It was an interesting Screwpile Regatta – the weather was moderate, only 1 onshore postponement for lack of wind, good racing and a ton of fun. On top of that we took half a boat of J/109 sailors and had them run a symmetrical kite with dip-pole jibes and check stays – not an easy set up to master. The boat is a Farr/Dickerson 37 Excitation and with a pretty quick learning curve – we were up and sailing the symmetrical kite with the best of them halfway through the first day of racing.
We also quickly found our spot in the PHRF-A2 fleet – most of the boats were sport boats with asymmetrical kites and all but one of them owed us time. As the longest, heaviest and tallest rig on the course – we were a fierce adversary especially on the starting line where we could sail higher and faster upwind and blanket anyone below us. In the first day of 3 races – we got 3rd place every time.
Day 2 on Saturday featured a distance race. The first leg was a downwind start and there was just enough wind to run with the kite up against the current and get around the first leeward mark. Sailing upwind and south down the bay we stayed more to the left in the middle of the bay and found more wind. The highlight of probably the whole regatta was crossing all but 2 of the A1 boats on that leg. They would eventually pull away as the wind filled back in and they headed for a different windward mark. Even though the wind was light, the race was shortened and we were less than a minute out of 2nd place.
On Sunday, we were postponed ashore for over an hour and a half before the wind showed up. When it did we had nice mostly-sunny skies and 8-12 knots of wind. Two more races were sailed and sure enough 2 more 3rd places.
Things learned this regatta – I really liked the new B&G electronics that Mayo has put on Excitation. The 7″ screen on deck was able to show our past tracks as well as all kinds of boat information. I think I also liked that the wind instruments were broken all weekend – one less thing to distract us. Beyond the track and other GPS-based information – we mostly drove the boat on the compass and spedo alone.
Thanks again Mayo for racing and having myself, Mark, Melissa, Lauren, John, Chris, and Carrie along. It was a pleasure racing with all of you.