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Commodores Commands and Comments by Commodore Bob Graves, aka ISUC - July 2015







Bob Graves, SPSC Commodore, 2015


 

Bob Graves, Commodore
Imperial Supreme Ultimate Commodore (ISUC)

Not much to talk about since I have not been out much this month. Lessons are still going strong and we have had a great group of new students this year and am looking forward to some of them joining the club and continuing the sport.

Summer series is still moving along well. Last race had lots of wind so we ran a slalom course, as per Paul’s request earlier in the week. Sadly, on the first mark, Paul broke his boom so didn’t get many races in. However, we had a new person join us, Allen, who performed very well. Below are the standings, with no throw outs, to this point.

 
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
Graves, Chris

1
2
2
1
3
2
1
1
13
Sisson, Joe
4
1
1
2
2
6
5
3
24
Hansard, Paul
2
3
3
10
1
1
9
10
39
Graves, Bob
5
4
5
5
5
4
4
4
36
Olson, Bill
6
6
4
4
7
5
10
6
48
Myers, Gerry
10
10
10
3
4
3
3
5
48
Levin, Mike
3
5
6
10
10
10
6
9
59
Allen
10
10
10
10
10
10
2
2
64
Downey, Linda
10
10
10
6
6
7
10
10
69


We are hoping for more folks to come down. I enjoy getting out there and racing even though I know I have no chance of beating most of these guys, but the challenge of the course and finishing it feels good, like running long foot races. I hope to see some other sailors out to join us over the next 5 classes to hopefully get in 10 to 15 more races. Check the website for the dates.

NEWS FLASH!!!!!JUST IN!!!!!! Sumer Series race for 7/11/2015 was cancelled due to a scandal! Picture here, taken by an unhappy minion, shows a Royal being pushed across the finish line.

Got an interesting call on Sunday while in my car. Someone from the Coast Guard called me, addressing me as Commodore, and said something about a boat in distress going in to Shell Point but the man on the phone said there was no marina there. I was trying to identify the voice figuring it was a joke, but apparently not. While I was telling him to contact the ABYC, the man on the boat called and said he was alright. We need to change my title from Commodore to either His High Holiness, but then I would get calls meant for the pope, though some confessions might be fun to hear, or El Commandante!

Bob Graves, Commodore 
Imperial Supreme Ultimate Commodore (ISUC)



Origin of the Rum n' Root Beer Regatta – WCF

The Rum 'n' Root Beer Regatta story begins with an informal windsurfing event started by former SPSC members Vaughan Williams and Jonathan (the "Gentleman Satyr") Waters in the late 80s. Held in mid-June at Shell Point Beach, this event was known as the "Beach Bums and Beach Babes Regatta", often shortened to Bx4 or B-4. That's why we use the "B" designation on the tee shirts; this year's version (2015) is the 30th anniversary (i.e., B-30)! The Beach Bums and Beach Babes was a fun event composed of pickup races around the channel markers, followed by a big cookout and party at Vaughan and Jonathan's trailer in Paradise Village.

The name Rum 'n' Root Beer came from an unlikely amalgamation of concepts from two individuals. In the "salad days" there used to be a regatta held in Puerto Rico called the Rum Relay Regatta, which was a team windsurfing event. The leadoff sailor from each team (4 participants per team) would start from the beach and sail out to an offshore buoy, then return to the beach to tag off with his/her next teammate in line. Upon returning to the beach, each sailor had to down a rum shot provided by the sponsor (usually Bacardi). This process continued until only one team could function without passing out or drowning – they were declared the winner, and more rum was consumed. Back at Shell Point, former SPSC member Scott "Shell Point" Van Verst suggested we do a similar relay at the B-4 event, and he suggested the use of the Rum Relay name. We needed another alliterative term to complete the name (and questionably to mix with the rum), so Tina Mazanek suggested adding Root Beer – thus the "Rum 'n' Root Beer Regatta" was born, or more correctly evolved from the B-4 event.

