Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!

Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta Raises Nearly $10K!
Fund raising competitors in the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta.

Seattle Yacht Club hosted the first ever Seattle Junior Leukemia Cup Regatta on Sunday, May 21st. Fifteen SYC junior sailors stepped up and collectively raised nearly $10,000 to help cure blood cancers. We sailed the V15s on Portage Bay and we had great weather, with sunshine and plenty of wind and had an all around great time. Kit Stoll won the top fundraiser award, raising over $2,000 and also won top skipper. Luke Gibbons won top crew. A big shout out to our coach Cam Hoard who volunteered his Sunday to run the regatta. Thanks to all of the SYC junior sailors who participated and did such a great job fundraising. We are all excited to make this an annual event at SYC and are looking forward to raising even more money next year.  Join the fight to beat blood cancers! – Owen Timms

Ed. Note: Thanks Owen and Seattle YC for putting this together and showing that the youth of today have it figured out, doing good and building community while having a great time. And for placing sailing front and center. 

SYC Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta

Owen Timms, an up and coming force on the Laser scene already, is behind the Seattle Yacht Club Leukemia Cup Junior Regatta, which will take place in Portage Bay at the Seattle Yacht Club on Sunday. For more information and registration check out this page. For Owen’s fundraising page, go here. We’ll try to get info on the regatta and fundraising next week.

Bruce’s Weather Brief for May 13-14, Mother’s Day and SYC Vashon Island Race

Bruce’s Weather Brief for May 13-14, Mother’s Day and SYC Vashon Island Race

It certainly won’t exactly be the nicest of weekends but Sunday will be the better of the two days. The problem is a very persistent upper-level low-pressure system which is just not moving very much and will keep cool, unstable air coming ashore all weekend. Take a look at the attached Langley Doppler from this afternoon and then compare it to tomorrow morning before you head out.

For now, check the current surface chart and the current 500MB chart to get a feel for what is actually going on. As you can see from tomorrow’s chart, the surface gradient will have opened up and the remains of a weakened frontal system will be approaching the coast. The really cool feature about that chart is the Pacific High which is looking very summer like. About the right pressure, 1040 MB, and in very much the right place. The only problem may be that this is a little early in the summer cycle for this to be occurring. If however, Comanche were starting TransPac tomorrow, she would absolutely blitz the record. We’ll see.

The models have come together nicely for tomorrow so we’ll roll the dice and put this out there. As always, check all your resources before you leave the house tomorrow morning. Cool, unstable air coming ashore doesn’t make for a tremendously accurate forecast.

Tidal Currents

West Point

0618      Slack

0800      Max ebb                .43 knots

1042      Slack

1606      Max flood             1.14 knots

1924      Slack

Narrows north end

0700      Slack

1118      Max ebb                3.98 knots

1430      Slack

1654      Max flood             3.95 knots

2054      Slack

There should be enough wind to allow the Vashon Island Race to start on time which is about an hour after max ebb, we still need to remember that the ebb will extend because of the amount of rain today and what will be flowing out of the Duwamish. There will probably still be a localized SE breeze at Shilshole, however at West Point it will probably be time to think about getting to the west anticipating a shift to the WSW as the day goes on.

As usual, in these conditions, it may get a bit fluky from the north end of Vashon to Pt. Robinson where, if we’re lucky, the WSW will finally start to build to 8-12 knots. You’ll want to be careful to not get too close to the Vashon shore as the wind will be coming over the Island and may not touch down until well offshore. At the bottom end of the Island stay out a ways to avoid the eastward flowing current that pretty much always run there. Get into the ebb up Colvos Passage and don’t get too close to either shore. Drivers and spinnaker trimmers will be working very hard all the way up Colvos. This will not be “Miller time”.

From the north end of Colvos to West Point, the wind will probably back from the SW to the S so you’ll need to anticipate the gybe and your approach to the finish. Watch gybing in north of West Point as this can get light from West Point to the Ship Canal.

For those of you going cruising this weekend, no real major issues of too much breeze except in the eastern end of the Straits and the San Juan Islands in the early Sunday morning hours when you should be at anchor. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of scope out and plenty of room to swing.

Have a great weekend and do something nice for mom!

Seattle Yacht Club Awarded for Excellence in Sailing Instruction from US Sailing

Seattle Yacht Club Awarded for Excellence in Sailing Instruction from US Sailing
The 2016 SYC Instructors

As we cover kids sailing programs around the region, lest we not forget SYC’s longstanding, outstanding program. Operating from SYC on Portage Bay, its Optis, Lasers, Vanguard 15s and 420s are a common sight as one drives on the 520. For more information, check out the brochure.

Sailing Director Brian Ledbetter was eager to share the news that his team earned some well deserved recognition from US Sailing. Here’s the scoop:

On behalf of the Seattle Yacht Club, Angela Frost and Cameron Hoard accepted the Captain Joe Prosser Award for Excellence in Sailing Instruction at the 2017 U.S. Sailing National Symposium. Angela is the Sailing Programs Coordinator at Seattle Yacht Club, and Cameron is the Junior Race Team coach.

Cameron and his Optis

This award is given to an organization that has demonstrated Excellence in Sailing Instruction, and has made an exemplary contribution toward improving the quality and safety in the training or instruction of sailors.

Cameron Hoard and Angela Frost accepting the award.

In addition to the trophy, a $500 credit, also funded by U.S. Sailing’s Training Committee, will be awarded annually to the selected program for Instructor Training. The Captain Joe Prosser Award was created to recognize the life achievement of the Merchant Marine Academy’s first sailing master. Nominees for the award may be organizations which are either “for-profit” or “not-for-profit”; and may be engaged in sailing instruction on a part-time or full-time basis. Nominees shall embody the characteristics of honor, integrity, and a selfless dedication to the sport.

Congratulations to the Seattle Yacht Club and the Junior Sailing and Racing programs for winning this prestigious award.

Congratulations, gang. One of the encouraging things that I’m seeing is that not only are there several different programs to suit different sailing communities, these organizations often pitch in on regattas together to give the kids the best experience possible.

If your junior program has a story to tell, please send it my way.

Bruce’s Brief for the Smith Island Race

Bruce’s Brief for the Smith Island Race

This is the start of SYC’s Tri-Island Series and it is once again going to be interesting. As you can see from the Saturday morning chart we have a weak ridge of high pressure that developed over the area today after a weak front passed through this morning. The rule for the Pacific Northwest is that the first day that ridge builds is going to be the best day for wind and sure enough, we’ll have small craft advisories in the Straits with the wind backing off after midnight. Since this isn’t a very strong high pressure system and it’s not very round you can expect it to be pushed around by the next low pressure system which shows up on the Sat PM chart. As the high shifts to the other side of the Cascades you can expect the northwesterly in the Sound become more northerly and northeasterly. This will cause that down slope compressional heating which brought us those record high temps earlier in the month.

What does this mean for the race? The tides really aren’t that bad as we’ll be starting in the weak flood of the day (.24knts in Admiralty) with the slack occurring at 1042 and going to the big ebb of the day which will help us get up the Sound, out of Admiralty and into the Straits.

TIDAL CURRENT for Admiralty Inlet

0942      .24           Flood

1042      Slack

1512      2.13        Ebb

1854      Slack

2200      1.8           Flood

0112      Slack

0442      2.23        Ebb

0854      Slack

1036      .56           Flood


The problem will be the light and variable winds in the morning which will persist until early afternoon with a northerly showing up at Pt. Townsend about noon and then working its way down the Sound by 1300-1400hrs. The key will be to make the most of the wind you have and then find the river of current that is running the strongest in the direction you want to go. When you can start to smell the pulp mill at Port Townsend, work to the west where there will be more wind and as you work up Marrowstone Island the port tack puffs will be lifts. You should still be in the ebb and from the Marrowstone Light it could be one long port tack all the way to Minor Island. If you find yourself on a course for the Pt. Partridge Light, or you find the true windspeed starting to drop, take a short hitch to the west to get back into what should be a building westerly, 15-20 knots by 1700 hrs which is the when the big boats should be at Smith Island.

Click on any image to enlarge.

The nice thing about running this race in spring is that the kelp hasn’t had time to reach any kind of length or become that keel grabbing forest that occurs in the late summer and early fall. Just remember, it can grow at a rate of 18” per day in ideal conditions. Regardless, give the west side of Smith plenty of room as there is a monster rock out there which is well marked on the charts and it is shallow with 3 and 4 fathom patches that are dotted with rocks.

The slack in Admiralty is at around 1900 hours which means you should have both flood tide and wind (8-12 knots) to take you back down the Sound. The reach from Smith Island back to Admiralty might include some two wheel reaching in 15-20 so make sure everyone is hiking hard and clipped in. If you can’t carry the kite, move the lead out to the rail and if you have a genoa staysail, get that up.

The run from Pt. Partridge back down Admiralty will probably be in a more northerly than northwesterly which will transition to a north-northeasterly as you get past Pt No Pt. The key on this leg will be to stay in the max flood and don’t get too far into corners. The breeze will probably stay out of the east-northest from Pt. No Pt back to the finish however you’ll want to have all eyes out of the boat and watching for holes as you get closer to Shilshole.

The big boats are projects to finish 0030 to 0200 hrs Sunday morning.

Ed. Note: Racers, be appreciative! Bruce can’t be on the race course this weekend and wrote this up anyway!