OSC Burgee

Off Soundings Club

SAILBOAT RACING IN SOUTHEASTERN NEW ENGLAND
FOUNDED NOVEMBER 7, 1933
INCORPORATED FEBRUARY 4, 1949

www.offsoundings.org

Off Soundings on Facebook Last updated: June 20, 2016 Donate to Off Soundings

 

The Start

Vitesse - Fall 2015

Dinghy Racing at the Seaport

Jammy Beggar

Pachyderm - Fall 2015

Nor'Easter Gardiners Bay Committee Boat - Nor'Easter

 Close Hauled Close hauled off of Watch Hill

Start Nonsuch Start off of Watch Hill

Milagro Milagro

Watch Hill Close quarters off of Watch Hill

Perfect Set Magan

Tynaje

Tynaje

RACE INFORMATION AND NEWS

ANNOUNCEMENTS

2016 Fall Race Information

Fall Race Dates - September 16 and 17, 2016

 

Off Soundings on Yacht Scoring

 

2016 Guest Invitation Form

2016 Spring Lockwood Family Trophy Form

Notice of Race

The post-race activities will be held on the grounds at The Oar Restaurant.  The marina associated with The Oar is the Block Island Boat Basin.  They are now accepting reservations.

Spring Promotional Video

 

Off Soundings in Motion Video - Recent Highlights

 

Administrative

2016 Dues

Please make payment to our treasurer by check or use the on-line payment link below. 

Pay Your 2016 Dues On-Line

2016 Dues Payment Form

Please contact our treasurer if you have any questions.

 

Fall Results - 2015

RESULTS (Fall and Overall)

PERPETUAL RESULTS for 2015

Amendments to the scoring explained

Sailing Instructions

Scratch Sheet

Notice of Race

Entries

 

Spring Results - 2015 

RESULTS

Spring Sailing Instructions

 

Safety Equipment Requirements

In 2014, the US Sailing’s Safety at Sea Committee conducted an overhaul of ISAF’s Offshore Special Regulations (OSR). The USSER is intended to be used by race organizers, owners and boat inspectors. The USSER is being promoted as easier for yacht owners to understand and is self-contained and does not refer to numerous external documents. Race organizers can then add or delete gear requirements based on the nature of their individual races.

Off Soundings has created a committee to review these regulations and determine how best to fit them into the OSC racing model.  Draft D below is now available for review and comments.  It is the intention that these regulations be adopted starting this year, but only after the membership has had a chance to have their comments satisfactorily addressed.

SER Version E

SER Discussion Thread

The committee has provided some answers to frequently asked questions.


Q. Are these requirements or recommendations?
A. Both. Basic items such as: having a boat that is seaworthy and strongly built, an engine, a radio, lifejackets, etc. are requirements. Several other items such as: mainsail reefing, preventer for boom, jack lines, cellphone, etc. are recommendations.

Q. Will these items be inspected?
A. The concept is for each yacht to have a hard copy of the document (downloaded from the OSC website). The expectation being that the OSC-SER would be used as a check list (i.e., a self-inspection) by the owner/skipper prior to sailing in OSC races, and that the document would be kept on the vessel.

Q. What about potential liability?
A. We have consulted with individuals in US Sailing and it is an understanding that what generally protects Organizing Authorities from liability is the "avoidance of negligence", and that is usually achieved by a '"best practices" approach (e.g., having policies and procedures in place to manage potential risk).

Q. Why don't we just rely on good seamanship?
A. Good seamanship is an acquired skill. We learn by our own experience and by the experience of others, and there is never an end to our learning. We would ask that the "old salts" embrace the concept of this checklist, submit ideas to make it better, and to assist in teaching the "up and coming" sailors how to meet those "unanticipated" challenges.

Spring Race Highlights

It was the 79th running of this perennial event and 109 skippers and their crews enjoyed solid breeze, dying breeze, shifting breeze, sunshine, clouds, and drenching rain. 1BI reared it’s ugly tidal head each day and the uncertainty of wind direction, coupled with the variety of wind strength turned tacticians into dart throwers, hoping to end up in the wrong place at the right time. What happens on Block Island, stays on Block Island, and often, only happens on Block Island.

