Aug 052013

2013 Olson 30 National Championship t-shirts for sale. This years shirts are a heather grey cotton t-shirt with Olson 30 logo on front and event/boat line drawing on the back. Limited sizes remain, $10/shirt + shipping. Please email me at: if you’d like to purchase one or would like an image. Pay-pal, cash, or personal checks accepted. All proceeds go directly to the class.

2013 Nationals T-Shirt

2013 Nationals T-Shirt 2



Jul 012013

Another year, another spectacular event with fun had by all.  7 boats entered and 6 boats sailed the 7 races over  3 days.  Weather for the weekend was a mixed bag of fog, breeze, sun, and heat.  Being given the rare opportunity to race inside Long Beach’s federal breakwall the Olson class took full advantage of the smooth waters.  Fridays races started with a thick fog over the race course which created some interesting times just trying to find the RC to check in.  By the 1:00 start time the fog had lifted just enough to see some of the other competitors on the course and a lite sea breeze began to fill from the west.  Race 1 resulted in some challenges for some and mixed results for others.  With 2 boats over early (Hoot & White Lightning) and only one returning (Hoot) 5 boats were fighting for the first 1st place of the weekend.  That honor went to the always well sailed Blue Star.  Hoot fought back and took the 2nd, Grey Goose 3rd, Ichiban 4th, Run Wild 5th and White Lighting with an 8th due to the OCS.  Race 2 saw the breeze fill to nice 12-15kts, perfect conditions for the Olsons.  Results saw Blue Star again take the bullet with Run Wild in 2nd, Grey Goose 3rd, White Lightning 4th, Hoot 5th, and Ichiban 6th.

Day 2 started much the same as day 1 with the exception of the heavy fog.  Racing started 1hr earlier than Friday but with much luck we saw the breeze begin earlier as well.  With day 1 standings posted it was still anyone’s game.  Race 3 saw a change in the leader board with Hoot taking the bullet, Blue Star 2nd, Grey Goose 3rd,  White Lighting 4th, Ichiban 5th, Run Wild 6th.  Race 4 resulted with Blue Star taking back the lead, Hoot in 2nd, White Lightning 3rd, Grey Goose 4th, Ichiban 5th, and Run Wild 6th.  The last race of the day saw a solid sea breeze with most everyone going to the #3 jib.  It also saw some interesting maneuvers on the course.  With a port starboard situation just before the weather mark resulting in White Lighting doing a 360 turn and going from 1st to 3rd the final results of the day were as follows; Grey Goose 1st, Hoot 2nd, Blue Star 3rd, White Lightning 4th, Ichiban 5th and Run Wild an 8 DNC due to a faulty halyard sheave.

Day 3 saw sunny skies to begin the day but a shift in direction of the prevailing breeze.  With a SSW breeze the course would see a shift to the left which could see some interesting tactics being called.  Race 6 saw Blue Star taking the lead followed closely by Hoot in 2nd, Grey Goose 3rd, Run Wild charging back from day 2 in 4th, White Lightning 5th, and Ichiban 6th.  The last and final race of the regatta saw a burst of SSW breeze for leg 1 of the 2Lapp course followed by lumpy conditions and a dying breeze on leg 2.  With a couple boats changing from a #1 to #3 headsail the dying breeze became a challenge.  Results for race 7 were Blue Star 1st, Run Wild 2nd, Hoot 3rd,  White Lightning 4th, Grey Goose 5th, and Ichiban 6th.

Overall the weekend was a blast and fun had by all.  Final results were Blue Star taking home the 1st place perpetual, Hoot taking home the 2nd, Grey Goose the 3rd, White Lighting the 4th, Run Wild the 5th and Ichiban in 6th.  A big thank you to LBRW organizers for hosting such a great regatta.  A thanks to those that had to travel from afar to race and finally a thanks to the crew of Hoot for graciously giving me their 2nd place take home trophy, an awesome duffel bag that will come in handy for this years transpac.  I’m looking forward to next years Nationals that are planned to be held in Oxnard at CIYC.  Finally a congrats to Larry Spencer on becoming the 2014 Olson Class President.  See you all next year.  All results can be found at

Jason Adamson

Jan 212013

Toronto  is now declared the venue of the 2013 North Americans. Please mark your calendars for July 31 – Aug 1. More regatta details can be found at

If all of the regional boats come out, and the four travellers come in, we could potentially see 10-12 boats on the line. Put your connections to work and make this happen!  If you know of any boats that might be available, please let me know!  I always receive requests for boats.

