Friday, August 24, 2007

Rio Grande Sailing Club, 1972 Charter (Constitution)

Here's one of the oldest documents I've been able to find from the history of the Rio Grande Sailing Club. This 1972 charter (constitution) contains some interesting differences from the current club constitution and by-laws.

For example, the board of directors back then comprised the officers (commodore, vice commodore, secretary-treasurer, and past commodore) and fleet captains. Nowadays the board is separate from the officers and the officers have no vote on the board (except the commodore to break a tie). The secretary and treasurer are separate offices now, and the past commodore isn't counted as an officer.

Also interesting is Article II, Purpose of the Organization. Among its statements are, "to provide, through purchase or lease, property for Club uses; and to encourage the development of more adequate boat storage and dock facilities."

Also, fleets could be formed on any basis, not just geography. So, any group of 10 or more members could band together as a fleet and lay claim to a portion of the club's membership dues for their use. They could be members of a one-design fleet, a group of Parrothead cruisers, ham radio operators, dog lovers, or any old group of people.

One of the old sections appears to be mis-numbered (the 2nd VIII should be XIII) and I need to re-scan I section.

Friday, August 17, 2007

NMSC volunteers wanted, lake conditions

New Mexico Sailing Club
Still needs volunteers for

Racing this weekend

(And, Gerald is looking for volunteers to help his Scout troop with an Eagle Scout Project this weekend, August 18 and 19. They will be posting signposts for a nature trail)

Helping out at the next work party

Serving on next year’s board of directors. Our commodore, vice commodore, and secretary have expiring terms, three other director terms are expiring, and one director needs a long-term substitute.

Helping out with activities this and next year.

Race on Labor Day weekend.

Participate in the Potluck on the Saturday before Labor Day.

Participate in the ice cream social, dessert potluck, and club meeting on September 2, the Sunday before Labor Day.

Help with Buccaneer Rodeo and racing on Labor Day weekend.
We especially need a mark set boat operator, a chase/safety boat operator, and a skipper that could take out spectators. We could also use someone to sound the horns and help organize the potluck back on land. And, we could use people who know the racing rules for the protest committee/jury. Thanks to Perry for volunteering to be Signaller.

Last weekend we put “Black Magic” back in the water. During the week we attended the RGSC fleet social. The lakes are holding up well and we may be getting some more tropical moisture later on this month.

Heron LakeAugust 17, 2007, 11:00 AM
7,155.10 elev., 241,581 acre feet
Up 0.01' (1/8 inch) and 46 a.f. in 24 hours
Up 0.07 (5/6 inch) and 313 a.f. in 71 hours
Dead even for past 6 days

Azotea Tunnel, 11:00 AM, August 17, 200751 c.f.s. (50-102 cfs in past 71 hours)

Willow Creek, 09:00 AM, August 17, 200750 cfs (50-109 cfs in past 71 hours)
Middle Rio Grande Conservancy appears to be taking some water out during the weekends but enough water is flowing in to keep the lake nearly level or rising slightly.

On Saturday, August 11, 12:00 noon, Heron was at 7,155.10' elev. and 241,581 a.f. … identical to this Friday morning’s level.

Heron Lake, NM (Rio Arriba County)
date . . . . level (ft.) . . . storage (acre feet)
12/31 . . . 7,144.85 . . . . 198,729
01/31 . . . 7,137.54 . . . . 171,252
02/28 . . . 7,135.48 . . . . 163,997
03/31 . . . 7,136.80 . . . . 168,721
04/30 . . . 7,140.60 . . . . 182,435
05/31 . . . 7,148.98 . . . . 215,390
06/30 . . . 7,153.96 . . . . 236,551
08/07 . . . 7,154.64 . . . . 239,554
08/07 . . . 7,154.10 . . . . 241,581 (12:00 noon)
08/17 . . . 7,155.10 . . . . 241,581 (11:00 AM)

91,235 a.f. SJ-C water in, January through June, 2007.-2,091 a.f. SJ-C water loss, April-June-3,813 a.f. SJ-C water discharged, May-June


Elephant Butte Lake, New MexicoFriday, August 17, 2007, 09:00 AM
4,333.72 feet elev. above benchmark
426,384 acre feet
down 0.18' (2.2 inches) and 2,124 acre feet in 24 hours
down 0.52' (6 inches) and 6,194 acre feet in 71 hours

San Marcial Floodway flow at 11:00 a.m. was 36 cubic feet per second (31 to 161 cfs in past 71 hours)
Flow out the dam at 11 AM was 1,420 c.f.s. (1350 to 1440 cfs in past 71 hours).

Comparison to operations plan projections:

Ops plan projection was for 302 cfs inflow, 1,825 cfs flow out the dam.

Ops plan projected lake level for the end of Aug. 16 was 4,332.39' elev., 410,790 a.f.

Ops plan had projected outflow of 1,280 cfs from August 26 to Oct. 13. The lake is 16 inches higher and has about 15,600 more a.f. of water than projected. Although less water is flowing into the lake than projected, less is flowing out at the dam as well.

