Women’s Labor Day RC Laser $50 Regatta

The women in the Canandaigua RC Laser fleet decided (last night) to hold a regatta for women only at 4 p.m. on Labor Day, September 3 (today). The first place finisher will win $50 cash! Pass the word around to any female who might like to try racing an RC Laser. We’ll have extra boats on hand.

The Fall Series scores have been posted as well as the overall 2012 Season High Point scores. After 3 weeks of racing, Tracy Blevins continues to hold the lead in the Fall Series while Bill Blevins is on top for overall high points but in both contests the positions at the top have tightened significantly making for very close racing with only 3 weeks to go before the awards banquet.

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Tracy Blevins Leads The RC Laser Fall Series

The scores from week #1 of the Fall Series have been posted and they show Tracy Blevins in the lead, followed closely Jay Niggli and Terry Schmidt. This six-week series is the final in the 2012 racing season, ending just before the Sailor’s Night banquet where the overall 2012 high point award will be presented. Bill Blevins leads that competition, followed by Jonathan Gorbold and Jay Niggli.

During our scheduled “off week” from the Fall Series of races on September 16th, Neil and Maggie Atkins will be hosting the Canandaigua RC Laser fleet at their home for a cookout after a “Race Across the Lake.” The event will be held rain, shine or hurricane this year. The start will be at the Canandaigua Yacht Club on Sunday afternoon at 1:30 p.m.. Boats will race southeast across Canandaigua Lake on roughly a heading of 156.4 degrees for about 2.5 miles and finish by the dock at Neil and Maggie’s house where even more racing will occur from their dock. A headcount of those who will be attending would be appreciated so please let Maggie know if you plan on making it for this race and cookout.

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David Turnbull Wins The David Turnbull Regatta

Eleven Canandaigua RC Laser sailors waited out the rain to race in The David Turnbull Regatta on Sunday afternoon. The weather cleared and the sun and shifty winds returned after a 45 minute delay and the group then sailed a half-dozen races. Part of the fun of the regatta, at least for David, was that he got to make up the courses and rules on the fly during the races.

After the race, PRO Anna Gorbold totaled the scores, David Turnbull won top honors and took home the $55 prize purse. The racers enjoyed dinner at the club after the regatta and everyone wished David well as he moves to Boston this week to begin a new job.

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Don’t Miss The David Turnbull RC Laser Regatta

The David Turnbull Regatta is a special one-day series of RC Laser races that will feature new rules, a low entry fee and a high payout for the winner.

Venue: Canandaigua Yacht Club
When? Sunday, August 5
3:50 pm
Skipper’s Meeting:
3:55 pm
First Start:
4:00 pm
Entry Fee
: $5 per boat
Prize: Winner takes all
Special Rules: David Turnbull (RC Laser #17) will have rights in every situation: at starts, on crossing tacks and at mark roundings, etc.
Party: A party on the dock will follow so don’t miss this special event!

In other news, the calendar is up-to-date (including The David Turnbull Regatta) and the overall high point standings for the season and the odd/even low point results for the Summer “One Lap” Series have been updated.

NOTE: To qualify for year-end awards you need to have participated in at least 60% of the races this season. There are seven more weeks of racing left so make sure you have plans to sail for the remaining Sunday nights!

Finally, The David Turnbull Regatta (with the special rules, the large prize pot and party) is being held because David is moving to Boston to start a new job next week! This Sunday will be his last week sailing with us! Now you have to come out, sail and wish him well!

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Summer Series Starts Next Sunday

The six-week Summer “One Lap” Series begins on Sunday, July 1 at 4 p.m.

The series will use an Odds & Evens Scoring format. We’ll divide the skippers into two “heats” and after each race (made up of two heats) finishers will be divided again using their finish position in the previous two heats – either an odd finish or even finish position – for the next race.

Races in the Summer Series will be only one lap around the course. The goal will be to keep moving from race to race very quickly and to get in a lot of racing in an afternoon.

