After a half day of work and an afternoon drive to Wrightsville Beach North Carolina I’m at Carolina Yacht Club for the Laser Atlantic Coast Championship this weekend.  It looks like we’re going to have some beautiful weather with warm conditions and mostly sun.  That also means the wind could be a little light at times.

Sunset on the sound at Wrightsville Beach NC

This evening I hung out with the SSA crowd who have a house a couple blocks down from the club.  We had a lasagna dinner and watched the sunset.  Approximately 16 sailors from District 11 have made the trip down.  We’ve all got D11 pinnies so we should be easy to spot.

Watching the Sunset on the sound at Wrightsville Beach NC

Saturday was my first time back to Deltaville since the Tornado came through last weekend.  I was surprised to see how much had already been cleaned up and put back together.  With last weeks racing cancelled, this was the first day of offshore sailing and I was aboard Wavelength. It was a bit cloudy, but warm and we saw 15 knots with gusts to 30. It was a bit wild at times with the kite up in winds over 25.

Here’s some video of the damage and some highlights from FBYC’s Offshore Spring Series #2.

The Sunshine Open was a bust for me.  On Sunday morning the wind was already well into the 20’s with a forecast calling for it to get into the 30’s and direction that would make it a difficult beat to get back to the club.  There was no way it was going to be a fun day on the water so I headed back to Richmond instead.

Going back to Saturday evening in Deltaville, Fishing Bay Yacht Club was having their Opening Day Regatta and Dinner. There were about 100 people in the clubhouse having dinner.  About 7:30, just as most people were finishing their dinner, a storm came through Deltaville and with it a tornado that passed about 3/4 of a mile from the club.

About 15 minutes later my phone started blowing up with tweets and text messages from various club members along the path of the tornado.  I spent much of the evening gathering reports, relaying information and looking up other information online about what had just occurred.  And based on the reports I posted updates to the club website and put out a map of the tornado’s path through Deltaville which turned out to be pretty accurate.

Thankfully everyone in the Deltaville area was unharmed, but at least one club members home received significant damage and several buildings and other homes in town were wiped out.  Here are some pictures from someone who was there.

No racing today for the first day of the Sunshine Open at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis.  With gale warnings and thunderstorms in the area we weren’t able to get on the water.  Through the afternoon we saw winds topping 30 knots.  The regatta dinner and band is still on for tonight.  Here’s some video of the conditions.

Sailing World April 2011 Leukemia Society Wavelength Ad

In the April edition of both Sailing World(p68) and Cruising World the The Leukemia Cup Regatta has an ad featuring the crew of Wavelength during the 2010 Southern Bay Leukemia Cup at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Pictured: Anton Webre, Melanie Pelouze Schmidt, Chris Schmidt, Ed Walker, Steve Utley, Rob Whittet, Jon Deutsch, and John Watlington.

FBYC launched a new website for the Stingray Point Regatta this week. It uses a lot of the things we learned from the 2010 Optimist Nationals website and should serve as a good platform for promoting and providing information about the event. The regatta takes place each Labor Day weekend in Deltaville, Virginia at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and is sailed mostly around buoy courses in 23-40+ foot boats. Check it out at

Stingray Point Regatta website screen shot

We started the final day of the 2011 Laser Midwinters east a little earlier. We had to check out of the hotel and be out on the water for a 10am first start.  Despite being one of the first to leave the dock, I was one of the few without a coach boat and therefore one of the last to reach the race course.  It wasn’t much of a problem because we were postponed on the water for over an hour before the sea breeze finally came in with 5-10 knots of breeze.

The silver standard rig fleet only got to sail one race before we reached the mid-afternoon time limit.  The first start was recalled and we restarted under black flag.  I had a terrible start and was so far behind so fast I just ended up ducking a couple stragglers and banging the right corner.  It ended up paying off as I was in the 15-20 range at the top mark.  I did pretty well reaching and downwind but lost a few more boats when the right DID NOT pay off on the second beat.  I finished somewhere in the low 20’s.

The sea breeze made it an easy sail in and Ted and I got the boats and car packed up in record time to begin the drive back to Richmond and then on to Annapolis.

I definitely enjoyed my first trip to the Laser Midwinters East Regatta.  I learned a lot, got to sail alongside some great sailors, met some new people, and got back into the boat after a few months off. I’m looking forward to getting a little more practice and going ready to compete at the ACC’s and NAC’s later this spring and summer.

Just after the mark rounding at Laser Midwinters

Light air day in Clearwater for the Laser Midwinters.  To begin the day we were postponed on shore due to lack of wind at the racing area.  There was a nice wind blowing through the sailing center which made it even that much harder to sit around.  I did some sightseeing and walked across the street to see the beach.

Around noon the wind filled in enough at the race course for them to send us off.  We waited around at the course for a bit while the wind settled and the Standard Gold fleet eventually started in 4-6 knots out of the West South West.  Our fleet started under black flag and I had a reasonably good start towards the middle-pin end.  I made my way to my left and kept my tacks to a minimum arriving in at the windward mark just behind the top 10 boats.  I held my speed pretty well with the rest of the fleet and managed to stay  ahead of the scrum of about 15 boats behind me.  With 4 boats ahead of me black flagged, I ended up finishing 10th in the silver fleet.

Tomorrow is the last day at midwinters.  The weather has been great and the sailing has been fun.  We have an earlier start tomorrow and are hoping for a little more wind than we had today.  And as soon as we are off the water tomorrow, Ted and I will start the long drive back to VA/MD.