Commodore’s Comments

I think we’d all agree it was a different kind of experience this summer as we maintained our social distance ashore, tried out some different regatta formats, and passed up on our favorite social gatherings such as the Island Party, the Past Commodores Steak Roast, and our Wednesday night burgers and beer.    

It is hard to believe that 2/3rds of the sailing season has already gone by.   The sail instruction program has finished up for the year, Wednesday night racing is over, and the Labor Day series is nearly upon us.   This means we’re only about 8 weeks away from pulling the docks.  So don’t miss out on some of the nicest sailing of the year as we enjoy pleasant autumn temperatures, fall colors around the reservoir, and typically a bit more breeze than we have in August.    Whether you’re out for a sail or participating in Sunday races, you’ll likely see many of your fellow HSC members enjoying the final days of the 2020 sailing season as we try to “Sail Through the Sunny Side” of life (See below).

Sail Through the Sunny Side

(Based on Keep on the Sunny Side by the Whites

Well, there’s a dark and a Covid side of life
There’s a bright and a sunny side too
But if you meet with the Covid and strife
The sunny side should stay in your view

Let’s sail on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Sail through the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we sail through the sunny side of life

Oh, the storm and its fury broke today
Taking away one of sailing days this year
Clouds and storms will in time pass away
And we’ll sail again and perhaps drink a beer

Let’s sail on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Sail through the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we sail through the sunny side of life

Let us sail with a song of hope each day
Though the weather be cloudy or fair
Let us go race our worries away
It helps us, avoid feeling despair

Let’s sail on the sunny side, always on the sunny side
Sail through the sunny side of life
It will help us every day, it will brighten all the way
If we sail through the sunny side of life
If we sail through the sunny side of life

Interlake Interlude

Farewell to Wednesday Night Racing

Editor’s NoteWednesday evening racing is over for our 2020 sailing season.  It was so much fun this year.  Every Wednesday forecast seemed to be light and variable, but every Wednesday night’s weather brought perfect winds.  Wednesday nights also brought out the pleasure sailors too, who take advantage of having safety boats in the water.  Kim Tyndall helps us sail into the sunset for now with her rendition of Summer Nights from Grease.  Jeff and Kim Tyndall are featured in this photo.

Summer Sailing
Sung to the tune of Summer Nights from Grease

Summer sailing, had me a blast.
Summer sailing, the season went fast.
Met a virus, that made us cra-zee
Learned all about social diss-tancing.
Summer days drifting away
To, uh oh, those Co–vid nights.

Tell me more, tell me more
Did you still get to race?
Tell me more, tell me more—
Yeah, just not face-to-face.

After wondering if the season’s a bust
Down came word, we got the thumbs up!
Races were set—some sailors cheered,
Too bad there was no after-racing beer!
Summer fun, something’s begun.
But, uh oh, those Co–vid nights.

Tell me more, tell me more
Like did you wear a mask?
Tell me more, tell me more—
Like you even need ask??

Virus or not, the season went on.
Fouls were committed, races were won.
Once on the water, all’s right with the world.
Pandemic returned when we went back to shore.
Summer days, weird times in play.
But, uh oh, those Co–vid nights.

Tell me more, tell me more
Are you still feeling well?
Tell me more, tell me more—
Sure, when I’m at the helm!

Soon it gets colder, that’s where it ends
Corona continues, and we’ll miss our friends.
But hearty sailors will keep things afloat,
Corona or not, we still love our boats!
Summer dreams ripped at the seams,
But, oh, those suuuummmmer saaaailllls! (high voice)

Scow Spot

Five months of racing behind us; two more to go.  Sunday, September 6 and Monday the 7th are the Labor Day Holiday Series!  Our MC fleet has been very active this summer.  August 30th was the third straight racing day in which 14 MC Scows started a race and there were more MC Scows racing than the boats of all other fleets combined. We’re averaging nearly 7 boats on the line for each race this year!  After each race the MCs share beers and pretzels in the parking lot and share our success and “went the wrong way” stories along with tips on how to improve our techniques. 

