What wind we didn’t have yesterday we made up for today at the Fishing Bay Yacht Club One Design Closing Day Regatta. 6 boats ventured out into winds in the upper teens with puffs into the 20′s. While those aren’t horrendous conditions and in the right boat, that just when it becomes fun. But for anyone who’s tried to sail a Front Runner in wind – you know the boat becomes a lot to handle in those conditions and quickly becomes anything but fun.
Crewing today was Steve Q after I sailed on his J/70 in racing yesterday. To deal with the higher winds we left the jib partially rolled to make it a little more manageable. We started the race with the fleet and about halfway up the beat one of the Front Runners broke their tiller, rounded up and capsized. We retired for the day while the other Front Runner completed the course with 2 of the 3 Flying Scots. All of the boats were back on shore after that one race and eating a fantastic chili cooked by the Almany’s an hour later.
With the short day, Carol, Eric, Matt and I jumped on a cruising boat and went for an afternoon sail in the bay.
The final day of Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s offshore fall series started out like it was going to be a nice sailing day, but didn’t last and the wind died before we could complete a race. I was sailing on Steve Q’s Hotty Toddy with Larry and his son. Despite not finishing a race, we still had fun and learned a lot. We’ll be back at it at FBYC’s inaugural J/70 Chesapeake Bay Championship regatta with 20+ boats on the line.
I was in Greenville Thursday night for a blackout game against UCONN. ECU got off to a slow start, but won the game putting them 6-1, bowl eligible and hopefully in the drivers seat to win out and go to a good bowl game.
This year’s Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship was probably one of the best yet – good turnout, good weather and great food made for a smooth event. It was also the year FBYC hosted it as the Laser Masters Atlantic Coast Championship and with it, a few more folks from New England and Kansas.
For racing on Saturday we had 7-12 and clear skies. Ned Rennolds joined Mike Russom and me on the safety boat with his drone and we got some great photos and video of the fleet from overhead during the first and second races.
For the rest of racing on Saturday I did my usual of floating around and taking pictures and video. This year we even dress up the committee boat – Mr. Roberts as seen with the red lettering below.
By the end of Saturday we had gotten a good day of 5 races in for the sailors and we called it a day as the wind started getting light and fluky. We had a few visitors join us for dinner including past fleet captain and chair of this event – David Hazlehurst. Alain Vincey did another wonderful dinner followed by plenty of Laser stories and a viewing of some of the drone video for today. Sailors hung out in the club house and later by the fire at their campsite well into the night.
Sunday’s wind was much greater than Saturday and a number of sailors, didn’t go out, took advantage of the rig-swap opportunity, or retired before starting a race. Fortunately only one sailor needed any assistance and thankfully Mike R was onboard the safety boat and ready to get wet. Three more races were sailed as the fleet slowly dwindled. I didn’t get many pictures due to the waves and activities, but I did get some video of some screaming reaches.
Once again it was a very successful regatta. I really want to thank all of the folks on the race committee, Alain, Brad and all of the FBYC fleet for all of their help putting this event on. This was my 10th one and I’m looking forward to just a few more years when I can join in!
Sunday’s race what was supposed to be the 3rd day in the FBYC Fall Series but due to some light wind some races were missed. I sailed on J/70 Hotty Toddy with Steve Q, Clark D and Carrie R. With 6 other boats out, overcast skies and winds that started in the mid-teens and were under 10 by the 2nd race – we had a really nice day for racing.
With Steve driving the first race and Clark driving the second, we focused on good crew maneuvers and keeping the boat going fast in the right direction. We caught some shifts, missed others but were close enough or in the lead enough times to have some fun with it. Despite some great moments we went 5-4 on the day putting us solidly in 5th.
Top photo courtesy of Lisa Fleck
It turned out to be a great day of sailing despite the forecast that wasn’t calling for any wind at FBYC’s One Design Fall Series #3. Doug and Jordan Bendura jumped on the Front Runner with me to sail against the 2 other boats in our fleet today.
