BLACK BEAR YACHT RACING ASSOCIATION
WHITE BEAR LAKE, MINNESOTA
The favored end
Commodore's Report, Ramblings from the Bilge.
I can't believe it's been 6 months since the awards banquet. Good news, according to
the DNR, White Bear is a foot higher than this &me last year, and higher than it's been in 8 years.
I feel we've had a great oﬀseason, with enthusias&c par&cipa&on at the 1st Tuesday get
-togethers. The ice-breaker banquet was a wonderful evening, with Doug Kruse making sure
none of us will ever want to sail down the Mississippi.
It's May and we'll be sailing soon. Ice out was very early, (a record was set), and the
marina is ﬁlling with boats. It seems a shame we don't start racing un&l Memorial Day weekend, but this should give eve-
ryone plenty of &me to get their boats in and ready for The Mayhem Rega1a. The board has some thoughts on increasing
par&cipa&on for the Mayhem, which I expect to ﬁnalize at our next mee&ng. Once again, Craig and Peg Wi1haus are gra-
ciously hos&ng The Mayhem social, Sunday, May 29th.
If you plan on racing this year, please get your registra&on in, so we can plan accordingly. Also, encourage your
crew and friends to become basic or social members, as we will have several club sponsored and other social events.
(Basic - $99.00, Social - $49.00), a heck of a deal.
We will have a Portsmouth division this year. It looks like we have 3 Flying Scots. If you know anyone with a
"planning hull" type of boat, (Laser, Flying Scot, Mini scow, etc), please inform them of everything the BBYRA has to oﬀer.
On that note, one thing I think we excel at is sailing/racing educa&on. This spring, we are having 2 educa&on
events. The ﬁrst is a rules quiz/discussion. It will be on Tuesday, May 17th., 7:00 pm in the expansion room, upstairs at
White Bear city hall. We will start with a 10-15 ques&on test, based on what everyone has learned by studying the "Easy
and Medium" level quizzes at this web site. Look for Easy and Medium on the right side of the home page. h1p://
game.ﬁnckh.net/indexe.htm . AFer the test are collected, we will go back and discuss the situa&ons covered.
The second educa&on event will be a course on race management. It will be held Tuesday, May 24th at 7:00 pm,
also in the WBL city hall expansion room.
Another change for this season will be incen&ves to encourage members to volunteer to assist on the Commi1ee
boat. Any Racing member who a1ends the Race Management seminar and then volunteers to assist on the commi1ee
boat, will get an average score of the races they sail in that series, for any race(s) they assist with. Any race member who
assists for 2 or more races will have earned the opportunity to use the pontoon boat . They will need to be checked out by
Eric or a PRO, (Mimi or Louis). This can be taken care of when they are assis&ng.
The Salty Dawgs
By Ken G (Squall Dog)
If you’ve ever had the urge to be-
come “salty” or are curious about the experi-
ence of offshore sailing, you may want to
become involved with the Salty Dawg Rally.
The Salty Dawg Rally is a non-profit
organization and group of individuals who
share a passion for offshore sailing while
focusing on education and camaraderie to
safely complete their journey.
The rally is a migration of bluewater
sailors from northern climates to the
Caribbean in autumn (Fall Rally) and from
the Caribbean to northern climates in the
spring (Spring Rally). Typical departure
dates are early November from Virginia
and mid-May from the Caribbean.
The fleet consists of numerous sail-
boats of various sizes. For instance, the
2015 Fall Rally consisted of approximately
70 boats ranging in size from 34 to 70 feet.
The experience levels range as well. There
are seasoned bluewater cruisers with extensive offshore experience and there are less seasoned sailors with
some offshore experience.
The unique aspect of this rally is that each individual or boat is responsible for making their own deci-
sions. Unlike other rallies, the Salty Dawg Rally encourages captains and crew to make independent decisions
about their journey and there is no obligation to depart on a specified date or conform to a group itinerary.
The rally provides education and resources to make prudent decisions but each boat is responsible for
selecting a departure date and itinerary that they feel is best for them. Each boat is responsible for their own
decisions and actions.
