In NJ this weekend sailing the Laser District 10 Championship at Manasquan River Yacht Club. Prior to sailing here all I had hear about the place is that the channel was really narrow and the current runs really strongly.
The ride out to the course was pretty interesting. Not only is was the current taking us out, but there is a bridge to go under and a railroad bridge that closed just before we got to it, so we had to circle and not be swept into it by the current. We made it out to the channel where the wind was blowing 15+ on the ocean with small white caps and a bit of a swell coming out of the south.
The first race got underway in quite a bit of wind. I made a mistake while repairing my bailer that kept me from being able to open it. So in the sloppy waves my cockpit filled up with water. I got around the course, but just never really had it figured out and was deep.
By the second race the wind had mostly died out to just a few knots. I won the boat and got a righty just after the start allowing me to just punch out by 1/4 way up the beat. I led until the last 1/4 of the last leg where Mike Russom finally reeled me in and picked a few better shifts at the finish of the shortened course leaving me with a 2.
The 3rd and 4th races were also sailed after waiting for the wind to settle. Both light-air affairs. The only highlight was banging the left corner so hard to hook into more pressure that I was able to reach into the mark passing 5 boats. Why there were so many boats to pass was given my finish position is another story.
I’m currently in 11th and with a couple good races tomorrow I should be able to move up a few spots.
The FBYC J70 Summer Regatta was a light air affair for the 7 boats out racing in the Piankatank. While we were a little off-speed – we got a lot of boat handling practice and made some great strides in getting through the corners more quickly. Thanks John, Ron and Gabe for a fun day on the water.
We started the 2015 FBYC Friday J/70 Series with a nice evening to be out on the water. The wind was a little light – but enough to make a race out of it among the 4 other boats that were out there.
On board were Ron, Brad and Borna and we sailed pretty well hitting the left corner on the first beat while most of the rest of the boats went right. It worked out for us and we had a nice lead until E.L.E. was able to claw us back to pass us in the final boat length to the finish as a puff came from behind.
We started racing back to the dock and gave up when the wind died for good.
FBYC concluded the offshore spring series with gorgeous sailing conditions. Sailing on J/70 No Quarter were Ray, Ron and John. We had a good first race – picking the shifts well and going fast on the course set just east of Stove Point. The wind started around 10-12 and died out to about 5 by the end of the race. We finished 1st in the 5-boat J/70 fleet and even picked off some of the PHRF-A boats who started 5 minutes ahead of us.
By the time the second race rolled around the wind had piped up to 12-15. We had a good start and worked on going fast and getting out ahead of the fleet. At the top mark we were leading the fleet and we made the turn to go downwind. When the crew exclaimed ‘mark!’ I though we had bumped it and started contemplating how to do a quick turn before we put the chute up. When they said ‘MARK!’ again – I realized it must have still be close and sure enough it was hung on the keel and coming right along with us.
We stopped the boat and walked it around the bow as our competition took wide swings around us, likely thankful we just made the lay line a lot more reachable for them. On my way back to the helm from the bow I missed my step around the companionway and fell all the way to the bottom of the cabin, hitting my right shin on the companionway edge as I fell. No blood, but it was a pretty good hole and I could see to the bone.
Our day was over so we radioed in and quickly got back and put the boat up so that I could head back to Richmond to spend 2 hours in an ER getting xrays and 6 stitches. Coincidentally, I sprained my ankle pretty badly this weekend last year. I’m probably going to have to stay home next year.
It had been a great day up until that point and we were learning a lot about making the boat go in the better breeze. Thanks Ray for coming down for the day and showing us some of the tricks.
After last year’s successful regatta FBYC held their 2nd Open House Regatta and No Quarter J/70 was among the 30 boats sailing the 8.5nm course in the Piankatank River. In the spirit of being a fun casual race – I invited a couple co-workers with me who hadn’t sailed much.
We were treated to a gorgeous day with 8-12 knot breezes and mostly sunny skies. As a pursuit race we started near the end and picked off of a few boats on the upwind. Being a novice crew we forwent the spinnaker and lost a few spots and finished mid pack. It was great sailing with Kelley, Dillon & Stephen. Results
Following the race we took No Quarter to the dock and rode out to the raft up in progress with 29 boats forming a circle. It was quite a sight and a lot of fun hopping between boats and catching up with folks. Ned Rennolds had his drone up and caught a few pictures:
This was the 3rd day of racing for No Quarter in FBYC’s Spring Series. There was a little wind – and a LOT of fog.
In the first race we had a good start – in fact it was too good and we were over early and had to dip and restart. Inevitable was punched out and never looked back. We closely trailed E.L.E. all the way around and settled for 3rd of the five J/70s. This was Ron and Katie’s first time on a J/70 and they settled in pretty well learning the location of everything and the coordination.
