Smith Island Race 2017

Smith Island start

Smith Island start

Martha racing around Smith Island (photo by Robert Ambrose)

Following a blustery week, and faced with a Gale Warning, the twelve boats reporting for the start found very light winds and calm seas.  As race time approached long scans of the surface showed no dark patches to indicate wind.  The very light NE draft was not enough to register on the RC anemometer.  However the fleet was demonstrating steerage-way, although barely stemming the current by the pier, so there was nothing to be gained by a postponement and the start was on time.

Observation from Fort Worden an hour after the start showed the fleet flying rather limp spinnakers to a light Southeasterly in Admiralty Inlet but after passing Pt Wilson the current became stronger than the wind and boats were carried West until they could clear the wind shadow of the bluffs.  Challenging conditions.

The results are provisional as two boats we do not have contact information for have not reported finish times to (more…)

By |2017-07-23T14:38:13+00:00April 3rd, 2017|Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Ted Pike Memorial Regatta – Saturday August 20th, 2016

Ted Pike

Ted Pike

Ted Pike came across this fun regatta format during a stay in Southern California where it is popular, and he believed it would translate to our area. He enthusiastically introduced it to the PTSA board and was actively planning for it (and had it put on this years schedule) when he passed. All the details are included in the attached Sailing Instructions but an overview of the concept will help understanding.

The Ted Pike Memorial Regatta is open to all Port Townsend Sailing Association members and invited guests. The regatta begins with the boats anchored, with sails furled, off the beach South of the Marine Science Center (yachts must be properly anchored, with sails secured by approximately 12:00 noon). The Skipper alone (or approved designee) will come ashore (by unspecified, non-powered, means) and will deposit an entry fee of One fifth of quality rum into the Regatta Keg on the beach. This is the only race of the year where a yacht’s handicap may depend on the quality of the entry fee. The Race Committee has latitude in assessing penalties and time awards for the quality of seamanship or originality in costume and beach access. After acceptance of the entry fees, the Sailing Instructions are reviewed and skippers are informed of the Course to be raced. The Course, which obviously depends on wind conditions, is intended to be long and complex enough for the crews to display their competence to the full on all points of sail, in and out of strong tidal current. On the starting signal the skippers return to their boats to up-anchor, raise sail and sail the course (no motors). When the course has been completed by each boat, it approaches the beach South of The Northwest Maritime Center (will not anchor) and a crew member will come ashore, with their own cup, to test the blend of brandy in the keg. The draining and inverting of their cup sets their boat’s finish time for the race.

The race is followed by a raft-up (optional) of the fleet in Point Hudson (see regatta format document below) followed by the Awards Ceremony starting at 17:30 up at the North West Maritime Center. Bring your own food and drink, we will provide BBQ Grill. Here crews reflect on the race (embellish the “truth”), critique each others’ performance and garb and awards are given and received while the remainder of the rum in the keg disappears into some of the finest rum drinks to be found.

All of the details and the entry form can be found in the documents below.

Ted Pike Regatta Instructions 2016
Ted Pike Regatta Format 2016
Ted Pike Regatta Entry 2016
Ted Pike Regatta Courses 2016


By |2016-08-11T12:03:14+00:00August 11th, 2016|Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Bush Point Race 2016 – Updated Results

Falcon having fun on the way to Bush Point. Picture by Eric Anderson

Falcon having fun on the way to Bush Point.
Picture by Eric Anderson

Five disparate boats came out for a warm sunny afternoon on the water.  The goal was a trip from City Dock around the yellow mid channel buoy SC, off Bush Point and back to City Dock, ~15 miles.   The wind on the dock at the start was a steady Southeasterly at a brisk 8 kts.  After the start, as the fleet headed out of the bay on a long starboard tack, it was noticeable that their heel increased as the wind grew and they joined the flood.  There was a light chop towards the mid channel where the wind was against the current. Even though, reportedly, the wind began to die as the returning fleet re-entered the bay, boats finished the course in under 3.5 hours and closely bunched enough for handicaps to become effective.

Both Falcon and Second Wind reported spinnaker handling problems on the return leg.  Second Wind was short handed and the spinnaker won the fight.

It looked like great sailing and it is a pity that more sailors were not able to be out to enjoy it.

