June 12th, 2023
Hello Chatfield Racers,
- Before Wednesday read all the Race Committee Documents on the website:
- During the day check the forecast often and compare it to the reported weather.
- Arrive early at the marina, 5:00pm or better. Check the R/C boat gas tank at least half full. There is a gas can in the R/C boat to fill the tank with if it’s not half full.
- Set out the signal flags in the order you’ll need them:
- Get out the silver metal forms clipboard, radio, clock, and air horn. Fill out the Check in Form and Finish times form with the date and R/C names. Turn on the radio to channel 68 and test the air horn. Find the whistle.
- Leave the dock early if possible, 5:30 is good. At least three crew are necessary; a scribe, a timer with the horn, and a flags/line judge.
- Drift around in the middle of the lake for 10 to 15 minutes and sit quietly watching the wind. Note the shifts and average direction. Pick out a windward mark.
- Drop the pin directly downwind between the windward mark and your chosen leeward mark, then anchor the R/C boat. ( 2 times the length of the longest boat in the most numerous fleet, times that number of boats, will give you a good start line length. i.e. 2 X 30’ X 10 boats in Division 2 = 600 feet or 200 yards. If the wind is up, make the line longer.)
- It is more important that the the start line is perpendicular to the average wind direction than directly downwind of the windward mark.
- My best tip for a smooth start sequence: Timer&horn blower: write down the clock times for ‘class flags up’, ‘prep flag up’, ‘prep flag down’, and ‘class flags down’. Then count down the time in ten second intervals to the event: “30 seconds to class flags up, 20 seconds, 10, 9,…1, class flags up (horn)”. Do this for each flag event in the sequence. There is a ‘Count Down Helper’ form in the silver metal clipboard to write the clock times on.
- Line judge: 1 long blast for individual recall of boat/s over early, make a radio call of sail number/s over early, 2 long blasts for general recall of numerous boats over early. If a general recall of the first start is necessary, start the second division on time, then restart the first division.
- Regroup, pick a new start time ten minutes or more in the future, write down the new clock times, and when you’re ready, drop the AP flag with one horn blast. Start the sequence one minute later with the ‘class flags up’ horn.
- A ‘gate’ in your course allows you to shorten course for all racers when the wind dies without moving the R/C boat. Using a ‘gate’ is highly recommended.
- A document in the forms clipboard and on the website describes how to set a course based on the wind strength. Aim for a one hour race with a ‘gate’ in the middle.
May 15th, 2023
Hello Chatfield Sailors,
I thought I’d post a few lessons learned from our first few races. Starting with our first informal beer can race where a typical Chatfield wind gust put four sailors in the water. Lessons learned: wear a PFD, if your boat can capsize – wear clothing appropriate for immersion in 50 degree water this time of year, and most importantly, sailors are required to come to the aid of boaters in distress. Never will you be penalized for aiding a boat with an emergency.
Next up – race committee. Yes you are there to conduct the race and you are also the on scene safety monitor. Great heads up by Gary Simon and crew to spot the capsize and direct competitors to assist. Keep your eyes out on the race course and stay aware of developing weather. Also, keep track of your radio. An open Mike during the capsize recovery period inhibited the R/C from directing the effort.
Then there are the rules – our Sailing Instructions allow the R/C to move a starting mark up until the preparatory signal, the blue ‘P’ flag up. That is four minutes until the start signal. The R/C can also change the course up until the preparatory signal. So, sometime between the prep signal and the start signal, make it a habit to sail by the course board and confirm the course.
Last note – Larry Durham’s death was a tragic loss for us all. He will be sorely missed. When he passed, he had just got home from Monday Night Beer Can racing, doing what he loved to do! A reminder for us to live every day and do what you love.
See you on the water!
May 5th, 2023
Cinco de Mayo Sailors!
Monday is our first Beer Can Series event! Meet on the dock in front of Seagulls restaurant at 5:30pm. We’ll sort out new crew and boat assignments then, if any.
Skippers, please do us a favor and let us know you’re coming by signing up here: https://csyc.org/monday-nights-beer-can-racing/
New Crew can also sign up from this page: https://csyc.org/monday-nights-beer-can-racing/
The big news here is your Commodore is providing FREE BEER!! (Without any sneaky obligation afterwards). So come on out and join the fun!!
See you there!
April 22nd, 2023
Hello Chatfield Sailors,
Spring Series starts this Wednesday! (Weather permitting)
There are still several spots open in the Race Committee/BurgerMeister volunteers schedule. Members Please, if you have not done so, go to the CSYC.org Series Racing tab and sign up for Race Committee and BurgerMeister duty. Regarding BurgerMeister duty, you only have to pick up the existing supplies the week prior to your week, fill any necessary replacements, and deliver them to the BBQ’s on the dock before racing on the evening of your ‘duty’. The supplies list is at the Series Racing Tab on our website, CSYC.org. You are not responsible for cooking the burgers! The first boat to finish earns the honor of cooking the burgers.
