What a beautiful weekend to start the sailing season at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. The first race of the season was a middle distance race of 12.8 nm from the mouth of the Piankatank out to the entrance to the Rappahannock River and back. I was sailing on Wavelength, a C&C37, with Rob Whittet and Steve Utley. We were among the 20+ other boats gathered in the 8-10 knot northerly breeze and mostly sunny skies.
We had a great start in the 5-boat PHRF-A fleet that consisted of a J/109 Double Eagle, J/105s Corryvreckan and Shamrock, and modified Quest 30 Chilcoot. The first leg was a short upwind leg inside the mouth of the Piankatank. We then sailed close-hauled out to the entrance to the Rappahannock followed by a spinnaker run down to the entrance of the Piankatank. Up until this point we were hanging with everyone except Double Eagle who was starting to get away from us. At the turning mark the J/70s and the C and non-spin fleets were also using this as a turning mark.
Most of the fleet who had asymmetrical spinnakers went low on their way back to the finish up the Piankatank. They weren’t laying the mark, but making really good VMG. With a symmetrical spinnaker, we elected to take the high route with the #1 up. About halfway back we could see Double Eagle get significantly headed and then drop the spinnaker. They had to beat back to the mark, while we just cracked off and came back down to the rumb line nice and fast and closed the gap. We didn’t beat them over the line, but had enough to make up the difference and won the race on corrected time. What a great way to start the season.
This season will be bittersweet for Wavelength and crew – this will likely be the last spring series for the boat.
Following racing the club held their blessing of the fleet and opening day party. The food was great – as was the fun!