Life

2017 Laser Masters Midweek Madness: Wednesday

In an about face in weather from the rest of the week – wind is what we got on Wednesday with winds in the upper teens and gusts into the lower twenties.  Slightly overcast skies with temperatures in the lower 70’s.  Having sailed in light air all week and most of 2016 – I wasn’t well prepared for these conditions.  My goal would be to just get around the course and salvage as much as I could.

In the first race I had an ok but not stellar start.  I made my way out to the right of the course and I moved the boat ok, but was a few rows back.  Towards the top it was clear the left was coming in better and I was in the back quarter around the top mark.  On the reach to the offset I lost my hand hold on the mainsheet and ended up capsizing to windward as what remained of the fleet sailed by.

I continued the race sailing conservative downwind to keep the boat under me and managed to pick off a few boats on the next two legs.  At the final jibe mark to the finish I messed up the timing of my duck and thwacked the boom on my head to add a little injury to insult.  I’d have a bruise for the next several days.

At that point it was clear I wasn’t competing and I decided to get home and save some time-off for later in the year.  And to finish it up – my dolly broke as I recovered the boat on the beach.  Thankfully the ride home was uneventful including an overnight stop in Florence SC.

EVENT WEBSITE | PICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Laser Masters Midweek Madness: Tuesday

Following an off day between sailing where I worked remotely from an airbnb I arrived at Sarasota Sailing Squadron late last night.  Sarasota Sailing Squadron is on the point of an island jutting into a wide bay making it a great sailing venue.  There is plenty of beach launching and the sailing area is less than a mile from the launch.

The day started with a bit of a haze and no wind.  Temperatures in the low 70’s.  Even before the skippers’ meeting we were postponed ashore where we would wait for 1 1/2 hours.  The wind finally started to pick up, we went out and a race was started in 5-6 knots of breeze.  That ended up being the best of the breeze as it got very light during.  The wind was out of the South West and there was a little current from left to right at the bottom of the course.

I had a good start and focused on keeping a clear lane of wind and trying not to duck too many boats on port tack.  I did well on that first beat and rounded the first mark in 5th.  Downwind I lost one boat and on the 2nd upwind I didn’t stay in phase as well as I could have and lost a few more boats.  The final 3 legs of the race were pretty brutal.  It was a LONG race not moving very fast and the Radial fleet behind us wouldn’t finish in the time limited.  I ended up with a 12 in the 49-boat fleet.

After waiting for a little another race was started in a little bit more wind.  This time I started at the boat and had a good start on the front line.  I would sail almost to the left layline and was only crossed ahead by two boats.  At the top mark I was caught by a few boats on the right and was top 10 around the mark.  I continued to focus on clear air both up and down wind and held my position around the course as the 13th boat over the line – I would be 11th after OCS boats were taken into account.

By the 3rd race the wind had picked up a little more – now 8 and sometimes just over 10.  Where I could find pressure and make the boat go in light air – pretty much everyone could make the boat go in this wind and it would be a lot harder with the fleet clumped up a lot more around the course.  I had a good start, but got pinned to the left side and missed some shifts coming back the other way.  I was probably in the low 30s around the first mark.  Downwind I stayed in the middle of the course and was playing the shifts better to keep the boat moving fast towards the mark.  I picked off a few boats.  On the 2nd upwind I played the shifts and tried to keep my air clear and picked up some more places.  On the final run I gained a few and lost a few – again playing the middle of the course.  I finished 19th.

That put me in 12th overall – which sounds familiar as that’s how I finished the last regatta.  Back onshore we put boats away, cleaned up and there was a nice seafood dinner at the club.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Sunday

There would be no wind on Sunday and after postponing onshore for a little over an hour the days racing was called off and results were final.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Saturday

It was a light air day at the Florida Masters with temperatures in the mid 70’s and wind out of the south at 5-10.  I did a quick video of the grounds while people were rigging seen here.  I also admired some of the other travel setups including some enclosed trailers and another sprinter van set up as an RV with the boat riding on the (low) roof.

46 standards and 19 radial launched and sailed south to the inlet and out onto the ocean.  There were some large swells at time and when you were at the bottom – there were times you couldn’t see the tops of the sailboats at bottom of the other side of the swell.  The lumpy conditions, wind swinging 50 degrees and the current pushing us down the course made for some challenging racing.

In the first race I had an ok start down by the boat and made my way out to the right side of the course.  I hadn’t quite figured out how to make the boat go in the lumps and found myself midfleet at the top mark.  At the bottom mark we had a course change to shorten the course and this time I banged the left side of the course mostly to get in clear air.  It worked out great and I was 7th at the top mark and I held that to the finish.

