Blevins Starts Off 2012 Season By Winning Frostbite Series

After 49 races and with 65 low points for a score, Bill Blevins (#254) won the Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet 2011 Frostbite Series on Sunday.

The 559 starts in this seven week series kicked off the 2012 racing season and the scores in this series contribute to the overall High Point trophy given out at Sailor’s Night in October.

Jonathan Gorbold (#62) earned second place for the series with 71 points, Jay Niggli (#81) finished in third with 91 points, Jack Bennett (#005) finished in fourth place and Nelson Habecker (#54) ended up in fifth. Tracy Blevins (#75) finished highest among the women and was also ninth overall. The results for the 20 sailors who participated in the series can be found on our results section of the site.

The Canandaigua group welcomed its 22nd RC Laser sailor as Leonard Redon of Rochester paid his $20 dues and joined Fleet 14 this week. (Hint, hint… some of you still need to pay your dues for 2012. See Nelson when you get a chance).

There is no official racing until next spring but if the weather is nice (and since all of the women are planning a shopping trip) some of the guys discussed getting a pick-up race going on the Erie Canal at Perinton Park in Fairport next Sunday afternoon at 2pm. Watch this site for details about this on Friday if you are interested.

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Holiday Harbor Is Venue for Final Two Frostbite Weeks

This week was a bit better than last week in the broken gear department. Only three boats has debilitating problems. Jack Bennett’s boat (#005) broke a mast. Terry Schmidt (#71)  had a rudder go into the deep. Bill Schmidt’s boat (#88) turned turtle when the centerboard just fell off for no reason.

Despite the equipment failures (which seems to be quite a regular thing with the lastest batch of new boats), everyone agreed that the venue on the pump out dock at the north end of Canandaigua Lake was awesome!

A huge “thank you” goes out to Nelson Habecker (#54) for volunteering (and enduring) chase boat duty from his kayak for two hours!

Gary Schmidt (#59) had his RC Laser out for the first time on Sunday and quickly got back in the groove, scoring two bullets and a second in six races. The results through week #5 have been posted. Jay Niggli (#81), Jonathan Gorbold (#62) and Bill Blevins (#254) remain in the top three positions for the series despite several challenging races for each of them tonight in the chop and high “B” sail winds.

The after race party at Jack Bennett’s house along with great food and the”Tale of Several Cities” slideshow presentation from Blaise’s trip to Europe this summer was a great way to end a really good day of racing.

Next week racing will be at Nelson and Anne’s place in Holiday Harbor. To get to the race area, turn into Holiday Harbor off of West Lake Road and then make the first right hand turn and drive in to the end. Park on the right side of the lot.

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New Venue For Sunday RC Laser Races At Canandaigua Lake

Frostbite week #5 will be held on the new docks just west of the Canandaigua Lady at the north end of Canandaigua Lake.

The brand new “pump-out” dock is directly behind the Steamboat Landing restaurant and there is plenty of parking on each side of the property.

Racing should be great because the weather forecast is again calling for moderate temperatures with breezy conditions and sunny skies. This venue is great because long race courses can be set for any wind direction and the sailors can see everything from a spacious T at the end of the pier. We should get in quite a few races on Sunday!

If you are spectating, bring a chair as there are only a couple of fixed benches on shore.

Due to all of the equipment failures last week (ie: multiple rudders inexplicably falling off of boats last week and the fact that the RC Laser distributor site still shows that rudders are out of stock) Nelson Habecker (#54) has agreed to be the race PRO for the afternoon.

A quick friendly reminder to skippers…

If you finish a race first, clear your RC Laser from the finish line area and immediately start looking for the results clipboard. Don’t try to remember numbers in your head. As the second boat crosses the line, that skipper should begin calling out the remaining finish numbers. It is the responsibility of the first place finisher, along with the second place finisher to accurately record all of the places unless you are relieved of the duty by someone else who is not sailing.

We’ll be out setting the course early so come on down and enjoy the afternoon with us!

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RC Laser Racing at Canandaigua’s Kershaw Park

Steady winds from the south, “B” sails, a little chop on the water and temperatures in the 60’s made for a very enjoyable afternoon of RC Laser racing from the gazebo deck in Kershaw Park on Canandaigua Lake on Sunday. The 12 sailors who participated added another 9 races to the scores in the 2011 Frostbite Series.

