Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Let The Games Begin

A little nervous, but all worked out well with the new boat trailer.  Darn thing works better then the craddle did in the past.
So, time for the fun to start.  1-1/2 months and counting down.  Strip the mast, paint the bottom, general house keeping and VARNISH, VARNISH, VARNISH !!!  I will keep you guys all posted as I can.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A New Ride For The Old Girl ?

Off on a little hiatus, and have not been posting much for the last couple of years.  So, USA 111 has been sitting in the water now since the major rehab, and is showing it.  This year she will be making her way back to Hayward and again creating a ton of dust around our shop.  How will she get there ? Well finally, new wheels for our girls. The art of building a trailer that will hold a Folkboat or a Knarr..........   I'll keep you guys posted on progress. 

In our efforts to "Go Green", (It works for USA 122) this started out as an 8' x 12' Utility trailer used in it's previous life to haul Bobcat tractors to job sites.  By the time the engineers are done with this bad boy, it should be good for a payload of around 9,000 lbs and stretches out to be about 30' long.  The only parts saved from the old trailer were the suspension and tongue.  The guys will finish welding it out, and then paint and wiring........Stay tuned.

Monday, October 11, 2010

2010 A Season of Mixed Emotions

Boy, talk about ups and downs.... I really don't know if I should celebrate, or send out "Get Well Soon" cards.

First off, I do not want to take anything away from Peter Jeal in USA 113, on his 6th Season Championship. Peter lead from the beginning, and held a dominate position on the fleet the entire year. Congrats to Peter, Suzy and the entire USA 113 crew......

Now for the rest of the story...........Our season didn't start out the way that we wanted. A couple of 7's isn't anything to celebrate. We came out, raced and got beat up by the best of them. Then follow that performance with a DNF in race 3, followed by a 4th. Bad start I tell you. I mean, come on using 3 of your 5 throw outs in the first 4 races is never a good start to anything.

My season didn't really start to turn around until the beginning of June. The StFYC Woodies Invitational Regatta. This was the best showing that we have had to date. Ending the regatta tied for 2nd with Mike Goebel in USA 109, with 19 points each. Mike won the tie breaker and we took 3rd. It's hard to win the tie breaker with a guy that won 3 of the the 5 races. June 12th brought a new aspect to the race course. We showed up to the boat with winds in the 30's straight out of the North. Now the question was raised; do we go out there and beat up the boat, or take a couple of DNC's? Well, we choose to keep the boat in one peice and take the DNC's. (Along with many others in the fleet) Turns out that may have been an unwise decision. The report after the race was that it couldn't have been any nicer. Great, now we have used up all 5 throw outs.

Next up was the SF NOOD Regatta. On paper we had a full fleet of participants, on the course we had far below our average. Crew issues, prior commitments and numerous other issues plagued us. Eric Kaiser in USA 122 dominated this regatta with 5 bullets, while Peter and I duked it out for 2nd. Once again we placed 3rd, only 1 point behind. It was a great way to end the first half of our season. We were sitting in a strong 5th, and only had hopes of catching up to Chris Herrman in 4th. Goebel was pretty much out for the season with prior commitments, and the top 3 were quite aways ahead.

That seemed to all change as we started the second half of the season late in August. David Wilson was off in Denmark racing the Gold Cup and was getting average points for the weekend, while the rest of us had to go out and beat each other up. (Yeah, like David was on vacation, not racing against the best in the world) I had talked Fred and Hilary into crewing for me, since my crew had other things to do. They graciously accepted and we ended up having a great weekend, ending tied with Peter once again for 2nd. The following weekend was scheduled as a 2 race day at Knox, which only 1 race was completed due to increasing winds. We ended up 3rd for that weekend.