MC Sunday Seminar

The MC Scow fleet has been active over the last several weeks with tight racing and good participation.    Richard and Clark are still on top of the leaderboard, but we have had many close races in recent weeks.    With this surge in enthusiasm, fleet captain Mark White organized a fleet seminar on Sunday August 23rd at 11:00.  The plan was to have an hour on land looking at sail trim and an hour with coaching on the water before the races.     We had 13 people enthusiastic skippers turn out!   Mark, renewed fleet member Brian Pace, and Matt lead a discussion in the parking lot with lots of good pointers and good questions. The 4 key takeaways were 1) sit with your front leg against the traveler, 2) maintain a constant angle of heel—about 15 degrees, 3) hold the tiller like a microphone, not a frying pan,  and 4) use the telltale on the top batten leech to keep your main trim in check.    We then rigged and went out on the water at about noon.    Lisa Kreischer videoed participants as they performed boat tacking and sailing upwind while Matt barked out encouragement and observations.   These videos were sent out to fleet members as feedback, along with a video of perfection of boat handling of Mark’s tacks and upwind maneuvering.   At our Sunday racing, 14 MCs were on the starting line using trying out what they learned.  We look forward to our next seminar where we can have the talents of Richard and Ted Keller help with more coaching tips. —Matt Fisher

MC Scoring

For those that don’t know, the MC fleet uses a unique scoring methodology.  Instead of separating the season into different “series” (e.g. Spring, Summer, Fall, Wednesday, Sunday, Holidays, etc.), we designed a simple system and have been using for the past 25 years.   All racing is included, but you count only half of the total races sailed.  For example, if we’ve raced 30 races, you count your best 15.  If you’ve raced fewer than 15, you count them all.  We use a high point system so the more boats that race the more points you get.   1st out of 5 counts less than 1st out of 10 boats.   In practice, it levels out the competition between sailors who stay at HSC and race a lot or sailors who travel and are not here as much.  You can win the season by sailing a lot and doing pretty well, and you throw out more races, or sailing less but doing better in the races you sail.   This year with COVID cancelling most MC regattas, the top boats are doing both, racing a lot and winning a lot.   And it keeps people racing right through the end of the season since a few races can really change the season’s standings.

Through the end of August, 51 races. Sum of your best 26 scores. Six fewer races than this time last year. Very tight! Might we have a new name engraved on the trophy this year?

1) Blake 57112) Thomas 99
2) Wade 56913) Fogle 83
3) Fisher 54514) Basford 82
4) White 42815) Tyndall 76
5) Pace 38616) Huling 58
6) Sun 34617) Andrew 32
7) Vasulka 19817) Graves 32
8) Wolf 15619) Lavender 22
9) Lonsdale 14520) Bingham 12
10) Rendina 14221) Smith 8
11) Lohner 12122) Lantz 3

A Hail from the Rail

COVID-19 is creating challenges in every part of our lives.  Everything looks different, but everything must look different to make sure we see the other side of this pandemic as soon as possible.  Fortunately, as sailors, we have an element of social distancing engrained in the on-course action.  With the creative leadership of Fleet Captain Mike McBride and Commodore Steve Lavender, some Thistle sailing has resumed safely at Hoover.

On July 25, the MAD Regatta (More Appropriate Distancing) was held as the sequel to the first successful Hoover regatta, the SAD (Socially Appropriate Distancing).  In addition to mandatory masks, various creative safety measures ranging from double-handed boats, to handing out 10 ft poles to ensure distance was kept onshore, helped keep safety the priority during the single day regatta.  14 Thistle teams competed in conditions that were crazy even for Hoover standards.

With the conditions fluctuating throughout the day, it seemed that in addition to masks for safety, blindfolds for strategy may have helped with some of the decisions forced to be made by the competitors.  Several of the six races saw velocity between 0-10 mph and 180-degree wind shifts, coming most frequently from the NE shore of Hoover where a cliff combined with tall trees creates close to an 80 ft. tall wind shadow for windward mark roundings.  Adam Gilbertson and Tim Vining consistently navigated the conditions and finished 1st, followed by Steve Lavender and Dave Stetson in 2nd, and myself and my dad Matt Fisher in 3rd.  Five different boats won the six races, with the 4th place boat steered by Kit Holzapfel and crew Noel Thurber taking home two 1st place finishes. Our Reed Schworm took home the award for youngest participant (pictured below).

Congratulations to Adam and Tim for 1st place, and I think all competitors who participated would agree that the performance of our race committee deserves a round of applause for making the most of a rather miserable looking forecast.  Jamie Jones was our PRO, supported by Mark Andrew, Ann Jones, Nathan Ward, and Simon Pennells.

Even though the sailing conditions were less than perfect, the special qualities of the Thistle Class shined through.  The competition, sportsmanship, and friendship on and off the water are  helping make the most of a different Summer.  Of the 14 boats sailing, at least five were family boats.  I am lucky to have been on one of those five boats, and continue to love sailing in the Thistle class as it is creating opportunities for me to bond with my Dad, learn from him while we sail, and compete against great sailors.

