Commodore’s Comments June 2019

Some of our sailors have noticed that the water on Hoover is not only unusually high but also showing some algae bloom. For those who may be concerned I have been advised by experts that algae usually does not produce a toxic mix. There are literally hundreds of types of algae in Ohio but only two of them can produce toxins. However, in an abundance of caution Charles Vasulka, our club secretary and resident expert on these matters, contacted the City of Columbus testing office. The City collects samples weekly and tests for toxins and other nasty things. Tests for microsystin were conducted on Monday July 1 and levels were well below health advisory levels in the reservoir with none detected at the Morse Road water treatment plant. The algae is not at a level of concern for advisories about swimming (or capsizing Optis) in the water. However, we are in communication with the City and will be asking for test results as conditions warrant. We want to keep everyone safe but for now, just enjoy the sailing.

Speaking of sailing, this past weekend was delightful. Enough wind to make racing fun but not too much. The rain held off both Saturday and Sunday so the full holiday series was run. The potluck on Sunday capped off two great days of sailing whether you raced or cruised. For those who missed the weekend, I look forward to seeing you on the water soon. Get you boat launched and join the fun.

Reservoir Watch

The water is very high, because our annual precipitation is more than 9 inches above normal, and over 3 of those inches fell in June. The water is warm, the wind is moderating, and it’s high summer–capsize drills and hull scrubbing will soon be the best way to go. Hoover is a cool place to be on a hot summer day and take advantage of the “summer breeze that makes us feel fine”.  So come on out and enjoy the holidays with us–SEE YOU ON THE WATER!

Hoover Dominates 2019 MCSA Masters Championship at Keuka

The MC Scow sailing season kicked off with one of the classe’s major championships, the MC Masters Nationals being sailed on Keuka Lake in New York.   The MC class brought in Chip Mann and Larry Krause to help the local Keuka crew run four great races for us.  Friday day one of racing saw two races with winds 9-15 mph with wind direction of 0 degrees. Saturday was more wind with two more races. Wind speed was 15-22 mph wind direction 340.  No racing on Sunday due to lack of wind. So the scheduled 7 race regatta turned into a four race series.  15 states and two countries represented (U.S. and Canada). Hoover had 7 sailors who participated in the regatta.

The Results

Only two teams survived with all top ten finishes. Double digit finishes were the game changer for the top 15 boats with 3rd through 15 all having a tough race. Not because of bad conditions. 18 of the 20 legs sailed were good, fair and steady legs. We had two legs of the 20 legs sailed where giant race changing shifts came through. Most of us who have sailed here before were surprised at actually how steady it was all week. Our new champion is Ted Keller a newcomer to the Masters fleet. Ted along with his son Ben won with a four race total of 15 points. Ted and Ben sail out of both Torch Lake, MI and Hoover Sailing Club.  2nd place was Hoover Sailing Club’s Matt Fisher who sailed all four races with wife Lisa finishing with 17 points. The Keller and Fisher teams were out a ways on third place former Masters Champ Scott Harestad from Spring Lake who had a great regatta with 26 points. Full results are now posted at

Lessons Learned  

The biggest lesson learned was a good one that Ted Keller our new champion just shared. He was saying when things look like they might go sideways on you to make the bad less bad. His example was race three the biggest wind race for sure. Ted was caught without his crew and he knew it could be a 15-20-25 type finish real easy. Instead he gutted it out, hiked hard and was super focused to stay in top 10 no matter what. He finished 6th.

Photo Credits to RegattaGirlPhotography, original article E Hood.

Interlake Interludes

As you read this June has come to an end. Your Interlake fleet has hosted another successful George Fisher Memorial on June 22-23. THANK YOU to all the volunteers that made this happen. We cannot have all this fun without you.

We had 18 boats on the water which is a few more from last year. We saw a few less Hoover boats but increased in off Hoover boats. The winds were light and shifty from mainly ENE on Saturday and SSE on Sunday. Both days saw a lot of tight racing in the 6 races sailed and 4 different race winners.