Elephant Butte Lake, 2007 elevation (feet) and acre feet of water:
1/01 . . . 4,340.82 . . . . 515,3500
1/31 . . . 4,344.02 . . . . 558,4400
2/28 . . . 4,346.88 . . . . 598,4600
3/11 . . . 4,347.72 . . . . 610,490 annual high point
03/19 . . . 4,347.48 . . . . 607,0400
3/31 . . . 4,347.62 . . . . 609,0500
4/30 . . . 4,343.82 . . . . 555,970
05/05 . . . 4,342.26 . . . . 548,050 intermediate low point
05/31 . . . 4,347.08 . . . . 601,320
06/05 . . . 4,347.58 . . . . 608,480 crest of spring runoff
06/30 . . . 4,344.96 . . . . 571,4400
7/25 . . . 4,337.90 . . . . 477,6100
8/07 . . . 4,335.16 . . . . 443,660 (12.56' loss from maximum)
08/17 . . . 4,333.72 . . . . 426,384

Operations Plan Predictions
08/16 . . . 4,332.39 . . . . 410,7900
8/31 . . . 4,328.76 . . . . 369,7500
9/22 . . . 4,324.62 . . . . 325,7700
9/30 . . . 4,323.34 . . . . 312,715
10/14 . . . 4,321.20 . . . . 291,424 (proj. max. loss of 13.94' from today)
10/31 . . . 4,322.64 . . . . 305,665
Maximum projected loss still leaves the lake 27' higher than the lowest level during the 2005 drought.
Projected outflow is 1,825 c.f.s. per day through August 25, then 1,280 c.f.s. from Aug. 26 to Oct. 13

Reality check: The Butte probably won’t go below around 4,323.50 ft. elev. and 314,250 a.f.


Other lakes as of Friday morning, August 17, 2007:
6,888.97 ft., 146,822 a.f., El Vado Lake
6,217.83 ft., 175,269 a.f., Abiquiu Lake (185,000 a.f. is authorized capacity)
5,340.92 ft., 50,255 a.f., Cochiti Lake

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Elephant Butte and Heron Lakes

Elephant Butte Lake, New Mexico
Tuesday, August 14, 2007, 1:00 PM

4,334.22 feet elev. above benchmark
432,338 acre feet

down 0.16' (1.9 inches) and 1,918 acre feet in 24 hours
down 0.44' (5.3 inches) and 5,285 acre feet in 71 hours

San Marcial Floodway flow at 11:00 a.m. was 159 cubic feet per second (117 to 183 cfs in past 71 hours)

Flow out the dam at 11 AM was 1,350 c.f.s. (1300 to 1370 cfs in past 71 hours).

Comparison to operations plan projections:

Ops plan projection was for 238 cfs inflow, 1,825 cfs flow out the dam.
Ops plan projected lake level for the end of Aug. 14 was 4,332.91' elev., 416,875 a.f.
Ops plan had projected outflow of 1,280 cfs from August 26 to Oct. 13.

The lake is about 15 inches higher and has about 15,000 more a.f. of water than projected.


Heron Lake
August 14, 2007, 11:00 AM
7,155.03 elev., 241,268 acre feet
up 0.05' (3/5 inch) and 220 a.f. in 24 hours
down 0.07 (5/6 inch) and 313 a.f. in 71 hours

Azotea Tunnel, 2 PM, August 14, 2007
99 c.f.s. (87-137 cfs in past 71 hours)

Willow Creek, 1 PM, Auguust 14, 2007
109 cfs (93-148 cfs in past 71 hours)

Middle Rio Grande Conservancy appears to be taking some water out during the weekends but enough water is flowing in to keep the lake nearly level. On Saturday, August 11, 12:00 noon, Heron was at 7,155.10' elev. and 241,581 a.f.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

New Mexico Sailing Club volunteers needed

Of course, the NMSC needs volunteers for officer and board spots next year, and volunteers to host events and lead projects.

We need help on work parties, so we can get the marina ship shape, put pads on knee braces, finish the connecting walkway widening, finish refloating the dockhouse, get the pump-out fully working (now that the pump has been repaired) and re-install the long gangway.

And, we need racers for the weekends of August 18 and Labor Day weekend. We need people to bring side dishes to the potluck on Sept. 1 (Saturday) and dessert on Sept. 2 (Sunday). We need people to show up and cheer everyone on and enjoy socializing. We also have some special needs.

We need several people to help make the Buccaneer Rodeo happen: We could use help both on-and-off the water for the Buccaneer Rodeo at Heron Lake on Labor Day weekend.

On the water we can also use committee boat volunteers to hoist and lower signal flags, sounds horns, check the wind, watch the starting line, record sail numbers of boats as they finish or do other interesting things.

Maybe I need to make up a chart of possible volunteer jobs on the water:

race committee signal boat -- starts and finishes races, center of communication with racers, promotes fair and safe racing.

