Power returned to Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the 2nd day of the Laser Masters Atlantic Coast Championship around 9am just before we were set to launch. We had enough wind to sail in, but it was light. It built a bit and we got a race started. Halfway through the race it started to die and we did some floating. There was enough to finish with only the last couple boats being TLE. We were in by noon, had some lasagna and left overs from last night and gave out awards. A 17th in today’s race let me drop a 21 and finish 11th overall and 4th Apprentice Master.
Congrats to Rob Hallawell on his win overall. This regatta could not have happened without Rick Kline, all of the RC, Alain and his chefs, Bryan, Eric, Bob F, Mayo and everyone who helped get the club ready. And it was great seeing all of my Laser sailing friends who come back year after year and thanks for putting up with some inconveniences this year.
It was the first day of racing at the 2018 Laser Masters Atlantic Coast Championship and we had 51 boat arrive including several who arrived late at night last night. With all of the preparations already made we went through the morning routine and it almost unnoticeable that we didn’t have power.
On the water we found the wind built to a few knots more than forecasted. In the first race I was a little late for the start and had to go upwind in dirty air rounding the first mark below mid-fleet. By the second upwind leg on the modified windward-leeward course I was able to pick some shifts and get within striking distance of the lead group and finished 9th.
At the start of the 2nd race the wind had shifted favoring the port end of the line and I was one of only 2 boats down there set to cross the fleet on port just seconds after the start. Unfortunately for me there was one boat to duck while I was on port and I took my eye off him for a second and managed to tag his transom. Two turns later there were only 3 boats behind me at the windward mark. I sailed well to pick off some boats and finished up in 15th.
For the 3rd race I had a great start in the middle of the course and held my lane well upwind. I was in the top 5 around the windward mark and used some of the downwind knowledge I learned in the previous race to get around a couple boats to round the leeward mark in 3rd. Upwind I held my position and extended on the boats behind while Gavin and Rob extended a little on me, but I was able to come back a bit on them downwind with all of us rounding nose to tail. Upwind on the final beat to the finish I split with the two of them and managed to just get my nose in ahead of Gavin at the finish for a 2nd place.
By the 4th race of the day the wind was at the peak in the upper teens – this would be a triangle windward-leeward course. The wind was also shifty and while I was beating I got a puff and wind sheer that knocked me over before I knew what was happening. I was deep again in this race and managed to pull myself back up to 21.
In the 5th race I had a good start and was able to sail with the lead pack the entire way around the course sailing my way to a 7th. Overall it was a fun day of sailing. We were fortunite not to have any light air where we were guessing where the wind was coming from. Not only did I have good boat speed upwind, I had much better boat speed downwind and felt like I picked up on the improvements I had made last month in Annapolis. When I didn’t hit boats, didn’t tip over and started on time – I did pretty well – I should do more of that!
Saturday evening back at the club we had a wonderful dinner prepared by Alain and his helpers. We fed 93 people – under lights powered by generators with power cords snaked all over the club.
It’s a been a week of preparing for the 2018 Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Everything from building trophies, pre-cooking breakfast, ordering food to buying all of the other supplies was coming together. Also coming this week was the remnants of hurricane Michael which roared through on Thursday evening. Friday morning I woke up to hear that FBYC was among the hundreds of thousands of customers in Virginia without power and the prospect of getting power before the end of the weekend was slim.
Calling around to our club manager, flag officers and others who are familiar with the systems at FBYC I figured out the following: The club had hosted an event without power after a hurricane in the past and had an electrician wire a place to plug in a generator. The water system had it’s own generator. And 4 J/70s had been knocked over in the dry sail lot. The water system was the only thing that could necessitate cancelling the regatta – it would be unsafe to have that many people at the club without proper sanitation. With the knowledge that we had that solved, I knew once on site we could use some ingenuity to solve the rest of our needs for electricity. I owned a small generator and I borrowed a bigger one from my parents and got on the road to Deltaville by noon.
Once I arrived at the club I found things as expected. I got one of the generators plugged into the refrigerators in the kitchen and worked on other preparations. Mayo Tabb – a member with extensive electrical systems experience came by a short time later and had a way to plug into the club generator outlet that was sized for a very big generator into a more standard household generator. This would enable us to power only 1/3 of the club including the refrigerators and range hood that we would need to cook on the gas stove top. Bob Fleck also brought by a bigger generator and by late afternoon Mayo had scavenged all of the parts to wire everything safely. We used the smaller generator to use the air pumps to inflate the marks and to wire it into the boat lift to get the mark boat lowered into the water.
