MERIT 25 FLEET NEWSLETTER by Paul Kamen, Fleet Measurer NEXT CRUISE: AUGUST 17-18 NEXT RACE: JULY 27 RACE REPORT: The race on June 22 was WINDY! Here is Steve Wright's report: The first weather leg was especially exciting because five of the six boats were all within a minute of each other tacking in under the lee of Angel Island and around Point Blunt. But things changed a lot when we put up spinnakers! Both Twilight Zone and Paddy Murphy had problems. On Paddy Murphy, the sheet shackle shook loose from the clew, so they had to douse and re-attach the sheet. The second hoist did not get the sail all the way up before it filled, resulting in some heavy rolling and a round-down (but under control, according to Patrick). Twilight Zone, after giving away the lead by rounding the mark the wrong way, set their chute with a tight wrap and had to douse and re-hoist. Meanwhile Chesapeake, out in front, had to loose speed to avoid a tanker. De-powering the spinnaker and luffing the main did not slow them down enough, so they did a controlled round-up and hove to until the tanker had passed. After the race was over all the boats participating went over to the Berkeley Yacht Club to tell lies about the race. Despite the "survival" conditions all racers claimed to have had a good time. Thank you BYC for giving us a start. Season Standings through June 22 (not counting throw- out): CHESAPEAKE Jim Fair 1-4-1 5.5 TWILIGHT ZONE Paul Kamen 2-2-2 6 FUDGE FACTOR Steve Wright 5-3-3 11 XANADU Bill Glass 4-1-8 12.75 PADDY MURPHY Patrick Twohy 3-5-5 13 GREEN GREEN John Davis 7-7-4 18 DOS EQUIS Garrett Smith 7-7-7 21 NEXT RACE: At last, you Oakland Estuary types have a chance to get even with the boats in Berkeley. The next race is the Gracie and George regatta, the double- handed event run by Encinal Yacht Club. The start is in the south bay, and the finish is right in front of EYC. Double-handed means that all you Merit-owners who've been using "I can't find enough good crew" as a reason to not race have just run out of excuses. Also note that this is doublehanding with an interesting twist: A woman has to be at the helm. If this means that you'll have to work the foredeck for a change while your usual crew does the driving, you can take comfort in the fact that spinnakers are not allowed until the last leg, after you're inside the Estuary. There is an entry fee for this one. Entry forms and complete race instructions are included with this mailing. Remember, Merit 25 one-design class rules apply. EYC is giving us our own start, so let's have a good turn-out! NEXT RACE AFTER THAT: Just one week later, on August 3, is another race that's perfect for the Estuary berthers. This is the second year of the Second Season Opener, the race that's almost as much fun as Vallejo. The course is the best on the bay: Start near Treasure Island, Leave Bonita Buoy to port, and finish in front of Encinal Yacht Club. Major party follows, and EYC has a pool and a sauna. This race is a great opportunity to get a taste of the ocean with the safety of a very large fleet all around you. Also a great opportunity for Estuary berthers to sit around the pool being smug, as they listen to the north bay contingent worry about getting their boats back home. The there's a day of "flat water" racing on the estuary on Sunday August 4, but this won't count for our season. Maybe we can organize an informal race back to Berkeley. SCHEDULE: Here's the complete race schedule for the season: MAY 4-5 Vallejo Race Weekend (you were there, or you missed it!) JUNE 22 BYC Long Course (it blew like stink!) JULY 27 Gracie & George (Mixed double-handed in the South Bay, driver must be female.) AUGUST 3 Second Season Opener (Out the Gate to Bonita buoy, finish at EYC in Estuary. Another great party - plan to stay overnight for informal estuary racing the next day.) SEPT. 21 BYC Olympic Circle Course (ODCA standard format) Note that Merit 25 Class Rules apply, even when we're racing in an HDA or PHRF handicap fleet. Scoring is low point with 3/4 point for first place. All six races count equally, but with one throw-out. NEXT CRUISE: August 17-18, at everybody's favorite anchorage - Hospital (Ayala) cove at Angel Island. This will be a raft-up fairly close to the beach, and we'll try to use FOUR buoys instead of the usual two for a "tension raft." This allows us to pull the boats a couple of feet away from each other with the mooring lines, so there's no bumping in the middle of the night when the tugboat wakes hit. If you haven't been in a raft-up like this before I guarantee you'll learn something! (Hopefully we'll find at least one volunteer to go over early on Friday to stake out four suitable buoys.) But of course the real reason for participating is to socialize with the rest of your fleet in an activity other than racing. Meet some of the new Merit owners, trade secrets about making the boats faster or more comfortable, and eat lots of food. Speaking of food, if you plan these weekend trips like I do you won't be nearly organized enough to have actual meals planned. Just bring whatever you feel like bringing - barbecues, munchies, drinks, etc. tend to get shared. (And Sam's is a quick hop across Racoon Straight.) NEW BOAT IN BERKELEY: Bruce Koch (another one of my former crew who'll do almost anything to avoid another season on Twilight Zone) has bought his own Merit 25. It's another yellow hull from Southern California, and is now called Lost in Space. Along with Dr. Who, this will help establish a rather questionable tradition of naming Merit 25's after science fiction television shows. There are now TEN boats in the Berkeley Mariana, and six of them are owned by very active racers. So there's reason to be very optimistic about the health of our local fleet as a one-design class. THE FLEET ROSTER: We've located a few more boats and owners for the roster, but there are still a few unaccounted for. Anybody know what happened to Peppermint Patty, Tatoo, or Flick? If you see a Merit 25 anywhere in the Bay Area that we don't have on the roster, be sure to get a name and phone number, or leave a note if there's nobody there to talk to. Also note that a few boats are for sale. The market is still very soft, which is great for buyers but not so good if you're trying to sell. Help get these boats sold to active local sailors! This will enhance the market value of our boats by keeping the fleet active and visible, and by reducing the number of boats on the market (less competition for sellers).