We had a nice day and 8 boats for FBYC’s ILCA Spring Regatta. We were sailing alongside 5 Flying Scots and 5 Melges 15s. The wind was a little shifty, mostly out of the south at 5-10 with slightly overcast skies. In 4 races I would win 1 of them, the only one that wasn’t really a race and was just single shot to the windward mark and a broad reach back. In the other races I would have a good upwind first leg, a slow downwind and end up following 3 boats around the course for a 4-4-1-4 scoreline – good enough for 3rd overall. A well-sailed event by Reed and Scott.
ILCA sailboats and sailing. (Prior to 2021 known as Laser)
Arrived for day 2 of the Sunshine Open at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis to plenty of rain and even a little thunder. It looked like most of the weather coming was going to be light but likely to persist into the early afternoon. We launched on time and sailed in area C at the mouth of the Severn River.
After a short postponement we got racing in 8-12 knots of wind. For the first race I started at the boat just a tiny bit late and was able to rack out to the right into what looked like some better pressure. By the top mark I was in second just behind Bob T. Downwind I went low and easily passed Bob and extended. On the next upwind I held my position with James, Dave and others just behind me. I didn’t keep the boat going early in the final downwind and 4 boats went right around me leaving me in 5th.
By the second race the wind had picked up to 10-13 and my not so great start at the pin left me just in the top 10 at the top mark. As we went downwind the wind started to ease a bit. I went left seeing the wind going that way as it continued to ease while the rest of the fleet went mostly right. The wind got down to 4-6 and with the left over waves on top of the left to right current made going upwind a real slog. The left paid and I was in 3rd just on Luke’s stern with Dave just ahead of us. The downwind took forever but we finished in those places putting me in 3rd for the race and bringing me up to 5th overall. It had looked like they were going to shorten course for us and they eventually did for the radials sparing them from having to sail downwind again. With little wind we headed in. Congratulations to Dave who was able just ahead of James to win the weekend. It was fun sailing in the top of the fleet with Ted, link, Craig and others. Thanks to Scott, Kat, Gavin and everyone at SSA who made the weekend possible!
The forecast for day one at the Sunshine Open ILCA Regatta at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis wasn’t very good. After the skippers meeting, we postponed ashore for 25 minutes or so until we started to see a little bit of wind to sail in out in the harbor. It was cloudy and overcast with a very light air forecast. The cloudy conditions helped keep the power boats away enabling us to sail in the Severn River on a short course.
The wind was out of the west and current was coming right out of the Severn River down the course. At the first start I misjudged my timing to the line on account of the current and ended up being late and 3 rows deep. I crossed behind almost everyone and did my best to go fast and find pressure arriving at the top mark around mid fleet. I managed to catch a couple boats on the downwind and after 2 laps finished 10th.
In the second race, I had the timing for the start about perfect and had Dave just below me and only Craig between me and the boat. Craig tacked out early; I kept going for a few more lengths before tacking out into pressure. Craig and I went up the first 1/3 of the leg on the right while most of the fleet was to the left. I started picking puffs and shifts and by the top mark I was a good 150 yards ahead of the guys behind me. I played it a little too conservative on the rest of the course and wound up getting passed on the next two legs, finishing 6th, as the wind started to taper off and the current picked up.
Without a good prospect for more wind we were sent in. James won both races and sits in first with Dave just behind him. Then there are 4 boats within a point of each other and a few more points back to another couple boats and me in 9th.
Tomorrow’s forecast is looking for good wind, but likely rain all day.
With storms expect later in the day I headed out early at 9am for some practice time in the ILCA. Winds were 14-19 out of the south and I did a long upwind sail in the Piankatank. The wind was surprisingly steady until I got closer to the south shore. From there I did a long downwind toward the entrance to Jackson Creek and met up with the PHRF boats gathering for the start of the opening day race.
I hovered around for a bit and at 11 when their warning went off, I started off on their course to watch and see them off. I figured once they had passed by me I’d peel off for some more practice and head back up the river to Fishing Bay.