We practiced the format tonight and between raindrops the 12 sailors got in 12 heats and 7 total races. (click here for results). Tonight’s races were just for fun and the scores didn’t count towards the overall season high points but everyone seemed to have a good time and enjoyed the change pace from the past few months when we were preparing to host the championship regatta.

Come out next week and mix it up in the Summer One-Lap Series!

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RC Laser North American Championship Wrap-up

Jonathan Gorbold congratulated by Nelson Habecker.

Everyone we’ve spoken with in the past week about the 2012 RC Laser North American Championship agrees that the regatta was a huge success!

2011 RC Laser North American’s defending champion, Jon Elmaleh (also the sailor who designed the Radio Controlled Laser back in the mid-1990’s) bested 29 other sailors and took home the top prize for the regatta. Tops finishers from Canandaigua were Jonathan Gorbold who finished 9th overall and Terry Schmidt, the top female finisher.

Canandaigua's female sailors (L to R) Maggie Atkins, Anne Lambert, Tracy Blevins and Terry Schmidt

Be sure to read the RACE REPORT written by Dave Branning, North American RC Laser class secretary. The post includes links to the FINAL SCORES and lots of PHOTOS.

Thanks to the committee members and the race committee who worked so hard and to everyone else from Canandaigua and Rochester who helped make this regatta weekend memorable!

Today at 4 p.m., we will be back to our normally scheduled programming with the final week in our Spring Series. We’ll be on the concrete dock at CYC and race until 6 p.m. (Remember, don’t park on the waterfront boat lot. Unload your stuff and park in the grass across the street please.) We’ll be heading up the hill to the clubhouse for the Father’s Day steak dinner after racing so make plans accordingly if you wish to join us.

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Sailing With The GoPro Video Camera

Watch the YouTube video promo for the
RC Laser North American Championship regatta:

The full video is here:

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Sailing Instructions: 2012 RC Laser North American Championship

Click Here to download a .pdf version of the Sailing Instructions


RC Laser North American Championship Regatta
June 8–10, 2012

Organizing Authority: Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet 14 and the Canandaigua Yacht Club

