Greetings From the Prez
Holy crap, March already! Where has the winter gone? I barely touched the snow shovel this winter, and now the clocks are springing forward a week from Sunday, they’re playing baseball in Florida and our Spring Series kicks off in just 12 weeks. 12 weeks! Believe it or not boys and girls, it’s time to get our acts together. Consider this your courtesy horns for the 2023 season.
If you’re anything like me, you have a list of boat chores to get done before the season starts. If so, you’ll appreciate that old friend Charlie Pendleton was nice enough to write up his thoughts on off-season preparation (featured below) and how he creates and executes on his list, which is super helpful (thanks Charlie). Spoiler alert – he says you should have started months ago. Anyway, as far as I’m concerned, it’s a must-read for anyone who takes their sailing seriously. I encourage you to give it a read and then get on it.
Huge thanks to Anne Marije Veenland & Bryan Lee for hosting this year’s winter party. Their warmth and gracious hospitality was over the top, and just what the doctor ordered to thaw the frigid sub-zero temps of the previous few days, which by the way, were the coldest in decades. Attendance was good and included a nice mix of regulars as well as folks newer to the fleet. If you missed it, we’ve included a few party-pics below.
Next up will be the spring meeting on April 20th and spring clinic on May 11th. Both are previewed below, and we’ll provide more detail in the April newsletter. For now, know they will both be substantive and totally worth your time. More importantly, they give us a welcome jump on the season, an opportunity to reconnect and, as my brother Jim Raisides likes to say, “talk boat.” So circle the dates. Beyond that, we’re all working hard to scheme up ways to make the season more fun and robust. If you have any thoughts, do share.
Also coming up is MRA’s Sail 23 Cinco de Mayo Kickoff Party on May 5th, and you surely won’t want to miss that. MRA is working hard to up its game, for which we are appreciative. We’ve included a more complete MRA update below.
Finally, I’ve taken the liberty of pulling together a complete schedule of 2023 events that includes most everything you’ll need to know about the upcoming season. We’ll continually update and post it periodically. Who knows, maybe we’ll even join the 21st century and post it online as part of Elise Nash’s social media initiative (see below). For now, however, it remains draft pending publication of the final MRA calendar.
That’s it for now. Get to work on those lists!
Details on upcoming events are below, and the complete 2023 calendar, including racing and social events, is at the end of this newsletter. It also notes which race days will be included in our season championship scoring (i.e. the Cup). The calendar remains draft while we await the final MRA calendar, and pending final decisions on what will be scored, which we will discuss this at our spring meeting. But it should help you get a start on planning your season.
Spring Meeting – Thursday April 20th The spring meeting will be held at Christina & Kim Pandapas’ home on Thursday April 20th at 6:30 pm. The agenda will include an MRA update, the season’s racing schedule, scoring, and a preview of our social and special events. The fleet bar will be in attendance and hors d’oeuvres will be served.
MRA Cinco de Mayo Kickoff Party – Friday May 5th MRA is planning a kickoff party on May 5th at the Barrelman. The event will be open to “all sailors at the 3 clubs and MRA members.” Circle the date.
Spring Clinic – Thursday May 11th The first of this season’s two clinics will be held on Thursday May 11th at 7PM at the Corinthian Yacht Club. Cash bar. More details below.
Annual Snowflake Regatta The 2023 Snowflake Regatta will be held on March 18, 2023 at Cranmore Mountain in North Conway, NH. The Snowflake ski racing event is an annual fund raiser to benefit Sail Salem. This year’s event is being held in memory of Brad White, a long-time member of and contributor to our sailing community, who passed away in October. You’ll find his obituary here. There also is a ‘Snowflake Warm Up Party’ at 6pm on March 1 at Finz at 86 Wharf Street in Salem. For more info, contact Julee @ 617 335 2427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring Clinic Taking Shape Have you ever had problems getting your boat moving in light air? Conversely, are you intimidated by heavy air and consider it a win just getting around the course without sticking your spreader in the water? This year’s spring clinic will be a moderated panel discussion about succeeding in any condition, from light-and-variable to blowing stink. Topics will include boat set-up, rig tuning, sail trim, depowering tricks, upwind & downwind techniques, and so on. The format will be a moderated panel of three guys who we all can agree know what they’re talking about, including Matt Hooks, Charlie Pendleton and Evan Cooke. We are still working out the details so stay tuned. The event will be held on Thursday May 11th at 7pm in the Harbor Room at CYC. Cash bar will be provided.