The B-4 and early Rum 'n' Root Beer events were held in June, while another informal SPSC event called the Dog Days was hosted by Perry Morris at his house in early August. We played lawn games (horseshoes, bocce ball) in Perry's back yard and enjoyed refreshments and food – this led to the tradition of adding beach games to the on-the-water activities at the R 'n' R. Later on when the NIMBY Regatta was conceived by Paul and myself (but that's another story) it replaced the Dog Days on our calendar in August. Because we got wind-skunked several times holding the NIMBY in August, we decided to switch dates with the Rum 'n' Root Beer, hence the NIMBY's current June placement and the R 'n' R being held in August.

Each Rum 'n' Root Beer Regatta has featured a plethora of often unusual events. Liability issues being what they are nowadays we couldn't continue with the officially sanctioned serial rum shots for participants, but for many years the sailing relay remained. Lately the event has mostly focused on a host of cleverly-conceived beach games that challenge our skills and patience. One activity that has been held most years since the early-90's has been the Fester-Mobile award, presented to the most trashed out windsurfing ride on the beach. Paul, the Red Sailor (Robert Nelson), and I would clandestinely inspect everyone's vehicle for incriminating evidence and choose a deserving recipient. Although there have been many memorable winning vehicles and owners (Rolando, Hulon, Rico, and Gerry come to mind), I have reprinted an article I wrote in 2003 featuring someone whose name you may recognize…..

Fester-Mobile Award – 2003 Rum 'n' Root Beer Regatta
Saturday, July 5, 2003 (WCF)

Details about the offending (I mean winning) vehicle:

1987 Honda Prelude with 197,000 miles showing on the odometer.

Exterior:
1. Driver side has "ding" (actually a large gash) running the length of the car.
2. Cracked windshield.
3. Outside mirror on driver's side missing, connecting wires sticking out of door.
4. A 2 mm layer of black mold covers the entire car.
5. Leaves are composting in the trunk rain channel; some signs of weed growth.

Interior:
1. Glove box hangs off of dash, attached by one screw.
2. Seat upholstery ripped in numerous places.
3. Speaker grilles missing.
4. Sand and dirt about ½" deep on the floorboard.

Miscellaneous items in trunk:
1. 2 spare tires.
2. 2 spare Virginia license plates.
3. No jack.

Miscellaneous items inside car:
1. Radar detector (as if the car could actually exceed 55 mph).
2. Radio Station Q107-Nashville cassette.
3. "Jade" Cassette.
4. 1 two foot length of 2"x 4".
5. Antibacterial hand cleaner (presumably for whole-body use upon exiting car).
6. Fire Extinguisher (why put it out? – burn baby, burn!).
7. One gray metal cardboard suit with a funnel hat and a heart drawn in magic marker (we hoped but did not assume that there must be a local production of the Wizard of Oz playing somewhere…..)
8. One Judy Garland wallet size photo, which we know was there but couldn't find…..
9. And the 'coup de gras' – a January 2000 issue of Vanity Fair magazine, on the cover of which is a photo of a buff Tom Cruise, stripped to the waist and all oiled up…..

Presenting this year's award is Joan Pere Aguilo, last year's winner.

And your winner in a landslide of the 2003 Rum 'n' Root Beer Fester-Mobile award…..
Adam Bennett – Late night Beer Czar for the Nude Erections Beer Truck Team!

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Shell Point Sail Board Club Invites You to the 2015 Annual Rum & Rootbeer
@ Shell Point Beach Sunday August 2, @ 2PM

$25 for early registration by July 19, 2015 gives you a choice of a long sleeve rash guard and $20.00 early registration for your choice of a short sleeve rash guard. (Men & Women sizes available!)

$20.00 day of event with short sleeve rash guard.

Get ready to have fun and get wet!

Registration the day of the event starts @ 12:00pm, anyone who arrives by 1:00 pm receives a chance to win 1 of these prizes:

$50.00 Cabo’s gift certificate – Large Bottle/Captain Morgan’s Rum

More Details and Registration . . . .