At the end of the afternoon Jack Bennett (#005) lost the ability to control his RC Laser, sending Nelson Habecker (#54) over for the rescue while he was out gathering marks in his kayak. Earlier, Neil Atkins’ (#72) RC Laser had a rudder servo failure. Late in the day and on opposite sides of the course both Anne Lambert (#272) and Dick Hallagen’s (#74) new boats lost their rudders for no apparent reason. Much discussion ensued on these malfunctions during the after race gathering at Holiday Harbor.

When yesterday’s results were calculated, they show that Jonathan Gorbold (#62) has moved into first place for the series.

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Frostbite Series Week #4 Will Be Held At Kershaw Park

On Sunday, November 6, RC Laser racing will begin at 2 p.m. at Kershaw Park on Canandaigua Lake. If the gazebo is available, we’ll race from the deck, otherwise, look for us just to the east of that location at the new city pump out dock next to the Canandaigua Lady.

Nelson Habecker and Bill Blevins will be out early getting marks set. The weather forecast at this point is for the temperatures to be in the upper 50’s with nice steady winds from the south all day. It should be a fun afternoon. See you then!

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2011 By The Numbers

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Racing Picking Up in Frostbite Series

The wind has cooperated with RC Laser racing for the past two weekends allowing the Canandaigua fleet to complete 13 races with 16 different boats on the starting line. The results have been updated and posted for both the series and the 2012 overall high point score.

For high point scoring this season we are using the Chipstead High Point Scoring (Chips3) formula.

This scoring formula (in the most simple terms) accounts for the number of boats in a race in all of the scores. The underlying premise behind the scoring formula is that it assumes that it is easier to beat other boats when there are fewer of them racing and it is more difficult to beat more boats when there are many of them in a race. Chips3 is one of the scoring methods in our scoring program SailWave.

To qualify for the 2012 Overall High Point award, a boat must start in at least 60% of our races. We will be throwing out the worst 40% of a boat’s scores across the whole season.

Dick Hallagan (#74), freshly back from the J/22 World Championship in New Orleans the previous week, was out with his new RC Laser for the first time last weekend. Dick is our nineteenth fleet member! After Nelson Habecker (#54) helped get him set up and on the water, he sailed his RC Laser to a 5th place in just his third race! We expect that after a few tune-up tweaks he’ll be a regular at the top of the score sheet.

After racing, the RC sailors filled two long tables inside the Carey Lake Bar & Grill and enjoyed good food, drinks and company. Carey Lake will again be our venue for Oct. 30th, with starts at 2pm.

The 2012 race calendar has been updated. Please take a look and send any comments to Nelson Habecker or Bill Blevins as soon as possible if you notice any problems.

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Carey Lake To Host Next Two Frostbite Series Races

Aerial photograph of Carey Lake

The 2012 RC Laser racing season is underway and our first week of frostbiting saw boats sailing in a mixture of rain, sun, wind, no wind, 180 degree shifts, holes, lifts, headers and gusts as winds were generally out of the southwest making for difficult sailing from the docks at CYC. We managed to get 6 races on the result sheets.

As planned, for the next two weeks we’ll be sailing at Carey Lake in Macedon, NY. Arrive any time after 1 p.m. and we’ll start the first race promptly at 2 p.m.

Carey Lake is located at 959 Walworth Penfield Road, Macedon, NY 14502. To get there from Canandaigua:

  1. Turn from Main St. onto Gibson St. (NY-21) and head 13.4 miles north to Palmyra.
  2. Turn left on NY-31 (Main St. in Palmyra) and drive for 3.5 miles.
  3. Turn right onto New York 31F W/NY-350 N/Ontario Center Rd for 1.7 miles
  4. Turn right onto NY-350 N/Ontario Center Rd and drive 3.4 miles
  5. Turn left onto NY-441 W/Walworth Penfield Rd.
  6. Carey Lake will be on the right in 2 miles

There is parking close to the sailing area. There are bathroom facilities as well. There is shelter under a pavilion by the water if needed and a well maintained sailing area on the shore overlooking the lake.

The new Carey Lake Bar and Grill is open with Sunday football games on all of the TV’s, so after sailing it would be nice for as many of us as possible to go in and have a drink or eat dinner and support the business that is letting us use the property.

Our Frostbite Series runs through November 27 and our races are scored using the Racing Rules of Sailing Appendix A Low Point Scoring method. We also throw out the worst 40% of each boat’s scores. If we have more than 12 boats in a start, we’ll split the group into two fleets and sail an Odd/Even format for the day. These races in the Frostbite series contribute to the 2012 Overall High Point Award that will be given out at Sailor’s night in Oct. 2012.