Summer Clinic Also Taking Shape You’ll recall we decided to hold two clinics this year; one off-the-water and the other on-the-water. This year’s on-the-water clinic if the brainchild of Joe Fava who, as organizer, is doing all the heavy lifting. The event is two-part and will be held on Saturday July 22nd during MRA racing and include live coaching by North Sails’ Stan Schreyer, followed by video and debrief on Sunday morning. More details to come.
Social Media Initiative Update Elise Nash is working on a plan for Fleet 5 to more fully leverage social media too improve our communications. The goal is to reach more people through the platforms they spend the most time on. Sounds simple, but establishing and maintaining a dynamic presence across multiple platforms takes thought and planning, and we’re just in the early innings. Here is Elise’s quick update.
“Most of our Fleet communications are via email, and as people increasingly access info on their phones instead of their computers, we are making an effort to make our communications accessible across a variety of platforms. You may have noticed, for example, that the newsletter has been reformatted to be easier to read on your phone. We also plan to share more Fleet 5 news on our Facebook page: facebook.com/r19fleet5. (Did you know, by the way, that both the newsletters and the RTTC are available via our Facebook page and our website?)
“We also will be making a push to keep the Facebook page more up to date with announcements about upcoming Fleet events such as parties and clinics, as well as race day recaps and highlights. Got a great picture you want to share? Send potential posts to Kim or Elise at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget to like our page!”
Database Clean-Up We recently went through the Fleet 5 database to update contacts, clean out names who haven’t been involved for a while and pare down the party invite list to folks who typically go or are likely to go. The goal was to avoid spamming inboxes unnecessarily. Of course, the process was subjective and imprecise at best, and there is no guarantee we got it all right. So if you happen to read about an upcoming Fleet 5 event and are disappointed not to get an evite, let us know and we’ll fix it. Just email email@example.com.
Dave Dellenbaugh Webinars Coaching legend Dave Dellenbaugh is offering two racing webinars this spring, four sessions each. The March sessions are on sail trim and the April sessions are on tactics. If you’ve ever attended one of Dave’s seminars, you know they’re hugely valuable and totally worth doing. Register at the above links.
North U Five-Day Performance Clinics Speaking of seminars, North U is running three five-day racing clinics, including March 6th in St. Thomas, March 27th in St. Petersburgh, and April 17th in Austin Texas. Each clinic will run Monday through Friday, and include a combination of on-the-water training and races, shoreside seminars and video review helping you master all facets of racing trim, helming, spinnaker handling and tactics. You’ll find more info and registration links here.
Wind Shadows Explained In case you missed it, Sailing World editor Dave Reed leads U.S. Sailing Olympic Coach Mike Ingram through a discussion of everything you need to know about wind shadows. Definitely worth watching. You’ll find it here.
The fine folks of MRA have been working through the winter to process and resolve the issues raised last fall by the fleets, as well as to piece together what again looks to be a very aggressive harbor calendar. That calendar, by the way, includes not just all the one-design racing, but also the PHRF series and regattas, all team and match racing events, as well as sanctioned regattas (like the Star Worlds last Fall). Lots of moving parts! Thanks to this year’s chair Mark Toso and his team for their hard work pulling it all together.
Outputs that pertain to Fleet 5 include the following:
- Three Series – MRA will continue the three series format they started in 2022, in which there are five scheduled race days per series.