Edit 1/5/13:  Registration is now LIVE at

Jan 182013

Just a friendly reminder to register with the class for 2013.  $50 regular / $30 associate.  Class dues go towards events and awards/prizes.  Just click on Association at the top of this page and you’ll be directed on how to.

Aug 082012

While the total number of boats competing this year was low, the total mileage delivered has never been better! One boat from Quebec City, another from Charlottetown PEI and three Lake Ontario boats descended upon Oswego, NY for our North American Championships, held in conjunction with the Lake Yacht Racing Association (LYRA) Annual Regatta.  The race organizers must be complimented on hosting an spectacular event.  Excellent on the water management, great parties and congenial hosts made for a truly wonderful experience.

Historically, our NA’s have consisted of both a distance and a series of course races.  The LD has always been a 30 mile day race, but this year we had a 74 mile overnighter. This was my first OD overnighter, and it is weird not knowing exactly where all the boats were!

The race began with a three mile beat to Ford Shoal into a 10-12 knot breeze, followed by a 27 mile reach/run to Galloo Shoals. The fleet stayed relatively close, with Panther maintaining a nice little lead. As the sun set, it was difficult to track who was who, but I believe the rounding order at the leeward mark was Panther, Old School, Surfer Girl with O’Naturel close by, and Ghost closing the fleet.

Now for the upwind slog, 19 miles to the Prince Edward weather buoy in a veering upwind in moderate conditions. We lost Panther in the mess of lights, but we’re able to maintain contact with SG and O’Naturel. Sailing upwind with 839 pounds on the rail compared to the 1100 plus of my colleagues was a bit painful, but we elected to keep the #1 so we had some punch through the waves. Some boats went with the blades. We called the layline in the veering wind 9 miles out, and we’re only 100 yards short! O’Naturel had to contend with a freighter on the nose, but survived unscathed. At the windward mark, it was Panther, O’Naturel, Old School, Surfer Girl, then Ghost.

Now for the fun… A 25 mile reach back to Oswego in 12-15 knots and building while backing, under a beautiful, bright full moon. The last 10 miles grew increasingly tight, to the point we had to strip down to the #1. The waves were still aft, and we enjoyed some 10 knot surfs.

Panther won the race with an elapsed time of 12:23:15.  The others were: O’Naturel 12:34:52; Old School 12:46:54; Surfer Girl 12:52:20; Ghost 13:06:06

We had the remainder of Thursday to recover from the race.  An excellent impromptu rum party broke out in the evening, which morphed into a margarita party at a local Mexican cantina.  $2.75 margaritas are a dangerous thing.  ’nuff said.

Friday saw the beginning of course racing in light and consistently veering wind.  Old School was able to capitalize on its light crew weight, and was able to string together three bullets.  O’Naturel and Panther usually shared second and third, with Ghost sneaking in one third.

Generous Oswego Yacht Club members Ron and Dianne Palm hosted the entire regatta to a delicious chicken and rib dinner on Friday night.  Beer and rum were flowing quite quickly during the party.  Juicy from Panther and Les Quebecois made sure everyone was having a great time.

Saturday brought powered up #1 conditions with a bit of lump.  Panther sailed consistently fast, posting two firsts and a second, with O’Naturel two seconds and a first.  Old School was showing some pain, with Ghost and Surfer Girl mixing it up regularly.

Going into the final day of racing, Old School, Panther and O’Naturel were all tied with nine points in course racing.  With the distance race considered, Panther had 10, O’Naturel 11, and Old School 12.  What a setup for an exciting final day of racing!

On Saturday night the club threw a great Caribbean themed party, complete with steel drum band, jerk chicken, plantains and plenty of Mount Gay.  Seeing the setup for Sunday, I must admit that I did my best to keep my crew away from the party.  Didn’t quite work out, though.

Sunday’s conditions were predicted to be a touch windier than Saturday, with scattered thunderstorms from a quickly approaching front.  When the day dawned, the winds were stronger than originally predicted, with a gusty and building 20-25 knot side-offshore wind.  With the presenting conditions and predicted storms, several fleets elected to stay ashore.  Not the Olson’s though!  We had a trophy to win!

