Monday was the first day of racing at Key West Race Week for the J105 Lucky Dog Racing.  Last night a storm rolled through the area which left some lumpy seas around the course for the first part of the day.  The cloudy skies in the morning cleared as the day went on and with them went the wind.

At the race course we did some practice to be sure everything was ship shape and ready to go.  We were a half a boat length late at the start with Max Power above us.  We worked our way out to the middle left of the course on the first beat and were about 6th around the first mark.  We held our own downwind, but had a terrible takedown and lost 10-15 boat lengths at the leeward mark.

Upwind we were fast and clawed our way back a few spots.  We ended up 8th in the 1st race of the day in the 15-boat fleet.

Lucky Dog on Day 2 of Key West Race Week

In the second race of the day the wind and waves had subsided a bit.  Travis did a great job nailing the start and we hit the line on the front row and were able to get out in clear air.  We were right with Ghost, Savasana, Wasabi and Masquerade.  We had good upwind boat speed and led Ghost at the first windward mark by half a boat length.  On the next three legs we had clean maneuvers, good tactics and extended our lead.

On the final leg upwind to the finish, Masquerade, who was in 4~6th place rounded the leeward mark and went way left.  We covered everyone else in the fleet who mostly stayed to the middle right.  Masquerade hit the left corner perfectly and was lifted ahead of us by 5-8 boat lengths.  We continued to gain on the boats behind, but couldn’t catch up to Masqueraded leaving us with a 2nd place finish.

A second and an 8 put us in 4th overall.  Tomorrow’s forecast is for a little lighter winds which will be a bit more challenging for us.

After racing we headed back to the condos and a short time later a storm rolled through the area.  We headed over to Kelley’s for the J105 party and then went out to dinner.

Overall results are posted here.  Tomorrow, be sure to watch the Division 2 blog for updates on our course throughout the day.

Sunday was our day to get out on the water and practice.  The boat had been brought down and set up earlier in the week, so all we needed to do was some final tuning and go sailing.  We are sharing a slip with another J105, Max Power.  The RC44s are just down the dock from us as well as a few other big racing boats.

After an hour of prep work, we were ready to go.  2 minutes after getting the sails up and starting to sail, I was down below and noticed water above the floorboards.  It turns out there were 2 slow leaks on the boat and the bilge pump had not been turned on.  Turning that on along with a couple minutes of bailing and we got the bilge emptied and went back to sailing.

Practicing downwind on the J105

Our practice went well.  It gave us all a chance to sail together, we made sure all of the systems and equipment were race ready, and we got to spend time practicing some new positions for many of us.  Mid-afternoon we headed back to shore and made a few repairs and got everything cleaned up for racing tomorrow.

We ate a late lunch at Turtle Krawls and Russell Coutts (BMW Oracle) sat down at the table next to us.  Peter Holmgren (Alinghi 2003) was at another table nearby.  In the evening everyone hung out watching the NFL playoffs.  Rob went to the skippers meeting, we checked out the regatta party and after a pretty low-key evening, turned in pretty early.  8:30 dock call tomorrow.

Ambulances outside our first flight from RIC>ATLWe started the week with a bit of a bumpy ride to Key West on Saturday.  John Wake drove, Tal flew out of Texas, and Rob flew AirTran.  All of their trips were pretty uneventfully. Lud, Travis and I were on all of the same flights and we can’t say the same for our trip.  Our first flight out of Richmond was diverted back to the gate while taxing to the runway due to a passenger having a medical emergency.  An hour later we were on our way to Atlanta, but not with enough time to catch our connection to Key West.  We relaxed at the sky lounge and caught the next flight to Key West.  That flight was at the end of the runway about to take off, and they had a computer problem and returned us to the gate to fix it.  An hour later we were on our way not arriving in Key West until about 5:30, 5 hours after we were originally scheduled to be there.

Welcome To Key West

Thankfully the other guys got there on time and were able to register, check into the condos and pick up our rental bikes for the week.  After getting settled we went out to a Brazillion Steak House for dinner and then went out on Duvall street.

Key West Race Week 2011Next week I’ll be heading to Key West for Key West Race Week.  This will be my first trip to Key West and to Race Week. There will be around 135+ other boats on 3 different courses; everything from 72 footers to the mostly professionally sailed RC44s to PRHF-C boats like J24s.

I’ll be sailing aboard the Richmond-based J105 Lucky Dog from Fishing Bay Yacht Club owned and skippered by Travis Weisleder.  The J105 is a 34-foot boat that will be sailing one-design (not handicap) against 15 other identical boats on the Division 2 Racing Area. The boat sails with a crew of 6 and I’ll be in the pit mostly helping make sure the sails get up and down correctly.

Throughout the week I’ll be posting updates on my blog and when possible I’ll post updates to twitter (@jondeutsch).  There’s a few regatta blogs that will be updated throughout the week with race results, weather, rounding orders and where the full kegs are.

Ways to Follow Along:

The General Schedule for the Week:

Other Information:

Long overdue is the video from our trip to Tampa last March to sail a Front Runner in the Fireball and Friends Midwinters at Davis Island Yacht Club.  My daily recaps can be found here.  More photos here.

The reason for the delay is that this was my first and last video done with a FlipHD camera.  The file format was un-editable and after countless hours of putting the entire video together only to realize it won’t render because it was MP4. So finally I have been able to learn a bit about video editing and was able to convert the original video to .dv and then re-edit it all back together.  This has literally taken me weeks of time to get to this point.

