By Bob Greer
Palm Beach Gardens Model Yacht Squadron was honored to host the Region 7 Soling 1 Meter regatta on April 13 & 14 2019. Twenty skippers from all over the state were registered and we started with 20 on the start line. We are lucky to have a large lake and we sailed as 1 fleet. The winds from the southeast allowed us to set a good beat and there was opportunity to find passing lanes if one looked.
Racing on Saturday was dominated by Tony Gonsalves, followed by George Balaschak, Chuck Millican and Chris Wright. A collegial dinner at JJ Muggs in Abacoa was enjoyed by many Saturday evening.
Sunday offered a bit more wind, 15 knots, more southerly allowing for even LONGER beats! The increased wind increased breakage but resourceful and helpful skippers kept the fleet moving and we completed 24 races. There was some juggling of the top on the final day but Tony Gonsalves dominated the fleet, followed by Jim Child, Chuck Millican, George Balaschak, and Chris Wright.
Summary of 2019 Soling 1 Meter Region 7 Regatta.
Location: Palm Beach Gardens, Fl.
Host Club: Palm Beach Gardens MYS #94
Scoring: Low point with 4 throw-outs
The crew: Organizer: George Balaschak, RD: Doc Greer, Scorer: John Biles with Michelle Wright, Gail Ring, Ken Harmon and Rafael Roure, Rescue: Carl Ring,Lunch: Ann Gelina and others and Chet Brewer & our Commodore Ernan Scavella, for the heavy lifting.
Not sailing Sunday: Al Stall, Ed Gelina, Chester Brewer
Thank you so much for a great showing of the DF95 fleet this past Sunday March 10. We had 8 boats sail and completed 6 races. The water level at the dock was only down 2 inches but I cleared out some of the water weeds prior to all racing to make it easier to launch and sail the boats back to the dock.
On the water, the larger fleet and wind conditions created a lot of close racing and finishes. The wind was from the SE and could be described as “challenging” as the oscillations in wind direction and speed produced major puffs and annoying holes sometimes right next to each other. Brent had the scores up on the website the same day. Thanks Brent!
One of the benefits of a one design class is that any lessons learned on one boat can be applied to the fleet. Doug won a race and then the boat started to sheet erratically: turns out the boat batteries were going away. Changing the batteries solved the problem. If you have any lessons learned on these boats, pass it on to the fleet.
If you haven’t done so, get your sail number registered at the DragonFlite USA Class Owners Association website https://dragonflite95.us It costs only $7. It could help for future regattas. The list of registered numbers is on the website. If your number has already been claimed, say 94, you could register as 1194, for example.
Next Sunday March 17 is St. Patricks Day. There are two green boats in the fleet and Doug has his boat painted in the colors of the flag of Ireland. (Erin go Bragh!)
See you at the lake,
Saturday February 9th at lake Catherine saw shifty winds out of the North between 7-10 knots on the lake. Wind forecast called for 7-14 but buildings and trees prevent those maximum wind on the water. "A'' sails were the order of the day. Allen Perkins jumped out to an impressive start, winning race after race after races. Lunch was a blast with a variety to choose from: "No Bull" chilli, pizza, hot dogs, coffee, fruits, and all the desserts you can eat. At the end of Saturday racing Allen lead the way followed by Jon Luscomb, Earnan Scavella, Chuck Millican, Joe Walter and George top the 6 competitors on the list.
A nice gathering of skippers and wives met at Duffy's for dinner and had a great time.
Sunday rolled in stronger winds out from the ENE at about 8-15 knots on the lake. Racing got off to an earlier start. All the skippers were prepared and ready to go. Strong wind gusts presented challenging time for skipper to maintain great control of their boats. Some missing of marks and collisions, rigging down and losing control was seen. After all the challenges and battling for a finishing position the top five finishers were:
Allen Perkins 1st,
Jon Luscomb 2nd,
Earnan Scavella 3rd,
Chuck Millican 4th
Bill Newman 5th.
Thanks so much for a wonderful job by the members and wives year after year supporting our Valentin's Day Regatta.
RD: Bob Greer
Score keepers: John Biles,Ken, Gail,
Line watchers: Chris, Karen and Joe
Party host/regatta equipment/coffee man/competitor: Chester
Food preparer/organisers: Kelly, Karen, Ann, & Mrs Ruschak
Park permit: Ed
Trophies: Jon Luscomb & Chester Brewer
Rescuer: Carl Ring
Last Sunday we had a baker’s dozen Soling skippers sailing and most of us found some weeds that killed the boats sailing ability. Even with that said the competition was lively dealing with mostly strong shifty southerly winds. The starting line was pretty square to the windward mark and sometimes boats starting at the far end of the line on starboard tack had the advantage. And sometimes they got trapped near shore with their sails flapping. Boats daring a port tack start sometimes leapt out front. Boats clearing the top end of the line on starboard tack as the starting bell rung sometimes were first to the windward mark, sometimes not. Dick Reinke, relatively new to sailing the Soling but an experienced EC-12 skipper, commented that the Soling is a handful in the strong breeze, completely different than in normal winds.