  1. RULES
    1.1  The RC Laser North American Championship will be governed by the rules as defined in The Racing Rules of Sailing 2009-2012, as amended under Appendix E radio controlled boat racing rules
    1.2  RC Laser Class Association of North America rules will apply
    1.3  The RRS and Class Rules are amended as follows:
    1.4  Rule 2 Fair Sailing.  Sailors will exhibit sportsman like behavior at all times during this regatta.   Any sailor deemed to be in violation of Rule 2 may be issued a warning by the race committee.   Second infractions may result in disqualification from the race.
    1.5  Rule 31.  Marks of the course must be rounded in the proper direction and on the proper side. Touching a mark will not result in a penalty with the exception of  the starting mark after starting and the finishing mark before finishing.
    1.6  Rule E4.2(b) Outside Help.  Boats aground or entangled may be freed by anyone.
    1.7  A five minute hold may be requested by a competitor who is unable to make it to the starting line.  One hold per competitor per day will be granted.  The request MUST be made and ACKNOWLEDGED by the RC before the starting sequence for that heat begins.  No holds will be granted for sail changes or after the starting sequence has begun.  You may attempt to repair your boat and re-join the race if possible.
    2.1.  Notices to competitors will be posted on the official notice board located in the scorers tent
    2.2.  Changes to the sailing instructions may be given verbally to the competitors.
  3. SCHEDULE OF RACES                               Time of Warning signal for first start
    Friday June 8th                 (Championship Seeding Regatta)                             2:00 pm
    Saturday June 9th                                                                                                    9:00 am
    Sunday June 10th                                                                                                     9:00 am
    On the last day of the regatta no warning signal will be made after 12:30 pm
    We will break for lunch mid-day on Saturday.
    Lunch will be served after racing on Sunday.
  4. RACES
    4.1.  The regatta contestants will be divided into 3 or more heats of no more than 15 starters
    4.2.  The progression/recession equal opportunity system with top 4 finishers moving up and bottom 4 moving down will be followed.
    4.3.  Each heat will sail the same course in each race. Course direction may change to accommodate a wind change
    4.4.  Heats will be yellow, blue, and orange.
    5.1.  The races will be held in the area of Canandaigua Lake adjacent to Steamboat landing.
    6.1.  Boats may be launched from the Eastern side of the dock
    6.2.  Boats will be retrieved from the Western side of the dock
    6.3.  Only Race Committee and Competitors sailing in the heat racing will be permitted on the end 3 docks
    7.1.  The course to be sailed will be displayed on a course board near to the control area and announced verbally
    7.2.  The course may be twice around windward-leeward with the start at mid course, and a midcourse or weather mark finish   The weather marks will be a turning mark with an offset. The leeward marks will be a tuning mark with an offset or a “Gate“, with two marks of the same color.
    7.3.  If a leeward gate is used the sailor must pass in-between the two marks. The Starboard mark will be rounded to starboard and the port mark will be rounded to port and there is no offset.
    7.4.  The course may be a triangle, windward, leeward, windward course with a midline start/finish
  8. MARKS
    8.1.  The windward and leeward marks will be red, yellow or green round balls. Start marks will be small blue cylinders. The gibe mark will be a small pink cylinder
    9.1.  The race director will announce a warning for the start of starting sequence
    9.2.  The race director will announce the heat starting and the heat colored flag will fly near the start area
    9.3.  The races will be started using the 2 minute starting sequence.
    9.4.  The I flag rule will be in effect for all starts.
    9.5.  The start will be between the two blue cylinders.
    10.1.           The Finish will be between the two blue cylinders or at the weather mark.
    11.1.           Rules 44.1 and 44.2 are changed so that the two-turn penalty is replaced by a one turn penalty
    12.1.          Protests.  If protested by another competitor, you may choose to do the following:  Sail clear and complete a penalty turn consisting of one tack and one gybe in the same direction or, if you are unable to do a penalty turn, before you exit the water you can alert the RC that you would like to retire from that race.  You will receive a DNF which can be thrown out or, you can proceed to the protest hearing. If found to be at fault by the protest committee, you will be awarded a DSQ which cannot be thrown out.
    12.2.          Rule E5, Protests.  A competitor intending to protest another competitor or petition for redress must inform the RC immediately following the relevant race.   A protest form is not required.  The protest hearing will be conducted using the “Three minute format”.  One minute for the person lodging the protest to be heard, one minute for the offending boat to rebut and one minute for the committee to issue its findings.  The finding of the protest committee is final and cannot be appealed.
    13.1.           Friday races will be scored as a separate regatta. Finish positions will be used to determine starting heat for the championship on Saturday morning.
    13.2.           A minimum of three races must be sailed to constitute a regatta for the North American Championships
    13.3.           When fewer than 6 races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores.
    13.4.           When 6 or more races have been completed, a boat’s series score will be the total of her race scores excluding her worst score. For every 6 races sailed one worst score will be discarded
    13.5.           OCS, DNF, and DNS will be scored last place in the heat + 1
    13.6.           DSQ will be scored number of registrants +1.
    14.1.           The contestant must remain the same throughout the regatta.
    15.1.           A boat or equipment may be inspected at any time for compliance to the class rules and sailing instructions
  16. PRIZES
    16.1.           Prizes will be given for the Championship Seeding Regatta
    16.2.           Prizes will be awarded to the first ten finishers in the North American Championship, the top placing junior contestant (younger than 21 years) and the top placing woman contestant
    17.1.           Competitors participate in the regatta entirely at their own risk. See rule 4, Decision to Race. The organizing authority will not accept any liability for material damage or personal injury or death sustained in conjunction with or prior to, during, or after the regatta.
Click Here to download a .pdf version of the Sailing Instructions


Regatta information


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Gorbold Defends Title In 2nd Squaw Island Race

“A” rigs were the sails chosen by nearly everyone in the 2nd Annual Squaw Island “Offshore” Race held on Sunday. Jonathan Gorbold sailed past Bill Blevins just after they both rounded the windward mark at Squaw Island. He then managing to keep his bow out of the water for the downwind leg and ended up at the finish first. Jonathan stayed out in the lake on the downwind run while Bill hugged the shore line. For Gorbold, this is his second win in the Squaw Island Race. Blevins finished in second this year, closely followed by Jay Niggli who ended up in the third spot.

