New 2014 Fleet1 Divisions take affect February 15

As you know, new Fleet1 Divisions take affect February 15, the first day of the SCYA Midwinters. Please make sure to consult the Fleet 1 Divisions page before entering. If you do not find you name on either the A or B Division lists, please register for this event in the C Division.

If you are not familiar with the new Fleet 1 Divisions, you can review previous posts on the subject titled “A More Perfect World Sailing Harbor 20s”, Part1, Part2, and Part3.

A More Perfect World Sailing Harbor 20s, Part 3

Dear Members of Fleet 1 of the Harbor 20 Class Association,

How could you possibly have a more perfect world than sailing a Harbor 20 with a group of friends in Newport Harbor?  I have seen this picture many times: the sun is out, we sail with 10 or more boats in 10 knots of wind, Race Committee gives us a 200ft line, the mountains are dusted with snow and we round the first mark in 5th with 4 boats around us. We sail on. A couple of colorful power boats cross the fleet down wind and 6 boats round the bottom mark like a string of pearls. We pick up a place with a perfect rounding, get another by tacking toward the slightly favored pin end of the finish line, and finish third. Next race we try to improve up wind, remember to stay clear of congestion, and with luck we will Trophy. We get a nice engraved whiskey tumbler for third place at the end of the day. We chat with our fellow competitors afterwards and find out why they were faster, or slower, today. We go home with our tumbler after learning something new, meeting some more sailors, discussing some rules and never thinking about work and or our aches and pains. Now that’s a perfect day!

What would not be a perfect day is if we are sailing with 25 boats (or almost as bad, just three), there is congestion on the 200ft line (which is max in the bay), boats hit each other, fiberglass gets damaged, the Power Boater is yelling at us mid-course, the mark rounding is so chaotic that your great start and upwind leg turns into last place at the rounding. Your husband has said so many bad things on the water you don’t even go to Prize giving.

The Fleet 1 Board of Directors has tasked the committee to reduce the possibility of that imperfect day by evening up the size of the three racing fleets. The methods were published in Part’s 1 and 2 of this series and results are as follows:


Fleet 1 Re-Partitioning based on new ByLaws defining 3 Divisions: A, B & C

The partitioning was based on total High Point score for the past 12 months of sailing. The total participants were divided equally into three Divisions as shown below.

Skippers that did not race in any High Point races during the last year could not be assigned to a Division because they had no score. These skippers, as well as any new Fleet 1 members, will be welcome to sail in the C Division.

In addition, all Skippers may petition the board for qualification for A or B Divisions if they feel they do not belong in their assigned Division. The rules for promotion or demotion between divisions, including the procedure for petitioning the Board can be found in the ByLaws and in this Article.


Division A Division B Division C
Chris Allen Mick Bacich Bill Allen
Len Bose Richard Blatterman Mary Bacon
Jim Buckingham Joe Carter Scott Barnes
Tucker Cheadle Jonathan Cheadle Roxanne Chan
Helen Duncan Len Connelly Mark Conzelman
Carter Ford Tom Corkett Andy Everson
Terry Gloege Guy Doran Steve Horton
Jeff Gordon George Drayton Jan Houghton
Eric Graveline Nik Froehlich Toby Jackson
Peter Haynes Win Fuller Nina Manning
Tim Hogan Roderick Graham Sandy Mills
Walter Johnson Jane Hartley Manouch Moshayedi
Jim Kerrigan John Horton Richard Mulvania
Ed Kimball Mark Hurwitz John ODonnell
Richard Loufek Gregg Kelley Karen Pierce
Bill Menninger Christophe Killian Ted Reed
Greg Newman Christopher Killian Kathryn Reed
Jon Pinckney Emile Pilafidis George Samuels
Scott Ramser Gale Pinckney Steve Silk
Phil Ramser Karl Pomeroy Dick Somers
Tom Schock Rolly Pulaski Travis VanDenBerg
Gary Thorne Kathy Sangster Michael Volk
John Whitney Lee Sutherland Ed Watson
Kurt Wiese Rod Swift
Bob Yates Ross Watanabe


Unassigned Skippers

Gary Barmore Carolyn Hardy Marcia O’Hern
Bruce  Bennett Dave Janes Tom O’Keffe
Andy Binkerd Chris Jester Dan O’Sullivan
John Brown Todd Johnson Jan-Erik Palm
Dennis Clavert Barbara Jones Mike Psomas
John Carlson David Lamb Paul Queyrel
John Cazier JK Leason Douglass Rastello
Phillip Chandler Mary Longpre William Singleton
Peter Crary Craig Lyons Larry  Somers
Phil Crosby Helen Mackel Cindy Stoeckel
Neal Crowley Tom Madden Per Trebler
Leslie Disney John Magee George Twist
Mike Drobot John Marshall Judy Weightman
Warren Duncan Donald KcCalla Terry Welsh
Roberta Feurstein Bernard McNair Chuck Wert
Roger Grable Bill McNamara Kristen Whitney
Richard Gregory Thomas Mitchell Jack Woodhall
Rob Hamilton Dave O’Hara Andrew Zimbaldi


