OWSA's Picaroon Participates in Sailing on Sundays Races -- Winter Sailing at it's best!
Published 11:07pm on 14 Mar 2023
OWSA's Picaroon Participates in Sailing on Sundays, September-March
Winter Sailing at it's best!
If you are lucky enough to be in the BOAST program, you get to sail a boat through the summer and maybe you can sail through the winter, too! Picaroon signed up for and sailed in most races in the Sailing on Sundays (SOS) series which just finished on March 12th. The SOS winter series is hosted by Corinthian Yacht Club (CYC). While the summer race series end in August, the Sailing on Sunday series starts up in September, and ends in March, with a break over the holidays. Due to the shorter winter days, racing after work isn't feasible, so the races switch to Sundays.
Starting in the early afternoon, there are two fleets: the level fleet, and PHRF (Performance Handicap Racing Fleet). That means there are two starts, at most. Usually, the PHRF goes first, and then the level fleet. To be in PHRF, you file paperwork, pay a fee, and get a handicap for your boat type. So your time to the finish line, along with your boat handicap defines the finishing slate. In the Level Fleet, who ever gets over the line first is the winner.
The fun thing about Sailing on Sunday, besides being out on the water in the winter, is it gives a gentle introduction to racing. There are only two fleets, the racing is casual, fewer boats participate, and people are very friendly. Everyone is still trying to win and do their best, but the racing is very collegial. This year, all racers were invited to go to Portland Yacht Club after the race and chat with their competitors.
This year, plenty of OWSA women were out there on the water in the lovely Picaroon, a Santana 22 which is part of the OWSA fleet and BOAST program. The pictures accompanying this article are of this sailboat and several of its crews, both in full winter gear and mild autumn gear. They placed 14th out of 30 boats in their fleet (Level), which is not-too-shabby considering the many much larger and newer boats that they raced against.
Another interesting point -- some time in the fall, the prevailing winds change from the north and west, to the east. They also tend to be a bit more extreme - very mild days, then super windy days. This SOS season, the Columbia also had quite a bit of south wind, which made for interesting spinnaker trials.
The point to take home here is that if you have winter gear, you can sail all winter long. The race is time limited, so you don't really get too cold. If you have the opportunity to get on a SOS boat, try it out! There is nothing like sailing through the winter!