We had a gorgeous night aboard Mike’s new to him j105 Purple Wahoos to sail Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Moonlight Race on June 15. Mike wasn’t able to sail so Clark, Scott, Jenny and I sailed the boat along with two kids. The race was set to start at 7:30 at night and the wind was forecast to pick up overnight and so the RC picked the shorter 14 mile course for all 6 boats sailing. We were in the PHRF-A class against J109 Afterthought. Purple Wahoos is a shoal draft wheel driven J105.
The RC got the race started about 15 minutes late. That was enough time for us to sail over to what would be the finishing mark and get a ping on it allowing us to find it later in the dark. The start was downwind- we approached at the pin and set the chute just after crossing the line. The rest of the legs would end up being somewhere between upwind and reaching. I trimmed jib, navigated, did pit and drove half of a leg.
We had a great race and managed to correct to 1st in our fleet and 2nd overall.
FBYC was doing a Race Committee training day which made it a great opportunity for Jess and me to get out in Lasers with the rest of the fleet to do some starting practice and very short course racing.
Our friends Holly and Ned got married at Fishing Bay Yacht Club in Deltaville and we had a wonderful time celebrating their marriage. From the pretty decorations to the fun party antics – we had a great time. Congrats Holly & Ned!
We started the weekend hosting a cookout for the YAM group at FBYC in what has become a Memorial Day Weekend tradition. We had great weather and a nice turnout.
Saturday was to be power boat day getting Jess’s father out in his power boat for the first time. We got it in the water just fine and motored out into the creek and the newly rebuilt engine ran just fine. While out there I checked the bilge and saw a lot more water than we should have seen for only being in the water for 15 minutes. We could see the thru-hull that water was seeping around and the bilge could keep up with it, but we headed back to the ramp anyway. Back at the ramp I touched the thru-hull fitting for the raw-water intake for the bait wells and it disintegrated leaving 1/2 inch hole for water to come through. We quickly put the boat back on the trailer and gave up hope of power boating this weekend while seeking professional help.
Later in the day Jess and I went for a swim in the creek and Jess’s father was give a dozen crabs caught by a neighbor that we scrambled to figure out how to cook for dinner. We ended the night cooking smores on a fire down by the water.
Sunday we sailed the Snipe in the Open House Regatta. Monday we visited the Hallieford beach and then did boat-work – we added fiberglass to reinforce the back deck of the snipe.
This year for Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Open House Regatta – Jess and I finally got the Snipe out for this event. This was a progressive start race and we just barely made our start time. The wind started out good out of the west and we had more of it to work with as one of the first boats to start.
By the time we round Piankatank 8 we had passed the boats ahead of us and had a few shining moments in the lead before the big boats rolled us. We got through 80% of the course and were just off Stove Point when the wind shut off again. At the prospect of sitting out there for a while and missing the raft up – we dropped out and took a tow in.
The raft up was fun as ever and we got to cruise on Mad Hatter for ride back around afterward.
We got Jess’s snipe back in the water for the first time this year. We made some upgrades – mainly new halyards and halyard turning blocks in the mast.
We got to FBYC early for the One Design Spring Series #2 event – Jess towed the boat behind the jeep for the first time – and we got everything rigged and in the water. We were a little late to the start of racing and caught the 3rd race. We were in the Portsmouth class with two San Juan 21s.
We were about halfway up the first leg when the halyard that we had just installed broke – putting our jib in the water. We attempted to sail under main alone, but got stuck in irons and so far behind we gave up on that race. For the next race I drove under main alone around the short 2 lap windward leeward. We still managed to beat the San Juan 21s around the course, but one of them corrected on time to tie with us so we got a 1.5 for the one race we finished.
We had what was probably the best day we could have asked for on a opening day of the one design season at FBYC. It was warm, partly sunny, good wind and the rain held off until we were done sailing. I was joined by 5 Lasers in what started out as light wind around 5-8 and through the course of 5 races built to about 15. I was talked out of wearing hiking pants thinking it wasn’t going to be hiking conditions and boy was I wrong. And I’m still sore as I write this 3 days later.
Finn, one of the junior radial sailors was out with us and I loaned him a Standard sail to sail with so we could all be in the same fleet. Despite being 40 pounds lighter than I am – he was quite competitive even for his first time sailing a Standard.
The first two races started with the boat heavily favored. In the first race I followed Finn around the first two legs, but was able to split upwind and find more wind and better shifts and got ahead and was able to hold that to the finish. In the second race, Finn and I both sailed out to the left side of the course and ended up past the layline and all I could do was follow him in to the mark. He was able to slip away down wind and I was never able to mount much of a challenge the rest of the race.
In the 3rd race Mike Toms joined us and made it more of a 3 way battle at the front. We stayed close most of the race and in the 2nd upwind I was able to get just enough ahead of them to finish 1st. By the 4th race the wind started to come up a bit and was definitely hiking conditions with some white caps. I followed Mike and Finn around the course, but was able to get inside of them on the final downwind mark rounding. Finn capsized on the 2nd downwind rounding allowing Mike to slip around him into 3rd.
In the final race the wind was up to at least 15 and the course was shortened to 2 laps. At the start both Mike and Finn started to leeward of me and I was able to cover them and push them out to the left side of the course past the layline. From there I just held my lead and didn’t make any mistakes to win the race and win the day. I was great to see how much tighter the racing got with each race – by the last race all of us finished within a minute of each other and any slip would have meant going to the back of the pack. Kudos to Trip, Dave and Britt who got much faster all day long.
All in all it was an awesome day of sailing and a great way to kick off the racing season at FBYC. Huge thanks to Glenn and Becca for heading up the RC for the day as well as to all of the folks who volunteer to help for the day.
My first time sailing the laser for the year was on the last weekend in April and I had a nice sail into stiff wind out of the south at 16-20. I did some exploring and sailed 1h 45m upwind through Hills Bay to Queens Creek. I got to check out Jess’ parents place from the water. The trip back broad reaching only took 40 minutes.
My last Laser regatta of the year was the Frostbite Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. It was a perfect fall day with wind and water temperatures in the low 60’s, plenty of sun and wind 8-13. We had a fleet of 14 boat sailing to winds out of the ENE in Fishing Bay. I had some mediocre starts making it tough to get a good lane early in the first beat often leaving me mid-fleet at the first rounding. Downwind there would sometimes be some puffs to be had on either side, but this was a pretty good fleet downwind and with the lighter air their weren’t many passing lanes. Upwind I could usually pick up a boat or two and get myself back into the top 5 most races.
For Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Offshore Fall Series #4 I was aboard the weather mark boat with Justin running marks for the races. The wind was steady out of the west making it easy to set the course once for both races. With winds in the upper teens and temperatures in the 60’s – there was some spirited racing and it was fun to watch. Definitely interesting to see which boats were trying hard and making mistakes versus the boats that took it a little easier and were less aggressive, but made fewer mistakes.