Summer is here! ALYC Sundowner starts Monday, May 6

Summer is here ! ALYC’s Sundowner Series racing starts next Monday May 6th, 2013.  If enough boats register, ALYC plans offer separate starts for A and B/C.  With Bill McNamara now charing the race committe, there are quite a few changes in the works for this year. See the previous post for details, and note that the regstration price increases at 3:55 PM today.

Boat Handling & Sail Trim Seminar Coverage

We were very pleased to have Steve Barrett aka “Skipper Steve” of the Newport Beach Independent in attendence at the Boat Handling & Sail Trim seminar at BCYC on March 9. Following is a reprint of his “Under Sail” column in the March 15 hardcopy edition which was also posted on their website on March 17.

Newport Beach Independent online at

Under Sail –  Sailing Seminars

By on March 17th, 2013

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERALast Saturday I spent the day at a sailing seminar at Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club with Peter Haynes as the instructor. The topics covered were sail theory, shape and trim, the basic aerodynamics, rig tuning, and using your telltales. Included were steering, crew position, tacking and gibing, and rounding the marks. Whewwww!

Peter and his helpful wife, Debbie, were the best of the best at explaining and teaching the most complex of facts necessary to win races, which then enable winning regattas. While this information is critical against the sailing pros Newport Harbor sailing has bred, most of these topics are also important for cruising and leisure sailing.

Learning these principles will allow the leisure sailor to arrive at Catalina hours sooner and The Cape days sooner. I recommend and encourage all local sailors to attend Peter’s “Harbor 20” organizations seminars. Besides the “Handling and Sail Trim” seminar, Peter also will provide a “Strategy and Tactics” seminar on June 2, and on September 8 he will cover “Understanding the Racing” rules of sailing. I look forward to attending both of these as I watched a very gifted instructor explain extremely complex facts in an understandable manner for even a slow learner like myself. I encourage novices and experts alike to attend, and assure everyone they will learn something–novices quite a bit more.

As far back as I can remember until I was about 12 years old, my Dad was a crewmember on an 18-foot Thistle and religiously raced every regatta locally and a few outside our area. His college friends who were captains of the three-man ocean racing deck-less sloops were mostly engineers like Peter Haynes. The theories and practices of winning sailing are mathematically similar in the thought process.

I started racing sailboats when I was eight years old and continued until high school. All noncalms in the sailing program at Newport Harbor Yacht Club arrived around 9:00 a.m. and finished washing down their boats before 5:00 p.m., Mondays through Fridays. During my era Dick Sweet supervised the races and our behavior, which also included lectures and chalk board instruction.

I learned an awful lot, but Peter’s information took my knowledge and experience two or three levels higher. Thank you Peter and see you June 2, if not sooner racing in the Harbor.

Included was a portion of a sailing film by Llowell North whom, along with our own local Bill Ficker, (winner of the America’s Cup), were winning Starboat regattas in the 50s and early 60s. Side note: Congratulations to our Newport Harbor Christmas Parade Chairman David Beek for winning the “Valvetect Marina of the Year” award at the International Marina and Boatyard Conference. Atta boy David! Seymor must be very proud.

Keep on sailing.

Sea Ya,

Skipper Steve

Steve Barrett has more than 50 years boating in Newport and performs systems checks, repairs and pilots yachts. Email him at

Boat Handling & Sail Trim Seminar, Saturday, March 9

If you enjoyed the presentations and discussions by the sailmakers at the Tuning Day, you would probably really enjoy the Boat Handling & Sail Trim Seminar coming up on March 9 at BCYC. It is all about understanding how the boat works and interacts with wind and water, and covers the basic concepts which really need to be understood in order to appreciate what experts like Harry Pattison and Phil Toft are talking about when using language such as mast bend, headstay sag, rake, and full powered up and flat depowered sail shapes. You can find a detailed course description, testimonials, and registration form here. Postmark your registration by Saturday, March 2 for the best price.  We hope to see you there!

