Friday, October 6, 2017

2017 Wrap-up & Future Resolutions

2017 was a great year for M-Scows.  At least it started out that way.  So far, I have sailed in 47 M-Scow races.  I got in 9 out 10 races for the MRYC Spring Series.  We started out with 8 boats on April 30 under some tough conditions.  We’re usually lucky to have 8 boats in great weather in the Spring!  The next day we sailed had 13 boats!  A record for the Spring Series.

I have sailed in some BBYRA races in the past, but I never qualified for the BBYRA series until this Summer.  It was a lot of fun, with one race including 16 boats on the race course!  We also had 3 new Junior sailors, with Barron Cohen BH-9 qualifying the series!  In total, 20 boats races with 14 of those boats qualifying.  That’s 5 more qualifiers than 2016!

One of the best things about sailing the M-Scow is sailing in the Lavallette Yacht Club Sunday Series!  We had a total of 14 boats with 11 boats sailing in one race.  John Applegate won the Series, but it was much more competitive.  We had 6 different race winners!  I found out this Summer,  on 2 race dates, all of the M-Scows from all of the other Yacht clubs can sail with us on those Sundays. But it hardly ever happens.  Very few people make it.

We won the Callahan Regatta this Summer.  We won the first race, and Susan Rogers won races 2 and 3.  It’s a Friday Regatta, which is great for boat traffic, and if you happen to be a retired sailor.  So it looked like every Sandpiper and B Cat was there, and we had six boats.  We always have a very good BBYRA race on Saturday, and the prospect of sailing three days in a row is very hard to pull off from a family perspective.    I think we should notify them, and tell them the M-Scow will not sail the Callahan Regatta in 2018.  Most of the younger sailors just can’t make this regatta.

The highlight of the year was the North American Championship Regatta at Pigeon Lake Yacht Club!  It was a very competitive regatta with 5 different race winners in this 8 race regatta. I even won a race!   Bobcageon Ontario was such a wonderful place to visit!  Mike Burton Davies bought Ken Ingles’ beautiful Pegel M-Scow!  But their fleet numbers are down.  They are having trouble finding younger sailors in the third best community to retire in Canada.   We changed the timing of the regatta into mid August which lost us three boats from the East.  Tried something different; didn’t work.  There were several people that I believe could have done a better job as Commodore.  They were offered the job and didn’t take it.  I was voted in as Commodore of the North American M-Scow Association so quickly it was scary! I was told by Susan Rogers that it’s a two year term. 

By the time the Easterns came, I had already sailed in 42 races, and most of my crew choices had dwindled.   We had a good regatta at Seaside Park YC with only 8 boats.  It has long been believed that the optimal total crew weight on an M is around 270 lbs.  This year, we had the opportunity to test sailing an M-Scow with a combined crew weight 200 lbs higher (470 lbs).  We didn't win any races, and although John Applegate helped us tune the boat, the boat felt sluggish.  The boat appeared to be floating below her lines.  My crew was 6'3" and 250 lbs so the cockpit looked smaller, even though he is pretty athletic.  His whisker pole work was very good.  When the wind died, and the boat would come to a stop, the boat felt like it was sinking.  We finished the Regatta in last. 

Hopefully this will give everybody an idea about just how many opportunities we have to race an M-Scow.  Maybe by late August or early September, the majority of M-Scow Sailors have had enough and kind of need a rest.  For 2018, we need to schedule accordingly.  But we need your input.   For the Easterns, we have had a long history of sailing it as a one day regatta in the Fall.  It started out in 1984 as a Fall regatta on the 3rd Saturday of September.  Probably 10 years ago, we moved to the second weekend of September, mostly because it is the only weekend in September that doesn’t have an E-Scow regatta.  There are a lot of M-Scow sailors that also sail E-Scows, but many are making the decision to not sail in the regatta.  The second weekend also is the A Cat Worlds.  This is one good reason to move the regatta back to the third weekend of September.

So three things:
1.  We are looking at opting out of the Callahan Regatta
2.  We should move the North Americans back to the last weekend in July of 2018 in the Midwest.
3.  I would like to move the Easterns which we are working on running out of LYC back to the third weekend in September, 2018.

Your feedback is appreciated.

Thank you,

Tom Welsch

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Easterns NOR

Hey everyone, here's the NOR for the Easterns this year. I would usually use this space to reiterate some details, but I'll let the flyer speak for itself this time. Hope to see you there!

