This morning we were greeted to sunny skies and light winds out of the North. We launched and sailed almost to Gynn’s Island in area C so we’d have the most fetch with a north wind. We got the first race started and just as we were about the start the wind clocked around toward the east and came in a 8-10. The mark was easily fetchable so we had another parade race. There was some passing and it was important to stay as high as possible so as not to be blanketed by the other fleets on the opposite leg. I rounded the first mark in 4th and then made up two spots on the 2nd ‘upwind’ to finish 2nd.
The course was reset for the 2nd race and the wind picked up to 10-14 with some whitecap and small waves. I had a great start, held my lane and used speed and hiking to pull away from the pack a bit. Charlie and David were to leeward going out left as well. About halfway up the beat I tacked to catch a shift to the right and ended up with less air and more headers. Charlie stayed all the way out to the left and came into the windward mark about 15 boat lengths ahead and I was almost as far ahead of David behind me. On the second beat I tried going more left than Charlie, but couldn’t get any shifts and we held our positions for another 2nd for me. That put him 1 point ahead in the lead again.
For the 3rd race we had a pile of boats at the boat end for the start. Charlie and I pulled ahead a bit and we rounded 1-2 at the top mark. I stayed within 3 boatlengths downwind and we crossed close a few times upwind before I got a shift out of phase and he put 3-4 boat lengths between us and held that to the finish.
It was great being out on the water – I feel a lot better and up to speed before going to Masters Nationals in Brant Beach in two weeks. Thanks to Rebecca and Massey for organizing the event and to John K and all of the folks on the race committee running the races and marks around.
The forecast was pretty dismal for the 79th Annual Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and we were treated to a nice of weather as we could have gotten – I was expecting cloudy skies turning to rain by the afternoon and didn’t even take sunglasses or sunscreen out. We ended up sailing 4 races in 0-7 and the clouds broke up and gave us some sun before the end of the afternoon.
In the first the wind started out more to the west of south and the left side of the course was favored. David went left, while Charlie and I went right. I bailed out halfway up the leg and got somewhat left and managed to round just ahead of Brad. We held our positions downwind and on the second upwind David covered me to the left side of the course allowing Brad to catch a lane out to the right and sail around us. I would end up 3rd.
In the 2nd race I had a great start, this time also worked my way a little left and had to pick my way back right. Alain rounded just ahead of me and I followed him downwind. The two of us again went left on the second beat, this time the course was set 10 degrees more to the south. Charlie and Brad were able to sail around us and I finished 3rd again.
In the 3rd race the boat was heavily favored, I had a great start and punched out working the middle left of the course. Most of the fleet went way to the left and I found more pressure, less dirty air from the other fleets and a favorable shift at the top mark on the first beat. Charlie caught up to me downwind and we jockeyed at the downwind mark with me just ahead of him. Upwind Charlie split out to the left while I stayed middle right and Mike stayed far right. Mike caught up and crossed ahead and headed to the left while I stayed middle right and again found better pressure and shifts rounding 15 boat lengths ahead and held that to finish 1st. That put me 1 point ahead of Charlie, David and Brad who were all tied for 2nd.
For the 4th and final race the wind shifted way right as the race were getting started and it ended up as a parade lap. Those who went high and avoided the other fleet traffic had clearer air and got ahead. The wind for most of this was 0-3 and at one point I think we were making wind by riding the current. I picked up a spot on the final leg and finished 3rd again. Charlie had pulled ahead on the 3rd leg and David squeezed ahead of me. So after 4 races in a regatta with no drop races, Charlie is 2 points ahead of me and David who are tied.
On this Wednesday 4th of July Jess and I joined my family including my sister and her husband for Fireworks on the upper James River west of Richmond from the boat. It was a nice night for anchoring under the stars and watching a great fireworks show.