Rule 18.3 “Tacking in the Zone” is even stronger

Rule 18.3 which discourages port tack approaches at port-hand windward marks is even stronger under the new 2013-2016 rules. Wheras the old rule read “The boat that changed tack shall not cause the other boat to sail above close hauled to avoid her”, the new rule reads “The boat that changed tack shall not cause the other boat to sail above close hauled to avoid contact”. The difference is subtle, but important: “avoid her” versus “avoid contact”. The  new rule  means that a boat that changes tack shall not cause ANY boat to have to sail above close hauled to avoid contact with ANY other boat as a result of “her” actions.


Come to the “Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016” seminar on January 27 at BCYC to learn about this, and all the other changes in the new rules. I hope to see you there!

Happy New Year! The Racing Rules have Changed!

As of January 1, the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016 are in effect. (The NHYC Winter Series and the BYC Sunkist Series which started in 2012 will be completed under the 2009-2012 rules). You can buy a copy of the Racing Rules of Sailing for 2013-2016 from US Sailing by clicking here.

A number of definitions have changed, including Finish, Keep Clear, Mark-Room, and Room. In Part 2, “WHEN BOATS MEET”, the following rules have changed: 14 “Avoiding Contact”,  18.2 “Giving Mark-Room”, 18.3  “Tacking in the Zone”, and 20 “Room to Tack at an Obstruction”. Rules from other parts of the RRS which have changed include 28 “Sailing the Course”, 44.1 “Taking a Penalty”, and 64 “Penalites and Exoneration”.

Rule changes which occur every four years in cadence with the Olympics provide each of us an exellent opportunity to improve our rules knowledge, whether new to the game, sailing with an outdated understanding, or expert in need of becoming current.

The next “Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing” seminar is scheduled for Sunday, January 27, at BCYC. So, save the date, and I hope to see you there!

Course Description / Testimonials


2013 Seminar Schedule

Seminar series description

Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing

Sunday, January 27, 8:45 – 5:00       Fleet 1 –  Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Course Description


Boat Handling & Sail Trim

Saturday, March 9, 8:45 – 5:00           Fleet 1 – Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Course Description


Strategy & Tactics

Sunday, July 21, 8:45 – 5:00               Fleet 1 – Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Course Description


Understanding the Racing Rules of Sailing

Sunday, September 8, 8:45 – 5:00     Fleet 1 – Bahia Corinthian Yacht Club

Course Description


Fleet 1 Awards Dinner – December 2 – BE THERE!!!

The 2012 Harbor 20 Awards Dinner on December 2 at Lido Isle Yacht Club is shaping up to be the best ever! We were able to book the Fabulous Nomads band for the event, and if you were at the East/West Challenge Regatta Dinner, you know just how great these guys are! In fact, we would like to rename them “The Harbor 20’s”…

Fleet 1 has also stepped up to sponsor this premier event, so the price will be a low $45.00 per person if postmarked by November 26. If postmarked after, the price will be $55.00. PLEASE register early. This is a catered event, so the food must be ordered in advance, and the last thing we would want to happen would be to run out of food (it has happened before).

Click this link for the Awards Dinner Flyer & Registration Form.

Guests welcome, but please no children.

We hope to see you there!

Important Fleet 1 Championship Information

Hello Harbor 20 Championship Competitors,

NHYC is eagerly anticipating the event this weekend! It looks like we should have a “Chamber of Commerce” weekend as far as weather goes. Here are a few reminders that we would like to pass along to the fleet to help things run smoothly:

All competitors are reminded they are required to dock their boat at NHYC on Saturday night. We have made arrangements to have access to the entire NHYC dock so there will be plenty of space. Boats which are normally kept on the NHYC multi-vessel docks or on docks adjacent to the club are permitted and encouraged to keep their boat there during the event.

There will be an informal, competitor led, de-brief immediately following racing on Saturday and Sunday. This will take place at the foot of the stairs to the Non-calm room (near the outside entrances to the restrooms).

As a reminder, NHYC has shower and changing facilities available for competitors to freshen up before the festivities on Saturday night. We will also make space and a rack available for anyone who wishes to leave a change of clothing during racing.

Any questions can be directed to the NHYC Race Office:

Charlie Underwood
949 723 6870

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