Written by Andrea Watson Friday, 15 July 2011 00:00
For readers familiar with this column, mention has been made during the summer months of a group of racers called Thirsty Thursdays. One can only speculate why they are called that, but a good guess might involve a lively discussion at a bar – preferably overlooking the bay. In any case, this group is comprised of larger PHRF boats from all three yacht clubs on the bay and boats that join that are not affiliated with a club. They have been racing on Thursday evenings for as long as your columnist can remember. For those who might have an inclination to take a stroll down by the bay on Thursday evenings in the summer, you will be treated to a magnificent view of beautiful boats cutting through the waves on Manhasset Bay. That is when there is breeze, of course.
Last Thursday was a beautiful night on the water and the teams were out in full force. Your reporter had a chance to hop on a whaler and see the boats “up close and personal.” What a beautiful sight to see multiple sails again a bright blue sky, the sound of winches and sails flapping during a tack or jibe, and teams working together to get the best start.
Top boats on Thursday, June 20: Division I (7.50 nm, Course N, 5 boats): 1. Ripple, John Towers, 2. Avalanche, Al Albrecht, and 3 Nordlys, Bob Schwartz. Division II (5.88 nm, Course J, 6 boats): 1. Rosie, Ron Fink, 2. Xcite, Yalcin Tarhan, and 3. Irish Blessing, Ed Gillen. Division III (5.73 nm, Course DC, 11 boats): 1. En Passant, Bob Ebenau, 2. On The Beam, Bruce Joseph, and 3. Her G Gem, Paula Davis. Division III Cruising (5.73 nm, Course DC, 7 boats) 1. Eudaimonia, Dan Cantanzaro, 2. Second Wind, Anthony Viola, and 3. Escape, Chuck McCarthy.
Results for Thursday, June 23: Division I (4.91 nm, Course DI, 3 boats): 1. Ripple, 2. Sound Wave, Jonathan Flamm, and 3. Chieftain, Robert Chuda. Division II (4.91 nm, Course DI, 7 boats): 1. Rosie, 2. Vision, and 3. En Garde, Charlie Cannan. Division III (3.98 nm, Course 6Y, 7 boats): 1. En Passant, 2. Serenity, Jacques Blinbaum, and 3. Naked Dance, Adam Bleifeld. Division III Cruising (3.98 nm, Course 6Y, 3 boats): 1. Serenity, 2. Eudaimonia, and 3. Second Wind.
Scuttlebutt Online daily newsletter is full of information, not just racing results and current topics of interest. They also provide safety information that could just save a life. Hopefully readers will never be caught in a thunderstorm but if you might be, please read on. Thanks are extended to Scuttlebutt for publishing this important news:
For recreational boaters, summer thunderstorms bring danger not only with wind and waves, but also with lightning strikes. BoatUS’ Seaworthy Magazine recently took a look at how to be protected from this hazard while boating, sailing and fishing on the open water and has these tips:
1. Don’t wait until it’s too late: Get off the water early: Getting to safe harbor is the safest bet. If you’re in a powerboat and can’t get in, you may be able to get around the storm.
2. Inside is best: If you can’t get off the water in time, the best place to be on a boat is inside any cabin, but avoid being near mast or chainplates (sailboats), or large metal appliances like refrigerators.
3. Keep away from metal: If there is no “down below” and you’re stuck out on deck, stay away from metal railings, wheels, the mast and mast stays (both on sailboats), or any other metal fittings. A boater was killed in North Carolina when lightning jumped from his sailboat’s backstay to his head and then the metal steering wheel he was holding.
4. Don’t be a lightning rod: If you’re on an open boat, stay low and in the center. Depending on the severity of your situation, it’s also a good idea to remove jewelry. The US Coast Guard reports a case a few years ago in which lightning struck a man who was standing up wearing a large medallion.
5. Stay out of the water: Don’t fish during a thunderstorm – or dangle toes overboard.
6. Disconnect the power and antenna leads to your electronics: Many strikes just damage electronics so disconnecting them goes a long way in preventing equipment damage.
7. Lower antenna: Unless they serve as part of a lightning protection system, lower any antennas.
8. Stay silent: Don’t use the VHF unless absolutely necessary.
9. Lightning grounding protection systems: Grounding systems, which provide a path for the lightning to enter and safely exit the boat, must be free of corrosion if they are going to provide any protection.
10. Dissipater dilemma: As for mast-top lightning dissipaters, there is no agreement by the experts on how well or if they work at all. It should be noted that BoatUS insurance claims files show that boats with “brush-like” dissipaters mounted at the top of the mast have been struck by lightning.
11. If you do get hit: 1) Check people first; 2) then check the bilge as strikes can rupture through-hull fittings and punch holes in hulls; 3) check electronics and compass, and if all is good up to this point, 4) you may want to consider a short haul to check the bottom thoroughly (trailerboats can be inspected when you get back home). The challenge with lightning strikes is that they sometimes leave hard to find traces of damage that may only be seen when the boat is out of the water.
For more information, read We’ve Been Hit! Surviving a Lightning Strike by David Keen in the April 2011 issue of BoatUS Seaworthy Magazine found online at www.BoatUS.com/Seaworthy. Published four times a year by BoatUS Marine Insurance, Seaworthy’s pages are filled with case studies that provide insight into how to avoid accidents, breakdowns, injuries and the “unexpected” circumstances that can jeopardize the safety of your boat and guests.