Day 2 of the Crab Claw Regatta and Laser District 11 Championship at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis and we were greeted light winds and a postponement ashore while we waited for the wind. It came soon enough and along with the clearer skies we ended up with 12-14 knots of wind out of the North. We were out in the north sailing area looking upwind at the bridge.
In 3 races I had pretty good starts usually winning the boat or close to it and crossed most of the fleet on the first upwind. I didn’t quite have the upwind speed as some of the fast guys, but held my own when I remembered to round the offset and didn’t hit any marks. By the 3rd race I started to get the boat dialed in a little better and had better speed and didn’t make any mistakes leading to my weekend best of a 4th. Ended up 15th overall and it was great to sail with some competition to tune up before the FBYC Chesapeake Bay Laser Masters in October. Luke, Eric, Mike, Scott and Dave all sailed great this weekend and were fast all the way around the course. Thanks to Scott, Dorian and the fleet for hosting!
One other bit of news coming out of the weekend – Scott Williamson is going to take over as the District 11 Secretary. It’s a post I’ve held since the end of 2006. The Laser fleets in the mid-Atlantic remain a great group of sailors and it’s been fun to see the ups and downs of the fleets and to help play a part in connecting sailor and getting them out sailing. Thanks for taking this on Scott and I look forward to continuing to see the sailors I’ve met throughout the district for many years to come.
Severn Sailing Association hosted the Crab Claw Regatta and 2019 Laser District 11 Championship Regatta. It just so happened that East Carolina’s football team was playing at Navy this afternoon so I figured out how to do both.
The skies were overcast with temperatures in the high 70’s and the wind out of the North at 11-13. I sailed the first two races in some lumpy seas making it critical to keep the boat flat to go fast upwind. There were some shifts to hit as well. Downwind it took a while to figure out how to catch the waves – by the 4th time I went downwind finally started to figure it out just before I headed in.
Day 2 of the District 11 Championship and Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis started with light drizzle that would continue through out the day. At least that kept the power boaters away. The wind was in the mid-teens a little east of where it was yesterday and the temperatures just warm enough to wear summer attire plus a spray jacket.
I did a lot better in today’s races – generally staying close enough to the lead group to nip at their heels. Sailing upwind was tough with the rain – telltales were unusable because they stuck to the sail requiring me to sail only by feel. On port tack the waves were a little more square on making it a challenge of picking when to point and pound through the waves, or go low and foot through the waves at a better angle.
Downwind the waves were awesome – very little of the slop that we had yesterday and typically see in that sailing area (A) in Annapolis. I managed to catch the waves and S-turn in a way that I never have before. Almost every downwind I made up 10-15 boat lengths on the boats around me – I’m usually the one loosing a few boat lengths down wind.
That was good enough for me to finish 12th and stay in the top half of the fleet. Big thanks to Scott and Dorian for organizing the regatta, Steven for the place at to stay and to PRO Steve and everyone else on the RC who ran the races!
The first day of the Laser District 11 Championship and Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association started with nice weather and winds in the upper teens out of the north. Despite the wind direction the temperatures will still warm enough for summer sailing attire, may just a spray top for some.
I got off to a rough start racing – I was taking it a little easy in the stronger winds, in part due to an emergency room visit earlier in the week, to keep the stitches in my head dry and getting more comfortable not re-injuring my wrist. I also hadn’t figured out the right boat settings for the wind, and I was just plain tired. Note to self – don’t do these things again. So that led me to to not be totally aware of the course on a downwind leg and to confuse where the leeward marks were with the separate finish and I ended up rounding the gate the wrong way. I certainly wasn’t the only one, but I’d need to take a DNF. That wasn’t my only trouble, I also deathrolled downwind.
By the 2nd race the wind eased a little bit – still in the mid-teens. I had a great start and worked my way to the left getting almost to the layline. Once there I tacked and proceeded to botch it and not get under the boom and flipped over. When I came up, I reset the boat and I must have done something right because I was suddenly wicked fast. Like somehow fast enough to catch a boat that is normally as fast or faster than I am from 8 lengths behind and to roll over over them. I was back up with the lead group just behind them. Downwind I played it conservative to keep the boat upright and on the 2nd upwind I picked the wrong side and didn’t play the shifts well and would end up 13th.
