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Sunday June 2 - R2AK 'Ruckus' and Dinner Meeting in Port Townsend -- Minutes Attached

posted May 7, 2019, 3:43 PM by Mark Olsoe   [ updated Jul 2, 2019, 2:47 PM ]

We will have our monthly meeting in Port Townsend on Sunday June 2.  Why? Turns out that the Race to Alaska "Ruckus" followed by race start the next day is on the eve of the 1st Tuesday of the month.  So our meeting in Port Townsend takes advantage of this, and it gives our west of the Sound members a chance to attend conveniently. 

On Sunday the R2AK “Race Ruckus” begins at noon and continues all afternoon and evening  R2AK boats will be on the seaside end of Point Hudson marina  and in Pope Marine Park next to the Northwest Maritime Center.It is great fun to stroll among, and see, the variety of boats and talk to the competitors as they assemble and do last minute tweaks to their entries.  So come early in the day and bump into NWMA members along the way. Also the SEVENTY48 racers will be finishing as they arrive from Tacoma. Coincidentally the Classic Mariner (SEVENTY48) regatta boats will be on the inland end of Point Hudson marina.

At 5pm we will transition to the other end of town, 1 mile southwest, to walk the docks at Boat Haven marina (where there might be more R2AK boats)   

6 – 8 pm we will enjoy dinner and NW Multihull meeting at the Port Townsend Yacht Club

We hope to see you in the marvelous multi maritime mecca of Port Townsend! 

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We did something different this year which some of us had been thinking about for a while.  We had the meeting across Puget Sound so that the members over there did not have to suffer the cost, schedule and time to take a ferry to get to Seattle.  Since the R2AK race was starting June 2 and our first Tuesday meeting date was so close we decided to combine the two and have the meeting in Port Townsend on Sunday evening before the start of the race.  The race is a popular draw for multihullers and this multiplied the attraction for folks to come to the meeting.  It worked as I counted exactly 50 people sitting down, having dinner, libations and a wonderful time.

Vice Commodore Diane J. did a great job of pulling this all together with husband Mark O. helping out behind the scenes.  Others helped here and there I suspect but they, unfortunately, are unknown to this writer.  Diane connected with NWMA member Doug H. in Port Townsend who is a member of the Port Townsend Yacht Club.  Doug got us a great rate to rent the club for the evening.  We had no planned presentation other than to walk the docks all day to view the amazing craft that were rigging up to start the race at 5 am the next morning.  That was a great carnival atmosphere with food carts, sponsor tents, live music and the best Victorian and maritime town that I know of.

Around 4:30, at least 10 folks showed up to help prep the mountain of food Diane bought at Costco and to set up tables and chairs.  It was so nice to have many hands make short, and fun, work of it.  What a great community we have!  After a good hour of snacking, gabbing and imbibing from 5-~6pm the dinner bell rang and we queued up to a quick double line on either side of the loaded serving tables.  Wine and keg were there as well.  We had a great time chatting and chowing down with our table mates. There were 50 or more NWMA members and friends here. 

When most of the food was eaten Vice Commodore Diane stood up and thanked Doug and another PTYC member John P. for making their club house and kitchen available to us.  We all gave a hearty round of applause.  She mentioned a few Multihull Club meeting items since Commodore Jeff could not attend; going over the advantages of our club membership; such as discounts at Fisheries Supply, tools and equipment loaning library (boat scale, huge storage rack/boat tent frame, boat stands, etc.), discount at Ballard Sails, free sail measuring for new PHRF racers, Amelia Yacht Charters 15% discount on day/sunset charters of their nearly new 38’ Seawind catamaran.   

Diane then acknowledged some of the long time members and seldom seen members from this far side of Puget Sound.  Long-time members Bill Bowman, John Matthiesen, Rita Kepner, Floyd Moore and others spontaneously stood up and in turn spoke at length about how this club changed so many lives in those early, heady years of building plywood trimarans with dreams of sailing off over the horizon.  Many did.  Past Commodore Martyn mentioned seeing an old invoice for 30 aluminum masts!  Such was the activity of home builders whence this club was born from.   We heard from many others including a couple who came all the way from Portland (wow) for the meeting (and I suspect the r2ak festivities too).  Lots of fun stories were told.  Multihull broker Matthew Dunning was there.  And a wonderful young family on a unique Featherlight 435 catamaran on the hard next door came by.  It was fun to hear of their 10 year refit and plan to sail to San Diego very soon to begin a cruising life; they already have been living aboard in Lake Union and in the boat yard for a long time! 