So, let’s take advantage of our invitation to sail at Carey Lake and try to get as many of our boats on the water as we can and we’ll see if we can get 8 races in the books!

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It’s Time To Celebrate the 2011 RC Laser Season

Jonathan Gorbold, Bill Blevins and Gary Schmidt (left to right) finished the 2011 Canandaigua RC Laser sailing season in first, second and third places respectively.

The year-old Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet now has 19 boats!

We also have fleet t-shirts, business cards and a great web site. During the past twelve months we ate plenty of great food between races on Sunday afternoons and we had a lot of great parties.

We also had great sailboat racing!

We had 1,240 starters in 166 races across five different series throughout the year.

Those stats don’t include the Women’s Series, nor do they account for special events like the Eight-Legged Race where each boat required four skippers to help navigate the course.

The stats don’t include countless “Hey, I bet I can beat you out to that mooring field buoy and back” challenges either!

The stats above don’t account for now infamous two-mile “offshore” Squaw Island Race, our only event where we had a “Race Director,” and where a dozen boats were thrown in the water during a shotgun start and were then sailed up Canandaigua Lake to Squaw Island and back! (Reports are that there are quite a few people from around the country making plans participate in the 2012 Squaw Island Race on May 26, so volunteers, mark your calendars because we’ll need a lot of chase boats and drivers!)

Enough promotion and marketing for now…

“Congratulations!” are in order!

Jonathan Gorbold (#62) finished the sailing season by winning the Fall Low Point Series and capping off his personal “batting average” of .820  which earns him the overall high point position in the Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet for 2011!

Jonathan started in 142 of the 166 races that were held since October 2010. Jonathan had 55 first place finishes and in 120 of the races he finished in third place or better!

Bill Blevins (#254) finished second overall with a personal batting average of .788 and for much of the later part of the season he was essentially in a dead heat with Jonathan, battling for first place with only a few ten-thousandths of a point between them! Bill also finished in second place for the Fall Low Point Series.

Third in the Fall Low Point Series and third overall was Gary Schmidt (#59) who ended the season with his batting average of .661. Gary finished in the top five in 110 of the 132 races he sailed.

Click the chart below to enlarge it. The bars show the finishing places for Jonathan, Bill and Gary for the 166 races that made up their batting average scores.

Our custom built formula for batting averages calculated the percentage of boats each skipper beat in the races that they started. Our model didn’t penalize anyone for being absent as each boat was only scored in races where they sailed and the only against the sailors they raced against.

Looking through some of the other stats, they show that Nelson Habecker (#54) was on the course for every single day of racing, starting in 96% of the races held. David Turnbull (#17), George Walter (#47), Jack Bennett (#005) and Neil Atkins(#72) all competed in more than 60% of the races.

2011 Women’s Series Results

Tracy Blevins, Maggie Atkins, Anne Lambert, Anna Gorbold, Christine Stebbins, Terry Schmidt and Leslie Bennett (left to right) competed fora Spa gift certificate in the 2011 RC Laser Women's Series.

In the Women’s Series, Terry Schmidt (#71) took home top honors as well as a gift certificate for the Spa at the Del Monte after finishing with the lowest total score after 22 races against a total of 11 competitors. Tracy Blevins (#75) finished in second place in the series, followed by Leslie Bennett, Christine Stebbins, Anne Lambert (#272), Anna Gorbold and Maggie Atkins (#94).

And a special round of applause goes to…

From RC Sailing Photos

Many, many thanks go to Nelson Habecker who on most race days headed out in his kayak to set our marks and on at least one occasion, broke up ice on the course so we could sail. Nelson also found sponsors for races, served as the fleet treasurer, hosted a couple of our parties and also occasionally supplied a fire pit and the refreshments required so skippers did not think they were freezing their toes and fingers off during the frostbite and warm-up series.

Finally, much appreciation and thanks are due Pauline and also to the CYC staff for keeping the lights on in the club so that our fleet could enjoy dinner and drinks every Sunday night after racing for the past year!

Are you ready for the 2012 season? It starts this Sunday!

From RC Sailing Photos

2012 racing begins with the Frostbite Series on Sunday, October 16 at 4 p.m. at the Canandaigua Yacht Club.

