The second day of the regatta was supposed to start an hour earlier, but the wind wasn’t really cooperating. The RC towed us all out to the race course, but we ended up sitting at anchor for over 2 hours before the wind finally settled in and we could get a race off.

The wind was light and fortunately I had a bad start near the boat. I say fortunately because it forced me to go out to the right side of the course which ended up being brilliant. I was 5th around the first mark, 4th around the second mark and 4 around the final mark. I wasn’t able to hold on to my position on the final beat and surrendered a few boats, but a top 10 finish (8), was nice to have.

In the second race the wind picked up to 10-12. Again, I had a bad start and this time ended up more on the wrong side of the course. I hung right behind the lead pack of about 15 boats and ended up chasing them all around the course with out ever breaking into the pack. I ended up 17th in that one.

All in all it was a good regatta. 13th overall in the 34 boat fleet. I still have a lot of work to do to hike harder and get my boat speed up. The first big regatta of the season is down. Looking forward to some small local regattas in the next few weeks before the ACC in June.

Final Results

Today was the first day of Laser racing in the Sunshine Open and US Sailing Singlehanded Championship Area C Elimination held at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis, MD. We started the day in little wind with a long sail out to the race course. I took us over 2 hours to sail a little more than an hour to the race area. Eventually the wind filled in to just over 5 and we got a race off.

The course was supposed to be an Olympic and it was set a little less than a mile to the windward mark. After the first 3 legs the RC smartly shortened to course otherwise nobody would have finished within the time limit. I did my best to get clear air and pick the shifts, but had a tough time making the boat go fast. I started, sailed and finished mid-fleet.

After the first race, the RC postponed again. The wind filled in to a steady 10+ by about 3pm and they started another race. I had a good start and had clean air, but by the time we were at the top mark, I was on the wrong side of a few shifts and found myself in the middle of the 30+ boat fleet. It was nice sailing in some wind. I held my position and finished 16th.

We had a great dinner and camaraderie between the sailors after racing. All and all it was a good day. Tomorrow we’re hoping the rain stays away so we can get in 4 races.

Day 1 Results

Capital City Regatta rigged Lasers

Day 2 at the Capital City Regatta did not start out looking very promising. Upon arriving to rig the boats there wasn’t a breath of wind. The RC smartly postponed for an hour and we all stood around in full gear shooting the breeze. The minute someone opened a beer and another began to de-rig the wind started coming in so the postponement was lifted and we headed out.

Georgetown was also running a regatta and we swapped sailing areas today putting us in the cove. The flotsam in the cove was to be avoided, but it was not nearly as bad as it was yesterday . The winds were light and shifty, and began to build as the front got closer.

Racing today went well. I did fine moving the boat whenever I wasn’t guessing which way the wind was coming from. Today was a much better day boat-handling-wise and I think I’ve gotten back into the groove and gotten the cob webs out.

We ended up getting in 4 more races before the time limit. Aside from one race where I took out a mark to avoid fouling someone I sailed fairly consistently in the upper half of the fleet. That put me into 6th overall which was a good result for my first time out this year. Scott and everyone as PRSA did a great job running the regatta and the BBQ each day was great. I also want to thank Len and Barb for the place to stay Saturday night.

Today was the first day of the Capital City Regatta at Potomac River Sailing Association near the Regan International Airport in Washington DC. Fortunately we got clear weather despite the temperatures still being pretty cold. 24 boats came out to race.

We headed out to the race course for a noon start with light and fickle winds. We ended up with puffy 4-6 mph winds all day with occasional gusts to 12. It was a good day on the water and I had some good moments and some not so good moments. I went from contender to pretender almost every other leg. Today was all about finding wind and sailing in the puffs.

All in all it was an up and down day for me. I had finishes of 2 to 22 and everything in between. I’m in the top half of the fleet and with a drop and decent finishes tomorrow I should be able to get near the top 5.

More photos by Steve Parsons

This has been a beautiful weekend and it would have been a shame not to get out on the water. The Hampton Roads Laser Fleet was having a frostbite at the ODU Sailing complex and I decided to get the boat out and join them. This being my first time out since October it was a chance to get the cobwebs out as well as a shake down for regattas in the next couple weekends.
We ended up having the best fleet they’ve had out all year with 9 boats. The weather was gorgeous with 12-17 knots in the Elisabeth River. We set up short 2-lap courses that took about 15 minutes to complete. The short courses really put a premium on picking the right side of the course and on boat handling. There’s no time for that shift to come back in an oscillating breeze.

After the first couple races everyone really got into their grooves and we had some nice tight racing. Overall I kept in the upper-middle part of the pack, usually just a couple boat-lengths out of the lead. I had a 4th over all. All in all it was a good day on the water, and I’m looking forward to getting the season started next weekend at the Capital City Regatta in Washington DC.

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.

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)

Ware River Microburst

This is a photo of part of the aftermath of a microburst that came through the Ware River Yacht Club site shortly after all of the boats came in for the day on Saturday. These five Buccaneers were tipped while at anchor. About 30 other boats were tipped or thrown from their trailers or dollies. The tent city was nearly leveled by what was estimated to be at least 60-knot gusts for less than 5 minutes. There were no injuries and only minor damage to boats, tents and the club facilities.