RACE INFORMATION AND NEWS
2015 Race Venues and Dates
Fall - New London, CT/Greenport, LI, NY - September 18-19, 2015. The closing date for entries is Thursday, August 27.
Fall Entries (online only)
Note: Entries submitted using the on-line entry form will appear on this list immediately after submission. Entries submitted via USPS will take several days to appear. If you don't see your entry listed please contact the Race Secretary.
Any questions may be directed to the Race Secretary, Anne Wilkinson
2015 Annual Dues are due. If you haven't received your invoice, you can use the attached copy or pay on-line.
Please contact our treasurer if you have any questions.
2015 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.
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.
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 Race 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
Block Island Boat Basin Update
Posted April 26, 2015
Block Island Boat Basin is now taking reservations.
Posted April 20, 2015
This announcement was posted on the BIBB Facebook page on April 20.
"Great news! The Block Island Boat Basin will indeed be open for business this season. We ask for your patience as we get our reservation system up and running over the next few days. More details will be posted here soon. Be sure to check back soon."
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
Lockwood Family Trophy
A trophy is awarded to the boat with the best performance, without penalty, in any class an having fifty percent of its crew age 30 or younger. This award will be given independently of any other award that the boat may be eligible for.
2014 Race Results
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.
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.
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.
DYER DHOW DERBY
Off Soundings at the Mystic Seaport Dyer Dhow Derby - Saturday, October
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.
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'.|
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'.
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'!