Top 5 finishers

5. Nate, Bridget and Vincent Ireland

4. Tim and AJ Savage

3. Jamie Jones and Lisa Aspery

2. Bryan and Tiffany Parker

1. Jeff Jones and Mike McClinchie

If you happen to travel to an away regatta, talk up our regatta and see if we can get some additional boats for next season. With that said, should we have a regatta where we all travel together (Indian Lake). Road Warriors part deux? I am also taking suggestions for improvements on next year’s regatta,

Our next social event is July 14. Our event lead is none other than Tim Cullenen, The purveyor of anarchy. Feel free to reach out to him and see if he needs any assistance. Here is a personal challenge to our large fleet, lets see if we can get 20 boats out either sailing or racing. If you need help, let me know and I will put the word out.

Do you have a social event idea to help get people on the water, send them my way and lets see if we can make it happen.

See you on the water.

Thistle – a Hail from the Rail

June Pursuit Race Results

Our June 19 Pursuit Race plan encountered a slight problem. The weather looked a little “iffy”, but the race committee promised  the lightest wind category. Clyde and I launched his boat and journeyed out to the race course with the hope that the “iffy” would hold off for an hour. No such luck! Several fleets had already started, the western sky turned dark and the race committee blew three horns. Fortunately, the race committee gave us the ample time and opportunity to put the boat on the raft and cover it before the rains came in. Our intrepid sailors then manned the “barbie” and made us some delicious burgers, Unfortunately, the “iffy” morphed into a monster of a storm that eventually drove our little feast into the great room.  Then as we watched, that monster “iffy” turned the air to water and finally threw bolts of lightning at us until the lights flickered and we were concerned that our little sanctuary would lose power. So at the first pause in the deluge, we decided that discretion was the better part of valor and scrambled for the door. Apparently, we had forgotten to propitiate “Mom” Nature and she had a major tantrum. So the Pursuit Race was abandoned and re-sailed on Wednesday, June 26 instead. 

There was absolutely no comparison between the original conditions and the conditions we encountered on the latter, re-sail date! On the 26th we had “blue skies with white clouds above”, second category breezes, and tons of boats (including three Thistles). And Mother Nature benignly smiled upon us!  The lead changed several times between the three Thistles, but unfortunately, none of us finished quite high enough. So we drowned our sorrows at the after-party with beer, burgers, watermelon, and (of course) Steve’s ice cream sandwiches. And “Mom” Nature further favored us with one kick-ass gorgeous red ball of a sunset.  It was just another fun-filled evening at our favorite sailing club!  

Recent Regattas

DISTRICTS AT SANDUSKY, were held at Sandusky Sailing Club on June 8 and 9. It was a combined Lake Erie District and Michiana District regatta, with 22 boats from Lake Erie and 7 boats from Michiana competing on the same racecourses.  On Saturday, two races were completed and a third was abandoned.  The course on Saturday was in the somewhat sheltered East Bay, and conditions were described as a high-intensity washing machine, as the wind cranked ever and the waves became ever rougher.  Two more races were completed on Sunday in the West Bay in more moderate conditions.  Heroic Bob McNitt, who was sailing with Will Miller and Nathan Ward, described his awesome capsize and recovery after the start of Saturday’s third race.  He said the spinnaker was wrapped around the mast, so they cut it free and handed it off to a race committee boat.  That committee boat came past a couple of times and then left the area.  After about 20 minutes of struggling, Bob and his tired crew finally righted the boat, only to discover that but nobody else was around! So they returned to the dock and found that the race had been abandoned.  Bob also discovered that when they hoisted the boat out of the water, he found that his forestay (that is normally attached to the inside of the bow with four screws) was only attached by one thread of one screw!  Luck was certainly with Bob and his bright-red Thistle, “Red Hot Chili Peppers” on that Saturday afternoon at Sandusky!    