There was quiet excitement at the dock.  Not too much chit-chat.  A bit of rig tuning here and there.  Ghost elected to stay ashore to prepare for their long delivery home.  We left the dock a bit late, so ran under spinnaker the 2.5 miles to the start area.  We saw a couple of other Olsons that were prime targets for fly-by’s, so we did.  Game on.

The racing on Sunday was very physical.  All boats were in full depower mode upwind, with three of the four reefing their mains.   Yes, apparently some boats have reef points.  O’Naturel, Surfer Girl and Panther were able to control their boats well, but Old School had to go into full depower plus feather mode.  Strangely enough, this mode proved to have very similar VMG to the other boats.  Panther and Old School were very tight at the first windward mark (I actually forget who was ahead).  Old School popped her chute immediately, while Panther delayed for a moment.  This gave us (or extended) our lead, and we were enjoying 14-15 knots surfs almost DDW.  We saw one immense gust rolling down the course.  Once it hit Panther, she immediately fell into a SPECTACULAR broach.  You have all seen the pictures of the infamous HOOT broach, right?  Well, this broach was definitely on par.  Bruce Rand on O’Naturel, who was in third place, confirmed that Panther is indeed pink all the way to the bottom of her keel.  Unfortunately, Panther had to cut the running rigging to get out of their predicament, letting their chute float away.  O’Naturel had to avoid it in the water.  From what I understand, there may be video of the incident, but we will see if it is released…  The rest of the race was relatively uneventful, with Old School winning, Surfer Girl second, Panther third and O’Naturel fourth.

The top three boats’ NA Championships points going into the final race, including non-discardable distance race, but one course race dropped:

Old School 13
Panther 13
O’Naturel 13

Kind of tight.

In the first race, O’Naturel seemed a touch off the pace upwind, while Panther was very close in speed to Old School.  At the time, I did not realize that Panther did not have a spinnaker, so I was very concerned about her.  Old School covered Panther for most of the first upwind leg, with O’Naturel not far behind.  At the windward mark, we set the chute, and were surprised to see that Panther did not. O’Naturel and Surfer Girl passed her on the downwind.  At the leeward mark, the proverbial shit hit the fan for us.  We had a somewhat messy rounding, then as the jib was being brought in the starboard car exploded, nearly taking the foredeck’s ear off.  We tack to starboard in order to repair the damage, then I notice that we have lost two battens in the jib.  We tack back to port to cover the others, and our new primary halyard’s cover parts.  Grinding then lashing it to the winch, we continue on with significant lost distance.  O’Naturel and Panther are both quite quick on the next upwind, but we are able to just hold onto our lead.  At the windward mark, my foredeck informs me that the spin halyard appears fouled.  Quick switch to the secondary.  Up goes the chute, which just as quickly drops as the soft shackle on the halyard lets go.  CRAP! Secondary halyard at the top of the mast, primary halyard on the still-hoisted jib, spin halyard fouled.  I order the jib down, but then the foredeck discovers that the spin halyard is indeed fine.  Up it goes, and we are off on a 15 knot screaming (figuratively and literally) run to the finish.  O’Naturel finishes second, Surfer Girl third and Panther fourth.

It was a quiet beat back home.  Lots of reflection, some congratulations among our crew.  The conditions don’t really allow anyone to go hang out on the way back, so we all make our ways home alone.

The awards ceremony was a nice event, even with the 60 mile an hour thunderstorm squall that tried to take the party tent and all the trophies away.  Everyone retreated to the small interior bar and the tiki bar and marvelled at that power of nature.  Once it was over, the awards continued in the bar over several beverages.

I would like to take this moment to thank my new friends from Prince Edward Island, Peter Scott et al on Ghost, for making the trip.  It is not often that you find a crew that will deliver their boat 1000 miles each way to race against four other boats.  Thanks for making the trip, and we look forward to seeing you next year!

I also welcome new friends from Bronte, ON, Bryan Sims et al on Panther.  Even though your boat is pepto-pink, it is very fast, and I am sure you will enjoy many trophies with her.  Welcome to the fleet!

And to my old friends, Cinquante AKA Surfer Girl…it is always a pleasure sailing with and partying with you guys.  You are the life of the party…keep it up!  I was a bit disappointed to see all the Coors Light around you guys this year, though!

And of course O’Naturel.  They live two docks down from me.  We race each other every week and have lots of fun.  It is always a pleasure racing against you guys.

