Tuesday/Wednesday

We had an easy trip down to Florida splitting it up into two days and arriving Wednesday evening with a stop in South Carolina.

Ready for 4 days of what looks to be light-air sailing in St. Petersburg in a 41-boat ILCA 7 fleet.

Thursday

We don’t have a great prospect for wind in the next couple days, but there was 6-7 knots in the morning so we went out relatively on time. After a short postponement on the water they got the ILCA 7 fleet racing.

I had good start at the boat and made my way middle right. The left ended up paying even better, and I was mid-fleet at the top mark. The next leg was a reach and the wind started to drop a bit. We went downwind and then on the second upwind I went right and made up a few boats. I lost a couple downwind and managed to finish 26th.

The 4.7’s also got a race in and the 6 fleets were all abandoned in their races. We stayed out on the water for another hour and a half and with no wind they sent us in to postpone on short. A nice sea breeze filled around 4, but it was too little too late and racing was called for the day.

Friday

Another day without a great prospect for wind at the 2024 ILCA Midwinters in St. Petersburg. The RC was expecting a sea breeze to fill later in the afternoon so they postponed us on shore for a couple of hours with the plan to tow us 4-5 miles south where we’d likely find a sooner and stronger sea breeze.

We floated around for almost 2 hours with no sign of a sea breeze. Eventually they called it and towed us the 5 miles back in with no racing at all.

Saturday

Saturday was a repeat of Friday but with a little more wind. The RC again postponed us on shore until noon and then towed us to the race area 5 miles south. When we got there, we found enough light air to run a race and all of the fleets were started.

We had a light air race and the wind eased as we were raced. I didn’t have a great start and had a little trouble getting a clear lane, but once I did I stayed in it as long as I could up the middle of the course and rounded in top 15 with a nice gap behind me. I only lost a boat on the downwind and upwind and they shortened the course at the end of the reach to the outer course. Once the U-flags were processed I was given a 14th for the race.

With the wind dead, we stayed out on the course for an hour and a half hoping the sea breeze would fill. It eventually did very late in the day and given that the seven fleet had 2 races already and none of the other fleets did, they all got starts and there wasn’t enough time to sail us and we were sent in.

I got a fast tow in. Jess and I got to see St. Petersburg and went out to dinner on Central Ave.

Sunday

Sunday saw a line of strong storms rolling in during the morning and racing was postponed. It cleared in the afternoon with enough time to sail 2 races in windy conditions. We elected instead to do some tourist stuff in town and get an early start on the ride home.

Thanks to St. Petersburg Yacht Club for hosting the event. Check out the video here.

VIDEO | PHOTOS | RESULTS | EVENT WEBSITE

Mr. Roberts in her new slip on Jackson Creek.
Mr. Roberts in her new slip on Jackson Creek.

Fishing Bay Yacht Club had a gorgeous day in April to open the season. After a flag raising 7 boats in 3 classes headed out for 10nm race out into the bay and back to shake out the cobwebs and get the season started. Sailing out on Mad Hatter we had 7-10 knots of wind out of the ESE. All of the boats were starting at the same time and even though Nanuq and Sting were technically in the PHRF-A class and we were in the PHRF-B/C class – we saw them as the boats to beat on corrected time.

We got into sequence and the race committee realized there was a mistake in the posted course so we postponed for a moment while they fixed it and went into sequence again. At the start we along with Nanuq, and Schiehallion were over early and all had to go back. This gave Sting a bit of a head start. The fleet could largely lay the first mark and the leg to the second mark was more upwind. We went right and inshore with Sting while Nanuq went left and out in to the bay. When we all came back together Sting was ahead and Nanuq just behind. By the time we got out into the bay the wind was much lighter and were were going just 3-4 knots. At that mark we turned and put up a chute and had a pretty straight shot past the mark we started with and then onto the finish. We wouldn’t have to gibe. Nanuq with the longer waterline and an asymmetrical sail was able to get ahead of us, but wouldn’t make up her time on correction. Wendas who was well behind us on the course would end up correcting over us by around a minute to win the B/C fleet.

I was pit and floater for the day, helping with tactics, monitoring the radio, trimming the guy and moving around to keep weight in the right spot. I also brought a couple cameras with me and got some footage aboard.

EVENT WEBSITE | PICTURES | RESULTS | VIDEO

The 75th Annual One Design Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club got off to a bit of a slow start with hardly any wind to be found.  The Laser fleet sat on the shore, boats rigged and communicated with the RC for when to come out to sail.  Eventually a whisper of something showed up on the course and we headed out.  Once on the course it was another 2 1/2 hours of sitting around before admitting defeat that the wind wasn’t going to fill and calling it a day.

By race time on Sunday we had a nice 6 knot breeze out of the ESE.  We had 8 Standard Lasers in our fleet.

75th FBYC AOD

In the first two races of the day the wind was still what I’d call ‘light’ with some shiftiness.  Eric Roos did a great job picking the shifts and put a nice lead on the rest of us on the first beat and held that to the finish.  I never felt comfortable with the boat in the first two races and just didn’t like my setup or boat speed.  I was hanging within sight of the leaders, but had to work to stay ahead of Brad, Mike and others all around me and settled for 3 & 5.

