Memorial Day Weekend

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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2013 Down The Bay Race: Thursday

Tomorrow starts the 2013 Down The Bay Race and I’ll be racing on the Farr-Dickinson 37′ Excitation owned by Mayo Tabb from Fishing Bay Yacht Club. We’ll be sailing with 8 other boats in the A2 fleet among 32 boats sailing the race. They range from 24′ to 52′. Here’s the scratch sheet.

The typical wind for the Chesapeake Bay this time of the year is out of the south, sometimes the west and occasionally the east. When it blows out of the North it’s often not for long. This is a rare year that the wind will be blowing strong out of the North from the start of the race in Annapolis to the finish in Hampton. It’s almost certain that the course record of 13 hours by Running Tide, a 60 foot Sparkman and Stevens design owned by Al van Metre,
will fall this weekend. It’s possible half the A fleet might finish under the record. Either way it’s going to be a wild ride and we are going to have a blast!

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2012 Down The Bay Race: Video

Finished up this video from the 63rd Down the Bay Race for the Virginia Cruising Cup May 25-26, 2012 aboard Glenn Doncaster’s Sabre 42.6 Nanuq from Fishing Bay Yacht Club.  Read more about the trip here.  Photos can be found here.

This was shot over two days with the Nikon D7000, 3 GoPro Hero2, an iPhone 4s and a Canon SD-1400.

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2012 Down The Bay Race: Start

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Here is the crew aboard nanuq as we started the Down The Bay Race this morning. PHRF had a bit of a crowded start with some boats wanting to be in other boats space. The wind started out pretty light but we did get a couple hours of good wind as we passed Thomas Point light house. Later this afternoon the wind has died to under 4 and we are currently off Sharky’s Point lighthouse using all of the current we can find to get south.

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2012 Down The Bay Race

On Friday the Annual Down The Bay Race starts in Annapolis, Maryland and races to Hampton, Virginia.  I’ll be aboard Glenn Doncaster’s Sabre 42.6 Nanuq from Fishing Bay Yacht Club.

Here’s the breakdown of the 39 boats that will be taking part.  I’ll be posting updates and pictures as time permits on Twitter: @jondeutsch.

 

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2011 Oyster Shell Triathlon

On Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend I participated in my first Oyster Shell Triathlon.  It’s an event that started about 4-5 years ago among a group of friends looking for something to do on Memorial Day Weekend and so they started this race.  There were just under 30 participants this year and there have been as many as 40 in the past.

The course is a little nontraditional – it starts with swim which turns into a slog – a combination of running in water and swimming.  Then a 2-mile bike ride followed by a swim back to the starting point.  The final stretch is a ~1 mile run around the Deltaville Maritime Museum and back to the finish.

No times are kept and it’s all for good fun.  Considering I signed up for it about 10pm at a party the night before, I felt pretty good about finishing mid-pack.  It was a ton of fun and I look forward to doing it again next year.

At some point I’ll post some video [update: video here].  In the mean time, here are some pictures of the Oyster Shell Triathlon.

Start of the Oyster Shell Triathlon

The Course:

Oyster Shell Triathlon Course Map

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Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day Beach VolleyballThis past weekend was a ton of fun and I’m still in denial that it’s over. I spent almost 5 days living out of my car traveling all over eastern VA and eastern NC. I took off Friday and headed down to Figure 8 Island near Wrightsville Beach to spend time at a beach house with Dan, Lauren, Patrick and a few other Richmond friends. With a full house I ended up spending two nights by the beach in a tent. It was beautiful weather for sleeping outside and I preferred it over the house. Sunday I got to see a beach sunrise which I’m rarely ever up for when I’m at the beach.

Sunday I drove back to Deltaville for two days of practice with the FBYC Campaign for the NYYC Invitational Cup Team. I sailed on the Sonar Sunday afternoon. We had a good wind, but a storm loomed on the horizon and we had to head in early. The storm never came and it was a beautiful afternoon so I got in a little Laser sailing.

Jon helming the SonarOur practice on Monday didn’t start until noon, so Maria, her friend and I took Lasers out in the morning and I sailed until I had to be back for practice. This time I was on one of the Colgate 26s. Despite being similar in size to the Sonar, there are quite a few differences in how the boat is handled. After practice I headed back to Richmond for a cookout before finally arriving home.

This has been one awesome weekend. I got to hang out with a lot of different people and had a blast with all of them. It’s going to be tough to top that weekend this summer.

Side Note: At this point I’ve already put 10,000 miles on my car this year. Compared to this time last year I was closer to 6,000. With trips to Deltaville and beyond planned for almost every weekend through October, I’m going to be doing a lot of driving this year.

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