See you all next year!

      Points LD 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 Old School Mundle 14 3 1 1 1 3 (4) 3 1 1
2 O-Naturel Rand 16 2 2 3 2 2 2 1 (4) 2
3 Panther Sims 17 1 (4) 2 3 1 1 2 3 4
4 Surfer Girl Savard 31 4 (5) 4 4 4 5 5 2 3
5 Ghost Scott 38 5 3 5 5 5 3 4 (8c) 8c


Jul 262012

It was a fun, but tiring race. In the weather briefing, the meteorologist basically said good luck…it was going to be light, light, and light, predominately on the nose for the duration. Fortunately, the wind was stronger than anticipated for most of the course, and from better directions. My strategy during the race was to keep miles to the minimum at all costs, and it seemed to pan out.

We were in the PHRF3 fleet, which was a mash-up of us, a Beneteau Figaro (30 footer designed for short handed racing), an Express 35 (mid-1980’s racer-cruiser), a Catalina 42 and a couple of C&C 35’s. We owed everyone except the Figaro, who owed us 6 sec.

The start was an absolute drifter. In fact we drifted over the line and were OCS. By the time I sculled back around to correct, we were about 50 yards behind, so no big deal. The wind filled in a touch from the south, so we straight-lined it to Gibraltar. Most boats went around the mark and headed offshore, but I stayed in the Outer Harbour with a couple other fast boats. We tacked a couple of times, then just made the south point (like about 20 feet clear). We then cracked off a bit going for the second point, and just made it too. There was some current relief inside, and a pile of garbage in the current line making its identification quite easy. Sailed past a toilet seat…nice.

From there to dusk, we sailed cracked off a bit in the 5-10 knot S breeze. I was favoring the north side a bit as the wind was supposed to diminish late afternoon and we wanted some shoreline to play with. At about 2330 the wind clocked enough to set chutes, grew to about 12-15 and eventually built to about 20. The spin ride into Main Duck was fun…about 50 miles of fast A-sail reaching veering to DDW surfing 5-7 footers with the symmetric. Topped out at 13.7 on the run. The boat definitely felt heavy in those conditions with the extra few hundred pounds of food, fuel, water and gear.

This was our first overnight. I had come up with a rotating, overlapping two-hour watch schedule, and it worked quite well. Every two hours one person would rotate into sleep mode, be it on deck or down below. Each crew was scheduled for 4 hours of sleep, 4 hours in service, 2 hours on call (napping). We did fall out of schedule a fair bit during the daytime, but I am sure every other boat did as well.

The tracker was messed up quite a while, always showing One (the Figaro) in the lead, when it should have been us (One owes us time). After Main Duck, we were able to hold a higher line than she was in the 20 knot south westerly, and that is what put us ahead boat-for-boat. I am not quite sure why we were higher…we had no rights to be against a boat with a nice fractional, runnered rig. We were also higher than a bunch of big boats too, but still maintaining mid six-knot speeds.

There was a big convergence zone between two winds just after Oswego. Outside was NW 4-6, then a big transition, then inside was 10-12 from the SW. Once we saw it, we lumped through the zone to get inside. Most boats did not… it payed out huge for us, and put us back in contact with the big boats. Coug, the IOR 2-tonner and a couple of C&C 115’s were growing quite perturbed with us…

From there on it was pretty much straight line light wind sailing until about 30 miles east of Niagara, where the wind went SW, so tacking was needed. The majority of our fleet stayed outside, sailing extra miles but in better wind. We discovered a two knot easterly current about a mile offshore of Olcott and Wilson, so short-tacked up the coast inside of it until we had bearing on the mark. At this point the wind had begun piping up, and I had the guys fully hiking (after 250 miles) trying to hold down the #2. In the lulls, it was perfect, but in the puffs it was quite overpowered. In hindsight, the #3 might have been better…at least more comfortable.

Once we rounded the Niagara mark, it was a beam reach in 20 knots and building. Just a bit too tight for the A-sail. After sailing with the barber-hauled #2 and holding 7.5-8 knots, I decided to experiment a bit and threw up the old #1. Barberhauled quite far forward with backstay off, we were essentially sailing this like a code-0. Our speed jumped, averaging about 8.5 with some surfs to 11, albeit the surfs were about 20 degrees east of the rhumb, so they were kept to a minimum.

