What's Happening at Milltown Sailing Association!

Sydney Hobart 2017

posted Jan 3, 2018, 7:29 PM by Thomas Hunter   [ updated Jan 3, 2018, 8:42 PM ]

On Boxing Day in Australia, I had luckily found the livestream for the start of the Rolex Sydney-Hobart Ocean race (Don't want lawyers coming after me!).  I took time out of Xmas meal preparation and watched the start.  Quite intense!  Anyway once Black Jack and Commanche rounded the first mark, I got busy making dinner for my daughters. (after that the action is done and it's just a long slog to Hobart.)  Low and behold, we kept it runnning and I hear all sorts of commotion from the announcers. Wow, who knew the pros would get into an interesting rules infraction on an ocean race!.  Here is a  link to the start of the Rolex Sydney Hobart courtesy of Channel 7 (more cya, also too likely only works on a PC) Courtesy of sailing anarchy.  I wanted to point out the cool calm collected Jimmy Spithill who you can hear on the audio.  He is 30 seconds ahead of life.  Before the cross, you will first hear him say we will have an "evasive event", next comes the call of Starboard (likely for the audio!) and then his commentary to his tactician, "likely protest here",  then after he yells protest, he talks calmly to his tactician, do you "want me to bail out or hold". Darn!  That is good seamanship!

While out on the sailing anarchy site, I also wanted to point out to the club members  and other interested to another awesome post from sailing anarchy on the true chevy of boats, the T-bird!  (And no that does not involve giving hand gestures!),  Check out the link on the Thunderbirds here!  Per the post, 

It’s hard to find a boat that can race fast and cruise comfortably without breaking the bank, but 60 years and over 1200 sailors and their families have shown the Thunderbird to be a badass and versatile solution.

There is a great video showing the boats racing at Port Townsend and discussing the history of the class.  Hope you enjoy and happy new year!

Moorage Special Offer from Port of South Whidbey at Langley

posted Sep 17, 2017, 9:35 PM by Mark Wilkins

 Duncan McPhee, the Harbormaster at the South Whidbey Harbor in Langley, contacted us with the following generous offer for guest moorage:

  • "I would like to pass along a mooring special that our facility is offering in hopes that you will share with your Club Members. We will be offering a complimentary Wednesday night's moorage when a guest stays with us on Monday and Tuesday."

To arrange moorage, call Duncan at 360-221-1120 or email .
You can also submit a reservation request online at

Pursuit Series Results

posted Sep 15, 2017, 7:33 PM by Thomas Hunter

The Pursuit series results can be found here: Link to Pursuit Results Page

Milltown Sailing's Fall Regatta Saturday, Sept 9

posted Sep 6, 2017, 6:24 PM by Mark Wilkins   [ updated Sep 6, 2017, 6:29 PM ]

Transparent fall leaves clipart 0Milltown Sailing Association's Fall Regatta will be held this Saturday, September 9!

  • The SKIPPERS' MEETING will convene in the clubhouse promptly at 10 am.  
  • Racing is scheduled to start at noon.  
  • The regatta consists of 3 races using our temporary and permanent marks.  
  • A great big THANK YOU to Joe Geck and the crew of BoB for providing the Race Committee for this event.

 Make plans to hang around after racing.  While the race results are calculated, there will be food, drink, and live music. It promises to be a rousing good time.

Guest Speaker at August 9 Meeting

posted Aug 6, 2017, 10:13 PM by Mark Wilkins   [ updated Aug 6, 2017, 10:27 PM ]

Please come meet Mary Trimble at our General Meeting, August 9th at 7PM.  She will have her books to sell and autograph.  Bring a snack or dessert, along with your favorite summer sea stories.

         MARY E. TRIMBLE

  Award-winning freelance writer

Mary Trimble’s recently published memoir, Sailing with Impunity: Adventure in the South Pacific is about their 14-month sailing adventure, from magical sights and scents of their first island landfall to the bustling, colorful Tahitian markets. From sudden midnight squalls and weathering a cyclone in Samoa to pristine anchorages in the Kingdom of Tonga.

Trimble lives on Camano Island with her husband, Bruce.


Fuel Dock Closed Wednesday, July 5

posted Jun 29, 2017, 1:25 PM by Mark Wilkins

Due to upland construction, the Fuel Dock at Everett Marina will be closed on Wednesday, July 5.
It is scheduled to re-open on July 6.

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.

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