, slow-motion drama.

This night belonged to the Flying Fifteens, Kay D and Sprite, especially after an early and lasting lead by ICBM turned into a motor-sail into the dock. I assume the motivation was the impending birthday celebration for a certain brilliant young skipper.

As mentioned above, our next race on Sunday resumes our longer race program. The Montague Harbour Race begins at 1030, after a 1000 skipper’s meeting on the breakwater. The current forecasts show some hope of decent wind, at least in the afternoon, though don’t sue me if it doesn’t arrive.

See you then!


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points 
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 18:56:03 01:44:29 1 100
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 19:00:23 01:48:23 2 89
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:56:59 01:55:34 3 78
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 19:03:10 01:56:32 4 67
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 19:47:57 02:29:33 5 56
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 141 21 141 DNF DNF 9 11
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 DNF DNF 9 11
ICBM Matti Troyer 117 21 117 DNF DNF 9 11
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 DNF DNF 9 11



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Wednesday Night – Aug #3

17 August 2016

Greg reports:

Wednesday August 17 was a beautiful hot day with a stiff north or north west wind for much of the day. However, at 1615 it was almost dead calm when we met at the breakwater to decide on a race course. We could see wind on the water past the Sisters, and as the minutes ticked by, the wind advanced into the harbour. At 1630, the 5 to 10 knot SE wind had penetrated almost to the start line, so in Vincent’s absence I, Greg Slakov, set the course: Welbury spar to port and home.

ICBM had full speed and clear wind at the gun, and they never looked back. My son Nick and I headed to the left side of the course, and there we found some shifts which we were excited about. I stubbornly clung to the left, while ICBM, Kay D, Imp, Wildfire, Radiant Heat and Kaitoa stayed in a group on the right of the course. They also found these same shifts, but the wind was stronger on the right. After passing the Second Sister, the wind had permanently shifted to the right, and continued to clock all the way to Welbury. ICBM rounded first, set that big blue asymmetric chute, and that was the last anyone saw of them. After a short break, Kaitoa, Imp, Wildfire, Radiant Heat, and Kay D (the “Clump of Five”) rounded in that order. This group of boats rounded within about 30 seconds, so there was some good close racing and the adrenaline was pumping. Sprite and Battle Axe took our time and rounded in a few leisurely minutes.

The run home was fun. Gorgeous sun and warm winds were enjoyed by all. A couple of boats went down the Sisters side of the course, which can be a real winner at times. However, the light winds on that side had persisted, and the deck was shuffled somewhat. Regardless, the “Clump of Five” finished within 2.5 minutes of one another. Congratulations to ICBM, Kay D and Imp for finishing first, second and third respectively. Congratulations are due to all of us for getting out there and enjoying the amazing opportunity we get, living where we do.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points 
ICBM Matti Troyer 117 21 117 18:01:05 01:02:20 1 100
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 18:13:33 01:06:13 2 88
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:12:38 01:08:43 3 75
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:11:07 01:09:12 4 63
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 18:17:49 01:10:03 5 50
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 18:13:35 01:12:55 6 38
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 126 18:13:35 01:14:02 7 25
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 18:26:11 01:16:44 8 13





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Wednesday Night – Aug #2

10 August 2016

Contributed by Greg Slakov

Once again I must apologize for being late with this. The demands of the cruising life, especially for the newly initiated, are many! My crossing to Vancouver on Thursday was hard on the wind in 25 knots and big chop the whole way. I was soaked on arrival. I write from Secret Cove on the Sunshine Coast, after a picture-perfect sail from Gibsons yesterday.

It was an odd race, but perhaps the best we could have done with a light and skewed wind. A great turn-out of ten boat included a return to the action by my illustrious predecessor on Deryn Mohr, and even a guest appearance by one of the school 470’s ably double handed by two young adults who I unfortunately did not identify beforehand or after. The course as Start – Five Knot Bouy (P) for three laps.

The fleet was arrayed in quite a parade on the short course, with lots of bow-on-bow ships passing in the evening, and eventually even some lapping of the fleet by ICBM, in fine form, yet again. Sprite was also in good form and managed a solid second finish. Radiant Heat, running NFS, managed to keep a poor-starting and relentlessly pursuing Velica behind her until the last lap, and that was enough to hold on for the “Bronze”.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
ICBM Matti Troyer 117 21 138 17:42:52 00:42:21 1 100
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 17:58:27 00:52:37 2 90
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 17:54:40 00:52:43 3 80
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 17:53:49 00:53:10 4 70
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:02:08 00:58:47 5 60
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 18:01:32 01:04:00 6 50
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:10:27 01:08:33 7 40
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 18:14:00 01:10:01 8 30
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 18:25:20 01:14:09 9 20
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 18:27:50 01:18:12 10 10





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Wednesday Night – Aug #1

3 August 2016

After last week’s 3 hour escapade, I decided to play it a bit safer last evening. We set a course Start – Ganges Shoal (P) – Finish, with the option to do a second lap, if and only if at least three boats completed the first lap by 6:00pm. As you can see from the times below, that did not happen. So while we left a little resurgent wind on the water, everyone finished within the 90 minute nominal time budget and some significant racing was enjoyed.

The wind started at around 6-8 kts and puffed up to as much as 10 kts at a few tantalizing points. But these gifts were not broadly distributed across the course not long-lived. Again in this race, success depended on reading the wind carefully, and balancing that with playing the strong flood current effectively.

Imp did this the best, and got the win on corrected time, followed by ICBM, who was once again first over the line, and Sprite in third place, making the most of the shortened course.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:04:02 01:00:35 1 100
ICBM Matti Troyer 117 21 117 18:01:12 01:02:27 2 88
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 18:13:44 01:06:23 3 75
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 18:12:19 01:08:25 4 63
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 18:10:17 01:09:38 5 50
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:11:03 01:10:11 6 38
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 18:12:10 01:15:03 7 25
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:17:41 01:15:35 8 13





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Wednesday Night – July #4

27 July 2016

Wednesday’s race was an interesting one. I certainly was a bit over-confident in the steadiness and longevity of the great wind we had at the start, and clearly pushed some folks beyond their sailing time budget. I apologize for that. Nonetheless, for those five of us who persisted, it was a classic Salt Spring wind maze. There was a way to hop-scotch through the puffs and bridge the holes, but it was not at all obvious. A reinvigorated performance by Kaitoa showed the way to a solid and unassailable lead, line honors, and win. This was a very rare case where the fleet was so widely dispersed from first to last, that the results on corrected time matched those on elapsed time perfectly, for the finishers.

So we have explored the minima and maxima of the Wednesday Night time budget. I will try to reign in the variance a bit in August!

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 19:42:02 02:48:31 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 19:55:05 02:52:57 2 91
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 20:04:10 03:02:29 3 82
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 20:27:10 03:16:01 4 73
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 20:42:15 03:30:17 5 64
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 DNF DNF 11 9
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 DNF DNF 11 9
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 DNF DNF 11 9
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 141 21 141 DNF DNF 11 9
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 DNF DNF 11 9
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 DNF DNF 11 9


July Wednesday Night Series

Boat Skipper 06-Jul
13-Jul 20-Jul 27-Jul Points Total July Place Club Points
ICBM Matti Troyer 2 1 1 12 16 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 6 4 4 2 16 2 91
IMP Craig Leitch 5 5 3 4 17 3 82
KAY D Martin Herbert 1 3 2 12 18 4 73
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 4 8 6 3 21 5 64
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 8 6 7 5 26 6 55
SPRITE Greg Slakov 3 2 12 12 29 7 45
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 12 12 5 1 30 8 36
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 12 7 8 12 39 9 27
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 7 12 10 12 41 10 18
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 12 12 9 12 45 11 9

The points tie was broken using Rule A8.1 of the International Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016.





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Jack & Jill Race

24 July 2016

Contributed by Craig Leitch

It seems that this race has fallen onto hard times of late, and become almost a joke due to lack of serious interest – yet it does have a purpose, in promoting participation by women in club races, in a less-threatening environment of white sails racing. Thus it seems a pity to see the current trends of men masquerading as women and spinnakers flown in ignorance or defiance of the race rules.

The course was set as per tradition: twice around the Channel Islands and home. No mention was made at the skipper’s meeting of the traditional NFS rule for this race, so we assumed all was normal and set off accordingly at 10:30. Five boats started (Albatro, Imp, Kaitoa, Radiant Heat, and Wildfire) in a light inflow breeze, with Albatro hanging back at the start line. The beat to Ganges Shoal was accomplished in fair breeze, but diminishing shortly thereafter on the way to Welbury Spar. The key to this race was to get into the major ebb stream as soon as possible, which Imp did first, reaching almost 7 knots GPS on the way to Batt Rk after tacking near U-62, closely followed by Radiant Heat. The others seemed to stay on the Saltspring shore, and were slower to take the tide advantage. Two quick roundings of the islands to port, and Imp bore off to the Prevost shore to seek tide relief for the run home, passed only by Radiant Heat (under spinnaker!) due to finding a significant hole. These two boats traded jibes to the Sisters, with Radiant eventually crossing first in the lighter airs of the inner harbour and Imp second at about 1:33. Other boats (but I believe not Albatro) apparently eventually flew spinnakers on the way home, presumably to overcome the ebb tide.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 13:55:31 03:08:41 1
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 13:53:14 03:16:00 2
ALBATRO Patrice Pothier 103 21 124 14:06:47 03:38:48 3
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 DSQ DSQ 4
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 DSQ DSQ 5





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Wednesday Night – July #3

20 July 2016

Last evening gave us near perfect conditions for a summer after-hours race: warm temperatures, mostly sunny skies, and an abundance of wind for at least 80% of the distance. I told the assembled skippers of ten of our most ardent racers that I wanted to be bold and head out of the harbour, even though there was some risk of the wind fading toward the end of our target 90 to 120 minute race period. So the course was set for Start – Horda Shoals (P) – Welbury Spar (P) – Finish. There was a strong flood current throughout the race, just 26 hours after the full moon.

