Wednesday Night Racing


NonSpin Classes combine

CONTINUES 5/19/21 With S2r1

S1R4 132 May 21 Another North wind night.  33 boats came out and had a nice Looong night of sailing.  I had to stay home, so I got a picture or two. Here is Spun Sugar SN 5 in the Spin class rounding the mark near the East end of the lake.

 S1R3 5May 21 Good turnout with lighter winds, results are posted except Non-spins.

Not so windy tonight, but odd direction.  Beware downwind start in NE wind.  Tonight all Non-Spin boats will start together using the first start, NSB courses, and simplified protest rules. This gets a little competition into the class, making it more realistic.

Windy tonight! not Quite as bad as predicted, but the 17 boats that came out had their hands full.  We read 12-25+ on the water and higher numbers were seen in the area.  We try to run a safe regatta, but as indicated below, it is up to you to figure out when you are overwhelmed.

We are changing to use PHRF handicaps for all keelboats.  We are clarifying that the finish line is off-limits until your lap count is complete.  It will be windy today and sailors are reminded of RRS 3, "The responsibility for a boat's decision to participate in a race or to continue racing is hers alone."  Have your PFD's ready in case we use the Y flag.

Results tomorrow. Modest breeze from an oddball direction.  Good racing, a few folks didn't read or understand SI, so I'll read 'em again.  

Note: Boats registered after my final check ~4 PM, will not be shown on the results reporting until later in the week.

Will be posting new Google Earth based Course sheets and the modified Rating sheets with the new PY ratings, which are a straight factor on the US Sailing Portsmouth numbers(based on last year's starting point numbers).  I am still working on some of the details with RYA, who are now running the show, so I've labeled the numbers as temporary for now.  Sometime soon, I expect to start getting feedback from them, which will produce some changes.  As of my last glance, we have 39 registered, and we expect a few more.  Let's go sailing.


And one more reminder to those who don't look at details.  The course diagrams on this web site have NOT been updated yet for 2021.  As of today 4/2/21, I am taking down the old ones. New ones will be up by next Wed.


OK to de-mystify the course changes we are making, which may or may not be obvious from the course descriptions in the draft SI: The primary change is that all courses for all classes will use a fixed lap count.  This allows us to separate the finish area from the repetitive laps, which simplifies the finish area rules.  For consistency and safety all classes will round the large orange turning mark near the Villa Capri dock as their last mark before finishing.  There are no other course changes.

Oh the hazards of just working off last year's documents!  We left out an item in the NOR, the Skipper's meeting/kickoff/2020 Awards party, which is currently planned for April 14, 7PM.  Drop off your tax docs at the accountant or the post office and go to the Villa Capri for the party.  

NOR and Registration now point to correct RN references.  Course changes have prompted many changes to the SI.  For convenience and to get your help with editing we have posted a draft version, with a change list. Official issue will be closer to race time and new changes will be highlighted.

THIS PARAGRAPH MODIFIED TO REMOVE WORDS BY STRIKETHRU In addition to the RRS changes, we are also contemplating some course changes.  In connection with that, we solicit comments about the changesThis does not mean racing is a democracy, but that we are trying to get this right.  What is being considered is to change the keelboat races to fixed lap count, similar our conduct of the Portsmouth class for years.  We are also going to change the start location in those wind conditions where our current start would cause a downwind or other off-axis start.  (eg for strongly north or west conditions, move to the opposite side of the lake and start upwind).  Additionally, the turning mark near the Villa Capri dock (usually downwind) will get an offset mark nearby and those two become turning marks only.  The finish line remains roughly the same location, but is rounded ONLY when the required laps are complete.  As you can see, it is mostly procedural, but it does change things a bit, and we'd really like to hear from anybody who sees a major flaw.  The final version has not been detailed yet, so their could be slight differences when the dust settles.

We have found a youtube series on the basic racing rules of sailing that may be worth viewing for anyone planning to race.  Remember, any rule you break could cause you to be disqualified in a race.  Also, knowing the rules might allow you to win a race against someone who does not. You can find it by clicking on 'Read this stuff' in the menu on the right. Note that this is a 'General Rules' seminar and does not cover the changes for 2021.