For one reason or another, many skippers ended up sharing a ride up the lake and back which again this year caused a lot of problems. Controlling multiple racing RC Lasers from one chase boat inevitably caused one skipper to become frustrated by being too far behind and holding up the other skipper on the boat. After two years of learnings, it is clear that it is best for each skipper to be in their own chase boat if they want to be competitive.

The full results from the 2nd Annual Squaw Island Race have been posted.

Keith Calkins posted photos from the race on Picasa.

Thanks again to our race director Keith Calkins (and Joan) for judging the event and also for lending his cooking skills after the race. Another big thank you also goes out from the fleet to our race committee pontoon boat drivers Jay and Jean Gilfus (and Ashley)!

It was a fun event and people were already discussing strategy for next year. (Team racing was even mentioned, where the idea would be that a team of racing skippers would race as a group and share the same chase boat!)

North American Championship News Update

Our last weekend of practice before the big race will be this Sunday at 4 p.m. at the docks in Kershaw Park behind Steamboat Landing. Everything has been going along smoothly and we expect to refine our process a little more this weekend. We will have a short meeting after racing on Sunday at CYC.

Remember, your skill level doesn’t matter with the format we are using because you are always sailing against others of like ability, so please, if you have an RC Laser, come out this Sunday so that the race committee can have as many boats on the line as possible.

Registration is still open for the event.

And finally, by now you all know about the “Deckorations” contest so I won’t mention that again today but I did want to remind everyone that we have Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet 14 shirts available and if you wanted to order one today or tomorrow, they would most likely be here in time to wear for the regatta. Very nice shirts and inexpensive too!

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2nd Annual 2012 Squaw Island Offshore Race & Cookout

Why not kick off the Memorial Day weekend with the RC Laser fleet by coming out to sail in the 2nd Annual Squaw Island Offshore Race this weekend?

This 2-mile race requires skippers to sail their radio controlled sailboat up the lake to a mark at Squaw Island and then back to a finish line at the club. It was one of the more fun but challenging sailing events we held last year.

Registration can be done online or can be handled Saturday starting at 1pm at the concrete dock on the CYC waterfront. Skippers will need to figure out their mode of transportation on the water to follow their boats up the course and back. We are getting close to the event, so if you need a ride and don’t have one, please let us know asap and we’ll do our best to find you a chauffeur.

If you have a powerboat and would be willing to take spectators or skippers for a ride on Saturday afternoon, please show up at 1:30 to be paired with a sailor.

Our Race Director, Keith Calkins (who thought we were crazy last year but has learned we are actually crazy this year) will hold a skipper’s meeting at 1:45 pm.

Racing will begin shortly thereafter with an on-the-water start this year with a line set somewhere in the vicinity of the south end of the mooring field. We’ll attempt to have a start line set to that we have a windward start and so that onlookers from shore will get a good view. The finish line will again be at the concrete dock area.

We will have a cookout following the race. The fleet will provide meat and rolls but you can bring beverages, sides, salads or deserts to share. We should be finished in plenty of time to allow CYC members wishing to attend the wine tasting at the clubhouse later in the evening to make it there on time.

2012 North American Championship Update

Registration is still open for the 2012 RC Laser North American Championship event.

We are at the point where we are starting to count heads for meals so if you are reading this and you are planning to attend and haven’t yet registered, please do so soon.

We will be holding our normal Sunday racing this Sunday, May 27 at 4pm at Kershaw Park behind Steamboat Landing and again at 4pm on Sunday June 3. We will be practicing the regatta format on both days and a short skippers meeting will be held before the “official” scored races start.

Please try to attend both of these days if you are sailing, working the event or volunteering to help. We are expecting 35 competitors at the main event on June 8-10 so having as many sailors and volunteers at our two remaining practice sailing days will be a huge help.


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