Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 Harbor 20 Fleet 1 Arthur Strock Award Winner.

The Arthur B Strock Service Award may be awarded to members who have performed outstanding service for the Harbor 20, Fleet One organization. This years winner Bob Yates
I first met Bob Yates when I started sailing Lido 14’s in the early 2000s and was quick to recognize that his boat was perfectly tuned and always well prepared for the days sailing. Because of his advanced skill level, I always assumed he had sailed all his life and was surprised to learn he did not start sailing until he retired at the age of 50. “I crewed a bit in my younger days, but my first real boat was a “junker” Lido 14. I was a fifty-year-old beginner.  I raced it about forty times and never won a race. One day the boat fell apart and a friend loaned me a better boat. I immediately won two races. The next day I went to W. D. Schock and bought the Lido which I sailed for the next fifteen years,” Yates said.

2019 Arthur Strock award winner Bob Yates
Yates has been a Lido 14 and Harbor 20 fleet one champion and placed second twice in the Lido 14 Championships to names like Gaudio, Leweck, and Raab. “That was painful,” he said. In 2002 and in 2009 Yates won the Harbor 20 Fleet Championships and felt his crew members of Phil Thompson and Patrick Kincaid played a big part in his success. “Old age and treachery” just won’t cut it anymore,” he said. One of Yates’s many mentors was Dave Ullman, “ When I moved to Newport, I met Dave Ullman who’s loft was right down the street.  He was still putting on sailing clinics, and I memorized every word. He is one of the smartest dudes I ever met. Neat guy too,”

Yates feels that today’s sailors are the best that have ever sailed in our harbor in the same one- design boat the Harbor 20s. This year Yates took the helm of H20 Fleet 1 as fleet captain and never looked back. He won the fleets “Rain or Shine” award by sailing in more high point events than any other sailor in fleet one. He also won the H 20 A Fleet High Point Trophy by attending the most races and having the best results. That’s on the water, off the water Yates started the H20 sailing clinics for beginning sailors than organized the sailing for the blind and veterans sailing programs out of the American Legion.
He will be returning as fleet captain in 2020 and for all is outstanding efforts Yates will be receiving H20 Fleet 1’ Phil Thompson mentorship award and H20 Fleet 1 top award the Author Strock Award for members who have performed outstanding service for the Harbor 20, Fleet One organization. The H20 awards presentation is November 23rd at the Balboa Yacht Club. It was kind of funny when he was helping me place the engraving plaques on the awards this last weekend he started to realize that the awards banquet was all about him this year and well deserved. 

I had a few more questions for Yates and asked how he prepares himself for race day? “Get a good night’s sleep beforehand. It is tough on us old guys,” Yates said.  Then thought of what he feels is important to pass on to new sailors at his clinics “Every student is different. An instructor’s goal must be to get into the student’s mind and make sense to them. Find a way to give them the key information and motivation that will allow them to succeed,” Yates said. My last question was   Do you have a favorite moment in sailing? ” Roy Woolsey ( a true legend in sailing and in life itself)  and I were sailing our Lidos home from BYC late one Wednesday night and the wind shut off completely. We spent about four hours “camped” in front of the fun Zone. The Harbor Patrol finally towed us home at about 2 am. Our wives did not believe us, Yates explained.

Yates believes in racing hard and having a good laugh about the day after it’s all over. He has helped me tune my centerboard in my Lido 14 and bend my Jib boom on my H20 with his magic tree in his back yard. He loves the sport of sailing and will do everything in his power to increase your enjoyment and participation.

