Wickford Regatta Jon Sailing Upwind

The forecast for Sunday called for wind to come up and build in the mid-teens shortly after mid-day.  We got exactly that and then some with gusts in the upper teens by the 3rd race.  With the failure of the outhaul/cunningham base block screw yesterday I rigged the cunningham normally and rigged the outhaul the old way on the boom.  Not as adjustable, but it’d get me through the day.

Wickford Regatta Outhaul Rig

We were the first start of the day and I didn’t do so hot on the first one.  I was coming to the first mark mid-fleet and the race committee abandoned us before the first boat go to the windward mark because a large fishing trawler was very close to the mark and on the rhumb line to our reach mark moving slowly.

We restarted and this time I had a good start and did well to hold my lane.  I had reasonable upwind speed, but still not quite as much as those who could hold the boat down better.  I rounded in 10-12, caught one on the reach, caught another on the run, and then picked up 2-4 more spots on the 2nd upwind where I picked the shifts well and held onto that for 8th.

Wickford Sunday Reach

In the 2nd race of the day I had another good start and held my lane well up the beat.  By now the wind had increase a few more knots and I just wasn’t moving the boat upwind as well as others who sailed more in heavy wind.  (It was probably some time last summer since I spent more than an hour racing in 15+).  I finished around 12-13, but a few folks were OCS pulling me up to 9.

The wind built more for the 3rd race and by new we were getting some 2’+ waves rolling through.  At that point I was just hanging on and just trying to keep the boat moving as fast as I could while trying to minimize tacking and slowing down.  I played the downwind pretty conservatively to keep the boat upright and finished 10th.

By 2pm the RC planned one more race and I could see we were going to be getting rained on within the hour.  I didn’t think another race was going to change my score much and I had accomplished what I came for which was competitive racing in wind and I decided I better get on the road so I don’t get back too late.

Traffic back was miserable in Connecticut.  What should have been the first 2 1/2 hours took over 4.  South of NYC everything cleared out and I got home at 1:30am.  Overall it was a good trip.  I got to sail a new venue, meet some new sailors and get some more competitive racing in before the D10 championship and ACC coming up in a few weekends.  Thanks again to everyone at Wickford Yacht Club for putting on a great regatta and to the Northrups for the great place to stay.

Results | Pictures: here here here here here here here

Top photo licensed from Cate Brown photo.

2013 Wickford Regatta Saturday Reach

We had great wind and racing for the first day of the Wickford Regatta & Laser District 7 Championship. We had 24 boats and sailed 3 races in 10-15 out of the south and overcast skies with temperatures in the mid 60’s.

I got out to a bit of a slow start and continued to feel better in the boat each race and put up better results each race. In the first race I was a little slow at the start and got bounced around a bit on the first beat. I was fast on the reach and held on downwind to end up 14th.

2013 Wickford Regatta Saturday Start

In the second race I had a better start, but still had a tough time on the first beat and rounded the first mark deep. I had a great second beat and picked off some boats and ended up 11th.

After finishing the 2nd race I realized that one of the heads of the screws holding the outhaul/cunningham block at the base of the mast sheared off and was only being held down by one screw. I re-rigged the outhaul so it was fixed and not deck-led to relieve some pressure to get me through the rest of the races.


As a result of fixing the outhaul and setting up for the start a little late, I didn’t have a good lane at the start and wound up tacking out early and ducking a lot of boats. That worked out pretty well when the wind started going right and I was able to pick the shifts to round top-5. Downwind I rounded 3rd and luckily went to the right gate (looking upwind) and went right upwind where we got a 30-degree righty, so I immediately found myself on the layline. I got out-ground in the higher winds, to round in 5th and then lost 2 more on the downwind to finish 7th.

The RC tried to start another race, first under P and then under I, but we general recalled both times and they sent us in as it was already after 4pm.

All in all it was a good day on the water and other than not being able to adjust the outhaul, I felt like I was getting into a groove and making the boat go well. Hopefully we’ll have another couple of races tomorrow.



This afternoon I arrived in Wickford, Rhode Island for the Wickford Regatta that’s also going to be the Laser District 7 Championship. I found the club and the beach across town where we are sailing out of and unloaded the boat and got to go for a practice sail in a dying breeze. In the evening I hung out at the club meeting some of the other members, sailors and volunteers and met the couple that is hosting me. This is my first time sailing anywhere on Narragansett Bay let alone anywhere in Rhode Island and I’m looking forward to a great Laser fleet and good racing conditions tomorrow!