Pirates, Spinnakers, and Sailing Tales

Avast, ye scurvy dogs!

We have a BIG Pirate Race Weekend coming up, with a spinnaker clinic on Friday night, the Pirate Race on Saturday, a potential “France to Norway” voyage recap after the Pirate Race, and a Caribbean / Pirate them potluck on Saturday evening. Read on for all the details.

Friday Night Spinnaker Clinic

Here’s what’s on the agenda:

On Friday, we’re going to run a spinnaker clinic. There’s been a lot of demand for this, and we’re finally going to make it happen. We’ll try to make this a valuable session for folks who aspire to run the chute for the first time and more experienced sailors. Folks who have just graduated from our beginner classes are absolutely welcome.

Here’s the rough agenda:

  • When it’s helpful to fly a spinnaker
  • The basics: hoisting, dousing, and gybing downwind
  • How to play the spinnaker sheet
  • How to trim the guy/pole

And some stuff for more experienced sailors:

  • Finding the best downwind angles
  • Refining the “spinnaker gybe ballet”
  • Hoisting and dousing at a race mark

We’ll use the club Buccaneer 18 (Waldo) and a modern Nickels Buccaneer as demo boats on land. And once we get through the “on-shore” material, we’ll get on the water and do some exciting spinnaker drills! The clinic will kick off at 6:45, and I’ll try to get there early enough to get demo boats rigged and marks set.

The Pirate Race

And Saturday is the main event! The annual “Reading of the Rules” will commence at 12:30 PM, and the race itself will start at 1:00 PM. This means that boats should be rigged and ready to sail before then. Here’s an official message from Gabe Gunpowder Blackspot and London Lookout RUMirez:

Iaarrrghh J. Bailer, London Lookout RUMirez, and Gabe Gunpowder Blackspot are the three “Pirate Brothers from other Pirate Mothers” that rule the seas of Big Lake. One day as they were hunting for booty, a sparkle caught London’s attention while looking through his spyglass. He and Iarrghh swam to shore to check it out. There was a treasure chest on bird island! They cracked open the small, shiny chest only to find it was some goofy ahh piece of paper. Upon further inspection, it was a legend about “The Freebooter trilogy.” The scroll said any true buccaneer who could obtain three supreme artifacts would receive “insane pirate power”! After many days of swindling, hoodwinking, and buffoonery, the brothers only needed one more item to complete the trilogy! Sadly, a few weeks later, Iaarrghh was hornswoggled by some mermaids who told him that Davie Jones needed help opening his locker. No one ever did find his body. The Brothers quit their search while laughing mourning his death.

The brothers were undecided on whether they were to trade their
artifacts or keep them for a chance at becoming totally O.P. and getting “insane pirate power.” Whoever can come up with enough gold to trade for the artifacts or find the third and final artifact will have a chance to become the new Pirate ruler of Big Lake!

The Rules

  1. All participating pirates must wear a life jacket for the full duration of the race, whether they are on the water, on the docks, or on the shore.
  2. Any sailable boat is eligible to participate in the Pirate Race.
  3. Boat can be propelled by wind, oars, paddles, rocking, skulling, or even swimmers. Boats may not use any kind of engine or pedals/propellors.
  4. Boats on port tack have the right of way over boats on starboard tack. All other normal right-of-way rules apply.
  5. Each boat with any treasure on board must trail a water bottle behind their boat using 15’ of line. The line and bottles will be supplied by the Pirate Racing Committee. Any boat that fails to do so will be capsized.
  6. If any competing boat touches your trailing bottle, you must immediately and peacefully surrender all treasure on your boat.
  7. Mayhem, hornswoggling, and treachery are allowed for the wild and rowdy Pirate Race, but the safety and well-being of your fellow pirates are paramount!
  8. The Pirate Brothers are always willing to take bribes in turn for race information.
  9. After getting tagged, you must do a 360° turn or collect another kind of treasure before attempting to steal the treasure back from the same boat.
  10. No capsizing lidos without masthead floats or “Waldo,” the club Buck.
  11. Water guns, splashing, hoses, or other water-slinging buffoonery is allowed and encouraged.

Tales of the Nordvær

For those who aren’t away, ASC members and instructors Steve Ryan, Brie Busey, and Gabe Black recently arrived back in Alaska after delivering a Lagoon 51 catamaran (the Nordvær) from France to Norway. Following the Pirate Race (and allowing a little time for everybody to put on dry clothes), they’ll share tales and photos of their adventure. (And note that we may move this presentation to the Fireweed Ladies Race if all three of our adventurers can’t make it on Saturday.)

Caribbean Themed Potluck

We’ll finish off Saturday’s festivities with a Caribbean/Pirate-themed potluck. Bring your best pirate grub, and we’ll celebrate the conclusion of what promises to be another swashbuckling adventure at the ASC!







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