Sailboat Racing

2018 Laser District 10 Championship: Sunday

Day 2 at the Laser District 10 Championship and we had more wind and cloudy skies for 3 more races.  The first race was about a mile top to bottom and we did two grueling laps.  I had a great start and had good boat speed at times upwind.  I played it conservatively so as not to flip. This was especially challenging down by the bottom mark where the seawall was reflecting the waves back upwind making it feel like a washing machine and I buried the bow multiple times sailing upwind with a full cockpit of water.  I finished 11th – my fourth 11th place finish in 6 races.

The second race was more of the same with another knot or two of breeze. I started and decided to call it a day as I wasn’t going to change my finish much missing the last two races and would only wear myself out before a long drive home and before rain moved in.

It was nice to see Shore Acres Yacht Club – I can’t wait to see it when the clubhouse is finished.  Always great to sail with all the very competitive D10 sailors and I’ll be back in D10 for the Laser Masters Nationals in August.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 Laser District 10 Championship: Saturday

Friday night after work I made the trip up 95 for the Laser District 10 Championship at Shore Acres Yacht Club in Brick New Jersey. I managed to miss most of the traffic around Washington DC and made good time arriving at the club at 11 to spend the night van camping.

In the morning we were greeted to beautiful sailing conditions and a tad more wind than had been forecasted.  The winds started out of the north east and slowly shifted to the south east over the course of the afternoon at 8-12 knots under mostly sunny skies.

21 competitors in what would be a very competitive fleet.

On the water I inconsistently sailed consistently – meaning I’d have some bad legs and some good legs and I always managed to finish mid-fleet in either 11th or 13th place in all 5 races. I had moments where I was in the top 5 and the bottom 5 of the fleet.  We sailed a modified windward leeward course that at one point was probably 1 1/4- 1 1/2 miles from top to bottom which made for a very long downwind leg. Despite the long legs and my terrible starting it was a great day of racing and it felt good to be back in the boat again.

Laser District 10 Championship is underway at SAYC!

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After racing I went for a run, enjoyed drinks and tacos on the beautiful deck facing the water and met some of the other Laser sailors and SAYC members. A band played at the club while the sun set.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 FBYC Open House Regatta

After the Snipe broke yesterday, Jess and I were without a plan for racing FBYC’s Open House Regatta on Saturday.  At 9pm Saturday night that plan came together and we would sail on Mad Hatter with the Flecks. This race is a progressive start distance race – meaning the slowest boast start first and the fastest boats start first and whoever finishes first wins.  This year featured a wide variety of boats including a 30′ trimaran and a Wasp. The weather was slightly overcast, warm with 12-14 knot winds.

We had a great start, hitting our time perfectly.  Only two of the legs were downwind for us, so that kept the spinnaker work for me up on the bow down to a minimum. We sailed the rhumb line and kept the boat going pretty well.  In the end the boat to beat was a 29er – who were able to fly a chute on the tight reaches much better than any of the other boats.  We finished 4th.

Following the race – we rafted up with a couple dozen other boats in Fishing Bay and got to hang out with everyone for a couple hours.  Later we took the boat back around to the dock and joined the dinner and listened to the band.

PICTURES | RESULTS

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2018 RMYC RG65 Series #2

The RG65 season is underway at the Richmond Model Yacht Club on Lake Rooty and we had nice weather for the 2nd race day of the series. Unfortunately, No Quarter had radio problems and became uncontrollable after the first race.  I still got to borrow a couple boats to sail – thanks Rob & Marc.

I’ve wanted to get a slightly bigger boat that would enable me to sail it in the choppier water in Deltaville.  I haven’t decided what I want yet, but a new member came who was interested in getting into the RG65 class and I ended up selling him my boat on the spot.  The RG65 was fun to sail and great for Lake Rooty and I’ll sure I’ll find another boat in the coming months.

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2018 Florida Masters: Sunday

Sunday saw the conditions lay down a bit from the winds we saw Saturday and we were back out on the ocean sailing under overcast skies and 10-15 knot winds in rather large and lumpy swells.  I made it out to the race course, but felt absolutely awful out there as we waited to get racing started. After being so uncomfortable out there I left before the first race and would get an early start on the trip back home.  I would later figure out that the breakfast bars I had been eating hadn’t been agreeing with me and had actually been making me feel bad all weekend. Make that a lesson for next time.

Even though I didn’t get as much sailing as I might have wanted, it was still nice to enjoy some warm weather, see some old friends and get away for a bit. I am looking forward to more sailing in a few months when it warms up in VA.

PICTURES | REGATTA WEBSITE | RESULTS

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2018 Florida Masters: Saturday

After postponing on shore in what was looking to be some gnarly winds, the race committee took everyone out to the harbor for some short course racing in an alternate format.  I made the decision to bail on the day and jump on the committee boat for a front row seat. The alternate format meant todays races only counted as one race in the regatta.  In the end it wasn’t as bad as it felt on land or was predicted and I was a bit bummed to skip sailing it.

PICTURES | REGATTA WEBSITE | RESULTS

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2018 Florida Masters: Friday

The first day of the Florida Masters was a nice one with temps in the 70s, partly cloudy skies and 86 boats in two fleets. We sailed outside in the ocean. The wind started around 7 or 8 out of the WNW and shifted around to NNE and built to 11-13.  We got in 3 races for both fleets with the radials starting under the prep flag and the standards starting under U-flag after general recalling twice each of the 3 races.

In the first race it was lighter and a little lumpier and I picked the wrong side of the course on the first beat and found myself pretty deep at the first mark.  By the second leg the wind had shifted much more north making it a parade upwind and down.  I topped it off by hitting the same leeward mark both times I went around it and settled for 21st place finish.