Jobs -- some people may have multiple jobs or switch --

Principal race officer (PRO, Pat) -- chooses the courses to be raced, directs placement of starting line and mark-rounding buoys, decides whether winds and conditions are suitable for running the race, instructs recorder and scorer on how to record boats that did something "unusual".

Timer -- keeps meticulous track of time and starting sequences. Time is based on Global Postioning Satellite time or may be synchronized to the PRO's watch. Ideally, race committee volunteers will synchronize their watches before the first race.

Scorer -- calculates handicap results for handicap races

Signaller -- raises and lowers flags...
posts flags or writes on course board to indicate
course to be sailed before the race
raises and lowers postponement flag
raises class flag 5 minutes before race start
raises preparatory flag 4 minutes before race start
lowers prep flag 1 minute before start
raises postponement flag if start is to be postponed
lowers class flag at start
raises individual recall or general recall is recall happens
raises abandonment is race is abandoned
does same thing all over again for the next racing class
and for subsequent starts; each class will have a
different class flag

Sounder -- sounds horn or gun
preliminary repeated sounds 6 minutes before start
blast 5 minutes before
blast 4 minutes before
long blast 1 minute before
blast at beginning
two blasts if postponement before race starts
blast after beginning if 1 or few boats are over early
two blasts if general recall
blast is course is changed
three blasts if abandonment after race starts

Line sighter/wind reader -- watch starting line to make sure it's square to the wind, watch for boats over the line before the start, help recorder identify sail numbers and boats

Recorder -- record starting sequence times, finish order and times for each boat, any special circumstances noted by the PRO, such as violations that the race committee should protest, boats that sailed the wrong course, didn't finish properly, etc. Keep good, legible, complete records.

Radio operator -- where regattas do this, is in charge of communication from signal boat. May broadcast starting sequence essentials and announce individual and general recalls, postponements, and abondonments, if so directed by the sailing instructions and the PRO. Knows emergency communication procedures for summoning medical, rescue, or law enforcement help. Should also have a cell phone and local emergency phone numbers as back up. Ensures boat is provided with emergency signal equipment.

Boat operator -- safe navigation, positioning, and anchoring of the signal boat. May also act as host/hostess and provide provisions for the crew. Ensures boat has safety equipment.

Mark set boat --
Place pin buoy, windward mark, leeward mark, and reach mark as directed. Adjust them as directed to keep the course square. If the course isnt square, one side will be overly favored, the effective maneuvering area gets smaller, and boats will haver fewer tactical opportunities to pass each other -- the racing becomes less fair and interesting. In general, the line should be at a right angle to the average prevailing wind --- to the extent we have such a thing in mountain lake sailing. The windward mark should be straight upwind from the middle of the line, the leeward mark straight downwind, and the reach mark should be roughly in line with the starting line, way out past the pin buoy. The starting line should normally be longer than the combined lengths of all the boats that will be using it for any given start.

The mark set boat may also be used to change or shorten a course and in this case would be given a "C" or "M" or "S" flag to display and horn to sound.

All support boats should keep out of the way of racers, except in an emergency, and keep their wind shadows and wakes from affecting the racing.

Chase/safety/patrol/stake boat --
Keep out of the way of the racers as mentioned above. When accelerating rapidly, turn away from the racers. A good strategy for if we have only one chase boat is for the boat to shadow the fleet from a mostly downwind postion on the left side of the course most of the way out to the windward mark, then lead the fleet past the reach mark if used, or just go off to the side beyond the middle of the downwind leg.

If a racing sailboat capsizes or seems to have dropped out of the race, ask if they need assistance, unless it's an obvious emergency. A racing boat crew may prefer to do self-rescue so they can continue in the race and not be disqualified. If the crew is in distress or asks for help, do so with care.

* You may be able to support the mast tip of a capsized boat so the sailboat doesn't turtle, or tie a line to a shroud or mast and run it around the boat and back down to help right a capsized boat.

* If the sailboat turtles in shallow water and the mast gets stuck, you may be able to approach the hull side and gently pull the boat by its centerboard or gunwales parallel to the mast so it doesn't break, or you may be able to approach the top side and push the boat's cockpit (watching out for loose lines so they don't get wrapped in your prop!).

* If the crew is injured, hypothermic, or exhausted, you may be able to provide first aid supplies, first aid, blankets, shelter on your boat, and perhaps a tow to the marina or shore.

* If something serious on a boat breaks and the crew can't fix it, you may be asked to provide a tow to the marina or shore.

* If the weather gets really bad, racers on smaller dinghies might want to anchor or abandon their boats and take refuge on your boat.

Other duties for a safety boat might be patrolling the course to courteously help let non-racing boats (fishermen, cruisers, etc.) know how to avoid the racers, inform park rangers of any dangerous situations, etc.

Photo/video/guest/press/spectator boat -- while keeping out of the way of the racing and race committee boat, get good pictures and videos of all the action that can be posted on the regatta and club websites, etc. Take out photographers or reporters, family members of racers, or club members who don't have a boat who want to see the action.

