My first race of 2015 and why not do it at a District Championship. Severn Sailing Association held the District 11 Championship in conjunction with their Sunshine Open Regatta. 27 Lasers and 16 Radials were out in what were nearly frostbite conditions on the first day.
I started with a great race sailing in 2nd most of the way around the course and loosing a spot on the final leg finishing 3rd. I’d go downhill from there, but not before a few top 3 roundings before giving up spots downwind. I met my goal of all top 10 finishes.
Back on short after 4 races I warmed up and enjoyed the dinner and band.
Sunday was a little better wind and we sailed 2 more races. i had a tougher go of it finishing 1 in double digits followed by an 8 to finis 6th overall.
No pictures this time but results can be found here. Big thanks to SSA for hosting, congratulations to Luke who sailed a great regatta to win it and thanks again for Steve for the place to stay.
Today’s forecast looked even worse than yesterday so the postponement flag was hoisted in the morning. We then proceeded to do all of the things that ensure wind – namely other things like packing the boats, going power boating and canoeing. And by 10:45 the faithful who stuck it out were treated to a 7-9 knot breeze from the SSE.
We got 4 more races in before the time limit. I won the first race using a similar strategy to yesterday. But as the conditions changed in the 2nd and 3rd races and as I went into lead-conservation-mode – I found that everyone else was suddenly just as fast as I was and there weren’t many passing lanes. I settled for 3rd in the next two races and not knowing if there was a drop or not in the last race, I just figured I just had to be better than DFL. A 6 in that race ended up being my drop and I ended up 1st by 5 points.
It was great for me to finally put more than a just few races together and get a good result. Thanks Steve, Dorian and everyone else for doing everything they did to put on the regatta. I enjoyed sailing with the SSA Laser sailors and look forward to sailing with them again soon.
It was all doom and gloom on the forecast all week ahead of the Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association and we were pleasantly surprised with the 3 races were were able to get in. We headed out to the race course and got the first race off on time in a 6-8 easterly breeze just off Bembe Beach. I had remembered sailing in this exact location and with this exact wind direction and I remember the strategy was to go right or to go left – I just didn’t remember which way.
At the start I wanted to be at the boat and to go right where there appeared to be more wind. I took a second row start just behind Luke Shingledecker and tacked to the right as soon as I cleared the boat. About a minute and a half later I realized it was the left that I wanted to be on because of the left-to-right current, so I tacked and continued, taking a few sterns, until I was left-most boat on nearly the lay line. Once on the layline the current carried me to the mark in the lead. I led the rest of the race favoring the right on the downwind and just doing my best to stay between myself and the pack of Jonathan Phillips, Luke and Bill just behind me.
After the first race was completed – the wind completely shut off – just as was expected. We sat around in power boat chop for over 2 hours before the wind started to fill. This wasn’t the 6-8 that we had earlier in the day but it was a solid 6 – enough to call it racing – and not punishment.
By the time we started the current was supposed to have changed so I again took a second row start behind Luke and worked the right. Once there I realized it hadn’t changed yet and again worked my way out to the left. This time Luke came in ahead of me and I followed him downwind. At the gate I saw some nice pressure on the lower right of the course so I stayed right while Luke went all the way to the left. I came back to the left lay line and was 5-8 lengths ahead of him when we reached the top mark. On the final downwind he closed the gap, but I was able to finish just ahead of him.
For the 3rd race the pin was a little favored so I planned to start down by the pin with Carlos and Luke below me. I got there a little too quick and was OCS and so was Luke so we both tucked around the mark and restarted. I ended up with a nice lane and crossed behind most of the fleet on port until I got to clear air. Once in clear wind I worked my way back across to left-most boat and rounded only behind one other boat who was ultimately tossed for OCS.
On the 2nd upwind of the 3rd race the course was moved to the left and this time I played a conservative middle-left to stay ahead of the guys behind to finish 1st.
Despite the light wind and washing machine seas due to the power boat chop – it ended up being some fun racing. I appreciate that the RC stuck it out and we were able to race. I had the upwind boat speed thing figured out and while there were some things I could have done better – I didn’t make any mistakes and that got me to the front and let me stay there. It was a nice accomplishment putting a whole race day together after the mistakes I made last time I was racing at the Laser District 11 Championship in August.
The forecast for Sunday is even more dismal than today’s, but we do start an hour earlier so I’m hoping we get some more racing in and I can keep the streak going.
We had quite a day for the final day of the Annapolis NOOD Regatta – plenty of wind and plenty more excitement. The forecast was for it to start into the low teens building with gusts into the 20s. Only two races were planned.
