Greetings From The Prez
Spring Party!! – Sat April 9 Anne Marije and Bryan’s. We missed the winter party, but this is on like Donkey Kong! Evite coming soon.
Spring Clinic – May 12th 7-8:30pm, CYC Fantail Fleet 5 will host its annual Spring Clinic the second week in May. Read on for details of what promises to be a productive and potentially comical night.
Measurement Days – Sat/Sun May 14/15 Most boats in the fleet were measured ahead of the Nationals – however, if you have work done over the winter and need to update your certificate, let Stefan know so he can plan accordingly: email@example.com
Twilights Commence – May 26th The Twilight Series will start on May 26th, the Thursday before Memorial Day. Scoring will start June 2nd Start time for the Rhodes will be 7:06pm.
Spring Series – May 28th–29th Spring Series will kick off on the Saturday & Sunday of Memorial Day weekend.
East Coasts – June 10-12th
It’s on! Our good friends in Manchester have agreed to host the East Coast Champs yet again. Let’s start thinking about organizing a tow or two to get everyone’s boats up there.
Marblehead NOODs – July 28th-31st Hosted by BYC.
Nationals – August 16th-19th at Chicago Corinthian YC.
Elise Mazareas Nash
It’s that time of year again – the snow is melting, the days are getting longer and baseball may or may not start sometime soon. You know what that means? Time to peel back that tarp and dig out that list of all the things you were going to fix over the winter. If you need a timeline, we’ve got 10 weeks til first gun, and while that may sound like plenty of time, you can be sure it will go quickly.
I had big plans for the leadership team to meet in early January to hash out the remaining details for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, Covid, daycare closures, school vacation and work travel meant that we couldn’t meet until the beginning of March. Our recent meeting, however, was quite productive and you can read up on the details in a summary provided on page 3. One important point, which I will note here, is that while the Fleet bank account is in a comfortable place, analysis shows that in a typical year we spend more than we take in. While raising dues annually to keep up with rising costs makes sense, an important part of fixing this trend is to make sure that all of our members register for the Fleet – not just one person per boat. I won’t harp on this, but please keep this in mind when registration opens later this spring. The more fleet members that register, the lower we can keep dues.
Now onto the fun stuff. As I mentioned in January, we as a leadership team decided that trying to host the Winter Party would not be a responsible thing to do. At our last meeting the feeling that we should have a party this spring was unanimous and fortunately, Anne Marije and Bryan have offered to host a Spring Party so we can all get together and kick-start the season. Expect an e-vite from Social Chair Larry Ehrhardt shortly. Additionally, Kim has put together what promises to be a great Spring Clinic entitled “What Do You Suck At?” You may laugh, but I can guarantee a certain thing or two just popped into your mind. He has put together a panel of some of our top skippers and crews to answer your questions. Check out page 4 for a more detailed description of the clinic and what your homework is if you want to fix what ails you.
Lastly, with 10 weeks to go, now is a great time to start banking hall passes. You might think I am joking, but with East Coasts in June in Manchester, Race Week in July and then Nationals in Chicago in August, you want to make sure you don’t run out. For those of you contemplating the Nationals in Chicago – this is a must do. I have sailed this event at this venue several times and can honestly say it has worked its way up the list to one of my favorite places to sail. Great people, great conditions, and a very easy drive (get on the Pike, go west until you hit Chicago.) So, start looking into housing and make sure your trailer is road ready. It will be a great trip that will not disappoint.
Rhodes 19 National Class Membership
Have you renewed your Rhodes 19 National Class Membership yet? If not, no time like the present! Click here and do it now
Passing of friend Todd Williams
Fleet 5 was sad to hear of the passing of friend Todd Williams of Savannah’s Fleet 49 this January after a battle with cancer. I first met Todd while racing at the Nationals in Chicago, then hosted him and boatmates Amar and Paul at our house when they came to the Nationals in Marblehead in 2017. Our condolences to our friends in Savannah, Todd will be missed.
(Pictured above are Amar Patel, Todd Williams and Charlie Thomas)
Tomas Tops the Star Fleet
Back in early January, Tomas and his crew Rob Scrivenor won the Levin Cup with a score line of top three finishes. Impressive but not surprising. For more details, check out this write-up in Scuttlebutt.