NIMBY NEWBY by Joe Sisson

Okay, that’s not exactly right - Last year’s NIMBY in Crystal River was my first. However, relative to NIMBY’s storied past, I am a newbie.
I’ve been looking forward to the 2015 NIMBY since the 2014 iteration. Last year, I arrived too late for the Friday afternoon “yachting expedition”, so this year I was determined to get there in timely fashion. Alas, a series of unfortunate events –biological and mechanical - left the NIMBY with a single powerboat. The Finney craft was “filled to the gills” with eager crew, so those of us in the overflow (yours truly, Uncle Pervy, Bad Grandpa and the Playmates) swamped the Marina Bay poolside (fueled with Tecate & Limon) for the “pool bum” alternative.

That evening, with the safe return of the yachting crew, we relocated to the veranda, an oak-shaded, elevated pavilion overlooking the intracoastal, featuring cooling breezes, a tempting spread of hors d’oeuvres, and the oh-so-desirable SPSC Martini. We toasted our good fortune, lamenting the absence of those who could not be with us.

Later on, the party split, with some heading to the upscale Ali’s Bistro, and my group of bilge-burners trapesing to Fokker’s Pub (an Olson recommendation) for some chili-lime wings (highly-recommended!) or Germanic sausages (a.k.a. meat in tubular form), all washed down with Full Sail IPA.

On the way back to Marina Bay, we had to stop by “The Boardroom” (Bobby Bouche?), because…, …it was there. As might have been predicted, I strayed too close to the event horizon, falling into yet another beverage.

I woke up Saturday morning questioning the wisdom of that last beer. Racing scheduled for the day - combat conditions!

Perry and I went for breakfast. On the way back we checked out the racing launch site at Okaloosa something-or-other park, spying a lush grassy area perfect for rigging. Then we returned to Marina Bay for the skipper’s meeting. After the meeting, Perry left to blow up his balls (the marks), and I went to rig.

Turns out that lush grassy area was filled with some form of biological Velcro, commonly known as beggar lice, stick tights, or any number of uncomplimentary names. I expect to be picking them off sails, bags, shoes or other pieces of clothing for the next several weeks. Ah, the joys of local knowledge.

Saturday’s long distance race was challenging (for me). The first leg was a long, nearly dead downwind mix of borderline-out-of-control gusts and occasional lulls. Further downwind was stronger and steadier, but the seas were bigger. With my limited abilities, I struggled between the unsteadiness of dead downwind and steadier but less directionally desirable broad reach. After a couple three or four falls I eventually reached the turning mark. I took advantage of my coincident fall to rest a minute or two in chest deep water. Any other windsurfing sails had long-since disappeared from view. I gave a “thumbs up” to a boat lurking vulture-like close by. One more uphaul and I was on a close reach to the finish (or half-way point). I found myself pinching (into the wind) to avoid being overpowered, and to maintain the (hopefully) desired direction. After a while I saw a mark, and eventually passed it. A while later I was able to see an orange speck off in the distance – the finish, I dreamed. Some folks cheered as I arrived. Others were probably annoyed, or perhaps relieved. I was damn happy to be there.

For the return race, I wanted to sail the entire course, but the memory (of the spasm in my back) was too fresh. I started with the others, but chose to head directly (good luck with that!) back to the launch site. Probably did just as many, or more, tacks than the A-fleeters, but I made it back (after most A-fleeters, of course!). Oh well. Discretion is the better part of valor. Live to sail another day. Blah, blah, blah. Definitely time for an adult beverage.

Back on the veranda we slurped a tasty concoction of “hunch punch” and scarfed more hors d’oeuvres. Afterwards, a large contingent massed at Sealand (another Olson recommendation), a restaurant within an easy walk with excellent fare and a very tolerant wait staff.

Back on the veranda once again (it’s a nice spot!), a small select group gathered for a night cap. With the crescent moon in conjunction with Venus and Jupiter, we sampled Rick’s selection of excellent Scotch before heading back to the room for some much-needed sleep.