Thistle News by Ann Jones

COMMODORE STEVE LAVENDER DOES IT AGAIN! Congrats to our very own Steve for passing another passel of boats and coming in third place in the August Pursuit Race. This was the highest attended Pursuit Race ever with 31 boats. Thistles started at 10 minutes and 21 seconds after the start, and Steve passed all but two boats, assisted by the very talented spinnaker work of Kimberly Pasley, who just happens to be married to Fleet Captain Mike McBride. 

THE THREE-GENERATION (GRAND) MEMBERSHIP that was proposed by our Thistle Fleet #126 was approved by the Thistle Class Governing Board and is now an official membership category. Thanks to Jack Finefrock, Amendments Chair, for ably shepherding this proposal through various Constitutional and Bylaws hurdles.

UPCOMING REGATTAS – District Governor Conor Ruppen just published the new list for the rest of the season, and he suggests we contact for info on safety requirements, Notices of Race, and more as it is updated:

    September 12 & 13, Atwood, Harvest Moon
    September 26, Sandusky Fall Regatta (not a District Championship)
    October 3, 54th North Cape Blowout, Monroe, Michigan
    Stay tuned for Icebreaker, Crescent Sail Yacht Club
    October 17, Hoover Fall Finale

LOOKING AT THE LAKE – Well, it still LOOKS wide, but is it really? Probably not, because the water level is receding pretty fast. The entire west side of the lake is extremely shallow. A good rule of thumb is that if the land above the water is flat, the land below the water is flat (shallow) too, because both are usually made up of the same materials. If there’s a steep cliff (like the one north of the club on the east side), usually there’s a steep drop-off below the water line, so you’re less likely to run aground there. North of that cliff, Fleet Captain Mike McBride unexpectedly ran aground on one of those points of land that extend shallowly out into the lake. Rumor has it that Mike wants to claim that area for the Thistle Fleet (and I think “Thistle Point” has a certain ring to it!)

But Mike can’t lay claim to Joneses’ Island, because my late husband, better known as “Poor Richard”, discovered that area many years ago. The area in question lies in a shallow triangle between the launch ramp and the east end of the Smothers Road bridge. “Poor Richard” and I found land there in 1982 when we ran aground during a race. Clyde Findley helpfully tried to pilot a rescue boat out to “save” us, but the engine prop got stuck in the mud. Mercifully, I forget how that episode resolved itself. I do remember that Clyde later suggested that “Poor Richard” could have taken off his shoes, jumped over the side of the boat and pushed us free. But my long-suffering husband responded, “Well, I thought of that, but I didn’t want to get my feet wet!” That area rises above the water level every autumn in memory of “Poor Richard” Jones.

Years later, Clyde demonstrated his technique one day when he and I ran solidly aground on the west shore. He pulled the centerboard up, took off his shoes, jumped over the side of the boat and pushed it off. Only problem was, he forgot to jump back aboard, leaving me to single-hand his Thistle. And that’s when I learned that a Thistle steers a lot better to windward when the centerboard is down! (And Clyde learned that he needed to jump back in his boat if he wanted to drive it!)

Anyway, the water is warm and we still have a couple of months’ of sailing left. It’s gonna be a long winter, so we might as well enjoy our favorite Club while we can. SEE YOU ON THE WATER!

S.A.i.L. Therapy Sessions

Editor’s NoteSteve Lavender is not only the HSC Commodore, but he is also the chief therapist for our Laser sailors. S.A.i.L. stands for Sail-Aholics in Lasers.  I think that name tells it all.  Any owner of a Laser is invited to race each week.  Volunteers are sought to be the race committee.  Each week Steve writes a summary, reports the scores, and rewrites a song that reflects the theme of the event. Here’s Steve’s final report of this past S.A.i.L. season.  

We ended our Tuesday night series on a very pleasant August evening that included a northerly 6 to 11 mph breeze.   Dave and Stephanie ran a very nice 5 race series for us.  Ryan came on strong in the last two races to win evening, closely followed by Stu and Matt.