For the second and third week of the series, Oct. 23 and Oct. 30th, we’ll be racing on Sunday afternoons at Carey Lake in Macedon, and we’ll begin promptly at 2 p.m. RC Laser sailors from the Rochester Area Model Yachting Association may also join us on those dates.

Racing will then return to Canandaigua Lake in November and we’ll continue afternoon starts beginning at 2 p.m. at Nelson and Anne’s place in Holiday Harbor.

Let’s all go to Mid-Winters in Marco Island, FL!

Since the Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet will be hosting the RC Laser North American Championship next summer, we would like to see a large contingent from our fleet planning to participate March 2-4 in the Mid-Winters Championship in Marco Island, FL, watching and learning how a large RC event is run and managed at the highest level.

One more for the road…

Finally, mark your calendars for the 2nd Annual Burning of the Socks Happy Hour (or two) on the docks of Canandaigua Lake at 6:30 p.m. on March 20, 2012. This annual party is held the Vernal Equinox marking the beginning of sailing season and the last day that sailors wear socks again until Sailor’s Night 2012!

But first, let’s put our socks on and head to Sailor’s Night for the awards ceremony! It is Saturday, Oct. 15 at CYC at 6:30 pm!

See you there!


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Deckorations, Sails, Dues, Bags and Year-End Awards

Nelson Habecker’s “Queen Anne’s Revenge” (#54) is just one of a growing set photos showing off RC Laser color schemes that you’ll find in the North American RC Laser Class Association’s photo gallery called Deckorations. You should check it out and also send us your boat “deckorations” and we’ll add  your photo to the album!

On Sunday afternoon the Canandaigua fleet had 10 boats on the line for 7 regular starts and then one additional race was held for the Women’s Series. It was great to have nice wind and to be able to hold that many races again after what has seemed like a long summer with very light winds.

Next Sunday, October 9 will be the seventh and final week of racing in the Fall Low Point Series and it will also mark the 2011 season ending races that will be used to calculate the Batting Averages for each sailor for the year. The results for all series and for the current “Batting Averages” have been updated.

Please make plans to attend the Sailors Night banquet at the club on Saturday, October 15. The RC Laser fleet is reserving tables today. Call soon and let the club know your choice of food and also that you’d like to sit in the area with the RC Laser fleet. During the awards portion of the evening our fleet will have a few minutes to present awards for the Women’s series as well as awards for first place in each of our sailing series throughout the year and finally present the overall “Batting Average” high point award for 2011. This should be a fun night so call the club soon and make your reservation! The number is 585-396-9200.

The 2012 season begins the day after Sailor’s Night on Sunday afternoon, October 16 at 4 p.m. at our normal location at the Canandaigua Yacht Club with Week 1 of 7 in our Frostbite Low Point Series. Starting on October 23 the races will begin at 2 p.m. and we’ll update the calendar with the specific sailing location for each week and make sure that is communicated to everyone but you can probably count on at least one “Walkabout” race to keep the blood flowing once it gets cold!

And so with the beginning of the 2012 season upon us, it is time to renew dues for each boat. This year the fee is $20 per boat or $35 for multiple boats in a family. You can bring a check or cash with you on Sunday or use and submit online using a credit card or PayPal.

There are two groups getting ready to order sails and sail bags.

If you want to place an order with the distributor for sails or any parts, etc. from their site let Bill Blevins know right away. The order will be placed on Thursday, Oct. 6. There is no discount but we will save on shipping costs by lumping everything together in one purchase. We are ordering at least 4 “A” sail rigs and booms for people to cut down for their “C” and “D” sails.

The second group is ordering the large white sail bags that will hold all four rigged sails. We have 4 in the order at the moment. The normal cost for each bag is $175 + shipping fees. If we get a fifth order the price drops a little bit to $165 but we will get free shipping. If you missed out on the sail bag order last year and want one, this would be a good time. I think everyone who purchased last year thinks these bags are just great and they greatly reduce the hassle of changing sails. This order will also be placed on Thursday.

Finally, just for the record, several of us ordered sail numbers from Mobile Graphics in Victor and were very happy with the quality, price and how easy they apply to the sails – No more stencils, individual numbers, incorrect fonts, bleeding ink or crooked lettering! They said to just call 585-742-3370 and ask them to look up the order for the Canandaigua RC Laser Fleet and they can use that information to make your numbers to the correct specifications. They are located at 276 Main St. in Victor, two doors up from Tim Hortons in the white house that has been converted to a business.

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