Divisions Webpage

Sailors will be able to follow their progress between the Divisions on the H20 Website on a new page called Divisions.  You can preview it here.  This page will replace the current “A Fleet” webpage which currently tracks the Qualifications, Promotions and Demotions to the “A Fleet”.


Effective Date

The new Fleet 1 Divisions will take effect at the Mid-Winters on February 15-16. Until then, the current rules of qualification, promotion and demotion between A and B Fleets will remain.



The following individuals have volunteered to be available to answer any questions related to the new Fleet Divisions changes and Fleet Partitioning.

Division A:     Richard Loufek,, 714-939-2365

Division B:     Nik Froehlich,, 949-254-2609

Division C:     Michael Volk,, 949.463.5900


Warren Duncan, Chairman of  The Board Sub-Committee for Fleet Improvement

Emile Pilafidis, Fleet 1 Captain


A More Perfect World Sailing Harbor 20s, Part 2

Dear Members of Fleet 1 of the Harbor 20 Class Association,

Last Friday we announced that the H20 Fleet 1 Board of Directors voted to implement a plan to divide the Newport Harbor fleet into three formal Divisions: A, B & C.  The aim is to continue great racing for all sailors by dividing the fleet into three divisions, each having approximately the same number of skippers.

Our current “One Design Fleet” is by any World Standards a spectacular success both in the level of competition and in the quality of our off water activities — no other fleet comes close.  We have a broad range of sailing abilities from entry-level sailors and returning experienced sailors to Olympians, National Champions and most recently Collegiate All-Americans.  What other fleet races all year-round and seven days a week in the summer?  This is a Perfect World of Sailing!

To maintain any perfect World we have to make small corrections and changes.   These changes aim to ensure we have fair, even sailing, without overcrowded start lines and with races that do not negatively impact other users in the Harbor.

Peter Haynes has analyzed and computer modelled our fleet extensively.  He reviewed 12 months worth of High Point race results and found that overall we had 58 races with 77 skippers competing.  On average, during popular regattas, 50% of this pool of 77 racers competed.  Based on the total pool of racers and the average participation, the Fleet will be divided into three equal divisions (A, B and C) each containing a pool of approximately 25 skippers. With historical average participation of 50%, we expect races to contain from 10-15 participants.

Movement up or down between the Divisions will be almost identical to what has historically worked very well between the current A and B divisions. Appendix A to the Fleet 1 Bylaws has been revised for the new Fleet Divisions and is posted on the Harbor 20 Website, under Fleet 1, Bylaws.

In simple terms, qualification for Divisions will be as follows:

  • Movement up into the next Division will be by either:
    • Winning a Two-Day Regatta
    • Or by Winning Two One-Day Regattas within a 12 month period
  • Maintaining your status in a Division A or B will be by:
    • “Placing” during a High Point Regatta within a 12 month period
  •  As before, Sailors have the right to Petition the Board if they feel they should sail in a Division other than where they currently are qualified.
  • For details see the amended Fleet 1 Bylaws and Appendix.

The new fleet divisions will become effective at the Mid-Winter Regatta on February 15, 2014. The Board Subcommittee expects to announce the new roster of skippers in each Division (A, B and C) within the next week.


Warren Duncan, Chairman of  The Board Sub-Committee for Fleet Improvement

Emile Pilafidis, Fleet 1 Captain

A More Perfect World Sailing Harbor 20s, Part 1

Dear Members of Fleet 1 of the Harbor 20 Class Association,

The Harbor 20 Class Association continues to be recognized as an organization whose members take pride in its heritage and longevity. It’s truly this pride of membership and a stellar level of competition, which has attracted more and more sailors to the Harbor 20. Newport Beach’s Fleet 1 has seen phenomenal growth and it is our members who have made this happen. The camaraderie amongst our Fleet is unmatched, on and off the water.

Our increased membership is particularly noticeable at our races. Congestion at the start line and our sheer numbers sailing a course in our small channels at times lessens the quality of the experience, for us as well as those we share the harbor with. We have all seen power boaters who find themselves with Harbor 20s approaching with nowhere to go.  We wouldn’t exactly call these growing pains “problems” (most racing Fleets around the world would love to have our “problems”!), but they are pains, nonetheless.  So together we should celebrate our success and, at the same time, move forward to make adjustments to preserve good competition and safety, as well as be a good neighbor on the water.

