Letter From the Commodore
Updated: Feb 21
Hello Sailors and friends of the Paupack Sailing Club,
I hope by now everyone has fully recovered from the Wally Lake Fest activities! I am already reminiscing about all the fun that was had, and looking forward to next year. We have lots more in store for the club before the year is over and many more great sailing days ahead of us. There are two more races on the schedule before the season is out as well as our annual
This Sunday September 9th we have Race number eight scheduled. The weather forecast is looking great so far. The crew of Ecstasy is on the schedule for race committee duties with the African Queen to handle the after-race picnic. The final race for the season is scheduled for September 23rd. At this point the overall standings for the season show Anthem in First Place, Flip Turn in Second, and Odyssey in Third.
If you're new to the club, considering joining us, or have been a member but not raced with us I encourage you to do so. I myself am a newer member, and had not considered racing my first year but after getting into sailing more, and at the urging of some of the old salts in the club, I finally gave in last year. This year my competitive nature took over and I'm hooked. I love sailing as a mean to relax and enjoy nature while not putting in too much effort. Racing on the other hand is a real test of yourself, your teamwork as a crew, and of the boat. Whether you own a sailboat or not there's always someone looking for crew and I don't think there is any better way to learn than hands on. We're fortunate to have some very knowledgeable sailors amongst us who are always happy to share what they've learned.
Racing is a great way to accelerate the learning curve. It mandates all the lessons you've learned into a short amount of time, with the power of consequence as a motivating factor. Our usual round the buoy races force us to make sail changes, tack, assess the conditions and maximize performance every step of the way. The pressure it can sometimes bring is not for everyone, but even so a few sailboat races are great for learning the ropes quickly.
Our races are not ultra competitive. There are always races that are more mellow than others. Our Bob Schmidt Regatta is the perfect opportunity to try your hand at racing without a lot of pressure, racing against other novices. Don't be afraid to ask for help or someone to come along for the ride. Find an experienced sailor to crew and be your safety net. It would be helpful to familiarize yourself with the rules on our website as well as the course maps and other helpful information available. We don't hold a pre-race meeting, but we do usually meet for breakfast. This is usually a good time to find a skipper in need of crew or discuss the weather or any other pertinent news.
When you're finally on the water and racing with the club you will find the urge to jump out in front thinking you could really win this thing. From personal experience try to avoid this temptation and hang back a little. At the start the boats can come within close quarters of each other and knowledge of the rules and right of way are on display, or loudly reminded otherwise.
More importantly though it's a good opportunity to watch and learn until you'e got it down. If you like racing, there will be plenty of time for beating the fleet, but in the beginning just be a copycat. Watch what better sailors do and attempt to understand why they are making these choices. There is arguably no better way to learn than immersion and imitation.
I hope you'll find that the camaraderie, and knowledge gained by not only joining the club but taking part in racing can be a very rewarding experience. After the last race, the most important lesson of all is revealed, that beer tastes better after a day of racing. It’s a scientific fact. Einstein proved it, but it was never published… Enjoy!