While this was going on I communicating with the sailors who were driving in from as far away as Michigan, Colorado and Toronto. They knew our facilities would be limited through the weekend without power – few lights at night, no hot water in the showers and that we’d have to conserve water. 1/3 of the fleet was camping out anyway, so lack of power wasn’t going to be much of a concern. It also helped that all of the businesses in Deltaville had power, so at least folks could purchase what they needed. One way or another it was going to make it a memorable weekend and they were all in for the ride. Not a single sailor canceled or didn’t show.
Huge thanks to the club staff Bryan and Eric as well as Bob and Mayo who spent their afternoon Friday helping get things wired together. And thanks to the fleet members Alain, Charlie, Britt, Frank, Mike, Ron and others for help pulling together the other details to make us ready.
Day 2 at the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship saw a little stronger wind that yesterday out of nearly the opposite wind direction. In 3 more long races I was able to move up one spot in the Apprentice Division while only falling one spot overall finishing 12th.
Ahead of the first race I did my prep, checked the wind current, favored side of the course, etc. I would learn pretty quickly in the first race that I was exactly wrong on all of it. I also managed to hit a mark, did my turn and then on the 2nd beat I flubbed a tack and capsized. So much for dropping the 23 from yesterday, I’d now have a 32 to drop.
As the wind picked up to light hiking conditions I did much better to get a good start and hold my lane up the first beat. I rounded 10-12 and held my own downwind. On the 2nd upwind I made some good moves and passed some boat holding onto 5th the rest of the way around the course.
In the 3rd race of the day the wind eased back to 8-10. I had a good first lap rounding in the top 6, but I picked some bad shifts on the 2nd beat and lost 10 spots.
All in all I was pretty happy finishing near the top 1/4 of the fleet. The regatta ran as smoothly as it could have and I have the members of FBYC’s Laser fleet as well as Rick Klein and our race committee to thank. I can’t wait to finish grad school and have some more time to do more masters events.
We had a busy morning checking in 44 competitors and making sure our RC and safety boats had all of their equipment – on top of rigging a boat. But it all came together for the first day of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and we were able to sail 4 races in light conditions out of the North. Approaching the club was a challenge – the tide was very high and most vehicles drove through 6-8 inches of water on Fishing Bay Road. Never had I seen a line at the hose stations to wash the salt water off the cars.
At the skippers meeting this morning I was made a marked man with a shirt to wear for sailing making it very clear it was my first time sailing the event.
Out on the water had high 60’s air temp, 72 degree water and cloudy skies with winds 5-7 out of the North. Occasionally we’d get some 8 or 9 and occasionally it also die out to 3. We were sailing in area B and given the super high tides we’re having, there was a lot of water flowing out of the river going left to right across the course at almost a 90-degree angle.
The first race was a slow H3 on a course that was just under a mile in length. I didn’t follow my plan to go left and despite a decent start – worked my way out to the right, was the wrong side and paid for it never really being able to climb through the fleet and finished 23rd.
The 2nd race was a two lap race and I did better playing shifts in the middle of the course to stay just behind the lead pack. Going left downwind was paying well and I picked up a few boats there on both runs and wound up 10th.
The 3rd race was a similar but just 1 lap. With the first beat being over 20 minutes long there are definitely passing lanes and the fleet spreads out a bit up wind. I was top 5 0r 6 around the top mark, but this time the left didn’t pay off as well. I lost some boats downwind, but picked a couple upwind and settled for 9th.
In the 4th race I started to worked the middle on the first upwind and found myself in the mid-teens around the top mark. Downwind I held my spot down the middle. I rounded the right gate – took a hitch to the right to clear my air and then banged the left corner going into the current, but doing it in the lee of a shore. When I came back on the port layline I crossed all but the top 3 boats. That position held for the rest of the race finishing 4th.
Given the forecast and the possibility that it was going to die – we were very happy to have gotten in 4 races and we weren’t in until 4pm making it a rather long day.
Jacque Kerrest, Luke Shingledecker, and Gavin O’Hare were all consistently at the top of each race and are on top of the leaderboard. Tomorrow’s forecast had been for more wind, but that might not be true anymore so we’ll see what happens in that one especially after the drop.
Alain prepared another fabulous meal of ribs, crab cakes, and mac and cheese. Everyone hung out for a couple hours and finally turned in. Over half of the fleet is camping at the club.
This has been the most anticipated regatta I have ever been a part of. Back in 2005 I was the event chairman of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship for the first time. I got put in charge then because I was the most active fleet member at the time who couldn’t sail it yet. It would be 12 more years before I finally aged into being able to sail and something we’ve been discussing ever since. I got a taste of masters sailing earlier this year when I went to Florida Masters Week and I can’t wait to finally be able to participate in an event I have put so much effort into over the past nearly 20 years I’ve been a member at FBYC.