Sea ya


Friday, November 22, 2019

On the Harbor: Harbor Commission meeting

Winter is coming are so are the changes to title 17
I attended this month’s Harbor Commission meeting and before I left the house, I informed my wife that the meeting might go late into the night. “Okay, I’ll have your dinner on the stove waiting for you,” she said. I decided not to ask what she was cooking because it would have been that much more difficult to leave the house. I confirmed my suspicions when I noticed the meeting packet was thicker than a George R.R. Martin novel. No, the harbor is not on fire but there was a lot of information to fly over for one night, and I am not much into binge-watching harbor commission meetings. 
There has to be a redneck joke here somewhere?
First on the agenda was a Marine Activities Permit Application for SoCal Cycleboats Inc. A Cycleboat is a pontoon boat that is propelled by 10 patrons peddling, which turns the paddle wheel behind the boat. There has to be a redneck joke here somewhere? Not too sure how maneuverable and how quickly these babies can stop. Yet, I am not worried that you will see one planing down the middle of the harbor. My understanding is that this concept has done well on the Sacramento Delta. Personally, I would be surprised to see this idea work here in Duffyland. But hey, I never thought that windsurfing would catch on in the early eighties.
So, let’s get to the first part of the evening’s “meal” with Chris Miller, public works manager, with an update on the future of the Lower Bay dredging project. You are probably thinking, I thought we just did that? Well, that was the 2012 phase I. The 2021 phase II is penciled in to start once the city figures out where to find 23 million dollars. You might be thinking that finding the money was the dragon to slay; the real problem is disposing of the sediment which is estimated at 850,000 cubic yards. Of that 850,000, about 100,000 cubic yards is unsuitable material which is very difficult and expensive to dispose of. The options available at this time is an on-site sediment treatment facility, future port fill, upland landfill disposal, Long Beach CAD site, or creating a Lower Newport Bay CAD site. A CAD site is a Confined Aquatic Disposal plan by digging a hole in the harbor 450 feet by 450 feet and 47 feet deep. If I heard Miller correctly, this is not a new concept and is preferred by many government agencies. The CAD project is by far the best solution to this problem, although I feel there has to be a better place in the harbor rather than in the middle of the five points area. The time frame for this concept is 10 years for the CAD to be open which will allow marina and waterfront homeowners to dispose of any type of sediment. This will be a huge savings rather than barging the sediment out to sea. Other options for disposing of unsuitable material are not available in the near future, or just far too complex and expensive at this time. The CAD portion of the dredging project will be discussed in a public scoping meeting at 6 p.m. on December 4 in the Friends Meeting Room at Central Library. If you are a concerned harbor user, then this is the time to express your concerns to city staff.
Not to scale   Don Logan Photo

At first glance, my concern is where will the dredging equipment be kept when work is not being done? Will it stay onsite or will it be moved to a staging area? How much area will the dredging equipment cover? Having dredging equipment stationed at the proposed site for 10 years will disrupt many if not all of the harbor users I am in contact with every day.
Well, if the second course of the meal did not fill you up, let’s now move along to the next course of Proposed Changes to Title 17 Municipal/Harbor Codes, that our Harbor commissioners and City staff have spent 21 months reviewing and discussing with the community and the stakeholders of the harbor. The recommended changes to Title 17 will go in front of City Council for final review and a vote in the early part of next year. When opening this document, my attention span lasted for maybe 10 minutes, when I was quickly overcome by the 100+ pages of red lines. For the most part, the grumpy old man comes out in me, because I’m not always for change and certainly not recommending change by new city staff that has not been on our harbor for over a year. That is my first impression, then overnight I start to understand staff views and concerns better. Quite often I take the easy way out by paying closer attention to community activist Jim Mosher who always seems to recognize the devil in the details. From my observations, this topic needs about three more harbor activists similar to Mosher. In my simple world, these changes are similar to updating the Racing Rules of Sailing, which takes me two years to understand.
If you are looking for the recommended changes to Title 17, you can go to then scan down to Working draft revisions.
At this point, it was 9:30 p.m. and I was full and could not take in another bite. Other items on the agenda included offshore mooring extensions, creating a subcommittee to work with other commissions to explore a community pool at Lower Castaways Park (don’t get me started now on this topic) along with commissioners and staff updates. I don’t intend to make light of what’s going on in the harbor at this time, so please take this as a call to action that your participation is needed now more than ever.
Sea ya!
Len Bose is a yachting enthusiast, yacht broker and harbor columnist for Stu News Newport.

Friday, November 08, 2019

" There is a new Lawman in town"

Justin "Lawman" Law
The year was 1997 I was 35 years old and weighed about 200 pounds and was sailing in a sabot during the BYC Macho Mens regatta. The class I was in was called “Super Sized” or something like that. I had knee pads on and could not figure out just how to position myself in the boat to make it go any faster, so I just stayed on my knees in the middle of the boat. While rounding K mark and heading towards the finish a wide-eyed 12-year-old kid, with the gleam in his eye of a young white shark, who had started ten minutes behind me in the “Bitesize” fleet. Rolled jibed his boat perfectly and jumped from rail to rail in his sabot then streaked by me as if I was a speed bump on 16th street. The thought of luffing him was fleeting to no avail and I did get a quick glimpse of the boat name has he flew by “Lawman” was on the side of his boat. The Lawman never looked back as he won the event that day and I don’t think he has looked back since.