My sister and her husband Dean were in town for the week and so I took them, my parents and Jess to FBYC and we rented the club’s Flying Scot to go sailing for a couple hours. It was hot when we arrived and still barely any breeze. We jumped in the pool and off the dock into the river to cool off. By mid-afternoon the sea breeze started filling in and so we rigged and headed out.
We had a nice sail around Stove Point in the Piankatank River. Back at shore we went for another swim, ate snacks on the waterfront, cleaned up and then went to Merroir for dinner.
This weekend I got to join Jess in celebrating the marriage of her co-worker Alex held at The Mill at Fine Creek in Powhatan. It was a beautiful venue with several outdoor seating areas as well as a large indoor space. There was also a short trail down to the creek as well as several old historical artifacts of the old mill.
We had the most amazing week at the beach with Jess and her parents. Beautiful weather all week and only a few storms that skirted by or hit in the evening when we were already off the beach. We had a lot of fun with Flow the Flamingo in the Pool, walking on the large newly replenished beaches, going for runs, cooking hot dogs, eating outside, golfing, and otherwise relaxing and hanging out.
Day 2 at the Laser District 10 Championship and we had more wind and cloudy skies for 3 more races. The first race was about a mile top to bottom and we did two grueling laps. I had a great start and had good boat speed at times upwind. I played it conservatively so as not to flip. This was especially challenging down by the bottom mark where the seawall was reflecting the waves back upwind making it feel like a washing machine and I buried the bow multiple times sailing upwind with a full cockpit of water. I finished 11th – my fourth 11th place finish in 6 races.
The second race was more of the same with another knot or two of breeze. I started and decided to call it a day as I wasn’t going to change my finish much missing the last two races and would only wear myself out before a long drive home and before rain moved in.
It was nice to see Shore Acres Yacht Club – I can’t wait to see it when the clubhouse is finished. Always great to sail with all the very competitive D10 sailors and I’ll be back in D10 for the Laser Masters Nationals in August.
Friday night after work I made the trip up 95 for the Laser District 10 Championship at Shore Acres Yacht Club in Brick New Jersey. I managed to miss most of the traffic around Washington DC and made good time arriving at the club at 11 to spend the night van camping.
In the morning we were greeted to beautiful sailing conditions and a tad more wind than had been forecasted. The winds started out of the north east and slowly shifted to the south east over the course of the afternoon at 8-12 knots under mostly sunny skies.
21 competitors in what would be a very competitive fleet.
On the water I inconsistently sailed consistently – meaning I’d have some bad legs and some good legs and I always managed to finish mid-fleet in either 11th or 13th place in all 5 races. I had moments where I was in the top 5 and the bottom 5 of the fleet. We sailed a modified windward leeward course that at one point was probably 1 1/4- 1 1/2 miles from top to bottom which made for a very long downwind leg. Despite the long legs and my terrible starting it was a great day of racing and it felt good to be back in the boat again.
We had a beautiful evening for the Anthem Corporate Run 5k. Companies from around the city sponsor teams, there’s a run around Innsbrook and then a couple thousand participants hang out among the company tents for a big party. I had a great time catching up with friends from all the different companies.
After the Snipe broke yesterday, Jess and I were without a plan for racing FBYC’s Open House Regatta on Saturday. At 9pm Saturday night that plan came together and we would sail on Mad Hatter with the Flecks. This race is a progressive start distance race – meaning the slowest boast start first and the fastest boats start first and whoever finishes first wins. This year featured a wide variety of boats including a 30′ trimaran and a Wasp. The weather was slightly overcast, warm with 12-14 knot winds.
We had a great start, hitting our time perfectly. Only two of the legs were downwind for us, so that kept the spinnaker work for me up on the bow down to a minimum. We sailed the rhumb line and kept the boat going pretty well. In the end the boat to beat was a 29er – who were able to fly a chute on the tight reaches much better than any of the other boats. We finished 4th.
Following the race – we rafted up with a couple dozen other boats in Fishing Bay and got to hang out with everyone for a couple hours. Later we took the boat back around to the dock and joined the dinner and listened to the band.