To be honest, I could have said “Naw, I’m good.” But, when asked if I would race Sunday at the Skipper’s meeting, I heard a voice respond “Sure, if others want to.” Well, there ya go. We planned for a series of short triangle races near the launch site with smooth water and light wind. Back on Okaloosa seashore, I parked next to the locals, hoping to avoid “The Return of the Killer Velcro”. In response to a suggestion from one of the masters, I rigged with less downhaul. Another suggestion had me moving the mast track forward. Both suggestions would turn out well.

On the water, I was over way early (where’s park?), and had to round the mark to restart, falling at least once, maybe twice in the process. You just don’t go very fast while you’re in the water, and I finished well after the others. Races two and three went much better, with a more competitive start and fewer falls. In spite of my not-quite-top-tier finish, I felt much better about my sailing today. Back on the beach, I thanked the locals for their suggestions, and the “lessons” on the course. We had the awards ceremony on site, said our good-byes, and everyone left for home.

…except for the Sunday survivors. Credit lessons learned from Crystal River. A handful (you know who you are, or wish you were) stayed behind for the denouemont (sp?): a retreat to the Marina Bay pool for desalinization (and more punch), martinis on the veranda at the prescribed hour (we can be civilized), a return visit to Fokkers (had to try the pizza!), then a fresh bottle of double wood. Wonder what the poor people are doing.

Much appreciation and many thanks to those involved in coordination, site selection, registration (nice towels!), race committee, horse douvers, punch prep, local knowledge, etc., etc., etc.

Who feels it knows it.

- Joe Sisson

A NIMBY Birthday to Remember by Mike Levine


The day started off like many other NIMBY race days. Warm breezes, varying degrees of hangovers and everyone anxious to get on the water. The day also happened to coincide with my birthday again. We got down to the launch area and I had a choice between my sport fleet legal 7.5 with a larger boom or my much lighter 7.2 that works with a smaller boom. I saw my competitor Bill rigging a 9.5. Since I wanted to at least be competitive for second to last place I decided I needed the 7.5. This turned out to be a fateful choice. Instead of simply thinking of finishing the race, I wanted to make sure I had a chance of finishing ahead of at least one person, especially after my NIMBY joke referencing the same. Another twist of fate was that there was only one boat to keep an eye on all of the racers in very challenging conditions. I had suggested that we rent a pontoon boat as a second chase boat and also to bring more people along but the idea was summarily dismissed with a “we’ll be fine” (note the “we” with fine). I joked that the life it saved could be mine. So with a single boat loaded with as many people as it could hold along with markers and enough beer and ice to nearly sink her, “Camel Toe” set off to set the marks.

The race started normally enough with me getting a typical poor start. I was soon off course and realized almost immediately I should have gone with the smaller and lighter 7.2 rig. I turned to see where my main competitor was and he was spinning in the gulf and moving very slowly and then in the water. When I looked back again he had made the wise decision to return to shore. I then made a second fateful decision and decided to head directly to the Crab Island finish line. My decision making went along the lines of either return to shore and drink warm shower water with Bill for two hours or make a run for Crab Island where cold beer, my lunch and Laurie would be waiting. The choice seemed crystal clear at the time. So I skipped the “A”, “B” and “C” marks and headed for the finish line. It was more or less directly downwind which was gusting at 20. There were 2 foot white caps, 3-4 foot when a large boat went by which was more often than not. After uphauling my heavy, wet rig for at least the tenth time I was getting extremely tired but the sight of Camel Toe in the distance and the sails on land kept me going somehow. I finally got close enough to walk my rig the final 100 feet or so only to see the party was over and it was time to go! I asked for a ride back explaining I could not uphaul again but there was literally no room on the crowed boat. I could not find anyone willing to sail my rig back with the wind blowing at 20+, rough seas and upwind the entire way. A bottle of water was thrown in my direction and I heard a “you’ll be fine” well wish. I actually thought I heard whistling as the Camel Toe faded into the horizon…

With every bit of strength and determination I had finally made it to the finish line just in time to watch the only boat leave with the cold beer, my lunch and my woman which was the only reason I had made the effort to get there in the first place.