In the second race I started mid-line and this time worked my way all the way out to the left.  I caught up to the Radials who started 7 minutes ahead of us and rounded 5th or 6th.  Downwind I played the right side of the course and was 2nd around the right gate and again decided to go out to the left.  With the wind down a little bit and maybe a little more current further from shore on the left – it didn’t pay for me and I dropped 10 spots to the folks who played the right more and finished 12 at the shortened upwind finish.

In the 3rd race I had an atrocious start and had nothing but bad air anywhere I looked upwind.  I think I was ahead of only a few boats at the top mark.  Downwind I played the right side of the course, caught some puffs and passed quite a few boats.  Upwind I played the middle right and passed another 10+ boats.  On the final downwind I passed another boat to finish 20th.

I was happy with my sailing that I was having good speed especially upwind.  I just need to get a little more consistent and work on starting to start out in a good position.  After 3 races I’m in 12th overall and 2nd Apprentice.

A couple general observations – I was sailing with the Mk2 sail and in the light and lumpy conditions I found the looser outhaul gave me better pointing and power through the waves upwind.  Today also highlighted for me how important it was to have clear lanes of wind.  As big as the swells were – they blocked the wind – so it seemed as if only the top of the sail was always in the wind and so it made an even bigger difference without a clear lane of wind.

Following racing I did a quick run down the river front and cleaned up for a nice dinner at the club.

EVENT WEBSITEPICTURES | RESULTS

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2017 Florida Masters: Friday

I’ve arrived in West Palm Beach for my first Laser Masters Regatta.  I finally qualify (35 years old) and I am looking forward to the next 2 days of sailing at Palm Beach Sailing Club followed by a day off and another 2 days of sailing the Masters Midweek Madness regatta at Sarasota Sailing Squadron.

It took about 13 1/2 hours of driving to get here from Richmond having left late yesterday afternoon and spent the night in Manning SC.  Palm Beach Sailing Club is located on the sound just a short sail from an inlet and the racing area will be out on the bay.  They have beach and ramp launching with a small dock and a clubhouse with a big pavillion.  I met up with some familiar NJ and MD friends and also ran into some far-flung sailors I’ve met at various regattas.

Racing starts tomorrow with temperatures in the high 70s and winds 10-14 out of the east.  Can’t wait!

EVENT WEBSITE | PICTURES

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2017 February: Dallas

This February I had another chance to visit Jess in Dallas and we got to see and experience more of the city.  This trip included visiting AT&T Stadium, Dallas Musuem of Art, seeing An American in Paris and going 2-stepping at a Cowboy bar.

PICTURES

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2016 Favorite Photos

Another year of great memories.  Here are my favorite photos from 2016:

Las Vegas view from the Stratosphere

Views from the top of the Stratosphere during a trip to Las Vegas

Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum

Tulips at the Dallas Arboretum

Vancamping at Lake Norman

Lightning Races

Lightning sailing on Lake Norman

Glasses and city views as seen from The Boathouse during Lauren & Patrick’s wedding.

Rainbow over Stove Point

Rainbow seen over Stove point during FBYC Offshore Spring Series #3

Memorial Day Weekend: Friday

FBYC Open House Sunflower Raft up

Open House Regatta

6/6 OBX beach

6/7 Manteo

OBX

Sun setting behind hobie on LBI

Laser District 10 Championship

Sunset Cruise aboard Tradition - July 4th Weekend

July 4th

Multnomah Falls - Portland Oregon

Portland Trip

FBYC J/70 Friday Night Series – August 26

Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship

11/12 SMU

ECU Football vs SMU

City of Richmond as seen from the Tyler Potterfield Bridge

 

 

Here are the 20152014, 2013, 2012, 2011 and 2010 photos.

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2016 James River Hike With Jess

Jess was in town for the holidays and with it being such a nice day I showed her the new pedestrian bridge over the James River and we retraced the hike I did early this month.  We ran into Lauren and Patrick who took a couple pictures of us.

PICTURES

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Beginning of a Snipe Adventure

My adventure with the Snipe sailboat began in early December. It’s a boat that has intrigued me since looking at pictures of the 1st Snipe World Championship at the Chautauqua Lake Yacht Club when I was growing up.  My girlfriend Jess has been sailing them in Dallas and I think for a variety of reasons they could be a good boat at FBYC for those that would want something smaller and with fewer sails than a Flying Scot.  A Laser sailing friend of mine has one that he hasn’t sailed for some time and said I could have it for a case of beer.  So today I rented a trailer and went up and got it.  It’s going to need some work, but it’ll make a good boat for getting started in the Snipe.

PICTURES

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2016 ECU vs UVA Basketball

12/6 ECU @ UVA Basketball

ECU Basketball was in Charlottesville playing UVA who was ranked in the top 10 at the time.  I got to see the game with Patrick, Lauren and Jen.  In the end it wasn’t much of a competitive game, but it was fun to root for ECU from the UVA section.

12/6 ECU @ UVA Basketball

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