Mellisa, Jon, Sarah, Kevin at Front Runner Midwinters

We arrived at Davis Island Yacht Club on Saturday morning hoping to get in our first day of sailing. The wind was up around 15-18 knots when we arrived and white caps were beginning to appear. By the time we got the boats launched the wind was sustained 18-20.

This was my first time helming a Front Runner and we headed out to the course with the rest of the fleet. A few boats who had gone out ahead of us, passed us going the other way, and I just figured they were doing some upwind practice. Once we made it to the starting area we quickly realized we weren’t going to be able to compete in this wind, and having only been in the boat once before, it was probably going to be best for us not to remain out long. So we headed back for the dock.

Turns out we had good company. The boats I thought were practicing were already rafted up and within 2 minutes we were joined by another boat making 4 out of the 10 boats already at the dock. After we tied up, we went up to the deck at the yacht club where we had a great view of the race course. We watched the carnage as boats were towed back in. The crash boat at DIYC did a great job recovering boats and getting back to the club.

One boat in our group ended up nearly sinking and it ultimately took us 2 hours to drain. 3 boats ended up getting in 3 races. The rest of us hung around the club in the sun and put the boats away for the night.

Tomorrow the forecast is for a little less wind. If it’s the right strength then we’ll make a go of it, otherwise if it ends up being too much, we’ll probably leave a boat behind and triple up on a couple boats.

Rigging Front Runners

Today was supposed to be the first day of racing at the Front Runner Midwinters at Davis Island Yacht Club in Tampa Florida, but the weather definitely put a damper on it. We arrived at the club early to get the boats set up and the race committee had already postponed our noon first start. We took refuge in the club house and waited for a break in the weather that came around noon. The weather gave us a window just long enough to get the boats set up before another front came through.

Throughout the day we either had wet and windy or cloudy with no wind. Late in the afternoon a couple of Fireballs did get out on the water. At times they were just sitting there in the drizzling rain. That hardly looked like fun sailing. Our group stayed inside and played cards for most of the afternoon. Late in the afternoon the RC postponed the first race until tomorrow. We’ll have to be up nice and early for a 9:30 first start on Saturday. The weather for the rest of the weekend is supposed to be beautiful.

The plan for today had been to get the boat ready, do a practice sail and then a Portsmouth handicap race in the evening, but rain, a tornado warning, flash flood warning and lake wind advisory foiled those plans. Instead I got the tires fixed and joined the group for lunch at Ybor Brewing Company. In the afternoon we relaxed around the house and then Rick and Jen cooked up a great steak, chicken and sausage dinner with salad and baked potatoes. The rest of the evening was spent playing cards and recounting old times sailing at FBYC.

We’ll have to get an early start to the day tomorrow to get the boat setup and ready to sail. We’ve seen a variety of forecasts, but presently we’re expecting lighter winds with a possibility of some rain.

Front Runner blown tire

We started out bright and early this morning on our trip to Tampa for the Fireball and Friends midwinter’s. I am sailing a Front Runner along with 7 other boats based in Richmond from Fishing Bay Yacht Club. 5 of us left Richmond at 5:30am in a caravan heading south.

The trip started out fine, but about 150 miles into the trip the tire went on the trailer I was driving. Unfortunately the spare was a dud too, but thankfully Mark came to the rescue and loaned me his spare. The rest of the trip was relatively uneventful and we pulled into Davis Island Yacht Club around 7pm.

Most of the other boats in our group arrived around the same time and after unloading the boats we stopped for some pizza before heading out to find our house for the weekend.

Tomorrow, after getting some new tires we’ll set up the boats and get ready to race in the afternoon. The weather is calling for scattered storms and 12-15+.

Brant Beach Yacht Club

My mission to sail at one new club every year took me to Brant Beach Yacht Club the second weekend in August for the Laser Nationals. With 278 Lasers in 3 fleets this is the largest Laser event ever held in North America. I was one of 105 Lasers in the standard rig fleet.

The first day was a little out of my wind range and I had a tough time keeping the boat flat upwind. On the second day I was a little more competitive, but with 105 boats on a short line, the starts were brutal and I am definitely out of practice starting in a big fleet.

I can’t say I sailed my best regatta, but I had a good time and everyone at Brant Beach Yacht Club did a fantastic job hosting us.

Here are a handful of photos that I took while I was there with my camera phone.

Here’s a couple pictures taken by the photographer here, here, here, and here.

This weekend I was at the 2009 Southern Bay Leukemia Cup Regatta in Deltaville, VA sailing about Wavelength in the PHRF-A fleet. Last year I took photos and did a regular video.

This year my experiment was to take and collect photos from the event and immediately post them to twitter via the Fishing Bay Yacht Club twitter account (@fishingbayyc). I had a couple people emailing me photos from their camera phones throughout the event. During every free moment I had while racing, I would download the pictures, edit them, and tweet/post them to twitter/flickr. Having image editing apps on the iPhone made this work so easily. The only downside was the spotty coverage out in the middle of the bay, so downloading/uploading went slow.

All and all it was a fun experiment. I want to thank Goeff Cahill, Gary Hooper, and Scott Turpin for contributing photos to the video. The event website including results can be found here.

Lasers Beached at 2009 NAC

This past weekend I was up in Fort Erie Ontario for the 2009 Laser North American Championship. I was sailing a Radial in the 4-day regatta. It wasn’t my best showing, but I leaned a lot about sailing a Radial and how a big-time regatta at the level of a North American Championship runs. I’m looking forward to US Nationals in August. Here’s a few pictures from around the Buffalo Canoe Club during the event.

District Secretaries

The first weekend of May was the 2009 Laser Atlantic Coast Championship (standard rig). 84 Lasers sailed in a variety conditions for two days in Annapolis, Maryland. Results are here. Off-the-water photos are here.

This photo is of me and my fellow District Secretaries: Jon Deutsch (D11), John Shockey (D18), John Coolidge (D17), Eric Reitinger (D10)