Saturday was FBYC’s Closing Day Regatta – this is usually the traditional end of the season weekend with big boats sailing a pursuit race on Saturday followed by oysters. Then we sail ILCA on Sunday in our final race of the day. With a low pressure off the coast, there is forecast wind all weekend. We ultimately canceled the ILCA regatta for Sunday though it wasn’t enough to cancel the offshore race.

Looking upwind as we sail to the finish

I was sailing with Mike Toms on his J105 Purple Wahoos. Aboard with us were a number of Mike’s friends from college and one other sailor we picked up on the dock. Being a pursuit race and being the 2nd fasted boat by rating, we had a late starting time and didn’t leave the dock until after the rest of the fleet. The race had already been postponed 30 minutes due to wanting to set a new course that would keep us a little more protected in the Piankatank. In the open water of the bay the wind was gusting over 30. Where we ended up sailing we had some gusts into the 20’s but was mostly in the mid to high teens for most of the race. The wind was out of the NNE.

We hit our starting time on a broad reach as we sailed south and then west up the Piankatank. We slowly caught up to boats ahead like GOIN and Morningtide. As we got to the turn around spot up the river the wind was predictably lighter and this is where we encountered most of the rest of the fleet. We eventually got around Mad Hatter and Sting.

The fleet behind us in the Piankatank

As we approached Fishing Bay we slowed a bit to put a reef into the main sail knowing this was the last opportunity we’d have to do this before sailing into more wind and the last leg was going to be relatively upwind. I had done main for most of the race and swapped with Mike and drove the bit of the race after needing a break from all of the sheet adjustments on the main to keep the right heel and speed.

On the final beat we were in 4th with Shenanigan just ahead of us and Corryvrekan and Sting just behind us. We were slowly able to pick off Shenanigan, but Corryvreckan came from behind to finish ahead of us leaving us in 4th overall.

Red dotted line showing the track we took.
Red dotted line showing the track we took.

Given the wind and conditions it was great being on the water and we made the most of what we had. It was a fun way to end the season followed by an Oyster Roast at the club.

PICTURES | RESULTS

Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s closing weekend started with a staggered start distance race for the offshore boats.  I sailed on Wavelength for what might be our last race as the boat is now up for sale.  The course took us up into Fishing Bay and then back out by the entrance to the Rappahannock River and then back to Stove Point near Jackson Creek.  It was mostly a reaching race and some boats were really able to get away from us and put some distance between us and them.  We finished mid-pack, had fun and made it a great way to end the season.

Racing was followed by a big oyster roast and pot luck and season awards.

RESULTS | PICTURES

10/26 Closing Day RegattaSteve Utley, Rob Whittet, John Hoar, Eric Brendle, John Watlington

Wavelength Need CrewSaturday was the final day of racing for the offshore boats at Fishing Bay Yacht Club followed by an oyster roast.  The race was a pursuit style race where the slower boats start first and the times are calculated so everyone should finish about the same time.  I was aboard Wavelength and for once it was great having boats of all sizes all around us for most of the race.  We ended up finishing 9th in the 17-boat fleet while sailing in winds that started around 8 knots and built to as much as 23 knots during the 1 1/2 hour race.  On top of that we were short-handed with only 6 on board and flew the spinnaker.

10/26 Closing Day Regatta

After racing we enjoyed oysters!  RESULTS | PHOTOS

10/26 Closing Day RegattaOyster Roast