- Jeremy

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Fall Events

Hello again!
With the summer wrapping up I thought I'd remind everyone about some events happening around the Barnegat Bay are in the near future.

Easterns at Seaside Park Yacht Club - Sat Sept 16
Fall Series at Manasquan River Yacht Club - starts Sun Sept 10 at 10:45 AM, runs weekly.
NJ States at Manasquan River Yacht Club - will be raced on Sun Sept 22 at 9:30 AM.

More updates and NORs for these events are on the way.  Looking forward to seeing everyone on the water!

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

North American Championships Wrap-up

      As easy as it can be to get drawn in to today’s current events, this past weekend my dad and I found ourselves traveling in the opposite direction. On Friday we disembarked from home at 5:00am, and with boat in tow made the 10 hour journey up to Bobcaygeon, Ontario for the 2017 M-Scow North American Championships. Pigeon Lake Yacht Club hosted a wonderful and very competitive event featuring nine boats; two of whom hailed from Barnegat Bay in New Jersey, and two from the Midwest from Lake Harriet and White Bear Lake respectively. Upon arrival we were greeted warmly by noted hosts Mike Burton Davies and Fritz Mattern whose shared banter and wit puts most buddy cop movies to shame. Club volunteers organized a delicious dinner at the clubhouse overlooking Pigeon Lake, and after rigging our boats, Fritz and his wife Stephanie gave us a tour of their lovely home, which happened to be our berthing for the weekend. An important detail worth noting: I enjoyed my first legal beer on Friday (but if anyone asks it was my first ever beer also. Kind of bitter! Who knew).

      Saturday we arrived back the club for a refreshingly business-casual skippers meeting, then got ready for the 10am start. Early weather reports showed a chance of storms in the afternoon, so a motion to fit three races in before lunch was made and quickly passed. PI 818 had issues with their jib halyard, and opted out of first race to right the issue. We started off with a fairly short course, so short in fact that the 2 windward-leeward legs were completed by everyone in about 15 minutes. Dave Klein (BE-4) came out on top in the scramble, followed very closely by Joe Schroeder (LH-11), then Tom Welsch (LA-10). Early on the course saw winds of 12-18 kph. The conversion to imperial units remains a closely guarded secret, but for a 420lb crew weight, neither of us sat on the high side very much.
      Race 2 had the house stacked against us. Not only was the locally popular olympic course heading set (the bane of heavy crews), the pin had drifted a fair bit below the committee boat, making a port start impossible. A few people started over the line, but more arrived late trying to maneuver the ensuing mess. Fun fact: In misinterpreting the course set, a few boats (us included) sailed two triangles instead of an olympic – just to be safe. Once again, Dave Klein (BE-4) nabbed first, with Susan Kerr (BH-11) taking second, and Joe Schroeder (LH-11) taking third.
      We rounded off the morning with 2 laps worth of windward-leeward. As the fleet caught on that the right side of the course was favored, boats started tacking off the start earlier and earlier. Even with races twice as long, they went by blazing fast, and the close packed boats stayed competitive through lunch time. This time around Joe Schroeder (LH-11), a consistent top finisher took his first first place finish. Fritz Mattern (15) took second, and Tom Welsch (LA-10) found third.

      Once docked, everyone enjoyed a light lunch catered by Subway. The possibility of storms had lessened by that point, so everybody resolved to fit 3 more races in the afternoon. Tom and I used the break to make some necessary improvements to our rigging, and got back out there for round 2.
      The story of the afternoon was undoubtedly Richard Wilms (PI-58) who broke out of mid-fleet to take the fourth race in convincing fashion. A great start gave him the lead, and he held onto it in spite of the boats at his stern. Tom Welsch (LA-10) nipped at his heels the whole race, but settled for second. Joe Schroeder (LH-11) fell in line at third.
      After he was congratulated on his breakout summer success, it seems Rich decided he wasn’t finished. The board had approved a sequel, and this time he’d be telling an underdog story. Race five began with Rich starting a below a good chunk of the fleet, but as the olympic continues, he managed to erase the deficit, and sneak back into first as soon as the first mark rounding. With that, we had another contender to take the regatta on the scoreboard. Joe Schroeder (LH-11) followed behind in second, with Tom Welsch (LA-10) not far off in third.
      Over the course of the afternoon, everyone’s heeling gave way to hiking. Dark clouds loomed over the lake, but with the exception of some drizzle here and there, none broke. Race six was definitely one for the heavier crews, and this fact was taken advantage of by Tom Welsch (LA-10), who had been hovering around the top of the fleet all day. A photo finish on opposite tacks and left Susan Kerr (BH-11) in second, as Joe Schroeder (LH-11) ducked to take third. Good times were had over pulled pork and chicken sandwiches once the boats were back on trailers.

