Drifting out to the race course before the wind filled.
Drifting out to the race course before the wind filled.

Sunday started with very light winds and the forecast to build. We were postponed on the water as we all drifted out to the course. After about 20 minutes or so there was 3-5 out of the ESE and we were able to get a race started for the 6-boat ILCA fleet.

Alain got the best start in the first race, caught a nice shift on the first beat and lead all the way around the H3.

We would have 2 laps for the 2nd race and I had a great start at the boat. The left phase we had at the start came over to the right and being the right most boat, I was able to lead the whole way around the course. Dave T was right next to me and hot on stern.

By the 3rd race the wind went way left at the start and none of us were really laying the starting line. I tracked immediately at the start and got left and into pressure and had a nice lead at the windward mark. On the second beat I went more left and found less wind. Mike and Holly had more wind to the right, at one point I lee bowed Mike back to the right and into an amazing lift while I proceeded to sail into a hole and he went ahead as did Holly. On the final upwind I was able to get past Holly, but not Mike.

In the 4 race Alain had a great start covering me and I had to duck him and Dave to get out to the right and clear my air. Mike caught some better shifts and pressure to the left and led at the windward mark. Most of the rest of the fleet didn’t catch the lefty at the top of the course that Mike and i caught and so we were launched for the rest of the race. Mike covered me well on the 2nd upwind and stayed just ahead downwind. At the leeward mark I went around the outside of Mike, had a clean rounding and just out transitioned and out hiked him to nose out at the finish line that we were able to lay from the mark.

Given the wind shift, the RC postponed, moved the course and reset everything. The wind started to ease a bit. In the final race I just got ahead and stayed ahead finishing 1st. Thanks to Bob, Lisa, Ruthanna, Glenn and Becca for being our RC today!

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Ten ILCA joined 6 Flying Scots and 7 Melges 15 for an afternoon of sailing. The wind started out light in the 6-8 range and by the third race we had gusts into the mid teens.

In the first race didn’t start where I wanted to, but had a clear lane to tack out when I saw a shift and caught some nice wind before everyone else and had a nice lead for the first lap. On the second upwind, Noah was fast and I parked the boat in some waves right at the top mark while he sailed around me. Meanwhile Scott went around both of us and we finished that way.

ILCA Sailing down wind.

The wind picked up a bit for the second race while also going left making the legs a little one sided. Knowing it was going left I tried to win the pin. I won it a little too much and had to unwrap the board from the anchor line and spin and restart. Once i was clear I went a little bit right to find a clear lane. I was 4th by the top mark but all of the boats ahead of me went to the wrong mark downwind that was well past our turning mark. I was first to round the correct mark and led the rest of the race.

Jon hitting the mark at the start.
Hitting the mark on the start.

3rd race I went to the left and just didn’t have the consistent pressure as those on the right. Rounded 3rd and mostly stayed there. Wind was up to about 15 at one point in the race and then eased off.

For the 4th and final race I was in 2nd right behind Scott at top mark. He started to inch away downwind until halfway down the leg he flipped and lost of bunch of places. I had the lead the rest of the race and Mike held off Scott at the finish – leaving me and Scott tied with the same points AND the exact same finishes – my 3-1-3-1 to his 1-3-1-3 and so I won the tiebreaker on account of finishing ahead of him in the last race.

It was really fun racing and great mixing it up with Scott, Noah, Mike, William and the rest of the fleet. Thanks Tom R for race committee.

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We had light air and 12 boats for FBYC’s ILCA Summer Regatta II. A course was set out in Fishing Bay with the weather mark just west of the end of Stove Point.

In the first race I had an ok start near the boat. In the 4-6 knots I just focused on going fast and picking shifts towards the middle left of the course. I came in at the weather mark with the lead pack including others who had been a little more middle and more right. Alain came in over all of us from way out on the right and was well ahead. Downwind I held my position and on the 2nd upwind I went more right, but still not as right as Alain and found myself in 4th behind Craig and Scott with Alain out front. On the final downwind to the finish it got really light and I went left with Craig and we managed to catch a little more pressure to get by Alain and Scott, but in the end Alain came back and I finished 3rd behind him and Craig.

RC on Mr. Roberts getting the fleet into sequence.
RC on Mr. Roberts getting the fleet into sequence.

The second race saw winds in the 4-5 knot range and further south of the ESE wind we had in the first race. Mike had a good start at the boat and shut me out so I was parked at the start in no wind behind the boat and was 20 seconds late. I worked my way middle right catching shifts and hunting for more pressure. As I came into the mark, Scott was way ahead and Chad just ahead and Craig got there at about the same time and ended up fouling me and had to spin. Downwind I went right and then the wind went way right making it more of a reach and by the time we got to the leeward mark I was right behind Chad. Upwind I went left towards shore while Chad played more of the right. The wind also backed making it a little more of an upwind again. Scott played the shifts in the middle. I was able to string some pressure together to pass Chad and held on to that to the finish 2nd behind Scott leaving us both tied with 5 points and him having the tiebreaker.

Following Chad and Scott downwind.
Following Chad and Scott downwind.

For the 3rd race the wind was very light again and we were ghosting along at the start. I saw more wind to the left so I did my best to start nearer the pin with a front row start so I could hopefully poke out and get to that wind first. That largely worked and I used the pressure to get right. Chris Rouzie also had a great first leg and was ahead of me at the rounding mark. The wind died and the race started to be a ghosting reach into the leeward mark. I got to weather of Chris and adjusted to the new reaching breaths of air a little faster and was able to roll him by 1/2 a boat length on the inside of the leeward mark. The RC shortened course there and with some rain in the area and little prospect of more wind we called it a day.