Semi-on-the water:
Judge. Chair protest committee and help arbitrate protests or disputes between boats. Help explain racing rules and regatta and protest procedures. Explain purpose of protest hearing and lead parties through the procedures.

Off the water:
We could use some people to greet the Buccs, help them find their campsites, parking, etc., do a few last-minute registrations, perhaps help shuttle trailers and vehicles, run errands, help set up the potluck, help give out prizes, perhaps entertain family members.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New Mexico Sailing Club and Heron Lake update

If you haven't been by the marina lately, come take a look.
The lake looks very nice right now.

(1) How did work parties and things turn out while I was in Colorado? What most urgently needs to be done? We got by the lake briefly on Monday to bring Carol Anne's boat back from Colorado, but didn't linger long. What interesting things have people been doing? What stories can you tell and what news do you have for the Spinnaker Sheet and e-mail updates?

(2) An idea that's been percolating ... I'd like to install a portable handwashing station in the pavillion. Typically, handwashing stations are made of heavy plastic, and have a 20- to 40-gallon freshwater tank, similar size gray water tank, foot pump that pumps 2 ounces of water per stroke, sink or dual sinks, and usually soap and towel dispensers. Sinks typically get about a dozen handwashes per gallon. I've requested quotes and info from several manufacturers (Five Peaks Technologies, Hampel Corp, Poly John Enterprises, Satellite Industries, Tuff-Jon, Quadel).

(3) Tad's boy scout troop will be up the weekend of August 18 to work on trail signs. If you're not racing or working on the marina, then obviously you should volunteer to help them! Likely he'll need follow-up help for other weekends, as well.

(4) We need volunteers for the board and offices, committees, and getting your favorite projects done. Please step forward.

(5) Plans need to be made for the rest of this summer, including the Labor Day weekend regatta and potlucks for us and the Buccaneers.

We'll need volunteers to

(a) provide a mark-set boat for the race course to move racing buoys so the race course lines up properly with the wind (motor boat or motorized sailboat);

(b) provide a chase boat for safety (only help the boats if requested or if an emergency occurs) (easy boat for people to get in and out of from the water, if necessary);

(c) provide a boat to take out spectators or prospective members and take pictures and/or video of the regatta;

(d) serve on race committee; display signal flags, sound horns, record scores and finishes, check wind direction, watch starting line, etc.;

(e) help out on land; answer questions, help visitors find things, help out with the potlucks, emcee awards presentation

Tentative schedule ...

August 18, regatta -- I can provide committee boat so we can do some real 'round the buoys racing and can take out volunteers who'd like to learn race committee.

September 1, Saturday Rocky Mountain Buccaneer Rodeo ( ), 10:00 -- 11:30 registration
1:30 first warning signal
6:30 p.m. no warning signal will be made later than

Labor Day Weekend Regatta -- all NMSC and guest boats are welcome to race; the Buccs will start each race first, then a second start will be held each race for all non-Buccs.

7:00 p.m. (approx.) Potluck Dinner -- NMSC will provide meat for grilling along with condiments, plastic/paper ware, etc. Bring salad, dessert, bread, etc.

September 2, Sunday
Rocky Mountain Buccaneer Rodeo racing - as per Saturday but ending sooner
10:00 a.m. first warning signal
3:00 p.m. no warning signal will be made later than
4:30 p.m. (approx.) awards ceremoney
5:00 p.m. (approx.) Ice Cream Social, Dessert Potluck -- club will provide ice cream and toppings; members and guests are welcome to bring other desserts.
5:30 p.m. (approx.) NMSC club and board meeting.

(6) NMSC Club and board meeting, Sunday afternoon, September 2, 2007. Topics: marina work, recruiting for board members and officers, bid for Buccaneer National regatta, progress on insurance and on ordering marina parts, your topic here....

(7) Recruit! Do you know anyone who could help fill up the last few good spaces in the marina?

(8) Fall plans, fall work parties, marina winterizing, holiday party, election, etc.

(9) marina projects: installing anchors, re-floating dockhouse, finishing widening of ABC walkway, installing gangway, putting bumpers on B dock knee braces, installing signs, re-floating B dock, replacing twisted center portion of B dock during the early fall, etc.

(10) The RGSC should have a dinner coming up soon at JB's restaurant in Albuquerque, off Juan Tabo just north of I-40.

(11) Heron Lake is still rising just a teeny bit, with the marina in about 29 feet of water. Elephant Butte is going down, but not as badly as first predicted; it wall probably not go down below 300,000 acre feet or so. I've put occasional updates out on .

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Return from the mountain

On Sunday, we managed to get underway in plenty of time to reach the race course area and check-in with the check-in boat before the race.

Our start was so-so; we missed out on a great start partly because we miscalculated, and partly because a group of boats that wasn't racing at that moment interfered with us (in violation of the racing rules).

At the windward mark, the winds calmed quite a bit, and shifted some 90 degrees, making the planned run into another mostly windward beat. Our spinnaker didn't stay up long at all.

