We had what was probably the best day we could have asked for on a opening day of the one design season at FBYC. It was warm, partly sunny, good wind and the rain held off until we were done sailing. I was joined by 5 Lasers in what started out as light wind around 5-8 and through the course of 5 races built to about 15. I was talked out of wearing hiking pants thinking it wasn’t going to be hiking conditions and boy was I wrong. And I’m still sore as I write this 3 days later.
Finn, one of the junior radial sailors was out with us and I loaned him a Standard sail to sail with so we could all be in the same fleet. Despite being 40 pounds lighter than I am – he was quite competitive even for his first time sailing a Standard.
The first two races started with the boat heavily favored. In the first race I followed Finn around the first two legs, but was able to split upwind and find more wind and better shifts and got ahead and was able to hold that to the finish. In the second race, Finn and I both sailed out to the left side of the course and ended up past the layline and all I could do was follow him in to the mark. He was able to slip away down wind and I was never able to mount much of a challenge the rest of the race.
In the 3rd race Mike Toms joined us and made it more of a 3 way battle at the front. We stayed close most of the race and in the 2nd upwind I was able to get just enough ahead of them to finish 1st. By the 4th race the wind started to come up a bit and was definitely hiking conditions with some white caps. I followed Mike and Finn around the course, but was able to get inside of them on the final downwind mark rounding. Finn capsized on the 2nd downwind rounding allowing Mike to slip around him into 3rd.
In the final race the wind was up to at least 15 and the course was shortened to 2 laps. At the start both Mike and Finn started to leeward of me and I was able to cover them and push them out to the left side of the course past the layline. From there I just held my lead and didn’t make any mistakes to win the race and win the day. I was great to see how much tighter the racing got with each race – by the last race all of us finished within a minute of each other and any slip would have meant going to the back of the pack. Kudos to Trip, Dave and Britt who got much faster all day long.
All in all it was an awesome day of sailing and a great way to kick off the racing season at FBYC. Huge thanks to Glenn and Becca for heading up the RC for the day as well as to all of the folks who volunteer to help for the day.
Lake Norman Yacht Club held their spring regatta and I was one of a dozen Lasers among the various other fleets sailing. This was a good shake down trip with the new VW Atlas cartopping set up and I got to visit and stay with college friends and check out a few spots in Charlotte.
On day one we sailed out to the course in nice wind, it shifted around a couple times and a race was started. The RC lost a minute in the starting sequence, but started anyway. The race would later be thrown out which was unfortunate because I had a good race and climbed my way up to first by the end. The wind would die by the end of that race and shift around for about an hour before finally settling in for another race. In the second race of the day the wind built a bit. I was in second place starting the last downwind leg and got passed downwind by two boats. They both ended up colliding just before the finish resulting in a protest that I wound up participating in as a witness. The wind built a little more for the next two races before dying again in the last race of the day.
Being my first time out for the year I didn’t quite have super speed upwind. I also struggled a bit to stay in the grove and shift gears while keeping my head out of the boat. I suspect practicing with the old sail the prior weekend didn’t help me much and it also showed me I just needed more time in the boat. My starts were generally pretty good and my downwind legs were typical for me.
Saturday, after the protest hearing was wrapped up I met Courtney and Preston at the US Whitewater Center just outside of Charlotte where the Tuck festival was going on. The center has two man-made white water courses and a whole bunch of other trails and outdoor activities. For the festival there were bands play, vendors and all kinds of people there – thousands checking it all out. We had a few beers and checked everything out before getting dinner out in Charlotte.
Sunday the wind started out a bit lighter, we sailed a race in light air where it died at the end, then one more race in brutally light air. I sailed in while the fleet was postponed only to have them join me a half hour later. In the end we had 6 races that counted and I finished 6th overall. It was great hanging out with Preston and Courtney and getting to meet a few more Laser sailors from NC. Lake Norman is always a great venue to sail at and I look forward to a lot more sailing this season.
PICTURES | RESULTS
My first time sailing the laser for the year was on the last weekend in April and I had a nice sail into stiff wind out of the south at 16-20. I did some exploring and sailed 1h 45m upwind through Hills Bay to Queens Creek. I got to check out Jess’ parents place from the water. The trip back broad reaching only took 40 minutes.