Now I faced the stark reality and daunting challenge of getting back on my own. The wind had increased to 20+ with higher gusts and the waves had also picked up. I was way overpowered and completely spent. I knew I did not have another uphaul left in me and it was three miles back but I had no choice. So I drank my water and set off with a beach start to save an uphaul. I stayed on course as close up wind as possible trying not go back into the middle of the bay. A gust of wind caught me and over the sail I went. I was in the small boat channel and was barely able to climb back on the board.

I was resting for a while when a large 40+ person sightseeing boat came by to ask if I was OK. I looked up at the gawking tourists snapping pictures. The skipper said I “looked like I could use a beer” which caused audible laughter. Apparently they were amused at the sight of a hapless windsurfer adrift in the wind and waves unable to get up. Seeing that there was no way they could help me I said I was fine. With 40 sightseers closely watching I summoned my survival instincts and managed to uphaul and get under way again. A loud cheer was heard from the sightseers as I limped away in no particular direction before going down again when the ship was far enough away. This time my board “turtled” in the deep water and I had a hard time holding on to the now upside down rig in ever increasing wind and waves.

Camel Toe was nowhere in sight and I was drifting back towards East Pass and the open gulf. I was now seriously thinking to myself, “dude, you can’t die on your birthday so get up!” My Tom Hanks instincts took over, I had a vision of Wilson and somehow my wobbly legs and cramping arms managed to pull the rig up again. By now my fingers, arms and legs were cramping badly and I knew I was physically unable to continue much further even if I did not fall again. I fell again shortly thereafter and that was it. I looked around again for our rescue boat and saw nothing. I looked up and saw a sightseeing helicopter and waved but they kept going. Swarms of medium sized manta rays were swimming back and forth under my board. I knew they were harmless but it was an unsettling sight nonetheless. I had lost most of the ground I covered in my last three uphauls. I was starting to wonder if I really was going to make it past this birthday and realized I had no identification on me. I managed to stand up and saw no sign of Camel Toe. However I did see a lone pontoon boat passing just close enough for him to see me. I frantically waved my cramped arms and just when I thought he was going to keep going he slowed and turned towards me. I have never felt more relieved in my life! I told him that I was cramping up and unable to continue and had no idea where the rescue boat was. I handed him my sail, climbed onto the boat and with my last ounce of strength pulled my board onto the front of the boat. I told them this was my first rescue and the best birthday present I ever had! When we finally got back to the launch area, Camel Toe was just setting off to look for me. I offered my rescuers gas money and beer but they politely refused and just said to return the favor to someone else in need. I promised I would and said thanks again. I was very happy, after all it was my birthday and I was still alive!


Survival at Shell Point by Windsurfdog

Have you ever blown a jibe and watched your rig sail away with the sail still standing tall? Maybe the sail finally settles to the water in a few feet, maybe in a few yards. If on the flats where you can stand, no problem…swim after the rig and get back to it. But, what about if you are on the outside not able to stand and you swim after the rig only to find the rig can “swim” faster than you? Amazing how fast a rig can run downwind especially with swells helping it along. So, what next?

Well, this is how I found myself on a beautiful recent Saturday afternoon with the wind blowing onshore around 18-20 with my 6.5 and 108 liter board. Since water over the flats was getting increasingly skinny due to an outgoing tide that was running pretty well, I ventured alone outside for a little bump and jump sesh. Swells had 3-4 foot faces and were quite disorganized…certainly not unusual for SP and certainly nothing I haven’t experienced many times. Not having much board time over the past 1.5 years or so (love that new hip!), my jibes are still a bit rusty…but no prob…waterstarting skills are just fine. No prob unless you can’t get to your board!

After moshing and bumping through the chop, it was time to jibe and head back in. Found a nice face and jibed around. I came within a hair of a jibe that I might call respectable when my rustiness became evident. Down I went only to watch my board run gleefully away, sail standing as if the ghost of Poseidon himself was enjoying a fleeting ride. Finally the sail settled on the water and I began the requisite swim. I was a bit winded from bumping through the chop. I hadn’t slept well the night before. And I certainly didn’t have my sea legs fully in play after my extended layoff. None-the-less, I started swimming towards the rig.