As most of you know, we operate according to the Racing Rules of Sailing in order to have a semi-civilized and fair competition, which is what makes it fun.  What most of us are only vaguely aware of is that these rules are updated once every four years, to match the Summer Olympics cycle, which should have happened in Tokyo in 2020.  Plagues and Pandemics notwithstanding, the World Sailing folks have finished their work and are ready to issue the RRS which will be our official rules for 2021 to 2024.  I have seen the proposals and am of the opinion that its pretty minor, BUT I remind you that no rule is minor when it costs you a win because you did not understand it until you had lost a protest because you did not know. A chance to avoid that has been arranged by HYC.  The announcement may be found in the menu to the right side of your screen (may be below on some devices), labeled "Rules Alert".  

If you are an independent study type, World sailing has published an article about the changes, but the Dave Perry thing incudes his thoughts on how they impact strategy and tactics. Or you could buy his book..

The 2020 season for Wednesday Night Sailboat Racing is over.  Thank you for your support and tolerance of the many compromises involved in running races in the face of the Pandemic.  As you all know, we run our races in daylight, so we do not restart the season until after Daylight Savings Time begins again in 2021.  This year we used Regatta Network for entry and most payments.  There were 84 entries this year, and an average weekly turnout of over 40 boats, including a few adverse condition weeks.  

S5R4 results and YTD posted.  More wind than expected made for short races.

No pix tonite.


NOMINATE SOMEONE  At the end of every year, we ask for nominations for our annual awards.  These include: Sportsmanship, Most improved, Best Crew, and the infamous AAARRRGHH award (for notably unseamanlike, perhaps humorous, but not dangerous behavior while racing) (btw, the RC version of this award was retired years ago, so none of that..).  Use "Contact us" on the right menu for your submissions.  Remember that you must tell a story in your nomination.  "She was really good, for a GURRLL." does not work.  Be specific.  Point out something extraordinary, and do your best to illustrate with actual incidents, not opinions.  These awards are in addition to the merit based awards for class champions, Boat of the year, etc.  Please do this promptly.  Thanks.

Just looked at the rrs and with great embarrassment realized that I scored everyone except Portsmouth and Spinnaker incorrectly. Except for those two classes, last night's race is abandoned. I have redone the scoring and issued new results. Under the rules, each start is a separate race, meaning that some may be abandoned while others stand.  In "rule-speak" the word 'shall' before abandon means we have no choice. The RC apologizes.
Rule 35
If one boat sails the course as required by rule 28 and finishes within
the time limit, if any, all boats that finish shall be scored according to
their finishing places unless the race is abandoned. If no boat finishes
within the time limit, the race committee shall abandon the race.

The wind died, so very few boats finished.  Posted


Just made it before the front came through.  Scores posted.  Picture of Spins at Mk 14.  Year-to-date updated.

Variable winds, short night. Scores posted. Year to date updated.

Weather looks good for Wednesday, Sept 2.  Good winds and roughly SSE direction.  Hopefully all traces of non-existent Hurricanes have been cleaned up and we settle in for Series 5...

OK, so it wasn't the end of civilization as we know it, but the preparation that had to be done precluded our racing. See you next week.

Current prediction calls for some winds by early evening Wednesday, and some high water thru Thursday and after.  Be careful.

Thank you for helping out.  Based on Hurricane preparations inhibiting some folks ability to come race, and in light of currently predicted challenging conditions, we have cancelled S4R4.  We will see you next week.  Because Series 4 is over, the series results are re-posted with series winners indicated.  Also the year-to-date (left side menu) is now updated through Series 4.  Because there are no throw-outs in Series 5, the throw-outs shown in the table would be used to tiebreak.  As you can see, the total score for series 5 races gets added in twice.  Be safe and great sailing.

Keeping close watch on weather issues.  Looks like Laura may affect us.  We are interested in knowing about your thoughts on what predicted conditions we should cancel the races for.  The NWS is obviously hit by personnel issues and some announcements have been inconsistent, so we are consulting multiple sources.  And remember, uncomfortable is just 'regular' sailing.  What leads us to cancel is danger, unfairness, etc.  Use "contact us" to let us know what would keep you from sailing this week.

S4R3  posted.  Note Protest flag seen in J22 class, protest not filed, Pending status will be cleared at next re-issue.  Flukey winds NNE, sometimes, and getting around Mark 14 took several tries for some, and big overstands by others, and a "little" traffic... CORRECTED scorer's error in Spin class.

S4R2 posted complete.  A good night for racing.  Spin fleet around mark 14.  Note, 117 (red spin) has caught the fleet after a bad start. Flyin' Brian.


Just added, year to date totals by class. Results posted for S4R1.  Beautiful night, light consistent winds perfect racing weather. Get it while you can!  J24 cluster rounds the mark.


