Memorial Day Weekend

2017 FBYC Open House Regatta

The forecast for the Open House Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club improved as we got closer to Sunday and it ended up be great sailing conditions for the few mile progressive start distance race.  This race featured boats from 14′ all the way up to 48′ and they were all handicapped against each other with the slow boats starting first and having a head start over the faster boats. The first boat over the finish line wins.

I sail a Front Runner with Alan as crew and were among the 24 boats racing under mostly cloudy skies with the wind out of the ESE at 9-11.  As one of the slower boats we were about the 5th group to start and there were 2 other Front Runners racing with us.  The start was across the Piankatank River near Godfrey Bay and took us east and upwind towards the mouth of the Piankatank River.  Sailing down the river we stuck to the North shore near Fishing Bay and Stove point to stay out of the current.

That ended up being the key to the race as we extended out a lead and were able to get far enough ahead of the faster boats that they weren’t able to catch up.  It also helped us that 1/4 of the race was close reaching rhumb line sailing where putting up a spinnaker didn’t really help any.  On the final leg to the finish the J/70 E.L.E. made a pretty good charge and we edged them out finishing less than 1/2 a minute ahead.

Big thanks to Matt for letting us borrow the boat and for Alan doing a great job crewing in his second race.

RESULTS

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2016 Open House Regatta

This the 3rd annual Open House Regatta which has become one of my favorite events at FBYC given the mix activities, people and sailing being done.  A bring-what-you-got progressive start race for boats 10-50+ ft all racing each other.  Followed by rafting up and socializing followed by dinner and a great blue grass band.

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Given I would be sailing my J/70 in Hampton next weekend, it was packed up yesterday and so today I joined David Hinckle and Tommy Roper aboard David’s J/70 – Air Speed.  We had a good start and did well in the light air on the way out.  On the way back we picked the wrong side of the course and let Nostalgia sneak by us while we couldn’t quite catch any of the boats ahead and settled for 6th.

After returning the boat to the dock I took a launch out to the raft up already in progress.  I managed to go boat-to-boat around the entire circle visiting with folks on each boat.  I also got to go up the mast of one of the larger boats to capture an aerial view.

And despite a little crummy weather late in the evening, we still had fun inside.

RESULTS | PICTURES

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2016 Memorial Day Weekend: Friday

Started the holiday weekend with a great picnic with the the young adult members (<40) and guests of FBYC on a beautiful night.

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2015 Open House Regatta

2015 No Quarter Open House

After last year’s successful regatta FBYC held their 2nd Open House Regatta and No Quarter J/70 was among the 30 boats sailing the 8.5nm course in the Piankatank River.  In the spirit of being a fun casual race – I invited a couple co-workers with me who hadn’t sailed much.

Open House No Quarter Crew

We were treated to a gorgeous day with 8-12 knot breezes and mostly sunny skies.  As a pursuit race we started near the end and picked off of a few boats on the upwind.  Being a novice crew we forwent the spinnaker and lost a few spots and finished mid pack.  It was great sailing with Kelley, Dillon & Stephen.   Results

Following the race we took No Quarter to the dock and rode out to the raft up in progress with 29 boats forming a circle.  It was quite a sight and a lot of fun hopping between boats and catching up with folks.  Ned Rennolds had his drone up and caught a few pictures:

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2014 Memorial Day Weekend: Monday

For the final day of the weekend I invited a few friends to come sail Lasers.  Len loaned me his boat and we had mine and two others to take 4 people out.  It was a beautiful day as the wind built and Bob, Lisa, Jenn and Mike all had a great time sailing around.

Bob:

Once they had their fill and the wind really settled in, Len and I went out and did some tuning by doing a couple laps on a 1.5 mi course.

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2014 FBYC Piankatank Regatta Spring Series 3

We had 4 Front Runners among the dozen or so other boats for Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s One Design Spring Series #3.  After cutting my teeth on the boat in yesterday’s Open House Regatta I was racing against my crew yesterday as they found their way around a Front Runner today.

5/25 FBYC Piankatank Regatta Spring Series 3

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.

5/25 FBYC Piankatank Regatta Spring Series 3

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 Jessie Hardin learned quick and did a good job getting the chute up and down.  All in all a very successful day on the water.

Results | Photos Sharon Wake | Photos Tom Roberts

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2014 Open House Regatta

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.

5/24 Open House Regatta

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.

5/24 Open House RegattaJon Deutsch at the top of the mast to take a picture

Once we had most of the boats rafted up – I went up the nearly 70′ mast on Destiny to get a picture.

5/24 Open House Regattaview of the raft up from the top

5/24 Open House RegattaJon Deutsch

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.

5/24 Open House RegattaEric Bokinsky with Jon Deutsch

Results | Photos

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2014 Memorial Day Weekend: Friday

For the start of the Memorial Day Weekend I got to do some Front Runner with Matt Braun who was graciously loaning me a boat for the weekend.  Needless to day I don’t think either of us had broken so many things on a boat and had to fix so many things on a boat in one sitting.