As I said this was our last Tuesday evening session.  We sailed 214 races since we started our “frostbiting season” at the beginning of November.   We averaged over 8 participants per session and had 34 different sailors participate!   I am hoping we’ll all “get by till the regular season ends” (see below) and we start “frostbiting” again at the beginning of November.   Between now and then we might be able to slip in a Saturday session, for example, perhaps even on Labor Day weekend.  In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you on your other boats!
– Your S.A.i.L. Counselor

Get By Till the Regular Season Ends
(With a Little Help From My Friends – The Beatles)

What did you think when we ended Tuesdays?
Did you give up and walk out on me?
Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song
And I’ll try not to sing out of key

Oh We’ll get by till the regular season ends
And, we’ll get by with a little help from our friends
Mm, we’ll frostbite when the regular season ends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from our friends

What do you do when the laser’s put-away?
Does it worry you to be alone?
How do you feel at the end of Tuesday?
Are you sad because you’re on your own?

Well, we’ll get by till the regular season ends
Mm, we’ll frostbite when the regular season ends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from our friends

Do you need laser racing?
I just need something to sail
Could it be any racing?
I want something I can sail

Did you get hooked on our sails at twilight?
Yes, I’m wishing we could do it all the time
How did  you feel at the end of the night?
I can tell you, I really felt fine

Well, we’ll get by till the regular season ends
Mm, we’ll frostbite when the regular season ends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from our friends

Do you need laser racing?
I just need something to sail
Could it be any racing?
I want something I can sail

Oh, we’ll get by till the regular season ends
Mm, we’ll frostbite when the regular season ends
Mm, gonna try with a little help from our friends
Yes,  we’ll get by with a little help from our friends
See you when October’s at its end

HSC Junior Race Team

It was a different kind of year for the Hoover Junior Race team this year as you can imagine. In lieu of our extensive regatta travels we branched out into becoming more diverse sailors.

We were able to practice two nights a week and sail in the club Wednesday club races for the first time. We traveled to Leatherlips for their Invitational Regatta and hosted two at HSC Invitiationals with teams from Cowan, Leatherlips and Eagle Creek (Indianapolis). The kids sailed great and had a good time. We won every division at all three regattas, and had some fun along the way. We would like to thank the coaches, parents and Board of Governors for your continued support of the program.

 We are very hopeful that next summer’s season will bring the return of the Travelers Series and the ILYA Junior Bay Week regattas.

High School Sailing will be started by the time you read this so the kid’s short break will be over. I am sure they are excited to get back out on the water. Take care, be safe and sail on.

Fall High School Sailing

The leaves will start turning, the kids are heading back to school (sort of) and football is in the air…wait, never mind. Well, all of that means that our High School Sailing program will be kicking off with kids from 19 local school districts joining us for another season of fun on and off the water. Even with our COVID-19 restrictions, we will still safely take 75 kids sailing this fall. It will look a bit different than years past though.

First off, we’re splitting our rather large group into thirds to facilitate social distancing on shore, each of which will practice on either Monday, Tuesday or Thursday evenings. We normally hit the water right at 5:30 and return to the dock around 7:30 after our two-hour practice. 

We won’t head out of town this fall, instead focusing on local events. New this year will be our Friday Night Lights series where our JV/Instructional groups will get a chance to compete against each other in a regatta setting without the varsity sailors getting in their way!

Finally, and probably most importantly, we all know sailing is one of those activities we can still get out enjoy, even with all of the restrictions in place to keep people safe from COVID. Oh, that and turning kids into lifelong sailors…that’s pretty cool too!

Commodore’s Comments

As we approach the end of June
We’ve started singing a different tune.
Even though Covid is still hanging around
We’ve started to come out and hear the starting horn sound.

It’s been great to come out and see our friends on the starting line
Enjoying our sport helps us feel closer to fine.
We’ve already had our first club championship pursuit race of the year,
Although I must admit, I really miss our Wednesday burgers and beer.

But despite what I’ve said,
It’s the second peak that we all still dread.
Upon hearing the recent updates on Covid in the news
My heart is once again singing the blues.

It looks like Ohio cases have shown a steep rise
But with the opening of bars, restaurants, etc., is this a surprise?

Therefore, in this column, I want to ask of you
To continue the good health practices that you all do.
In particular, let’s keep our social distance on shore
So we all stay healthy and can continue to sail some more!

Photos below demonstrating all the members who worked hard this spring in a safe way to get the club ready for all of us to use.

New Saftey Boats

Care & Feeding of Our Boston Whalers

As a result of the City of Columbus’ decision to limit the horsepower of our Safety boats to 25 or less, we have replaced our two RIBs with two additional 13-foot Boston Whalers. 

Our original Whaler was built in 1970 and although used roughly by the club, it has proved to be both functional and durable for our purposes.  The two newer Whalers (1981 and 1988) were found over the winter and both are outfitted with 25 HP four-stroke engines.  This allows us to operate all of our boats on regular gasoline and all the boat gas tanks are now interchangeable and can be used on any of the boats.