The start line was divided into a pin end camp and a club end camp among the fleet. There was a bit of discussion between Kay D and Kaitoa about rights at the former, while the latter showed some variation in timing, but no argument. The beat out of the harbour was similarly split between Chain Island tackers and Salt Spring Shore tackers, the latter seeming to come out on top. ICBM once again established an early lead there, but the faster Caliente eventually overtook her as the weather mark approached. By then the fleet began to sort out into mostly PHRF order. The wind, which had been 8 to 11 knots in the harbour freshened to more than 15 knots out in Welbury Bay and Captain Passage, and top upwind speeds were achieved for a short while.

The wind began to moderate almost immediately after the leading trio of Caliente, ICBM and Velica began the run back to the harbour via Welbury Spar. Though a later surge in the wind seemed to carry the trailing boats forward, especially the newly refurbished Kaitoa, which caught and passed Velica about half way in. Caliente found a hole in the wind and a hole in their strategy as no spinnaker was available for the downwind run. In succession, ICBM, Velica and Kaitoa got past them, and they eventually motored in for a DNF.

For a second week in a row, ICBM romped home to a decisive line honours and win on corrected time, yet again being on dock before the rest of the fleet crept slowly over the line in the last vestiges of the evening’s breeze. Kay D and Imp filled out the podium, with all three top finishers again separated by less than two minutes on corrected time. Battle Axe gamely hung in there for a finish, and were rewarded with a rousing cheer from the picnic tables as the fleet discussed the turns of fortune and fine points of Rule 17.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 18:32:30 01:34:23 1 100
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 18:45:45 01:35:12 2 90
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:42:10 01:36:40 3 80
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:40:44 01:39:31 4 70
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 18:38:50 01:42:47 5 60
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 18:47:40 01:43:50 6 50
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 18:56:04 01:49:49 7 40
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:59:10 01:55:57 8 30
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 19:27:17 02:11:09 9 20
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 93 DNF DNF 10 10





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Wednesday Night – July #2

13 July 2016

Finally, we got a little summer in this summer of showers and cool temps! And there was even a fairly steady albeit light wind to keep us moving from beginning to end. Last night’s jaunt was set for a course of Start — Ganges Shoal (P) — 5-knot Buoy (P) — Ganges Shoal (P) — Finish. This ended up giving us a two-hour race with plenty of time for lead changes, spinnaker packing and redeployment, rules controversies and learning, and the exquisite pleasure of sailing into warm and bright setting sun.

The start had too many boats crowding the club end of the line, resulting in an un-called barge by First Draft on Radiant Heat. Velica tried to avoid the melée, but by being a little late to the line, was overwhelmed by the shadow of all those boats to windward, and was forced to make an early tack to port at the back of the fleet to clear her air. ICBM made a very good start, played the stronger wind on the right side of the course expertly (Matti’s front yard, after all!), and virtually disappeared from all of us.

Velica made up some places on the first beat, rounding the first mark in second place, with First Draft and Radiant Heat hot on her heels, and Wildfire not far behind them. This set the stage for the second rules teachable moment, as an overlapped First Draft tried to assert mark room (see RRS Rule 18) when she found herself requiring a pinch to windward to clear the mark. Radiant Heat thought she could hold course and (incorrectly) hailed First Draft. All was discussed at the picnic tables afterward in civil fashion, and hopefully a review of the rules was inspired for both boats involved in both incidents.

The run back to the 5-knot Buoy was slow but steady and the field began to extend into more-or-less rated order. As usual, the two Flying Fifteens were having a fun match race within a race, with Sprite getting the better end of that stick.

The second beat was in considerably lighter air than the first, but an ebbing current kept the apparent wind up, and the shorter distance back to Ganges Shoal was dispatched fairly quickly.

The final run saw Radiant Heat wishing for once they had not declared NFS as she lost places to the spinnaker boats, particularly Wildfire, Imp. First Draft got into a hole between the Chain Islands, but were rescued by a puff and continued running down that side of the harbour. As we all silently ghosted toward the finish line, ICBM made it all look easy, flaunting her big blue asymmetric in the golden glow of the sunset, and had their boat on dock and put away before any of the rest of us even crossed the line.

Martin commented at the tables afterward that Kay D had almost taken Radiant Heat at the line but was still in last place on the water. I replied, “you won’t stay there,” meaning on corrected time, and indeed the FF’s took second and third, with Sprite maintaining the lead over Kay D she established early on.

In the mid-fleet, it was once again very tight, with fourth, fifth and sixth places separated by only 46 seconds on corrected time.

Bravo to Matti and his spirited crew for a dominant, schooling win! Sorry, you were always too far away to get a good photo!

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 18:34:38 01:36:34 1 100
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 19:01:28 01:49:21 2 88
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 19:01:56 01:49:46 3 75
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:53:28 01:52:05 4 63
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:59:05 01:52:40 5 50
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 18:59:16 01:52:51 6 38
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 19:00:35 01:57:20 7 25
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 19:01:55 01:57:35 8 13





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Wednesday Night – July #1

6 July 2016

We were treated to a perfect evening for a sail race. The wind from the southeast stayed for the full 90+ minutes of the chosen course and then some. While Philippe accurately predicted today’s rain from last evening’s advancing cirrus clouds, sunshine stayed with us for the race. The course attempted to balance a reasonable distance, varied points of sail, and enough marks to encourage good maneuvering practice. We sailed: Start – Ganges Shoal (P) – Welbury Spar (P) – Start Line Gate (P or S) – 5 knot buoy (P) – Finish.

Variable conditions in the harbour were the keys to this race— picking the lanes of wind both beating out and running in determined the placings in a very tight competition. Third to sixth places were separated by less than one minute! Congrats to Kay D, ICBM and Sprite for solving the puzzle best.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 18:33:22 01:24:03 1 100
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 18:23:20 01:25:02 2 88
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 18:37:13 01:27:31 3 75
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 18:31:05 01:27:50 4 63
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:33:11 01:28:10 5 50
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 18:29:35 01:28:30 6 38
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 18:23:50 01:32:03 7 25
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 167 21 167 18:41:15 01:35:48 8 13





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Wednesday Night – June #5

29 June 2016

Last night gave us the loveliest wind and sun of the summer yet. A southeast breeze built in, with 10 knots at the start becoming 16-18 knots as we headed out into Captain Passage. The course was Start – Ganges Shoal (P) – Horda Shoals (P) – Welbury Spar (P) – Finish.

ICBM and Velica got off the line fast and into an early lead. The beat out of the harbour saw some alternate interpretations of the shifts as the fleet split across the options. Radiant Heat opted for an approach to Horda Shoals via Wellbury Bay, while the rest of the fleet stayed on the Beddis Road shore and approached on longer tacks in the middle of the Passage.

Velica was surprised to nearly catch ICBM at Horda and then get right beside her at Welbury. Wildfire sailed a very efficient beat and was closing on the leaders throughout the upwind, getting by Radiant Heat in the process. ICBM and Velica got locked into an unintended luffing contest on the reach back from Wellbury Spar which probably cost them BOTH time. It was exciting though! Inside the harbour again, a custom-made lull mired ICBM and especially Velica, allowing the rest of the fleet to carry resurgent wind and catch up from behind. Wildfire jumped on this opportunity to sail right by Velica for the well-deserved and brilliantly sailed win.

Battle Axe showed continued improvement to get within eleven minutes of Radiant Heat on corrected time. Well done Jim!

Sprite, alas, honourably admitted to missing the Ganges Shoal mark on the way out, hence the DNF.

Imp took the June series victory, over Velica and Radiant Heat. Congrats to Craig and Elizabeth.

Thank as always to Philippe for all the diligent and prompt figuring.

Happy Canada Day Everyone!

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:33:28 01:30:57 1
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 18:39:10 01:31:03 2
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 18:33:50 01:32:42 3
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 182 18:40:15 01:32:49 4
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 18:31:15 01:33:07 5
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 18:36:12 01:35:19 6
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 19:01:50 01:45:52 7
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNF DNF 8


 June Wednesday Night Series

Boat Skipper 01-Jun
08-Jun 15-Jun 22-Jun 29-Jun Total Place Club points
IMP Craig Leitch 3 5 2 3 2 15 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 4 1 3 7 3 18 2 92
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 2 3 6 6 6 23 3 83
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 1 9 7 5 4 26 4 75
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 5 7 8 8 1 29 5 67
ICBM Matti Troyer 13 4 4 4 5 30 6 50
KAY D Martin Herbert 13 2 1 2 13 31 7 58
SPRITE Greg Slakov 13 13 5 1 13 45 8 42
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 13 8 9 9 7 46 9 33
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 6 6 13 13 13 51 10 25
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 7 13 13 13 13 59 11 17
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 13 13 13 13 13 65 12 8





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Captain Passage Race

26 June 2016

The Captain Passage Race is an interesting one, in that the heart of the course lies right in the powerful current stream that flows into and out of the channel between Salt Spring Island and Prevost Island. Success in this race depends on canny management of this aqueous conveyor belt, while darting among the marks at Batt Rock (twice), U62, and Wellbury Spar. If the wind falters, those crossings can become frustrating adventures indeed.

On this running, the forecast was for a good Northerly diminishing slowly as the morning gave way to afternoon. This part was correctly predicted. What was not predicted well, and often isn’t, was the in-building of a thermal sea breeze from the southeast around noon. With the inevitable transition zone between the two air masses, the patience and focus of all eight skippers and crews would be well tested on a sunny Sunday.

Adding to the drama was the reverse-handicap nature of the race— boats started individually, slowest first, in the order of their PHRF handicap, accounting in advance for their calculated difference in intrinsic speed. In theory, in a steady breeze, everyone should arrive at the finish together.

