January 10, 2004
2004 Racing Meeting
St. Francis Yacht Club

(If you like, you can skip down through the prose and go straight to the pictures below!)

Wow! Talk about a great way to start off another year. Race Captain Joseph Krensavage (Mustang), Peter Szasz (Midnight Sun) & Measurer Paul Tara (Zoop) put together an outstanding morning of discussion and information for the racing program. Peter had arranged for the fleet to use the Chart Room, upstairs at St. Francis Yacht Club and everything was first class.

Commodore Harry Farrell (Pacific High) started off the meeting with a welcome to the 27 people gathered representing 15 boats, noting that we, a fleet of 30 year old boats, were getting attention as one of the fastest growing and largest fleets on the Bay. He remarked that the Association was working as a well-oiled machine - after all he took off for a vacation in Mexico and came back to find everything nicely organized and well attended!

Joseph took over and flipped into the projected PowerPoint presentation to review the agenda, then moved on to this year's schedule. First was a show of hands for the "tune-up" Corinthian Mid-Winter races in January & February. Amante, Zoop, Tenacious, Nimbus & Mustang were game, and Joseph will try to round up a few more and ask for a separate Islander start in the series. He then noted the great fun of the two day Vallejo Race season opener. He may have mentioned "party" about 16 times while using his laser pointer to draw attention to the screen but all agreed it is well worth attending. Peter Szasz suggested that the fleet take a page from the J-105 fleet and ask the Vallejo YC/Harbormaster to direct all of the Islander to the north basin where we can raft up together as a fleet. His suggestion was greeted by a round of snaps from all hands. Jeanine Lombard was taking notes for Joseph, but when he asked her to make a note of that, she replied, "You, can call the Harbormaster!" Amid much laughter Peter chimed in to remind crews and fleet-followers they should keep in mind that the Vallejo ferry makes the run from San Francisco to Vallejo in a remarkably short 35 minutes - certainly faster than you can do it by car in rush hour. A great way to come up and join the party, or even go home for the night and come back in the morning for the race home.

John Melton (Freedom Won) noted that the race for May 15th on Joseph's I-36 schedule did not appear in the YRA mailing that just came out. Mike Dickson (Nimbus), who is also Chairman of the YRA One Design division, said he would look into it. Another discussion centered around the appropriate PHRF rating for the fleet when it was racing one-design. Though the YRA standard has been 147 (seconds per mile), that is based on the broader class rules which include flying 150% jibs and spinnakers. Mike Dickson, Peter and Jim Robinson were asked to see if a "one design" rating could be established that reflected only a 135% jib and no spinnakers. Though this would make no difference in one-design races, it would make a big difference when an I-36 might race in other PHRF events against other classes of boats - particularly the season ending Champion of Champions series.

Peter Szasz then took over to discuss the full day racing clinic shceduled for March 27th. that too will be held at the St. Francis YC and will cover boat set-up, beating and running techniques, starts, racing rules and some practice starts and races. Some of the more experienced skippers will serve as mentors, plus a few "pros" from North Sails and Grand Prix Racing. Peter has donated a certificate good for 4 days, over two weekends, for a Grand Prix Sailing School class to be awarded to one of the participants.

Measurer Paul Tara then took the floor and reminded everyone that all boats must be measured this year before the first race. He pointed out that boats filling out their entry form for the season were effectively agreeing to sail by the class rules, and thus those who have been measured before (last year) don't have to be measured again unless a measurement has been changed on the boat. Paul went on to discuss a number of places where our racing rule requirements in the bylaws could be clarified to address some of the issues around sail material, sail construction, grandfathering and exceptions. Recommended changes will be ready for distribution and voting at the Spring Meeting in March. One specific area pointed out was the subject of extendable "whisker poles" used as spinnaker poles to wing out the jib downwind. These are limited just like a spinnaker pole to 15', but some can be extended to greater lengths. After some discussion it was suggested that those who have such a pole permanently afix a small stainless wire between the ends that will limit the expansion to no more than 15'. Additional clarification will likely include limiting the use of composite materials (e.g. carbon fiber) for masts and booms, though its use in spinnaker poles is still in flux.

Right on schedule the meeting drew to a close in time for lunch downstairs in the Grill Room overlooking San Francisco Bay. Everyone thanked Joseph for preparing one of the most professional racing meetings the Association has ever had. We filled four tables and enjoyed great company over lunch with the hazy sun reflecting off the Bay waters. At least the Zenith crew even got out on the water - though on crew member Bill Brugler's Catalina 30 moored nearby in Gas House Cove.

If you've ever even thought about racing your Islander, this is certianly a good year to try it. And if you're not in the Bay area, mark your calendar for any meeting, race or cruise day on the schedule and we'll find a way to get you out on the water. That's what we're all here for!

Pictures are compliments of Rick Van Mell who promises to improve the quality or get a better camera!!. Click on images to enlarge, click "Back" to return.

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St. Francis Yacht Club Art Fowler at SFYC front door Joseph's welcoming slide High tech in play
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Katie Mayo, Susan Brooks & Frank Mayo (Amante) & Charles Hodgkins (Mischief) & Robert & Richard Aston (Pegasus) Art Fowler & Zenith crew - Greg Optiz, Rene Robert, Fred Wachowicz & Bill Brugler Katie & Travis Huff (Love It) & Mike Dickson (Nimbus) Peter Szasz (Midnight Sun) and Jim Robinson (Pilot)
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Fleet Captain Joseph Krensavage is almost ready to start Jim Robinson (Pilot) Son Steve Zevanov with Diana & Lou
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Harry is ready to start the meeting Joseph goes over the schedule Peter Szasz covers the March 27th Clinic Paul Tara covers the rating rules
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Measurer Paul Tara (Zoop), Commodore Farrell (Pacific High) & Barry Stompe (Tom Cat) Lunch time for the Amante & Pegasus crews Charles & Steve Zevanov talk while Joseph & Jeanine, and James Roten of Mustang smile for the camera Peter, Barry, Charles & Steve hold down the corner table
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Art leads the whole Zenith crew The Zevanov table (Diana) Little wind under the Golden Gate... but nice view of Alcatraz.
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Balclutha nestles between the Coit Tower & TransAmerica landmarks Bill Brulger takes the Zenith crew for a ride on his Catalina 30.

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