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.
Despite a dismal forecast we ended up with better wind than Saturday for the 2nd day of the Laser District 10 Championship at Manasquan River Yacht Club. Out on the ocean course we started on time and sailed 3 races in 6-9 knot breezes. I generally didn’t start well which put me in a tough spot for the first beat and I settled for just below mid-fleet in each race.
The excitement for the day was the ride in – since we had better wind than expected, we finished the racing sooner than expected and before the current turned to go back into the river. So to return to the club we were sailing downwind and up current. Most of the trip was fine until we got to the bridges. The railroad bridge is only about 40-50ft wide and only 1 maybe two boats can get through there at a time. The current also rips through the 1 span that boats can go through.
With some well-timed and vicious sculling and pumping I made it through on the first try. Others weren’t so lucky and had to make a couple attempts, get a tow, or one unlucky sailor made it through only to be pushed back into the bridge where he went back under it tipped over while trying to be towed out. The 2nd bridge was a little easier, but still a struggle to get under.
In NJ this weekend sailing the Laser District 10 Championship at Manasquan River Yacht Club. Prior to sailing here all I had hear about the place is that the channel was really narrow and the current runs really strongly.
The ride out to the course was pretty interesting. Not only is was the current taking us out, but there is a bridge to go under and a railroad bridge that closed just before we got to it, so we had to circle and not be swept into it by the current. We made it out to the channel where the wind was blowing 15+ on the ocean with small white caps and a bit of a swell coming out of the south.
The first race got underway in quite a bit of wind. I made a mistake while repairing my bailer that kept me from being able to open it. So in the sloppy waves my cockpit filled up with water. I got around the course, but just never really had it figured out and was deep.
By the second race the wind had mostly died out to just a few knots. I won the boat and got a righty just after the start allowing me to just punch out by 1/4 way up the beat. I led until the last 1/4 of the last leg where Mike Russom finally reeled me in and picked a few better shifts at the finish of the shortened course leaving me with a 2.
The 3rd and 4th races were also sailed after waiting for the wind to settle. Both light-air affairs. The only highlight was banging the left corner so hard to hook into more pressure that I was able to reach into the mark passing 5 boats. Why there were so many boats to pass was given my finish position is another story.
I’m currently in 11th and with a couple good races tomorrow I should be able to move up a few spots.
Two regattas down this weekend and the 3rd (of 4) would be FBYC’s Moonlight Regatta sailing aboard Double Eagle. It’s rare that I’m running the pointy end of the boat – but what better than to do it in the dark! Sam, Mark, Mayo, Holly, Melissa, Mary Paige, Katie and Mark(2) all made a great team and made for a great night.
For the first time in my memory we were sent on the longer A course and we were able to correct over all of the other boats sailing that course. The cloudy conditions and a moon that didn’t rise until we were back ashore didn’t make for great picture taking so these will have to suffice.
The FBYC J70 Summer Regatta was a light air affair for the 7 boats out racing in the Piankatank. While we were a little off-speed – we got a lot of boat handling practice and made some great strides in getting through the corners more quickly. Thanks John, Ron and Gabe for a fun day on the water.
Photos | Results
We started the 2015 FBYC Friday J/70 Series with a nice evening to be out on the water. The wind was a little light – but enough to make a race out of it among the 4 other boats that were out there.
On board were Ron, Brad and Borna and we sailed pretty well hitting the left corner on the first beat while most of the rest of the boats went right. It worked out for us and we had a nice lead until E.L.E. was able to claw us back to pass us in the final boat length to the finish as a puff came from behind.
We started racing back to the dock and gave up when the wind died for good.
FBYC concluded the offshore spring series with gorgeous sailing conditions. Sailing on J/70 No Quarter were Ray, Ron and John. We had a good first race – picking the shifts well and going fast on the course set just east of Stove Point. The wind started around 10-12 and died out to about 5 by the end of the race. We finished 1st in the 5-boat J/70 fleet and even picked off some of the PHRF-A boats who started 5 minutes ahead of us.
By the time the second race rolled around the wind had piped up to 12-15. We had a good start and worked on going fast and getting out ahead of the fleet. At the top mark we were leading the fleet and we made the turn to go downwind. When the crew exclaimed ‘mark!’ I though we had bumped it and started contemplating how to do a quick turn before we put the chute up. When they said ‘MARK!’ again – I realized it must have still be close and sure enough it was hung on the keel and coming right along with us.
We stopped the boat and walked it around the bow as our competition took wide swings around us, likely thankful we just made the lay line a lot more reachable for them. On my way back to the helm from the bow I missed my step around the companionway and fell all the way to the bottom of the cabin, hitting my right shin on the companionway edge as I fell. No blood, but it was a pretty good hole and I could see to the bone.
Our day was over so we radioed in and quickly got back and put the boat up so that I could head back to Richmond to spend 2 hours in an ER getting xrays and 6 stitches. Coincidentally, I sprained my ankle pretty badly this weekend last year. I’m probably going to have to stay home next year.
It had been a great day up until that point and we were learning a lot about making the boat go in the better breeze. Thanks Ray for coming down for the day and showing us some of the tricks.
Results | Series Results