The beginning of September brought us yet another 4 race regatta; SFYC Fall Classic. We were still sitting in a strong 5th position for the season, but as a surprise, David Wilson and Eric Kaiser both ended up not able to compete. Eric had an issue with a knee injury, while David needed shoulder surgery. Now the game has changed a little. Chris was still ahead of us by a little bit. The new game plan was to stay ahead of Chris, and gain as many points on David and Eric as possible. Chris had a bit of a misunderstanding with the race instructions, and RAF'd the first 2 races of the regatta, and we showed strong. Peter taking 3 bullets for the regatta, and us only 1 left us 2nd overall for the regatta, and amazingly 2nd place for the season. We weren't planning on that one. After doing the math, Chris was in 3rd only 3 points behind, David was in 4th only 4.4 points behind and Eric was in a solid 5th, with only 2 races remaining.

Stress has always been a huge deal breaker for me, and the following two weeks was full of it. I had heard rumors that Eric was out, and that David was in a sling, unable to race. Now we just needed to beat Chris. Usually easier said then done. There was a 3 way tie for first, and this time we were on the top side of the flip, taking first for the weekend and 2nd for the season.

Now the mixed emotions part........My crew and I raced our hearts out all season long, Chris and I were the only two boats that gained much from Wilson and Kaiser's injuries, so we had stayed close enough. However, like the old saying goes about "a one legged man in an ass kicking contest"; there is still genuine guilt sailing past David, racing with his arm in a sling. I will let my crew celebrate their hard work and dedication, but I will always know this was the one handed to us on a silver platter. I look forward to racing against everyone again next year, and hopefully we will all be in tip top shape. Still on the calender is the Encinal weekend; which is a milestone for our fleet with the lipstick and single handed races, and the newly added masters race. I'm looking forward to it, and hope that I have some good news to post after...........

Congratulations once again to Peter and Chris on a season well done........

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

What A Beautiful Evening For A Race.......

15 Knots of wind, small flood tide and 15 Folkboats on the starting line. What else could we ask for? That is exactly what we had for the first race of the SFBFA Wednesday Evening Series. I love to think about just how lucky we truly are; sail minutes from our slips in the marina to one of the best playgrounds in the world for our sport, all after the grind at the office.

Tonight was one of the most beautiful evenings to race that we have had in a long time. And yes; I said 15 boats on the line. Great showing, great weather, and even greater company.

The evening started with the standard Knarr general recall, opps......I meant a Folkboat general recall !!!!! Sorry, just typing out of habit I guess. On the second attempt, the Folkboat fleet was off, with Mike Goebel in USA 109 shooting out front, and gaining ground on the fleet. The fleet was grouped tight on the beach, fighting for water and clear air. 113, 122, & 111 were able to break free from the group and put a little distance behind us. At the first mark it was 109, 113, 122, 111, & 112 rounding in the top 5. Downwind was more exciting then we have seen so far this year, but very little for position changes. The second upwind leg was the spot for the biggest gain. The top 4 boats headed to he beach, when 122 tacked out for clear air and stayed. At the moment it did not look good, but as we reached the mark, 122 had passed 113 and was nipping at the heals of 109. Great job...... In the front of the fleet it was pretty much follow the leader from that point on. 109 and 122 had their race going on, 113 and 111 had our little race, then 74 and 106 had their race behind us. The top 5 were:

USA 109
USA 122
USA 113
USA 111
USA 74

What a night.......It was amazing to see more Folkboats on the line then any of the other fleets. Lets keep up the numbers. The next race is a week from tonight and #2 in the the Wednesday Evening Series.......Let's see if we can't get 16 or 17 boats on the line.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

And The Strange Continues.......WBRA #3 & #4

I would be lying to you all if I was to say that this season has been a ton of fun. The light winds, strong currents and short courses leaves me to think about the real reason that we all spend the hours, away from our families to bob around the bay. FUN is the only answer that I can come up with, but I just haven't gotten there yet this season. I know that the winds will come up, the currents will seem to disappear, and I will be having a blast. I just wish it would be soon.

May 1st was the second weekend races of our season, and once again boats showed up to the hanging of a postponement flag from the committee boat. (A common theme so far this year) This weekend only 8 boats answered the call, noticeably absent were 74, 95, 105, and 109. 95 had a jumped shiv at the top of their mast, and was unable to fix it before the race. I only know this because I grabbed Terri as a last minute crew member.

