A Publication of the Inland Lake Yachting Association
Volume 4, Issue 5

May 18, 2009 

In This Issue
Regatta results
Starts - how to do it
Club Delegate
I-20 and M-16 Regatta
Time for TRAP
ILYA Office

Melges Performance Sailboats

North One Design
Money at A
Join the ILYA
Register for Dues

 The spring air is barely in the 60's and scow regatta events are popping up everywhere. The whole gamut Opti to E's have hit the water. Read on for event results:
Optis Attend Team Trials 
 Ben Garber (Minnetonka) and Malcolm Lamphere (Geneva) top the list of Midwest sailors who qualified for traveling teams at the recent USODA Optimist Team Trials. Ben will become part of the North American team traveling to the Dominican Republic. Malcolm will travel to Slovenia as part of the European Team. Ben finished 12th and Malcolm 13th in the CT qualifying event. Pewaukee's Augie Dale was named to the national developmental team as was Geneva's Alex Vasiliou. Click here for full results.
X Sail in the Spring 
The youth fleet is preparing for the Summer at Gull. It began up north with the Harriet regatta.
addy at Harriet
Addy Ferguson topped the eight-boat fleet in the five-race regatta at Harriet. Second was Vince Dreissen and local favorite Eddie Cox was third. Full results here.
The southern circuit went to Pewaukee for the first Tune-up. Nicholas Clemence was tough with a 1-1-1. Andy Colombe has returned to Pewaukee and posted a DNS -2-2. It should be a great year of racing on Pewaukee. Click here for full results.
Vincent and RJ Porter top Melges 17 Geneva Regatta
by Andy Burdick 
The Melges 17 Class continues to put on fun events! Twenty boats participated in the annual Spring Championship on Lake Geneva this past weekend. Boats came from as far away as South Carolina, Colorado, Florida. Day one brought a battle between Vincent Porter and Bill Wiggins in ideal Melges 17 conditions, 10-18mph.  On the final day the fleet had much of the same conditions wise as they raced in as much as 20mph in the final race.  6 races overall decided the champion. Vincent Porter beat out Jim Hilgard for the championship. Vincent had RJ Porter crewing for him. The ILYA Championship is on Minnetonka this summer and the teams are gearing up for this important regatta. For more Melges 17 information and an official class photo gallery go to
C boaters are winners at early season regattas
Click here for Springfield, Cedar WI and IN, Michigan Mother's Day and the Midwinters. Look for LaBelle to be up soon. The Road Warrior points are mounting up as we speak. The National C site has fine articles describing in detail the events.
E boaters have Charleston and Geneva under the belt
 Most of you are not surprised to hear Andy Burdick won another event. It's just the way he did it! With a no-race regatta, the Geneva regatta chairs held a drawing to determine who would receive the trophies. And can you believe it! Burdick even wins this way!! He is always a champion. The Charleston and Midwinter results are posted here.
MC regattas
The spring scoring season began with Pewaukee, Harriet, Cedar, WI and Okauchee in Inland country. The fleet looks healthy as numbers are holding in the spring events. The MC class is working to attract juniors with free dues to the national class. Check out their site to see the widespread sailing throughout the SE. Click here for spring results.
M-16's, I-20's and A's
The ILYA M-16 Championship will be held on Cedar, WI in conjunction with the I-20 Invitational. Cedar is the place for the I-20s as they began sailing this weekend on Cedar, IN. The A's and C's hold national championships in June on Oshkosh and Pewaukee, respectively. 
Youth instructor CPR
 Both Pewaukee and Geneva will offer CPR classes for sailing school instructors. US Sailing requires cerfication in CPR annually and first aid biennially. Contact Kevin Jewett for the Geneva June 7th course or Augie Barkow for the Pewaukee recertification course which is tonight.
The Anatomy of a Good Start by Greg Fisher
Reprinted from the Flying Scot newsletter, Scots 'n Water
All Flying Scot sailors appreciate the importance of a successful start.  When combined with excellent boat speed, a good position off the line almost always leads to a good position at the finish as well. Consistent starting comes from following a script or game plan that makes the whole starting procedure very mechanical.  Armed with a plan, wherever you start on the line, whatever the breeze, your step-by-step approach (when combined with the proper timing) will make hitting the front-row start with speed much easier to consistently attain.
What determines a good start?
A good start simply means you've gotten off the line with good speed so that you are able to take advantage of the first shift. It's cool to be able to blast off the line leading by a boat length or two and be able to "look back" at the fleet over your shoulder.  However, if there's just one boat hanging on your weather hip and you can't tack on the first header as a result, the beautiful start is truly wasted.

