What's Happening at Milltown Sailing Association!

Summer Log Dodge Racing Starts June 2

posted May 31, 2017, 4:17 PM by Mark Wilkins

The Milltown Sailing Assoc. would like to invite everyone to participate in the summer LOG DODGE series races.  This is a series of informal, low-key racing for all comers held every Friday evening throughout the summer and is a perfect opportunity for those new to racing or coming back to racing to "get their feet wet" with Milltown's racing program.  There will be a skippers meeting at 5 pm in the clubhouse on Friday, June 2, to go over courses, schedules, and rules and to answer any questions you may have about the series. 

Pirates on Pirates on Pirate Ship

Each race night has a theme with extra points awarded to crews who dress up for the theme.  The first night's theme is "Pirate Night" which is always a favorite.  After racing, there will be grilled Brats and refreshments at the clubhouse.  Valuable prizes are awarded, but you must be present to win!!

CYC-E / Milltown Sailing Challenge Cup

posted May 22, 2017, 11:20 PM by Mark Wilkins   [ updated May 22, 2017, 11:27 PM ]

   On Saturday, May 20th, seven boats from Milltown made their way to Edmonds to take part in the second annual Challenge Cup between the CYC-Edmonds club and our own MSA club.  The format of the Challenge Cup is we race one race with a three hour time limit.  The boats are divided into two fleets of Non-Flying Sails and Flying Sails.  The combined times of the top three boats for each club are combined to determine the winner.  Racing was scheduled to begin at 2:00 pm.

   Saturday morning dawned clear and warm.  As we left the marina, there was a northerly blowing at 10 to 14 knots and many of us used that opportunity to unroll the sails and reach across to Mukilteo with hopes the wind would also be blowing in Puget Sound.  Of course, the wind went flat as we rounded the Mukilteo Landing and headed down past Possession Point and on into Edmonds.  Seven boats from Milltown made the trip.  Before the skipper's meeting we aligned ourselves with: Manutea, Endless, Mei Li, and Bob in the Flying Sails class.  Ardea, My Sunshine, and Sweet Sue made up the Non-Flying class.  CYC-E countered with six of their boats in the Flying class and four boats in the Non-Flying class for a total of 17 boats racing.

    We headed out to the starting line and the wind was blowing to the west and north of the starting area.  The race committee wisely chose to delay the start by ten minutes, allowing a few more zephyrs to creep in around the start line.  The course was a simple windward-leeward with the windward mark at Scatchet Head buoy.  The Non-Flying class started first.  The starting line was heavily favored on the committee boat end.  All the boats got off to a clean start and shortly after the start the fleet divided with some boats heading north and the rest continuing west.  On this day, the boats that chose to go west arrived at the turning mark first.  Spinnakers and whisker poles were quickly deployed for the run back to the finish.  About half way down the last leg, the wind filled in very nicely and the crews had a strong finish.  I actually saw one Thunderbird (who shall remain nameless) broach shortly before the finish.  They recovered quickly, so "no harm, no foul". 

    After the race, the skippers and crew gathered at the local tavern for refreshments, food, comparing notes, and a little bragging.  When the final results were tallied, CYC-Edmonds won the day.  There is something to be said for local knowledge and fast boats.  It is a tough combination to beat.  CYC-Edmonds were terrific hosts and did a great job overall.  I'm personally looking forward to returning the favor next year on our home waters.

 Dave Motter

MSA Race Fleet Captain

Saratoga Sprint Coming Up on June 10

posted May 15, 2017, 2:30 PM by Mark Wilkins   [ updated May 16, 2017, 1:21 PM ]

Milltown Sailing Association will sponsor the 2017 Saratoga Sprint mid-distance feature race on June 10.  We invite all interested racers to join us in this challenging race that starts in Port Gardner, heading north into Saratoga Passage on either the long (28 nm) or short (16 nm) course.  For more information and to register see the links on Saratoga Sprint page of the Racing section of the MSA site.  Please see the following sub page (Saratoga Sprint Results and Docs)  for course information, registration form and notice of race.  Be sure to pre-order your T-Shirts by June 2 in order to get the discounted price of $20 ($22 after this deadline).  Place your shirt orders via the entry form.

Milltown Racing Rules Study: Case 1 - Bob v. Espresso

posted Feb 20, 2017, 10:47 AM by Thomas Hunter   [ updated Feb 20, 2017, 10:51 AM ]

Hi Everyone,

Winter Race 4 was a wet, cold and light wind affair but it wasn't without some excitement (at 1 knot slow motion) that I thought would be good to summarize for the club.  Joe added his comment which I inserted in the appropriate spot.

From the G to B mark, Bob and Espresso were creeping along on current under spinnaker with the wind starting from the North, North East.  About 1/2 way down the run. we experienced a 90 degree wind shift back to the northwest.  While I was getting worried about getting to far on the shelf,  We, in Espresso decided to gybe as the wind started backing to the north.  We caught new wind before Bob did and we wound up getting along his western side.  Still predominantly floating, Joe and crew decided to have some fun and took down their spinnaker and came at us from leeward.  And here is where the first set of rules come into play.  Per rule 11 and 12:

Rule 11:  ON THE SAME TACK, OVERLAPPED When boats are on the same tack and overlapped, a windward boat shall keep clear of a leeward boat.
Rule 12: ON THE SAME TACK, NOT OVERLAPPED When boats are on the same tack and not overlapped, a boat clear astern shall keep clear of a boat clear ahead.

In our case we had not broken overlap.   Thus rule 11 applies.  I did as much as I could to make distance to windward from Bob, we ran out of air and got trapped. 

Joe: Once I was on you and right beside...I could not go higher as I gave you no room to swing without contact and I was not calling about taking up Espresso any higher than close hauled.   At that point BoB was constrained as well and you continued to sneak forward taking our air (Good job!)  You nearly escaped and it was at the last possible moment when your engine would have contacted that both boats pushed off.  It was only then that I could protest as the leeward boat being overtaken on windward side having to change course.

Thanks Joe.  Some definitions and rules that apply:
Keep Clear:  One boat keeps clear of another if the other boat can sail her course with no need to take avoiding action and, when the boats are overlapped on the same tack, if the leeward boat could change course without immediately making contact with the windward boat.

RoomThe space a boat needs in the existing conditions, including space to comply with her obligations under the rules of Part 2 and rule 31, while manoeuvring promptly in a seamanlike way. 

Rule 16.1:  When a right-of-way boat changes course, she shall give the other boat room to keep clear.

With no maneuverability, I could not keep clear of the leeward boat and recognized the foul.  Joe (after some commotion trying to find his protest flag) protested Espresso. 

61.1 Informing the Protestee (a) A boat intending to protest shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity. When her protest will concern an incident in the racing area that she was involved in or saw, she shall hail ‘Protest’ and conspicuously display a red flag at the first reasonable opportunity for each. She shall display the flag until she is no longer racing.  However,  (1) if the other boat is beyond hailing distance, the protesting boat need not hail but she shall inform the other boat at the first reasonable opportunity; (2) if the hull length of the protesting boat is less than 6 metres, she need not display a red flag; (3) if the incident was an error by the other boat in sailing the course, she need not hail or display a red flag but she shall inform the other boat either before or at the first reasonable opportunity after the other boat finishes; 
 (4) if as a result of the incident a member of either crew is in danger, or there is injury or serious damage that is obvious to the boat intending to protest, the requirements of this rule do not apply to her, but she shall attempt to inform the other boat within the time limit of rule 61.3. 

Joe had met the protest requirements.  This not always something we as racers are prepared for in Milltown.  But note, the flag and a hail of Protest are required by the rules.  Other hails (like you fouled me) or no flag, means a non-valid protest.  Corinthian sailing and sportsmanship should allow for a boat to still choose to take penalties but in a protest committee ruling an invalid protest is easy grounds to disqualify a protest. 

We nearly had our motor chew on Bob's minions and acknowledged the foul.  No raised voices and all in good sportsmanship.  We gybed and in slow motion looked to find a spot to do our 2 turn penalty.  Per the rules:  

Rule44.2:  One-Turn and Two-Turns Penalties After getting well clear of other boats as soon after the incident as possible, a boat takes a One-Turn or Two-Turns Penalty by promptly making the required number of turns in the same direction, each turn including one tack and one gybe. When a boat takes the penalty at or near the finishing line, she shall sail completely to the course side of the line before finishing.

Rule 22.2: A boat taking a penalty shall keep clear of one that is not.

After ~5 minutes (yes it was that slow!), we finally got separation enough from Bob to east of him to do our turns.

Rule 24.2: If reasonably possible, a boat shall not interfere with a boat that is taking a penalty, sailing on another leg or subject to rule 22.1. However, after the starting signal this rule does not apply when the boat is sailing her proper course.

We started (with spinnaker still up) with a tack and were to windward of Bob.  He was creeping closer and so I reminded him to allow us to do our turns.    We completed our turns and kept racing only to finish 10 minutes in front of the B mark before time ran out. Which brings the last reminder of rules:

Rule 2: FAIR SAILING A boat and her owner shall compete in compliance with recognized principles of sportsmanship and fair play. A boat may be penalized under this rule only if it is clearly established that these principles have been violated. The penalty shall be either disqualification or disqualification that is not excludable. 

No raised voices, no damages (except maybe my bruised ego!) and an opportunity to review some rules post race with a good case.

2017 Milltown Racing Rules

posted Dec 30, 2016, 2:00 PM by Thomas Hunter   [ updated Dec 30, 2016, 2:01 PM ]

We have an update to the 2017 Milltown Racing Rules.  These rules are specific to our club and all racers (and crew) should understand and obey them.  Check it out here.
Plis, it has answers to frequently asked questions like:
  • Can cross the finish line during racing? (7.2)
  • What VHF station does the RC monitor (13.9)
  • Can I use my engine if I am grounded  (7.5)

New Years Eve party

posted Dec 17, 2016, 1:28 PM by Mark Butler

In the midst of the holiday hustle and bustle take a moment to put our New Years Eve party on your schedule.  We will be joining together to ring out the old and welcome the new -  2017 at the Milltown Sailing Clubhouse December 31st.  The fun will start at 7:30 – 8:00 so bring a snack to share, whatever you want to drink since the bar will not be open and your party self.  Have a great Christmas!

Commodore’s “view from the Helm” report

posted Dec 17, 2016, 1:26 PM by Mark Butler   [ updated Dec 17, 2016, 1:31 PM ]

The elections are done and people are getting back to normal.  Well at least at Milltown we are getting back to “our” normal!   We finally have had Winter arrive and this past week was the first skim-ice on the Marina.  We had several boats participate in the Lighted Boat Parade sponsored by Mukilteo Yacht Club – and I have to say that BoB was looking real good all decked out in lights and twirling around to the delight of families all along the waterfront.  I almost had to admit to attending cruising event, but I classified it as a community civic responsibility that the MSA Commodore performed.  Phew!  Four years of vice-Commodore and then Commodore and not an official cruise to my credit. 


Back to normalcy…for our Milltown elections we have several new folks joining to the Board, plus we welcome our Vice-Commodore to the Commodore position.  At the December General meeting, club members made their selections and we welcome the following to the Board:   

·        Commodore            Tom Buus

·        Vice Commodore    Natalie Winslow

·        Treasurer                Mo Stiz

·        Trustee                    Nick Wilson

·        Trustee                    Dale Beech


Returning Board members are:

·        Secretary                Mark Butler

·        Trustee                   James & Valerie Stein

·        Trustee                   Jeanne Butler

·        Trustee                   Joe Geck (past Commodore)


A great big thank you to the retiring Board members:  Grant Albert as longest-elected-in-service as Vice Commodore, Commodore and then Trustee; Mark Ladd as our Treasurer for as long as I recall; Vaugh Winslow as Trustee and never-ceasing good will ambassador for our club!   I also want to extend my appreciation to Members who are chairpersons for our committees and the support they have provided this past year:  Dave Motter as Race Fleet Captain; Pam Dittrich and Jeanne Butler as Cruise Fleet Captains; Chip Handewidth as Club House rental champion; Rick Hunter as the guy who keeps the clubhouse in great shape; Paul Van Slyck as Youth/Sea Scouts leader; Nick Wilson as our beverage stocker.  I also value and thank James and Valerie as the speaker coordinators, and Mark Butler as our guiding-star of a secretary.  This has been a great set of active folks that have met monthly to keep the club true to our purpose of promoting and encouraging the sport of Sailing, Cruising and Racing.


So what is next?  I know Pam is conjuring up some New Year celebration event, and then right after that is our Awards Banquet on January 21 where I will pass on the Commodore role to Tom.  I may give up the commodore insignia, but there will be wrangling over passing on my epaulettes!  Should be a great awards ceremony -- we’ll have door prizes, installation of the commodore, club and racing awards.  This year we will also continue in support of Youth Sailing with a raffle ticket drawing for beer & wine baskets to support Sea Scouts Scholarships.  Heck, I will even promise to practice my emcee jokes before the day of the event!  Stay Safe and Stay warm!



Joe  Geck

Outgoing Commodore


2017 Race Schedule and Registration Form

posted Dec 3, 2016, 9:48 PM by Thomas Hunter   [ updated Dec 3, 2016, 9:49 PM ]

The schedule has been posted both in the Events Calendar as well on each of the series pages in the racing menu. The Winter series starts the first weekend in January.  Please take the time now to fill out and return the 2017 racing registration form to our fearless race captain! Instructions for returning your registration are found on the form.

Commodore’s “view from the Helm” report

posted Oct 4, 2016, 12:34 PM by Mark Butler

This past weekend I was accused of “cruising” to Edmonds since I stayed overnight on BoB before the CYC Edmonds Foulweather Bluff race.  This year, the FWB race was the 5th of our Milltown Mid-Distance series, and Brad (Espresso) stated he was now a racer and he did not stay on board.  Well I sure don’t want Brad to define me as a sailor, so I thought I’d share my race report and see if the club members think if this qualifies as cruising.  Let me know what you think at next week’s General Meeting on October 12. 


Before I share the BoB view of the FWB Race, here is a reminder that Milltown cruise to Edmonds is in two weeks and I have been given authorization from the Admiral to wear my Lederhosen and participate on my first official cruise!  Time to break out the dodger and cook up some spaetzle, sauerkraut and weisswurst!    


That darn Espresso-Soup-Can Brad may be right after all.  J 


BoB’s Foulweather Bluff Race Report


It was a great delivery trip down to Edmonds on Friday -- 1500rpm, auto-helm, sunshine and about a 2 knot push current got me into Edmonds in just over 2 ½ hours.  I spent the time scrubbing the toe rails, wiping the mirrors, polishing the port lights and cleaning the galley to make BoB pretty for the Saturday race.  I was happily welcomed into Edmonds by Doug and Candy from Puffin, who were just heading back to Everett.  After dressing up BoB with the battle flags, I welcomed in the other Milltown Boats, then had a nice dinner out with Mei Li and Lady Eileen.  After way too many Mandarin delicacies, I made it back to the boat for a pleasant night under the Edmonds Disco Light display (LED reader board that operates every single hour of the 24 hours of the day).  Saturday morning the BoB crew met for breakfast up-town at Claire’s.  With a bit o’ chewing the fat (figuratively and literally)we all left with full bellies courtesy of Dennis.  Skipper’s meeting was a repeat of previous years - doughnuts and coffee - and there was still humor about the not so “foul weather” with the calm morning and the medium winds predicted for the day. 


We headed out to the course and it was soon apparent that the first leg would be a starboard pole downwind all the way to Scatchet Head buoy.  When Joe finally figured out the Port/Starboard start thing, we had a right-on-time start in clear air.  Up with the spinnaker in about 9 knots of wind, and then just a matter of enjoying the morning and watching the race develop.  We had one little dust-up with Espresso but soon had cleared them -albeit a bit high of the mark.  This turned out to be troublesome as we got closer.  Spinnaker down, but now we had a bit of current pushing across the course and Joe had Brian hold out the mainsail as we were very by-the-lee coming into a very large, very green, very hard steel navigation buoy.  A bit of nail biting and the crew cried out “you missed that by literally an inch!!”  In his best Trump fashion, Joe bellowed back “I missed it by just enough, now get those sails in!”  


The wind had started to climb into the mid-teens as predicted, but rather than gusting, it was pretty constant.  It was a close reach over to the FWB buoy and a few boats tried to maintain spinnakers.  Mei Li found out that after the top half of the spinnaker blows out, the bottom half can keep drawing!   Twenty minutes from the mark we almost re-set the spinnaker, but the wind strength came back, and now in the upper teens with gusts into mid-twenties.  We had #2 headsail drawing nice, and made a smart rounding of the mark.  At this point we calculated we were in maybe 4th place and our only hope was some chop to develop and slow down the light-weight boats ahead of us (Espresso, J-80, Aphrodite 101).   We did a little bit of threading the port tack boats still coming into the mark and then found out the winds were building even more….   Windward across Skunk Bay we saw a pretty large boat “auto-tack” and wipe out in a heavy gust.  15 seconds later it was our turn, and Joe had just enough helm left to push BoB away from a back-winded wipe-out, returning us to dynamic racing form.  Phew!  That was close and the smartly executed movement to centerline by Chris to avoid getting dunked was unnecessary.  Moving out into the VTS lanes, Steve and Joe worked backstay and traveler and keep BoB on relative heel of 20 degrees.  Passing Point No-Point, the winds were at a steady 25, and Joe fessed up that he took #3 off the boat for weight.  The vitriol was flying like the salt spray, and there were threats of keelhauling and flogging around the fleet.  BoB continued to climb a bit higher than our competition and were seeing gusts just under 30 apparent.  Joe finally decided to reef the mainsail and we settled down and picked up speed with a great combo of #2 and a single reef.    


As we finished crossing the Sound, the winds died back down into the mid, then lower teens.  We shook out the reef then looked around.  Only boat ahead of us was the J-80 and they owed us time.  We could see our competition far enough back that we might correct out what we owed them.  The J-80 got the gun and we crossed a couple minutes behind them.  We did not hang around to find the exact finish of next boats as we were interested in wringing out and getting some food and grog.  We peeked back at Espresso and figured we had just beat them too.  We went from bedraggled 4thplace finishers to possibly 2nd or 1st in class.


At the dock, sunshine had overtaken the squall that had worked its way through the race course and inside most of the crews’ foul-weather gear.   A bit of clean up, then Ed broke out the sushi and sake feast – Yum!  By this time we were watching the boats come in and saw that all our class were well behind us.  The crew from the J-80 came over and congratulated us as they figured we had corrected out on them.  With full bellies and elated spirits we broke up the boat party with Steve, Dennis and Joe heading up to the award ceremony.  Milltown did well with a Bullet, First in Class, First overall for Lady Eileen in the Short course.  Bullet and First in class for Sweet Sue II.  Third in class for Bingo.  Third in class for Espresso, and a First in class for BoB!  Also down from Milltown were the hardy boats and crews from Mistral, Manutea, Mei Li and Izzara.


The trip home was pretty uneventful although a bit wet with another southerly squall that washed off all the remaining salt.  Again a very nice push from current had BoB back at dock in 2 ½ hours.  With the “first in class” finish at FWB, three MSA boats qualified for the SYC Grand Prix race on October 21-23.  While BoB has not raced out of Shilshole for quite a while - and the SYC Grand Prix is considered the PNW Invitational Sailing Championship - BoB is not going to give it a shot this year.   (Catering to Joe’s ego, recall that we also qualified in 2015 from both our Swiftsure and FWB finishes.)


Soooo…as taught by Gary Meisner to start with ego building expectations and be happy with each higher level…No (new) injuries, nothing broke, fastest J-30, fastest MSA boat on the Long Course, fastest boat in our class…GREAT JOB BOB!



FWB Class 4 Results (full results at ) 


















Jolly Green









Express 27








Cal 39








Aphrodite 101








Herreshoff 47






Ohhh!  Pretty darn tight results between 2-3-4.  Couple bad waves one way or another was the difference there. 

PHRF Time on Time Conversions

posted Sep 11, 2016, 12:03 PM by Thomas Hunter   [ updated Sep 11, 2016, 2:08 PM ]

After attempting to wing a conversion during the fall regatta and failing to anticipate our placings, I decided some research was needed.  Here is the culmination of my research.  The table below shows all the 2016 boats registered with PNW PHRF for Milltown with their assigned rating. I then calculated the time conversion factor that the Time on Time handicap formula uses for each boat (Based on the current Racesail program. (For more detail, go to and look at the manual - PHRF with time on time will have a correction factor computed from the formula: A/(B + PHRF) where the constants, A and B can be chosen in the Preferences section. Typical values are 700 for A and 550 for B.)  In the last two columns are applied corrections if you raced for 1 hour and time correction it takes to get a one hour corrected time. Espresso, with a 150 rating has a TCF=1 so our finish time gets no correction. If there is a 1 hour race, for us to beat say BOB, we would need to finish within 46 seconds.  For us to beat Exit, we would need to finish more than 3 minutes and 21 seconds.  And if Ardea comes out of nowhere and finishes within 8 minutes and 14 seconds, we are hosed!  Hopefully this will help everyone one with their stop watches at the end of a race! 

Quick Postscript.  I was double checking my work and if you do pull this out into Excel and attempt to reproduce race results, the rounding for the time correction factor may come into play.  So use the data with some caution.  You can always recalculate the time correction factor your self by plugging in the formula shown above.

Postscript 2: I updated the table as I realized that just doing the difference in time assuming you sailed for an hour was incorrect.  (I had my troubles with algebra!) .  The 1 hour race correction column is the time difference it would take to get a corrected time to 1 hour.  I updated the text based on this table.  Green is a subtraction (Good for us!) from 1 hr and red is addition to 1 hour.

If you are interested, I have this posted in Google Docs and linked in the Racing resources page.

SailNumYachtNameOwnersClassRatingRatingCodeTime Correction Factor1 Hour RaceCorrection needed for 1 hour corrected time
79117FAMILY AFFAIRTHOMAS BUUSBENE45F5-36655351.1363641:08:110:07:12
64996HAPPY SEALDENNIS B MARSDENJBOA32-112348651.0401191:02:240:02:19
207SORCERERSHAUN WURZNERERIC38-212925451.0309281:01:510:01:48
59746BOBJOE GECKJBOA30-114155551.0130251:00:470:00:46
79160ENDLESSCHIP HANDEWITHHUMC37.5L14135441.0130251:00:470:00:46
45MISTRALDEAN SEVONCAL39-314735421.0043041:00:150:00:15
74244TATSAODURELL HERMANGOMX30-11475455R1.0043041:00:150:00:15
18363ESPRESSOBRAD ABELSEXPR27-1150556M1.0000001:00:000:00:00
7090COOKIE MONSTERTHOMAS J HUMESANZ27-1156556M0.9915010:59:290:00:31
79080IZARRAANDREW HARVILLABENE411-21565335R0.9915010:59:290:00:31
75MEI LIGRANT L ALBERTBENE32S5-217155550.9708740:58:150:01:48
356TSUBAKI MARUBILL/ KARINE DAVISCATA32017133440.9708740:58:150:01:48
79154SANS SOUCISTEVEN CARLSONCAL31-117745450.9628610:57:460:02:19
57573FREEFLYTEJONATHAN M CRUSEFREY39-118035650.9589040:57:320:02:34
177SWEET SUE IIDAVID MOTTERCATA36-11893C450.9472260:56:500:03:21
15160EXITJIM OOSTERHOFSTWO7.918955550.9472260:56:500:03:21
60487LUNADAVE BUETOWPEAR30-118925350.9472260:56:500:03:21
1266THUNDERBABYDUANE EMNOTTTHUN26-ODR195ODR0.9395970:56:230:03:51
39986BITTER SWEETDAVID HANDEWITHMILL29-119854450.9358290:56:090:04:07
5008SCOTCH & SODAKENNETH J MCKENZIECATA30-120146450.9320910:55:560:04:22
0WINDRIFTMARK FEIJONEWP28-221033550.9210530:55:160:05:09
2371MANUTEARICK HUNTERCATA30-121035540.9210530:55:160:05:09
79103DULCINEAJEFF SCHROEHERCAL28-22135B450.9174310:55:030:05:24
69379BINGOWALTER D NORTHFIELDPERR24-1243155MR0.8827240:52:580:07:58
70PAPAROPATRICK  GREERERIC27-1246345M0.8793970:52:460:08:14
670ARDEAJAMES STEINERIC25+24645340.8793970:52:460:08:14
0LADY EILEENBARRETT CRABTREEBABA30-124923450.8760950:52:340:08:29
0CIELO SIN FINDALE BEECHBABA30-1261S3430.8631320:51:470:09:31

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