This has been an awesome weekend both as a regatta organizer and as a competitor. The regatta ran great, we had nice weather, we got in 8 races, we had competitive fleets and David Lee and the race committee did a fantastic job with the on-the-water part of the regatta. Everyone enjoyed Alain’s dinner and we certainly couldn’t have made the regatta work with out the help of the many club members who pitched in – THANK YOU!
As a competitor I can’t say I had been thrilled with the sailing I’ve done this year. I was sailing really well last fall and even though I was going to big time regattas this winter, I just never put together anything more than a mediocre regatta for myself. With this regatta I was determined to put in a respectable showing and get my game back to where it was last fall. What better a place to do it than on my home waters.
Saturday’s racing saw 12-16 knots of wind for the day. That’s at the upper end of the range that I’m competitive in. I set my boat up right and hiked my butt off and managed to have all top-10 finishes except 1 in 5 races putting me into 8th in the 25-boat fleet. In that kind of wind keeping up with the tail end of the lead pack was a good showing for myself.
Saturday night we had 55 people for dinner and had a great time hanging around the club.
Sunday, the wind was right in my sweet spot for speed and out of the south. On the first race I had a great start, picked the shifts and led at the windward mark by a boatlength or two. It was such a thrill to be out ahead of so many great sailors. But I knew they were coming for me and I did my best to stay out ahead of them. Dan Herlihy and I traded for 1st place on the next 2 legs and on the final beat, he just picked the shifts a little better than I did to take the gun leaving me 2nd.
In Sunday’s second race I had a good start, but didn’t have the boat speed to pull ahead of the fleet. As a result I had a tough time going where I wanted, made way too many tacks and ended up really deep at the first windward mark. Luckily about half of the top 6 sailors were back there with me. Through the next 4 legs we picked our way back up to the front and I dug through about 10 boats to get back to 9th.
The 3rd and final race of the day was my best race. At the start there was a big lefty enabling Rob Overton to port tack the fleet at the pin. I had a good start in the middle and used my boat speed to get enough of a lead and clear lanes to start picking some shifts. At the first windward mark it was me and Rob Whittimore. I couldn’t have written it any better to battling for the lead with a good friend and fellow club member. I led Rob by about half a boat length down to the offset. Rob had a great run and jumped ahead of me at the downwind mark. The race committee changed the next weather leg to the left so I immediately went left on the 2nd windward leg and caught some great shifts to pull ahead of Rob and everyone else behind. The next two legs I felt like I had good boat speed, caught the shifts well, and covered the fleet to take the gun. That ended up being the last race of the day and it was such a thrill to sail my best and win a race against such a great group of sailors. That really made my weekend.
After racing we handed out awards, cleaned up and got on the road.
All in all it was a great weekend and I can’t wait to do some more Laser sailing!
Read my write-up on the District 11 Website and check out the results. I hope to have a video up later this week and I’ll link to photos when they are available.