Puddle Duck Racer Sailboat Class - Newsletter 16

Picture of the month: Cindy Fischer #579 "The Coral"

Event News

puddle duck racer championship sailing

World Championship Results

John Bridges Hosted this year's world championship and was a great success with 21 duckers being able to race and an additional 7 attending the event. George Uehling won the event and is our 2012 world champion, congratulations George!!

This year's race had light air and George adapted a Laser sail to his duck, in the picture to the right, that is George in the lower right quadrant. Many other types of production sailboat rigs have been adapted to our boat, but this is the first time I have heard of a Laser rig being used. It is about 75 sqft of sail with a 20 foot tall mast, that is a big rig!

To get a better handle on the sizes of rigs that duckers use, something you can try is to look at the pictures of the boats from the sides, then compare the length of the hull to the height of the mast. Most duckers seem to have masts that are between 1.25 and 2 lengths, but if you do that with the picture of George's laser rig, that is almost a 3:1 ratio.

Because of the open nature of our class rules there are many possibilities of what can be done with a duck. Even though we have been around for many years, there are tons of ideas that have never been tried yet or proven in a race. As to the height of sail rigs, I am not sure what the upper limit will be, but this is certainly a milestone in our progression.
World Championship Page

puddle duck racer championship sailing

Newspaper Coverage Of Championship

Their newspaper covered the championship race & Lake Arthur Regatta and featured the story on the front page!!

The pictures from the event doesn't really convey how huge the overall regatta was, over 15,000 people attended the regatta and festival which our championship was a part of. I am pretty sure that is the biggest audience we have ever performed in front of, which also is a could be a great boost to gather more members for John's local fleet and grow the next event participation.
newspaper article

Alberni PDRacer Events

David Whitworth is a competitor! Duckers compete in many ways, often we race, but in many other ways we compete such as building the largest sail used in a race, first to sail a certain area and other types of competition. Event organizers have their own area, they compete by collecting the largest number of duckers to an event.

When David first started, he saw the huge benefit of holding hatches to bring in new duckers to the fleet. But rather than just holding a hatch, he first analyzed the other hatch events to figure out what challenges the other organizers were facing, looked for solutions to overcome those challenges and did some testing of new solution ideas.

David did all the obvious things to get the hatch running smoothly like making templates, organizing volunteers for various jobs to make it work more like a professional assembly plant. But David also recognized something very important, after the hatch is over and the new ducker is on their own, they might loose steam and not get to the point of a finished boat by the upcoming event date. So David has incorporated enough building into hatch events to get boats complete enough that they are almost ready to launch. Pretty darn smart and the his recent bid event reflect his success, he has one of the highest turn out rates of local duckers!

GUESS WHAT? David recognized another fleet building challenge and is making effort to tackle that one too: We bring in many new first time sailors into our club which is intentional and one of our contributions to the sport of sailing. We also have many high end competitors, so a compromise in our class concept is that many new sailors haven't had time to build up their sailing skills and do not fair so well at our events. David is working to solve this in 2 ways: 1, with his hatch events he is helping duckers make mutton sail rigs which are easy to make and are easy to get good performance from on the race course, and 2, most importantly, they are organizing on-shore sailing classes to teach the new members how to sail.

Not only will the sailing classes help the duckers learn more about sailing and make their performance on the race course better, but it also gives all their local members a chance to mingle, build friendships and create a strong group.
Way to go David and all the members of the Alberni Duck Fleet !!!
David Whitworth #623, Alberni PDRacer Club Organizer
Alberni PDRacer Club Website - Photos - Blog

Sewell Mountain Sailing Club - West Virginia USA

The second annual "Mountain Mama-Hospice Regatta" is coming up on September 8th. and 9th. on Summersville Lake in Mt. Nebo, WV. There will be a duck race, other boat racing, youth activities and lots of other stuff going on, and best of all it is FREE ENTRY !!
Contact Bob Richards aka Soapy, #701 "la mia anatra"
Mountain Momma Regatta Information
Sewell Mountain Sailing Association Website
SMSA at Facebook

Central Illinois Fleet Building Underway

Mark Suszko is starting a new effort to organize and build a local fleet in Central Illinois. He works with the state and would like to get local ducking activities organized and moving so by next year's state fair they can host duck events at the fair. For more information and to get involved, contact Mark:
Central Illinois Fleet - Preliminary Inquiry

Scott In Latest Small Craft Advisor

Every year the Everglades Challenge proves that it is the toughest small boat race on the planet with a broad range of challenges that you must overcome to be a competitor, or even survive the event.

One of the clear indicators is that multiple people will enter the event with identical boats and equipment and one of them will finish while other identical setup boats will fail to make it to the end. This shows that it is much more than just what boat and equipment you bring and points to the skipper's capability & determination to finish as a huge factor.

Another big influence is the weather. I have heard many bold statements claiming triumph, but the fact remains that no human can conquer mother nature, we can only hope to survive her wrath.

Ever since the first puddle duck was built, the question has been asked of who would be willing to try the EC in a PD. The reason for the excitement is because a ducker would have to overcome all the challenges of EC course AND overcome the challenges of our class legal boat. That, is a big mountain to climb.

The latest EC was the first time any ducker tried the event, Scott Widmier #104 "EC Duck" made his attempt and placed very well. Of the competitors that entered the event, Scott was unable to finish but made it further than many. His final placement was 31 of 60, and 5th place in class IV (sailboat class). This is a huge accomplishment recognize by duckers everywhere of how tough it was for Scott to get that far.