Fleet 5 2022 Spring Clinic: What Do You Suck At?
In sailboat racing, we all have strengths and weaknesses – we do some things well and others less so. And it’s the weaknesses and repetitive mistakes that always seem to torpedo our races. How many positions have you lost because of that same bad start, crappy rounding, sloppy tack or slow takedown?
So where are your weaknesses? What areas of your game would you like to strengthen? Wouldn’t it be nice to ask some of our more successful sailors how they do the very things that have been slowing you down? Here is your chance. The topics discussed at this clinic will be raised by you. Your homework is to come up with 4-5 questions about areas you’d like to improve or things you consistently mess up. You can either come with a list of your questions or submit them in advance by May 8th to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Clinic Questions.”
When: Thursday May 12th, 7-8:30PM
Where: CYC Fantail
Who: Joe Fava, Matt Hooks, Stan Schreyer & Peter Frisch with Moderator Kim Pandapas
Great Harbor Rhodes Challenge
Great Harbor Yacht Club of Nantucket has invited Fleet 5 to take part in the 2nd annual GHYC Rhodes 19 Challenge on Sunday, July 31, 2022. The regatta takes place on Nantucket’s inner harbor with centerboard Rhodes 19s supplied by the Club. Friend Mike Hebert of Hingham Fleet 46 sailed this event last year plans to head back again. To reserve your spot, email GHYC Waterfront Director Emma Conway at email@example.com
Fleet 5 Leadership Team Update
The leadership team re-convened in early March to follow up on a few outstanding items from our December meeting. Below is a summary of what your fearless leaders have been up to.
Treasure David Reynolds reported the trend that we spend more than we take in each year. This is generally off-set by us hosting and event every few years in which tends to bolster our account. David has been working with Nationals Committee Finance guru Peter Sorlien, to reconcile the budgets and thanks to a mindful regatta committee – and a lot of t-shirt and raffle ticket sales – it looks like we came out in the black. While we applaud our regatta planning committees and sponsors, who make this possible, this is not really a sustainable strategy. In looking at registration data, the key take away is that Fleet registrations are low and we need to get more active members to register for the Fleet. If you sail and/or come to the parties, register for the Fleet, it’s as simple as that. The leadership team voted to raise dues $5 this year to keep up with rising costs. We have not yet opened registration for the coming season, but expect to do that soon and will provide a link in the upcoming April Newsletter.
MRA Rep and Scorer Kim Pandapas updated the team on the December 16, 2021 MRA meeting, noting that the Fleet sends its thanks to the MRA volunteers for all that they do to keep us racing. He reported to MRA the Fleet’s preferences with regard to the number of series, which was that most people are ok with the current configuration of 6-1 or shifting to 4-1, but regardless the Fleet felt that less trophies overall makes sense. Lastly, he relayed that fleet members are generally open to some variety in the fall series and again appreciate MRA’s efforts to keep us racing. On the scoring front we are waiting for the Official MRA calendar to be published and then will sort out how byes will work, noting the goal of encouraging people to sail the East Coast Champs in June and the Nationals in August.
Measurer Stefan Thibodeaux was happy to report that he and his team of volunteers were able to get almost all of our fleet boats measured in for the Nationals, which is fantastic.
If you had work done over the winter, however, please reach out to Stefan at firstname.lastname@example.org and set up a time for him to update your measurement certificate.
He has currently set aside the weekend of May 14-15 to remeasure boats, so touch base with Stefan and make sure your boat is legit before the Memorial Day Regatta and more importantly, East Coasts in early June.
Webmaster Nat Taylor noted that he would like to collect and incorporate more pictures in our digital media. We will be setting up a photo archive associated with the Fleet google account, so if you have any pics to share, please send them to Nat at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. See this month’s Mail bag for a few gems from John Casler.