After drifting around in the middle of the Bay for roughly 1-1/2 hours waiting on the wind gods, the AP came down and the racing was on it's way. 5 knots of breeze, 3.5 knots of flood, and the Folkboat do not make a good combination. The starting gun was fired, the fleet was off; well pointing in the direction of the windward mark. Slowly the fleet reached the mark, with 106 rounding first, 108 second, followed by 113, and 122. I made it around on my 3rd attempt only adding to my frustration, just behind Eric in 122. The downhill sleigh ride was just that, not enough wind to allow a passing lane and a group of children huddled up at the bottom. The Knarr fleet, and 2 of our fleet had just enough wind to round the mark and head to the City Front. Peter, Eric and myself (OK, the rest of the fleet)were less fortunate. We should have dropped an anchor, or head off to Angel Island for a delayed Easter Cruise. A half hour of trading positions, sailing against a strong flood tide and ending up over at the Knox race course, the three of us were able to tack onto starboard and finally make the mark.

6 of the 8 boats were scored a DNF. So, congrats to David Wilson in 106 and Chris Herrmann in 108 on being the only 2 boats to finish race #3.

Race 2 was a bit different, the wind came up <15 knots, and the flood was on it's last legs. Now, this is a bit more like Folkboat weather. Absent from the second start was 122 and 116. I later learned that Eric headed in, because he too was not having any fun !!!! I am not sure what happened to George Cathey and the 116 crew, but the boat was put away in his slip when I got back in, so I hope all else was well there.

The start was pretty run of the mill for our fleet, as 106, 113, and 108 got an early jump, and lead the way to the windward mark. Following was 56, 111, 121, and 107. Downwind I was able to pass 56 and get the inside advantage by the leeward mark. On the last windward leg, I tack leeward and ahead of 108, for the clear tactical advantage to the finish line. I was hanging in there with the possibility of out drag racing him to the finish, when from clear astern the last place Bird boat sailed over the top of me with NO point and a ton of speed. Not a big deal, right? Let him pass ahead; I know he is faster, but can not out point us. I waved to him to head below, but for some reason he decided he wanted to try and out point us. So, my brief moment of a 3rd place finish was once again lost. The top 5 were:

USA 106
USA 113
USA 108
USA 111
USA 56

May 5th marks the beginning of our Wednesday Night Series, and even the strange conditions that we have been seeing on the weekends, can not keep our fleet from having fun during the week. See you all out there...........

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Strange Start To The 2010 Season - WBRA #1 & #2

Not the start of the season that we are all used too. Light winds, warm weather, strong currents, short courses, and NO racing on the city front as of yet.

April 24th was the first weekend races of the year; Berkeley Circle was the venue, 11 boats dusted off the spider webs and answered the call. After a late arrival of the fleet, and a endless postponement, the first starting guns of the 2010 season were fired. Chris Herrmann on USA 108 took an early, commanding lead on the fleet. Not to be outdone, Peter Jeal (USA 113) and David Wilson (USA 106) rounded the top mark just behind. Peter and David played the right side of the course, while Chris played it safe hovering towards the center while keeping clear air. Well, center paid off, and Chris was untouchable to the finish. Top 5 were:

USA 108
USA 113
USA 106
USA 74
USA 122

The wind came up a little in the second race, I would say <10. Still not the 20-25 westerly that we are used too, but more then the first race. Not too much exciting going on upwind, the regulars rounded 1-5. Peter stayed center while the rest of us played roulette down both sides. Well, once again center paid the largest gains, followed by the right side boats. Top 5 were:

USA 113
USA 106
USA 109
USA 122
USA 108

Not what we are all used too, but much better then sitting on the beach watching others. David Wilson and Peter Jeal haven't missed a beat, while Chris Herrmann and Fred Andersen are showing a definite challenge to them, while Eric Kaiser, Mike Goebel, Brock de Lappe, Richard Keldsen, and myself seem to have a bit of a limp.

On another note, USA 95 "Folksong" was out on the course, after an extensive restoration for the first time in what seems like a decade. Welcome to the fleet Terri and Kimi !!!!!