We also heard from Bill Q and Team Narwhal about their preparation and training for a shot at R2AK glory.  Club members Joel, Mark D., and Li are going along with him.  The vessel is the F32 trimaran Tatiana that Bill built in garages in 3 different states.  Look em up in the R2AK participants page  Mark nearly won stage one of the first R2AK on a sailboard!  Li did the race last year in the beautiful Corsair 970 trimaran of Team Wright Yachts. 

Joel and wife Patty are living aboard, on the hard, finishing off the Marples 35 trimaran that Dave Vincent began many years ago but Dave passed away with it partially completed.  Our long-time members expressed much thanks to Joel and Patty for completing/realizing the dream that this boat represents.  They plan to cruise long and far. 

Vince D. raised a toast to Team Narwhal.  Then local sailors John Powers and Lynn Gleason offered some local knowledge to Team Narwhal so that they could be victorious in their quest for R2AK glory. Greg Jacobs made a great looking R2AK plaque for Team Narwhal. All very nice gestures. 

Somewhere during this time Tom S. was cajoled into giving us a rundown of the last Americas Cup in Bermuda. He enthusiastically complied in his usual entertaining and wonderfully informative manner.   It turned into a good 30+ minutes of thoughts and Q&A. The AC 50’ foiling catamarans (he referred to them as F50s, but they’re not Farriers) are being given a second life in a Grand Prix 50 circuit currently spanning the globe.  Most recently last April they had 2 days of great racing of the 6 boat fleet right on the waterfront in SFO (San Francisco). If you haven’t seen the utube of that series you should look it up.  It was nearly as spectacular as the 2013 cup race with the 72 footers in SFO.  I interjected my fantastic AC experience in 2013 there and strongly encouraged anyone who can, to attend the 2020 GP50 event in SFO.  I’m certainly going to try to get down there.  He mentioned that Larry Ellison is footing the bill for this Grand Prix circuit series (4 or 5 races this year) for 5 years!  So there will likely be one each year in SFO, Larry’s home town, to go see.  DO IT!  Ok enough cheer leading.

Tom mentioned that as the crews over the last couple years learned how to sail and foil the F-50s, the racing became more traditional.  Such that conventional tactics and strategy came more into play, as opposed to straight out boat speed, foiling and banging the corners.  I did notice this when I watched the SFO series on Utube.  It seemed that there were times when those fantastic boats were engaged in tacking duels, AT 30-49 KNOTS!!!!  The racing was often very close.  Tom then touched on the evolution of the current AC boats, which are foiling “monohulls”.  He mentioned that it will be interesting if the winds are light and the boats come off their foils.  His thought is that they may have a hard time getting back up to foiling speed as compared with the non ballasted catamarans of the last two AC contests.  It may be that they will end up just banging the corners of the race course to avoid gybes and tacks that will expose them to splashdowns.

After this it became obvious that wondering about not having a program for the meeting was unfounded.  The stories just continued as more members stood up to share their experiences of this club over the last 52 years.  It was truly a wonderful and spontaneous evening.  It was very cool to hear about the early years of the club and the enthusiasm and thankfulness that the old timers had for it.  It would have been fun to have it recorded for posterity but I can’t take notes that fast.

We have our summer recess now until the first meeting on Tuesday, September 3.  However some of us will likely sail to Poulsbo on July 3 to see their fireworks and then sail to Blake Island on the 4th to see the ones in Seattle.  Come raft up. 

Some will go to Cowichan Bay regatta first week of August, and I had a great time meeting up with our northern partners of the British Columbia Multihull Society at their raft up last September.  I recommend you go to their website and get the details and show up this year. They are a fun welcoming bunch. says: Our three major cruising/racing events are the (mid May) Victoria Day sail-in at Port Browning on Pender Island, the Summer Sail in July 19-21 at Newcastle Island near Naniamo and the Labour Day  sail-in again at Port Browning August 31– September 2.

Till next September; fair winds.

Eric Lindahl, NWMA Secretary