Downwind sailing
Downwind sailing

Wasn’t the day we hoped for, but we made the most of what we had and enjoyed some good competition in a 12-boat fleet on a short course. It really showed the importance of clear air and pressure and deciding when to chase the lifts vs when to chase more pressure. And when the pressure did change – shifting modes from sitting in with a little heal in the very light stuff back out to a flat boat in a little more pressure made a difference.

Thanks to the RC lead by Rick Klein for getting us a race in.

Scott, Jon and Craig
Scott, Jon and Craig

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Alain and Mike at the windward mark

We had a light air day for the second of the FBYC ILCA Summer Regattas. We sailed in Fishing Bay just off the dock in a SSW sea breeze. 5 races were sailed until some weather started rolling in. With 10 boats out, I had all top 5 finishes aside from the last race that I needed to skip in order to pack up and get back to Richmond.

Photos thanks to Andrew Spencer

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Jon starting at the boat

Saturday saw beautiful weather – mostly sunny with winds starting around 12 and building to about 15-16 knots out of the south west

Jon upwind near the mark – Photo by Paul Almany

We had 14 boats with 9 ILCA 7 (Standard) and 4 ILCA 6 (Radial). We all started on the same line which made things more fun with more boats to race with around the course. Some of the Radial sailors were really fast and were nearby and beating many of the standards around the course. It kept things interesting at mark roundings.

Mark rounding – Photo by Paul Almany

FBYC’s junior coach for the summer, Francisco Renna, put on a clinic in the standard fleet. He was fast all the way around the course and nobody came close to him in all 5 races. Rob Whittemore sailed consistently fast and consistently in the right spot to stay just ahead of me and Luke Hayes who tied for 3rd place with the tiebreaker going to Luke.

Francisco over my shoulder just after a start already well ahead.

All day I had great starts and focused on winning the boat. I held my lane ok, but wasn’t as fast as I could have been upwind. I chalk some of that to my thinking it was summer sailing and I didn’t need hiking boots. The bruises on my feet later in the day would say otherwise.

David Hinkle and the RC did a great job keeping the course square getting us started cleanly.

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The forecast looked a little bleak for FBYC’s Laser Summer Regatta in August, but the wind did come in and we had a great fleet to sail with. We sailed 5 races in about 8-10 most of the day.

Luke sailed really well and was consistently fast and in front. David H was also always in the right spot on the course able to just pull away anytime he was with some traffic. Rob also had a great day and was followed by me and Britt.

The starting line most of the day was very long for such a short course making it pretty critical to start at the favored end which happened to be the pin. This also led to some over early boats and eventually we started under the Z-flag. Britt did well to buck this and went right when everyone else was going left and managed to catch the shifts and round with the top group most races. I tried this in one of the last races and was too far behind to catch up.

RESULTS

FBYC’s Laser Summer Regatta 2 had a great crowd out in some fantastic wind for one of the last race days of the Summer. With winds into the mid-teens and some anchor problems with Mr Roberts delaying our start for an hour we had some attrition in the fleet bringing us down to 10 boats that ended up racing all 4 races.

In all 4 races today, I had great starts usually just a couple boat-lengths down from the boat. I focused on accelerating off the line and keeping a hole for myself and holding my lane before worrying about settings.

With the course in the middle of the Pianakatank just North of the channel and inside Stove point and the wind out of the NNE it was a bit shifty and it was relatively flat given the wind speed. Generally, the left side had better shifts most legs upwind. Often I would head out there sometimes overstanding, but always with James just ahead or behind.  Alain, Mike and Greg also had some good upwind legs as well and were usually within striking distance even though it became a 2-boat race between me and James.

The one race left didn’t work was the 3rd race. By this time James had won the first two races and I finished 2nd in both. I was trailing him by a few boat lengths and he rounded and went to the left. When I came around I found myself to be in a header with a lot more wind on the right while James was in a hole.  I went right and played the shifts putting myself ahead of James at the windward mark by a few both lengths and was able to hold that to the finish.

Even though James I did a lot of dueling – he had great speed upwind making him hard to pass.  Downwind he had another gear I didn’t have – he was playing the angles in the puffs and had great acceleration. My more dead-down approach lost me a few lengths on each leg.

I couldn’t have asked for a better day of racing.  I was a great tune-up for the Laser District Championship in Annapolis coming up in a few weeks.  Thanks to George Burke for bringing out a novice RC team and doing a fantastic job running races.  Congrats to James, Mike, Josh and everyone on a well-sailed regatta.

PICTURES

No wind in the morning so we postponed onshore for 2 hours and then went out to catch the sea breeze.  The Braun family ran 5 races for us and we had 8 standard rigs and 4 radials out racing.  Generally I had good speed all around the course, but wasn’t as clean in transitions as I could have been.  Charlie Brewer sailed a superb day and wasn’t able to be caught taking 5 bullets.  I settled for 2nd scrambling to stay ahead of Rob W and Csilla Gal. Big thanks to Matt Braun and Doug Bendura for heading up the RC.

RESULTS

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We had a shifty day of racing at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the Laser Summer Regatta.  With light winds out of the south and a sea breeze trying to come in and take it a little more east there were sometimes swings of up to 50-70 degrees – yet it would keep stabilizing around 170. We had a 10 boat line and a rather ‘competitive’ length line for that number of boats.

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I had about 1 good start in 5 races and in the others I was either behind boats, couldn’t accelerate, over early or fouling people and having to stop and turn before I sailed the course.  That being said – picking the shifts and staying in pressure was key and with the shifts as big as they were – passing lanes were plenty. It was fun racing with Steve, Brad, Alain, Mike and everyone else who came out.  Thanks Mark Stephens and crew for doing RC and Steve Q for the great social following racing.

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