5/23 boat maintenance on a Front Runner5/23 boat maintenance on a Front Runner w/Matt Braun

In the evening we got the young adult members (<40) and guests of FBYC together for a cookout.What a great way to start our weekend!

5/23 FBYC Young Adult Member & Guest CookoutHolly Roper, Jon Deutsch, Carol Bokinsky, Julie Wash, Eric Bokinsky, Abigail Whorley, Miles Kimbrough, , Ellie Dew, Tomas Roper, Massey Whorley, Eliza Strickland, Katie Branch, Mike Walsh, Austin Mill, Christin Lipscomb, , , Spencer, Jessie Hardin

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2013 Down The Bay Race: Video

Friday’s Down The Bay Race (read my account of it here) kept my hands pretty busy.  I was only able to catch a few minutes of video during the calmer/clearer times.  In these shots you are looking at the backs of the waves, so it looks much calmer with smaller waves than it was.

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2013 Down The Bay Race: Friday

2013 DTB Race Crew on Excitation

Friday morning we set out on Excitation – a Farr-Dickinson 37 for the Down The Bay Race from Annapolis to Hampton in what would be an epic race.  The forecast was for north west wind moving north and bringing the wind right down the bay making for a very fast trip south.  Sailing the race were 30 boats ranging in size from a 24-foot J-24 to a 52′ TP52.

The race started just after 10am in Annapolis with winds in the mid-20’s and light drizzle.  We got underway in the A2 fleet and headed down the bay on a broad reach under full main and #1 (our largest headsail).  Many of the boats with asymmetrical spinnakers were able to carry them and they all just took off.  Some of the symmetric boats were able to carry them as well.  For the early part of the race we just cruised along rarely under 8 knots and with 1-2 knots of favorable current we averaged over 9.5 knots over the ground for the first 3/4 of the race.

2013 Down The bay race after the start

Every hour we switched off drivers and main trimmers.  They were both working hard keeping the boat moving through the 4′ seas in the early part of the race.  We’d surf waves when we could and all competed to see who could drive for the top speed of the day.  At first we thought hitting 11 knots was fast.  Before long we were getting bored with only hitting 10 knots in a boat that rates 87 PHRF.

2013 Down The bay race after the start

About 1/3 of the way into the race the waves stabilized a bit and the wind was down into the low twenties and we tried to put a small kite up.  It was a bit squirrely and we just couldn’t keep the boat under the sail.  Eventually we lost it, almost broached and wrapped the chute around the head stay a few times.  After a few  tense minutes trying to unwrap it and get it down we got it on deck and continued under main and the number 1.

2013 Down the Bay Race loosing the spinnaker

By mid-afternoon we were approaching the mouth of the Potomac.  The Potomac is a very large river with a lot of current that comes out of it and into the bay.  Here we found the most confused seas and with waves now 4-6′ it was a handful to keep the boat going especially with random waves that would occasionally break into the cockpit.

South of the Potomac the waves got a little more regular and the wind stayed in the 25-32 knot range.  Occasionally we saw low 20’s and up to 36.  Through this part of the course we continued reaching along the rhumb line.

Last year at 5:30 am we were passing the Piankatank River (our normal FBYC sailing area just south of the Rappahannock River).  This year we were there by 5:30pm and making fantastic time down the bay.  As we got into the lower part of the bay the wind stayed steadier in the 28-32 range and the waves built to 6-8′ and even some 10′ for the final 20 miles down the bay before rounding a channel marker and taking a right turn to sail the last 9 miles into Hampton.  It was this downwind stretch that we did some of our fastest sailing.  Not because we were trying to push it, we weren’t – we were trying to sail conservative and safe, but because we had to sail the boat entirely by feel with almost no light to see the waves with.  It just felt right to go fast.

At one point we just dropped into a 6’+ wave and it felt awesome with a nice trough to our right and I just rode it for all I could.  It was just like sailing a dinghy down waves – except this was a 11,000lb 37′ boat.  We had hit some 12 knots earlier – but on that wave I hit 13.46 knots through the water.   What a rush to have such a big boat slicing across the water like that.

2013 Down the bay race reaching at the bottom of the bay

At the final mark to the finish we’d have to go from broad reaching to close reaching.  With full main and number 1 genoa up we knew that would be a challenge – and it was.  With no way to carry the genoa, let alone the main, we had a very difficult time getting the genoa down so we could finish under main alone.

The course record was around 13 hours set by a 60′ boat back in 1974.  We finished at 30 minutes after midnight which was in 14 hours – just one hour off the record.  Over 1/3 of the boats sailing finished under the old race record.  The new record holder – the TP52 Irie finished in just 7 hours.  They were at the bar just after 5:30 pm.  That’s an amazing record that’s going to stand for a very long time. Full Results.

We docked shortly after 1 and it was a relief to all be back safe and sound and on dry land.  We swapped stories with other sailors in the bar.  Only 2 boats wouldn’t finish the race – one after a demasting.  Eventually we all just crashed on the boat – exhausted from an epic ride we won’t soon forget.  (Update: Watch some video of our trip here)

I’d like to thank owner Mayo Tabb for doing the race this year and having me and to the other crew who did a great job keeping us going in some very difficult conditions.

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