Winners of the Lake Erie Districts were: 1. Conor Ruppen 2. Stu Fisher, Matt Fisher, Meghan Dieball 3. Jesse Shedden 4. Craig Koschalk 5. Kris Klotz 6. Ben France 7. Mike McBride, Kimberly Pasley, Noah Porschart 8. Corinne Sackett 9. Jack Finefrock 10. Ed Duckworth 11. Grace Squires, Ryan Squires, Michaela O’Donnell 12. Lee Sackett 13. Mark D’Apolito 14. Bob McNitt, Will Miller, Nathan Ward 15. Mike Lovett 16. Robert Mansuetto 17. Tom Hubbell, John Yingling, Betsy Yingling 18. Liz Barker 19. Bronislaw Gober 20. Ron Fiedler 21. David Miller 22. Andrew Gallaher   

Winners of the Michiana Districts were:
1. Ron Sherry 2. Ken Swetka 3. Ron Udell 4. Tim Sgrazzutti 5. Champ Glover 6. Jason Huyghe 7. Thor Krembel

BERLIN REGATTA was raced at Berlin Yacht Club, North Benton, Ohio on June 18 and 19. (Actually nobody raced on Sunday, because there wasn’t enough breeze.)  Noah Porschart, who sails with Team Clyde, crewed for Connor Rupen who had just won Districts, and they finished second behind Jesse Shedden.

GREAT LAKES INTER-DISTRICT REGATTA was held at Cleveland Yachting Club, Rocky River on June 29 and 30. Stay tuned for details in the next “Leadline”. 
THANKS FOR DOING YOUR RACE COMMITTEE DUTY! It is just great how our Fleet #126 members step up and run the Club races expertly. Your willingness enables other sailors to enjoy racing while feeling safe and secure.  Keep up the good work!

Upcoming Events  

  • 7/14 Sunday Races
  • 7/17 Wednesday PURSUIT RACE
  • 7/21 Sunday Races
  • 7/24 Wednesday Evening Racing
  • 7/27 Saturday, MOONLIGHT SAIL, 6:30 arrive, 8:30 leave dock
  • 7/28 Sunday Races
  • 7/31 Wednesday Evening Racing 

Scot Spot

Flying Scot Fleet 37 held the 51st Annual Buckeye Regatta on May 18 and 19th. The wind was steady and powerful which provided challenges. Some boats launched and decided to return to the dock. 

The competition, as always, was great. Trophies were given for 3 places:

  • Bruce and Lynn Kitchen took 1st.
  • Frank and Marianne Gerry took 2nd place.
  • Our very own Ray and Scott Trask took 3rd. 

All in all it was a terrific weekend.

Made better by the awesome volunteers from our Fleet! Without these individuals, and you know who you are, this Regatta could not happen.

Thanks to all who participated.

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Hint: It’s FREE money for the club.

Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase price to your favorite charitable organization. Assign Hoover Sailing Foundation to your Amazon Smile account to give us a chance to better promote the sport of sailing.

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–Marty Sweiterlich

With the approach of the next sailing season, and after the dry sail expansions that were done over the winter, our Grounds Chair has been taking inventory of boats on the hard for the winter. Max Friedauer and Lisa Aspery have been coordinating their efforts to see that all boats on the grounds are known to the club and have paid for winter storage.  For those who may not be completely aware, Bylaw 9 A reads “Any member may store his boat on Club grounds between November 1 and April 1 for a fee of $80.00.  Any owner choosing to store his boat on the grounds will include an additional $80.00 (plus tax) for each boat being stored with his annual dues.  This fee will be handled exactly as membership dues as stated in the Constitution Article V, Sections (2), (4), and (5).” Most members understand and respect this but some apparently have missed it despite the space on the dues invoice to list payment for winter storage.

While I am on the subject, a boat is a boat is a boat. A boat is defined by Marriam-Webster as “a  small vessel for travel on water”.  That is the definition the City of Columbus uses when charging us and that is, therefore, the definition we must use. Thus, kayaks, canoes and paddleboards are boats and are subject to fees just like sailboats.  We do accommodate the kayaks ( which seem to multiply every summer) with rack storage that is available at a reduced fee if you choose a rack located on HSC property rather than on the city owned dry sail area.  If you pair up two kayaks in one rack space, the cost is even less.

