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!
PICTURES | RESULTS
We had a really nice day on Excitation for the Cut Channel Race at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. We started out with wind, but it died out in the middle of the bay as we sailed up the channel. By then Afterthought was able to slip away in the wind they had and what filled in behind us was too little, too late.
RESULTS | PICTURES | ANN GRAY PICTURES
It was a cool, light air day for the 3rd installment of the Fall Series for the Offshore Division at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Without many J/70s on the line and both my boat and Double Eagle short on crew – Andrew and I jumped on Double Eagle and I got to drive the day. All in all it was a fun day and we finished 2nd in both races. Thanks again to the Double Eagle crew for having me along!
Today was quite a breezy day for the 2nd Offshore Fall Series day at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. Rather than get beat up in the cold and wet conditions most of the J/70s decided to bail and crew on bigger boats. I ended up on Mad Hatter.
We sailed two races with winds in the low 20’s that eventually eased off a little bit in the 2nd race. I was mostly in the back of the boat helping trim genoa.
This year the Smith Point race was a bit of a slog with a 15-20 knot north wind. I sailed on Mad Hatter and this year we didn’t make it to Smith Point light house until around 9:30. But the spinnaker run all the way down the bay back to the Piankatank was quite nice. Arriving at nearly 1am we were one of the last to finish, but still corrected over everyone else out there who sailed the long course. Thanks again to Bob, Lisa and crew for having me along!
It was an interesting Screwpile Regatta – the weather was moderate, only 1 onshore postponement for lack of wind, good racing and a ton of fun. On top of that we took half a boat of J/109 sailors and had them run a symmetrical kite with dip-pole jibes and check stays – not an easy set up to master. The boat is a Farr/Dickerson 37 Excitation and with a pretty quick learning curve – we were up and sailing the symmetrical kite with the best of them halfway through the first day of racing.
We also quickly found our spot in the PHRF-A2 fleet – most of the boats were sport boats with asymmetrical kites and all but one of them owed us time. As the longest, heaviest and tallest rig on the course – we were a fierce adversary especially on the starting line where we could sail higher and faster upwind and blanket anyone below us. In the first day of 3 races – we got 3rd place every time.
Day 2 on Saturday featured a distance race. The first leg was a downwind start and there was just enough wind to run with the kite up against the current and get around the first leeward mark. Sailing upwind and south down the bay we stayed more to the left in the middle of the bay and found more wind. The highlight of probably the whole regatta was crossing all but 2 of the A1 boats on that leg. They would eventually pull away as the wind filled back in and they headed for a different windward mark. Even though the wind was light, the race was shortened and we were less than a minute out of 2nd place.
On Sunday, we were postponed ashore for over an hour and a half before the wind showed up. When it did we had nice mostly-sunny skies and 8-12 knots of wind. Two more races were sailed and sure enough 2 more 3rd places.
Things learned this regatta – I really liked the new B&G electronics that Mayo has put on Excitation. The 7″ screen on deck was able to show our past tracks as well as all kinds of boat information. I think I also liked that the wind instruments were broken all weekend – one less thing to distract us. Beyond the track and other GPS-based information – we mostly drove the boat on the compass and spedo alone.
Thanks again Mayo for racing and having myself, Mark, Melissa, Lauren, John, Chris, and Carrie along. It was a pleasure racing with all of you.
Results | Pictures
Saturday’s Cut Channel Race at Fishing Bay Yacht Club started out with extremely light wind and a postponement on the water. When the wind started coming in – it never stopped and slowly built to 25+ by the end of the race. It was no trouble for us on the J109 Double Eagle – we were well on our way to the finish by the time the wind really piped up.
With the wind out of the south east, the first leg was a beat to the south in order to get good leverage on the trip across the bay and across the current to the cut channel 3/4 of the way to the other side of the bay. Unfortunately, we over stood just a little bit and our competition – J/109 Afterthought was a able to sneak just ahead of us for the trip up the channel.
On the final leg back to the Piankatank we made ourselves comfortable on the rail for the hour+ close beat complete with sunscreen and beer while watching porpoises alongside the boat. We managed to claw back the lead Afterthought had put on us but couldn’t overcome it enough and were beat by a few seconds at the finish.
Two regattas down this weekend and the 3rd (of 4) would be FBYC’s Moonlight Regatta sailing aboard Double Eagle. It’s rare that I’m running the pointy end of the boat – but what better than to do it in the dark! Sam, Mark, Mayo, Holly, Melissa, Mary Paige, Katie and Mark(2) all made a great team and made for a great night.
For the first time in my memory we were sent on the longer A course and we were able to correct over all of the other boats sailing that course. The cloudy conditions and a moon that didn’t rise until we were back ashore didn’t make for great picture taking so these will have to suffice.
Fishing Bay Yacht Club‘s closing weekend started with a staggered start distance race for the offshore boats. I sailed on Wavelength for what might be our last race as the boat is now up for sale. The course took us up into Fishing Bay and then back out by the entrance to the Rappahannock River and then back to Stove Point near Jackson Creek. It was mostly a reaching race and some boats were really able to get away from us and put some distance between us and them. We finished mid-pack, had fun and made it a great way to end the season.
Racing was followed by a big oyster roast and pot luck and season awards.
RESULTS | PICTURES