- Race Areas – They will continue to run two racing areas – North Line and South Line, but plan to consolidate racing lines on 5/27, 5/28, 7/8, 8/5 and 8/12.
- Fall Series – They will hold a three day fall series, presumably also from one consolidated line, but the scores will not be included in MRA season scoring.
- Scoring – MRA season scoring will include the three series (only) with trophies for each series and the overall. As they did last year, there will be no BYEs, primarily because the Clubspot scoring system doesn’t support it. However, as they did last year, there will be one throw-out for every five races sailed in a series.
- Racing Format – MRA is open to mixing things up, and requests we provide that guidance in our PRO Guide (see below).
- Communications – They are working to incorporate Clubspot as a communication tool to assess participation prior to race day, communicate cancellations and weather driven line location changes, as well as provide a crew-finder notice board. Stay tuned on this one.
- More Social – MRA is planning more social events, starting with a season kickoff party scheduled for May 5th (Cinco de Mayo) at the Barrelman. The event will be open to “all sailors at the 3 clubs and MRA members.” [Editor’s note: we wonder if there will be a tequila tasting.] MRA also is considering breaking up the MRA awards into two distinct events, and is evaluating enticements to encourage participation. [Editor’s second note: free food and beer almost always works.]
PRO Guide MRA has asked each fleet to update its PRO Guide. The Guide is a reference PROs use to give fleets the racing they want. This is our opportunity to formally request occasional race days other than the normal windward-leeward at 0.8, such as a day of 4-5 short races or a day of one long government marks race. Fleet 5’s 2022 PRO Guide is below. If you have comments, please send them to Joe Fava at firstname.lastname@example.org with a cc to Kim Pandapas at email@example.com. We will debate and finalize any changes to these instructions at the Spring meeting on April 20th.
Fleet 5 2022 PRO Guide
By Charlie Pendleton
For those newer to Fleet 5, Charlie Pendleton and racing partner Jim Raisides dominated our fleet (and class) for years before selling 1217 to Timmy Dittrich and turning to the dark side (joining the J70s). In addition to Cup wins and MRA titles, Charlie’s Rhodes 19 career (so far) includes winning five East Coast Championships (three as skipper), three Nationals and five Race Weeks (three as skipper). He obviously does a lot of things right, and preseason preparation is one of them.
In the dead of winter, with what seems like a constant blanket of gray clouds this year, it’s easy to lose sight of the warm summer and the great sailboat racing that lies ahead. In New England, we spend more months off the water than on the water so there is no reason not to be prepared by the time you’re setting out for the first race of the season. Here are some of the things that I do over the course of the winter to make sure we’re ready to go in the spring. They help keep me sane and motivated during the off-season!
Goal setting and ongoing learning
Goals are great motivators – Jim and I set goals every year. They can be simple, skill related goals like ‘being able to hold our lane after the start’ or ‘better mark roundings’, or they can be aspiration-based like ‘Place in a specific/major regatta.’ In the early off-season, Jim and I meet for a beer (or two) and review the past season while it’s still fresh in our minds. What goals did/didn’t we achieve? Where did we make mistakes? Where could we improve? These discussions serve as the foundation for our goals next season.
Don’t stop learning just because it’s too cold to sail! During the winter Jim and I share articles about rules, tactics and areas where we need to improve, etc. Trading articles and videos is good way to stay motivated and make the winter months go by a little faster.
Boat and Equipment
A good practice: Keep a running repair/replace list throughout the year and methodically work through it as you find the time. All boats need ongoing maintenance and chances are you have something in need of attention. I keep a list on my cell phone and it gets longer as we pack the boat up for the winter and get a closer look at what parts took a beating during the summer. Lines, sails, hardware, rigging, hull, trailer, sailing gear… Things break and wear down. It’s easier (and sometimes cheaper) to find parts and equipment in the winter, when you have time (and suppliers have what you need in stock). Substantial off-season discounts can be found on sails through group orders. Once the spring arrives, you’ll have far less time to focus on these things.
