Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Music Whenever: Ylvis "The Truckers Hitch"

Found this on Huffington Post - comedy section. Kinda cool that they stuck the singer into an Opti for the sailing ( and crashing) scenes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

2014 International Canoe Worlds - New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup

The New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup is the world's oldest small sailboat international race, dating to 1886. From the cup's history pulled from a short article put out by the British Canoe Union:

"An early Baden-Powell design was exported to the U.S.A. and international competition began when Warrington Baden Powell and Guy Ellington challenged for the New York Canoe Club International Cup in 1886. They found that the Americans gained extra power by sitting up on the deck of their canoes, using bodyweight to counteract the pressure of wind in the sails and the British were outclassed by this new technique.

Those dastardly Yanks were actually sitting on the high-side of their canoes instead of, as the English were doing, laying prone on the bottom of the hull - imagine that!

The International Challenge Cup is still competed in the International Canoes though the New York Canoe Club is long gone  [ed. note: Oops. Wrong about that one. Lloyd Herman, Vice Commodore of the North Shore Yacht Club writes in his comment, "The New York Canoe Club is not long gone - it has changed its name to the North Shore Yacht Club and is located in Port Washington, NY."] It is a three boat per country team race, two international teams, first canoe across the finish line wins that race for his country, best two out of three races wins the International Challenge Cup. The modern competition is held the day after the end of the World Championships. Fran DeFaymoreau has the report on the 2014 competition:
"Monday September 14, 2014. After the International Canoe World Championship it has been the custom in recent years to compete for the New York Cup. This is one of the oldest challenge cups still in competition dating back to the mid 1880's. Two teams of up to three canoes each compete and one sailor from from the team wins for the team. The USA was holder of the Cup and was challenged by the UK. The American team was Mikey Radziejowski, Chris Maas. and Del OLsen. The British team was Robin Wood, Phil Robin and Alistair Warren.

Race 1- "The first race was held at about the same location as the worlds but on a shorter course of triangle, windward leeward, finish to weather with 0.75 nautical mile legs. At the first rounding Del Olsen led followed by Alistair Warren. Alistair passed Del and won the first race. Mikey and Robin Wood were over early and not in the race. [ed. note: Race 1 to the English.]

Race 2 - "Chris Maas developed an early lead and held it to the finish in increasing winds up to 14 knots. He Was Followed by Mikey Radziejowski.

Race 3 - "With one race apiece The UK and USA needed one more race to decide the cup. This time Mikey developed an early lead with Chris behind but going fast enough to catch everyone but Mikey who, with a large lead, defended the cup for the USA.

And from the Earwigoagin archives! I have in my collection a newspaper article on the first race in 1955 of the New York Canoe Club International Challenge Cup.

September 1955

U.S. Trails British in Canoe Sail

By Ed Sinclair

Sea Cliff, L.I. Sept 6 
"Great Britain, the mother of many of history's greatest sailors, today commanded a clear-cut advantage over the United States in the International Canoe sailing championship series being conducted on Hempstead Harbor off the Sea Cliff Yacht Club.

"Finishing first, second, fifth and sixth after knocking out America's ace at the start, the British scored 34 1/4 points in the first of three nine-mile races which will determine possession of the seldom publicized seventy-year-old International Challenge Cup.

"With two disqualifications within 400 yards after the start of the three-mile leeward-windward-leeward course which had to be traversed three times, the Americans were lucky to return to land with 23 points. All hope for the trophy defenders has not been abandoned , however, for they have two more races over the next two days in which they can regain lost water.

"Graham Goodson, the challenging team's captain from Aldeburgh, Suffolk, took immediate aim at the canoe being handled by Louis Whitman, the American team captain from Brooklyn and the fellow who brought the cup back here from England three years ago, and luffed him out of the race in the first 200 yards.

"Goodson then zeroed in on Joe Farrugia, a Queens member of the United States foursome and luffed him out within another 200 yards. Each time the Briton was to leeward and came about and then nicked the hull of the American. In as much as he had the right of way, the Americans were disqualified in each case because they didn't give way, and an embarrassed pair they were later.

"Goodson's maneuvers were not illegal or unsporting, let it be known immediately, for luffing in team racing is a most effective tactical bit of strategy if the victim leaves himself vulneralbe. Thats exactly what the Yanks did.