The old school approach was highlighted on Friday by a left over westerly that got the fleet off in good stead with Group 1 heading to Nebraska Shoal on a fast reach for course (N) Z.

Group 2 set off fetching 1BI on the course (B) Z. It seemed in the first many years of my experience racing in Off Soundings, this was the go to Friday course. It is also the first time we have set two courses in many years. This year is likely the final time for that course since the US Coast Guard plans to remove Nebraska Shoal buoy at the end of this year. And good riddance, say some!

With 13 classes off, Nor’easter quickly raised anchor, anticipating a fast race in the solid breeze. It is always a challenge to get to the finish line before the fast sleds, many of whom were planning right off the start line. But, there turned out to be no worries. The RC set mark Z in place 2 miles west off the finish line, hoping everyone would get some windward work in after the long reach to Block. We saw some of that for the early leaders, but mainly we saw the
Westerlies shift to Northerly, Northeasterly, Southerly for a bit, Nothing for another bit and finally, as the first boats were fetching the finish line from Z, a solid Easterly filled in from out of the new harbor and we had an upwind finish! Hey, if you don’t like the breeze direction, just wait a few minutes.

All was forecast by the Weather service provided by North Sails to the fleet as part of their sponsorship of Yacht Scoring...except for the Easterly!

Delta class Milago was first boat to finish covering the 21 miles in 2 hours 43 minutes.

The Viper 830 Suspect 2nd in 3 1⁄2 hours and then Spectre and Settler less than a minute apart, covering the long course in about 3 hours 23 minutes.

Wave Dancer was the first of the Group 2 boats to finish, covering the 18 miles in just 4 hours. Valkyrie in C-2 and the Nonsuch Mistral took the final nod from the RC as they covered their respective courses in just over 5 hours. Thankfully, our gracious host Henry Dupont IV has a well stocked food locker and plenty of cool drinks to keep the RC crew on task.

Friday’s rendezvous under the tent included the new era of scoring. Yacht Scoring made it’s debut and proved an unqualified success. Scores were posted by the time Nor’easter docked and the results were scrolled on a TV under the tent. The focus was on enjoying the party and reconnecting with old friends and new stories about the Block and her ever changing Saturday, the forecast predicted nasty weather late in the day and it was the RC intent to get around the island as quickly as possible. The wind was perfectly out of the south and we couldn’t have set it better if we had picked our direction. The fleet headed off upwind for the long beat down the West side of the island for a course of 4 B. It was my intent to keep it old school by allowing the fleet to play along the rocks if necessary, especially on the East side in case the Ebbing tide took effect late in the race. The ever present sea lawyers forced an amendment to the SI’s to keep the island to port rather than looping 4 and staying on the west side to loop B. We took care of that and off we go, 108 boats starting.

Once again, the Block took control and the breeze shut down, stalling some of the slower boats, including the Nonsuchs. Many of them couln’t get around 4 in the flooding
current. The wind continued to vary, with many able to enjoy a decent spinnaker run up the East side, but facing the ever changing current and wind shifts at 1BI. Even the boats who got around early, ran into major shifts during the final miles along the Northwest side of the island.

The Rich family took the first gun in Settler, changing sails twice in the last half mile.

They covered the 16 mile course in just over 3 1⁄2 hours. Direwolf and Spectre were a few minutes behind, followed by Suspect and Caliente finishing in just over 4 hours.

In the end, 81 boats finished, 26 boats retired and one had the time limit expire at 5 pm.

A long day for all and did I mentioned just when it was going flukey it rained and rained hard.

But, hey, we need the water. And where else would you rather be!

In summary, a good event from the Race Committee perspective, plenty of good stories and while conditions were rarely perfect, they were perfectly typical of an Off Soundings event where the wind never blows from the same direction consistently and you have to be smart and lucky and ready to enjoy being with your mates in trying moments. And the sun came out for the party!

I was pleased with Yacht Scoring. It worked as advertised and I know many of the racers were dialed in to it. We need to perfect the TV set up in the tent to have the results scrolling for all as part of the presentation. The North Sails giveaways went over big and I think we might remove our baby shoes and allow them more exposure under the tent. No one blinked that they were involved.