Schedule and crew
Jim and I meet in May each year to look at the sailing schedule and talk about what days/races/regattas we’re going to sail. Sailing on weekends and in regattas is a major commitment for you, your crew and associated families. Figure out ahead of time what regattas you are going to target and what weekends you are going to sail. Block them off in your calendar and communicate those dates to others (family, crew, work, etc.) so you don’t run into scheduling conflicts.
Build your crew network. With all of the sailing days in the calendar, you need flexibility. Build a network of alternate crew. I have a working list of crew going into each season that can sub in where necessary. It’s a good idea to have third crew available for windy days. There is nothing worse than missing a perfect Saturday because you could not find crew or it was too windy and you didn’t have a third.
Stay In Shape
Sailing a Rhodes 19 is physically demanding – much more so than most people think. I’ve come into the summer out of shape and felt it. Sore arms, sore back and muscle cramps. Weight is another consideration – Rhodes 19 sailors go to great lengths to keep their boats close to the minimum weight but that’s easily offset by the extra 5-10 lbs you might gain over the winter. Exercise! I try (try!) to work out during the off-season to keep the weight off and stay in shape. Spring sailing is cruel to those who have been lazy over the winter – August winds are kind to those that have stayed trim.
Fleet Profile – Meet The Dentons
By Christina Pandapas
For any of you who haven’t heard the story of Rich and Rosie Denton’s Rhodes 19 odyssey, it can be summed up in one word: determined. Excited to start sailing together, the couple found a rescue Rhodes two years ago in upstate New York, dragged it home and commenced with bringing it back to life.
But the gods had other plans. After an entire summer rehabbing the old girl, a tree came crashing down, crushing the boat, but not the Denton’s commitment.
Rich and Rosie both grew up sailing competitively, but they had never raced together. Living in Salem, they started researching the local fleet possibilities and landed on the Rhodes as the ideal boat. They could race it as a couple and do cocktail cruises with friends around Salem Harbor.
After recovering from a little tree PTSD, the Dentons bought Rhodes #2003 from our old friends BJ Mansfield & Michael Carpenter. We all know there is some magic in that boat. Mike & BJ raced it as a couple for a long time and racked up quite a bit of silver. Fittingly, Rich and Rosie earned some themselves in 2022 winning Fleet Five Rookie of the Year trophy.
On top of that, they had quite a performance at their first Rhodes 19 Nationals last August in Chicago. No one would believe they had only been racing together for a couple of months.
Rich sailed Optis and JY 15s as a kid, then graduated to the Nacra F18, a Dutch designed catamaran. A fan of the multihull, he also sailed a Nacra 55 with his dad.
Rosie went to The Sound School in New Haven, Connecticut where she was introduced to the New Haven Sharpie, a pretty, wooden boat with hard chines, a shallow, centerboard draft and flat bottom. Bitten by the bug, she joined the sailing team, racing JY 15s and 420s. In the off season, she jumped into the Snipe, even sailing the 2010 Snipe Nationals with her high school sailing coach in Annapolis, which also happened to be the same year she started dating Rich.
There is no doubt the two of them have strong sailing chops and enjoy competing. So, who is more competitive?
Rosie didn’t hesitate with that question – “Oh, it’s Rich, hands down!”
To his credit, Rich owned it. “I was a swimmer in college,” he said. “And played other sports too. Competing is definitely a big part of me.”
Asked about the biggest challenges so far on the Rhodes, anyone who races with a significant other can relate to Rosie’s candor on the issue of communication.
“Recognizing that when something is urgent, the tone isn’t anger or a criticism– that has been a challenge,” she admitted. “Sometimes we are both just mad about the situation, not at each other.”
Coming from a multi-hull background, Rich said sailing with a symmetrical spinnaker has taken getting used to. “Spinnaker poles and guy hooks are not something I’ve had to deal with, so we’ve been working on that whole system and getting as good as we can at it.”