Keys for the Whalers

It’s important to know that the ignition keys are unique to each Whaler and cannot be interchanged.  Therefore, we are identifying our Whaler fleet as Whaler 1, Whaler 2, and Whaler 3.  The ignition keys, boat trailers, and motors have each been labeled in this manner to avoid confusion.  See the picture of the individual keys below.  Note that the Committee boat and Rescue One continue to operate with unlabeled keys that ARE interchangeable. 

We are fortunate to find such nice boats to add to our fleet.  Although they are shared property and used by all club members, please treat the boats as if they were your own and use care to avoid hull damage. Here are some tips for keeping them in good shape.

Docking the Whalers

These newer Whalers are in great shape and neither hull has a scratch on them.  In order to keep them this way they need to be tied up correctly in their dock slips as follows:

  • as you slowly enter the slip grab the rear dock lines and attach to the finger piers at the stern of the boat, then
  • very snugly tie the bowline to the main dock.  This way, the bows will not come in contact with the dock and damage the chine.

Tying Up the Whalers

Whalers should never be tied to other docks by tying the bowline directly to the dock.

Because the boats have a square bow, tying the boat to the dock in this manner allows the bow of the boat to rub against the dock and damage the bow.

Simply lead the bow line around either port or starboard bow cleat, then secure to the line to the dock. This allows the boat to rest at its corner and will avoid damaging the hull.

Taking Care of Our Clubhouse

It has been great to see so many people enjoying the club, the sailing and the sunsets!  Everyone has been doing a great job with social distancing and wearing masks inside the house.  Please take advantage of the orange buckets containing paper towels, sanitizer and disinfectant for all members to use. (Rainbow Photo above is from June 2018)

Our cleaning person is now coming 5 days a week, normally Monday – Friday.  His name is Anthony and this is his second year with us and he’s been doing a great job.  If you see him at the club, say hi. If he can’t make it between 4pm – 6pm, he’ll usually come late at night or very early in the morning.  Because of this, there have been instances where members have found the clubhouse appearing to be “unclean” with full, open trash cans, or a messy bathroom, or even empty food containers strewn around the club by animals or the wind.  This doesn’t mean Anthony isn’t doing his job, it just means he hasn’t been there. Anthony is only there about 1 hour per day and rarely on Saturdays or Sundays.   We don’t have a full time caretaker so we all need to pitch in.

We all need to pitch in on the weekends!
We need all members’ to help keep our clubhouse nice and clean, especially during these times.  Here are some little steps that will help so much. 

Clubhouse Care

  • When a trashcan is getting full take it out to the dumpster. 
  • Replacement bags are in the cleaning closet. 
  • Rather than throw food waste and containers in the trash cans where it will attract animals, take it directly to the dumpster for disposal.
  • Leave the bathroom neat for the next person and use the disinfectant spray in each bathroom.  Additional toilet paper can be found in the cabinets in each bathroom and additional hand soap can be found in the supply closet.

Kitchen Care

  • BYOE! (Bring Your Own Everything) Please bring all of your own plates and utensils and take everything with you when you leave. 
  • At this time, the refrigerators, microwaves, stoves, oven, sink and countertops are available for use. 
  • Appliances and items NOT available are the ice machine, the kegerator, all pots, pans, dishes, utensils and kitchen tools. 
  • Please leave the cabinets tied shut.
  • Don’t leave food in the refrigerators or freezers, unless you are on the grounds.

IMPORTANT: The first-aid kit and the AED (Automated external defibrillator) are in the tall cabinet behind the door entering from the hallway. 

Keep Your Eye on the Club

We also need you to keep an eye on the club when you are there.  Since most local pools are closed along with some public facilities, people are looking for places to hang out.  If our gate is open and our clubhouse is available, there isn’t much stopping non-members and uninvited guests from making themselves at home.  We’ve already had reports of random people cooking on our grill and having a picnic inside the clubhouse.  Don’t be afraid to ask people if they are members and if you get asked if you’re a member, don’t be upset, we can be hard to recognize with our masks on!

  • As always before you leave the grounds check to see if others are actively using the clubhouse.  If you’re the last one there: 
  • Remember your key every time!
  • Close the sliders and lock all of the doors when you leave. 
  • Close and lock the gate behind you.

Our clubhouse belongs to all of us.  Let’s all do our part to keep it nice.