In this fleet, with a couple of boats declaring NFS (no-flying-sails), Velica was the third to last to start, so I had the opportunity to watch the early stages of the race from behind the start line. Battle Axe was the first to go, closely followed by the Kay D. The wind was blowing over 10 knots at this point, with some black streaks on the water across the northern side of the harbour announcing sharp gusts. Battle Axe gamely launched their spinnaker right at the start, but as we later learned, without all the lines secured. Jim bravely announced that he had “learned a lot” while displaying the rope burns on his palms. Ouch!

Kay D quickly popped their much more manageable spinnaker, and Martin and Hillary proceeded to blast into a lead they would hold until Batt Rock and beyond. Meanwhile, Imp got underway without a spinnaker, trading some speed potential for a larger handicap. They where followed by Wildfire and Radiant Heat, who had also declared NFS. Then it was Velica’s turn, with a pause before Oasis and the speedy visiting Ogopogo joined the fun.

The northerly angle of the wind varied such as to make that first leg anywhere from a broad reach to a beam reach, and never swung enough in-line with the harbour for a true run. Velica was delighted by this, since she reaches really strongly, given her Hoyt jib boom. With that power, Velica slowly but surely erased Wildfire’s lead over her, and then Radiant Heat’s. But the first speed bump of the day would arrive as we all approached Batt Rock buoy. About a quarter mile before the first mark, a sharp wind line was visible and the pressure was cut at least in half. Kay D rounded first and headed for the Prevost shore. Imp was next, with Velica soon to follow. Behind, Oasis and Ogopogo were both moving well under spinnaker, and after some time, it was apparent from my vantage point that Ogopogo had overtaken Oasis, and was closing quickly on the rest of us.

Once around the buoy, Kay D was strongly affected by the big ebb current, and drifted quite far south of the next mark at U62. Imp and Velica held almost the same line, trading a little pointing angle for greater boat speed, in order to get though the current stream faster. Radiant Heat and Wildfire tried to point higher and save tacks on the Prevost shore. They made it work to some degree, but did not make up ground on the three leading boats by doing so. Ogopogo, on the other hand, played the north side of the current stream by tacking up hard at Batt Rock to get back out of the stream toward Scott Point, before bearing off for U62. With a highly efficient sailplan, they took the lead on this move, and never gave it back. Alas for Oasis, the slackening of the wind and peaking of the current were terminal, causing such a drift beyond the mark that they converted the day from a race to day sail.

Imp and Velica had now reached the Prevost Shore, and were amazed to see the Kay D having tacked briskly up the shore to greet them and just barely hold her lead over Imp. This trio then short-tacked several times further up that shore, as Wildfire and Radiant Heat approached from the channel. Velica was making gains on the leading two, until she got greedy…

Over-relying on her depth sounder, and tempting fate with the clear chart indication of rocks ahead, her six-year run of staying off the ground was coming to a swift end. At the last moment her shallow water alarms screamed at me and I crash tacked to port, only to be sickened by a BOOM and shudder echoing in the cove. I saw Martin and Craig crane their necks and knew I would have plenty of witnesses to recount the day when the Broken Tiller Award nominations were offered up in November. Fortunately, the quick tack probably diminished the impact somewhat, and after listening closely for the sound of Velica’s bilge pump and hearing nothing, I returned to the task at hand.

Once around and beyond U62, the next challenge was to re-cross the current upstream and upwind enough to make the rounding of Wellbury Spar. Again, each of the boats in the core of the fleet took a different approach. Ogopogo continued her dominating efficiency and rounded well ahead of the rest of us. Wildfire and Radiant Heat took a more direct course from U62, and required a couple extra tacks on the far end to make the rounding. Kay D and Imp broke off the Prevost shore before Velica and still made the mark on one tack (I believe), Velica chose to stay in the current shelter of Prevost for a couple more tacks, and was then able to come into Wellbury at a hotter angle, but having given up quite a bit of water to the two.

The return to Batt Rock was dead downwind, and with the current, finally. Kay D and Imp held a little higher line to gain the current benefit, while Velica sailed a little deeper to the wind to shorten distance sailed. Behind, Wildfire and Radiant Heat were nearly side by side with Wildfire using her spinnaker to good effect and coming on strong. At the mark, Velica came just behind and inside Imp and sheeted in for the close reach to the harbour entrance. Kay D was still well ahead, but taking a lower line closer to the Salt Spring shore, perhaps looking for back-eddy current. Velica eased her sheets just a tad to gain power, and promptly sailed through Imp’s lee. Once out of Imp’s wind shadow, Velica was romping again and closing steadily on Kay D. Ogopogo was a vertical line on the horizon, but getting a little nearer as Second Sister loomed, a harbinger of the last act to this drama.

The North wind held until just into the lee of the Sisters Islands, and then faltered, sputtered, and died. There were ripples in scattered pools ahead, so it was clear that this was going to be quite a chess match of a home stretch. It soon became apparent that a diminished northerly breeze was holding just a bit along the island chain to our right, and Imp grabbed that opportunity to make up considerable ground on Velica, drawing almost even to her starboard beam. Kay D had stayed a bit more to the left and was creeping closer on little puffs that came and went. As we approached the one mile mark to the finish, up ahead, Ogopogo still had her sails up and was still pointed toward the Club, so we knew she had not yet finished. Meanwhile, Wildfire and Radiant Heat had closed in from behind, and were drifting nearer and nearer.

In a final act of the play, Nature gave a little hint of wind ripples off the sand bank to the south of the club. My windex was still pointing North, but my exquisitely sensitive ultrasonic wind sensor was reading a tiny but strengthening zephyr from the west shore. Glancing ahead, I saw that Ogopogo was now on port tack with her mainsail well eased. That zephyr, the early indication of the reversal I referred to in my opening, carried Velica over the line second, about two and a half minutes ahead of Kay D. I swung Velica around to sight the transit of the finish line, and watched as Radiant Heat nosed Wildfire by less than a boat length. Imp came next, having stuck to the northeast side a bit too long, and having to wait for the new wind to spread to her. Finally, as we all sat and traded stories and perspectives on the picnic tables, Battle Axe gracefully rode the now solid new following breeze in over the line, rewarded with a finish for their tenacity.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Place Points
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 13:12:50 1 100
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 13:16:24 2 86
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 13:18:00 3 72
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:18:25 4 57
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 13:19:00 5 43
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 14:09:10 6 28
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 DNF 7 14




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Wednesday Night – June #4

22 June 2016

Once again, we got a bit surprised by a bit more wind than we anticipated at start time. What began in a drift-fest in 0.5 knots southeast, became a credible sail in 5 to 6 knots of wind by about the mark rounding. As a result, the race was way shorter than it could have been, and should have been. My apologies to those who felt justifiably cheated from a more fulfilling time on the water.

The problem arose due to a faulty criterion for whether or not to hold the race to one lap on our chosen course of Start – 5 Knot Buoy (P) – Finish. We only gave ourselves 30 minutes to make that first full lap (instead of 30 minutes for the first leg as I initially suggested), and when the wind came in, it was too late to recall that first lap time limit, and send us on a well-deserved second, and maybe even a third lap.

Here is my proposed solution for future apparently-light-air Wednesday evening races: We set a modest course like we did, but instead of a short deadline for a single lap or leg, we set a time limit of 90 minutes (18:30) for the whole race. We then take our times at the end of every lap and then keep lapping until the fastest boat does not complete the last lap in the time limit. The times that count are those for the previous lap. To be scored, every boat has to go ahead (and will be allowed time) to complete that next-to-last lap. OK, it sounds complicated, but isn’t really, if you think it through.

I am happy to hear other suggestions, as long as they involve the course definition being agreed before the start, and maximize everyone’s enjoyment.

The results indicate that this was a race for very light boats very well sailed; the rest of us were largely spectators…

😉 Congrats to Sprite!

wed nite june IV

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 17:38:25 00:34:35 1 100
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 17:40:13 00:36:12 2 89
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 17:40:11 00:38:01 3 78
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 17:38:41 00:39:28 4 67
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 17:43:00 00:41:03 5 56
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 17:42:40 00:41:09 6 44
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 17:41:50 00:41:19 7 33
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 166 17:50:30 00:47:51 8 22
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 18:10:45 01:01:29 9 11




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Moresby-Portland Race

19 June 2016

Despite a one-month delay, nearly full-moon tides, and a complicated (but accurate) forecast, we managed to strike this long and challenging race off the calendar yesterday.

All the forecasts I examined correctly predicted that a light to moderate morning southeast breeze would fade around midday, to be replaced by a solid north-northwest wind at some point in the afternoon. The question was how long the transition would take, and how the timing of the tide cycle would interplay with this. It would in fact be quite messy.

After a fairly routine start and beat out of the harbour, the fleet separated through the sieve of the Channel Islands. Having gotten caught in this race before in a hole in the lee of Moresby Island, Velica headed to the Pender Island shore where the wind seems strong and consistent. However, the tide reversal came swiftly and brutally. All but Oasis had tended in this direction.

Those of us caught in the massive two to three knot flood current in a dying breeze looked for a way out. From what I could see, Sprite and First Draft headed for home around this time. Velica, Radiant Heat and Imp tried to get intimate with the Pender shore, and for a while it seemed that Imp and Radiant Heat would spend the day there. Wildfire had found better progress further to the west, and seeing this, Velica came out to join her.

While trying to eek out the last of the motive power in the now faltering and shifting wind, Velica got out ahead of Wildfire, and then completely lost track of her. I also lost track of Oasis, though a boat making good way west-to-east on the Moresby north shore caught my eye. Indeed, Oasis lived up to her name by sailing around all of us into the lead, and into a tidal refuge. Velica followed doggedly, but thought at this point that Oasis would be long gone by the time we crept around the Moresby west shore.

I recently heard the term “rock-hopping” for the technique of riding very close to a shoreline when an opposing current looms, and insufficient wind is all one has. So that is what Velica attempted, aided greatly by the replacement depth sounder I had just installed last week.