The day was a mix of learning the boat, trying to pick the shifts and sailing in more current than I’ve ever seen in that part of the Piankatank due to some unusually high tides. Mark and Melissa Stephens sailed well – their maneuvers were nice and crisp and they had great boat speed all the way around the course. We picked some shifts to keep up with them some of the time and we were also fending off Lee who was challenging us for 2nd place.
We wound up 2-2-2 in the first 3 races. For the 4th race Jordan drove and he did well – we won that race.
The SMU game was a fun day trip to Greenville for a noon game. Here are a couple photos:
More photos starting here.
Today’s forecast looked even worse than yesterday so the postponement flag was hoisted in the morning. We then proceeded to do all of the things that ensure wind – namely other things like packing the boats, going power boating and canoeing. And by 10:45 the faithful who stuck it out were treated to a 7-9 knot breeze from the SSE.
We got 4 more races in before the time limit. I won the first race using a similar strategy to yesterday. But as the conditions changed in the 2nd and 3rd races and as I went into lead-conservation-mode – I found that everyone else was suddenly just as fast as I was and there weren’t many passing lanes. I settled for 3rd in the next two races and not knowing if there was a drop or not in the last race, I just figured I just had to be better than DFL. A 6 in that race ended up being my drop and I ended up 1st by 5 points.
It was great for me to finally put more than a just few races together and get a good result. Thanks Steve, Dorian and everyone else for doing everything they did to put on the regatta. I enjoyed sailing with the SSA Laser sailors and look forward to sailing with them again soon.
It was all doom and gloom on the forecast all week ahead of the Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association and we were pleasantly surprised with the 3 races were were able to get in. We headed out to the race course and got the first race off on time in a 6-8 easterly breeze just off Bembe Beach. I had remembered sailing in this exact location and with this exact wind direction and I remember the strategy was to go right or to go left – I just didn’t remember which way.
At the start I wanted to be at the boat and to go right where there appeared to be more wind. I took a second row start just behind Luke Shingledecker and tacked to the right as soon as I cleared the boat. About a minute and a half later I realized it was the left that I wanted to be on because of the left-to-right current, so I tacked and continued, taking a few sterns, until I was left-most boat on nearly the lay line. Once on the layline the current carried me to the mark in the lead. I led the rest of the race favoring the right on the downwind and just doing my best to stay between myself and the pack of Jonathan Phillips, Luke and Bill just behind me.
After the first race was completed – the wind completely shut off – just as was expected. We sat around in power boat chop for over 2 hours before the wind started to fill. This wasn’t the 6-8 that we had earlier in the day but it was a solid 6 – enough to call it racing – and not punishment.
By the time we started the current was supposed to have changed so I again took a second row start behind Luke and worked the right. Once there I realized it hadn’t changed yet and again worked my way out to the left. This time Luke came in ahead of me and I followed him downwind. At the gate I saw some nice pressure on the lower right of the course so I stayed right while Luke went all the way to the left. I came back to the left lay line and was 5-8 lengths ahead of him when we reached the top mark. On the final downwind he closed the gap, but I was able to finish just ahead of him.
For the 3rd race the pin was a little favored so I planned to start down by the pin with Carlos and Luke below me. I got there a little too quick and was OCS and so was Luke so we both tucked around the mark and restarted. I ended up with a nice lane and crossed behind most of the fleet on port until I got to clear air. Once in clear wind I worked my way back across to left-most boat and rounded only behind one other boat who was ultimately tossed for OCS.
On the 2nd upwind of the 3rd race the course was moved to the left and this time I played a conservative middle-left to stay ahead of the guys behind to finish 1st.
Despite the light wind and washing machine seas due to the power boat chop – it ended up being some fun racing. I appreciate that the RC stuck it out and we were able to race. I had the upwind boat speed thing figured out and while there were some things I could have done better – I didn’t make any mistakes and that got me to the front and let me stay there. It was a nice accomplishment putting a whole race day together after the mistakes I made last time I was racing at the Laser District 11 Championship in August.
The forecast for Sunday is even more dismal than today’s, but we do start an hour earlier so I’m hoping we get some more racing in and I can keep the streak going.
Photos courtesy of Carlos Linares