NOTE:-  Don’t forget the Ted Pike Memorial race on Aug 20 th.  If you have not received an invitation contact Doug Jones at


By |2016-08-04T13:25:36+00:00July 30th, 2016|Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Port-to-Port Race – 2016 – Revised (Again)

On Saturday six racers started from City Dock into a light (4 – 5 kt.) Southeasterly for the trip, outside Marrowstone Island, to Port Ludlow.  The race was to be followed  by a barbecue party at the Marina.  The race was scheduled for a flood tide and the wind improved after the start as the leading boats finished the 13.4 nm. course in under 2 1/2  hours.

For the start of the return trip there was a 10 kt breeze blowing into the mouth of Port Ludlow bay.  The leaders needed 2 3/4 hours to make it back to City Dock.

For those interested in how the 3-way tie between  Caveat, Sea Puppy and Sparkle was broken, refer to Appendix A.8  of the RRS.


By |2016-07-08T09:08:53+00:00June 28th, 2016|Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Protection Island Race 2016 – Results (update)


Martha rounding Protection Island (photo by John Lynes)


Eight boats came out to enjoy our second distance race (it gets boring going round the buoys all the time) in spite of a weather forecast for light winds and rain.  The course length was 22.1 nm. as measured from the 3 fathom line at each headland.

The start was on schedule, even though the fleet barely had steerage-way and the wind was oscillating between S and SE, because of the need to benefit from the tide.  After about 10 minutes struggle the fleet picked up steadier and stronger winds as they got clear of the land past Point Hudson. (more…)

By |2019-01-21T20:14:39+00:00May 22nd, 2016|PHRF, Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Smith Island Race – 2016 – Results

Great turnout — Fickle winds — Lots of time on the water.

[Photos available here]

Twelve boats came out for the first long distance race of the season, including some we were welcoming for the first time.  Winds before the start were very light northeasterly but, after a five minute postponement to allow a laggard to find the starting area and also to allow a visible tongue of wind to reach the start line, most of the fleet got away smartly.  Then the wind in the starting area died and a couple of boats at the back of the pack took over five minutes to reach the line.

Even with the help of the tides (Ebb in the am., Flood in the pm.) only two boats were able to finish within the 8 hr. time limit.  The Thunderbirds came close but the wind shut down after they passed Point Wilson, it must have been frustrating after all that work.

The Race Committee apologizes for not recognizing some boats and for inventing some PHRF ratings but not every boat checked in before the start.


By |2019-01-21T20:15:04+00:00March 27th, 2016|PHRF, Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments

Upcoming Events!

Racing is almost here!  The following three events will all happen within the next two weeks.

  • Smith Island Race, the first PTSA race of 2016 is this Saturday March 26th.  It is the first of five long distance races scheduled for 2016.  Let’s get a good turn-out for this one!
  • The start of racing kick-off party at 6:00 pm on Thursday March 31st at the Northwest Maritime Center.  Beer and wine will be available.  Besides being a celebration we will discuss the various events planned for the year and race committee chair Dave Burrows will go over the revised sailing instructions for 2016.  This for skippers and crew as well as any others who would like to learn more about racing and the the PTSA.
  • The first race of the Spring Whitecap series is at 6:00 pm on Friday April 1st.


2016 PTSA Schedule Promises Fun Year


The 2016 sailing schedule promises a busy, fun year. The calendar is updated on the site with the exception of several events that are still being scheduled. They will be updated as we know more. If you’d like a paper copy of the schedule you can download a paper copy by clicking here. Sailing on the Bay starts with the Shipwrights Regatta on February 27th.

A couple of events worth noting:

  • The Distance Racing Series is growing with more races to get you out of the Bay. For some of us, the opportunity to sit on a long tack is irresistible. This year’s PTSA long races include Round Smith Island, Round Protection Island, Port-to-Port (a two day race), the Tour de Bay and Bush Point.
  • The PNW T-Bird Regionals are coming back to the Bay. Last year with 17 boats on the line, PTSA’s Fleet 33 set a high standard and this years regatta promises to be even better.
  • A new race, the Ted Pike Memorial regatta. High spirits in honor of our good friend, Ted.
By |2016-01-09T12:06:18+00:00January 9th, 2016|Racing on the Bay, Racing out of the Bay|0 Comments