September 3, 2007
SLOOPER'S SWEEP PITCH
Three Ring Circus, Tuesday and Moore Uff Da
all won their classes in this year's Pitch regatta, earning the STYC the coveted Kelly O'Neil team sailing
trophy!!! A big HURRAY to these boats, skippers and crew.
Announcment forthcoming as to the
event of tipping the 'auld mug' in a proper celebration.
I am pleased to announce that, due to Treasurer Chris Halstead's
diligent efforts, we now have a Sloop discount at Fisheries Supply in North Lake Union. According to Chris, all you have to do
when you check out, and they ask you, 'do you have an account?', is say, 'YES!!, then show
your membership card. Now, if you don't have yours, or perhaps lost it in your crab pot, you may want to contact
Secretary Park Densmore to obtain another one. This is a great member benefit and I want to thank Dan Rees, who
caught me at the barbeque at the last Membership Meeting and made this suggestion...hope to see you there
again this year Dan!
Happy rest of summer sailing to all the Sloopers around the
July 19, 2007
The Sloop Tavern Yacht Club (STYC) wishes
to announce its revised results of the 2007 Race to the Straits results. Please visit www.slooptavern.org for details.
I want to fully recognize the
efforts of the STYC Race Committee for their diligence and perseverance in this effort; it was not easy and required much hard
work to arrive at clear results, which have been independently reviewed by the following: Paul Kalina, Bob Foulds,
Christopher Butler, Nigel Barron, and Stuart Farrell.
In light of the many changes to the race results, it will be
necessary to convene an additional ceremony to award trophies to the legitimate winners. This will likely be after the
summer boating season has ended, and will be announced in the very near future.
the Straits Scoring Update June 23, 2007
The tide has changed. Since this posting there has been much debate
regarding the scoring protocol used for the Race to the Straits. Significant and relevant questions about the
protocols ability to accurately compute the results in compliance with the stated Sailing Instructions have been
established that require further investigation.
At the time of this writing, several Race Committee and Board
members are competing in the Van Isle 360 race (go Tryst! go Icon!). As soon as practical upon their return, a
meeting of the Race Committee and Board will be scheduled to review the scoring protocol. This Board meeting time
and place will be posted for STYC members information, and of course, all members are invited to attend the Board
It is possible that changes to the results may occur. If this is the case, the STYC apologies in
advance to those who are affected. If necessary, new awards will be presented in an appropriate STYC
2007 marked the
sixth year the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club has promoted and produced the Single and Double Handed Race to the Straits.
Every year has brought more competitors and more fun, and indeed more controversy. Each year the tides and
wind offer a challenge; the competitors become more competitive; the Corinthian spirit of self scoring at the Double
Bluff short course gate increasingly more important; the results more scrutinized.
In the early years of the
race, the race committee started the fleet from the beach at Shilshole, then raced the fleet by car and ferry to
Port Townsend, with VHF radios held out the window to stay in communication, to finish the race from the beach. The
first year I entered, 2003, Garufa beat Green Card to Port Townsend by 2 seconds across a self designated, self timed
flag pole on the beach because the Race Committee wasnt there yet
Each year, the Race Committee
considers the scoring methodology to be utilized, makes a decision, and holds its breath. Common sense dictates that, of
course, if all goes well, the handicap calculated reverse start is perfect - the boat race becomes just that, and the first boat
wins. Each year, the Race Committee considers the shortened course option which allows, if all
instructions are adhered to, an award of an overall winner, despite significantly different weather conditions from one day to
the next. In these years, the STYC utilized a scoring program from its local races. There were challenges, but the race
was small, fun and local.
Several years ago the Race Committee researched other options. It chose a scoring
program developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, developed primarily for distance races - SORC,
Bermuda, SoCal, MexORC, and used by early IOR/IMS races. Its attraction was its feature that it calculated a ratio
between long and short course elapsed corrected times so that short course finishers werent advantaged by their shorter
course, particularly in situations where there are combined short/long course finishes. These races are/were longer
than the Race to the Straits, but, it was believed, applicable to the unique qualities of the Race to the Straits.
years in which this formula was utilized there were no challenges to the scoring of the race. This year has raised several
challenges to the veracity of the Race Committees ability to properly score the results; unfortunately, these challenges
were not brought directly to the Race Committee but traveled through less direct routes. Many well intentioned
re-scoring alternatives were postulated, however without knowledge of the history of the Race Committees efforts
and intentions. There is no question that well developed and thoughtful deliberation is of great value. However, at this
time, the Race Committee and the Sloop Tavern Yacht Club believes it has accurately scored the 2007 Race to the Straits in
compliance with its published Notice of Race.
The Sloop Tavern Yacht Club believes this despite the instructions
for Sailing Instructions Double Bluff course recordings to note boat ahead/boat behind that yielded results
such as, none and many. The Sloop Tavern Yacht Club recognizes its responsibility the
greater sailing community to make itself available to comment and suggested improvements to the events it offers to the sailing
community. We have long believed that the Double Bluff buoy deserves a mark boat, however in efforts
to create a cost effective event (read party first) we have relied upon the racers to embrace the Corinthian skill/spirit
of the event.
