We had a shifty day of racing at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the Laser Summer Regatta. With light winds out of the south and a sea breeze trying to come in and take it a little more east there were sometimes swings of up to 50-70 degrees – yet it would keep stabilizing around 170. We had a 10 boat line and a rather ‘competitive’ length line for that number of boats.
I had about 1 good start in 5 races and in the others I was either behind boats, couldn’t accelerate, over early or fouling people and having to stop and turn before I sailed the course. That being said – picking the shifts and staying in pressure was key and with the shifts as big as they were – passing lanes were plenty. It was fun racing with Steve, Brad, Alain, Mike and everyone else who came out. Thanks Mark Stephens and crew for doing RC and Steve Q for the great social following racing.
RESULTS | PICTURES
It was another beautiful night for J/70 sailing and Brad, Dave and Ron were aboard for it. There were 3 other boats out and with the lightish wind we were finding our groove and actually holding our own against the other boats. And then the forestay came undone. The spinnaker halyard was quickly lashed to the bow and the sails brought down and we were done for the day. At least we got 3 1/2 races in and didn’t do any real damage.
It was an interesting Screwpile Regatta – the weather was moderate, only 1 onshore postponement for lack of wind, good racing and a ton of fun. On top of that we took half a boat of J/109 sailors and had them run a symmetrical kite with dip-pole jibes and check stays – not an easy set up to master. The boat is a Farr/Dickerson 37 Excitation and with a pretty quick learning curve – we were up and sailing the symmetrical kite with the best of them halfway through the first day of racing.
We also quickly found our spot in the PHRF-A2 fleet – most of the boats were sport boats with asymmetrical kites and all but one of them owed us time. As the longest, heaviest and tallest rig on the course – we were a fierce adversary especially on the starting line where we could sail higher and faster upwind and blanket anyone below us. In the first day of 3 races – we got 3rd place every time.
Day 2 on Saturday featured a distance race. The first leg was a downwind start and there was just enough wind to run with the kite up against the current and get around the first leeward mark. Sailing upwind and south down the bay we stayed more to the left in the middle of the bay and found more wind. The highlight of probably the whole regatta was crossing all but 2 of the A1 boats on that leg. They would eventually pull away as the wind filled back in and they headed for a different windward mark. Even though the wind was light, the race was shortened and we were less than a minute out of 2nd place.
On Sunday, we were postponed ashore for over an hour and a half before the wind showed up. When it did we had nice mostly-sunny skies and 8-12 knots of wind. Two more races were sailed and sure enough 2 more 3rd places.
Things learned this regatta – I really liked the new B&G electronics that Mayo has put on Excitation. The 7″ screen on deck was able to show our past tracks as well as all kinds of boat information. I think I also liked that the wind instruments were broken all weekend – one less thing to distract us. Beyond the track and other GPS-based information – we mostly drove the boat on the compass and spedo alone.
Thanks again Mayo for racing and having myself, Mark, Melissa, Lauren, John, Chris, and Carrie along. It was a pleasure racing with all of you.
Results | Pictures
We had a beautiful day for racing in the July 4th Long Distance Race at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. 28 boats ranging from J/70 to S2 7.9 to Flying Scot to Front Runner to Laser to 420 were on the starting line for a Portsmouth Handicap race of about 8 miles. Being short of crew I took the Laser and did my best not to fall too far behind the fleet especially as one of the smaller boats. I could do pretty well on the upwind and downwind legs, but on the reaches – the boats with 2 sails and especially those with asymmetrical spinnakers would just walk away. In the end it was a respectable 13th – just above mid-table.
Following racing there were over 200 people for a cookout followed by a little rain followed by fireworks well into the night.
PHOTOS | RESULTS
The 2015 Southern Chesapeake Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta was another opportunity to have the J/70 out for some racing. Saturday was a 1 race day with thunderstorms approaching and Sunday we got 3 more races in. It was definitely a learning weekend as John, Stuart and Ron got more coordinated in all of the maneuvers – and I had my share of goofs driving. All in all it was a good learning weekend and glad we got some more time in the boat. Here are a few pictures of us in action by Andrea Winner and Ann Gray.
We had a great night of sailing to start the July 4th weekend with 10 boats on the starting line and plenty of wind. Aboard were Ron, Christin and Stuart. With half of the crew being on the boat for the first time we focused on getting the maneuvers right and getting around the course the best we could. We eventually got chased off the course as some rain started approaching. On the ‘race’ to the dock we had a great vantage point of the 5-wide racing in the channel with boats on both sides calling for water.
Saturday at the USA Junior Olympic Sailing Festival-Chesapeake Bay Open started out a bit windy. I was on a safety boat on the course and ended up having to sail a Radial in after the sailor turtled and couldn’t right the boat with a mast that had become filled with water. Eventually the wind eased off, some of the clouds lifted and I got some great photos of the Laser Radial, 420, and Opti racing.
The rain threatened but never materialized and gave us a great night for racing in a 6-9 knot breeze with 6 boats out. We sailed 2 races and then a 3rd to the dock.
In the first race we had a bad start and were behind the whole time. The second race we led the first 3 legs and were passed by E.L.E. who hit the shifts better on the other side of the course.
The 3rd race was to the dock and after leading the first 2 legs we were just edged out to the entrance to the channel and then we motor-raced to the hoist. Thanks again Brad, Mary and Jay for a great night of sailing!
Saturday’s Cut Channel Race at Fishing Bay Yacht Club started out with extremely light wind and a postponement on the water. When the wind started coming in – it never stopped and slowly built to 25+ by the end of the race. It was no trouble for us on the J109 Double Eagle – we were well on our way to the finish by the time the wind really piped up.
With the wind out of the south east, the first leg was a beat to the south in order to get good leverage on the trip across the bay and across the current to the cut channel 3/4 of the way to the other side of the bay. Unfortunately, we over stood just a little bit and our competition – J/109 Afterthought was a able to sneak just ahead of us for the trip up the channel.
On the final leg back to the Piankatank we made ourselves comfortable on the rail for the hour+ close beat complete with sunscreen and beer while watching porpoises alongside the boat. We managed to claw back the lead Afterthought had put on us but couldn’t overcome it enough and were beat by a few seconds at the finish.
We had another beautiful night of J/70 racing on the Piankatank River. The wind was in the 6-8 range. We had 5 boats out and started with 2 one lap races. We had a bit of a slow start, but got our boatspeed a little better and really noticed the difference in speed on the balance of the boat. By the 3rd and longer race we led wire-to-wire and were leading the 4th race to the dock when we put the afterburners(engine) on to beat the rush to the hoist.