Sailboat Racing

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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2017 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship: Friday

This has been the most anticipated regatta I have ever been a part of.  Back in 2005 I was the event chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship for the first time.  I got put in charge then because I was the most active fleet member at the time who couldn’t sail it yet. It would be 12 more years before I finally aged into being able to sail and something we’ve been discussing ever since.  I got a taste of masters sailing earlier this year when I went to Florida Masters Week and I can’t wait to finally be able to participate in an event I have put so much effort into over the past nearly 20 years I’ve been a member at FBYC.

Jon getting registrations into the scoring system

The last two days have been a whirlwind of pulling all the details together.  Being the 13th edition of this event I’ve chaired – the script for it is pretty well established, but it is a bit of a 48 hour mad dash to get all of the food, trophies, souvenirs, and other gear plus my own sailing equipment loaded, transported and readied at the club for the weekend.

some went for a sail friday afternoon

Throughout the day sailors began to arrive and some went for a sail in the mid-teens wind and light misty rain.  Later we piled a bunch of folks into the van and all went into town for dinner.

High high tide

I also got to check out Rob’s new setup.  He now has a sprinter van loosely modeled after my setup – so now there’s two laser sprint vans on the circuit.

Rob's Sprinter

Each year one of the preparations is to make a breakfast casserole that can be easily heated up and served for breakfast.  I make 4 of these a couple days before the regatta and keep them refrigerated.  Here’s the recipe I’ve been using:

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 role breakfast sausage
  • 1/3-1/2 bag cubed potatoes
  • 3-4 slices of bacon
  • 18 eggs
  • 13×9 pan
  • 2 cups of cheddar cheese

 

  • preheat oven to 325
  • Brown breakfast sausage
  • Cook strips of bacon, once cool – crumble into small bits
  • Cook cook cubed potatoes
  • eggs into a large mixing bowl and mix
  • Add potatoes, salt, pepper, mix
  • Add sausage, bacon, mix
  • Add all but 1/8 of the cheese, mix
  • Pour mixture into a pam-sprayed tin
  • Bake 45 minutes
  • Add remaining cheese over the top, bake another 6 minutes, let cool.
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2017 Stingray Point Regatta: Stingray Light Distance Race

9/1 Stingray Light Distance Race - Mad Hatter

The Stingray Light Distance Race kicks off Labor Day weekend with a distance race as part of the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. I was sailing on Mad Hatter for the day and we knew the weather was going to deteriorate as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey moved into the area bringing light rain and cooler temperatures.

The course started near Stingray Point and sent us straight out into the bay.  The ENE wind made it a beat out.  We rounded a mark and came back towards Stove Point on a reach under genoa and main.  Goin’ was the closest competitor to us and we mostly were able to hold even and stay ahead until we started reaching more and they were able to plane.  Despite the drizzle it was fun being out and sailing.

RESULTS

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2017 FBYC Laser Summer Regatta

The FBYC Summer Laser Regatta was a pretty light-air affair with only two races sailed.  11 boats out including the club’s junior coach who schooled us all with 2 bullets.  Charlie Brewer took 2nds and I had 3rds.  Thanks to Rick F for running our races.

RESULTS

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2017 FBYC One Design Long Distance Race

The 2017 edition of the FBYC One Design Long Distance Race started out with a pretty dismal forecast.  I had planned to sail the Laser and without somewhere to store a beer cooler in such light wind I took Matt Braun’s offer to crew on a Front Runner with him.  The race started in light air and slowly built as the afternoon went on.  We had a 2nd row start and had some trouble getting to clear air up the first leg.  On the second leg those who went closer to Stove Point were rewarded with breeze a little sooner.

We put our game faces for the 2nd half of the race and caught every shift and puff and clawed our way back to the top 3rd of the fleet.  The race got a little interesting about halfway through when a barge came down the course just as boats were exiting the channel.  Thankfully everyone had maneuverability and was out of the way by the time they came through. Thanks again Matt for a great day of sailing!

 

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2017 FBYC Cut Channel Race

I sailed the FBYC Cut Channel Race aboard Excitation this year and the race had a bit of a twist to it: boats could sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around the same 31nm course. We were among the boats that had read the SI’s earlier in the week and not gotten the memo that it changed the night before until we figured that out about 5 mi into the race and by then it was too late to be competitive.  It was still a beautiful day to sail across the bay and thanks Mayo for having me along.

Cut Channel Race Start

RESULTS | PICTURES

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So Long No Quarter J/70

At the end of June I said goodbye to the J/70.  It had been a ton of fun and I’m sorry I didn’t get to sail it more, but with school and all of the other commitments I have coming up it was best to downsize my fleet.

So long #781 enjoyed it and will miss you. Enjoy #ny #j70

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2017 FBYC Open House Regatta

The forecast for the Open House Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club improved as we got closer to Sunday and it ended up be great sailing conditions for the few mile progressive start distance race.  This race featured boats from 14′ all the way up to 48′ and they were all handicapped against each other with the slow boats starting first and having a head start over the faster boats. The first boat over the finish line wins.

I sail a Front Runner with Alan as crew and were among the 24 boats racing under mostly cloudy skies with the wind out of the ESE at 9-11.  As one of the slower boats we were about the 5th group to start and there were 2 other Front Runners racing with us.  The start was across the Piankatank River near Godfrey Bay and took us east and upwind towards the mouth of the Piankatank River.  Sailing down the river we stuck to the North shore near Fishing Bay and Stove point to stay out of the current.

That ended up being the key to the race as we extended out a lead and were able to get far enough ahead of the faster boats that they weren’t able to catch up.  It also helped us that 1/4 of the race was close reaching rhumb line sailing where putting up a spinnaker didn’t really help any.  On the final leg to the finish the J/70 E.L.E. made a pretty good charge and we edged them out finishing less than 1/2 a minute ahead.

Big thanks to Matt for letting us borrow the boat and for Alan doing a great job crewing in his second race.

RESULTS

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2017 May: Dallas

I made another trip to Dallas in May to visit Jess that started out with a few delays getting there.  The plane I was scheduled to get on at LaGuardia had gotten hit by another plane on the way to the gate.  It was fun watching the commentary on twitter and contributing to it.  Fortunately, the damage was minor with no injuries and just an inconvenience for all of the passengers affected.

The first night in Dallas Jess and I joined Tim on his Flying Scot and we sailed down the lake near the Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden where they were having their Thursday night concert series. We listened to a Michael Jackson tribute band while we relaxed on the water having drinks and eating dinner while we were surrounded by Stand Up Paddle boarders.  I had never been to a raft up where the Flying Scot was the ‘big boat’

5/11 Sunset Concert Sail

5/11 Sunset Concert Sail

#sunset on #whiterocklake #flyingscot

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On Friday Jess and I went to Fort Worth and had the most Texas date ever – steak dinner followed by a rodeo followed by a honky tonk.

5/13 Fort-Worth Stockyards

On Saturday I got to sail a snipe for the first time on a very light-air day at Corinthian Sailing Club. Lauren let me sail her boat while Andrew and Jess practiced their light-air boat-handling for Nationals later this summer.

5/14 CSC Saturday Morning Snipe Sailing

5/14 CSC Saturday Morning Snipe Sailing

Sunday we relaxed and I made the trip back to Richmond.

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