After about a minute of seriously stroking towards the board, I realized that I did not have the energy to finish the deal. Bummer! I was huffing and puffing while watching the board swim better than me! So, what next? Survival mode!

First, calm down. The water temp was comfortable and the disorganized break was a bit challenging but no more than a head dunk or face splash. The American crawl I had originally tried depleted the tank so I tried the side stroke which was a bit energy intensive as well. I got on my back and just comfortably kicked and stroked knowing that I’d be inside on the flats in a few minutes. Occasionally I’d come around and check to see the rig which was consistently lengthening its lead. No prob…I’d eventually get to it over the flats.

During my intermittent checks, I’d look ashore to see if any other windsurfer decided to join me, hoping to catch their attention for a little help. But all were enjoying a nice Summer Series race inside having found just enough water around markers 6 and 9 for a little slalom competition. I was alone but not really fretting…only missing the nice wind which has become tougher to experience at SP for a multitude of reasons, both personal and environmental (reference Paul’s excellent article on PDO…http://www.20knotsnob.com/newsletter/2015_04.cfm…and keep the faith, baby).

After about 30 minutes, with the chop washing over my face/head and with the substantial faces of the swell blocking my sight, I didn’t notice a boat that was about 40 feet from me until I popped up to check the progress of the rig and heard someone exclaim “There’s a windsurfer but I don’t see a person!” over the quiet, idling engine of the boat. I was able to get their attention with a yell and a waving hand. They came over and I grabbed onto the railing of the boat and had them drag me over to the rig which was about 30-40 yards away by this time. After making the delivery they asked “Are you going to be alright?” with my reply “As long as I’ve got this, I’ll be fine, thanks!” After a little breather, I cleared the sail, waterstarted and headed back in…pretty well exhausted and needing some hydration. A nice Gatorade and a little chair time and good as new.

What to take from this?

First and foremost…don’t panic! If you have good swimming skills and feel comfortable on the water, use that knowledge/experience to help you calm down. Ask yourself “Do I feel confident in my swimming survival skills to adequately deal with a situation like this in deep water?” If so, let this confidence be your ticket to prevent panic. If not, maybe your confidence could be bolstered with a floatation vest. Or maybe you should avoid windsurfing on the outside and stick to the flats.

Second, know when to give up chasing and begin surviving. By all means, give retrieval your best shot at first but don’t fret if you feel you cannot catch your rig. Barring unforeseen circumstances, both you and your rig will eventually reach shallower water UNLESS…

Third, don’t sail alone in offshore winds! If you are sailing in an offshore breeze, make double-sure that either you are not alone or you have someone with rescue resources monitoring your session. This was not the case in my story here as winds were onshore but this scenario has happened at least twice at Shell Point in the past with both sailors found clinging to nav aids…one to the ABYC’s North mark which is a floating acetylene cylinder and one holding on to a channel marker piling…both sailing with others and both rescued successfully.

Fourth, get to the gym and get that cardio working. I’ve altered my gym routine to now include more cardio over resistance training. Though I’m not the spring chicken I used to be, there’s no excuse for not increasing stamina through good cardio workouts. Face it…it might save your life.

Sailing outside the flats at Shell Point is a blast and really tests your windsurfing skillset. It also can be a challenge to your survival skillset as well. Prepare both and get out there and enjoy!


Club Officers and At-Large Board Members 2015

Commodore: Bob Graves
Vice Commodore: Chris Graves
Scribe: Bill Olson
Purser: Wright Finney
At Large Members:
Laurie Levine
Deb Green
Mary Rolling
Adam Bennet
Past Commodore: Mark Powell
Board is also known as the Guardians of the Windy Sea!







Wisdom of the Great Helmsman

What is best in life?
Crush your enemies. See them drop their sails before you.
Hear the lamentations of their women.
That is good!



















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