Dinghy Racers, you can volunteer for a Keelboat R/C slot so you don’t have to miss a dinghy race! Keelboat racers, same goes! Volunteer to R/C a dinghy race and avoid a keel boat R/C duty. Keelboat skippers need to also fill a Monday Beer Can R/C spot. Beer Can series is where you meet and groom new highly motivated CSYC crew members. In order to keep our ‘newbies’ happy and engaged, we need to show up and get them on boats on Monday nights. They are the future of the club. You can consider Monday Beer Can Racing as a ‘professional development seminar’ and get early release from work or your ‘honey do’ list. I’ll sign your hall pass!
Okay, that’s it for admin. Start praying to the weather gods for good wind and warm temps. Let’s Race!
March 26th, 2023
Hello Chatfield Sailors,
The Wine & Cheese party means sailing is just around the corner! Only three weeks until the 2023 Skipper’s meeting and season kickoff. Yea! We’re holding the meeting at the Seagulls Restaurant at Chatfield Marina on Saturday the 15th of April from 10:00 am to Noon. Come get the latest info and mandatory safety briefing. All racing participants should plan to attend.
Our final offseason social event is coming up on the 1st of April: Our annual Wine and Cheese Party. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone after the winter season. As usual, the event will be a potluck, so we ask that everyone bring some wine or beverages of choice, and light hors d’oeuvres for folks to enjoy. Anything from pigs-in-a-blanket, to cheese and crackers, to veggies and your favorite wine is perfect! The club will provide some basic non-alcoholic beverage options.
The event will be held at the Ken Caryl Ranch House located at 7676 S. Continental Divide Road Littleton, CO 80127 from 6:30-9:00pm on Saturday, April 1st. After folks have gathered, your new Commodore will say a few words about the forthcoming year and the Club, but mostly we’ll be there to socialize and get excited for the coming sailing season. We will have some CSYC swag available as well as some crew sign-up sheets in case you bring anyone interested in sailing with us this year.
Please send your RSVP to social.director@csyc.
Your race Director has posted the last of our rules review articles to the Race Directors Penalty Box on the CSYC.org website. This month the emphasis is on start line infractions and how to avoid them. So go to the ‘Series Racing’ tab on the website and learn how to get on the ‘Committee Boat layline’ and defend your space to leeward!
The winds are freshening!
March 7th, 2023
Hello Chatfield Sailors,
We are getting closer to another great season of racing. I’m excited to get all my boat projects done and launch the old girl!
Our final offseason social event is coming up on the 1st of April: Our annual Wine and Cheese Party. We’re looking forward to seeing everyone after the winter season. As usual, the event will be a potluck, so we ask that everyone bring some wine and light hors d’oeuvres for folks to enjoy. Anything from pigs-in-a-blanket, to cheese, to veggies and your favorite wine is perfect! The club will provide some basic non-alcoholic beverage options as well.
The event will be held at the Ken Caryl Ranch House located at 7676 S. Continental Divide Road Littleton, CO 80127 from 6:30-9:00pm on Saturday, April 1st. After folks have gathered, your new Commodore will say a few words about the forthcoming year and the Club, but mostly we’ll be there to socialize and get excited for the coming sailing season. One of the objectives of this event is to invite new members to our club. So if you have someone you know who might be interested in sailing with us, please invite them along. We will have some CSYC swag available as well as some crew sign-up sheets in case you bring anyone interested in sailing with us this year.
Please send your RSVP to social.director@csyc.
And finally, recently I came across a great article on light wind analysis for small lakes. I’ll share the link with you here: https://sailzing.com/light-air-on-lakes-more-wind-near-the-shore/
I have one caveat to add to this highly informative article. Throughout the reading of this piece, keep in mind that the mountains to the west of Chatfield reservoir very often create our prevailing or ‘gradient’ wind. That’s why we so often race upwind to the northeast: The mountains are ‘sucking’ the wind upslope. I find this effect to be especially noticeable on light wind days. Other than this, the article is very informative and can give you some tactical advantages on the race course.
February 15th, 2023
Yo Ho Sailors!, only 60 Days to the Spring Series Racing!
And lots of sailing related activities to whet your appetite and hone your skills until then.
- SAIL Seminar
First up is this month’s SAIL seminar, Thursday 16 February at the Original Brooklyn’s at 2644 W Colfax Ave, Denver, CO 80204. 6:00pm. The topic is a rules discussion hosted by Tom Downing.