Much to my surprise, Oasis had not found a private breeze to the south and had not disappeared. Slowly, Velica was gaining on the majestic white boat. Just before we both got to Pelorus Point, in fact, Velica rode a back-eddy just four or five metres closer to the shore than Oasis, and glided right by. But at Pelorus Point, the light breeze died almost completely, and neither boat could round in the rush of current concentrated there. Oasis opted to anchor, and enjoy a beer and a sandwich or two. Bob kindly hailed me on VHF and offered to share. I thanked him for his gentlemanly hospitality, but reported that I had found a little ribbon of wind a stone’s throw off shore, and that I was making a thrilling +0.5 knots VMG! Around this time, I had assumed that Oasis and Velica were the only boats left in the race, with no evidence of Wildfire, Imp nor Radiant Heat anywhere I could see.

That ribbon filled in just a little, and Oasis weighed anchor and came out to follow. We each made slow and halting progress toward Fairfax Point, where we hoped to finally leave the adversity of the flood current behind us. As the screen capture of Velica’s track below illustrates, this rounding was very nearly the frightful end of her day. My first attempt to round ended in the wash of current on the south side of the point, flushing Velica quickly away off shore. A second attempt got Velica around the point, only to have the wind abandon us to the waiting rock. Again we were flushed, but this time the bow was swept toward the shore rather than away. I had to delicately control the boat’s backward progress, allowing the bow to sweep toward and then past the hungry rock at the tip of the point (orange arrow), allowing the boat to do a 180º in the process. Whew!

I have heard it said that if a sailor tells you they have never gone aground, they are either lying or have not sailed long enough. I guess I have still not sailed long enough!

velica's track

Oasis must have watched all this with great amusement (or concern) as she made much less dramatic progress on the gentle leading edge of the new northerly wind, now finally starting to find us. Soon, as I was bringing Velica round for the third and final attempt at Fairfax Point, Oasis glided right by and re-took the lead.  But the new wind was partially blocked by the steep rocks of the Point, and our two boats ended up partially stalled, almost side-by-side. Velica had ended up overlapped and to windward, and thus unable to bear away to gain speed toward the promised-land wind line lying 200 metres or so ahead of us. Cue the blue arrow in the photo above— I intentionally (this time) did a voluntary 360º to get room to maneuver. While falling behind Oasis, it worked, and I was able to trim to the shuddering edge of the breeze, reach the wind line before Oasis, and catapult into a persistent lead.

It was now about 4:30pm, and we had expended seven hours getting to the halfway point of the race! But the new north wind was blasting through the gap between Moresby and Portland Islands with much gusto, and Velica and Oasis were quickly above 7 knots on a direct course for the Celia Reef buoy.

About a mile or so from the escape of Fairfax Point, I glanced back to see if Oasis was closing on Velica. To my total surprise, just around the point, were three canted masts in hot pursuit, in various stages of stowing spinnakers. I recognized the flames of Wildfire and the bright blue and orange of Radiant Heat, and surmised the third smaller mast was Imp. Apparently, they had brought the north wind with them, and had unstuck themselves to make far more efficient progress on the east side of Moresby.

Now I was motivated to keep the bow down and my focus sharp. I knew that if anyone would be able to beat Velica on corrected time, it would be Imp. Game on.

Celia Reef came and went in a flash, and now we were hard on the wind again, all the way back to the finish. The wind stayed fairly strong throughout, even in the harbour, ranging from 14 knots down to 8 knots at times. Progress was quick and graceful, but one had to be alert to the shifts, the oncoming gusts, and to dodging the rush-hour glut of ferry traffic.

By now the uncertain skies of the morning had made way for glorious golden sunshine. During the beat toward the harbour, in fact, the water-reflected lowering sun was often blinding, making it hard to watch for crab traps or even read my instruments. But sailing into any sunset is special, and especially the second-latest sunset of the year.

Velica took a long-fought line honours, and I watched as one-by-one the remaining four competitors made their way into the harbour.

Given the widely spread finishing times and long duration for time-on-time scoring, the final placings were a mystery to me then. Indeed, second and third places were separated by only twenty-four seconds out of more than ten hours sailing! Congrats to all the ardent finishers who endured a long, sometimes seemingly hopeless, but ultimately beautiful and fulfilling day.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 19:46:05 10:08:36 1 100
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 20:35:58 10:30:06 2 86
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 20:17:58 10:30:30 3 72
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 20:08:30 10:32:40 4 57
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 20:03:32 11:02:03 5 43
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNF DNF 7 14
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 DNF DNF 7 14




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Wednesday Night – June #3

15 June 2016

This evening was a perfect example of how local atmospheric conditions can make the overall regional wind forecast invalid. All forecasts called for very light air, and indeed, as we gathered, there were a few scattered pools of ripples in the harbour, interspersed with equally large pools of glassy water. A passing mini-squall would change all that!

I had planned to use Lawrie’s big 5 Knot buoy as a mark, but Martin contributed the idea of using the start line as a gate for the second mark, and added the interesting twist of using a distinctive conical mooring buoy to the northwest of the start line as a final mark, at the end of the second lap, requiring a short upwind finishing leg. A couple people suggested that we should have a short course, but I hesitated and then decided to just go for it. As Shelley and I got Velica ready for the start, the 1 – 3 knots of wind then prevalent around the start line caused me to reconsider my decision, and I almost hailed everyone to ask that we all take times at the end of the first lap. Ha!

I am not even going to try to give a tack by gybe take of the incredibly intense blast of fun and effort that followed, since I was far too busy trimming, steering and coaching Shelley to even keep track of more than a boat or two around us. I will say that rather than a short course, we should have done another lap, or even another race— the agreed course was polished off in a scant 33 minutes by Matti Troyer’s nimble ICBM (for line honours) and less than 50 minutes for Battle Axe, ably single-handed by Jim Raddysh. On corrected time, the podium finishers we separated by only 1:36, and second and third place by only 4 seconds!


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 17:35:15 00:31:44 1 100
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 17:35:10 00:33:16 2 90
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 17:33:45 00:33:20 3 80
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 117 17:33:10 00:33:51 4 70
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 17:38:34 00:34:43 5 60
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 17:36:15 00:35:55 6 50
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 17:38:00 00:36:16 7 40
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 17:40:53 00:39:47 8 30
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 17:49:37 00:43:07 9 20
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 ? DNF 10 10




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McMillan Trophy Race

12 June 2016

I will always remain fond of this race for two reasons: 1) Martin pointed out several years ago that this trophy is probably the most beautiful of the club race trophies, adorned with a half-model of an elegant and classic 6-metre. 2) It is the first race that I won, ever, back when I had a club handicap that added 30 seconds to my PHRF rating! Today, without that benefit, Martin reminded me that if one wants to race a Fireball Champion, one had better bring one’s A game. Alas, I only brought my A-minus game.

The forecasts I examined had assured us that a generally southeasterly breeze would slowly build in from race time onward, and that is exactly what we got. As we prepared the boats, there was just a hint of ripples in the harbour, and still patches of glassy water. By the start sequence, a more steady 7 to 9 knot breeze and filled in.

The start was just lovely. Kay D, First Draft, ICBM, Velica and Radiant Heat all hit the line within seconds of each other and of the 10:30 mark. Radiant Heat and Velica were toward the windward end of the line, and the other three were battling out for clear air in close quarters toward the pin end. ICBM jumped into an early lead which, despite one attempt in James Bay, they never relinquished.

The wind was fairly steady directionally, so picking off shifts to tack on was not straightforward. Instead, the beat to Batt Rock was more about staying in the best breeze lanes and avoiding the worst ribbons of the faltering late flood current. ICBM rounded Batt Rock first and promptly set her lovely cobalt blue asymmetrical spinnaker for the reach to Ben Mohr Rock. Velica rounded second, followed by Wildfire and Radiant Heat. Wildfire was showing great speed on the upwind beat, but fell back behind Radiant Heat on the reach. Imp, First Draft and Kay D were next, followed by Deryn Mohr and Battle Axe. With a few exceptions, the fleet was mostly arranged in PHRF-rated order, which I take as a testament to an overall growing proficiency fed by close competition in this year’s races.

It would have been an uncomplicated race (unlike last Wednesday’s carnival ride) but for one bit of geography— the narrows of Captain Passage in the lee of Prevost Island. This stretch of water often provides a genuine barrier when the tidal current is running strong. But we had a first quarter moon preparing to rise, and the current, while notable, was manageable, even in reduced wind. But the shifted and diminished wind in the Passage and in adjacent James Bay played havoc with many boat’s strategies and progress, this author’s craft included.

First bitten was ICBM, who languished just feet inside a wind line by straying too far into James Bay. Velica took her turn on the return passage, failing to bear off enough after rounding the Ben Mohr Rock Buoy and having the current sweep her too close to James Bay instead of staying in the wind off Nose Point, as ICBM brilliantly accomplished. Kay D, we learned later, had both great skill and good luck in both crossings, and that was to be the difference between a win and not-so-much.

Once back though this puzzle, the wind across Welbury Bay and into Ganges Harbour had now built above 10 knots, and everyone made great progress toward the finish. Velica stayed just close enough to the hot-running ICBM to nip her on corrected time by just 30 seconds. Kay D was barely in the harbour when Velica approached the line, but such is the speed differential in a fast race, that Kay D prevailed for the crafty and well-crafted win. On the dock before the race, I had remarked that Hillary was Kay D’s secret weapon. I was more prescient than I meant to be!

With the race completed by all nine boats in time for lunch or at least snacks and good conversation on the picnic tables, the persistent wind and sunshine felt like an embarrassment of riches on a shining Sunday. We are lucky ducks indeed.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 13:18:08 02:31:22 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 13:05:07 02:33:14 2 89
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 111 12:59:14 02:33:44 3 78
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 13:11:15 02:35:30 4 67
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 13:14:45 02:35:53 5 56
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:16:18 02:41:49 6 44
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 13:21:25 02:43:37 7 33
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 13:48:35 02:52:34 8 22
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 13:56:50 02:59:44 9 11




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Wednesday Night – June #2

8 June 2016


I think it would be hard to pack more action into an hour+ Wednesday Night race than we had tonight! With the wind coming at us from almost every compass point in rapid succession, with lulls down to 2 knot of wind and gusts of 20 knots, this was a race for those who like to trim!

