We had a gorgeous night aboard Mike’s new to him j105 Purple Wahoos to sail Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Moonlight Race on June 15. Mike wasn’t able to sail so Clark, Scott, Jenny and I sailed the boat along with two kids. The race was set to start at 7:30 at night and the wind was forecast to pick up overnight and so the RC picked the shorter 14 mile course for all 6 boats sailing. We were in the PHRF-A class against J109 Afterthought. Purple Wahoos is a shoal draft wheel driven J105.
The RC got the race started about 15 minutes late. That was enough time for us to sail over to what would be the finishing mark and get a ping on it allowing us to find it later in the dark. The start was downwind- we approached at the pin and set the chute just after crossing the line. The rest of the legs would end up being somewhere between upwind and reaching. I trimmed jib, navigated, did pit and drove half of a leg.
We had a great race and managed to correct to 1st in our fleet and 2nd overall.
For Fishing Bay Yacht Club’s Offshore Fall Series #4 I was aboard the weather mark boat with Justin running marks for the races. The wind was steady out of the west making it easy to set the course once for both races. With winds in the upper teens and temperatures in the 60’s – there was some spirited racing and it was fun to watch. Definitely interesting to see which boats were trying hard and making mistakes versus the boats that took it a little easier and were less aggressive, but made fewer mistakes.
Saturday was the 3rd day in the Fishing bay Yacht Club Offshore Fall Series and I sailed aboard Mayo Tabb’s Farr-Dickenson 37 Excitation. It started out overcast with some occasional drizzle with winds 14-18 out of the SW. We were short handed with only 6 on board precluding use of the spinnaker most of the day. We made the most of it and focused on good upwind legs and made a lot less mistakes than those flying chutes and the short 1-mile legs allowed us to be competitive. All in all it was a fun day of 3 races.
With all the debris floating down the bay from the dam release a couple weeks ago, today’s Smith Point Race at Fishing Bay Yacht Club was moved up to be a morning start so that it could be sailed almost entirely during daylight instead of finishing late at night as it usually does. I sailed aboard Mayo Tabb’s Farr 37 Excitation and we started out with a nice 8-10 knot breeze. After the first two short legs to get out of the river we put up a reaching chute and followed the J109 and J105 and Nanuq flying an asymmetrical spinnaker up the bay to Smith Point against the current.
Corryvreckan had a great first 2/3 of the leg leading the J109 Afterthought until Afterthought changed to a reaching kite and pulled back ahead. Excitation was the 4th PRHF-A boat to round and rounded in a little over 3 hours which is very fast for this race. On the trip back south it started closehauled and after about an hour Excitation was the first to put up a chute again. This time we put up a big reaching spinnaker. Nanuq put up their asymmetrical and as the wind died we were able to work around them heading south.
When we got even with Reedville we saw some storms start to pass over Deltaville and the Pianankatank. We took the chute down and put up a heavy #1. We caught the backside of the storms and saw some gusts up to 20 and spent some time getting light rain. We reefed the main and went upwind very well in the conditions and worked our way around both Nanuq and Corryvreckan.
Back up the Piankatank for the finish we were 12 minutes ahead of Nanuq and a few minutes ahead of Corryvreckan for a 2nd place overall finished. It was fun racing with Bonnie, Mayo, Chad, Carrie, Dennis and Chris. The only casualty on the day was my GoPro camera that got hung up in a line and ripped from the stern pulpit and sent to the bottom of the bay.
The course started near Stingray Point and sent us straight out into the bay. The ENE wind made it a beat out. We rounded a mark and came back towards Stove Point on a reach under genoa and main. Goin’ was the closest competitor to us and we mostly were able to hold even and stay ahead until we started reaching more and they were able to plane. Despite the drizzle it was fun being out and sailing.
I sailed the FBYC Cut Channel Race aboard Excitation this year and the race had a bit of a twist to it: boats could sail clockwise or counter-clockwise around the same 31nm course. We were among the boats that had read the SI’s earlier in the week and not gotten the memo that it changed the night before until we figured that out about 5 mi into the race and by then it was too late to be competitive. It was still a beautiful day to sail across the bay and thanks Mayo for having me along.
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We had a rainy, wet and cold day for the FBYC Fall Series #3 and I jumped on Double Eagle as none of the J70s were going to go out. We had a good first race, solid crew work, picked the right side of the course and led Nanuq all the way around the course.
The 2nd race didn’t go so great for us – on the second upwind leg we were going through a tack. As we were switching to the other side and the boat started heeling over, one of the crew who was switching sides over the cabin top, lost their footing and went right under the lifeline and into the water. I quickly jumped to the back of the boat and threw the heaving line while we stopped the boat. We pulled the crew in and took them down below to warm up. That didn’t take too long, but even after a few minutes we were so far behind that we just took a DNF instead of going around the course again.
In the last race of the day we had a little trouble at the start and ended up a couple lengths late at the line. We weren’t able to recover our time on Nanuq and otherwise sailed a solid race. Thanks again to Sam and crew for having me along!
Today started out as a pretty light-air day and the wind quickly built for the 2nd race of the FBYC Offshore Fall Series #2. We sailed with just 3 of us – Andrew, Nathan and myself and we sailed a good first race, picking the correct side and finishing 1st in the 4-boat fleet.
As the 2nd race started the wind piped up closer to 20 and two of the teams dropped out and we knew at that point we just needed to finish the race to win the day. Unfortunately for us we were late at the start having been doing some rig tuning and not being closer enough to the line. Hotty Toddy had a 10-boat lead at the start, but by the time we got a mile upwind we had caught up and were neck and neck. We pulled away for another 1st.
Back racing the J/70 after nearly 2 months we had nice wind and clear skies for the FBYC Offshore Fall Series 1. We had out Louise, Andrew and Patrick and it was Patrick’s first time on the J/70. In the starting sequence Louise had a minor family emergency so we transferred her to the Mr. Roberts and had to sail 3 up. Having practiced 4-up and with no time until the start, we winged it and did our best with only 3 of us.
We weren’t able to quite keep up with E.L.E. but we did well nonetheless and were able to finish 2nd. In between races Louise was back and joined us for the 2nd race of the day. In this race all 4 J/70 were a lot closer and we got behind early on the wrong side of the course upwind. We came back downwind, but weren’t able to get back ahead of Spice to finish 3rd. All in all a fun day back in the boat. Thanks Louise, Andrew and Patrick for sailing!
The Screwpile Regatta was another fun summer classic. Thanks to Mayo Tabb for again bringing Excitation and having us along. We sailed the boat well despite being pitted against a bunch of light sport boats that we could never make up our time on.
We sailed, we partied, we watched people play Pokémon Go around town. AND I got to celebrate 1 year with my girlfriend Jess! A great weekend all around!