Finally, we recognize that the winter storage stickers arrived late in the season this year and that they did not stick well in the cold.  We plan to remedy that  and are exploring ways to make it easy to identify boats and trailers, especially when they are tarped.  If you have suggestions for doing this please let the BOG know.

Enough on winter boat storage. Let’s focus on the upcoming sailing season. Race Committee schedules will soon be coming out from your fleet captains. Sign up early and often! I had the pleasure of attending a US Sailing Club Officer Race Management Seminar earlier this month at Buckeye lake Yacht Club, where I was surprised by what I already knew and I learned a lot more.  I encourage you to set aside the time to take this seminar the next time it comes near us. Becoming a Certified Race Officer could be fun but just knowing more and upping your game as a PRO is worth the time. The scoring exercise alone was worth the price of admission.

Speaking of Race Management, there will be club seminars on the subject again this year as well as a seminar on the rules of racing. Look for the calendar entries and plan to attend these event.  Even if you do not race, your RC duty will be enhanced if you understand the basics of race management and how your service in a safety boat can help the PRO.

See you at Docks In on March 30.

Used Sails…Monkey Business?

First of all, thanks to HSC members who donated their used sails at Docks-out last year. At that event, Windmill Fleet 60 collected sails to donate to Sails For Sustenance, a non-profit organization that repurposes sails for use by fishermen in Haiti. And, we also collected old sails for use at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. Yes, the Columbus Zoo!

Last October, Commodore Marty Sweterlitsch was contacted by zoo keepers in the large ape area who were interested in obtaining old sails or sailcloths that could be used as part of their animal enrichment program at the zoo. As part of the program, zookeepers introduce new materials to the animals, then study how the animals interact and use these materials, particularly for “nesting” activities. It turns out that our used sails are a hit with bonobos! Who knew?

So, what are bonobos? The bonobo, historically called the pygmy or dwarf chimpanzee, is a highly endangered great ape from the Congo River Basin in Africa. Bonobos are our closest living relative in the animal kingdom. We share 98.7% of our DNA with bonobos, which means that bonobos are more closely related to humans than to gorillas. The bonobo is not a subspecies of chimpanzee, but rather a distinct species making up the genus Pan (Pan paniscus). Researchers estimate there may be fewer than 5000 bonobos left in the wild. They are highly social animals that tend to be peaceful and avoid conflict.  In fact, bonobos are the only great ape that has never been seen to kill their own kind.

We will be collecting used sails at this year’s Docks-in. If you would like more information about our collection process and donations, please contact Chris Bunge, Fleet Coordinator, or Kathy Bachman.

Both Sails For Sustenance and the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium are 501 (c) (3) charitable organizations. Contributions, both in-kind and monetary, are tax deductible.

St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for Excellence in Race Management

The Mentor Harbor Yachting Club (Mentor, Ohio) was awarded the St. Petersburg Yacht Club Trophy for excellence in race management. The trophy is awarded by the Race Management Committee based on feedback from the participants as well as self-evaluation by the organizers, including the Principal Race Officer and Chief Judge.

The 2018 U.S. Junior Women’s Doublehanded Championship for the Ida Lewis Trophy attracted 40 teams from around the country. The young women were coached by a group of top-flight coaches, and a variety of clubs and sailing centers in the area provided race management volunteers and equipment, making it a truly collaborative effort.

Principal Race Officer Jamie Jones, who managed his team through a variety of challenging conditions, praised the efforts of the race management volunteers: “Having the right people in the right places made running this event a snap: our pin boat…was like having a second set of eyes on the bottom of the course. Our outer leeward mark-set boat managed the outside of the course with great efficiency and provided legs that were true and square all weekend, even in shifty conditions.”

The sailors also praised the event experience. Maddie Hawkins, the winning skipper, noted that she and her crew learned how to improve their starts and find the best pressure on the race course and said, “We had a lot of fun at the scheduled activities this week, including the yoga session and the trip to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. Overall it was a really good experience.”

Find the full story here.