We chose a simple course of Start – Welbury Spar (P) – Finish, opting to not assume that the gusts would prevail over the pools of lulls visible all over the harbour.

The start was complicated by a transition zone sitting right in the middle of the line, with one source of wind lying just outside the club end, and another, at a different angle altogether, lying off the pin end. The fleet split between these choices, and the sweepstakes began. Those at the pin end, especially ICBM, Kay D and Imp got away smartly, with ICBM planing into an early lead. Velica, Radiant Heat and others, at the club end of the line, got a spluttering messy set of gusts and lulls that propelled us, but not nearly as well as those on the left side of the course.

As we made our way out to the mouth of the harbour, the gusts, lulls and shifts all became magnified and more violent, making every steering move and trim adjustment crucial to progress. Velica snuck upwind of the leading group right near the Second Sister shore, a move that had worked spectacularly in last year’s Night Race, in similar conditions. Suddenly, we found ourselves shot from fifth or so on the water into first. But Radiant Heat, and ICBM were hot on our tails, unshakeable.

Velica was first round the mark, just holding off Radiant Heat and then ICBM. We were now beating hard across Welbury Bay, again with huge shifts and variations in wind strength. Once into the harbour, reasonable choices for point of sail varied all the away from 100º True to 40º True, in ridiculously fast succession. It was like boxing against Muhammad Ali— if you did not dance like a butterfly, you would get stung by the bee.

In the end, ICBM just nipped Velica for line honours, but Velica won on corrected time, with Radiant Heat coming across just two minutes behind. Kay D snuck up close enough to claim second on corrected time, with Radiant Heat third.

As a postscript, Velica was very fortunate to have the able trimming, wind spotting, and can-do attitude of Shelley Lipke, a new crew in our midst.

But to keep us two on our toes, after finishing, and calmly preparing to take down our sails, Mamma Nature threw us a huge gust out of nowhere, and we found ourselves knocked down with green water pouring over the leeward coaming and leaving me standing at the helm in 15 cm of water— In the freaking harbour! Ha, refreshing!

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 18:07:36 01:06:47 1 100
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 18:15:40 01:08:07 2 89
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 18:09:30 01:08:52 3 78
ICBM Matti Troyer 111 21 111 18:07:28 01:09:30 4 67
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:16:15 01:12:09 5 56
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 195 18 195 18:19:58 01:12:42 6 44
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 166 18:18:00 01:13:54 7 33
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 18:23:45 01:14:34 8 22
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 18:18:30 01:14:56 9 11




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Wednesday Night – June #1

1 June 2016

The “summer” racing season began in capricious conditions. The wind was light from the southeast at the outset, but that was just the beginning of the story. A fleet of seven boats participated, and were kind enough to allow a delayed start at 17:15 due to the Fleet Captain’s tardy arrival to the skipper’s meeting. The skipper of Radiant Heat made it clear that this was a one-time allowance, and the skipper of Velica gratefully agreed to those terms!

The start was orderly and First Draft immediately showed that they had come not just to play but to dominate. Radiant Heat was also in fine form, just to leeward of Velica, but pointing better and twice forcing Velica to tack away to clear her wind. The proceedings were complicated by the disappearance of the Ganges Shoal marker, the intended single mark of the course. Craig Leitch, skipper of Imp, carefully described a particular crab trap buoy at the skipper’s meeting to be used as a replacement, but its location was a little uncertain.

First Draft, well in the lead by now, managed to find it first, and were closer to it. Velica and Radiant Heat had substantially over-stood the mark, and had to approach it laterally and make a 270º turn to leave it to port. Velica failed to assert inside position and Radiant Heat took full advantage, nosing inside and holding off Velica from the bear away to return home. Leaving the mark, both Radiant Heat and Velica had to yield ticklishly to Wildfire and Second Wind approaching now on starboard.

Just then, the wind decided to shift about 180º from SE to NW, and thus, the return leg of the race become more or less upwind as well. More or less, indeed— the very light wind continued to swing wildly and unpredictably causing some pretty strange tacking angles and sequences.

The three leaders, First DraftRadiant Heat and Velica, stayed to the Salt Spring shore, whereas ImpWildfire, and Second Wind tried and found their luck on the Chain Islands side, and gained some ground there. Velica gained back considerably on First Draft and actually almost caught Radiant Heat at the line by staying out of the persistent ebb current by hugging the shore. This was a tricky proposition, because her depth sounder had decided to become casual about reporting anything other than “- – -“.

In the end, we all got in, including Skeena Cloud with Greg Taylor valiantly single-handing, and we all enjoyed some hospitality and camaraderie aboard Second Wind, since the rain showers had rendered the picnic tables quite inhospitable.

Congratulations to First Draft on a masterful line to line victory.

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 18:32:30 01:13:58 1 100
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 18:33:25 01:15:37 2 86
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 18:36:10 01:16:48 3 72
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 18:33:35 01:17:38 4 57
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 18:37:33 01:20:20 5 43
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 195 18 195 19:05:20 01:40:18 6 28
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 114 18:51:16 01:38:42 7 14




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Round Saltspring 2016

21 May 2016

Listed here are the SISC results for Round Saltspring 2016. Click on the Round Saltspring button in the left side bar menu for more details…

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC Elapsed Corrected Place Points Overall
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 141 9 57 38 8 18 56 1 100 21
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 9 59 25 8 22 49 2 92 24
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 9 42 11 8 51 47 3 85 56
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 10 10 53 8 57 23 4 77 62
ICBM Matti Troyer 116 10 29 7 9 7 55 5 69 69
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 10 44 18 9 9 6 6 62 70
OASIS Bob Jones 102 10 28 7 9 16 43 7 53 72
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 11 16 57 9 24 15 8 46 76
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 10 52 3 9 32 15 9 38 78
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 11 19 17 9 35 41 10 31 79
SOUL THYME Keith Simpson 111 11 47 54 10 30 12 11 23 90
EFFERVESCENCE I RB Bortz 142 13 38 2 11 58 38 12 15 92
BREAKAWAY Chris Gadsby 178 DNF DNF 13 8 99



First SISC boat: Kibble’s Electra


Second: Vincent Argiro in Velica

DSC_0073 copy

Ole Anderson’s Caliente in third, chased by Final Dash


2nd-time winner of the Tar and Feathers Trophy: RB Bortz in Effervescence I


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Opening Day Sail Past Race

Sunday, 17 April 2016

Notes from Philippe:

I counted 13 boats at the start line. The course was set for Ganges Shoal (P) and back. When the lead boats arrived at the shoal it was found that the mark has disappeared, as had been suspected after discussion at the skipper’s meeting. An alternative mark had been set as a precaution, a large red ball float closer to the Second Sister Island than the shoal, which all boats rounded with no problem. The breeze was light and variable, which combined with the NFS restriction made for modest sailing speed and resulted in the fastest boats taking nearly 1.5 hours to finish the course, with all boats finishing in less than 2 hours. The homeward leg was enlivened by a cigarette-type power boat roaring into Ganges Harbour at 40+ knots cutting through the fleet, followed by a law enforcement boat with four unsmiling flak-jacketed officers in hot pursuit. One racer was disqualified for flying a spinnaker. It was great to see some new boats out to join the fun.

And  from the Erdmer Result Works.…

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 188 14:55:45 01:18:44 1
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 182 14:55:29 01:19:09 2
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 246 15:06:00 01:21:28 3
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 0 231 15:07:20 01:24:15 4
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 14:57:40 01:24:33 5
SANDPIPER Rob Denny 243 18 261 15:14:30 01:26:58 6
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 114 18 132 14:57:40 01:27:24 7
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 15:13:11 01:29:40 8
NARU Peter Toby 173 21 194 15:08:44 01:29:53 9
JEEKERS Nick Sladen-Dew 168 18 186 15:14:26 01:36:09 10
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 120 15:05:25 01:36:54 11
MERRIWEATHER Derek Hill 78 21 99 DNF DNF 12
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 223 DSQ DSQ DSQ



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Bas Cobanli Memorial Race

Sunday, 17 April 2016


I hear it told that Bas Cobanli was a racer’s racer— brilliant, uncompromising, precise, persistent. My hope was to design a course for today that he might have suggested. It should be doable, given the wind forecast, but truly challenging and long enough to afford the opportunity for some changes of fortune.

My starting assumption was a wind forecast that suggested a sustained NW breeze.

It was actually quite accurate, but… only for about half of the race day. The other half of our hours on the water were punctuated by the thermal flows that can stop a self-respecting northwesterly in its tracks in our playground, or even reverse the flow to southeasterly in maddening fits and starts. All this happened out there today.

My chosen course was Start – Welbury Spar (P) – Ben Mohr (S) – Prevost Island (S) – Deep Ridge Bouy (P) – Prevost Island (P) – Finish. When I set it out upon the ears of the eleven game skippers on the breakwater, there were some rolled eyes, some downcast looks, and a plea for an insurance short course. I suggested the short course marker as the port rounding of Peille Point at the north end of Prevost Island, perhaps 75% of the total distance.

So, yes, the course was doable, but only just barely, with a limit time of 5:00pm.

Alas, while most boats did finish the short course, the diehard leaders persisted in racing back to the club, and all four eventual finishers crossed the official line before the declared 5:00pm limit, making the short course unnecessary. My apologies to those who stuck it out to Peille Pt., but were not able to overcome the last several wind pauses to get the full distance.

The race itself was quite enjoyable for almost everyone I talked to afterward. It was certainly a lovely day, making the wind holes a bit more tolerable. And the course was scenic, unusual, and I dare surmise, up to Mr. Cobanli’s standards. We had lots of lead changes, several 180º wind shifts, adverse current a good part of the time, and plenty of fun for the spinnaker-endowed.