All important Social Chair Larry Ehrhardt has been finalizing dates and party hosts for the 2022 Season. While we don’t have everything nailed down yet things are shaping up as follows:
- Spring Party: Saturday April 9th, Hosted by Anne Marije and Bryan
- Summer Party: Saturday June 18th, Hosted by Kim and Christina
- Raceweek Party: Thursday July 28th, Hosted by Steve and Jennifer
- Labor Day Party: Saturday Sept 3rd, Possible joint party with the J-70’s, Host TBD
- Awards Party: Likely Saturday October 22nd or Saturday November 5th, Host TBD
Larry will be sending out an e-vite with the details for the upcoming Spring Party at Anne Marije and Bryan’s house, on Saturday April 9th, so keep an eye out for that. Look forward to seeing everyone then!
How To Be Your Own Coach
2022 Spring Clinic Preview
By Kim Pandapas
In sailboat racing, we all have strengths and weaknesses. We do some things well and others less so, and it’s the weaknesses and repetitive mistakes that always seem to torpedo our races. How many positions have you lost because of that same second-row start, crappy rounding, terrible tack or slow takedown? Do you repeatedly miss shifts because you like how the boat is going? Do you foul people on port crossings because you’re not looking and thinking ahead. Sailing is about getting the details right. Jud and Tomas get the details right almost all the time, while most of the rest us do not. How do they do it?
The problem is that most of us revel in the things we do well, and seldom work on the things that need it. Worse yet, if we do work on them, a lot of us often fall into the trap of simply practicing the same flawed approach over and over, ingraining the mistakes into our psyche, and forever cementing them into our game. Why do we hoist the chute that way? Because that is how we hoist it, right? Forget about the fact that it goes up slower than everyone else, gets wrapped a lot and seldom starts pulling until you’re 4-5 boat lengths from the mark. Rarely do we ask ourselves, “is there a better way to do this?”.
In his iconic book Sail, Race & Win, the late, great Eric Twiname (one of the greatest racing writers ever) encouraged us to embrace the role of being our own coach by enforcing two disciplines. The first was to figure out our weaknesses, and the second was to come up with systematic ways of strengthening them.
For the first part, he suggested creating two lists. The first, a list of ten things we do poorly, and the second a list of ten things we least like to do. He further insightfully observed that many of the same things would be on both lists. Big surprise, right? You don’t like doing something so you don’t practice it, and in turn, don’t do it well. So he advocated using this straightforward method to identify the things we need to work on.
As to the second, he suggested an approach that I’ll call ‘break it to fix it.’ The idea is to take something you’re not doing well and break it apart into its component parts, rethink each step, and then reassemble. Like a pianist working out the fingering of a difficult passage, he suggests we practice each component separately, then put them together and practice them, slowly at first, and then
gradually speed them up until they become fluid. Break it to fix it. He also, by the way, advocated using low stakes Saturday club racing as practice days to work on this stuff.
By way of example, I use to be petrified of starting at the boat (so many bad things can happen there), and as a result, I sucked at it. I lost several regattas on the last race because both the boat and the right were favored, so you simply had to start there to have a chance. But I just couldn’t bring myself to go mix it up, taking the more conservative mid-line approach and settling for 2nd. So about ten years ago, I decided to fix that. With a little wisdom from my old buddy Ken Cormier, who gave me a fresh framework for thinking about boat starts, I rethought the timing and approach, and then practiced it for an entire season. You heard me – I started at the boat on virtually every MRA race for an entire season – and that solved the problem. I’m not suggesting that I’m a great boat starter, because I’m not – I still get smoked from time to time. But the point is that it’s no longer a weakness and I can usually pull it off when I have to (I may have even picked your pocket once or twice).
So where are your weaknesses? What are the things hanging up your game? What are five things you’d like to improve this year? My guess is that you can list five without even thinking about it. But if not, try creating the two lists and see what you come up with.
The Spring Clinic on May 12th is your opportunity to strengthen the weaknesses in your game. It will start with your putting together your list and then showing up prepared with at least 4-5 questions. We have assembled a panel of four of Fleet 5’s successful skipper and crew who will fill the role Ken Cormier did with me by sharing approaches and other ways of thinking about it. This will be your chance to hear how some of our best sailors do the very things you’d like to do better.
The format will be a moderated panel. I’ll moderate and the panelist will include skippers Joe Fava and Matt Hooks, and crews Stan Schreyer and Peter Frisch. The rest of the details are elsewhere in this newsletter. I look forward to seeing you there.
