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Golden Gate Yacht Clyb
April 14, 2007

(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below, or click on the I-36 Logo to return to the main menu!)

Saturday's dawn found low stratus wrapping the Golden Gate, with occasional hints drizzle. Luna Sea, Pacific High & Freedom Won were already tied to the dock at Golden Gate Yacht Club. Tranquility, Amante & Captain Hooke would join them before too long. Tenacious & Mustang were in their own slips near by, and Mischief was expected a bit later. That accounted for the nine boats whose crews had signed up for our fourth annual Sail Trim Clinic. Add in those who came to learn and perhaps crew aboard one of these nine, plus our mentors and support team and guest speaker Michael Winfield and you had 57 people representing 23 Islanders. Fleet Captian Michele Williams had pulled together a great crowd. Here's the list:

2007 Islander 36 Sail Trim Clinic Attendees      
April 14, 2007 @ Golden Gate Yacht Club      
Boats Listed = 9    
Boat Crew Total = 38    
Spare Crew Total = 7    
Maybes = 0    
Mentors/support = 12 57 total people  
Boat (Crew)   Skipper/Crew Notes/Own Boat
Mischief (3)   Kathryn Munn  
    Judy Hunter  
    Debra Stern  
Freedom Won (6)   John Melton  
    Geoff Lyon  
    Doug Garrison  
    Jean Magistrale  
    Geoff Miller  
Pacific HIgh (8)   Harry Farrell  
    Michele Williams  
    Carol Williams  
    Dennis Bush Natural High
    Deb Fehr  
    Dave Gardner  
    Tom Garing  
    Jim Kickey  
Amante (6)   Frank Mayo  
    Susan Brooks  
    Alex Farrell  
    Chris Loethler  
    Peter Ackerson  
    Matthew Hughes  
Mustang (3)   Joseph Krensavage  
    Cate Krensavage  
    Chris Chu  
Luna Sea (2)   Dan Knox  
    Bonnie Aiello  
Tranquility (2)   Ralph Greenwood  
    Bud Moore  
Captain Hooke (6)   Tom Newton  
    David Newton  
    Eli Gilliam  
    Adolpho Martinez  
    Mike Fritch  
    Steve Newton  
Tenacious (2)   Kris Youngberg  
    Eric Carles  
Want to Crew:      
    Richard Watters Tacoma Blue
    Smokey Stover Evanescence
    Butch Nelson Arete
    Sandra Slate Arete
    Gerald Schippers Andiamo
    Corky Stewart Brigid
    Anna Stewart Brigid
Maybe Responses:      
Mentors & Support Staff      
    Michael Whitfield  
    Art Fowler Zenith
    Gary Salvo Ophira
    Pat Salvo Ophira
    Judy Bush Natural High
    Matt Bush Natural High
    Steve Schneider Absolute
    Barry Stompe Tom Cat
    Rich Shoenhair Windwalker
    Lou Zevanov Diana
    Don Schumacher Blue Streak
    Rick Van Mell Vanishing Animal

Muffins, bagels and sweet rolls, with fixin's and coffee fueled the early morning registration process, and Michele got things started shortly after 0900 - with lots of ground to cover. The dark sky and steady rain held off until then - making it easier to see the slide show as we began. (That Michele sure knows how to schedule things!)

Guest Speaker Michael Whitfield is a renowned professional sailing educator with over 30 years of teaching experience. He has taught and conducted corporate racing events in San Francisco, the British Virgin Islands, Denmark and Canada. He has over four decades of racing experience across a broad range of dinghies and keel boats.

The Islander 36 customized version of his presentation covered the art and science of shaping sails with exciting visual presentations that crystallize the precise shapes and orientation of sails for maximum efficiency. He introduced the "One Wing" concept of looking at the sail plan from the leading edge of the jib to the leech of the main. Attention was also focused on the underwater foil shape, particularly the impact of rudder angle and the whole concept of balancing the boat to maximize speed and reduce drag.

Shaping sails effectively for different conditions and knowing when to change gears is an essential skill for all sailors. Racers and cruisers alike benefit from comfortable and fast sailing experiences. So the most effective skippers, no matter whether they're racers or cruisers, use boat set-up and sail trim techniques to good advantage.

Michael Whitfield's ( michael@touchstonemanagement.com ) presentation was fully informative, packed with pictures of Islanders, and fun too. Here are three Powerpoint files which made up his presentation: (They will take a while to load.)
Module 1 (Approx 6.9 MEG)
Module 2 (Approx 3.7 MEG)
Module 3 (Approx 7.4 MEG)

There were a few points not explicitly covered in the slides, including using about 20 degrees of heel angle as the time to begin thinking of depowering the sail plan, and using crew weight to get a little windward heel while going downwind. Beyond 20 degrees of heel, drag increases, and once the rail gets to the water, it increases a lot. Options for reducing "power" and actually increasing speed include twisting off the tops of the main and jib, and reefing the main - or both! Of course, using a smaller jib would help a lot too, so plan ahead for the wind velocity expected during the day.