Where do you start?
As we know, the race committee's goal is to set a line perpendicular to the wind so that, no matter where on the line the fleet starts, no one boat has an advantage.  However, as we also know, the wind almost always shifts - usually at the last minute. If the line is fairly short and/or favored by 5 degrees or less, then the advantage of starting closer to the favored end isn't nearly as great.  However, if starting in a 50-boat fleet or on a line favoring one end by 15 to 20 degrees, then starting closer to the favored end becomes more advantageous.  I emphasize closer, as it can be very risky to start right at the favored end; there is almost always serious traffic, all trying to get off the line right at that spot.  Instead, starting a third of the way up or down from the favored end is much less risky and can make it easier to get off the line. Remember, it is the angle of the wind relative to the starting line that determines which end is favored.  Unless the course to the first mark is way off square to the wind and badly skewed, the course to the first mark shouldn't have any effect as to where you should start.
While there are several different methods for checking which end is favored, unless I am sailing in a small fleet or on a small inland lake, I prefer to use the compass. If the line is short and the number of boats is small, heading into the wind and noting which end of the line the bow is pointing closer towards will tell which end is favored. However, on longer lines with more boats and in more extreme conditions (very light or very heavy winds), the compass is much more accurate. With this method, simply take a compass heading sailing down the line and compare it to your head-to-wind reading. If different from 90 degrees (which tells us if the line is square), not only do we know which end is favored but also by how much.  In addition, once you have the line compass bearing, you can double-check which end is favored anywhere (and away from all the traffic on the line) by heading into the wind.

Your Approach
While many sailors develop a series of different Approaches that they can draw on for starts in different conditions in different size fleets and for different positions on the line, I find it most beneficial to use just one approach for every start.  Therefore, I know exactly how I'll set up, no matter where I want to be on the line.  The only variable becomes the timing. Of the different approaches to the start, it seems that the most common are the starboard luffing (where boats line up several lengths below the line several minutes before the start) and the port tack approach, which is my favorite.
With the port tack approach, you approach on port tack a boat length or two below the bulk of the fleet (most of whom will be luffing on starboard).  Depending on the breeze, the waves, and the size of the fleet, the port tack "approacher" will look for and tack into a hole on the line sometime close to one minute before the gun.  In some ways this approach may seem a bit gamey, since you are sailing on port tack towards a rather massive group of starboard tackers.  However, remember that one of the goals of the starboard tack boats luffing on the line is to develop a hole to leeward.  If this hole is big enough and left open, it can easily be taken by a port tacker.  What if there isn't a nice hole at the spot where you want to tack?  In that case, you probably wouldn't want to start in that developing pileup of boats anyway.  Instead, sail on down the line a bit further until a more inviting hole opens up.

One of the keys to a successful port tack approach is the tack into the vacant hole.  This tack should be slow and controlled so that, once around and onto starboard, your bow would be slightly ahead of the boat to weather.  The speed after the tack should be slow, so that immediately you are in a position to become the leeward controlling boat.  This is one of the major differences between the starboard and port tack approaches.  During the port tack approach, you are attacking the starboard boat's position while they are trying to defend. Obviously, the starboard tack boat will not just sit and wave you on into the hole they have been working hard to create.  They should defend by bearing off towards you as you approach and eyeball a tack into the hole below them.  If the hole is small, or if the tack from port to starboard becomes rushed, the port tacker most likely will become discouraged with that spot and sail on down the line.  Remember that the starboard tacker can't force the port tacker into a foul.  Once the port tacker has completed his tack, the starboard tack boat must begin to assume the port tacker has now become the leeward boat with rights. However, the main point here is to choose the approach that suits you and your team best.  Use it all the time and you'll eliminate a lot of variables.
Your Timing
So once we know how we'll approach the line, the remaining variable becomes the timing.  Practice your timing in that 5 or 10 minutes before the start.
For example, when I set up with the port tack approach, I nearly always determine how long it takes to get from the leeward-end pin to my spot "of choice" on the line.  I sail back and forth several times in order to determine just how long it takes and then add 10 seconds for the tack.  Usually we try to complete our tack onto starboard by 55 or 60 seconds before the start.  If we know it took 40 seconds to get to that spot, we leave the pin with 1:45 left before the start.
Maintain your position
Once in position, it is important that you quickly take control of your hole and the boat to windward.  This doesn't demand any sort of attack that requires the use of the rule book.  This just requires that you maintain a position where your boat can block the windward boat from trimming in (and accelerating) before you do.  Position your boat so your bow is just slightly ahead of the windward boat's bow and your course is just above close-hauled with your sails luffing.  Maintain a boat's width or just slightly less between you and the weather boat.  If the weather boat begins to trim and accelerate, then trim, head up, and slow him down.  He'll have to head up to keep clear.