It ain't just duckers that noticed what Scott did, he gets recognized in various places amongst the sailing world and just got another mention in Small Craft Advisor Magazine !!! Issue 77, page 26. The article is about notable participants of the event and also confirms what many are saying that due to the weather, this last event was the toughest with 70% of the participants failing to finish, the highest drop out rate so far. Mother nature wielded some of her power and reminded everyone who she is.

The door is still wide open though, who will be the first ducker to make it to the finish ? I have heard various rumors of people thinking about it but nothing solid so far. Some are saying it is straight up impossible and that Scott getting as far as he did is the limit and nobody could hope to go further. I really don't know myself, my guess is with the best equipment and training there is still only a 30% chance based on the weather. But really that is just words and anyone can make interesting arrangements of words. The only thing that counts is when someone actually does it and that is why real world accomplishments like what Scott has are repeatedly talked about. Great job Scott !!

Tortured Plywood Bends

A unique property of the PDRacer is her simplicity, the only part that needs to be bent is the bottom and other parts of her can be made with flat flat rectangular pieces so she is quick & easy to build. This also makes the majority of joints 90 degrees so the chine & framing logs are also simple to make.

The one bend we have is a "simple bend", the bottom is curved so it only bends in one direction. There is an advanced boat building technique called "Tortured Plywood Bends" where you bend plywood in more than one direction. Compound curves can be made and I just happened to get my hands on a picture from an upcoming article which does an excellent job of showing a tortured bend on a duck.

You can see how the side deck starts out as flat, but as it runs aft it starts to twist and is curved around the ribs to make a smooth curving shape in more than one direction of bend. Really is neat all the things you can do with plywood & some imagination !!

New Articles:

PDR's join the MMHR in West Virginia
By: Bob Richards #1025 (7es 1eo 1ea 6ad 1ar)
West Virginia, USA
Event Date: 2018-08-17   148 Days Till Event
Organizer: Bob Richards #1025 (7es 1eo 1ea 6ad 1ar)
Duckers Attended: 7

Regatta At Lake Arthur 2018
Event Date: 2018-08-04   135 Days Till Event

First Day Sailing
By: Raylynn Driskell #743 (3ar)
Montana, USA

Building Raptor Hull #703 - Part 1
By: Joel Rodgers #703 "Raptor" (4ar)
Texas, USA

Building Raptor Hull #703 - Part 2
By: Joel Rodgers #703 "Raptor" (4ar)
Texas, USA

Video Of 2012 World Championship Race
By: John Bridges #512 "Lavender Duck" (28es 18eo 20ea 43ad 50ar)
Pennsylvania, USA
Event Date: 2012-08-04
Organizer: John Bridges #512 "Lavender Duck" (28es 18eo 20ea 43ad 50ar)
Duckers Attended: 10

Red Baron Sails Port Alberni
By: Alexander Miller and P #680 "The Red Baron" (4ea 2ad 2ar)
British Columbia, Canada
Event Date: 2012-08-04
Organizer: David Whitworth and Pa #761 "Weasel Duck" (19es 2eo 3ea 1ar)
Duckers Attended: 2

Pictures From 2012 Championship 1
By: Richard Frye, Capt. AH #527 "WET ROOSTER" (6ea 9ad 14ar)
Pennsylvania, USA
Event Date: 2012-08-02
Organizer: John Bridges #512 "Lavender Duck" (28es 18eo 20ea 43ad 50ar)
Duckers Attended: 8

Pictures From 2012 Championship 2
By: Richard Frye, Capt. AH #527 "WET ROOSTER" (6ea 9ad 14ar)
Pennsylvania, USA
Event Date: 2012-08-03
Organizer: John Bridges #512 "Lavender Duck" (28es 18eo 20ea 43ad 50ar)
Duckers Attended: 10

Building and Sailing Kluster Duck
By: Jim Allen #728 "KLUSTER DUCK" (3ar)
Maine, USA

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Class Rules Update

Rule 2D Wording Update

Having the sides flare outwards above the 10" line has always been prohibited with the ban on external flotation, but to make it simpler to understand and also define a method to allow short hiking wings, rule 2D was added. It was brought to my attention the wording of rule 2D could use some improvement to make it easier to understand. The main sentence of rule 2D is:
The sides and transoms must continue to be flat and parallel, even above the 10" line, ...

The problem being the placement of the word "parallel" in the sentence because the transoms are not parallel so the sentence is not as clear as it could be. I have updated the wording, it now reads:
The sides must continue to be parallel, the sides & transoms must continue to be flat, even above the 10" line, ...

Foil to Fin Wording Change

A "foil" in the sailing world is a fancy word for a fin. I get questions regarding foils and part of the problem is what we call them, it sure is a lot simpler to call them "fins" so I updated the text to change "foil" to "fin", updated the the explanation page and made more consistent to reference "fin" as the main word used when talking about underwater boards like leeboard, keel, daggerboard, rudder etc.

Explanations Page - Stern Transom That Tilts Inward

Sometimes there is a mis-conception about parts of the boat that turn inwards. As soon as you break the plane of the sides and transoms and turn in wards, that would be considered "inside the boat", would be the same as decks on our airboxes.

If you wanted to have a stern transom that tilts into the hull, that is perfectly legal because rule 2 allows for the stern transom to be partially or fully open and the inward tilting transom would be considered inside the boat. Be careful not to make the mistake of trimming the sides below the 10" line to match the tilting transom, that would be altering the required hull shape and is not permitted.

I received some great drawings from Peter Hastings (who will be building a duck soon) to help illustrate these concepts and have updated the explanation page and added those drawings. Those drawings are now in the explanation page for rule 2 section.