Inducing weather heel downwind does two things. It marginally raises the total sail area to get more pressure on the sails, and more importantly, reduces weather helm and thus helps reduce rudder angle needed to keep the boat going straight and fast.

Lou Zevanov added a few words about rig tuning on an Islander. His Founding Father demeanor and genuine love of the class came through in style. He even began his talk with a string of reflections on age - his being old, his boat being old, his engine being old, his sails being sort of of old, his eyes being old, and of his wife he said ..... (and everyone held their breath) "to my eyes her sight will always be young." Lou's points were to carefully check each season the condition of your bulkheads and chain plates, and to set up the rig with enough tension to keep the mast in a straight column in 12 -15 knots of breeze, but don't over do it! Lou's choice for mast rake is about 4" - enough to give a little windward helm but not too much. Also, he noted, these boats were designed before hydraulic backstay adjusters were commonly available and can apply much more force - 2500 to 4000 - than intended. So, be conservative when using one and stay at the lower end of its range.

Michael then finished up the classroom presentation with a short section on spinnaker trim. The main point was to keep the centerline of the spinnaker vertical and the clews about equally off the water. The newest spinnaker may have been cut to allow the tack corner (on the spinnaker pole) to be slightly lower than the clew to gain projected area and improve air flow around the sail.

Once again Michele executed superb planning by ending the rain, adding sun breaks and arranging for a 20-boat J-105 fleet to sail right past the windows, gybing their asymmetrical spinnakers exactly on time to finish the session.

Our crowd moved dockside where MIchael showed how to check if the mast is centered in the boat and how to check mast rake. Tie a tape measure to the end of the main halyard and measure to each main chainplate to check centering, and hang a weight on the main halyard to judge rake at the gooseneck.

Cold cuts and salads made for an easy, quick and hearty lunch before heading out on the water. Michele looked like she had really nailed the planning part as more sun appeared and 8-10 knots blew in through the Gate. However, we think she had thrown a few too many coins to Odin, for the northwest wind didn't know to hold the throttle and continued to increase.

By the time five Islander decided to head out, winds had already increased into the 20 knot range. With the J Fest regatta sending two fleets through the starting area at 10 - 15 minute intervals, it was tricky trying to set up practice starts. But with persistence, and the Race Committee skills of Gary & Pat Salvo, a couple of practice starts were squeezed in. The wind, however, continued to increase and prudence sent three boats back to the dock after about forty minutes, leaving two boats attempting a final start and a short windward leeward race. A pulled outhaul claimed one of those as the wind gusted into the 28 - 30 knot range, leaving Freedom Won as the "winner" and last boat standing. All returned to the dock to dry out, drop off their extra crew, and toast a "thanks for a great day" before heading for home.

Be sure to look half way down through the pictures for three movie clips of the starts and one of the J fleet flying past. If you think it looks like the Islanders are going too fast, it's due to the 4.3 knot ebb out the Gate right at starting time.

So if you missed this one, be sure to put the next Sail Trim Clinic on your calendar. It's educational, it's fun, and it's one more way to enjoy your Islander and the great members of the Islander Association. And a special thanks to Michele Williams for a job well done.

Pictures by Lou Zevanov & Rick Van Mell. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

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Fleet Captain Michele...
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Introduces the program & ...
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Michael Whitfield.
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A great crowd ...
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watches the show ...
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from all sides.
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Focused learning ...
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with smiles, ...
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and interest ...
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careful attention, ...
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and a steady hand.
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The Goal
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Sail shape is key to ...
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draft depth & position.
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Read carefully!
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One Wing
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"So, keep it balanced..."
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Lou Zevanov -
speaker & photog
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Dockside is focused ...
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on watching ...
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from all angles ...
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as Michael measures ...
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mast centering.
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Luna Sea, Pacific High
& Freedom Won
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Captain Hooke, Tranquility
& Amante
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After lunch, time to sail.
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Ready here.
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Pacific High gets ready.
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The brain trust.
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Easy going now
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Getting Shipshape
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"Say foredeck ...."
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"Want these?"
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Forget one?
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Luna Sea gets ready ...
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to set sail ...
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Hold on!
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Susan is game
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Lots of wind

Here are some movies of the starting action and the J Fleet. They range from 5 to 19 megabytes, so be a bit patient - you'll need a DSL or cable connection to handle these.

1st Start
2nd Start
3rd Start
J Fleet passing

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Golden Gate YC
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Race Deck
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Later ...
Luna Sea's had enough
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"Winner" -
last boat standing ...
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Freedom Won
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Back dockside ...
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Time to dry out...
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relax? ...
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Smile ...
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Fleet Captain Michele Williams
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Not a bad place ...
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to go sailing ...
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See you ...
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next time.

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