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Annual Business Meeting Race-Recap

Rick Fontenot | Published on 11/15/2022

Annual Business

Meeting Race

“Race Committee? We don’t need no stinkin’ race committee”


From the 1948 film Treasure of the Sierra Madre

On 12 Nov, the day of the annual business meeting, WCSC held the first, uh, Annual Business Meting Race. Several members had inquired of the possibility of an additional distance race prior to the end of the year. Sail Committee chair John Barnard said he’d look into it. He did, got the notice out, managed to contract reasonable weather; everything except a volunteer race committee. Not to worry, we can be a clever group. It was decided to use (the usual) start buoy S 20 and buoy S 20A DC (in place of the unavailable RC boat) as the start/finish line. One of the racers announced the start of the delay-time clock over vhf radio. The boats started on the honor system. All went well. 

       With a weather forecast of 10 gusting 18, the longest racecourse was chosen, all the way to buoy 11 in ‘big water’ and back. Well, kind of. Buoy 11 was one of 2 missing buoys of the course. Again, clever group that we are, substitute buoys were announced at skippers’ meeting. (a good reason to attend skippers’ meetings) The racecourse distance was 16.4 miles, the most distant buoy being 13 LLC 13. 
       Eight boats started the race. Two were ‘regular’ racers, five were regular ‘not racers’, and one I’m not sure about (new member I haven’t met). Being a pursuit-start race, each boat started at a different time, based on the boat’s rating. The slowest-rated boat (boat design, not skipper’s ability) was Eric Stielow’s Catalina 25 (Ben and I). That boat was allowed to start 1 minute and 6 seconds after the delay clock started. The fastest-rated boat, George Masson’s J 105 (Temeraire), was allowed to start 42 minutes and 55 seconds after the delay-time clock started. The wind varied
some but remained adequate for boats to complete the race. There was a little light rain, but with the unseasonably warm temperature, conditions were not unpleasant.
     Of the eight boats that started, four decided to not sail the complete course, and were scored “dnf” (did not finish). One boat completed the course but ‘missed’ a buoy on the return portion of the race. That boat was scored “nsc” (did not sail the course). Three boats properly sailed the course and finished. ALL the boats reported having a good time.
     This inaugural Annual Business Meeting Race has been described as a ‘warmup’ for the upcoming Frostbite Series. Each year, WCSC starts the season on New Years Day with the Commodore Cup, the first of the six races that constitute the Frostbite Series. These are pursuit-start races around government buoys. There is usually a hot soup or chili meal in the clubhouse after the race, and occasionally an adult beverage.

We look forward to your participation in 2023.

Participation and race results can be found on the website:

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