As I mentioned, the final results were posted shortly before Nor’easter hit the dock.

The weekend results with BOW were up immediately. The ECSA results without BOW were posted on YachtScoring by Tuesday evening. To date, there have been no scoring inquiries.

The results will be made final on Friday, June 24th just to allow any inquiries.

If anyone has any suggestions for the Fall Series and how we can improve our game, please pass them along.

Submitted 6/19/16

Greg Gilmartin

director@mystv.com.  

 

 

Dave Perry and Racing Ethics

 

The schedule for racing rules webinars is posted at the link below.

 

North Sails Webinars on Racing Rules

 

Fall 2015 Race Highlights

 

Changing conditions, challenging racing and a solid weekend of racing entertainment was held for nearly 100 boats and their crews.  There was even an impromptu diving contest in the 3 hour wait on the calm waters of Gardiner’s Bay Saturday.   In the end, two races were sailed and trophies were dispersed.

Friday’s race was a simple “2” – all classes rounding mark 2 to port at Plum Gut and to the finish.  The shortest distance in light air with a favorable current.  The breeze filled in late in the day allowing all but 7 boats to beat the time limit.

On Saturday, the fleet stayed in harbor for an extra hour with an onshore postponement.  Again, on the water a two hour delay before the breeze filled.  Conflicting forces saw an Easterly at the Start line, while the Southerly slowly moved in and a reaching start for the early classes turned into a solid weather leg by the time the last classes started.  Then it was Dead Down Wind to Orient Point, a port rounding and a beat to the finish.  

Patience, preparation and persistence paid off for the Race Committee and the racers appeared happy around the crocks during Mainbrace Splicing.  

Member Comments

"I wanted to thank you for a great couple of races.

The course on Friday was both prudent and challenging given the conditions. I truly enjoy some new race courses and configurations when participating in Offsoundings.

While I look forward to many of our historical traditions and races, some variety is refreshing, interesting and challenging. The timing of the race Saturday was skillfully managed with the postponement and your crystal ball was clear on the changing wind direction. It was a very good course and made for a very fun day of racing.

Thank you and your team."

 

The Club 

The Off Soundings race is composed of two series, one in the spring of each year, the other in the fall. The spring series is a two day regatta featuring a race from Watch Hill, RI to Block Island on day one and around Block Island on day two. The fall series is also a two day regatta featuring a race from New London, CT to Greenport, (LI) NY on day one and in Gardiners Bay on day two.

 

Spring 2015 Race Highlights

 

Video Highlights

The race committee, Greg Gilmartin and company, along with Henry DuPont's Nor'Easter, did an excellent job in conducting the races on both Friday and Saturday.  They deserve a lot of credit sheparding 13 classes and 118 boats. 

On Friday, the race committee had to deal with setting a course that could be sailed and completed in a light, shifty  southerly, a starting line length adjustment, a crowded finish (see the above video), and finally fog.  The course, start to 1BI and then to the channel entrance marker, 2BI, was shortened at 1BI. 

On Saturday, the committee was able to start two classes clockwise around the island and then had to postpone when the wind dropped to nothing.  The wind came back very suddenly and settled in from the southeast in the mid to high teens allowing the committee to continue to start the rest of the fleet.  After the start, the racers enjoyed an ideal day of racing, with near perfect conditions.  The tide, for a change, was favorable.  Most boats finished by mid afternoon.

The post race parties both days were well attended.  The results on Friday weren't available until about 8 pm due to late finishers and a crowded finish that required extra diligence on the part of the RC to ensure all were correctly  accounted for.  Nate Atwater and his entertainment committee did a great job managing the bar.  Seth Olsen, our youth liason, ensured that there were plenty of activities to occupy the younger sailors and awarded the Lockwood Trophy.  Paul Jennings, Rear Commodore and awards chairman, selected the trophies and helped distribute them to the winners.  Results were read by board members, many of them new to the process.  All did a commendable job.

Those who stayed at BIBB overnight on Saturday were greeted with a special treat.  Folk music, coming from Moonshine, filled the marina with excellent renditions of hits from the 60s and 70s.