Fear not, I have a better solution for future videos with my new camera that I should be able to edit on just fine.

Fishing Bay Yacht Club won US Sailing’s Regatta of the Year award for hosting the 2010 USODA Layline Nationals.  A big part of what set us over the top was our online media and promotion of the event.  It was a fun event this summer and I’m glad to have played a part in it.  Kudos to the rest of the team that made it happen.

From US Sailing’s Press Release:

The Fishing Bay Yacht Club (FBYC) of Deltaville, Va. won the 2010 Regatta Award for the excellence in development, promotion, and management performed by organizers and sponsors of the 2010 USODA (United States Optimist Dinghy Association) Layline Nationals on July 17-25, 2010.

Co-chairs Noel Clinard and Jay Buhl, along with webmaster Jon Deutsch were recognized for demonstrating extraordinary individual creativity and contribution to the year’s most innovative one-design event of national significance. The regatta attracted broad national and international participation of 317 boats through persistent marketing and communication efforts. The small club located in a village maximized their resources through their entrepreneurial promotions, sponsorship development, community involvement, shore activities and creative dissemination of housing, tourism, historical and racing information.

The regatta site conjoined four nearby properties, including the Deltaville Dockyard, Jackson Creek Condominiums, Deltaville Maritime Museum, and Harbor House Community. The regatta consisted of three events: team racing, girls fleet racing, open fleet racing, plus a green fleet for novices. Despite its small size of about 330 family members, FBYC turned out different race committees for these events with over 50 volunteers.

The backbone for marketing the regatta was an effective, user friendly web site at The web site was enabled to provide social networking through Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. A detailed media plan included the engagement of two separate video services, and Sailgroove, who provided ample coverage. FBYC facilitated the recruitment of Layline, a marine supplier, as the first ever Platinum level partner for USODA.

Also, 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and US SAILING Team AlphaGraphics member Anna Tunnicliffe was in attendance and gave the keynote address for the opening ceremony.

I want to thank all of the sailors who came out for the 2010 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club last weekend.  We had a record turnout since 2000 and it was by far the best and most fun FBYC Laser Masters regattas that I’ve been a part of.  I also wanted to thank the race committee, our fleet members and all of the other volunteers at FBYC who helped make this regatta what it is.  All of the competitors enjoyed it and got some great sailing, and that would not have been possible without the help of everyone involved. Congrats to John Bertrand on winning his second straight Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship.

2010 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Group Shot

The complete write-up of the regatta and results can be read here. With 25+ knot winds on Saturday, the boat I was on was just a little too wet to get the camera out.  I was able to get a few good shots from shore and a bunch of great photos on Sunday.

Mr. Roberts and Lasers on Fishing Bay

I hope to see everyone back at FBYC for 2 Laser Regattas next year: The District 11 Championship and US Sailing Singlehanded Championship Area C Elimination in late May or early June, and the 2011 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship in October.

Today was the first day of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and what a wild windy day it was.  Unfortunately it was so windy and so wild that I was unable to get my camera out.  With all the spray and having to get in the water to help out tired sailors, I just wasn’t able to get too many shots of the racing.

Read about the day here and check out the first day results.  Tomorrow’s forecast calls for less wind and will hopefully enable more photos to be taken.

Start of race one
Start of race 1.

Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Trophy Plate
Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Trophy

The 2010 Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship is less than 48 hours away. This is the 29th Annual running of this regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for Laser sailors 35 years of age or older. Since becoming the Laser Fleet captain in 2005 this is the 6th masters regatta I have been event chair for and my 7th laser regatta total.

As of this writing we have 38 boats registered. We’ve reached that number only once in the last 10 years and if we have 2 more boats show up – this will be the largest Laser Masters regatta since we hosted 91 boats for the US Laser Masters in 2000.

Most of the stuff to feed the sailors and Race Committee this weekend. ~35 cubic ft of gear plus me that has to fit in my car of only 90 cubic ft.

It’s amazing to think back at the last 10 years of Laser Masters regattas on how much has changed, yet how some of the traditions have remained the same.

In 2000 we hosted 91 Lasers without all of the new land we have today. We still had the old clubhouse and somehow everyone had a place to rig and eat dinner.

We still have all of the awesome traditions like Alain’s fabulous dinner, excellent race committee, and a fun group of masters sailors who come every year for a great time.

Here are a couple videos of the 2000 Masters showing just how things were:

Another great weekend in Deltaville.  Saturday was probably the last regatta I am going to sail in for the year.  It was the Sail Against SIDS/Indian Summer Regatta and we had 3 lasers out.  I can’t say I sailed very smart, missing things like the number of laps and major wind shifts.  But I made up for it by being fast and won 5 close races.  It was fun sailing with Mike and Steve and I want to thank Allan’s crew for putting up with me always wanting our fleet to sail a different course than the other fleets.

FBYC Fall Series #2 Upwind

Sunday was the Offshore Fall Series #2 at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.  I ran the mark boat with Miles.  With a strong, cool north wind, we sailed the races in Fishing Bay.  Occasional light rain added a little misery. It’s always a sight seeing 15-20 twenty to forty footers racing in the shifty conditions in the Piankatank.

Lining up the marks
My only real responsibility as the mark boat: making sure the marks all line up with the committee boat.

Despite the bad weather, I was able to get some pictures of the action that can be seen here.