Unlike the first race where the fog lifted enough to see most of the course – the fog came in and got pretty dense just as we were starting the 2nd race. Upwind we had a feel for where the mark would be and just stayed in the center of the course – keeping an eye on the bigger boats that had electronics and watching them ghost in and out of the fog bank.
We were lucky to find the top mark pretty easily. We weren’t so lucky in finding the leeward mark. We ended up missing it by 3/4 mile to the east and ended up sailing almost a mile past it before the RC finally radioed a location for us to beat back to. By the time we found the leeward mark – the J/70 that had stayed on the course was just about finishing and were racing one other boat right next to us. The other two retired. We persevered thanks to having chart plotting software on my iPhone. Even with the fog it was still pretty good sailing conditions and definitely made it more fun by adding a navigational element to a 1.25nm buoy race.
On Sunday No Quarter was among the 5 other J/70s sailing at FBYC in the Spring regatta. We started out with pretty nice wind – not quite hiking, but solid without any big holes. With John, Holly and Mark aboard we had good starts and sailed consistently finishing 2nd in almost every race. In the last race we got a little behind and ended up 3rd – and loosing the tiebreaker for 2nd to finish 3rd overall.
After 20 years of hauling Lasers around on a trailer and later on top of a car – I’ve finally arrived at the ultimate Laser hauling vehicle – a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. The rear part of a 170″ wheelbase Sprinter is 14′ and just the right size for a 13′ 9″ Laser sailboat. Not only does the van carry the boat – but it’s also got a queen bed, seating for 5 and plenty of space for all of the gear to go along with.
As with sailing, as with life – there’s just not enough time to do everything and the ideas for this van were born over the last 5-6 years ago as I came up with ways to make going sailing easier. I sail almost every weekend April-September – and my boat lives in Richmond – far from the water where I sail. So every event is a travel event for me whether I’m going to Deltaville, Annapolis or beyond. Every Friday night I spend 1-1.5 hours loading the boat and pulling all of the gear out of the shed. Same goes for Sunday night after a long day on the water and a long drive home – another hour+ of unloading gear before catching some shut-eye. With the van – all the gear stays loaded and ready to go and I only have to pull cooler/food and clothes out. I also save on tolls and the hassle of maintaining a trailer.
Room for mast/boom and spares
Protective storage for blades and other Laser gear (and spares)
Bed for napping on long trips or ‘tin tenting’ at venues with camping
Seating for 4-5 for sailing and non-sailing road trips including ECU tailgating
The ability to tow a J/70
Loading Hoist, Rail and Sling
To load the Laser – there’s a jib track run along the roof of the van. The track has a slide with a pulley that I can attach to the bow eye of the Laser (yes, I know this not recommended). To load the laser the front of the boat is hoisted on the pulley system. I lift the stern walking the boat into the van with the front of the boat/pulley sliding over the bed and the seat. I use the sling to cinch the boat up to the roof and then ratchet it in for travel.
The spar holder sits above the boat and holds 7 sections. A bungee with a hook holds the spars in place for travel.
The blade drawer has room to fit 2 sets of parts. The blades sit on their edge to prevent risk of them warping in a hot vehicle and the inside is wrapped in carpet to prevent scratches.
The bed in the van was custom sized to fit – it’s 70″ long and 60″ wide. That’s the same width as a queen and 5″ shorter than a double. That way the length of the bed goes across the van side to side – saving valuable fore/aft room in the van for gear. This wouldn’t work for someone taller. The bed is raised about 20″ off the ground leaving room for the blade drawer and more space for rolled sails and other gear underneath. On top of the bed is a Sunbrella duvet cover to keep the bed dry should a dripping boat be hoisted overhead or wet clothes be thrown on top of it.
These curtains have magnets holding them in. They have a bit of cotton filler for some insulation and are black so they are completely unnoticeable from the outside.
The van also features a roof air vent with a thermostat to hopefully keep the van a little cooler on hot days and nights. In the future I’ll consider installing insulated walls, a house/shore power system and an AC/Heat Pump unit.
This has been a fun project and I’m looking forward to many years of fun and sailing with it. Thanks to my Mom for help on the curtains. Dad and neighbors for help building and the Sprinter Forum for ideas.
My first race of 2015 and why not do it at a District Championship. Severn Sailing Association held the District 11 Championship in conjunction with their Sunshine Open Regatta. 27 Lasers and 16 Radials were out in what were nearly frostbite conditions on the first day.
I started with a great race sailing in 2nd most of the way around the course and loosing a spot on the final leg finishing 3rd. I’d go downhill from there, but not before a few top 3 roundings before giving up spots downwind. I met my goal of all top 10 finishes.
Back on short after 4 races I warmed up and enjoyed the dinner and band.
Sunday was a little better wind and we sailed 2 more races. i had a tougher go of it finishing 1 in double digits followed by an 8 to finis 6th overall.
No pictures this time but results can be found here. Big thanks to SSA for hosting, congratulations to Luke who sailed a great regatta to win it and thanks again for Steve for the place to stay.