Sailing instructions modified to include S1 scores.  New sheets to be posted.

 Late starts, thanks for waiting, light air and no pictures.  Results posted and verified.  Series winners indicated in red type. New series next week.


Results are posted for S3R3.  Great racing.  Wind direction was a bit odd (ESE, with threats of East), so we did away with course 2 (normal W/L).  Racing looked competitive.


 J22 leader

Results are posted.  Tonight's pic is J24's first rounding of #14.  Thank you Lakewood.  RC work apparently back up to snuff.  A great mid-summer night.  See ya next week.


There were a few problems with the flags for S3R1.  The spin class results adjusted for redress.  Beautiful night for racing, good wind, getting less hot with approaching sundown.  Did not get a really good picture tonight as others have discovered the Lakewood cam. So here is last week's "Lonely Vigil"shot.

Just in case you were wondering about how it all works, here he is...2:21 PM Wednesday afternoon

S2R4 scored, still sorting things out. All scores and series results posted.


At this point, Tuesday morning, No problems with continuation of racing tomorrow night.  Please register with Regatta Network so we can keep track of you.  Payment can be on-line or direct to John Lacy, just NOT on-the-water.  Thanks.

No racing on June 24.  It wasn't going to be that great anyway, so it is just as well. The race for June 24 has been postponed to July 1.  This was done because one of our RC has tested positive for COVID 19 and we are taking precautions.  Masks and separations will be in order.  We do not expect any adverse issues, but our RC is self-quarantining and getting tested if at risk or seeing any hint of symptoms. 

The season will be extended one week.


It may rain some on Wednesday.  The rule is, of course,  boats and people are waterproof, so we sail in a little rain. Miserable is not a reason to cancel.  Lightning and heavy winds can be dangerous, so if we hear thunder or see gusty winds over 20+ knots, we will shut down.  Hasn't happened often, but it might.

S2R3  Results posted. Eastlake mark rounding above.  Lakewood cam. RS21 competitors, please register on Regatta Network. Thank you.  A little birdie whispered in my ear that individual awards for race winners during series 1 are on their way.

 S2R2 Results posted. June 10th picture, 710 PM.  Thank you Lakewood.

Wow.  Just spotted, and fixed an oversight in which we failed to mention that RS21's use our Keelboat courses. New SI is issued. Results posted and a couple of glitches cleared up.  Photo from Lakewood cam. nice night.

 On another matter, we will be revising the sailing instructions shortly to include the use of 'golf' style handicap adjustment on a series by series basis for all handicap classes. PM class only. (See US Sailing article about this in "Read this stuff").  What this means is that we can calculate how much your handicap would have to change to make you tie a mid-fleet boat.  At the end of each series, we will adjust your handicap by a small fraction of that amount for each race in the series.  Because of wind-indexing(different ratings for different wind speeds), it is a little complicated, but that's what spreadsheets and Engineering degrees are for.  In any case, a new set of handicaps will be published before S2R1, along with (hopefully) transparent calculation sheets showing how we got them.  Please comment via 'Contact us' with questions or concerns.  The calculation description is a little complex, so it is to be posted separately, along with sample calculations and a fairly comprehensive actual calculation sheet. We are also notifying involved skippers directly.


If anyone had any doubt about the propriety of the wave-off, the record shows >35 knot winds, a shift of 360 degrees in wind direction from 1600 to 2000, along with lightning, hail threats, tornado threats, violent rain, etc.  Good call, John Lacy.  John asked to have the texts and emails sent out to alert you to the cancellation.  If you wish to add any phone numbers to the texting alerts, use Contact us, and we will add you to the list.  Skippers only please.

S1R3 scored and posted

First a word from the watchers. We want to emphasize that the point of our discussion about dissimilar boats is that the rules work both ways.  In no instance does your status as a boat following your own best course to finish give you any additional rights beyond the written rules.  This is true whether the boat you meet is  racing, cruising, drifting, misbehaving, or even anchored.  "Get out of my way, I am racing" only serves to tell others how un-informed or mis-informed you are about sailboat racing.  So the small boat must give way to the large right of way boat, and the large give way boat must honor the rights of the small right of way boat, no matter the consequences to their success in their own race. Your self-interest is best served by avoiding or at least preparing for those encounters.  