By the 3rd, 4th and 5th race we had another knot or two of pressure and I had settled down and gotten the boat setup right.  At the starts I was careful not to get pinned to one side of the course and to have clear air.  Upwind with the boat finally moving well I was able to pick my head out of the boat and really start picking the shifts.  On all 3 first upwind legs I was really well in phase and had 10+ boat length leads at the windward mark.

In one of those 3 races I made the downwind work and actually pulled away in one of them.  On the other 2 I felt like I was in a hole and struggled to not loose too much ground on the boats behind me.  In the final beat to the finish  of race 3 and 4 I was able to just cover the fleet and finish comfortably in 1st.  In the 5th race I made a few mistakes getting out of phase early in the final beat and had to play some catchup to finish just ahead of James Jacob who had been consistently 2nd all day long.

By the 6th and final race of the day the wind started easing just a bit.  I had a bad start, let myself get pinned on the wrong side of the course and rounded the first mark in 6th.  I clawed back to a 4th, but James Jacob’s consistency and my 4 & 5 put me 2 points behind him settling for 2nd place overall.

20140810-022

Having had the new Laser out 5 times and this being the 2nd race day for it – it was really nice to finally have some races where I felt good and had it dialed in.  Two weeks from now is the District 11 Championship at Tred Avon and I can’t wait to give it another go.

Thanks to all of the other Laser sailors who came out and sailed with us and thanks to Matt Lambert for putting the regatta together and to Alex Alvis, Geoff Cahill, Donna Alvis, Cindy Corbett, David Lennarz, Brad Miller and everyone else who helped on RC.

Results

 

Saturday I got to sail on a Soling for my first time in SSA’s Soling Frostbite.  A Soling is a 27′ 3-person keel boat and I was sailing as the middle crew with skipper Mike Waters and bow Gretchen E.  We had a bit of a slow start as we dialed in the boat and got through each of the crew mechanics the first time.  We learned, we got better and while our results don’t show it, we were actually pretty competitive.

Today’s weather was perfect for frostbiting.  Air temperatures on land in the high 50’s with a water temperature of 38. That created great thermal conditions and we had relatively steady wind that started around 8 and built to about 12 before coming back down to about 10 out of the SSW.

2/22/2014 SSA Soling Frostbite 1

In the first race we had a good start, were 2nd at the windward mark and were the first boat to the leeward mark.  Unfortunately for us we couldn’t get the spin halyard down and ended up sailing 1/2 mile past the leeward mark before we were able to free the halyard to retrieve it.  We took a DNF in that one.

The 2nd race went much better for us.  While we weren’t able to fix the core problem with the spin halyard, at least we knew the problem and could work around it.  We ended up leading that race wire to wire.  We did a great job picking the shifts on both upwind legs and kept a comfortable cover on the boats around.

For the 3rd race we had another great start, got to the windward mark first, but lost a boat downwind.  On the 2nd upwind we got on the wrong side of the course as more pressure came from the other side dropping us back to 5th.

Overall the racing was really tight with only a few points separating the boats, but with our DNF we got the short end of the stick and wound up 5th overall.  It was a great learning experience and I’m looking forward to going back in a couple weeks for the next frostbite day.

This weekend Greater Richmond Sailing Association invited Fishing Bay Yacht Club Flying Scots and Lasers to join them for frostbiting out on Swift Creek.  Dan and I were the only two Lasers; there were 10 Flying Scots and 3 Thistles.  The goal for the day was simply get back in the boat and try a few things out.  I tried a new GoPro Camera (Hero 3+) and a new stern mount for it.  I got to try out some new boots and I got to try sailing at a club I had never been at before.  Thanks again to GRSA for inviting us to come sail!

IMG_2460

1/14 GRSA Frostbite
IMG_2457
1/14 GRSA Frostbite
IMG_2456

Photos courtesy of Sharon Wake.

With no prospect of wind for the second day of the Fishing Bay Yacht Club Annual One Design Regatta, racing was called off early and yesterday‘s results stand.  Being tied for first, it would have been fun to have another race to break the tiebreaker, but we wouldn’t get it and I wound up second after the tie was broken.  Congrats to Brad Squires for winning the race that counted and getting it done.  Results.

On Saturday I ran the GoPro cameras to do some time lapse around the club.  Here’s the video of it all put together:

After awards and sailing we took out a few of the junior opti sailors and their coaches in Lasers and 420s for some fun sailing in the very light winds.  I took a friend’s 9-year-old son, who is an experienced opti sailor, out on my Laser and after a few pointers he sailed the boat alone for the first time.  He then proceeded in the first race to crush his college-aged coaches.  He didn’t do quite as well in the subsequent races, but it was a thrill for him to sail anything other an Opti, even if it was only 4 knots of wind.

The forecast for today was for better wind and we got it. Out on the course in the same racing area, just north of the Newport Bridge, we started out with 8 knots out of the south and by the last race we had 12-13.

In the 4 races we had some decent starts and seemed to get a little faster and had better boat work as the day went on. While we didn’t have any great results to show for it – it was fun sailing in the J/70 fleet. And being my first time in Newport it was nice to see the town and New York Yacht Club. Thanks Noel Clinard for having me along for the weekend – it was a pleasure sailing with you, Jerry and Carrie.