Saturday brought beautiful weather for Fishing Bay Yacht Club’sOne Design Invitational Regatta. Sailing were Front Runners and San Juan 21s with another boat sailing Portsmouth handicap. I sailed a Front Runner and had Alan Williamson crewing with me on his first time sailing.
The wind started out light – which was perfect for us as we found our way around the boat and learned the routines of the maneuvers to get the sails up and down as we went around the course. Luckily the other boats had some new crew too so we all were getting up to speed at the same time. As a result the racing was close throughout.
We did 5 races with winds building from 5-11 and staying pretty consistently out of the east. Our race course as a windward-leeward 1/4 mi legs set just west of the end of Stove Point.
In the first 3 races we were up and down putting up a 3-1-3. I won the boat a couple times at the start, but never seemed to be able to live there with the other boats below us out-pointing us, so we had to tack out and make more tacks making it harder to catch up. In the races we did well in, I was closer to the pin and was able to foot and go fast and do less tacks. We also made sure to setup on the laylines early to give ourselves plenty of time to prepare for the roundings.
Going into the last race we were tied for 1st and it was a longer 3-lap race. We were close to Matt Lambert all the way around the course and more than once he tried to stick it to us and almost succeeded. But we were able to get through the turns quickly and use the favored positions to stay just ahead and win the race putting us in 1st overall and 2 points ahead of 2nd.
It was a lot of fun having Alan aboard and getting to show him sailing and racing and the level of athleticism and effort needed to do it well. He was a quick study and really helped get us around the course fast.
Thanks to Parker Garrett and the race committee for running the races today! We could have asked for a better day all the way around. And thanks Matt Braun for loaning me the boat to sail.
To start the day the wind was on the light side so most of the racers sat on shore and communicated with the race committee by radio until it looked like the wind was going to fill in. From there the wind began to build gradually throughout the day and really made for some nice racing.
Matt & A.L. Braun were once again stellar winning all 4 of our races. Mark Stephens and I traded 2nd and 3rd place with me getting the better of him to take 2nd on the day. My crew Jess Hardin learned quick and did a good job getting the chute up and down. All in all a very successful day on the water.
Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s first ever Open House Regatta was Saturday. This year we tried something new and replaced a distance race for the bigger boats-only with declining participation with a shorter distance race for all boats held at the club and on surrounding waters. It was cooling being part of the group that came up with the ideas last November and seeing it carried out and how well it went and how great of a time everyone had.
The goal of the event was to have racing at the club – since it’s centrally located where we all like to go anyway, and it’s a holiday weekend so everyone is down at the river. We also wanted to involve all of our boats and to invite friends to come racing with us in some casual racing. We finished it up with a raft up and dinner/band in the evening. Caroline Garrett, Elizabeth Staas, Len Guenther, Mark Hayes and Matt Braun and all of the other volunteers did a great job making the ideas a reality.
I sailed a Front Runner and introduced fellow member Christin Lipscomb and her boyfriend Mike Walsh to the boat as my crew. It was my first time on the boat in nearly a year.
The race was a progressive start race – meaning the slowest boats start first and the fastest boats start last and whoever crosses the finish line first wins. The different start times handicap the boats based on their speed. There was a second progressive start for the >22′ boats which sailed an even longer course.
Our race went alright. We didn’t have the best first leg and weren’t able to catch the breeze that allowed the boats ahead to really stretch out and not get caught in a wind hole further back. We had fun and still managed a 6th place and 3rd Front Runner to finish. There were a few other fun moments like where we were unsure which side of the mark we were to round and had boats going both ways.
After racing we put up the boat and joined the raft up of the bigger boats as they finished. The goal was to make a sunflower where we complete the circle of boats, but we fell short a few boats and ended up with a crescent. Still it was a fun time having everyone rafted up together hopping between boats and catchup up with everyone and seeing how their races went.
Once we had most of the boats rafted up – I went up the nearly 70′ mast on Destiny to get a picture.
Post-raft up I bumped into a Flying Scot sailor at the dock and sprained my ankle which left me laid up icing it for the rest of the evening.