For the 3rd race the wind eased enough to be squarely in the 12-14 range that I am very fast in. I had a good start and sailed with the leaders the whole race. I was a pinch slow downwind, but felt more comfortable in the boat and had more confidence in my wrist.
The 4th race was 11-13 and I did more of the same – this time getting as high as the top 4 or 5 at some marks. I actually start getting comfortable surfing the waves and actually had good speed downwind. I would end up 7th.
The final race was a disaster again. The wind eased off to around 10 with lulls around 8 and the larger chop was still bouncing around making it tough to power over or through them. I had a good start, but didn’t keep my lane clear and got rolled – then I missed some shifts to put myself in the middle of the fleet. A deathroll and later fouling a boat to do turns meant I was racing for last and finished 20th.
All in all it was great to be out racing, the RC ran great races and folks like Mike and Scott were having great days. After racing I took a van-nap and we had a crab picking feast. I’m in 13th.
My first race of 2015 and why not do it at a District Championship. Severn Sailing Association held the District 11 Championship in conjunction with their Sunshine Open Regatta. 27 Lasers and 16 Radials were out in what were nearly frostbite conditions on the first day.
I started with a great race sailing in 2nd most of the way around the course and loosing a spot on the final leg finishing 3rd. I’d go downhill from there, but not before a few top 3 roundings before giving up spots downwind. I met my goal of all top 10 finishes.
Back on short after 4 races I warmed up and enjoyed the dinner and band.
Sunday was a little better wind and we sailed 2 more races. i had a tougher go of it finishing 1 in double digits followed by an 8 to finis 6th overall.
No pictures this time but results can be found here. Big thanks to SSA for hosting, congratulations to Luke who sailed a great regatta to win it and thanks again for Steve for the place to stay.
In the first race I didn’t have a stellar start, but tacked out immediately and was able to cross a few boats on port and get to clear air on the right. I worked my way up the middle left of the course and rounded the top mark in ~5th and turned to go downwind. Only I wasn’t supposed to turn downwind – I missed the offset and had to sail back upwind 100 yards. By the time I did my obligatory capsize and returned to round the offset I was in last place. I stayed there until the 2nd upwind beat and I started sailing fast and picking up boats. I continued to do that in the next two legs picking off 8 boats and managed to get back to 11th.
By the 2nd and 3rd races the current started to come in and was coming right down the course. As a result our speed over ground was diminished and it felt like we had much less wind than we did. Couple the wind/current with a little chop and the going started getting a lot tougher only because the feel of the boat was off. I didn’t have great starts and found myself bouncing around in the middle of the pack and pulled a 9-7.
Going into the final race the current started to slow down a bit and I got my head on straight and I was determined not to make any mistakes. I won the favored end of the start at the boat and just sailed to windward of leaders Luke Shingledecker and Henry Amthor. I lead at the first mark, but Luke had better downwind speed and overhauled me. Henry got me on the next leg and I continued to follow them around the course finishing with a 3rd.
While I had hoped for a top 5 finish, I ended up with a 6th and it goes to show despite flashes of brilliance it still came down to time in the boat and some unpolishedness that pulled me back. All in all it was a fun event. I was glad to finally have a chance to visit Tred Avon Yacht Club and the volunteers there including PRO Mike Waters did a great job putting on our regatta. Congrats to Luke and Henry who sailed a great regatta!
This year’s Laser District 11 Championship is being held at Tred Avon Yacht Club in Oxford Maryland. Since FBYC and TAYC have their annual regattas on the same weekend – after all these years I’ve never had the opportunity to sail at TAYC and I was excited to see the place and sail there. The racing is being run in conjunction with TAYC’s Heritage Regatta and so there were Shields, Stars and Log Canoes also out racing.
As we headed out to the race course the wind was somewhat light out of the north east with mostly overcast skies. The race committee set a nice long mile+ course and got a start going for the 20 boats in the Standard fleet. The wind was going a bit left at the start and a lot of boats were trying to win the pin. I found a nice hole about 1/4 up from the boat and started there. It wasn’t a great spot and I quickly found myself in a 2nd or 3rd row spot.
Up the first beat I knew from watching the wind pre-race that I wanted to be on the left side of the course. So as boats tacked out I just kept going left until I found myself in clear air. I took that most of the way to the layline and found a wind lane to tack back on. That worked out great because the right side of the course had less pressure. I found myself 3rd around the top mark behind only Ted Morgan and Bill Lawson who had gone slightly more left than I did.