The last two days have been a whirlwind of pulling all the details together. Being the 13th edition of this event I’ve chaired – the script for it is pretty well established, but it is a bit of a 48 hour mad dash to get all of the food, trophies, souvenirs, and other gear plus my own sailing equipment loaded, transported and readied at the club for the weekend.
Throughout the day sailors began to arrive and some went for a sail in the mid-teens wind and light misty rain. Later we piled a bunch of folks into the van and all went into town for dinner.
I also got to check out Rob’s new setup. He now has a sprinter van loosely modeled after my setup – so now there’s two laser sprint vans on the circuit.
Each year one of the preparations is to make a breakfast casserole that can be easily heated up and served for breakfast. I make 4 of these a couple days before the regatta and keep them refrigerated. Here’s the recipe I’ve been using:
1/2 role breakfast sausage
1/3-1/2 bag cubed potatoes
3-4 slices of bacon
2 cups of cheddar cheese
preheat oven to 325
Brown breakfast sausage
Cook strips of bacon, once cool – crumble into small bits
Cook cook cubed potatoes
eggs into a large mixing bowl and mix
Add potatoes, salt, pepper, mix
Add sausage, bacon, mix
Add all but 1/8 of the cheese, mix
Pour mixture into a pam-sprayed tin
Bake 45 minutes
Add remaining cheese over the top, bake another 6 minutes, let cool.
It was the 35th Anniversary of the Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship and the regatta is finally old enough to be a competitor. The color coral commemorates a 35th anniversary and the shirts we designed turned out pretty cool:
The first day saw medium winds just into the double digits with mostly clear skies. In 5 races we had some close competition up top between Gavin O’Hare and Charlie Brewer who both finished the day tied with 20 points. Mike Schmidt was close behind in the 41 boat fleet.
Alain and his kitchen crew prepared another fabulous me and a tent city popped up full of sailors.
Sunday started out with no wind and we waited ashore as it began to build about an hour later. A little lighter than yesterday we ran a little shorter courses and made it through 4 more races. Charlie and Gavin stayed close and Gavin managed to edge just ahead of Charlie to win the championship.
Thanks to Alain, Rick, Len, Frank and everyone else who helped make this another great Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship. And after 13 years of only being the event chair – I’ll be looking forward to next year where I can both run it and qualify to sail in it!
In October I once again played event chairman for FBYC’s Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship – this the 34th running of this event and there’s only one more year I won’t be old enough to sail in it. As always we had a great group of sailors number 45 in total. Saturday was a bit light allowing us to get in one race before the wind shut off and then didn’t settle down. Dinner by Alain Vincey was fabulous as well. On Sunday the wind held in better allowing us to do 4 more races. Congratulations to Mike Hecky winning this one for his first time – well sailed!
This years photos were probably the best I’ve ever gotten. The sun was just right and my boat driver Mike Russom knew just where to put me to get the good angles.
This year’s Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters Championship was probably one of the best yet – good turnout, good weather and great food made for a smooth event. It was also the year FBYC hosted it as the Laser Masters Atlantic Coast Championship and with it, a few more folks from New England and Kansas.
For racing on Saturday we had 7-12 and clear skies. Ned Rennolds joined Mike Russom and me on the safety boat with his drone and we got some great photos and video of the fleet from overhead during the first and second races.
For the rest of racing on Saturday I did my usual of floating around and taking pictures and video. This year we even dress up the committee boat – Mr. Roberts as seen with the red lettering below.
By the end of Saturday we had gotten a good day of 5 races in for the sailors and we called it a day as the wind started getting light and fluky. We had a few visitors join us for dinner including past fleet captain and chair of this event – David Hazlehurst. Alain Vincey did another wonderful dinner followed by plenty of Laser stories and a viewing of some of the drone video for today. Sailors hung out in the club house and later by the fire at their campsite well into the night.
Sunday’s wind was much greater than Saturday and a number of sailors, didn’t go out, took advantage of the rig-swap opportunity, or retired before starting a race. Fortunately only one sailor needed any assistance and thankfully Mike R was onboard the safety boat and ready to get wet. Three more races were sailed as the fleet slowly dwindled. I didn’t get many pictures due to the waves and activities, but I did get some video of some screaming reaches.
Once again it was a very successful regatta. I really want to thank all of the folks on the race committee, Alain, Brad and all of the FBYC fleet for all of their help putting this event on. This was my 10th one and I’m looking forward to just a few more years when I can join in!