With a 5 minute head start I beat the first fleet to the short upwind mark. From there it was a 3nm to E which is 1P at the entrance of the Piankatank due east into the bay. On the long reach out there I was planing and just flying along. None of the boats were really getting any closer. After 40 minutes of sailing, only Nanuq – the 46′ boat that rates -18 PHRF had passed me and was only 2 minutes ahead at that mark. So much for a short sail into the bay. After turning downwind I eventually headed back into the Piankatank for the long sail home. I can only imagine what the crews on those boats were saying to each other on that leg as the tiny Laser ahead of them wasn’t really getting any bigger/closer.
Day 2 at the Capital City Regatta saw more wind than Saturday and pleasant racing conditions. Starting the day sailing in actual wind, it was clear I was pretty rusty from the nearly 5 months since the last time I sailed in wind – not counting yesterday’s near windless day. It didn’t take me long to flip the boat on the way to the course and I would flip 4 more times in the first two races before the wind eased a bit and I started to feel more comfortable in the boat again.
In the first two races I had good speed in the wind and small waves, I was just making a lot of mistakes (like flipping over) and getting out of phase because I was focused on the boat and not getting my head up to look around as much.
By the 3rd race of the day the wind had come down a bit, I was comfortable in the boat, cleaned up my maneuvers and started to make the boat go while getting my head out of the boat. That didn’t stop me from going the wrong way, missing shifts or getting out of phase, but mostly eliminated the silly mistakes I was making earlier. One challenge of staying in phase was what I would call the sucker puffs. Seeing a momentary lift and tacking on it, only to be in a header by the time the tack was completed. Mike and Tom were fast in this race and we traded places a few times, though I was able to stay ahead at the end to win that race.
By the 4th race the wind dropped again and got a little fluky and puffy. I made the right work and led the first leg and extended 1/4 leg ahead of the fleet, but on the 2nd upwind I tried to make the right work again and Lauren found a lot more wind in the middle left and went right around me and on to win the race.
In the 5th race I again played the middle right and got passed by the boats more left. Rounding the first mark around 7th I was able to climb a few spots to finish 4th. I didn’t know it at the time, but going into the last race I was one point behind Lauren overall. I knew it was close and I just knew I needed sail fast. The wind was light, barely necessitating sitting out. I kept my nose clean and found the pressure to get out ahead and stay there. Lauren would finish right behind me tying us for first which I would end up winning in the tiebreaker on account of winning 2 races.
It was a great regatta and a nice way to get an early start on the season. Thanks to Tyler, Nabeel, Jacob, Farley and everyone at PRSA who helped put on the regatta and helped me with logistics to be there!
We had a rainy start to the first day of the Capital City Regatta hosted by Potomac River Sailing Association at the Washington Sailing Marina in Washington DC near the Reagan Airport. This would be my first time in an ILCA since the ILCA Chesapeake Bay Masters in November. The forecast was for some rain early and clearing with some sun and mid-60’s late in the afternoon. That didn’t happen – it was drizzling when we arrived and did so on and off through the rest of the day.
At the skippers meeting the wind was pretty light. They considered holding us onshore, but it started to fill and we went out on time.
Out on the course after waiting a bit for the wind to fill we got into sequence. The wind was light and fickle out of the west. The river runs North to South here and as the day went on the current began to ebb more. I started at the boat wanting to get to the right with a bit of a second row start. I immediately went right and was one of the right-most boats. For a while I was looking punched out and then at the top mark James came in from the left having spent more time in pressure. At the top mark I ended up parking it in no wind as the boats behind caught up and the boats ahead got away. Downwind I would get passed and then at the downwind mark get pinwheeled to the outside. I used my speed upwind on the second beat to consolidate and after another lap finished 4th despite being as low as 10 in the 19-boat fleet. Many boats didn’t finish before the time limit.
We waited around for close to an hour and with no sign of wind and no increase in temperature, we headed in and had burgers and chicken.
Thought we were going to postpone, but the wind filled just as we were set to head to the course. Day 2 started with 6-7 knots. I had a crappy 2nd row start, but got right as soon as I could and went fast. Was first to the windward mark. Had a terrible downwind and lost some boats, held on to around 8th.
By the second race the wind had picked up to around 10 or 11. Was 4th to the windward mark. Picked up a spot downwind and stayed there the rest of the way around the course for 3rd. Scott A first, James 2nd.