Saturday was Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s Summer Seabreeze regatta. We had 7 Flying Scots and 3 Front Runners out. On those Front Runners 4 of the 6 sailors had never been on one before. We did 5 races in 6-9 knots of breeze out of the southeast. Marie Schacht was my crew and we put up 1-2-1-1-2 to narrowly beat out Front Runner guru Matt Braun.
Thursday was July 4th and Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s annual one design long distance race. I was able to borrow a Front Runner and a co-worker of mine – Stephen Boling came out to crew. Stephen had never been on a sailboat before. We headed out, got to practice each maneuver once and then the race started.
The race started right of the FBYC dock and the first leg took us south out of Fishing Bay 3/5 of the way across the river to the far side of the channel. We had perfect start, right at the boat, right at the gun and were able to pin some of the other boats to the left side of the course for a bit. Upwind we picked a nice lane of wind right up the middle of the bay and found ourselves 1st at the windward mark.
We set the chute on the 2nd leg which took us due east on a race about a mile to another channel marker. What we didn’t realize when we first set the chute was that it was very twisted at the top. After a few boats started to pass us, we had to take it up and down a few times to get the twist out. By the time we close-reached down to the 1/2 way mark, we were easily 300 yards behind the lead pack of 5 boats.
Sailing the next two upwind legs we had good speed and I picked good angles and we actually passed 3 of the boats. By the finish we were within 20 yards of the 2nd boat over the line. If only we had another 3 miles, we could have contended for the lead. Unfortunately, all 3 of the top boats owed the Flying Scot, sailed by John & Sharon Wake, time and they corrected over us, putting us in 4th overall.
I want to thank the Front Runner fleet for letting me borrow a boat and Stephen Boling for coming out to crew.
Got to sail a Front Runner in the One Design Opening day with Paul as crew. Started out with winds reaching the low teens and it dropped from there through 3 races. The first race was mostly getting re-acclimated to the boat. In the 2nd and 3rd races we had great starts and got around the course in 2nd. We just couldn’t seem to catch the speed of David and Rob who had 3 bullets and won the day.
I had an awesome weekend in Deltaville. It started with the Inaugural Deltaville 5k. With zero training I ran the whole thing and had a respectable finish of 26:07.
I took the weekend off from sailing to heal a minor wrist sprain and so I went right from the 5k to doing race committee at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the offshore Cut Channel Race. I got a lot of great pictures of the offshore fleet here.
Saturday night was 4th of July partying, fireworks and swimming. For Sunday’s racing we thought it was going to be a bit windy so I jumped on a Front Runner as a 3rd crew member, but halfway through the race the wind died and I sat out the next two light wind races and instead went sailing on a Byte in the afternoon. Saturday night we again watched Fireworks.
Monday was FBYC’s One Design Long Distance Race. I normally would have sailed my Laser in this, but again I was sitting out to rest my sprained wrist. I went out for the start and the first two legs to get some photos. The entire collection is posted here.
Sunday was the Salsa Bowl Regatta and I borrowed a Front Runner from Mike Karn to take out and race. My crew was friend of a friend Bri Paxton, a recent William & Mary graduate who was on the sailing team there. Being my first time on a Front Runner since spring of 2010 and Bri’s first time sailing an asymmetrical spinnaker, we were a bit boat-challeneged for first couple races.
By the second two races we had most things running smoothly and were able to sail well upwind and hang with the fleet on the downwinds. We ended up 4th in a fleet of 5 in 4 races. It was a ton of fun and thanks Bri for coming and crewing!
More on-board photos from the day of sailing on the Front Runner can be seen here.
Long overdue is the video from our trip to Tampa last March to sail a Front Runner in the Fireball and Friends Midwinters at Davis Island Yacht Club. My daily recaps can be found here. More photos here.
The reason for the delay is that this was my first and last video done with a FlipHD camera. The file format was un-editable and after countless hours of putting the entire video together only to realize it won’t render because it was MP4. So finally I have been able to learn a bit about video editing and was able to convert the original video to .dv and then re-edit it all back together. This has literally taken me weeks of time to get to this point.
Fear not, I have a better solution for future videos with my new camera that I should be able to edit on just fine.