Congratulations to Imp, who despite losing a 15 minute lead (along with Radiant Heat) by the halfway point, managed to battle back and use her light-air downwind magic to creep close enough to Velica in the end to secure a well-earning victory. Congrats to all four dogged finishers— hopefully Bas is smiling upon us.

The results…

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 4:53 PM 6h 3m 0s 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 4:47 PM 6h 12m 45s 2 80
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 4:52 PM 6h 18m 53s 3 60
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 4:56 PM 6h 44m 19s 4 40
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 DNF DNF 5 20
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 DNF DNF 6 20
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 DNF DNF 6 20
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 0 231 DNF DNF 6 20
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNF DNF 6 20
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 DNF DNF 6 20




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Round Prevost Island

Sunday, 27 March 2016


Race Day saw quite an exemplar of what makes sailing and racing in our neighbourhood so challenging, even maddening, but ultimately fulfilling. Even with wind forecasts getting better, even with many of us having sailed these same waters dozens or even hundreds of times, no given day is truly predictable, no race strategy is worth much after the lines are cast off, nothing is more valuable than a keen eye to the sky and to its interface with the water, a feeling for one’s boat in the seat of one’s pants, and an inexhaustible supply of patience.

I had suggested to the group that we take Prevost Island clockwise, figuring that we would be more likely to fight the current through the narrows of Captain Passage earlier in a predicted lightening breeze than fight the same large ebb current in the wind shadow of southern Prevost later on. A majority of skippers agreed and we headed for our readied craft. This supposed strategy ultimately might have been as good as the alternative, but not at all as I was counting on.

The day began promisingly enough with a fulfilled forecast of a north wind, dawn rain ceased, and a clearing sky. Eleven boats initially took the start line, though one, Coda, was not to be found in the finishing times, though found at the dock later. We hope that she and her skipper are fine and were just suspect of the fickle wind to come.

The start was a tricky downwind appointment with the line approachable on starboard but port tack favoured immediately to get out into the harbour and into the heart of the breeze. The two Flying Fifteens could not hide their intentions as they circled the pin end of the line like wolves around a vulnerable prey. Most of the bigger boats held off a bit to gather themselves for a run at the line on starboard tack. This brought quite a convergence at the pin in the dying seconds of the countdown, and it was Kay D who executed a perfectly timed rounding of said pin with an immediate gybe onto port in clear air and an almost equally immediate spinnaker hoist. Sprite followed a few instants later along with Velica, Radiant Heat and a menacingly charging Caliente. Ogopogo and the rest of the fleet held back a little or took the line more toward the club end.

The run out of the harbour proceeded in a flurry of gybes to find clear air and follow the already widely shifting puffs. Before long, most of the fleet had paired off into a Noah’s Arc of contests that would persist all afternoon for most pairs: Caliente and Ogopogo, Radiant Heat and Velica, Wildfire and Imp, Sprite and the Kay D, Battle Axe and Skeena Cloud.

As we escaped the harbour and hardened up into a breeze of puffs and feints in Wellbury Bay, the wind began to show how much it was not going to give us anything simple today, as Velica, Imp, Radiant Heat and Wildfire approached Scott Point, followed closely by Sprite and Kay D, we saw the dread sight of Caliente and Ogopogo ahead, sitting bolt upright and either stationary or sliding sideways in the swift ebb.

The wind shadow of Nose Point was quite sufficient to shuffle the deck of the game, and the fleet. Imp and then Velica and Radiant Heat initially tried to hug the Nose Point shore and use the last momentum from the wind funnelled down Long Harbour to try to find a back eddy or any current relief enough for forward progress. Wildfire went out a bit further, following the move by Ogopogo and Caliente, now tantalizingly close again to the pursuing slower boats, toward the Prevost Shore. Key D and Sprite hugged closer than all to the Nose Point shore, not burdened with much need for depth under keel. But both boats, close enough to each other to chat without shouting, quickly sized up the situation as perhaps a waste of a good Sunday, and turned their transoms to us and had their own little short-course match race back to the Club.

Gradually all the remaining boats found just enough wind and shelter from the current to round Peille Point and head out into a slightly more hospitable and steady breeze in Trincomali Channel. Here the fleet frayed across a good piece of the width of the Channel, with Caliente and Ogopogo, still trading the lead often, heading for the Mayne Island side, Wildfire, Imp and Radiant Heat centrally placed, and Velica sailing deeper into the wind and the shorter course closer to Prevost, hoping to stay relevant with the spinnaker-ed boats threatening to leave her quite behind.

Then, Nature took the covers off the next surprise of the day— a 200º or more wind shift from Northerly to Southwesterly. The spinnakers were rapidly retrieved and sheets winched on. Velica sensed an opportunity, sitting right beside Radiant Heat (as she had more than once already and would again) and fired up onto a powerful lifting reach that carried right around Portlock Point and toward the Ellen B Day Beacon. Velica had cut the corner on Caliente and Ogopogo, and got ahead of the one and right onto the heels of the other. Radiant Heat managed an even higher line to the beacon and forced Velica to duck her transom as the two crossed tacks, Radiant Heat on starboard. The wind held and even built tantalizingly, with some hope of carrying us onto a fast beat home past the Channel Islands.

But no. The southwesterly fizzled and left only vestiges of the former northerly rolling over the bluffs of western Prevost Island. Ogopogo and Caliente again diverged and headed for the Beddis Road shore of Salt Spring, slowly rebuilding the lead they had claimed and fought over twice before. Wildfire eventually followed, nearly sailing right around and past Velica and Radiant Heat, again side-by-side and bobbing forward, sideways and back in the still tenacious ebb current, spitting distance from the rocks of Prevost. Imp had an Imp’s trickery somehow done back to her, and lost the wind further south of Prevost, seeming to drift further and further in the direction of Sidney.

Our illustrious past Fleet Captain – Racing made a guest appearance at this juncture, motoring along in Deryn Mohr, waving encouragingly, clearly having enjoyed a languid and merry weekend off in some anchorage or port.

In what turned out to be a deciding moment, a tiny puff carried Velica forward of Radiant Heat, startling the latter’s skipper into decrying, “Vincent, turn that motor off.” I did no such thing, since it was of course not on. But  one boat length grew into a dozen, before yet another game level in Nature’s Pandora’s Box manifested. Up a bit ahead, and in the heart of the Passage, Velica saw Wildfire catch a resurrected wind out of the north and heel over, blasting forward. Radiant Heat was in it now too, and threatening to re-pass Velica.

The bracing breeze was spreading over to Salt Spring as well and Caliente and Ogopogo could be seen heeling and accelerating toward Batt Rock. Velica tacked on a shift and headed to meet the new wind, and began clawing upwind in a feathering fury her skipper has rarely seen out of her. As we all approached Ganges Harbour, the wind gradually lightened, but stayed strong enough for long enough that Velica found herself rapidly closing on Caliente and Ogopogo as the finish line loomed. Radiant Heat was closing on Velica, and playing every shift and gust became crucial. Wildfire had fallen back but was making progress, as was Imp, and then Skeena Cloud and Battle Axe determined to get the full dose of the day and a well-earned pair of finishes.

Philippe’s table below tells only part of the tale. His photos, one of mine of our Flying Fifteen class, one from Skeena Cloud depicting life on the leeward rail, and a whole host shared generously here by Matti Troyer, out with his family in motorized transport, tell even more.

Velica’s very sensitive wind instrument measured everything from 0.16 knots to 24 knots and almost every compass direction, and during one jaw-clenching horizontal rain squall the wind chill was 1ºC.

No one broke any records for Round Prevost today, not even a faster time for this year was set, but everyone was reminded just how special a trip around our neighbourhood islet always is.

We are indeed blessed. Whether one celebrates Easter religiously, or chasing the White Rabbit, or neither, this day of renewal was rich with gifts for all. Sailing here is not easy, it is not obvious, but it is sublime.

Results by Philippe…

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 0 138 14:33:15 04:00:18 1 100
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 14:35:02 04:02:48 2 89
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 96 21 96 14:29:10 04:12:22
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 14:31:05 04:24:42 3 78
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 15:10:27 04:32:54 4 67
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 15:19:01 04:33:27 5 56
CODA Hugh Greenwood 220 21 241 16:30:32 05:07:57 6 44
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 0 231 16:36:00 05:16:47 7 33
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 16:38:50 05:28:25 8 22
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 DNF DNF 10 11
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNF DNF 10 11




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Spring Regatta

12 & 13 March 2016

Saturday’s story…

The first race went almost exactly as planned for length, but wildly unpredictable for wind and tactics. A jaunt down to Ganges Shoal and back to the Start-Finish line, twice around, turned into a comedy of errors and triumphs as the wind swung wildly around, and every point of sail was given to the fleet to enjoy or be confused by, and lots of position changes occurred.

When it came to setting the course for the second race (St – Batt Rock (P) – Welbury Spar (P) – F), I was romanced by what looked like a solid SE wind. By the time the 13:00 start arrived, the wind had transmuted into a light, shifty, and cold northerly. I looked over at Martin Herbert sailing IOM off the dock, and wondered if he had chosen a much better way to spend the afternoon.

What transpired for the next hour or so was an agonizing crawl out of the harbour at 1.5 to 3 knots of boat speed. About 0.7 nm from Batt Rock, I seriously considered giving it up, as Electra had done a bit before. Nonetheless, there was this puff of smoke drifting out of a chimney or burn pile on Beddis Road that just kept leaning south and beckoning First Draft, myself, Wildfire, Radiant Heat, and Battle Axe onward. First Draft has developed a penchant for using her gennaker to great effect on this stretch of water, and she pulled out to about a 15 minute lead at about this point.