In May, the Fleet 1 Board of Directors began looking at ways to meet the needs of our growing Fleet. With some new, experienced sailors moving directly to the A Division and many of the original C sailors moving into the B Division, our starts have swelled in numbers and are becoming unmanageable. Frequently there isn’t even a C start. Effectively, we have had two Divisions, A and B. The logical change was to make a third Division that would spread the boats amongst three starts. Sailors in this new Division will race on the same courses, be ranked, and receive trophies like the A and B’s, and have the same rules for moving up and down within the Divisions.

At the November Board of Directors meeting, the Board approved the formal creation of a new C Division, which will no longer be a non-ranking training ground for 2-3 of our newest sailors. A lot of thought has been given to processes and protocol and we are certain that the changes will be positive! Watch for notifications posted on this web site in the coming weeks. We thank you in advance as we begin to finalize and implement these changes.  Our Fleet 1 members come from all walks of life, from new sailors to Olympian contenders, and all age ranges, but our love of sailing the Harbor 20 brings us together and moves our organization forward.  We look forward to sharing more in the coming days and weeks.

Warren Duncan, Chairman of  The Board Sub-Committee for Fleet Improvement

Emile Pilafidis, Fleet 1 Captain

Tacking to the Windward Mark and Back

I am writing this article in the hope we as a fleet can open a dialogue, on this web site, where the experienced sailors can give input and others can ask questions about rounding the weather mark.

The latest Racing Rules (2009-2012) were changed to address “Tacking when approaching a Mark”.  We also know that when our H20 fleet is approaching the windward mark on starboard, seemingly in a good position, it is common to end up in fourth place down wind, due to Prot Tackers.  This is what the new rule was designed to eliminate:  Yes or No???

Our Harbor 20, Idros, has a hole in its bow from a Weather mark conflagration, hence the frown on her face when you see her out racing.  The problem as I see it, has many parts to it.  These may uniquely relate to our one design fleet and our boats and may not necessarily be covered by “facts found” in a protest.

Here is our broad review as I see it:

The rule 18.3 says port tack boats, tacking within three boat lengths, have added restrictions on them

(a)  The port tack boat cannot force a starboard tack boat above close hauled as they round the mark.

–  Well, we all watch port tack boats squeak up to the mark clear the fleet of five boats coming on starboard and then come to a virtual stop as H20’s do when you have to push the tiller over hard.    The problem for the Starboard tack boats in 5knots (normal) of breeze as you approach the mark with 5 boats around and beside you, pinching will slow your boat significantly, causing everyone around you to bump, crash and burn.  So going above close haul will cause a collision for sure.  As I see it, the only advantage in doing this is you will be able to bring five witnesses to the hearing; the problem is you have lost the race and will most likely lose the hearing for causing a collision.

(b) The port tack boat must give an inside boat room at the mark.

– As one sailor has suggested, the starboard tack boat should fall off and point at the port tacker, in this way picking up speed to go inside.  Hopefully the port tacker will bail out and all will be good.  Our experience says, the port tacker does not bail out, now you will be the inside boat and the port tack boat must give you room.  In our experience this is also problematic.  The port tacker normally sees the gaggle of boats coming and tacks close to the mark to give maximum room and protect their ?? leading position. So even though you are now the inside boat, the port tacker cannot give you room because he is committed and even if the rest of the fleet gives her room, when they put the tiller down to give you room, the transom pivots about the keel again and either hits the inside starboard tacker or pushes her into the mark.

The aim of our fleet clearly has to be, to have clean fair racing.  I believe this is relatively easy, all that has to happen is; we all follow the rules or take our penalty turns when we make mistakes, which we ALL make.  To bring reality to this we have to occasionally protest and go to the room.

Well it should be easy, but we regularly have incidents where a starboard tacker went from first or second going to the mark to a long way back after the rounding.  More of Peter Haynes’s seminars on the rules will always help, but if we are to continue to grow our fleet, fun racing is where it’s at and losing 3 places at the windward mark or worse, a frown of the bow, is not fun.

My question is, how can we  show other competitors and judges she has to go above close hauled to avoid the tacking boat 18.3 (a) without causing problems for all boats except the port tacker.  To duck down inside 18.3 (b) and call for room will cause a collision 9 out of 10 times.

YES / NO ? what is the answer? Please click comment and add your input, a good positive discussion can only help our fleet get more enjoyment from our sport.

by Warren Duncan, #34 Idros