2023 Rescue Regatta

Aboard Mad Hatter at the start of the Rescue Regatta.

This year Fishing Bay Yacht Club joined up with Stingray Harbor Yacht Club and the Middlesex County Rescue Squad to do a fundraiser regatta in place of what had been FBYC’s Delta Dash race. This year the race would be a 10 mile triangle with a progressive start – ie the slow boats start first and the faster boats start last and first over the finish line wins. It was still broken down by class, but it was fun for a bit to race boat for boat and try to catch the boats ahead.

Sailing downwind with the faster boats just behind and yet to catch us.

I was sailing on Mad Hatter and the wind started out great – in the 10-12 knot range as everyone was gearing up to start. With the wind out of the north the first leg was pretty close hauled. We quickly passed a couple of the boats who started just ahead of us and after a little over 4 miles of sailing there were just a couple boats still ahead of us.

Mad Hatter being passed by Sting and Excitation. Photo by Paul Almany.

The second leg was mostly downwind and the wind started to ease a bit. We put up the symmetrical spinnaker and gybed toward shore hoping for more wind. All the while the fast boats were catching us. After 2 miles of sailing – Sting, Afterthought and Excitation had caught us and rounded just inside the mark. We did a sail change and switched directly from a symmetrical spinnaker to an asymmetrical spinnaker. That worked for a while, but when the wind got really light, that sail didn’t do much and other boats with symmetrical spinnakers started catching up to us. Eventually we went back to the symmetrical, but by then Sting, Excitation and Afterthought were gone and all we could do was hold off Shenanigan and Schiehallion. As we started to get back towards the Piankatank the wind picked up again. We would finish shortly before 3pm which was the time limit for racing. Only 6 boats would finish the race before the time limit expired.


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