However, as Batt Rock finally grew large enough to count the cormorants on its fragrant surface, Velica and Wildfire were in hot pursuit, almost side-by-side with each other. Just as Velica reached the mark and rounded, a sharp gust shot her and then Wildfire and eventually Radiant Heat onto a blistering broad reach toward Welbury Spar and the (literally) waiting First Draft. And then that gust built into a howling squall that sent down a rattling torrent of buckshot-sized hail. Stinging our hands and faces and rolling around our cockpits, I heard Greg Slakov howl like a wolf to the myriad tiny moons at our feet. A full-arc hung low over the Prevost Island shore, and dazzling glints of sun contrasted with the menacing black clouds over Beaver Point. THIS is what we had fought out that slow-motion run to Batt Rock for, and there would be more to come.

Velica rounded Welbury Spar in the last vestiges of that hail-loaded downdraft, and almost parked up right beside the spar. First Draft lay just a 150-200 m ahead toward Second Sister. The pause in the action marooned Wildfire and Radiant Heat out in Captain Passage, as the determined Battle Axe could be seen doggedly making her way still toward Batt Rock.

Velica spied a wind line gathering itself on the Beddis Road shore. I had a feeling this was coming, and that it could be big. It was. Tacking toward the wind, before First Draft, Velica reached it and heeled over with a 15-18 knot southwesterly. Accelerating to 7 knots, Velica sailed right around First Draft and into first position on the water. Narrowly clearing Second Sister light, and bearing off into the harbour, the wind stayed and even built propelling Velica and then a pursuing First Draft on a beeline drag-race for the finish. Velica arrived with line honours, as she had done in the first race, followed by First Draft, Radiant Heat, Wildfire, and eventually a heroically persistent Battle Axe.



Sunday’s story…

Well, Mamma Nature threw most of what she had at us this weekend, and we laughed at the challenge and had three amazing sails!

Today’s race was a bit in doubt first thing this morning, due to persistent forecasts of near doom from various sources. After hearing Douglas cheerfully offer that First Draft was good to go, I headed down to the club. Finding things reasonable on the water, and Battle Axe and Wildfire reading themselves to go, I declared a quorum present and took the sail covers off of Velica.

I proposed a simple course (St – U62 – Fin) designed to give us a fair upwind/downwind beat and run in the ESE stiff breeze (15 – 20 kts), and short enough not to test our luck with the very real chance of deteriorating conditions later in the day. Everyone agreed and we got after it.

Interestingly enough the order of start predicted the finishing order. Velica lead away narrowly over Wildfire, with First Draft a bit behind and Battle Axe taking another few seconds to rev up and get over the line. The beat out of the harbour was closely fought, with Velica and Wildfire almost side-by-side on the Chain Island shores, and First Draft and Battle Axe favouring the Beddis Road shore. This split in the fleet persisted after Second Sister, with Velica and Wildfire tacking up into Welbury Bay looking for positive current in the building ebb tide, and First Draft and Wildfire perhaps looking for less intense wind, or fewer tacks to get to the mark, staying longer on the right side of the course.

Velica reached the mark first, and having shaken out her reef in the lighter breeze before the mark, set out to put all her sail area in front of the wind on the run home. After seeing Wildfire wing-and-wing for a few minutes after rounding, Velica was feeling more confident. But once Wildfire’s blazing spinnaker went up, my shoulders drooped a little, and my jaw set a little harder. The gap was closing a bit. Playing the constant shifts was key to keeping the boat fast AND sailing minimum distance home. The breeze held in the harbour and so did Velica’s lead, making three line honours out of three starts this weekend.

Race 1

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 12:04:05 01:24:42 1
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 11:56:02 01:24:59 2
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 11:59:45 01:25:40 3
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 11:57:07 01:26:19 4
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 11:57:57 01:27:17 5
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 12:13:20 01:32:01 6
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 12:08:47 01:36:07 7

Race 2

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 15:56:00 02:47:59 1
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 15:52:08 02:50:02 2
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 154 16:11:37 03:04:48 3
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 16:17:11 03:11:52 4
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 16:46:00 03:21:14 5
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNS DNS 7
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 DNF DNF 7

Race 3

Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 11:53:27 01:22:26 1
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 11:58:10 01:25:47 2
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 12:08:32 01:34:03 3
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 12:22:35 01:40:15 4
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 DNS DNS 7
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 DNS DNS 7
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 DNS DNS 7

Regatta Results

Boat Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total PLACE OVERALL Club Points
VELICA 2 2 1 5 1 100
FIRST DRAFT 3 1 3 7 2 86
WILDFIRE 7 4 2 13 3 72
RADIANT HEAT 4 3 8 15 4 57
BATTLE AXE 6 5 4 15 5 43
SPRITE 1 8 8 17 6 28
ELECTRA 5 8 8 21 7 14


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Walker Rock Race

28 February 2016

The Walker Rock Race participants discovered that when the forecasts diverge, be prepared at least for the maximum scenario! The only forecast I examined that got it right on the nose was WindAlert. They called for 30+ knots of wind by 10am with that SE blow clocking all the way around to W by afternoon, and by George, that is exactly what we got, along with some spitting rain, racing clouds, dazzling sunlight, and multiple rainbows.

The start was complicated by another confusion of the procedure, which I plan to attempt to remedy, once and for all, under separate cover (need to sleep on THAT wording). For now, suffice it to say that on the agreement of essentially everyone involved, I decided to ask Philippe to correct everyone’s elapsed time, despite the disparity between Radiant Heat’s start and everyone else’s.

After this confusion, we got off to the business of Nature’s furious challenges to the fleet. We experienced wind from 36 knots to nearly zero, and from just about every compass direction. There were some close fights (Velica and Electra traded places four times), but ultimately a significant stringing out of the fleet. Missing a shift or two was really costly on this day, and blasts of wind had sharp boundaries that left almost everyone in a hole or a vortex at one point or another, with the windex spinning helplessly.

Congrats to Radiant Heat for the sterling performance in the tough stuff.

We were grateful to hear that Battle Axe and her skipper got back to the dock in one piece (each).



Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Elapsed Corrected Place Points
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 136 18 136 12:57:15 12,435 03:25:21 1 100
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 nfs permnt 138 13:28:56 13,136 03:36:16 2 83
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 13:47:20 14,240 03:55:31 3 67
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 14:13:10 15,790 04:16:05 4 50
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 161 21 161 14:27:00 16,620 04:24:23 5 33
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 210 DNF DNF DNF 6 17




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Channel Islands Race

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Sunday’s race was a wonderful example of why we are so lucky to live, sail, and race where we do— beautiful environment, challenging weather and wind, great competition, and an affable group.


Photo by Philippe Erdmer

Roger on Electra offers the following account:

Imp, Velica, First Draft, Coda, Wildfire, Oasis, Sprite, Radiant Heat, Skeena Cloud and Electra.

The skippers of these boats celebrated Valentines Day with a surprisingly fast race with their nautical amores. It was a Channel Island race with lots of legs to and from Batt Rock and Wellbury Spar both up and down wind. The rain held off and the SE breeze filled in with white cap strength persuading many boats to start with a reef tucked in. The ebbing seas were quite flat despite the wind gusting to 20 knots every now and then.

The fleet was almost all together at the start although Radiant Heat wisely decided to tuck in a reef at the last minute and were a little late. Velica secured the windward advantage and set a bristling pace hard on the wind with Electra obliged to tack to find clean air.  Imp, First Draft and Wildfire were going well and Radiant Heat was going fast and caught up to the lead group by the Sisters. Oasis was also reefed but keeping pace.  Greg was bravely going solo in his lightweight Sprite struggling upwind in the powerful conditions with all sails flapping but managing to plane at times at 10 knots downwind!  Hugh was also solo and impressively keeping Coda under control. SkeenaCloud was not really rigged for the sharp winds and decided to retire before damage occurred. Velica was first to round Batt Rock followed by Electra and then a close group of Imp, First Draft, Wildfire, Oasis and a fast moving Radiant Heat.

Few boats flew chutes on the second leg back to Wellbury. Then it became a tough beat to the Islands. Wildfire and Radiant Heat showed some terrific speed and closed quite a bit on the two leaders. Sprite was keeping in touch as the wind moderated a little. On the long downwind leg Velica was moving very impressively and kept ahead of the spinnaker flying Electra. Radiant Heat was now firmly in third position roaring along.

Quickly back again to Batt Rock and then downwind on the last leg home in now moderating air. Electra spent a long time trying to untwist their wet spinnaker but when at last it ballooned correctly, gradually caught up the NFS Velica and moved past  just before the finish only a minute ahead. The rest of the fleet was slowed a little at the Sisters but soon finished impressively posting a pretty close corrected times.

Judging current and wind shifts on this day paid big dividends. It was also a race that rewarded coordinated crew work for those boats lucky enough to have a crew. Post race review revealed that all boats had made errors or had made boat handling compromises so everyone could have gone faster.

So…on to the next race which is the first of the Kibble Cup series, the Walker Rock race on the 28th February. Better organize crew early for this race!


The results are quite remarkable. The podium is distributed among only 88 seconds! Congratulations to Imp for the second-shaving win! Philippe reminds me to remind you that First Draft’s position is still tentative, pending receipt of her PHRF-BC rating.


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 13:40:58 03:00:41 1 100
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 13:33:14 03:01:50 2 90
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 13:34:24 03:02:09 3 80
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 138 18 138 13:36:22 03:04:06 4 70
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:44:22 03:09:08 5 60
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 171 21 171 13:54:00 03:11:54 6 50
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 14:08:16 03:16:30 7 40
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 13:45:36 03:24:24 8 30
CODA Hugh Greenwood 220 21 241 15:12:45 04:01:30 9 20
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 n/a 231 DNF DNF 10 10


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 13:40:58 03:00:41 1
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 13:33:14 03:01:50 2
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 13:34:24 03:02:09 3
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 138 18 138 13:36:22 03:04:06 4
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 148 18 148 13:44:22 03:09:08 5
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 171 21 171 13:54:00 03:11:54 6*
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 14:08:16 03:16:30 7
OASIS Bob Jones 102 18 102 13:45:36 03:24:24 8


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
CODA Hugh Greenwood 220 21 241 15:12:45 04:01:30 1
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 n/a 231 DNF DNF 2




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Ground Hog Race

Sunday, 31 January 2016

Racers, One and All,

I am very pleased to report that we had a wonderful gathering of racers for our Ground Hog Day brunch and race. The brunch was heartily and jovially consumed, right down to the nooks and crannies of every serving dish. Maggie did her best to get the quantities right, but quite a number of people beyond those who RSVP attended, some arriving late. While certainly the more the merrier, Maggie and I apologize to those few who had to make do with the last few muffins for sustenance.