On behalf of the flag officers, board of governors, committee chairs, and liases, I want to thank all who participated.  It was a great weekend of sailing and we hope to see all of you again in September.

Gerry Keeler - Commodore

 

Sea Scouts and Off Soundings

As many of you will recall we invited a contingent of local Sea Scouts to join us at the Charles W. Morgan Rendezvous last summer and they were incredibly grateful for the opportunity.  They are very interested in racing with us but don't have vessels suited to Off Soundings racing.  If you have an opening in your crew for the Spring Series, please consider bringing along one (or several) of these adventurous scouts as they would revel at the opportunity to come racing with our members.  This is a great way to make yourself eligible to compete for the Lockwood Trophy and to help foster the next generation of sailors and future Off Soundings members!  If you are interested please contact Seth Olson, the Off Soundings Youth Liaison, who is coordinating this with the Sea Scouts, he can be reached at 203-530-3705 or email Seth Olson

 

MORE NEWS

CLUB OVERVIEW

Eileen Ames Fund

In 2010, the estate of Eileen Ames donated the funds that were used to produce the 2012 OSC video, “Passion to Race”. Our goal is to keep the subject fund active and to replentish it so we can produce another video in the near future. In addition to your viewing enjoyment, these videos are an essential part of documenting the history of the Off Soundings fleet.

Read more about the Eileen Ames Fund and how to contribute

 

 

 

Club Out-Of-Office Message for Phones Lost Overboard

 

Ever lose your phone overboard? Here is the un-officially sanctioned voicemail message indicating to callers that it might be a while before you get back to them.

I've lost my cell phone overboard

 

 

 

  Overview

The Off Soundings Club is a yacht racing organization with a membership of approximately 500 experienced racing sailors. Most of the membership is based in Connecticut, Rhode Island, on Long Island, and elsewhere in southern New England and New York State. The club does not operate a shore facility, but concentrates on managing two high-quality weekend race series per year for its members and their invited guests. 

The historical records of the club are housed in the Blunt Library at Mystic Seaport Museum, which we consider to be our traditional home port.


The Off Soundings race is composed of two series, one in the spring of each year, the other in the fall. The spring series is a two day regatta featuring a race from Watch Hill, RI to Block Island on day one and around Block Island on day two. The fall series is also a two day regatta featuring a race from New London, CT to Greenport, (LI) NY on day one and in Gardiners Bay on day two.


The fleet normally consists of approximately 100 to 150 boats ranging in size from 24 to 60 feet. Boats usually race with handicaps, such as PHRF or NEMA, however, special classes, including Nonsuch, multihulls, and one-design will be considered.


Participation is limited to members and their guests. Guests need to be sponsored by a member. The rationale for members sponsoring guests is that it adds an additional level of safety for all participants as conditions are frequently challenging.

DYER DHOW DERBY

VIDEOS

Off Soundings at the Mystic Seaport Dyer Dhow Derby - Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Off Soundings Club was represented by Jay Spalding (Blue Moon) and his daughter, Lisa, and son, Evan, at the annual Dyer Dhow Derby hosted by the Mystic Seaport.

The Seaport has about fifty Dyer Dhows which are used for educating sailors.  The boats are donated by various individuals and organizations, one which has been provided by the Off Soundings Club.  The Seaport recognizes the donors every fall by inviting them to participate in a derby, which includes multiple races and a post-race party.

Watch the video of the windward mark rounding

The Spaldings were awarded 3rd overall. Evan Spalding was awarded 2nd in the junior division.

 
Visually experience racing in the 2012 Off Soundings series by watching this thirty minute video, 'Passion to Race'.

Off Soundings in Motion - 2016

Passion to Race Video

In the fall of 2009, the race from New London to Greenport on Friday was abandoned due to a powerful front that had developed that morning. However, boats still had to get to Greenport via Plum Gut so they could race in Gardiners Bay on Saturday. This two minute video was taken from a boat appropriately named ... 'Dark N' Stormy'.

Not for the Faint of Heart Video - Plum Gut Passage

The series conducted in 2008 represented the 75th anniversery of the club and featured two days of excellent racing conditions. These three minute videos are rated 'thumbs-up'!

 

Spring 2008 Video

Fall 2008 Video

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




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