The next races are scheduled for May 1st, on the Mid-Bay course. See you all out there.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Another Cover For Peter Lyons and The San Francisco Bay Folkboat Association

Recently we received an email from Peter Lyons alerting us to the fact that USA 111 was on the cover of the French publication Bateaux Magazine; October 2009 edition.

The publisher has been contacted and we hope to have a few copies headed our way soon. Thank you Peter for the heads up, and all of your hard work on the water continuing to give us all great shots of our boats like this one.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Wednesday Night Racing.......

We are 3 races down, of the scheduled 13 for the series. We have not seen the big winds that make San Francisco Bay one of the worlds greatest sailing spots, and the fleet scores are all over the board so far. Three different boats taking top honors for each night, and Mike Goebel in US 109 staying high in the mix with two 2nd's; leaving him tied so far with Team Wilson in US 106 for 2nd place overall. Another silent contender is Bill DuMoulin in US 112; currently sitting 4th overall with two 4th's. After a dissapointing 11th place finish in race #2, Eric Kaiser in US 122 has made amends to the gods, and took top honors in race #3; putting him 5th. Nipping at his heels is Peter Jeal in US 113, followed by Richard Keldsen in US 107. Brock de Lappe in US 121; currently sitting 8th in the standings, had a great showing in race #3, plugging in a 3rd place finish on his score card.

Only 11 points seperating the top 8 boats. Consistency will win this series, and in time throwouts, and many more scores will be added to mix it up. You can check out all the scores at .

On another note; Peter Lyons of Lyons Imaging has some great pictures (Even Videos) of all the fleets racing on the city front. Some of the best are those of the Folkboat Fleet sailing downwind at sunset with the Golden Gate Bridge as our back drop. You can check all his pictures out at .

Our next scheduled race is Weds. Night Race #4 on May 27th, followed by WBRA #7 & #8 on May 30th. See you all out there......... And GOOD LUCK !!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Some Had A Better Day Then Others.........

April 25, 2009......Weekend #2 of the 2009 WBRA Season, and SF Cup Qualifying for the local guys. 12 Boats answered the call; OK some of us were so late you may say, we returned the call after letting the call go to voicemail. The wind looked promising for a quick sail to the Berkeley Circle, and some of us may have lingered a little too long, before raising the sails and leaving the dock, but half way there the wind and current made progress to the start difficult to say the least. Lucky for those of us that left late, the wind was light on the course and the race committee choose to postpone the start for upwards of an hour.

The wind came up some for the start of the first race. 10 knots, out of the west; right where it should have been. I went for the wrong side of the line, starting at the boat and tacking to port. The boats that went left, did it correctly, and were way ahead at the first mark. Eric Kaiser, in US122, followed by David Wilson in US106, then came in a large group consisting of US113, US121, US109, and US112. Downhill, seemed to be a battle between 122 and 106 in the front, while there was what, at least looked like a full out war for 3rd thru 7th. The second upwind leg proved to be more of a crap shoot, then anything else. Half way up the leg, the wind shifted south approx. 45-50 degrees, giving the boats to the left of the course an advantage. I was deep in the back, and opted to bang the corner. Well, it worked somewhat. It at least got me closer to the group ahead of me; allowing me to gain ground on the following downwind run. I was too far back to see any of it, but I hear that there was quite the battle in the front at the finish. The top 5 were:
  1. US 106
  2. US 109
  3. US 122
  4. US 121
  5. US 107

The second race was more of the Berkeley Circle standard. We started a little late, and the race committee decided to shorten the course to one time around. Not a bad idea, considering most of us had to head back to the city front. At the start I had decided to go for the pin end of the line, along with quite a few others. A small wind shift seconds before the start, and I was unable to make the line. I threw in a jibe, and headed back up the line looking for a hole. Well, turned out to work in the end, at the first mark it was US122, US106, US113, US111 and US 109. As in the first race, 122 and 106 were duking it out for the lead, while 113, 111, 109 had our own little race going on. I had a little mishap at the leeward mark with my pole and jib sheet, and Mike took full advantage of it. (I don't blame him !!!) Once again, there was a dog fight in the front, but this time 113 got into the mix. The top 5 in race #4 were:

  1. US 106
  2. US 113
  3. US 122
  4. US 109
  5. US 111

The weekend wasn't a green one, but instead more of a blue/green. Team Wilson proved to be the dominate boat on the course, and from what I saw (and heard) they earned every bit of it. Congrats guys....... Maybe a little more wind, but other then that it was a beautiful day. For those of us that headed back to the city front, we found the wind. It was hiding just on the other side of Alcatraz. Gusting to at least 30, with a strong ebb tide, made for a quick trip home. The next race on the schedule is the first of the Weds. Night Series on May 6th. 12-14 starters for the weekends is great, but hopefully we can get a couple more for the mid-week racing. Good luck to everyone, and see you all out there.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Green Means GO !!!

And that is exactly what Eric Kaiser in US 122 did. It really didn't matter what color the boat is, nor if anyone likes it or not; he was just fast. Eric took both bullets for the day, showing that he is a force to be reckoned with this year. Congrats Eric !

Eric took a commanding lead, just after the start of the first race. Eric started high on the line and headed to the beach in clean air, while the rest of us battled behind him for air and current relief. At the first mark it was Eric in US 122, Myself in US 111, Peter in US 113, Mike in US 109, and (I believe) David in US 106. The first downwind run was a close one for 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th. An early jibe by US 109 and US 113, putting them just inside of a current line, allowing me to get away, however US 106 was moving like a freight train on the outside in better current. At the Leeward gate, 122, 111, 113, 109 all went to the right while 106 took the left side. This allowed US 106 to hit the beach 3rd. The top 5 finishers were:
  1. US 122
  2. US 111
  3. US 106
  4. US 113
  5. US 109

Eric didn't quiet have it so easy in the second race. The start of the second race US 122 started high on the line, but this time had the company of 106, 113, and 112; I got to watch from behind :(. With a great lay line to the first windward mark, US 122 roundedfirst, followed by 106, 109, 112, 113, and 111. The downwind run was pretty uneventful from my vantage point. The rounding order was the same at the leeward gate, but this time both 106 and 113 went left while 122, 109, 112, and 111 went right.

So, by this time 122, 106, and 109 had formed somewhat of a gap between 112, 113, and myself in 111. This would become the most interesting leg of the year so far. (I know, not many to choose from) About Anita Rock, while on port tack, Bill in US 112 decided to piss off a gentlemen, (I use the word loosely) in an Express 27 racing the single handed race in the same vicinity. The Express took 112 onto starboard, allowing 113 and myself to sneak by, on what looked like a lay line to the mark. Peter was to Leeward and ahead, but as we approached the mark, I wasn't as sure of the lay line as I was moments before. I knew that I could push it up and get around, but by the view from my seat, there was no way peter could without tacking. 113 entered the zone just ahead of me, when a slight wind shift to the left allowed me to get my bow just above him and gain about a half boat length. Per Rule 18.2 (b), I am required to give "mark-room". As we reached the mark Peter went head to wind as I was too close for him to tack, and I followed suit. With roughly 2 feet between the boats, the wind shifted back slightly right, causing Peter's jib to back wind. This is where rule 18.2 (c) comes in. "If either boat passes head to wind then rule 18.2 (b) ceases to apply" When Peter's jib back winded; which constitutes a tack, the main had been eased and forced him to spin into me, making contact about midships. I immediately tacked to starboard, got ahead of him and then tacked back to port and went around the mark. 112 stayed high and speed right around us, rounding in 4th. 108 came in below the two of us and rounded in 5th just inside of me while 113 rounded behind in 7th. 108 and myself stayed pretty even on the run, but my last minute decision to jibe and go left at the leeward gate, appeared to pay off at the finish. The top 5 finishers were:

  1. US 122
  2. US 109
  3. US 106
  4. US 112
  5. US 111

It was a beautiful day for sailing, and I was happy with the boat performance overall. I will mark this weekend in the win column, and await the next 2 races in two weeks. Then onto the begining of the Wednesday Evening Series.