A ruff departure date is estab-
lished for the rally and traditionally
most boats depart within 10 days of
that established date. The primary
variable affecting departure date is
weather conditions. Other variables
may include readiness, experience
level and desire to travel with other
boats. Prior to departure, the rally
sponsors a week of education and
social events consisting of profession-
al weather briefings, U.S. Coast
Guard presentation, product and ven-
dor demonstrations, group discus-
sions, dinners, raffle and the famous
Pain Killer sessions. An additional
valuable resource is simply roaming
the docks and speaking with other
captains and crew while observing
boat preparedness techniques.
The Salty Dawgs
Underway, rally coordinators monitor boat positions via SSB radio, VHF radio, satellite communications and
personal locator beacons. A rally roll-call is conducted each morning in which boat positions are reported
along with any emergency or nonemergency concerns. There is also a daily weather report and discussion
with meteorologist Chris Parker. Evenings end with a social open air session.
The final destination for the 2015 Fall Rally was the Bitter End Yacht Club on Virgin Gorda. As the
rally is not a race, there are no awards or trophies upon arrival. However, there are various social events
and a welcome party when most boats have arrived. There is no rally obligation or requirement to attend
the final destination. Each boat may select the itinerary that works best for them. In our case, we cleared
customs in Sopers Hole Tortola and conducted maintenance there for a week. Unfortunately, we never at-
tended the rally gathering at Bitter End where more dawg tales and Pain Killers were shared.
In my opinion, the Salty Dawg Rally is great for anyone who desires additional offshore sailing ex-
perience. My experience was very educational and included diverse conditions ranging from days with no
wind to days sailing like a wailing freight train. It also involved maneuvering through squalls, low pressure
systems and around hurricane Kate. Other memorable moments included pre-departure rally education,
conducting makeshift solutions underway and a submarine escort.
We spent 14 days at sea and sailed 70% of the time. We had four crew, each standing watch at
two hour intervals. Two of us did not know any of the others prior to the journey and none of us maintained
extensive offshore experience. It was not the most comfortable journey due to limited ventilation but it was
a superb sailing vessel (Valiant 40) which provided memorable sailing moments. Especially at night, sitting
on the low side heeled to a picture window view of a clear sky filled with stars.
The Salty Dawg Rally provided me more exposure to safely planning and conducting an offshore
passage. It is also is a great resource to increase your mariner network and build new friendships. I have to
admit, after 14 days on a smaller boat with four guys, we definitely became like family. Occasionally, cap-
tains are searching for crew to assist them with their voyage. In most cases, they need additional crew to
lighten the burden of standing watch. Crew come in all forms and may vary from individuals with no off-
shore experience to individuals with extensive offshore experience. There are several resources where you
may find general crew opportunities. I found mine by responding to a crew ad posted at Ocean-
CrewLink.com. You can find Salty Dawg crew opportunities by directly contacting the rally.
So, if you ever have the urge to become salty, I’d recommend checking out the
Saltly Dawg Rally at www.saltydawgrally.org. (Squall Dawg)
By Paul Moyer
On a recent visit to Viareggio Italy we stepped of the
train and headed directly to the beach to watch the sunset over
the Ligurian Sea. While crossing the last street before the beach
I looked to the south and saw a cluster of masts point to the
sky. Based on the distance, over a mile away, I realized that
these were large masts, really large. Daylight was fading so a
closer inspection would wait for another day.
On returning to Viareggio from Lucca, I headed directly
to what I found to be the Picchiotti Shipyard that had its origins
in 1600. Local talk is
that Rupert Murdoch
had two sailboats in
the yard so I did some
research and found
that Rupert’s 184 foot
ketch Rosehearty had
indeed been built at
this site in 2006 under
the Perini Navi group and the had been available for charter at $370,000 per
This vessel was sold in 2015 for $29.7 million, so Rupert appears to be
down one sailboat, the 220 foot superyacht Vertigo.
There were many large ketch rigged boats in the yard and I was over-
whelmed by their scale and impressed by the number of spreaders they car-
ried. Some had up to ten sets of spreaders.