3rd race – had a great start at the boat and after going left a bit and then right- I was about 5th at the top mark. Lost about 5 boats downwind and so I worked to the left early on the long upwind and passed 4-5 boats on the upwind. I was right behind the lead pack rounding the top mark and finally seemed to figure out the wind and waves going downwind and went around that pack to first and finished that way. Was never able to repeat that speed downwind for the rest of the day.
4th race had a good start and stayed about top 4 or 5 all the way around the course and made a dumb move on the last upwind and fell a few boats to 8th.
Such a fun regatta – being the event chair went great and so many folks pitching in to help out and make it go. And it was fun being a competitor and sailing well and regularly being in the top 5 at some point in almost every race. It was unfortunate we had to reschedule to November and not everyone was able to come, but the weather made for far better sailing than we would have had if we had tried to sail around the storm.
We had hoped to sail the Chesapeake Bay ILCA Masters Championship in early October, but Hurricane Ian was a little too close for comfort and we ended up postponing the entire event mid-week when it was clear the remnants of the hurricane were going to make it a questionable race weekend. So we rescheduled for early November and 27 boats were able to sail the makeup.
Day 1 started light on the race course and we ended up waiting around about 45 minutes before wind we could race in finally settled. First race was sailed in a very light 6 knot breeze and built as the race went on. I went left on the first beat and that was not the place to be. I managed to pick up a few spots on the way back upwind for an 11.
A second race start was tried and the wind wasn’t steady so we postponed again while it built. Eventually it did and we sailed another race. I played a little more left than I should have and stuck around the middle of the lead pack for an 8th place finish.
By the 3rd race the wind built a little more and we were comfortably hiking. I had a fantastic start and was able to tack to the right almost immediately after the start and protected that side. Unfortunately, I didn’t pick the shifts very well and the folks picking shifts on the left did it better. Ended up 8th again.
We rolled right into a 4th race of the day and I started relatively close to the boat end and mostly by myself. I tacked to the right and took it all the way to the lay line – even over standing a bit and rounding in the top 5. I lost a few spots downwind and played the middle left picking puffs on the 2nd beat to pick up some spots to round the top mark in 2nd and held that to the finish.
For the final race of the day the wind eased off a bit while staying in the double digits. We still had the waves that were a little harder to work through. I went more to the left this time and stuck around the top 5 most of the race.
There was definitely some current going across the course. David, James, Peter, Scott A, all had good races consistently at the lead. First two races were in 6-8 and by the 3rd race the wind had started to build and even had a shot of high teens for a few minutes as some clouds passed.
We wrapped up the evening with pizza from a local gourmet pizza place and a cake as the reschedule didn’t work with Alain’s schedule.
This was supposed to be the final race of the season had we not had to reschedule the ILCA Chesapeake Masters due to the hurricane, so we had 6 ILCA plus a couple of Melges 15s that came out to sail singlehanded with us in 6-8 knots of wind on a beautiful day.
We sailed a bunch of very short races that were 8-12 minutes each of 2 laps around a course that was just a couple hundred years long. It was great because it kept the racing close and everyone was nearby and would jump on any mistakes.
I swapped boats with John Hubbard and sailed his Melges 15 for one of them. I figured out how to heel it and sail by the lee downwind to go as fast as the ILCA. Upwind without a jib was pretty tricky in less than 8 knots.
Overall I had a series of 2nd place finished. I swapped spots with Scott A a bit, but I just couldn’t match the speed or pointing of Reed upwind and settled for a 3rd. It was a great tune up for the ILCA Chesapeake Masters next weekend. Thanks to John L and his crew for RC today!
We didn’t expect as much wind as we got – in fact it was too much for the Flying Scots while 7 ILCA and 2 Melges 15 ventured out into winds in the mid-teens.
The first race was a very long one. I broke my tiller extension universal joint while sailing the first downwind leg. I had been in the lead and I lost a couple boats while I stopped to replace it. I was able to pass one of the boats that passed me to finish in 3rd.
The course was shortened significantly for the remaining races and it was a dead heat between myself and Reed. I would win 2 of the final 3, but his bullet in the first race and my 3rd was enough to give him a point advantage.
Had fun sailing with Reed, Len, Todd, Brad and Holly on what was a rare windy summer day. Thanks to Clark, Rick and crew for running the races.