Then the real fun came: a thunderstorm with lightning, rain, and hail. Quite a bit of hail; some even managed to fall in my mouth! Although quite a few boats quit the race, and other boats didn't start, we did finish our race, in spite of our skipper beginning to show signs of hypothermia and erratic winds, vivid lightning flashes, booming thunder, and dense hail. When jibing, I had to spill water and ice from the sail to keep the rest of the crew from being soaked by water gushing out of the leech and foot of the mainsail. All further racing was called off. Carol Anne was shivering continually by the time we reached the marina. Penzance steered us home.

Afterwards, we changed into dry clothing and drove to Dillon, stopping at the bulletin board (but not in time to see results, which were being removed), Tiki Bar, and merchandise area. We attended the awards ceremony, once it eventually got underway. The local Etchells sailors didn't join us or speak with us, but we did visit with sailors from Carter Lake and elsewhere.

Then we returned to Frisco, dropped Carol Anne off at the condo to recover, and hauled out and de-rigged Black Magic. I also paddled our kayak for the last time at Dillon. That evening we tried a new restaurant, the Pub downstairs in the Arapahoe Cafe in Dillon, which has nightly food specials. Sunday was burger night and Tadpole was delighted to find a green chile cheeseburger this far north. Although the chiles were mild, there was enough hot sauce on the table so that Tad could raise the heat level. Penzance eventually left for a red-eye flight to New York, and we packed for Monday's journey.

It took quite a while on Monday for us to pack and clean out the condo, so we didn't leave until lunch time, driving out of Frisco on a drizzly, gray day. So, it wasn't long before we were ready to stop for lunch, just 25 miles up the road in Leadville -- and we do mean up; Leadville's elevation is variously given as 10,152 to 10,200 feet above sea level. At times, the steep grades slowed our truck, towing 5,000 pounds astern, to a near crawl. Happily for us, the Leadville Pizza Hut still had their buffet on, so we were soon revived.

In Alamosa, we emerged into sunshine and warmth, restoring our memory of summer for the first time in several days. Not long after managing the steep grade up to La Manga Pass, we were back in New Mexico. There we left Black Magic near the marina and boat ramp at Heron, checked out some campsites on behalf of Buccaneer sailors, left a kayak in one of our marina slips, and visited with some Heron sailors. We didn't make it to the cabin, as sunset was approaching, but instead drove to Los Alamos, there to let "Tadpole" visit for a night with his grandparents before he drove south on Tuesday with Dulce in the folks' Cherokee.

We managed to arrive in Albuquerque around 11:30, only to receive a decided shock and unpleasant surprise. After opening the garage door, we could see that the door leading into the house had been opened and propped open ... and then we saw that the back door of the house was ajar ... and then we saw that our home had been ransacked and some items stolen. Not a good way to return. Promptly we called police on the non-emergency line and quite quickly thereafter and officer arrived to take our report ... but not to offer much encouragement of getting our possession back, many of them of enormous sentimental value, especially to Carol Anne. Sad.

Lake Level Look -- Elephant Butte and Heron Lakes

Prospects look good at Heron for the Buccaneer regatta on Labor Day weekend. Heron Lake has reaped the benefits of summer storms, rising two inches in the past 24 hours, putting the marina in close to 29 feet of water.

Elephant Butte is still discharging water for irrigation, but more slowly, and recent revisions to the Operating Plan are more optimistic about water levels for this fall, with the lake expected to keep nearly 300,000 acre feet even at its lowest point.

Heron Lake, NM (Rio Arriba County)
date . . . . level (ft.) . . . storage (acre feet)
12/31 . . . 7,144.85 . . . . 198,729
01/31 . . . 7,137.54 . . . . 171,252
02/28 . . . 7,135.48 . . . . 163,997
03/31 . . . 7,136.80 . . . . 168,721
04/30 . . . 7,140.60 . . . . 182,435
05/31 . . . 7,148.98 . . . . 215,390
06/30 . . . 7,153.96 . . . . 236,551
08/07 . . . 7,154.64 . . . . 239,554

Up 0.17' (2 inches) and 747 a.f. in 24 hours.
Up 0.23 (2 3/4 inches) and 1,012 a.f. in 71 hours.

91,235 a.f. SJ-C water in, January through June, 2007.
-2,091 a.f. SJ-C water loss, April-June
-3,813 a.f. SJ-C water discharged, May-June

Azotea Tunnel, 8/7/2007, 12 noon:
298 cubic feet per second (192-680 cfs in past 71 hours)

Willow Creek, 8/7/2007, 1 pm:
311 c.f.s. (210-711 cfs in pst 71 hours)

Elephant Butte Lake
01/01 . . . 4,340.82 . . . . 515,350
01/31 . . . 4,344.02 . . . . 558,440
02/28 . . . 4,346.88 . . . . 598,460
03/11 . . . 4,347.72 . . . . 610,490 annual high point
03/19 . . . 4,347.48 . . . . 607,040
03/31 . . . 4,347.62 . . . . 609,050
04/30 . . . 4,343.82 . . . . 555,970
05/05 . . . 4,342.26 . . . . 548,050 intermediate low point
05/31 . . . 4,347.08 . . . . 601,320
06/05 . . . 4,347.58 . . . . 608,480 crest of spring runoff
06/30 . . . 4,344.96 . . . . 571,440
07/25 . . . 4,337.90 . . . . 477,610
08/07 . . . 4,335.16 . . . . 443,660 (12.56' loss from maximum)