How many spreaders is enough? Am I suffering from a shortage of
spreaders in my life? I think not, I am happy with one pair.
Last months outing to the Minnesota Maritime Museum in
Winona provided a very interesting look at what outstate
Minnesota has to offer. The museum featured artwork
from European and American Masters all with an element
of water featured.
A special thanks to Craig Witthaus for serving as our tour
Where We Left Off
By Tom LeVere
It’s Friday, November 13th. Our racing season had wrapped up almost a
month and a half earlier. The days grow shorter and the nights cooler with every
sunrise and sunset. I’m at my desk at work looking at our physical inventory
schedule and feel a vibration on my belt signaling a call coming in on my cell
“Hello, oh hi Eric, what’s up?”...and that’s how our plan for one last spin
around White Bear Lake came to be.
A week earlier Eric Hegland, Captain of License 2 Chill , a 22’ Harmo-
ny, sail #22736 and I had taken his boat around the lake on an overcast and very
cool day on what we both thought would be the last sail of the season.
We smiled as we brought the boat back to the docks, happy that the weather had
cooperated and allowed us one last hurrah. But a week later Eric’s boat is still in
the water (nothing new if you know Eric). License 2 Chill is the very last boat in
the marina and she looks lonely out there all by herself. Eric says “Tom, the fore-
cast for this Sunday is even better than last week. I’m planning to go out, do you
want to come along?”
Do bears poop in the woods? Of course I want to go! At noon Eric and I
meet at his slip and put the headsail on. We decide on the 110 instead of the 155.
After all, it’s just a leisurely cruise, not a
race. We might as well be comfortable in
the cockpit and it’s still chilly so minimal sail handling is preferable (warm hands). By
12:30 we are on the east end of the lake in perfect wind with the sun out. It’s warm
enough we could actually shed a layer or two of clothing. We run from
Mahtomedi Beach past Craig and Peggy Witthaus’ place. “Hope they see us” I say as
we cruise by at 5 knots. “Won’t they both be jealous?” …..Darn, no one’s home!
From there we tack and head through the gap between the Manitou Island and
the peninsula towards White Bear Yacht Club. Then we head over to Sean and Mellis-
sa Wagner’s place . Another chance to make our
sailing friends jealous! Another disappointment however as no one
comes out and it appears they aren’t home. Not to
let this stop our fun
we decide to take a few selfies and send them off to
members with notes like “wish you were here” and
“it’s a fine day for a
sail.” We can hear our friends cussing us as we
repeatedly hit send on our cell phones. The only immediate reply was a photo of a
Bloody Mary. I’ll let you guess who sent it. It was the best two hours of the season...and
sadly, the final two hours. As we motored back into the marina we saw Paul, Steve and
Lisa standing on the dock waving at us...or was that their middle finger? Just kidding!
They helped strip the sails off, we motored the boat over to the township launch and
hauled it out and onto the trailer where everyone was needed to help lower the mast
(Eric, your mast weights three times what a Capri 22’s mast weighs!). It’s Sunday, No-
vember 15th and the season is officially over…..but Eric and I will always have bragging
And off to the VFW we all go for a cold beer (or a hot toddy) to tell sailing stories and
dream about next season.
Oﬀ Season Social
One ﬁnal Oﬀ Season gathering.
See you on the Lake
Please visit the BBYRA Website!
On the website you will ﬁnd up to date lis&ngs of our race schedules, socials and other events. Be sure to bookmark
BBYRA Google Groups
As many of you know, a broadcast email from the BBYRA Google Group is one way to make sure informa&on is distributed
to BBYRA members. As racing season approaches please be sure to check your email on race days for any last minutes
news or updates.
BBYRA IF YOU HAVE NEWS OF A SAILING VARIETY you’d like to share
with our members and friends, please send it to
Black Bear Yacht Racing Association [email protected]
White Bear Lake, Minnesota All submissions are welcomed!
P.O. Box 10802
White Bear Lake, MN 55110
Website Editor: Larry Sagstetter