Justin “Lawman” Law was born in 1985 and started sailing at the age of 3. “When we moved to Corona del Mar we lived across the street from Ed Carpenter. He bought my first sabot and together with my father, Larry, we refinished a 1970s Holder sabot in the garage and then I started sailing.” Law recalled. As a junior sailor, he finished second in two different sabot nationals then attend Newport Harbor High School where he teamed up with his long-time crew and good friend Adrienne Patterson. During the early years and winning many High School regattas the team of Law and Patterson became F.J. National Champions and still sail FJ’s 19 years latter together. Law then packed his seabag and headed to St. Mary’s College of Maryland. During his four years of college, Law was an Honorable Mention sailor his freshman year and All American sailor the next three years while becoming a finalist for “Sailor of the year” his senior year. There is only three finalists noticed each year so it’s very close to being an award it’s self. During his last year in college, he started a 470 Olympic Campaign 
“Today this not the best time to start an Olympic Campaign, I had never learned more about sailing than I did at this time of my life,” Law said.

On his return home from college he became the head coach at NHYC and Newport Harbor High sailing teams. During his first year as coach at Newport Harbor High School, his Alma mater, the team won the High School National Championships. “ Which was one of the coolest things ever,” Law said with pride in his voice. 

I already knew the answer to this question when I asked him what type of sailing event does he prefer to compete in? “ Team racing, it is like chess on the water. You have to be fast and know what to do next. I really enjoy the aggressiveness and tempo of team racing along with having teammates.” Law said. The “Lawman” has been on the winning team of the Baldwin Cup which is our harbor’s most prestigious team racing event five times to my count. His most memorable win was the 2015 ISAF Team Racing World Championships in Rutland Great Britain.

My next question was, What personal characteristics keeps you on the top of most of the sailing events you enter? “ I have put a lot of time on the water, be it Catalina 37’s, Harbor 20’s, Sonars. I really love being competitive, obviously, I am way too competitive, I would not have been so successful without that competitive drive.” That drive was a big part of the NHYC winning this year Lipton Cup with Law on the helm for the first time. He had been apart of two other Lipton Cup teams in the past sailed in J 105’s. The Lipton Cub has a long and distinguished history in California for skippers and crews which including the names of many world’s best sailors. “ This year Lipton Cup, SDYC does a great job at this event and the boats are all very well matched. Many of the team had done the Lipton Cup before and did an outstanding job which allowed me to concentrate on the tel tails and the J-105 heel angle, the boats get overpowered pretty quick and there is only so much you can do, so if you can drive to a certain heel angle you are going to be pretty fast. Over the regatta, we focused on our starts and improved them over the regatta. Being aware of having space and speed on the starting line.

Some of our success was due to that three members of our crew had sailed Catalina 37’s all summer together were aware of our heel angle, wheel time, down-wind lanes” Law said.

While I had Justin on the phone I took this opportunity to try to increase my sailing performance on our harbor and asked him what to focus on while racing and how to sail better in our harbor? “ One needs to focus on controllable’s, there are many variables in sailing some are controllable. For example what you are doing before and during and after the race, preparing your boat equipment, how are you preparing yourself mentally and physically. Being dressed appropriately, eating and drinking enough. It really all comes down to thinking about the things that you can control”. “When sailing in Newport Harbor it is very wind-driven, I like to watch the progression of the day, watching the flags. Over the years the harbor does come to be predictable so it’s trying to remember what works and what does not. Then making sure that you do just that and not get distracted from what works. Remembering the Lido Lift, remembering not to go deep right in the Lido corner, Looking for the lefty just below the NHYC moorings. Newport is an amazing place to sail,  it is a very predictable and easy place to sail” Law said.

 I took this last tidbit of information onto the racecourse last weekend I did rather well with it.  “If you were to draw a line from the tip of Lido straight towards Bay-Island and you are on port tack and below that line, you will probably get headed down into Lido. Where one will run into the Lido Lift, but if you are above that line sometimes you will get that little lefty twist, so you do not have to own the right” Law explained.

So what’s next for the Lawman? I would like to do more keelboat invitational yacht club events like the NYYC Resolute Cup. With a win there one receives an invite to the NYYC Invitational which is the largest Corinthian event for yacht clubs. “That’s the one I want next”

I’ve been very fortunate to sail with Law to Hawaii, twice down Baja and one extremely challenging and memorable run down the coast of California aboard the Santa Cruz 50 Horizon. Just so happens we won all four events and I continuously remind him that he makes sailing fun.

Sea ya