Four EC-12’s sailed. I believe 5 Micro Magic’s sailed and Carl said the weeds were not too much of a problem except for Doc’s weed-magnet boat.
The annual meeting will be held on Thursday January 17 2019 at Duffy’s in the upstairs room. Cocktails at 6:00, order Dinner at 7:00. Standard 20% gratuity added to group dinners that are billed individually. Address is: 11588 U.S. Hwy 1 N, North Palm Beach, FL 33408. Last year we voted to move the meeting to after most of the snowbird skippers who sail with us could participate and now it is happening. This is the meeting where the Vice Commodore moves up to Commodore for two Years and I get to be the past Commodore. Earnan will be a great commodore. We need a volunteer to be the next Vice. Or nominations.
Let me know if you would like something on the agenda. Also let me know if you are going to attend.
George Balaschak, Commodore PBGMYS
Sundays Soling racing was quite interesting with the starting line heavily port tack favored. Often a few boats would run the line on starboard. In the past this would result in a bunch of port tack boats crunching the right-of –way starboard boat. But for the most part there were very few fouls of that type. Positive sign of the attention to the rules we have all tried to master.
This Sunday coming we will get a chance to waddle off some of the good-food-created-pounds from our Thanksgiving dinners while sailing our model yachts. Again we will include the DF-95 at the 1:15 time slot while the Micro’s sail.
I’ll get the EC-12 Valentines regatta NOR and entry stuff posted next week. We need a Race Director for that regatta and the all the usual things that go into running our regatta. Feb 9 &10 2019 is really not that far away. Please let me and the club know what you can do.
By George Balaschak
It was the first scored race day of the Winter Series with the temperature in the mid-high eighties. I believe 11 Soling’s sailed. Half of the EC-12 fleet had sailed in the National Championship regatta in Punta Gorda so the big boats did not sail on Lake Catherine. Micro Magic’s began their series with 4 boats. It was interesting to see how closely matched the boats and skippers were. After splitting tacks to the first mark three boats would round within a boat length or so of each other. The lead would change often with boats close together for the entire race. This happened more than once.
Most of the Dragons must have stayed in their caves, but it was a good day for sailing the DF-95. Terry sent a well thought out summary of the Dragon Flite 95 to all of our members and it will be added to the website. Great to hear that Doug Bowe is ordering one. There was quite a few positive comments about the DF-95 at PG. Naples fleet is now 45 DF-95 boats.
Soling 1 Meter National Championship for 2019 will be held Feb 22-24 hosted by the Suncoast Model Sailing Club in Punta Gorda. Registration is now open: http://www.suncoastmodelsailingclub.net/calendar.html
The Gator Regatta for EC-12 is Dec 1 & 2 in the Villages.
The Soling rudder and keel thickness minimums, and flangeless deck beam measurements were voted on by class members and approved. They will be upheld for National and Regional regattas. I suggest that we as a club bring any boat that does not meet the new rule into compliance by Jan 15 2019 in order to eligible to compete in our series. Chris has the official measuring device.
Thanks to Chris working with the city of Palm Beach Gardens, a restroom is planned for Lake Catherine. This will be a relief for many.
Tom asked about our thoughts on throw outs in scoring. In a Regatta of 10 to 20 races it is typical to have one throw out for every 6 or 8 races. In our season of racing over 100 races take place. The effect on our overall standings of a few races where we have something bad happen is minimal. We qualify those skippers who participate in 50% of the races as eligible for the trophies.
Jean asked if there had been any thought of changing the Soling sailing time. Not at this moment. Perhaps we should have a weekday official competition for a sort of new / learning Soling group.
I will make a new stand for the second start clock.
George Balaschak, Commodore PBGMYS
This past Saturday several of us sailed at Okeeheelee Park to publicize our sailing club. Brent, Doc, Bill, Al, Earnan & I sailed for a couple of hours, actually about half of the time an interested passerby was at the control of our sailboat. A lot of smiling guys and gals experiencing this for the first time. We had Soling 1M’s, Ec-12’s, a Micro Magic and a Dragon Flite 95. Bill suggested that Saturday at Lake Catherine has quite a few people around and perhaps we should do a demo day at our pond some Saturday.