At the same time, you'll want to work hard to stay off the boat to leeward.  Keep constant watch as to the leeward boat's position and speed.  If they accelerate and sail higher towards you, react and do the same to maintain a safe distance...hopefully as much as 2 to 3 boat widths.  This hole to leeward is key in allowing you to sail slightly below close-hauled, in first gear, right off the line in order to accelerate after the gun.

Distance from the Line
Some sailors use a line sight to help them determine their position on the line.  They sight an object on shore through either the leeward end of the line or the committee boat so they can gauge the distance off the line. However, personally I find that, in the last 10 to 15 seconds, our placement relative to the line of boats around us is most important.  We especially watch the two or three boats to windward of us and always try to maintain the same bow-out position we've held throughout the entire starting approach.  If any boat above us trims and begins to accelerate, we must trim immediately and match its speed--no matter where they are on the line and regardless of the time before the gun.  If these boats get the jump and end up on our wind after the gun, our start is a sure failure!

One tip we have found helpful is how to slow the boat down when we find ourselves dangerously close to being over the line before the gun.  Our instinct tells us to turn down the line away from the line.  However, we are burning up our valued hole to leeward.  In fact, we are accelerating right into it!  Instead, try heading up to near head-to-wind.  The boat will slow down more quickly and we'll buy more time and save distance to the line.  Most important, we're saving our hole to leeward and closing the distance to windward.

Your teammates call the shots!
Crew communication is paramount to a good start.  We divide all the responsibilities on our boat so that, in the last 15 seconds, I am simply steering the boat when and where the crew indicates.  The jib trimmer (if we're sailing with three) will keep track of the line and our position relative to the boats to weather.  He has control of our final timing and will dictate exactly when to pull the trigger.  The middle person not only keeps the time but also looks aft and to leeward for boats approaching late on port or behind and low on starboard.  Our boat is anything but quiet in these last seconds, but this constant influx of information allows the driver to concentrate just on boat speed.

Boat Speed
Especially for the first minute after the start, boat speed is imperative.  Fight the urge to point the boat as high as possible (no pinching!) until the boat has sailed through all the gears and is at top speed.  In fact, trimming the sails too tight too quickly is a common mistake many of us make.  If the sails are trimmed right to the close-hauled position before the boat has the time to sail through the gears, the boat will load up and almost slide sideways.  Talk about burning up the hole to leeward!
Bail out when it's time!

Unfortunately it is inevitable that at some point we'll have that ugly, bad start.  It is in this situation that the crew's input can mean the most.  Quick thinking and input on the part of your teammates can help you find a way out and a new lane up to weather.  It is key to be proactive and begin a new plan as soon as the old one has failed.  Bail out!