Shifts, Spinnakers & Cannon Fire
Rich and Rosie both say that sailing as much as possible is a goal for this coming season. Rosie also wants to take the tiller more often so either of them can execute in a chaotic moment.
When it comes to advice for anyone new to the Rhodes, Rich says be mindful of keeping up your speed through tacks.
“You’ll find yourself spending a lot of time getting powered up again after a tack if you don’t keep the boat rolling all the way through,” said Rich. “And watch the shifts!”
“Ask the locals about the weather,” Rosie added. “We did that in Chicago and it paid off for sure.”
Catching a radical left shift off the start put Rich and Rosie in first at the top mark during one Nationals race. Having the entire fleet behind them during that race is one of Rich’s favorite sailing moments in the Rhodes. The two more than held their own for the whole regatta, finishing 7th overall.
Rosie’s favorite Rhodes experience thus far was on a beautiful summer evening sail in Salem Harbor. The schooner Fame was out with the sunset cruise crowd aboard and the Dentons tooled around near her for a while.
“Some of the people aboard had been enjoying waving to us and at one point, Fame shot off her cannons,” recalled Rosie. “It was just kind of a cool experience. I really wish we had fallen back and pretended to be hit! Moments like that – those are why we sail together.”
New Team Needs a Boat The team of Bill Colehower, Craig Todaro & Phil Walker continue working to find the right boat, either to buy or to charter. If you have a boat for sale or one to charter for the 2023 season, contact Bill at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Still Time to Get Sails North Sails’ Stan Schreyer wrote in with this: “Hello Rhodes 19 Sailors, I hope you all have had a nice winter. If you have not ordered sails for this coming season, it is not too late. Please contact me if you would like to place an order.” email@example.com.
Mainsail Needed Matt Bowser is looking for a used main. If you have a mainsail for sale, contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Boats Needed Several people are searching for boats to buy or charter. If you know of one, please contact Kim P. at email@example.com.
Crew Available Julianna Testa is looking for crewing opportunities. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Got Gripes? Got gripes or constructive suggestions? Thoughts on a recruiting prospect of how to improve our numbers? Don’t be shy. Unload at email@example.com. The buck stops here.
Winter Party Recap Just under 30 Fleet 5ers braved the cold for this year’s winter party. As expected, hosts Anne Marije Veenland & Bryan Lee (pictured below) rolled out the red carpet and made sure the fleet bar was well stocked with plenty of red on hand.
Attendees included many of the usual suspects as well as several folks newer to Fleet 5. Some of the newer folks include new skipper Marine Regnault-Stoel, Bill Colehower (pictured with Joan Thayer and Debbie Nobel), and Liza Clinton. You may recall that Marine crewed with Anne Marije last season and then purchased Team Fava/Nash’s old boat. Bill is a former Etchells sailor planning to join us this season and still looking for a boat to buy or charter. Liza will be sailing with Marine and Anne Marije this season. Liza holds the distinction of rescuing Fleet Captain Kim Pandapas from mediocrity by buying his Laser in the spring of 2021, thereby putting a merciful stake in his short Laser career.
Here are a few of the usual suspects, most of whom we presume you know, except perhaps Ulf Westhoven (second from right) who was there with his wife Emily Westhoven (not pictured), who expects to sail with Marine and/or Anne Marije and/or both. Ulf is an accomplished Laser (and blue water) sailor who we’re hoping to attract to our line sometime soon.
Finally, my favorite shot is this one of Liza and Marine, who though all smiles as the subjects of the photo, are not what makes it great. What I like about this is behind them, Steve Uhl appears to be trying to convince Christina Pandapas how big the fish was that he caught, and she apparently isn’t buying it.
Frostbiting at Courageous Anne Marije Veenland sent in these shots of Fleet 5ers and Marblehead Laser sailors frostbiting out of Courageous. “Here are a few pics of fun winter Saturdays Rhodes 19 frosting over at Courageous, including Tom Daily, Ulf Westhoven, Jean Francais Guillou, Patrick Andreasen and myself and other MHD laser sailors Liza Clinton, Chip Terry and Ed Austin (who sails with his wife Carrie).”
