Glenmar Sailing Association
Sailing the Chesapeake Bay

Big Boats can go fast!

Check out this clip.

Moonlight Run

Some of you may have participated, and others may not have been aware of it. But, there was a Sippy Cup race that was intended for the smaller boats on the upper bay that did not want to race in the grueling Governor’s Cup race to St. Mary’s College. The Sippy Cup was held for 10 years, but is no longer. The Northeast River Yacht Club has picked up the peices and is hosting it’s replacement, now called the ‘Moonlight Run Sail Race’. It will be held on Aug. 16th. It is a night race, starting and finishing in the upper bay with festivities after the race at NERYC’s club house. See the flyer below for more information. I hope you can do this race and support our fellow clubs on the upper bay!


Race Committee

Last Wednesday, Rose Hoffman used her Catalina 34 Beeleaved as the PHRF race committee platform. We really appreciate the effort that members make to help out our programs and providing a committee boat is a big help. Although my computer is named Jesus, neither it nor me have quite mastered walking on water, thus someone always has to position a boat on the starting line.

Kevin Irwin has taken on the responsibility to find members like Rose, who will help us out on Wednesday nights. This effort allows racers to race. If no boat is available, one of them must abstain from racing and use their boat for the committee. This year, we are trying to get a non-PHRF committee boat for just a few Wednesdays in the season.

A long time ago, there was a member named Bruce Baty (his wife Lois is still a member!). Bruce had assembled a regular race committee that would start races off of Log Point across from Bowleys. Back then, the Thursday night fleet, composed of Portsmouth rated boats, were also given Wednesday night starts and everyone raced and partied together.

Around 1986 (I am not 100% on the year), we found a boat, Alert, run by Paul Fitzgerald, and for another decade or so a semi-regular race committee would take that out to set a start line in the same area that we race in today. The smaller, Portsmouth, boats wanted to find their own committees since they were correctly concerned about venturing out into the mouth of the river. Toward the end of the Alert era, we were having trouble getting regular race committee and it became necessary to ask racers to give up one race per year and use their crew to conduct the races.

PHRF Racing participation has reduced. This is hardly news to anyone in the sport, but it has impacted GSAs membership. At this time, the after race beer drinking is down to once a month (the boat owners are older) and racers have to give up their racing slightly more than one time per year in order to have enough committee.

I will post more about later. For now, I am just presenting the problem. The Portmouth fleet has found a temporary solution, but the PHRF fleet could still use some good ideas.

PHRF Scoring

I am inserting an excel sheet that will score a GSA race, or for that matter, any PHRF time on distance race, although it is limited to just a few boats per division. I could easily expand it to larger fleets.

GSA has and really needs an official scorer. A widget like this is just a tool not a scorer. You can’t invent a hoe and expect a garden to just appear. Currently our scorer is Gary Moler. The reason a scorer is so important is the principle of garbage in garbage out. It is seemingly obvious that to get the right outcome one has to input accurately the following data:

  • Start time
  • Boat name
  • PHRF rating
  • Course distance
Soooo simple, but chances are you may mess it up. That is one of the reasons, and there are others, that we occasionally have to post corrections. I will link to the widget. If I get feedback and think it is worthwhile, we can put it into a more permanent link. You have to have excel on your computer to use this, although anybody can look. Also, there is not any way to save the data on this site, but it can be saved on your own computer. There are some internal macros in the sheet and most versions of Excel will disable those by default. In fact, there is a sort button for each division and I don’t even see the button in the wordpress rendition of excel. On the upper right, you should see a DOWNLOAD button. After downloading, the macro buttons show up, but still you will have to enable macros. A pop up will help with that. You do not have to enable them or even use the macros ! They sort the boats after the scoring is done. Just putting in the data causes the boats to be scored.

How the scoring is done; A bit of math.

The time-on-distance formula is:
TA = ( D x PHRF ) / 60
TA = Time Allowance in minutes
D = course length in nautical miles
PHRF = rating in seconds per mile (the number we all use),
Subtracting the time allowance (TA) from the actual time it took the boat to sail the race (elapsed time or ET) equals the corrected time (CT).
However, there is a reason that just any third grader can’t score us. That would be because time is in base 24 and base 60 and our calculators use only base 10 (or sometimes 2, 8 and 16). In other words, adding together hours minutes and seconds will produce nonsense unless we carefully think it through.

One final point I would like to make is that we all measure race starts and finishes to the nearest second, not tenths of seconds. However, when that wee bit of math from above is applied, the corrected time will often come out in tenths of seconds. It is all because 60 does not go evenly into some numbers.

Class Flags for GSA

These are the flags for the 2019 PHRF racers.

Class N = Flag #5

Class C = Flag #7

Classs B = Flag #6

Class A – Flag #9

Copyright Glenmar Sailing Association      2019