Downwind I made my way down the same side of the course I had come with and made sure I was the outside boat. The better pressure and a little better current there helped me pull just ahead of the rest of the fleet at the windward mark.
With the wind starting to die out the RC shortened the course at the next windward mark. With the patchiness of the wind Joe Moran and I traded the lead a couple times before I ultimately banged the left too hard and he, Luke Shingledecker and Jeff Robbins were able to slip by leaving me 4th at the finish.
After the race we sat around in no wind as some light showers moved through the area. We eventually called it a day without any further racing. Back on shore we had a great vantage point of the Log Canoes capsizing – 3 of them.
Sunday’s racing at the Laser District 11 Championship in Annapolis started out much like Saturday, but with less wind. We started the first race under mostly cloudy skies and 8-10 knots of breeze.
After a general recall under P flag the RC went straight to the black flag. I had a decent start near the boat end and worked my way out to the right along with Ted Morgan. Karen long hit the right even better than we did and rounded the mark first with me and Ted just behind her. Downwind I got ahead and put some distance between myself and the group just behind me. From there I just kept ahead on the remaining 3 legs and took the gun.
Sunday’s 2nd race didn’t go so well. My start wasn’t as good and I got behind early by being on the wrong side of the shifts on the first beat settling for a 12. The thing I learned in the 2nd race was that the mode I was using to make the boat go fast upwind in a little more wind and more chop, stopped working when the wind lightened and the water got flatter.
By the 3rd and final race the wind was pretty light and the chop was just the random power boat variety. We were moving, but it was slow going at times, particularly downwind. I won the boat at the start and again worked my way up the middle right. This time the far right didn’t pay. And much of the fleet had gone left hoping it would pay off like it did last race – it didn’t. I rounded 2nd just behind Brady White with Brett Morris behind me. Brady extended his lead and I was able to hold off Brett. We would go on to finish 1-2-3.
With that finish and knowing several boats would have black flags, I knew the top 2-7 boats would all be pretty close. The 1 & 2 today certainly helped, but the 12 meant I’d have to keep a 10. In the end it was the bullet that won me the tiebreaker for 3rd place overall.
Despite the light winds, it was fun to be competing at the top of the fleet – especially with some sailors who I’m usually following around the course. And with 34 boats there were plenty of sailors keeping the competition close. Thanks again to Steven Cofer and everyone at SSA for hosting our championship! And congratulations to winner Mike Russom who sailed a very consistent regatta with top 5 finishes.
We started the 2013 District 11 Championship with 32 standards and 9 radials at Severn Sailing Association. It was overcast with and the wind was blowing 8-12. Out on the water we had a bit of a time getting started with the current pushing us over and multiple general recalls and restarts.
I didn’t have a particularly great start in the first race, but I made my way to the right and picked the shifts up the beat catching boats on every upwind. As the race went on the wind started dropping and was 7 or 8 with left over lumps and chop. I ended up 7th.
In the 2nd race I had a terrible start and won the 6th row getting shut out at the boat. I worked my way up the first beat just looking for clear lanes and only had 4 boats behind me at the first mark. Downwind I picked up boats and I picked up another handful on the upwinds. Salvaged a 10th.
For the 3rd race we still had a 7-8 knots and the chop started going down a bit. I had a great start, but let Brady and Mike get ahead and to the right. I followed and when they broke to the left I hung out to the right and crossed both of them. I was first at the top mark and lost a boat downwind. Mike Russom was fast and made a good comeback. But Ted Morgan had the best lines and speed and beat everyone at the top mark. I held onto 4th.
After racing we had crabs and listened to a band on the SSA deck.
This weekend is the Laser District 11 Championship at Severn Sailing Association. The J70 North American Championship is going on Thursday through Saturday with 90 boats and so I decided to come up a day early to go out and spectate. The wind didn’t cooperate much and after 4 hours sitting on the water, racing was cancelled for the day. While we didn’t get to see any sailing, it was still nice to get on the water. Thanks to Brian Reagan for the ride out to spectate.
Tomorrow we’ll have 40+ Lasers and Radials out for our two-day championship. Lighter winds are expected which just means – it’s anyone’s race to win!