Another interesting night of "Things that NEVER happen."  The little birdies tell me that things got a little hectic when a boat got seriously fouled in the Committee boat anchor rode and disentanglement took a while, delaying the starts. And somewhere in there the wrong flag got put up, which put one class out of order, and... Then the J22 fleet got out-of-hand and needed a general recall, cause there were more of them on course side than not.  But of course, the starting buoy sank while being re-aligned, and had to be replaced by a fender from a racer.  And even the restart had a few boats over, but we think we caught em.  Wild night.  Add that to the closeness of the finishes, highly variable winds and what you have is standard Wednesday Night Sailboat Racing FUN.


 S1R2 was an interesting race... But perhaps only in the sense of the Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times..."  We have two major issues which need to be addressed with respect to our behavior on the race course.  They are collisions and interactions between classes.

Collision is NOT a feature of the sport of sailing, whether international, Olympic, national championship or Wednesday Night backyard funsies on Clear Lake.  Contact between boats is unforgivable.  A collision did happen Wednesday night this week. The damage was considerable, and most likely avoidable.  

While the risk of virus exposure is great, wearing a mask which covers the eyes is not useful, nor is the extreme failure to maintain the ‘social distancing’ that we expect when sailing.  Keep your eyes open and keep aware of your surroundings, so that errant mistake or misbehavior by others does not cause you to lose the use of your boat. Damage to a “Right-of-way boat is still damage. “Be careful out there.”

We are sending everyone a note called “Wednesday Night Sailboat racing from a small boat perspective”.  Though the conditions and set up have largely been at fault for the many interactions between dissimilar boats, even as we move to limit those interactions, all must remember that:

In a sailboat race, under the rules you agreed to, all boats have rights, regardless of size, shape, color, national origin, skill level, boat type or class.” This works BOTH ways. 

We do this for fun, and the fun increases if more people feel comfortable come out to enjoy it.



S1R2 Scoring is complete, posted, and initially checked.

Sailing instructions have been revised with course description clarifications.  More coming.  

No Wake buoy to be replaced by orange inflatable away from shore and shoals on East lake courses.





What a night.  A lot of boats out relative to expectations.  Hope you all had fun. Scoring is done.  

We have a couple of technical glitches in the scoring. A couple of boats raced without registering, but that is taken care of now.  And we have worked out how to get the right Skipper's and boats together with the chartered boats. A review of the J22 race has led the PRO to abandon that race. All participants have been told.  A couple of issues came up that suggest a need to clarify some points that are covered in the SI.  (After all, it is several pages long...)  

Yellow buoys are relevant for Portsmouth class (boardboats and multihulls) ONLY.

Marks referred to as large orange West Marine marks may be substituted by large red or orange marks.  (the reference to "West Marine" is primarily to recognize their donation of the set of marks some years ago and their continuing support and sponsorship)

Every repetitive course, ie all keelboat courses, includes rounding BOTH the large orange 'West Marine' mark near the Villa Capri dock AND the black 'Boater's Resale mark, which is also the finish line mark when your course is shortened.  And for completeness, because we get violations every year, the SI includes stern warnings and penalties for any boat crossing the line between those two marks incorrectly. (see SI)

And most importantly! remember this ain't a televised (yet) life or death struggle for an Olympic prize or America's Cup, it is for entertainment and good clean fun to break up the monotony of staying at home. (except for you-know-who).

Please bear with us and let us know of anything else that's troublesome to you (other than that you lost...) Overall a great first night for a new PRO.





Just so everyone understands... as you might expect, We do not have an awards party scheduled, so for protests, the SI suggests you print out a couple of protest forms and keep em in your car.  If you protest, or have been protested, be sure to note the other party's sail number and write out your description on the form and send a clear photo of it to 'contact us'.  Make sure you identify protestor and protestee.  See the special 2020 appendix of the SI(at the end).  With no party, scoring will be done elsewhere and results will be posted in the usual fashion.  Sail safe, don't hit anyone and don't come out if you have a temperature.

We have re-issued the SI, both to address issues about our new schedule, and to respond to a couple of issues brought up in the Skipper's meeting.  We have also re-issued the Portsmouth ratings in use for this year, in line with the policy of using US Sailing data.  We are exploring handicap adjustments, but that would only happen after series 1.  The new schedule has the same 20 races, by eliminating bye weeks.  Welcome aboard.  (new picture, too)



There will be a virtual Skipper's meeting Wednesday April 1.  To participate, register on Regatta Network (there is a link in the left column).  If you cannot register, use 'Contact us' to request the information.  Make a compelling case.  

The site's features except for 'contact us' will be shut down until sometime!.  Current plan is to mostly use Regatta Network, so keep your eyes open for that.