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
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
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
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).