- Mardi Gras Party
Then on 25 February Our CSYC Mardi Gras Party will start at 6:00pm. Steve and Kathy Clark will be hosting the party at their HOA clubhouse; The Southpark HOA Clubhouse, located at 2801 West Long Dr., Littleton CO 80120. Bring a Potluck item to share and your favorite beverage. CSYC will provide water and soda in a cooler along with plates, plasticware, cups etc. You are encouraged to come in Mardi Gras attire or wear whatever is comfortable but don’t miss this party. Please RSVP to the CSYC social director, firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Rules of Racing
On the subject of Racing Rules, our rules refresher effort has new topics for you to review. Under the ‘Resources’ tab at the CSYC.org website is the Race Directors Penalty Box. There you will find information and links to instructional videos on our next area of investigation: Part 2 When Boats Meet. Also covered this month will be rule 44, Penalties at the Time of an Incident. Here is the link; https://csyc.org/race-
- Fall Regatta
Finally, we need Regatta Volunteers. Several heroes have agreed to head up some of the planning committees, but we could use about 8 more people during this phase. These are the heavy lifters who will do the time consuming preparation and organizing for this club event. What we need in addition is about 20 more members to indicate their willingness to commit to helping execute the plan. These jobs will be less time consuming and will not interfere with your regatta participation. Please indicate your willingness to be a ‘worker bee’ by sending a note to: Dean Lenz, email@example.com
December 31, 2022
Hello Chatfield Sailors!
Welcome to Sailing and Racing on Chatfield Reservoir in 2023. This coming year your Board of Directors has a full schedule of events planned for both the off-season and the sailing season! Goodbye Covid!
First up is a Chili Cook Off social event. Festivities commence at 5:30pm on Friday the 20th of January for a fun get together. The location has been sent to all CSYC members via email. So dust off your world famous chili recipe and get ready! We’ll all be voting on our favorite Chili recipe and prizes will be awarded.
Please RSVP to: social.director@CSYC.org with the number in your party and what you’ll bring to the potluck. Side dishes and something to put out the mouth fire are also encouraged.
Other social events are planned as well and we’ll notify all via the email blasts from the website. The calendar page on our website also has the dates and details of all the events we have planned for 2023. Just click on the event title to get all the details of that event. So check that out.
Another fabulous racing season will kick off on Saturday April 15th with the annual Skippers meeting at Seagul’s Restaurant in the Chatfield marina. This year we are planning a practice ‘Rust Remover’ race on the Wednesday following the skippers meeting, April 19th. It’s an un-scored opportunity to get out on the water and practice. The spring series keelboat racing begins on April 26th.
One initiative you’ll be hearing more about this year is a ‘rules refresher’ to help us all be more aware and competent at applying the Racing Rules of Sailing while on the course in the heat of competition. Most Importantly the rules keep us all safe. They also dictate our actions during a race to insure a fair competition. We all agree to abide by these rules whenever we enter a race. So, it is incumbent on us all to have a detailed working knowledge of our rights and responsibilities while racing. To help us all gain that working knowledge, your Board of Directors has developed a training requirement. It’s new this year and will be required of all helmsmen and Skippers in order to participate in racing. This refresher training will consist of watching a few short video presentations online and taking a short quiz. We are ironing out the details and will post the requirements on the CSYC website and send an email blast in the near future.
Other big news this season is that we are back in the regatta business! Dean Lenz, our 2022 Commodore, is spearheading the planning effort for an ‘Autumn Winds Regatta’ sponsored by CSYC on Chatfield Reservoir the second weekend in October. This event will require a large cast of volunteers. We’ll be calling on all members to pitch in and help pull off a great season ending event
Finally, I want to encourage all our members to go to the CSYC.org website and sign up for the email news blasts. It’s our best tool to get Club info to all our members quickly and efficiently.
Looking Forward to a great season,
December 29, 2022
Hello everyone, Happy New Year, the winds are freshening!
As promised, here is the first in a series of video presentations on the racing rules of sailing for 2021 through 2024. This first set of links to these three videos covers Rule 18. Rule 18 covers giving ‘mark room’ at course marks and at obstructions. It is advantageous when reviewing these videos to have your rule book open to the definitions pages. In rule 18 there are many terms used that have very precise meanings which every racer should understand. For example, what defines an obstruction, or a continuing obstruction. These terms are explained in the definitions section of your rulebook and they are also explained to some degree during the video. There are three videos covering Rule 18 because it’s a complex rule covering many situations with numerous rights and responsibilities depending upon your position at the mark or obstruction.
Please review the videos at your leisure but complete all three before the end of January, as we’ll be moving on to other Rules to review in the following months.
Thanks for tuning in, and please accept my sincere thanks for taking the time to study these videos. I believe your racing will benefit as a result.
Here are the links: