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J-Town News
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  • 26 Jul 2015 7:58 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Regatta season is here, and J-Town has a bunch of awesome enthusiastic new racers! That being the case, thought we'd offer up a little info for those new to the racing, applicable regardless of whether you're in an albacore, a cat, or a laser...

    Sailboat races usually run on one of three course types: Windward-Leeward Flag W, Triangle Flag T, or Olympic Flag O

    Race course layouts.The race committee (RC) decides on the course-type once they assess the wind conditions from the committee boat on the water. They set a start line perpendicular (hopefully) to the wind, and usually the anchored committee boat serves as one end of the line. Once on location at the start line, the RC raises some flags.

    An orange rectangular flag usually indicates the RC boat is in position at the start line. The RC will also usually indicate the course on a chalkboard from their boat, so sail close and take note. For instance, 3-M-1 x 7 would likely indicate that the course should round permanent mark #3, then a floating mark (usually a inflated orange tetrahedron or similar non-permanent bouy), then round permanent mark #1, for a total of 2 laps (6 legs) plus an upwind final 7th leg. Obviously good to know where the permanent marks are located on the Outer Harbour.


    The race start sequence is 5 minutes long, and is indicated using both flags and sound signals. At any time before or during the sequence, the RC might raise a postponement pennant Postponement flag indicating a delay (the wind might have shifted such that the course must be adjusted, or might have died entirely, or perhaps there's an obstruction on the course, etc.). If this happens during the 5 minute sequence, the sequence is abandoned and restarted later. The RC may also raise certain other flags (addressed below) that indicate the penalty if a boat goes over the start line during the 1 minute before the race has started.

    Usually shortly before the sequence begins, the RC will make some random sound signals to indicate they'll start the sequence imminently.

    At the start of the sequence, 5 minutes before the actual race start, the RC raises a "class flag" (indicating the type of boat that the sequence applies to; e.g. the albacores often use Flag 6, albacore class flag) and makes a loud sound signal, often from an air cannon or air horn. Start your watch countdown! Boats start milling around the start area assessing the most advantageous end of the start line and the best locations to sail into up the course.

    At 4 minutes before the start, the RC raises the "preparatory" (P) flag Flag P, of the and makes another sound signal. If you missed the 5 minute signal, this is your chance to reset your timer.

    At 1 minute to the start, the RC lowers the prep flag and makes a sound signal. If racers haven't already staked out a location, most boats are now trying to find a good spot near the line so they're clear of other boats. Keeping your boat on an angle to the wind and easing your sails lets you stay pretty still but allows you to power up and make small adjustments if needed. Stay out of irons!

    At the start of the race, the RC makes another sound signal and lowers the class flag. Ideally, boats have powered up and cross the line with good speed just after the start signal.

    Assuming no boats were over early, the race goes ahead and boats tack up the course toward the windward mark. 

    Start Recall Penalties

    However, if a few boats were over early, the RC raises an "individual recall" flag Flag X, individual recall and might (or might not) shout out the boat sail numbers. Earlier we mentioned the "penalty flags" indicating the penalty to a boat over the start line in the 1 minute before the start. If the penalty flag is "black", those boats over early would be automatically disqualified and would be required to abandon the race. If the penalty flag was "I" for instance, the over-early boats need to round an end of the start line and then continue their race. If a majority of boats were over early, the RC may call a "general recall" General recall flag and restart the start sequence from the beginning. 

    Important Stuff

    The main things about race starts are boat control and being aware of the sequence time. If your boat control isn't rock solid or you get nervous in close proximity to other boats (and it can get real tight), best to seek out an open space well away from the main pack or stay back a couple boat lengths so as not to cause havoc. Starting well takes practice, so keep at it.

    *Sometimes the sequence gets a little fuzzy... occasionally the RC substitutes a different flag or they get the signal timing a little wrong, but generally speaking, if you follow the info above the sequence should start making sense and with a little experience you'll pick up on any variations.

  • 01 Apr 2015 12:19 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi J-Town!

    Dock-In is tentatively scheduled for April 11 and everyone's looking forward to being able to launch boats again.

    At Spring Fling last week we had lots of questions from our new members about advice for good sailing gear cold weather conditions. As such, we put out a call to some of our members for their perspective on the topic. The questions were:

    • What works for you as far as gear on the cold days?
    • Best cold weather gear if money is no object?
    • Best way to stay warm on a budget?

    Remember, the water and the spray will likely be pretty cold well into June, so good to spend a bit of money to gear up for the conditions until swim suit weather arrives. We've got some loaner PFDs in the sail shed, but consider purchasing your own personal floatation so you get the best fit. And as Roy mentions below, brightly coloured gear is always best for visibility. Education-man, Greg Brothers, put together this reference document last season.

    Here are a few of the other responses so far. Feel free to write in with other tips and I'll post them below.

    From Tannis B:

    I recommend a lightweight waterproof, breathable 2-way (so you can open the bottom to keep it from bunching up)zip up jacket with a hood, but non-breathable waterproof is fine in the cold - just not so fine when it warms up. non-breathable waterproof pants work fine since you don't really need them once it warms up. In the cold, fleece works for me but some people say wool is better. If money no object, wear a merino undershirt. I always say, that if you aren't the sort of person who gets cold easily, that you only need a wetsuit to sail in May, early June and October. And, since the water is VERY COLD in May, get a thick wetsuit that you wouldn't even consider wearing in the summer. I have a 3mm MEC sleeveless which seems to work well with a warm shirt and has lasted well.

    You can start using dish gloves or those knit ones with rubber fingers (which I think you can cut off). Otherwise, invest in a annual (at least) supply of Gill dinghy gloves with LONG cut off forefinger! Waterproof shoes that stay on! With neoprene socks (cheap at MEC). The old style short rubber boots were better than neoprene, but are hard to find. If investing in neoprene boots, stay clear of the ones that drain water. I hear they are cold!

    Very torn over hiking pants. I need them and so use the strap on variety, which can dig in and twist. But otherwise you are sort of stuck wearing a sort of wetsuit all summer.

    FYI, West Marine has moved far away (Barrie and somewhere else) and Genco to Port Credit. The Dock Shoppe has moved into Genco's space on Queens Quay, but I have never shopped there so I don't know if they carry stuff like gloves, boots.

    From Roy S:

    I have used a layer of skiing underwear - poly, not wool. Then a wetsuit. Then foul weather gear on top of that - pants and windtop. And a fleece balaclava and an orange toque for visibility from rescue boats if you need to be rescued - foul weather gear seems to be fashionably black . On my feet I have neoprene socks from MEC and then Gill boots. Neoprene gloves from MEC. I have never been cold in that setup. Even when we capsized a NACRA 500 at a Halloween regatta a few years ago in the pouring rain. 

    You can get thin, wetsuits at CDN Tire. They are fine - that is what I have been wearing for the past few years. But wear the poly skiing underwear underneath for warmth. The wetsuits go on sale for about $79.99. You can look at the item on the CDN Tire wetsuit and signup for an email alert for when they go on sale.

    MEC has excellent gear for sailing - but look for Kayak clothing. Level Six makes very good foul weather gear for Kayaks and just as good for sailing. And Level Six is from Ottawa. MEC also has Farmer John wetsuits that are a bit thicker, but no arms. You can easily get fitted out at MEC for sailing. Everything except the Gill boots - get them at FOGH. So MEC would be a good bet for good gear on a budget. But it is good gear. You may need to get dinghy pants at FOGH though - nothing suitable at MEC.

    For cold weather gear if money was no object : ZHIK gear. 

    Gill is good stuff too. Not as expensive as ZHIK

    A few years ago the Gill rep came to a Friday night race and displayed gear. He then made a massive group buy from the three clubs. It was a deal. maybe that could happen again.

    I hope that helps.

    From Membership man, Graham B:

    Best cold weather gear if money is no object:

    My personal getup form Fogh Marine...
    Gill three season glove (full finger)
    Water resistant sailing beanie hat
    Gill pro top (Splash Jacket) - add flees underneath  
    3/4 neoprene pant with long underwear as base layer.
    Hiking boot with thermal socks underneath   
    Unpolarized Sunglasses 
    Emergency whistle - a must have as no amount of gear will keep you warm forever. 

    Also: Board Sports for a full wetsuit. Best selection in town. 

    On a budget... same as above but shop at MEC. 

    Hope this helps! 

    From funny-man Jeff G ;)

    Step 1: Skip out on one of your workout days each week.
    Step 2: Water? No... have a beer, or a wine instead.
    Step 3: Sail like a champ with your sexy built in insulating layer. (Note: It's ballast too!)

    From Cathyann W:

    Money no object? Dry suit :) wear tights or long johns underneath- boots and gloves

    Money some object? Full body wetsuit ( with or another body layer like like wool-  but wetsuits are really only warm when wet and next to skin- bear that in mind- then layer with light wool ( merino) and splash jacket- foul weather pants- gloves, boots and toque ( essential)

    Money an object? Layers - light wool next to skin then maybe thicker then- windjacket and wind pants to cut the breeze on top and insulate beneath- gloves, toque etc.

    Wetsuits can be bought cheap at Canadian Tire

    MEC and Fogue have the rest

    Value Village will have underlayers, wool and probably wind jackets

    If you have to prioritize- get some decent boots, gloves and a splash jacket

    From Agata M (actually the queen of All Things Social):

    In addition to all the great layers to keep you warm, bring not one but two changes of clothes (socks, underwear, t-shirts, sweats). This is so that you can change into something dry and warm at lunch, and also change into something dry and warm at the end of the day. You may never use it, but if you need  them those dry clothes are priceless.
    ~QoC (Queen of Capsize)

    Happy Sailing J-Town!

  • 11 Mar 2015 12:36 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Spring is almost here J-Town! There's almost even warmth in the air.

    Get ready to kick off our 2015 Membership period on March 15th!

    As a 2014 member, expect to receive an email reminder with a link to your online invoice for 2015 renewal. Sign up fast as Early Bird rates are are for a limited time!

    Not coming back to J-Town for 2015? Well, no doubt the club will miss you. Simply disregard any email renewal reminders and once the Membership renewal period is over your invoice will be deleted. You won't be charged. We'd hope we'll see you back in future seasons.

    Spring Fling

    And don't forget our annual Spring Fling social, Tuesday March 24th @ the Amsterdam BrewHouse. No better way to start off the season and connect with old friends! And of course, we'd love to meet new friends too! Bring them along and introduce them to the best sailing and social club in Toronto!

    Docks-In 2015

    Finally, we're aiming to have the docks back in the water on Saturday, April 11th (if ice melt co-operates)! Mark your calendar, dig out your work gloves. We'll get the grounds in shape, rig up the boats, and have the place ready for the season ahead!

  • 10 Mar 2015 10:32 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Commodore's Ball 2014 - NYC, November 22November 22nd was the hotly anticipated 2014 Commodore's Ball, held at the National Yacht Club.

    As expected, it was a glamorous evening, with great food, perfect company, just the right amount of formal presentation, plus a cash bar and banging tunes.

    The formal portion of the festivities started with a recap of highlights of the 2014 season from now-Past Commodore Chris Maslowski, followed by a transition of the guard as the members of the 2015 executive were introduced.

    Next up, David Matthews was awarded the Joyce Etches Award, voted number one crew of year at our AGM in September. Congratulations to David, who, as it happens, also years ago crafted the very same "Clinger" award plaque he received! Nice to see it come full circle.

    Race Awards, also prestigious "Clingers", were then awarded and handed out by David. Crew awards went, in order, to Michael Tersigni, Graham Pearson, and Lynn Pashleigh. Helm awards went, in order, to Allan Measor, Ken Yamazaki, and Paul McHugh. Most Improved Racer went to Liana Giovando, who also had a highly commendable season! Congrats on a great season to all!

    The Merkin Cup for the top racer in the Sunday Sinners was awarded by 2014 series organizer Michael Tersigni to Anna Taratuta!

    Ed Young stepped up to offer gratitudes to the many members who help make the Cat Program so awesome. In particular, Roy Spencer was recognized as the catamaran program's volunteer of the year and Paul David Nusbaum walked off with a rashy that shows off his muscles, mostly in recognition of his putting in a tonne of hours sailing and maintaining the Nacras this season!

    Club Service Pins were also doled out, mostly in absentia, to long time members: Steve Favell (35 years), Margaret de Niverville (30 years), Alexis Mantell (15 years). 10 year pins went to Darren Monster, Pasquale Leone, Roy Spencer, and Tim Stainton. And 5 year pins went to Andrew Rydholm, Ina Kerklan, James Eberhardt, Lona Westberg, Maciej Jastrebski, Marina Tchistaia, and Rolf Meindl. Thanks all for your support and involvement in the Club!

    Then came some club Volunteer Awards presented by Chris Maslowski... kind of an informal recognition for awesome contributions. Forgive me but there were too many to track. The place doesn't work without volunteers stepping up to make things happen, so thanks all!

    Last up on the awards front, Suzi Marks improvised a quick comedy set while tossing some recognition to a raft of new-ish members for contribution above and beyond the call of duty! The list included Janelle, Michelle Parete, Anna Taratuta, and Tina Christie (hope I haven't missed  anyone)!

    The formalities closed out with a few words from Westwood Mary Free, as many of our Westwood friends and neighbours joined us in the festivities. Mary took a few minutes to quickly thank their own outgoing and incoming executive, as well as their top racers. It was great to spend the evening with friends from the broader OHSF community.

    Then, to the bar and dance floor!

    For a little slideshow capturing much of the evening, click on through...

  • 14 Aug 2014 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Okay J-Town. Season’s well underway. We’re enjoying ourselves on the lake. Conditions are great.

    As such, it's likely timely that we review a few considerations surrounding keeping ourselves safe while having our fun. We don't want people getting complacent out there.

    The fleet sheet probably shouldn't look like this at 11pm. Sign your boats back in!!!First thing is, sign the log book when you’re headed out. Record the boat number, who you’re sailing with, where you’re headed (outer harbour = OH, inner harbour = IH, lake = L), and the time. If you’re planning to explore some particular area or direction, jot it down on an extra line in the log. Also, tell other members where you’re headed before you go out. In the event we start to get nervous, it’s very helpful. We can always send a power boat out to poke around but without some clues you’ll be tough to locate. And when you’re back to the clubhouse, sign in.

    Second thing is, research your route hazards a bit. The Toronto Harbour poses quite a few hazards. Water temperature can be warm near shore but frigid toward deeper water. Weather can change quickly, bringing about hypothermia unexpectedly. Wind can become dangerously heavy or uselessly light. Waves on the lake can become very large. Thinking about these things in advance is important. Try to have a plan for how to handle the unexpected in the areas you're traveling.

    Further, ask other members for info if you’re exploring new areas. Sailing outside of the Leslie Spit and traveling around the island are very long distances and can take many hours. As well, there are no-boat areas near the airport, and boats are not permitted to travel through the western gap under sail. Those that do so anyway must contend with the very narrow channel and big ferries. Ferries and freighters have right of way and usually cannot maneuver or stop quickly, so always stay well clear. You could even encounter float planes landing or taking off.

    Last, it can be a bit risky sailing alone. Often it’s good to sail with a buddy boat, particularly when exploring areas new to you. Hardware can fail (always tie those rudders down!), accidents can happen. Consider how well equipped you are to handle an emergency situation on your own.

    Suffice to say, there’s much to be cautious of when sailing. We get better by pushing ourselves, so do, but where possible we should also aim to anticipate and appreciate the risks.

    Anyway, we may flesh this out a bit in future letters.

    Have fun. Play hard. Stay safe.

  • 09 Aug 2014 8:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Don't forget that the Mooredale Regatta takes place this weekend.

    Mooredale Regatta posterPer the poster at right...

    Racing on the Lake!

    $75 per boat (includes dinner)
    Dinner and party only - $30
    Party only - $20

    British-themed after party, live band!

    08:00 - Breakfast
    09:30 - Skipper's Meeting
    10:45 - First Gun
    20:00 - Dinner/Party

    Register at www.mooredalesailing.com/regatta.

    If sailing, also be sure to sign up a boat on the Race board at the clubhouse.

  • 24 Jul 2014 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    As summer sets properly in, regattas abound. These wonderful events offer exhilarating competition, often fitting 5 or more races in through the course of a day.

    Obviously you want to be racing for the finish line. You certainly don't want to be racing back to the dock to use the facilities. What's a dinghy sailor to do?

    When you're out on the water for long hours, you're probably going to find yourself cross legged and miserable at one point or another.

    For advice on how best to handle this sticky situation, we went straight to the D'Souza, who had this wisdom to impart:

    "How to pee from a boat? Centreboard trunk is a discrete and classy way to go, though only marginally more-so than a full-moon hike while planed out on a beam reach. Both sexes:  jumping over and pissing while holding on to the gunwale... And of course there's always the old standard: jumping overboard and pretending to swim. Personally though, I think standing on the centreboard during a 90 degree capsize is the way to go."

    There you have it folks. The solution to pollution is dilution. And don't forget that the bailer is versatile tool, arguably a vertiable swiss army knife when dealing with any water-related emergency. Decide what works for you and go for it.
  • 09 Jul 2014 6:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Geoff L and Jenni M take over the kitchen. Expect summer time classics like slow-roasted ribs, grilled veg, and cheese cake. Yum!!

    Meet at the club around 6 for sailing.

    Dinner starts around 8:00 as boats return.

    If you haven't signed up, do so ASAP: sailtoronto.com/event-1713690

  • 22 Jun 2014 12:01 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    What an event! Lobster Feast 2014 has to go down among the best ever. Beautiful weather, succulent crustaceans, perfectly grilled meats and delicious veg dishes. Soulful R&B into the wee hours of the evening. Crackling bonfire. Did the sun even set that day? What more could you ask for?

    A special thanks to Agata Michalak for the hand made decorations, Pat Kelley for core management of the event, Tim Stainton for his outstanding year-to-year dedication to marketing & advertising of Lobsterfest, Roy Spencer for everlasting backup of the operations, Geoff Leung for running the Oyster bar and Robert MacDonald & Paul McHugh for getting the house ready.

    A heartfelt thank you to all of the wonderful people who help out in so many ways:

    Adam Patt
    Agata Michalak
    Alina Guzeeva
    Allan Measor
    Andria Frej
    Angus Fung
    Anna Taratuta
    Art Hu
    Beatrice Leung
    Blake Williams
    Chris Maslowski
    Christine Young
    Dave Seagrim
    Diana Wetmore
    Ed Young
    Eva Kosiba
    Fran Stacey
    Frank Loritz
    Geoff Leung
    Graham Blair
    Graham Pearson
    Greg Brothers
    Jason Power
    Jeff Gerrits
    Jenelle Chen
    Jonathan Knowles
    José Denis-Robichaud
    Justin Cloutier
    Kelly Galaski
    Kristina Kelley - Walsh
    Lyn Kungl
    Maria Mangos
    Mark Pomerantz
    Matthew Gibb
    Matthew Rossetti
    Mike Morrison
    Nicole Loritz
    Nigel Rigby
    Noel Courage
    Pat Kelley
    Paul Chandler
    Paul McHugh
    Richard Seow
    Rob Carscadden
    Robert MacDonald
    Roy Spencer
    Sarah Mulderrig
    Sean Cobham
    Sebastian Daemgen
    Shahil Thomas
    Susanne Daemgen
    Suzanne Young
    Suzi Marks
    Terry Loffree
    Tina Christie
    Tim Stainton
    Vivian Tsang

    And, of course, on behalf of the club and the exec, a huge thank you goes out to Beata Gintere who coordinated this whole amazing party!!!

  • 21 Jun 2014 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    Lobster Feast PosterCelebrating 40 years of lobster goodness!

    J-Town's signature summer festival just around the corner!

    Lobster Dinner - $35
    Chicken Dinner - $25
    Vegetarian Dinner - $20

    Cash Oyster Bar - $1.50 per crustacean!

    Cocktail Hour - 5:30
    Dinner - 6:30
    Live Band and Dancing - 9

    Featuring live music by Derek Giberson R&B Band!

    Register and/or volunteer online at sailtoronto.com, or contact Bea Gintere (bgintere@gmail.com).
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