Thanks to Betsy, Kim, Ian and all others who pitched in to make the whole brunch come off smoothly.

Our fleet swelled to 14 boats, even though at least two frequent participants had still not given up the sun and surf of Mexico to make it back for our grey winter’s day! Baffling choice!

Thanks to the Fagets and Ogopogo for braving a speculative crossing from Galliano, and continuing to offer us a benchmark for our own sailing.

Roger commented:

It is certainly true that delicious food brings out the crowd. Maggie Argiro authored and organized a splendid brunch feast to celebrate Ground Hog Day and no less than fourteen happy skippers and crew indulged themselves before the reverse handicap race which Vincent wisely moved ahead to a noon scratch time.  This was the last day of January and looked as if it was painted by an old master, possibly Turner, with many shades of grey, giant clouds, bright patches and some rain falling far to the south that thankfully never reached us.

This reverse handicap race was our first event using as sailed PHRF-BC ratings and it produced a close finish in the light conditions.”

“So it was a delicious and surprising race that challenged us all. Thanks again to Maggie and all the volunteers that ensured a record turnout.

Philippe contributed this photo showing the front of the fleet as we left the harbour:

And here are preliminary results from Philippe. Please note that two boats raced without official PHRF-BC ratings (First Draft and Radiant Heat), so their placements are subject to review and thus marked with an asterisk. Radiant Heat also failed to record an accurate finish time. I know she was ahead of Velica and probably ahead of Imp, so we will have another look at that when we get Radiant Heat’s final rating, and correct her finishing time.

A word on the divisions:

The self-selection seems to be working out fairly well and as intended, with perhaps one curious exception. We shall see how that works out. My initial decision is to give out club points as previously to the full undivided fleet, and then use the points to determine series and full year podia. This way, if someone does decide to switch division between series, we have a consistent measure of overall standing.

We will also continue to show the results both as overall fleet standings and then as divisions. This should help the intended purpose of giving skippers and crews two yardsticks to measure their ongoing performance, and maximum encouragement to improve and increase participation.

I welcome feedback on the new approach.

Thanks again, everyone!




Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 96 21 96 14:25:00
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 14:29:45 1 100
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 171 21 171 14:34:15 2 92
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 138 18 138 14:34:25 3 85
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 14:36:20 4 77
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 14:38:25 5 69
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 14:53:25 6 62
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 15:10:26 7 53
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 15:11:26 8 46
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 15:30:40 9 38
CODA Hugh Greenwood 220 21 220 16:00:45 10 31
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 123 21 123 16:11:00 11 23
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 n/a 231 16:31:13 12 15
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 DNF 13 8


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected
OGOPOGO Paul Faget 96 21 96 14:25:00
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 135 21 135 14:29:45 1
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 171 21 171 14:34:15 2
RADIANT HEAT Tony Brogan 138 18 138 14:34:25 3
IMP Craig Leitch 167 21 167 14:36:20 4
VELICA Vincent Argiro 138 n/a 138 14:38:25 5
SPRITE Greg Slakov 202 21 202 15:10:26 6
KAY D Martin Herbert 202 21 202 15:11:26 7


Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected
CALIENTE Ole Andersen 72 21 72 14:53:25 1
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 228 18 228 15:30:40 2
CODA Hugh Greenwood 220 21 220 16:00:45 3
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 123 21 123 16:11:00 4
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 231 n/a 231 16:31:13 5
KAITOA Philippe Erdmer 105 21 105 DNF 6




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Ben Mohr Race

Sunday, 17 January 2016

For our first “serious” race of the year, we were treated to quite a challenge from Mamma Nature. Forecasts had indicated that we might see a serious blast of southerly wind right at race time, with gusts approaching 30 kts outside the harbour, followed by an easing throughout the course, but especially in the harbour. Those forecasts were amazingly accurate.

The excitement was heightened on Velica, given that her still faulty motor necessitated a tow out of the marina and back in, kindly provided by Electra. While the trip out to the breakwater was quite uneventful, the trip back would be a bit of a rodeo, as my wife would call it. Roger and I managed to get sideways and almost entangled in the fairway behind the breakwater on the first attempt, but managed to get it right the second time, with “all hands on dock” kind help from Philippe, Eric, Pete, and Greg Taylor. Thanks guys!!

Roger Kibble picks up the narrative:

“Five boats arrived for the first race of the season and enjoyed a fabulous sleigh ride, hopefully a sign of good wind to come.  The forecast rain put in only a brief appearance while some white cap causing southerly breeze filled in nicely. The race turned out to be mostly off the wind and a bit of a drag race to Ben Mohr and back.

Second Wind looked very sharp with a new tape drive main and jib. Eric reported much improved speed. A few big gusts caught them out and provoked some rounding up but mostly Second Wind was steaming along behind but keeping station with Velica and Electra for the whole race, a huge improvement for this boat.

Vincent made a great start and never looked back.  Both Velica and Electra were not reefed and were sailing at the top end of their rigs.  Battle Axe was moving well while Sprite was a little overwhelmed in the big gusts.  A faulty or weak  jib halyard cleat upset Electra’s progress until it was jury rigged.

The wind as usual moderated right at the end of the race as if commanded by God. It was all over in less than 90 minutes, a pretty fast race indeed.”

I note that Velica averaged just over 6 kts for the whole race, and I spent a lot of it over 7 kts!



Boat Skipper PHRF-CC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
VELICA Vincent Argiro 147 n/a 147 11:54:43 01:22:33 1 100
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 157 27 184 12:02:30 01:25:24 2 80
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 144 24 168 12:00:40 01:25:40 3 60
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 DNF DNF 5 20
SPRITE Greg Slakov 191 21 191 DNF DNF 5 20


Boat Skipper PHRF-NW NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
VELICA Vincent Argiro 141 n/a 141 11:54:43 01:23:18 1
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 144 24 168 12:00:40 01:25:40 2
SECOND WIND Eric van Soeren 123 27 150 12:02:30 01:29:44 3
BATTLE AXE Jim Raddysh 210 18 228 DNF DNF 5
SPRITE Greg Slakov 213 21 213 DNF DNF 5




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Hot Rum Race

1 January 2016

We were blessed with a beautiful morning, almost exactly on forecast. The sun was mostly present, in between drifting fog banks, and the wind was perhaps at the upper end of expectations, after all. The hoar frost was a bit of an issue, and a number of people reported frozen and stubborn rigging. Nonetheless, the glittering boats and docks were a beautiful sight, and nine boats aimed to participate. Alas for this FCR, the year began with an electric motor that would not go, and hence Velica stayed on dock to watch the proceedings.

That personal misfortune brought the opportunity for more photos from me, to add to those contributed by Greg Taylor and Martin Herbert. See below.

From my vantage point on the dock, it looked to be quite a tactical race. The start was won handily by Kay D, and her initial choice to take the right side of the course seemed to be paying early dividends for her, Electra, and others that went that way. A bit later it seemed that Sprite, First Draft and others that went left toward the chain islands took advantage.

After trying in vain to deal with Velica’s apparent hangover, I headed back to the breakwater to watch as First Draft took solid line honours and the win, followed by Electra and then a resurgent Wildfire. However, it was Deryn Mohr who played the shifts a little more economically on the way in, and pipped Wildfire for third place by just one second on the CC ratings, and 22 seconds on PHRF!

A hearty meal was served to a big crowd in the clubhouse. Hot rum was duly dispensed. I awarded a record three bottles of rum to the podium winners, with the choice of My. Gay, Kraken dark spiced, or Lamb’s Navy going in order of finish. Douglas, having rejoined his family, will have to see me to claim the Mt. Gay I am saving for him!

Martin sent the apt comment: “Captains Log Star Date: January 1st 2016, Have sailed every day this year, lets try to keep this record going….cheers, Martin”

Thanks, as always, to Philippe, for the prompt numbers…


Boat Skipper PHRF-CC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 174 30 204 11:28:25 00:52:27 1
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 144 24 168 11:30:25 00:57:05 2
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 243 18 261 11:43:48 01:01:25 3
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 159 18 177 11:35:52 01:01:26 4
SPRITE Greg Slakov 191 21 212 11:43:48 01:05:32 5
KAY D Martin Herbert 191 21 212 11:48:00 01:09:16 6
OASIS Bob Jones 117 21 138 11:42:08 01:11:15 7
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 219 15 234 12:03:25 01:20:32 8
VELICA Vincent Argiro 147 n/a 147 DNS 9



Boat Skipper NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place
FIRST DRAFT Douglas Woolcock 30 201 11:28:25 00:52:40 1
ELECTRA Roger Kibble 24 168 11:30:25 00:57:05 2
DERYN MOR Kevin Vine 18 252 11:43:48 01:02:08 3
WILDFIRE Gyle Keating 18 165 11:35:52 01:02:30 4
SPRITE Greg Slakov 21 234 11:43:48 01:03:37 5
KAY D Martin Herbert 21 234 11:48:00 01:07:14 6
OASIS Bob Jones 21 126 11:42:08 01:12:35 7
SKEENA CLOUD Greg Taylor 15 204 12:03:25 01:23:52 8
VELICA Vincent Argiro n/a DNS 9



Greg Taylor documented the frozen fairway between C and D docks.


Greg Slakov, Sprite, and Jack Frost



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Date 2016



Boat Skipper PHRF-BC NFS As Sailed Finish Time Corrected Place Points
Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data Data




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