Rhodes 19 Fleet 5 Profile: Walter Colsman
By Christina Pandapas
Walter Colsman got his start in Rhodes crewing for his father Eckart who purchased hull #2561 nearly 40 years ago. Sadly, Eckart passed in 2020, but he would surely be proud of his family’s Rhodes sailing legacy — now three-generations strong. Walter and his daughter, Grace, hit the starting line all summer long with an occasional guest appearance by Walter’s son, Matthew. Read on to find out about some of Walter’s magical sailing experiences, as well as a few not-so-magical moments.
What was the first boat you ever sailed?
The first extensive sailing I ever did was on the Lightning my father Eckart and brother Eric purchased together, “Gull’s Rest.” We sailed for about 7 years in the Marblehead fleet. As the Lightning fleet dwindled, the Rhodes fleet was growing. An unnamed Nor’easter led Gull’s Rest to end up on the rocks next to Pleon, and so ended our Lightning days.
How long have you been sailing Rhodes? Why did you start sailing Rhodes?
Eckart had long admired the Rhodes as having the same rig as the Lightning but beamier and with the keel of course far more forgiving on those windy days. We had already had many a discussion with Rhodes experts like Charlie Loutrel. So, my father purchased #2561, aka “the Orange Boat” in 1983. I was in high school at the time.
Where did the name “Tahoot” come from?
When my parents, brother and I were in Europe we found ourselves in Paris watching street performers outside of the Deux Magot. One magician, to get a rabbit out of the hat, would energetically exclaim “Tahoot! Tahoot! Tahoot!” which was far more entertaining than “Hocus Pocus” for sure. We thought that Tahoot sounded perky and hopefully would also transfer some magic into our racing!
Tahoot famously used to be a somewhat faded, impossible to match in gel-coat orange. (Pretty hard to miss.) My father had her painted white, and we have never been called over the line since! 😉
How long have you been sailing with your daughter?
Christopher never took to sailing, perhaps due to that MRA “light air day” I took him out on that turned into 20 knots on the starting line! Matthew was up next, and he sailed with me more regularly and still does occasionally. Grace seems to enjoy sailing even more, starting when she was about 9. Now that she is 12, she will have the physical strength to handle more on the boat. She is a natural on the helm, though, and can be opinionated, so she may end up driving this summer we’ll see!
What is your favorite non-sailing activity?
Summers sure are busy with sailing and tennis while I also maintain a substantial garden, generally around 30 tomato plants, zucchini, etc. etc.
What do you do for work?
I am CEO of BrightSpec, a life science tools company.
What is your most memorable sailing moment?
Too many moments. Horizon-jobbing the fleet on the first race of Nationals in Rockport in the early 90s sure felt great! Probably the most fun ever were the tacking duels we used to have with Nick Nichols on the last beat into the harbor during twilight races. In the earlier years the RC seemed to be much less sensitive to weather. I recall observing lightning strike Halfway Rock while sailing by… and the last race day of Nationals survival sailing in high gusts and crazy high seas. What were we thinking?
Outside of the Rhodes, I was honored to sail on the Spirit of Massachusetts’s maiden voyage to Maine in 1985 as one of two CYC members commemorating our centennial.
It was quite a feeling to steer her while on night watch and humbling to think such a vessel was manned by far fewer sailors – where we slept would have been full of fish!
What is the biggest bonehead thing a crew of yours has ever done during a race and what is the biggest bonehead thing you’ve done during a race? (This ended up being a combined incident)
Also too many moments. I have plenty better ones I’m sure, but recency bias will point me to last season when the halyard
was improperly attached to spinnaker. Frustrated with crew, I pulled… and pulled…. Surely I should have realized the resistance was far too little, but nope, I took the halyard up to the top! Worse though, I climbed the mast and fetched it. That was not smart at my age – I don’t recommend it!
What’s the best tip you could give someone who is sailing a Rhodes for the first time?
I think everyone will say “When in doubt, let it out,” is the cardinal rule and boat speed is more important than pointing. It is vital to consistently maintain boat speed while in clear air as much as possible.
What book are you reading?
Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker
John Casler sent in some great photos from his first season with 1775, in 1977, along with this picture of Independence and Courageous sparring off Marblehead.
“The title of this year’s Hasty Pudding show is “Ship Happens.” I guess that gets the gist of it. The Independence Courageous photo was taken on my second sail on 1775. Ted Hood and Ted Turner were swapping boats back and forth. I forget who was to have first choice once the testing off Marblehead was finished, but Turner took Courageous down to Newport and wound up sweeping the Aussies four straight. At one point during the sail shown in the photos, one of the Teds, I forget which, took his opponent, both on port, up into the spectator fleet, which was on starboard, laughing all the way. Jim Taylor was, I’m pretty sure, on one of the twelves.”
Can you name these handsome gents?
Bonus points if you can guess the event and year!
1977 On the Road Rhodes 19 trailer – New, upgraded axle and tires, including spare (2018). Some rust. Interested? Contact Mike Lane at email@example.com
Rhodes 1475 for sale – Many of you probably know the boat – Wootzl – Fred’s old boat. Sail #1475(?). The hull number is 408229. It’s reported that the main, jib and spinnaker are all in good condition. It comes on a trailer. There are a number of accessories that come with the boat as well. The boat will take some LOVE to get it to racing standards but it’s an “opportunity.” Asking $4,000. If you know of anyone looking who may be interested, please direct them to Jim Norgaard. (508) 277 6167 firstname.lastname@example.org
Clear Out Those Old Sails – Reclaim all that space in your garage, attic or sail locker. Please consider a tax-deductible donation of your old sails to either Sail Salem at www.sailsalem.org or Courageous at www.courageoussailing.org.
Nahant Fleet Needs Sails – The Nahant Sailing Program (NSP) has 6 Rhodes 19s that are used to teach kids and a twilight program for adults. The majority of funding comes from an annual fund raiser by The Friends of Nahant Sailing. The Rhodes sails need replacement, so if you have or are purchasing new sails, please consider donating your old ones to “The Friends of Nahant Sailing.” Not only will it help the program grow, but the donation is tax deductible. Please contact Bob Cusack at (781) 581-1159 or email@example.com if you are interested.
Savanah Fleet Looking for Sails – The Savannah Fleet is interested purchasing used sails. Our boats are not looking to compete at a national level but our club racing is very competitive and we want to refresh the sail inventory. If you know of any of your members that are looking to purchase new sails and looking for a partner to reduce their overall cost, we would be very interested in sails that are in good shape. Please contact Doug Powelson, Captain, Fleet 49 at firstname.lastname@example.org or 912-665-5485
Looking for Sails – Chad Atwood writes: Where can a person find a nice set of recreational sails for my Rhodes 19. Thanks, Chad Atwood: 443-995-6773 or email@example.com
Please mail postings and updates to firstname.lastname@example.org
Racer’s Resource Board
Dave Whittier of Stuart Marine in Rockland Maine is the exclusive builder of Rhodes 19s. Call Dave at 207-594-5515 for pricing on new boats, used boats, repairs and parts.
Doyle Sails at (978) 740-5950 for new sails and repairs.
Chris Small – Full restorations and glass work- email@example.com, (978) 500-9021.
Neal Lewanda – Repairs, fiberglass/gel coat, rudders, keel work, etc. – firstname.lastname@example.org, 978-525-2700
Benjamin Parker of Aequoris Yachts and does glass work and boat repair. Contact Ben at 58 Gregory Street, Marblehead (207) 319-3583 or email@example.com.
Waterline Systems provides a complete range of services. Call at (401) 682-1661.
Cape Cod Shipbuilding makes Zephyr extrusions and a full range of mast and boom hardware and fittings. Call Dick Landis at (508) 295-2240.
The Trailer Shop – Located on 87 High St. in Danvers for any trailer repairs. Call Dan Sullivan at (978) 750-6799
Sailor’s Tailor www.sailortailors.com for boat covers, rudder bags and marine stitching.
The next Fleet 5 Newsletter will be published in April. Newsletters are distributed by email. To request being added to (or removed from) Fleet 5’s distribution list, please contact Elise Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org To respond with comments, suggestions, and/or news, email Elise Nash at email@example.com