Good luck and successful starting!
Note:  Greg can be reached at 410-212-4916 or
Who is your club delegate?
gowrie  Commodore Prange is trying to locate a delegate from each club to establish a communication link to assure club members are receiving full benefits of the Inland Lake Yachting Association. Do you know each member of your club, ILYA member or non-member, is invited to receive Scowlines? Your club is entitled to free publication of regattas and results. Our RC members often provide training or serve as a resource for RC questions. In addition, the ILYA needs YOUR input to lead and direct us. Please ask if your club has designated a club delegate to Jim Smith. Special communication from Commodore Prange is forthcoming.
1382 sailors received Scowlines last week. This includes Okauchee and White Bear sailors who joined the subscription list as part of the benefits of belonging to the ILYA. Ask your club members if they would like to read Scowlines. Have your delegate forward those names to Scowslants. 
 I-20 ILYA Invitational - M-16 ILYA Championship
June 20th-21st
by Rick Trester 
The late entry deadline is approaching for your regatta at Cedar Wisconsin. The ILYA has offered a couple of wayS to sail at a reduced or no entry fee. If you have never sailed in an ILYA event your entry fee is free. For your Championship regatta if you are under 25 you only have to pay 50% of the regular entry fee. So, the M-16's can take advantage of both of these programs and the I-20's can participate in the under 25 program. To take advantage of either of these programs you need to register before the late entry fee deadline of June 4th.
Cedar is also offering limited housing to sailors who register early. It is available on a first come first served basis. We also allow camping on our grounds. All boats will be dry sailed at this event. No buoy's or taxi's.
For the M-16's this is a great chance to come back to one of the original M-16 lakes and for the I-20's it is a great opportunity to sail on a new venue and introduce your fleet to a new lake.

Come for a great time on a great lake.
Register at:

Contact Rick Trester at or 262-644-8398 with any questions.

 Donation brings in Scott Norman 
by Augie Barkow 
Thanks to a generous MN youth supporter, Geneva, Pewaukee and Minnetonka will be the sites of instructional evenings to instructor coaches, parents and sailors on the intricacies of kinetics and the rules governing movement on the water.
The ILYA is hosting a set of pre season clinics for Optimist coaches parents to prepare for the summer ahead.  Scott Norman is flying in from the East Coast in order to run the clinics with Instructors as they prepare for summer.  The first Clinic will be held at Pewaukee YC on June 8th, starting at 10AM and running through 4 in the afternoon.  The clinic will  involve classroom, and on the water training and Scott will utilize the USODA's large catalogue of video footage to work with our instructors.   That evening Scott will host another clinic for parents and program directors unable to attend the day's session.  This program will stay on shore utilizing video footage to educate and  enlighten involved parents, program directors, judges and coaches of the limits and specificity of Rule 42 and how it  applies to Optimist sailing.  This session will run from 7-9PM.
Scott will then host an identical set of clinics for the northern ILYA crowd out of the Minnetonka YC.  He will host the evening clinic Tuesday June 9th from 7-9 and continue on with the instructor clinic on Wednesday the 10th from 9-3 PM. Scott will be returning to the GLSS Dinghyfest regatta to work directly with sailors and instructors during the summer as well.l 
Our  goal with these clinics is not only improving the level of instruction across the ILYA Optimist fleet but to also encourage Corinthian competition and the ability for sailors to police themselves while racing in our events.

 Please make these clinics a priority for yourselves and your instructors as you prepare for the summer sailing season.  They will be very beneficial. RSVP to Augie Barkow at or Gordy Bowers at to help them prepare lunches for those attending during the day programs.

 See you there...
 ILYA Youth Committee
It is hard to believe that the TRAP registration CLOSES in just 3 weeks, but that is the case!  I know everyone is busy with end of the year projects, exams, field trips, ice breakers and the like, but it would really be a shame if some of your sailors didn't make the deadline.  PLEASE make sure you get the word out to your fleet.  If you are not the one responsible for this, will you let me know the e-mail address of the representative on your lake?  Thanks!

There is still room in each the Junior and Senior fleets and we have a GREAT regatta planned.  For those of you who have not heard, Olympian Sally Barkow will be our Head Coach and Mike Foster from "Kattack" will be here showing off his totally AWESOME sailing instructional and training program! 

All necessary forms are available at  Please call me or send me an e-mail with any questions or concerns you may have!  I know this is going to be a great week!!

Thank you for getting the word out!  I look forward to A LOT of mail in the coming days!!

Margaret Hollister
PO Box 311
Fontana, WI 53125-0311
Phone: 262-203-7721
Fax: 262-203-7722
To submit articles, send to Candace Porter
Inland Lake Yachting Association website, click here.
To contact Executive Secretary Jim Smith, click here.

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