Today at the Annapolis NOOD regatta was my first time sailing on a J/22, and for a first time, it went pretty well. I’m sailing on Art Silcox’s J/22 along with Mike Waters out of Severn Sailing Association. My training for this event consisted of watching 15 minutes of YouTube videos last night on J/22s to have an idea what I was doing. For the most part the boat was pretty easy to pick up and I had my footing and got comfortable moving about a boat that doesn’t have any lifelines.
We started pretty early to get out and practice before the race. We did some of the maneuvers and were ready to go by the time the first gun sounded at 11. The wind was out of the west and a bit fluky. We’d have 8 knots for a bit followed by puffs of nearly 20. Add to that a building current going across the course due to the big storms we’ve had in the prior couple days. At times we were dodging logs like telephone poles floating through the course.
The first two race were where we did our learning. As we adjusted to the boat and figured out how to sail it together we started to get faster and faster. We didn’t beat a lot of boats in the first two races, but we figured out what we were doing.
The 3rd and 4th race were very different for us. We figured out how to make the boat go, could hold our own with the boats near us and we were able to make our own decisions on where to go. We ended up 20-23-9-12 for 15th overall in the first day.
Two more days to go – lets hope we can stay in the top half of the fleet.