It was a rainy day for the 2019 Monument Avenue 10k. Thankfully the rain washed away all of the pollen that has been in the air. My goal for this one was to run the whole thing and finish in under an hour. I beat that by about 5 minutes and was pretty happy with my running.
RESULTS | PICTURES
The second leg of our trip took us to Sacramento to visit my sister and her husband to meet my new nephew. Monday afternoon we arrived in Sacramento and intended on checking out the art museum there only to realize it wasn’t open on Mondays. We explored old town Sacramento before meeting up with Cheryl, Dean and Calvin to visit a neighborhood sports bar to watch UVA win the NCAA Basketball Championship.
Tuesday we all piled in the car and headed towards Sonoma and dropped Calvin off at his grandparents house for the day. Calvin’s grandfather was a sailor and has a huge train layout in his basement that was fascinating. Our next stop was Iron Horse Vineyards for a sparkling wine tasting.
We got lunch in Boone and then went to Porter-Bass winery for another tasting and met back up with Calvin. Next we drove out to the coast to see the ocean and walk on the beach which was made a bit treacherous with the high winds blowing the sand around. It was still pretty.
Wednesday we took the dog hiking in the Auburn State Recreation area. We hiked about 6 miles around the North Fork American River across the No Hands Bridge and under the Foresthill Bridge – one of the highest bridges in the country. The views were amazing and the trails were very nice. The whole park was just under an hour away from Sacramento and an easy drive.
Jess and I returned to Dallas for a long weekend of seeing friends, revisiting favorite places and attending a wedding. We started out by visiting her old neighborhood and a taco joint we both loved to frequent. We did some shopping and got dinner with Sydni, Andrew and Doug.
Friday, we met max for lunch, visited Deep Ellum for an art festival, rode our first electric scooters, and went for an evening sail on White Rock Lake with with Tim & Griffin. Friday night was dinner in the Greenville neighborhood.
Saturday we slept in and relaxed before heading to Grapevine to check into our hotel – the Gaylord Texan which was nearby the wedding. The wedding of Ashley and Zach was held in a beautiful winery event space and we got to meet many more of Ashley & Zach’s family and friends as we celebrated. We also kept our eye on the score of the UVA/Auburn basketball game and stopped looking after the 3 pointer at the buzzer was missed only to find out later there was a foul that led to 3 foul shots to win.
Sunday we visited the Dallas Art Museum and went for dinner at another favorite Mexican restaurant with Andrew before checking into our airport hotel for the night.
For the 2nd year now I got out to run the Hill Topper 5k in Church Hill. While it has been pretty cold both years I’ve run it – it has served as a good race to train for and start getting in shape for the Monument Ave 10k a month later.
Mumford & Sons came to Charlottesville and we were able to see them play. Before the concert we stopped for dinner with Jen and Janek at The Local in Charlottesville for a fantastic meal. At the concert the stage was set up square in the middle of the floor and our seats were in the corner. It was a cool setup having people all the way around.
We spent the night in Charlottesville and then next day we visited Pippin Hill Farm & Vineyards and Albemarle Ciderworks.
In February Caroline and Ian got married. It started with drinks out at a brewery which led to late night margaritas with out of town sailing friends and followed up with a beautiful wedding and reception on Saturday. Congrats Caroline & Ian!
In the middle of winter Jess and I got to escape the cold weather for a thaw out trip to Cancun Mexico. We stayed at the Grand Palladium in the Rivera Maya about 1h 15m south of Cancun in their all-inclusive adults-only TRS Yucatan property. It is a gorgeous property with some good restaurants, cool pools and an expansive beach. Over the course of 5 days and 4 nights we spent time all over the resort. We especially liked the Bali beds at the far end of the beach where it was nice and quiet.
Our room was a bungalow on the lagoon with a patio, canoe and an outdoor shower that was nice except the night it rained.
On our last full day there we visited the spa and all of the gardens, pools and hydrotherapy areas. We wished we had discovered this sooner and spent more time there.
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