"Meanwhile, Ronald Head, the British champion from Twickenham, Middlesex, had taken the lead, and he never relinquished it. He covered the nine miles in 1:23:05 and was far ahead of his teammate, John Stothert of Ahterton, Lancashire. Frank Jordaens of the Bronx, was third, and Adolph Morse, of Yonkers was fourth.

"Goodson, the wily leader who had done his job at the start got home last among the six fininshers, just a few seconds after William Kempner of Brighton, Sussex.

The Americans must have come back to win the remaining two races in the series for they are listed as the winners in 1955. Here is a photo of Brit Ronald Head winning the first race. IC's have changed a lot in the past 60 or so years.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

2014 International Canoe Worlds - Mikey Radziejowski World Champion

Pressure Drop US has the video interview with World Champion Mikey (the kid) and former World Champion Chris Maas (the sensei) who finished second by a squeaker.

2014 International Canoe Worlds - Races Eight and Nine

Our intrepid Earwigoagin reporter Fran DeFaymoreau takes us through the final two races of the 2014 Worlds:

"Saturday, September 13, Race 8. Same conditions as yesterday. At 11:00 am wind is from 205 at 5 knots. By the 12:35 start the wind is at 10 knots from 205. After the start the leaders settle into a pattern we have already seen; Mikey leading, Chris following, and not all that far behind them is the German Peter Ullmann who has been surging in the last couple of races. Aussie Hayden Virtue is also working his way up and one or the other of the two Clark brothers is in the hunt. What I could not see from the weather mark boat is the reaching duel that took place just after the last reach mark had been rounded. Mikey was leading, but not by much, when somehow Chris managed to luff up over his stern, going high and fast and got past to take the lead. At the leeward mark Mikey split tacks going left to the possibly bigger wind - and waves- but at the finish it is Chris Maas -USA 254 - 1st, Mikey Radziejowski - USA 248 - 2nd, and Peter Ullmann -GER 79 - 3rd. 4th is Hayden Virtue - AUS 40 - followed by Willy Clark. Sunday September is the 9th and final race and if the last race goes off this will allow 2 throw-outs which throws many finish permutations into the mix. As of the 8th race Mikey is ahead of Chris by one point, and Alistair Warren (GBR) is ahead of Peter Ullmann (GER) by 4 points for the final podium position.

Sunday, September 14, the 9th race has been cancelled. The wind came up rapidly today and readings of 20+ knots caused cancellation [ed: note: The SI's have an upper wind start range of, if I remember correctly, winds sustained over 21 knots]. As it was, numerous canoes had to be rescued. Luckily Per Harding ended up on the only sandy beach between Brooks Island and the breakwater. Steve Clark was rescued from inside the breakwater with a missing rudder. [ed. note: There is a breakwater just outside the Richmond Y.C that extends for some distance - at least 1/4 mile. To get to the SF Bay, take a right out of the club and sail in glorious flat water for a couple of minutes until you pop out and head left to enter the Coliseum, i.e. Berkeley Circle.] The worlds oldest international small boat sailing trophy, the New York Cup is tomorrow. It will ba a team race between USA and GBR; three IC's each. The Brits are the challengers and their team will be Robin Wood, Alistair Warren and Phil Robin, the USA team are the current defenders and will be comprised of Mikey Radziejowski, Chris Maas, and David Clark.

With the 9th race being cancelled it appears that the kid ( Mikey Radziejowski) outlasted the great Canoe Master (Chris Maas) for his first Worlds title.

Now its time to put on your snorkel gear, breathe only when you can turn your head, and follow Brit Chris Hampe as he negotiates one reach and then part of the next reach in Race 8.(This is why IC sailors know what a true "firehose" reach is all about.) I've got to compliment Chris on a very nice jibe in some very tough conditions.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

2014 International Canoe Worlds: Races Six and Seven

Fran DeFaymoreau covers Friday:

"Friday September 12, 2014. This is a two race day and the weather cooperated with the wind filling in early. At the start of Race 6 the wind speed is 8 knots from 205 degrees, similar to other days and the course is set slightly NW of Brooks |Island. The start goes off on time at 11:35. At the first rounding of the weather mark, the leaders are the usual suspects At the end of race six it is Chris Maas - USA 254 1st, Mikey Radziejowski - USA 248 -2nd, and Robin Wood - GBR 329 - 3rd. Chris and Mikey have leads of hundreds of yards and seem to be in a league of their own. After waiting about a half hour for the rest of the fleet to finish race 7 gets started.