Operations Plan Predictions
08/07 . . . 4,334.83 . . . . 439,710
08/31 . . . 4,328.76 . . . . 369,750
09/22 . . . 4,324.62 . . . . 325,770
09/30 . . . 4,323.34 . . . . 312,715
10/14 . . . 4,321.20 . . . . 291,424 (proj. max. loss of 13.94' from today)
10/31 . . . 4,322.64 . . . . 305,665
Maximum projected loss is 27' higher than actual for 2005 drought.
Projected outflow is 1,825 c.f.s. per day through August 25, then 1,280 c.f.s. from Aug. 26 to Oct. 13


Current Elephant Butte Lake Level and Storage

08/07 . . . 4,335.16 . . . . 443,660
down 0.22' (2 5/8 inches) and 2,681 a.f. in 24 hours
down 0.68' (8 inches) and 8,294 a.f. in 71 hours

San Marcial Floodway flow is 95 cubic feet per second
(up to 168 cfs in past 71 hours).
Outflow at dam: 1,830 cubic feet per second.

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Dillon Open Race Management Lessons

Because the New Mexico Sailing Club will soon host a one-design regatta with boats from out of the region (with me holding the bag as the principal race officer), I paid particular attention to how racing was organized at the Dillon Open this past weekend.

Although the Dillon Open had a strong corps of volunteers, and although as competitors and sometime race officers we appreciate their unpaid work and understand their hardships, certain aspects of race management could have been improved.

Ideally, regatta organizers would be eager to improve the regatta and race management and are open to learning a visitor's point of view. However, I did not see a ready means for providing feedback to the Dillon Open organizers and race management team; indeed, since the team members were announced orally at the skippers' meeting, it might be hard for a visitor to figure out where and to whom to send feedback -- or whether feedback is wanted.

(1) Secret sailing instruction:

"Competitors with boats in the Frisco Marina shall not be allowed to protest any other boats. This changes the protest eligiblity requirements in the Racing Rules of Sailing, Rule 60.1."

No, that wasn't a printed instruction, or even anything intentional, but it was effectively in place. Protest time was cut off 45 minutes after the race committee signal boat docked at the Dillon Marina. (The default in the RRS is two hours after the last boat finishes, but can be changed by the sailing instructions.) For boats using the Dillon Marina, this was no problem.

However, for boats that had to sail three or more miles across the lake to the Frisco Marina, then send someone to the parking lot to a vehicle, drive through Frisco, around the lake to Dillon and Dillon's marina, find a park, hike down to the DYC, ... time ran out. We learned this the hard way on Saturday ... even though we were in the first start/finish group and returned promptly and directly back to Frisco immediately after our last race, we couldn't drive back to Dillon and get to the DYC in time to file a protest. We were close to making it ... but not quite close enough. Boats in later finishing groups, or without motors, would have absolutely no chance to get back to Frisco and then send someone to Dillon to file a protest.

By making the protest cut-off effectively much shorter than the RRS default, the regatta deprived Frisco boats of their rights and potentially gave other boats carte blanche to foul the Frisco boats, knowing that the Frisco boats couldn't do anything about it. However unintentional imposing the short cut-off was, this could affect the fairness of the regatta for any Frisco boats involved in a protest.

This wouldn't be so bad had it been clearly understood that the Dillon Marina was where visiting competitors were expected to stay. However, the regatta management encouraged visiting sailors to use the Frisco Marina, and the Frisco Marina was a sponsor of the regatta. Visitors were told that the Dillon Marina might not have room for them. Worse, with visiting boats and race committee boats occupying the courtesy docks, there wasn't room for a boat from the Frisco Marina to drop off crew to file a protest. We understand that the time limit shouldn't drag on indefinitely and that it can be hard to keep potential protest parties in the area for an extended time, but I think the situation of the Frisco-based boats was never really considered when the protest time limit was written.

What could have been done:
At the very least, warn boats using the Frisco Marina not to expect to file a protest.
Better: Provide a protest facility at the Frisco Marina or on the race course.
Or, reserve a "drop off" space at the Dillon Marina where a Frisco boat could drop off a crew member to file a protest.
Or, extend the protest cut-off time long enough so that a boat that needs to file a protest can get back to Frisco, and send a crew member to drive over to Dillon in time to file its protest.


(2) Nitpicks about postings and communications:

(a) Competitors who wanted to look at the official announcement board and race results had to walk past signs that read,

DYC Private Function
Members Only

No doubt, these signs were intended to restrict the general public, and not competitors, from going to where results were posted. But, taken literaly, the signs meant that ONLY Dillon Yacht Club members were permitted to look at the event results and bulletin boards -- and competitors who were not DYC members were banned from viewing the results. Even if people weren't stopped by the signs, the message was not very friendly to competitors from outside the club.