At the end of the race, after 53 some hours of racing, we were the first to finish in our fleet, but corrected out to second in fleet and second PHRF overall by 10 minutes. A C&C 35 with prior victories in the LO300 took another win. Ten stinking minutes. Argh. We did finish boat for boat ahead of every PHRF2 boat except the winner, and several of the PHRF1 boats. We were also ahead of the Beneteau First 10R’s. Of course, in retrospect, I see where we left some minutes on the course, but it is what it is. As many of you know, I was toying around with racing in the “racier” IRC division. I calculated my IRC corrected time, and we would have finished second in fleet and second overall in IRC as well! We would have been a couple of hours behind a J35.

Lessons learned:

1) Having a water filter on board instead of carrying water really saved some weight. We used a Katadyn Base Camp gravity filter, and it worked very well.
2) We enjoyed nice weather, and all packed more clothes than needed. If it had been pouring, then having a change would be nice, but we had too much clothing on board.
3) TOO MUCH FOOD! Yes, we finished the race significantly quicker than the forecasts had suggested, but we still would have had too much food. Oh well… the return delivery crew had lots to eat.
4) Single sized inflatable mattresses work wonderfully to fill the gap between the pipe berths and the cockpit sides. No need for lee-cloths.
5) A thin, self-inflating mattress pad makes the pipe berths much more comfy.

Next year…..well, we will just see what happens.

Jul 162012

Want free food? How about saving some cash on top of free food?

Monday July 23rd is the early registration deadline for LYRA. All boats registered by then will receive a discount and free Friday dinner for the entire crew! You can also pre-order food and regalia. Don’t forget about the Caribbean Feast on Saturday.

Jun 262012

Congratulations to Larry Spencer & Todd Downey on another great win on Blue Star.  Blue Stars team pulled off the near impossible with seven bullets for the entire regatta.  In second place was Andy Macfie on Hoot, Third went to Jason Adamson on White Lightning, Fourth to John Scarborough on Hot Betty and in Fifth was Michael Hartung on Run Wild.

Friday saw a late start allowing for the sea breeze to fill and providing for some spectacular sailing.  With winds in the mid teens and gusts to 20 the class had some active battles for podium finishes.  Blue Star walked away with two bullets while Hoot and White Lightning battled out for second and third.  Being from San Francisco I think Hoot had a real advantage with the wind and waves, I know they sure looked like they enjoyed it.  After two great races the fleet met back at ABYC’s dock to enjoy some pizza and beer, provided by the class and ordered by Mr. Downey, and got to exchange stories from the day.  We also saw some carnage with Hoot repairing a torn out turning block and Run Wild with a torn kite.

Saturday brought more great weather with 3 races planned the fleet started in 8-10kts which slowly built the rest of the afternoon until for the last race we were seeing upper teen’s and gusts past 20kts.  Also with good surf the fleet got to enjoy some exilerating downwind runs.  Again we saw Blue Star run away with 3 bullets for the day.  Again Hoot and White Lightning battled it out for 2nd and 3rd place.  Even Hot Betty was putting the gauntlet down and was showing these two that not all was secure in the top spots just yet.

Sunday began with what looked like might be a lighter day, but soon showed us that Long Beach would provide yet another wild and wet day.   With 2 races planned the  fleet began in lighter breeze that by the end of race one was building to the low to mid teen’s.  The last race of the regatta provided the best conditions from the entire weekend.  R/C called a 3 lap course, the longest we’d seen, and everyone was amp’d to go.  Some boats went with a #1 headsail, some a #2 and even some a #3.  By the end of the race it was #3 weather with gust to 20 and downwind rides that included some great surfing.  Everyone had a great time and were all smiles back at the dock.

I would like to thank ABYC for accomodating us, LBYC for trophies and parties, and the LBRW crew for the great venue, fantastic R/C’s and all around awesome event.  For full results you can go to and for any other info check out  Ask any of boats how great this event was.  I hope more of you can make it out for next years Nationals being again held during Long Beach Race Week 2013.

Jason Adamson

2012/2013 Olson Class President


Mar 102012

In a close vote, LYRA has prevailed as the winner.  The actual event takes place Aug 1-5, but if you want to contend for the LYRA overall trophy, you must also compete in a feeder race on July 31.  More details to follow.

(sorry…had wrong dates in)