      Sunday contrasted starkly from the conditions prior. Wind was hard to find out on the lake, to the point where no olympic courses were set, for going that far left would be leaving any form of propulsion. A trend observed on Saturday that strangers to the lake had to learn, was that the wind liked to switch often, but more often than not switched back. Reacting to a shift early was frequently detrimental in the long run, and even more care had to be taken when scavenging for the breeze on Sunday. In retrospect it shouldn’t have been surprisingto see native sailors flourishing in these conditions, but perhaps less expected was the fact that this modest fleet would see yet another race winner. Mike Burton Davies (PI-44), broke his mid-fleet curse by masterfully navigating the shortened windward leeward to take first in the seventh race. Just behind him was fellow Pigeon Lake resident Fritz Mattern (15). Third place was clinched by Joe Schroeder, who managed to beat a boat (us) on the last leg, from both below and behind.
      Guess what. The last race was taken by Mike again. He ended up the third competitor to take two races, and the fifth race winner overall. In similar fashion, Mike came out in front early, and never lost his groove. All the others could only give chase, and chase they did. Supplemented by a one lap race, the final gauntlet was the most competitive and exciting, with everyone finishing within a minute of one another. Tom Welsch (LA-10) finished second, and Fritz Mattern (15) third. Mercifully, the wind filled in for the sail back to the dock.

      Once the final scores were tallied, and the necessary drops were made, there was a tie for 1st. Joe Schroeder and Tom Welsch both ended up with 14 points, and overall results were identical all the way up to the seventh race. Joe Schroeder, having placed one point higher than Tom on the first drop, won the 2017 North Americans M-Scow Championships. Coming in at 3rd was Fritz Mattern, who made the podium despite being a part of the fleet minority that had not won a race! Like an onion, our competition has layers.

    Bobcaygeon is a place so pleasant and charming not even the bugs get on your nerves. Everybody we met was hospitable and friendly, the food was fantastic, and the locale was and continues to be nothing short of idyllic. On top of all that, a competitive, well run regatta was held - with no race-abandoning storms! We look back on this weekend fondly, and look forward to next year’s regatta, tentatively planned for Lake Harriet, Minneapolis. Congrats again to Joe Schroeder, and thank you to all who helped make this event possible. Long live the M-Scow!

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

North American M-Scow Championships

Morning everyone!

We have more content to post here soon, as well as a potential website revamp. For those out of the loop, NJ Sailors just wrapped up their spring series at Manasquan River Yacht Club. Proud to say we had a healthy turnout each week averaging at around 10 boats, which bodes well for the rest of the year.

    This time around, I've got the NOR and registration for the North American's, hosted at Pigeon Lake Yacht Club in Ontario, CA this August! The document has all the info you need, but here are some cursory details.


2017 NA M-Scow Championship
August 18th - 20th 2017
Pigeon Lake Yacht Club
121 Boyd Street
Bobcaygeon, Ontario, Canada

Open to all "M-16" Scows. Regatta fee: $165 per boat.
Housing request forms can be found at the end of the NOR.

Friday 8-18:
- Registration, check-in and measurement
- Practice race 5:00 p.m.
- Social
Saturday 8-19:
- Skippers meeting 9:00 a.m.
- Races 1 & 2 beginning 10:00 a.m.
- Lunch on shore

- Races 3, 4, & 5 beginning 1:30 p.m. (no starts take place after 4:30 p.m.)
Sunday 8-20:
- Skippers meeting 9:00 a.m.
- Races 6 & 7 beginning 10:00 a.m. (no starts take place after 11:30 a.m.)

For further info, contact:
Mike Burton-Davies (705)738-2068
Fritz Mattern (705)879-5142

Hope to see you all there!

 - Jeremy

Saturday, January 7, 2017

More Regatta Photos

Hello all,
    I hope everyone is braving the winter weather nicely. We recently unearthed a photo album containing mementos of past regattas, and decided to upload them here! They can be found in the "Photo Gallery" tab at the top of the site, or you can follow this link. Stay tuned for more photos and annotations from regattas as early as 1994.
Only a few more months until the spring season - I'll be sure to update once the warmer weather draws nearer.
- Jeremy Welsch