The Melges Scow Report - Summer Time Is Awesome On The All New Melges MC Scow

The Melges Scow Report - Summer Time Is Awesome On The All New Melges MC Scow © Randall Moring Related topics:

4 June 2009

Provided by Melges Performance Sailboats Agent Eric Hood - I thought I would just give everyone an update on the first half of the 2009 sailing season. I know some of you in the north woods are saying whoaaaaa we are just getting started. Certainly that is one of the cool things about our class having all of our friends and fleets down south. We can sail the MC Scow year round.

Before I go into some observations and comments about this year I would like to encourage everyone to make sure you have paid your dues at www.mcscow.org. We are so incredibly fortunate to have one of the best websites in the world which is a huge benefit of class membership. Your supporting the class with your small membership fee helps sustain all the work that Ron and Herman do at this great website. Also, use the website more to communicate. You can find folks anywhere in the country in our 'members only' section. Staying in touch, networking and staying in community with each other is a strength of our class.

REGATTAS
We have had 24 regattas this season already and have another 44 on the schedule around the country. The good news is that folks are in fact travelling and going to events despite the economic reports that can be well just depressing to listen too. We had 80 plus boats at one of our first events of the year the Midwinter Championship at my home club of Lake Eustis , Florida and then just last week I was at the second largest event of the year with 46 boats down at Lake Lotawana, MO just outside Kansas City. We still have the Masters Nationals at Keuka, NY coming up in August, the National Championship just outside Tulsa, OK in September and the Junior National Championship at Clear Lake in Indiana this month. That is not to mention the ILYA events which can all be seen on both www.ilya.org and www.mcscow.org". For those fortunate enough to be members of the WMYA that championship will be held at Torch Lake in early August. Lots of great club racing at scores of clubs across the country for those who are not travelling. Some would say the glass is half full I am here to report the glass if full of great opportunities to sail your MC Scow with friends in all sorts of places.

THE NEW BOAT
One neat thing about this year is that Team Zenda brought me in to be part of all that Andy, Harry and Charlie along with Team Zenda have been working on since mid last year and that is the new 2009 MC Model. I have sailed the boat more than anybody to date and I am here to report great news. The boat is a lot more fun to sail, not that the old boats are not. I find it is more comfortable with my legs being supported from deck to floor by the new cockpit wall. No doubt it is quicker to tack. I have not won an event in a while and this past weekend I am giving a lot of credit to my boat handling and I think others at that event will testify that I just tacked quicker, cleaner than everybody there in extremely tricky conditions with 46 boats. The new boat tacking procedure is now a 1 step move just pulling the board down instead of the old two step method. Yes, it takes a little getting used to (for me about 5 tacks). Crews are going to be a lot happier with the sealed deck and not getting their legs beat up and bruised. This boat no doubt is safer in that after a capsize the boat comes up dry every time. Now I just told you about winning a 46 boat event well I have also finished 48th at the Midwinter's. There we had 7 boats and the range was from 1st to 48th. I cannot see any speed advantage. Boat handling yes, but just straight line side by side speed difference no. Team Melges did a great job keeping the boat the same and in line with all class scantlings. Over 30 have been delivered to date and many more are on order which is great. I could have left three at Lotawana but only had one with me (lucky Gary Schroeder got new MC 2503). If you get a new boat try to keep your old boat in the fleet as a beginner boat for someone new. That works well and many successful fleets have multiple loaner boats to help promote class growth.

CLASS PROMOTION
This is where we can all help each other out. Hey, if you are struggling with getting your fleet on track please reach out and ask for help. From our class officers, to posting notes-questions on line at www.mcscow.org; to calling Andy Burdick, Jim Gluek, Harry Melges, Charlie Harrett, me. I can guarantee you we want everyone to succeed with their MC fleet plans and promotions. There are so many great ideas out there on how to help new sailors, young sailors, women, older sailors stay in the game and have fun.

If I don't have the answers I know many of my friends like class president Jeff Annis or class officer Eric Protzman or so many others will be able to help. Just let us know.

SPEED TIP OF THE DAY - How to know if the puff coming at you is a header or a lift?
Draw a couple of lines on your deck or use a couple of strips of tape 1' long. Both port and starboard side. Put one down that goes fore and aft with the centerline of the boat (close to your board well), then another coming off that centerline mark ( starting at the aft end of the centerline mark) putting it at a 45 degree angle and then another that creates a 90 degree angle off that same aft end. Sort of looks like a seagull foot print.

Now go out and do several long beats, both tacks. Notice how a clear majority of the time that a puff you are sailing into when it falls in that 0-45 degree zone it will more times than not be a header. Now the same with the 45-90 degree zone off centerline. More times than not when a puff hits your boat from this zone it will be a lift.

I have been sailing for 48 of my 53 years and did not pick up on that one till I was in my thirties. It works. Try it out.

Don't forget to use the class website for your regatta entry process. It works well and drives registration up when others can see who and how many are coming. Also, share this note with anyone new who might not be on our class mailing list.

Look forward to seeing you all out there.

Sail Fast!
eric.hood@melges.com
Cell: (773) 896-7658