After moving the course west and orienting it with the wind out of the North we got our 2nd race started.  I was mid-line and had a great start and legged out to the left.  I got to the layline and sailed right in to the mark and found myself first around.  I lost a couple boats on both downwind legs and settled for an 8.

For the 3rd race I started closer to the pin and had to pinch above a few boats barely laying it.  I stayed to the left of the course and by now the wind was 11-13 – requiring some sitting out and occasional hiking.  I was making the boat move well upwind and even started figuring out how to work the waves downwind so I didn’t loose boats.  I finished 5th and after 3 races I’m first Apprentice Master and 14th overall in the Radial fleet.

PICTURES | REGATTA WEBSITE | RESULTS

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2018 Florida Masters: Thursday

The trip to West Palm Beach went pretty smoothly for a 850mi journey with only 1 brief slowdown for construction traffic.  I spent the night in Jacksonville Florida and finished the trip this morning arriving at Palm Beach Sailing Club around 12:30.

The forecast for this week is going to be for quite a bit of wind on two of the days.  Having not sailed much in the last year and not at all since October, I’ve opted to join the radial fleet this weekend.

After unpacking I went out to practice in 10-11 knots out of the east, mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the low 70s.

I got out into the bay and the wind current was ripping, so I sailed around the harbor and got used to the Radial again. In the distance I spotted Rambler 88 and sailed by it.

The boats were put away, I went for a run and ready to camp out at the club and go racing tomorrow in a 30+ boat Radial fleet.

PICTURES | REGATTA WEBSITE

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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Sunday

Day 2 at the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship saw a little stronger wind that yesterday out of nearly the opposite wind direction. In 3 more long races I was able to move up one spot in the Apprentice Division while only falling one spot overall finishing 12th.

Ahead of the first race I did my prep, checked the wind current, favored side of the course, etc. I would learn pretty quickly in the first race that I was exactly wrong on all of it. I also managed to hit a mark, did my turn and then on the 2nd beat I flubbed a tack and capsized.  So much for dropping the 23 from yesterday, I’d now have a 32 to drop.

As the wind picked up to light hiking conditions I did much better to get a good start and hold my lane up the first beat.  I rounded 10-12 and held my own downwind.  On the 2nd upwind I made some good moves and passed some boat holding onto 5th the rest of the way around the course.

In the 3rd race of the day the wind eased back to 8-10.  I had a good first lap rounding in the top 6, but I picked some bad shifts on the 2nd beat and lost 10 spots.

All in all I was pretty happy finishing near the top 1/4 of the fleet.  The regatta ran as smoothly as it could have and I have the members of FBYC’s Laser fleet as well as Rick Klein and our race committee to thank.  I can’t wait to finish grad school and have some more time to do more masters events.

FINAL RESULTS | PICTURES

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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Saturday

Starting mark.

We had a busy morning checking in 44 competitors and making sure our RC and safety boats had all of their equipment – on top of rigging a boat.  But it all came together for the first day of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and we were able to sail 4 races in light conditions out of the North. Approaching the club was a challenge – the tide was very high and most vehicles drove through 6-8 inches of water on Fishing Bay Road.  Never had I seen a line at the hose stations to wash the salt water off the cars.

Car was station.

At the skippers meeting this morning I was made a marked man with a shirt to wear for sailing making it very clear it was my first time sailing the event.

Jon and his masters 1st time shirt jon getting a shirt

Out on the water had high 60’s air temp, 72 degree water and cloudy skies with winds 5-7 out of the North.  Occasionally we’d get some 8 or 9 and occasionally it also die out to 3. We were sailing in area B and given the super high tides we’re having, there was a lot of water flowing out of the river going left to right across the course at almost a 90-degree angle.

The first race was a slow H3 on a course that was just under a mile in length.  I didn’t follow my plan to go left and despite a decent start – worked my way out to the right, was the wrong side and paid for it never really  being able to climb through the fleet and finished 23rd.

The 2nd race was a two lap race and I did better playing shifts in the middle of the course to stay just behind the lead pack.  Going left downwind was paying well and I picked up a few boats there on both runs and wound up 10th.

Jon sailing downwind

Jon sailing downwind

The 3rd race was a similar but just 1 lap.  With the first beat being over 20 minutes long there are definitely passing lanes and the fleet spreads out a bit up wind.  I was top 5 0r 6 around the top mark, but this time the left didn’t pay off as well.  I lost some boats downwind, but picked a couple upwind and settled for 9th.

In the 4th race I started to worked the middle on the first upwind and found myself in the mid-teens around the top mark.  Downwind I held my spot down the middle. I rounded the right gate – took a hitch to the right to clear my air and then banged the left corner going into the current, but doing it in the lee of a shore.  When I came back on the port layline I crossed all but the top 3 boats.  That position held for the rest of the race finishing 4th.

Given the forecast and the possibility that it was going to die – we were very happy to have gotten in 4 races and we weren’t in until 4pm making it a rather long day.

Jacque Kerrest, Luke Shingledecker, and Gavin O’Hare were all consistently at the top of each race and are on top of the leaderboard.  Tomorrow’s forecast had been for more wind, but that might not be true anymore so we’ll see what happens in that one especially after the drop.

Eating Dinner

Alain prepared another fabulous meal of ribs, crab cakes, and mac and cheese.  Everyone hung out for a couple hours and finally turned in.  Over half of the fleet is camping at the club.

DAY 1 RESULTS | PICTURES

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