(b) On Saturday afternoon, two different versions of the protest-time cut-off were posted ... though they were only a few minutes apart. One of the posted cut-offs was on a scrap of yellow notepad paper taped to the inside of the clubhouse window ... not very official looking.

(c) On Sunday, the results up to that point were removed just as we arrived at Dillon after having sailed the boat back to Frisco. The results were posted long enough for all the Dillon boats to see them, but not for people who had to commute from Frisco.

(d) Changes were to be posted by 10:30 Sunday morning, but boats were to check in at the race course in plenty of time for the noon first warning signal. For boats from Frisco, that means that changes could be posted AFTER the Frisco crews had their last opportunity to view the bulletin board before getting back to Frisco in time to get a boat out to the race course.

(e) Although much of the information given in the skippers' meeting repeated the Sailing Instructions, this was probably necessary because the SIs were only made available on the morning of the race. Quite a lot of information, however, was given out orally, in a noisy, crowded tent. Some of the info made it to the bulletin board, eventually, after the skippers' meeting -- well after we had to leave for the race course. Some of the info never made it to the bulletin board, such as the assignment of numeral pennant flags to correspond with fleets. Some SI changes (a typo in the instructions for keelboats, but more significant changes for dinghies) were announced orally but were only posted after competitors were leaving for the race course.

What could have been done:
Better, more organized, more correct, more welcoming signs.
More accessible bulletin board.
Try harder to get more info into the printed SIs... which should have been possible, since they were only made available shortly before the skippers' meeting.
Post signs to direct competitors to where to file a protest.
Start the skippers' meeting earlier, or start it exactly on time and hold it rigorously on schedule.


(3) Check-in confusion

In 2006, on-the-water check-in was at the race committee signal boat. In 2007, competitors were told to check in with the finish/check-in boat, a pontoon boat with a red canopy. During check-in, this boat would be positioned near the Dillon Marina.

In practice, this didn't work well for us and for other boats from the Frisco Marina.

Because the skippers' meeting started late and ran slow, we had to rush from the skippers' meeting to our vehicle, drive to Frisco, and motor out to the race course as best we could. Then we had to sail past all the boats from the Dillon Marina to try to find the check-in boat. We saw a pontoon boat that matched the description, but it was moving ... then it turned out to be not the correct boat. It was a pontoon boat with a red canopy, but we had to get close to see that it had no r.c. flag ... some poor family must have been wondering why all those sailboats were chasing after them! Then, running out of time, we asked a competitor from our fleet about what had happened to check-in, if perhaps a change had been announced. The competitor gave us incorrect information, sending us to the signal boat on an embarrassing "wild goose chase" and wasting more time. Fortunately, we were allowed to check-in by radio on Saturday only, perhaps because we were not the only crew inconvenienced or confused by the situation.

What could have been done:
The check-in boat could have been more conveniently postioned for boats coming from Frisco.
Or, Frisco boats could have been given special arrangements ahead of time to check in by radio or otherwise.
(And, for other reasons as well, we now know not to rely on information from a competitor.)


(4) Starting line snafus. Although the starting line was not an obstruction under the rules, or closed by the sailing instructions, the race committee repeatedly told the competitors that boats that were not starting or racing should stay away from the start line. Competitors were so told during the skippers' meeting as well as repeatedly by radio. However, dozens of boats that were neither racing nor starting ignored the request. We were interfered with and had a bad start on Sunday because of such a group of boats. A trio of Stars, who were not scheduled to start until after our group's start, used our class start as a practice start, interfering with us. This breaks the rule that states that a boat not racing (not racing at that moment, but entered in the regatta, such as boats that are in between races) shall not interfere with boats that are racing. (RRS 22.1 If reasonably possible, a boat not racing shall not interfere with a boat that is racing. )

One thing that could have been done was that the r.c. could have stated clearly that such obvious violations were infractions of the RRS, and not mere discourtesy. The r.c. itself could have threatened, and then followed through, by protesting boats that abused the system.

Also, the r.c. could impress upon competitors the possibility that breaking the non-interference rule could also break Rule 2, Fair Sailing. (See

Perhaps the r.c. could set a starting "box" and use patrol boats to try to shoo non-racers out from behind the start line. If sterner measures are needed, a couple of US Coast Guard rigid inflatables with the usual armament and flashing lights, sirens, and loud hailers mounted on board should do the trick quite nicely.

Also, fleet captains could be encouraged to communicate with fleet members and they or the r.c. could have a chat with skippers who seem cavalier about the rules and respecting the rights of other boats.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

After the Dillon Open Regatta, Saturday evening

After Saturday's racing, we de-rigged at our slip alongside the main pier of the Frisco Marina, then returned to Dillon. While we were enjoying the last bit of happy hour on the patio next to the Tiki Bar, the rains arrived.

After the buffet dinner and listening to some music -- which was quite loud because our table was only a few yards from powerful speakers -- we left Dillon, pausing to admire clouds capping the mountain peaks of the Tenmile Range.