Race 7 - this is the number of races needed to make a proper championship. After this race one throw-out is allowed and with two more races scheduled to complete the championship there is the possibility of two throw-outs, potentially changing the outcome. As the afternoon progresses the wind builds as usual with 13 knots at the start and building to 18 knots by the end of the race. Notably missing this race is Robin Wood. At the end of Race 7 it is Mikey Radziejowski 1st, Chris Maas 2nd, and Peter Ullmann - GER 79 - 3rd. The finishes like all the weather legs are fascinating to watch from the weather mark RIB as the approaches are different with Chris Maas overstanding the layline and footing fast while Mikey tacks sooner, pointing higher. In the 7th race they split tacks at the bottom mark with Chris going to the right side if the course with maybe slightly less wind and waves while Mikey who has a weight advantage of possibly 15 lbs goes left into more wind. At this point in the regatta the standings with one throw-out are: Mikey 1st, Chris 2nd, Alistair Warren - GBR 17 3rd, David Clark - USA 256 4th.

Del Olsen got into International Canoes at the same time I did, in the early 1980's. Unlike I, who stopped competing seriously (which I admit wasn't super-serious) around 1995 - with a short return on the cheap in early 2000's, Del has remained in the class and is the organizer of this SF Worlds (as well as the 1993 SF Worlds) and one of several competitors over 60 years in age. Here is the video interview with Del from the folks at Pressure Drop who also put together the Mikey Radziejowski featured in a previous post:

Friday, September 12, 2014

2014 International Canoe Worlds - Race Five

Fran DeFaymoreau covers Race 5:

"Thursday September 11, 2014. Race 5. It was a dead calm until the wind filled in, nearly an hour late . Start at 1:25 with 10 to 12 knot breeze from 205 degrees. Once again the course is triangle, windward, leeward, triangle finish to weather. At the first weather mark the rounding order was Chris Maas -USA 254, Stephen Clark -USA 250, Stephen Gay -USA 245. Second time at the weather mark Chris Maas remained in front with Stephen Gay and, Mikey Radziejowski - USA 248 joining the chase. Thrid rounding was Chris Maas, Mikey Radziejowski,  and Peter Ullman - GER 79, with the finish in that order. By the end the wind had built to 18 knots and the capsizes were aplenty, continuing after the finish, making the ride home difficult and piling on the exhaustion.

The Wild Thing

Erich Chase had developed a wicked fast way of getting down the reaches in the 1993 San Francisco Worlds. He would slide the seat all the way back, vang the bejeezus out of the main, and rocket down the reaches, hiking off the end of the end of the seat. It was doing the catamaran thing; as you went faster you developed more apparent wind and you went faster. And fast he went, usually passing to leeward in a blink of a second. Me, I delilberately had my speed dialed back as I picked my way downwind....going too fast risked launching and then stuffing, something Erich seemed to avoid. Plus I needed to save some energy for the upwind work. From the famous 1993 video of the SF Worlds here is a still shot of Erich doing the Wild Thing with spray everywhere.

Bill Beaver from the Annapolis fleet picked up the technique quickly and was also bombing down the reaches, climbing for the sky, but with usually some disaster negating his gains. (like being bounced off the seat and wrenching his ankle!) Bill at speed at the 1993 Worlds:

With the new rules IC's, being lighter and more skiff-like, this technique may be de rigueur, but since I've never sailed them, I'm not sure (they definitely need the seat all the way back since the new boats have very little buoyancy, initial or reserve, in the bow).

Thursday, September 11, 2014

2014 International Canoe Worlds: Lay Day and Interview with Mikey Radziejowski

Lay day on Wednesday so no Fran report. Let's go to YouTube. Leader after four races (five more to go for nine total), Mikey Radziejowski talks how he got into International Canoes and some of his techniques for the breeze and chop off Berkeley Circle.