Annapolis

2018 Crab Claw Regatta: Sunday

Day 2 of the District 11 Championship and Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis started with light drizzle that would continue through out the day.  At least that kept the power boaters away.  The wind was in the mid-teens a little east of where it was yesterday and the temperatures just warm enough to wear summer attire plus a spray jacket.

I did a lot better in today’s races – generally staying close enough to the lead group to nip at their heels. Sailing upwind was tough with the rain – telltales were unusable because they stuck to the sail requiring me to sail only by feel. On port tack the waves were a little more square on making it a challenge of picking when to point and pound through the waves, or go low and foot through the waves at a better angle.

Downwind the waves were awesome – very little of the slop that we had yesterday and typically see in that sailing area (A) in Annapolis. I managed to catch the waves and S-turn in a way that I never have before.  Almost every downwind I made up 10-15 boat lengths on the boats around me – I’m usually the one loosing a few boat lengths down wind.

That was good enough for me to finish 12th and stay in the top half of the fleet.  Big thanks to Scott and Dorian for organizing the regatta, Steven for the place at to stay and to PRO Steve and everyone else on the RC who ran the races!

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2018 Crab Claw Regatta: Saturday

The first day of the Laser District 11 Championship and Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association started with nice weather and winds in the upper teens out of the north. Despite the wind direction the temperatures will still warm enough for summer sailing attire, may just a spray top for some.

I got off to a rough start racing – I was taking it a little easy in the stronger winds, in part due to an emergency room visit earlier in the week,  to keep the stitches in my head dry and getting more comfortable not re-injuring my wrist. I also hadn’t figured out the right boat settings for the wind, and I was just plain tired. Note to self – don’t do these things again.  So that led me to to not be totally aware of the course on a downwind leg and to confuse where the leeward marks were with the separate finish and I ended up rounding the gate the wrong way.  I certainly wasn’t the only one, but I’d need to take a DNF.  That wasn’t my only trouble, I also deathrolled downwind.

By the 2nd race the wind eased a little bit – still in the mid-teens.  I had a great start and worked my way to the left getting almost to the layline.  Once there I tacked and proceeded to botch it and not get under the boom and flipped over.  When I came up, I reset the boat and I must have done something right because I was suddenly wicked fast.  Like somehow fast enough to catch a boat that is normally as fast or faster than I am from 8 lengths behind and to roll over over them.  I was back up with the lead group just behind them.  Downwind I played it conservative to keep the boat upright and on the 2nd upwind I picked the wrong side and didn’t play the shifts well and would end up 13th.

For the 3rd race the wind eased enough to be squarely in the 12-14 range that I am very fast in.  I had a good start and sailed with the leaders the whole race. I was a pinch slow downwind, but felt more comfortable in the boat and had more confidence in my wrist.

The 4th race was 11-13 and I did more of the same – this time getting as high as the top 4 or 5 at some marks. I actually start getting comfortable surfing the waves and actually had good speed downwind.   I would end up 7th.

The final race was a disaster again. The wind eased off to around 10 with lulls around 8 and the larger chop was still bouncing around making it tough to power over or through them. I had a good start, but didn’t keep my lane clear and got rolled – then I missed some shifts to put myself in the middle of the fleet. A deathroll and later fouling a boat to do turns meant I was racing for last and finished 20th.

All in all it was great to be out racing, the RC ran great races and folks like Mike and Scott were having great days.  After racing I took a van-nap and we had a crab picking feast.  I’m in 13th.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2015 District 11 Championship

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.

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A New Era

J70 781

Say Hello to the new No Quarter!  J/70 #781 arrived at Fishing Bay  Yacht Club on Saturday and will be put together on Sunday to be ready for Opening Day next weekend.

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2015 SSA March Soling Frostbite

The frostbite season was significantly shortened due to all of the cold weather we’ve had.  Was able to get out for one day of Soling frostbiting at SSA.

Soling

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2014 Crab Claw Regatta: Sunday

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.

2014 Crab Claw Standard Winners

RESULTS

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2014 Crab Claw Regatta: Saturday

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.

2014 Crab Claw 1

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.

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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.

RESULTS

Photos courtesy of Carlos Linares

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2014 Annapolis NOOD Regatta: Sunday

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.
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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.

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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.

Results | Pictures

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2014 Annapolis NOOD Regatta: Saturday

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.

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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.

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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.

Results | Pictures

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2014 Annapolis NOOD Regatta: Friday

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.

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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.

Results | Pictures

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