Sailing the Dillon Open, Saturday 4 August 2007

Wavelength 24 "Road Rash" from the Carter Lake Yacht Club, in foreground.

View astern

Santana 20, "Mr Bo Tangles"

Mark Yeager's Tartan Pride 270

Hobie (TM) (C) (R) Cat in front of Sentinel Island.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sailing back to our slip at the Frisco Marina

Friday afternoon, we sailed from Frisco east across the lake to the Dillon Marina, watching the last of the Snipe national championships. We found a courtesy dock still available, and hung around the yacht club and regatta tent for a awhile. However, with Snipes arriving and de-rigging, and the regatta running behind in getting the check-in tent organized, we decided to sail back to Frisco and then later drive back to Dillon for check-in.

View west toward Sentinel Island, Tenmile peaks, and entrance to Giberson Bay and Frisco Cove.
View of Tenmile Range peaks.

Cruising sailboat shows its bottom in a small puff of wind.

Two sailboats are said to have sunk this summer at Dillon; an S2
and a Catalina 25 that was being recovered from a depth of 45 feet.

Santana 20 sailboat.

Near the Frisco Marina we got to greet the crew of a Hobie (TM) (C) (R) Holder monohull dinghy.

Later, at the Dillon Marina, we checked in and got our goodie bag, which contained hats and tickets for Saturday night's dinner. We scored a couple more dinners and an extra hat, which took some a bit of pleasant negotiating, since the dinner had been sold out. We also bought a special present for one of our Etchells friends from way down south who couldn't make it to the regatta. Details to be revealed later, as they say.

While at the Dillon Marina, we got to admire the other Etchells from our fleet. The oldest, "Silverback" is Frank Keesling's, which he brought in from Tahoe after selling his previous Etchells to Terry Barr. We also got to watch Scott Snyder and his crew polish and clean their boat before launching it. Their boat is "Tres Dos" ... but for tomorrow it will also on its transom have the temporary name, "Does This Fraculator Make My Boat Look Small?".

Just a little snack to begin the regatta weekend...

This weekend's Dillon Open regatta began with check-in and a party that featured finger food. But many people easily made a meal of the offerings...

Also part of the party were sailors greeting old friends and competitors, a bar, and a band. But, while the party was happening, some people were actually sailing!

Snipes Alive! Final Day of US Snipe National Regatta

Today (Friday, August 3, 2007) was the culmination of the Snipe Class Regatta at Dillon Lake, Colorado. As we watched, the national championships were determined for the Snipe sailors. Enjoy the view!

As the last race concluded, it was time for the sailors to rush for the Dillon Marina to haul out and put away their boats. In the meantime, boats were arriving and check-in was about to begin for this weekend's Dillon Open regatta, so quite a lot of sailors were milling about and preparing their boats.

North from the 38th Parallel

In Alamosa, I retrieved "Tadpole" and drove north past Mosca and Hooper and the Colorado Alligator Farm, which is along the highway and west of the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
Sign commemorating the Korean War on the 38th Parallel of latitude.
The sign is located north of Moffat in Colorado's San Luis Valley.

Many veterans and their families regard the Korean War
as the "Forgotten War", as it is labeled on this sign.

Northern portion of San Luis Valley of Colorado.

Mountains in the northeast side of the San Luis Valley.
The Rio Grande passes into the valley from the west,
and exits to the east and then south.
The valley is known for production of potatoes and hops.

Highway intersection north of Poncha Springs. The road to the right is the continuation of US 285; motorists have to turn right here to stay on 285 northbound. I drove on US 285 to the a few miles south of Buena Vista, where I continued straight on US 24 into Leadville.

Intersection south of Buena Vista; to the right (east) is highway 24/285 to Fairplay and South Park and beyond that to Denver (285) or Colorado Springs (24). Ahead, to the north, the highway I was on became US 24, which continues through Buena Vista to Leadville.

South Park to Buena Vista and the Collegiate Peaks

Yes boys and girls, this is the REAL South Park. South Park, Colorado, is a vast high meadowland, with occasional hills and small forests. The meadows are green and well watered, with a small lake appearing to the south. Crossing under the highway is a branch of the Platte River, a modest stream near its headwaters, but destined to become a major river when it passes through Denver and beyond. Always in view are mountains, some quite majestic. En route through this country I paused for road construction in Alma, then passed through the mining community of Fairplay. Both now cater to tourists. For off-road enthusiasts, there's the primitive side road to Weston Pass... sure to get one's heart racing.

After leaving the broad meadow expanses of South Park, I drove over some ridges and got glimpses of the Collegiate Peaks (several fourteeners, peaks exceeding 14,000 elevation) as I approached Buena Vista. (Never mind that some Coloradans think the place is called Byoo-nah-vis-tah. Byoo-hoo.)

You never know what wondrous sight will greet you as you round the next curve or crest the next hill.

Chaffee County's greeting signs exult,
"Welcome to the Real Colorado!"
With views like these....