During the first downwind leg of the first race we had trouble with a gybe and broached. Not fun seeing the cockpit coamings in the water and going sideways while the fleet sails by.
I did learn a few things about J/22s this weekend – particularly how beat up a bow guy gets in a breeze!
Thanks again to Art Silcox for having me on his J/22. It was a pleasure sailing with him and Mike Waters.
Today started with a dismal forecast for wind. After being postponed an hour ashore we were sent out where we floated around for another 1 1/2 hours before some wind made an appearance.
The wind eventually filled in with 4-8 out of the south and we went racing. We had a good start and had good position and lane out front 1/3 up the first beat, but we fouled a boat, did our turns and had to suck air in the back of the pack for the rest of the race. The current ripping down the bay didn’t make things any easier for us to try and claw our way back into the fleet.
One of the things that has really hit home for me sailing on the J/22 this weekend is how important it is to have clear air and stay away from other boats.
Today at the Annapolis NOOD regatta was my first time sailing on a J/22, and for a first time, it went pretty well. I’m sailing on Art Silcox’s J/22 along with Mike Waters out of Severn Sailing Association. My training for this event consisted of watching 15 minutes of YouTube videos last night on J/22s to have an idea what I was doing. For the most part the boat was pretty easy to pick up and I had my footing and got comfortable moving about a boat that doesn’t have any lifelines.
We started pretty early to get out and practice before the race. We did some of the maneuvers and were ready to go by the time the first gun sounded at 11. The wind was out of the west and a bit fluky. We’d have 8 knots for a bit followed by puffs of nearly 20. Add to that a building current going across the course due to the big storms we’ve had in the prior couple days. At times we were dodging logs like telephone poles floating through the course.
The first two race were where we did our learning. As we adjusted to the boat and figured out how to sail it together we started to get faster and faster. We didn’t beat a lot of boats in the first two races, but we figured out what we were doing.
The 3rd and 4th race were very different for us. We figured out how to make the boat go, could hold our own with the boats near us and we were able to make our own decisions on where to go. We ended up 20-23-9-12 for 15th overall in the first day.
Two more days to go – lets hope we can stay in the top half of the fleet.
For the 3rd and final day of the Severn Sailing Association Soling Frostbite we had another day of light thermals and mostly overcast skies. I was once again the middle guy flying the chute and calling tactics on Mike Waters boat along with bowman Al Tierney.
In the first race we were a little late to the start and wound up behind the other 4 boats. We worked the left while the rest of the fleet went right and wound up rounding the first mark in last. While the rest of the fleet took the rhumb line to the mark in wind that had shifted to the right looking upwind. We instead went downwind for a bit, straight out into the bay to meet the new breeze coming in and then gybed downwind in pressure and carried that to the downwind mark. That new wind took a while to reach the rest of the fleet and we found ourselves in 2nd at the leeward mark.
Going upwind we picked the shifts and pressure well and passed a boat to round in first. Again we headed out into the bay while the boat just behind us did a tight rounding and headed down the rhumb line to the finish. We were out of the wind barely making headway to the left of the course while our competition was nearly halfway to the finish. Other boats were rounding and following the other boat and making better distance on the finish than we were. And just like clockwork, the breeze came in from the left and carried us right by everyone and we won the race.
In the second race we got a good start and just played the shifts and pressure upwind and kept ourselves between the other boats and the next mark and were able to win that race as well.
In the 3rd race we had a pretty solid lead using the same strategy as the 2nd race. On the final run we just tried to just stay ahead. Unfortunately, the wind didn’t cooperate and brought some of the boats behind us right up to us and one boat was able to squeak ahead of us at the line.
In the end a 1-1-2 was enough to win the day and pull ourselves up into 1st overall for the frostbite series. In the last 43 years the winter series has only been won by 3 different guys. Congratulations to Mike Waters on becoming the 4th person to win the series. I was glad I could be along for a ride, I enjoyed getting to try some Soling sailing and I can’t wait to do it again.
For the 2nd day of the SSA Soling Frostbite we had a bit more variable conditions than 2 weeks ago. This time we had 5 boats out and were able to get 2 races in. Mike Waters was skipper, Josh Page did bow and I was in the middle flying the spinnaker and doing wind/tactics.
We did well in the first race by having good boat speed up wind and making the left work for us. We finished 2nd having held that position all race.
In the 2nd race we had another good upwind and rounded in 2nd. At the leeward mark, there was no committee boat and we mistaked which one of the two marks was our rounding mark and lost some distance to the leader. The next two legs each had 180 degree shifts in them making it challenging, but it switched swiftly and did little to change the results as we still ended up second.