We welcome any suggestions as we begin the development of the Notice of Race and Sailing
Instructions for the 2008 event. And, speaking of which, mark your calendars for May 3 and 4 (and January 1 to
make your slip reservations at Point Hudson).
I can be reached at Neil@zeninternet.com
Sloop Tavern Yacht Club
First Snooze and Cruise
of 2007, Sloop Tavern Style
June 23 & 24, 2007
Hosted by Ken Chin, 2006 Commodores
10 Slips reserved at the Port Orchard Marina
Hard to believe its Spring - where are those warm winds that lure us? How much fleece will we
need to wear next Monday night at the first Ballard Cup race?
The Sloop pulled off another fantastically successful
Blakely Rock Benefit Race (BRBR). Thanks to all the incredibly resourcefull board members and volunteers, and
the Ballard business community, we raised almost $6,000 for the Ballard Senior Center. Go to the BRBR
section to see the whole story. Personally, this was a very satisfying actitvity -yeah, it took a lot of time away from other
things I could have been doing, but in the end, it left a warm spot in my heart, which is really what it should all be about,
What's up now? Well, Nigel, Christopher, Paul and Park are organizing another killer Race to
the Straits...I'm out of town and can't be there for the great currents and predicted winds that
would have won me (and Garufa) another first to finish, so the window is open - get out there and have
Your Board works hard to make the Sloop what it is for you! We can always use your help in making
this one of the best yacht clubs on Puget Sound. Volunteer for anything and I bet there is at least one free beer in your
Last, due to work demands, Dave Marod has had to step down as Secretary - never fear, Park
Densmore has stepped to the mast to swap spots for the rest of the year-so, those membership and race books as well as
membership cards will be in the mail REALLY SOON!!!!!!
Thanks again for being
members - see you all on the water soon!
For those of you who are curious...Late
One of our members, Lisa Winterhalter is also a CYC member. She asked us to help her
support the CYC Windajmmer, so we are!!! By all means, getting out on the water is what the Sloop is all
about,so get out and support Lisa; and, maybe recruit another boat from your class to race with us!
Commodores Words. Early January, 2007
Use your words. Put simply, this means speak what you are
thinking. First of all, I want to reiterate what I said at the wonderful Sloop Tavern Christmas party, while honoring
outgoing Commodore Kirk Utter, we are (the membership), in forever indebtitude to his
efforts, and we wish him fair winds and following seas in which ever course he steers. While Kirk has
been at the helm, the Sloop has grown in activity, membership, and service to community. Damn big flip-flops to
So, helms a lee, we are tacking and all of the Board members will be trimming
Kirk will be continuing to serve as Past Commodore and Membership Chair while Dick
Roberts will continue to serve as race committee chair. Dick and Kirk will work closely together to coordinate these
two important positions;
Nigel will be serving as Vice Commodore and coordinating most of the racing
New board member Park Densmore will be very involved in assisting me in promoting the Blakely
Rock Benefit Race;
New Secretary Dave Marod will endeavor to capture the board minutes with the same
vigor as Nigel;
Paul and Christopher will be working closely with Nigel to produce another outstanding Race
to the Straits;
Dan will be continuing to build on the outstanding success he has already achieved in his
Stu will continue to represent the voice of reason and assist us in our handicapping
Chris will continue to nurture the money tree that allows us to do everything that we
What I hope to accomplish this year is continued membership growth, continued growth in yacht club activity,
and increased service to community. I have some ideas, some of them may be good and some of them probably
First of all, in the area of membership growth, instead of getting taller or wider, lets think about
becoming more diversified. While researching the history of the Sloop, I read that we are all about
being a special place that has attracted sailors with a sense of fun and adventure. So, who are you docked
next to? Give them Kirks number, or better yet, get their number and give it to Kirk. Any idea to introduce
sailing to those who dont, or to bring new members into the club is worth exploring.
We offer some great
races and activities that truly attract the widest range of sailors I have ever seen! Lets do more. Lets make a
scene Poulsbo should offer us reserved rafting and Port Madison should dredge the entry for us! Port Townsend has
raised the bar for hospitality for the 2007 R2S, so everyone get ready and Lets Go! I am sure there are
PHRF racers who, like me, are a little behind in re-measuring our sails; we will appreciate the efforts Stu and Bob
are making to arrange a date to get this done. Watch the website for details.
Finally, in service to
community, I am incredibly proud of the Sloops historical accomplishments and hope to live up to the standard that has
been set by every Commodore who has served before me. We have already received two major donations for our raffle,
which tells me we have achieved notice in the community. I am looking forward to hosting this race and working with
the Ballard Senior Center to learn a few new jokes.
Garufa and I look forward to seeing you on the
As my first role as Commodore, I wrote a letter
to a reciprocal yacht club who had filed a complaint against one of our members regarding the members alleged behavior at
their dock. As it turned out the member was no longer a member so there was nothing really to do, other than assure
them that STYC members really are nice, and generally courteous. Please remember that every time we hoist the
burgee, we become ambassadors of our club. This is our opportunity to demonstrate the foundations of the Sloop and
seamanship in general. Its as important as not tacking too close and heeding the hail of obstruction. And,
as the saying goes, what goes around, comes around.