Caribbean Update On the Caribbean front, we heard from Seamus Houihan and Jeremy Bloxham, both spending their winters sailing around the Caribbean on their respective yachts, Thirst and Persephone. We’ll start with Seamus, who wrote in to tell us about a small mishap with his centerboard. “We broke a centerboard about a week ago. So that has changed our plans to head further south. We had hoped to get to the Grenadines. We will haul at Nanny Cay in about a month to install a replacement.” Well, that’s a complete bummer, right? Hope the rock is okay (kidding!!). Below is a shot of the ill-fated centerboard.
Seamus also included a couple of additional shots: one of Thirst taken by Bill Quigley off Virgin Gorda a few hours before the centerboard incident, and the second a view of North Sound from the iconic Hog Heaven at the top of Virgin Gorda.
Jeremy Bloxham sent in without comment this shot of a couple of impressive sailboats taken outside Nonsuch Bay on the Eastern side of Antigua – take a look. Presumably, after more than a decade of admiring his R19 sitting on its trailer in the driveway, Jeremy was shocked and perhaps a little excited to see a R19 in the wild, actually sailing. Of course, he may also have rightly had an admiring eye for the other boat in the picture.
Anne Marije Veenland wrote in to encourage us to attend the Snowflake Regatta in March. “The Snowflake is a fundraiser in support of Sail Salem which will be held in memory of Brad White. Many people in the sailing community, including our Fleet 5 community, probably knew him. We are trying of course to promote the Snowflake Regatta in general, but as Brad’s family is attending, it would be great to see as many people [as possible] come together in Brad’s memory on this March 18th ski event at Cranmore Mountain. In addition, in preparation for the Snowflake regatta, there will be a get together and a raffle held on March 1st at Finz in Salem. Everyone is invited to join.”
We got several emails in response to January ‘s newsletter. First from Matt Hooks, who wrote, “Happy New Year! I’m already looking forward to spending more time on the racecourse this year (although that’s admittedly a low bar). Also, given that we are now relocated to Marblehead, please keep us in mind when you are looking for folks to host a fleet event. It looks like you might be all set for this year, but put me on the list.” Nice to hear from you Matt. We look forward to crossing swords more often this season. And yes, you’re added to the party host list.
Tomas Hornos wrote in with this, “I find your newsletters “must read” material top to bottom, keeps me fully informed of everything going on in the harbor.” Thanks Tomas.
And her eminence Elise Nash, apparently is a fan of the new newsletter format. “Great job – love the new format. Easier to read and hopefully easier to put together. Formatting that newsletter was prob the most time-consuming part of being fleet pres.”
And speaking of Elise, she also sent in this shot from their family vacation in Florida, which appears to show their son Dylan Nash doing his best Superman impersonation. We hear he was a big splash.
Racers 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 – Call (978) 740-5950 for new sails and repairs.
Chris Small – Full restorations and glass work- firstname.lastname@example.org, (978) 500-9021.
Seacoast Specialty Marine – Call Greg Dolan at 978-255-2769, click on seacoastspecialtymarine.com, or visit on Facebook @seacoastspecialtymarine.
Neal Lewanda – Repairs, fiberglass/gel coat, rudders, keel work, etc. – email@example.com, or call 978-525-2700
Benjamin Parker operates Aequoris Yachts and does all varieties of glass work and boat repair. Contact Ben at 58 Gregory Street, Marblehead (207) 319-3583 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenny Harvey – Rigging email@example.com or (781) 631-6644
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.
Fleet 5 newsletters are distributed on the 1st of January, March, April, May and November. The Road to the Cup mailings are distributed weekly starting one week before the season with the ‘Week 0’ edition, and continuing until the end of the season, typically on Sunday mornings, unless there is racing on Sunday, in which case Monday mornings.
Fleet 5 Calendar