Our second Sunday of the break between Summer and Winter race series sailed the Dragon Flite 95 on a trial basis. The weed situation was quite mild and was not a deterrent to enjoying sailing this popular newcomer to the AMYA. Quite a good change from the miserable weed situation of last week. I propose we do some unofficial racing to see if we should establish a fleet. Saturdays have been suggested and weekdays are a possibility. The problem with weekdays is that it shuts out the skippers that are not retired. Please let me know your thoughts on this and we will pick a time and a day. It has been pointed out that Wednesdays several of our skippers compete at King’s Point. Wednesdays are also our club casual sailing day. We should probably figure on a 9:30 or 10 am time slot.
The EC-12 National Championship regatta takes place in Punta Gorda this week with Doc, Jon, Earnan, and I participating. Three full days of completion and 36 boats entered.
George Balaschak, Commodore PBGMYS
Last Sunday was the first of the two weeks between Summer and Winter racing series. We spent about a half hour getting some insights into how to better our sailing skills prior to sailing Soling’s.
Doc emphasized the never give up attitude and clean sailing as being very much a part of his strategy and reason for his success. He led the summer series in both the Soling 1M and the EC-12. He complimented the group on our observance of the rules. Doc also emphasized the need to bail out when you have placed yourself in a bad position at the start, often by trying to be at the favored starboard end of the line in a barging position: go over early, come back around, starting a little late, but not interfering with others.
Jon talked about how to read the wind as puffs develop and how to take advantage of positioning your boat to get on the side to get lifted on the beat to the weather mark. Pretty involved and some skippers were observed with their eyes glazed over. I tried to apply this knowledge more and become more aware of how the boat heading shifted as the boat entered the puff.
Earnan talked about being conscious of the overall big picture of what the others are doing and what is going on the race course. The importance of good overall sailing practices.
We then sailed races that we did not score giving us a chance to try the new ideas. The wind was North and shifty and allowed a good windward-leeward course.
Only a few EC-12 races were sailed as several visitors were handed a transmitter to get a feel as to what RC Sailboats are like. I saw them smiling a lot, and hope to see them come back.
The scheduled Dragon Flite 95 sailing in place of the Micro Magic had four boats. The lake had a lot of floating weeds and the deep keels with a bulb on the bottom seemed to try to harvest most of them. I would say that this was the worst weed condition we have seen in several years. The wind had driven the floating weeds to pile up on the Eastern shore for 6 feet or more to the open water. Prior to the days sailing a path through the weeds had to be raked out just to launch the boats for the day. Many observable clumps drifting on the race course had become worse by the time the Dragons sailed. The rather amazing thing was that we were always able to sail the DF-95 back to the dock after some time and often were able to shed the weeds on the course. Not it was not at all fun. In these conditions the Micro Magic would be unable to be sailed back to shore and we would have to wait for it to drift ashore somewhere. Mostly we would just decide not to sail the Micros on days like last Sunday. My DF-95 would not tack and spent a lot of time in irons. But I found the jib sheet fouled on the mast due to me miss-rigging the sheet routing. We will try the DF95’s again next Sunday.
Earnan rowed the rescue boat around a lot picking up more vandalized inflatable ball marks and replacing them with the stick-pool-float- foam marks that Chris made. And somehow he foam filled BIG RED, the mark at the far NW corner of our layout. I like this one as I can always tell if I made it as the boat disappears behind it! Thanks Earnan.
Remember that this coming Saturday we will do some fun casual demo sailing at OKeeheelee. Refer to Brent’s’ emails on this and hope to see you there.
As you have seen dues are due. Paid members get a new club burgee sticker, I’ll have them at the lake Sunday.
George Balaschak, Commodore PBGMYS
This is my first try using the system that Brent Headberg has set up for us to communicate with each other. You are getting this as a paid member of PBGMYS.
The new website that Brent has set up is a work in progress although mostly complete:
Please use it not only to see your weekly scores but to find other info.
Speaking of scores, our scorekeeper Don Burwell has continuing back issues which limits his time able to sit or stand to do tasks. In speaking with him last week I asked if he would like to retire from the job and he said that that would help him. Now I am asking for someone to take over the scorekeeper job. It is not difficult and all the system stuff is set up I believe. Please let Don and I know if you can do this.
So far no response from anyone wanting to go to the ALL FLORIDA one day regatta. See my info about it in my email of last week.
As planned I attended the one day regatta in Pembroke Pines Sunday for the Dragon Flite 95 class boats. A very well run event, good winds and good group of skippers. The DF95 is incredible, the most fun model yacht that I have ever sailed.. Not the most elegant, that goes to the EC-12 with her traditional good looks. Not the most versatile, that goes to the Soling 1 meter with her simple single rig and long established following. Not the most portable, that of course is the Micro Magic. I managed to come in 4th in the small regatta of 10 boats but that is only a small part of my thinking as what an enjoyable, competitive boat the DF95 is.
George Balaschak, Commodore PBGMYS
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