Saturday I got to sail on a Soling for my first time in SSA’s Soling Frostbite. A Soling is a 27′ 3-person keel boat and I was sailing as the middle crew with skipper Mike Waters and bow Gretchen E. We had a bit of a slow start as we dialed in the boat and got through each of the crew mechanics the first time. We learned, we got better and while our results don’t show it, we were actually pretty competitive.
Today’s weather was perfect for frostbiting. Air temperatures on land in the high 50’s with a water temperature of 38. That created great thermal conditions and we had relatively steady wind that started around 8 and built to about 12 before coming back down to about 10 out of the SSW.
In the first race we had a good start, were 2nd at the windward mark and were the first boat to the leeward mark. Unfortunately for us we couldn’t get the spin halyard down and ended up sailing 1/2 mile past the leeward mark before we were able to free the halyard to retrieve it. We took a DNF in that one.
The 2nd race went much better for us. While we weren’t able to fix the core problem with the spin halyard, at least we knew the problem and could work around it. We ended up leading that race wire to wire. We did a great job picking the shifts on both upwind legs and kept a comfortable cover on the boats around.
For the 3rd race we had another great start, got to the windward mark first, but lost a boat downwind. On the 2nd upwind we got on the wrong side of the course as more pressure came from the other side dropping us back to 5th.
Overall the racing was really tight with only a few points separating the boats, but with our DNF we got the short end of the stick and wound up 5th overall. It was a great learning experience and I’m looking forward to going back in a couple weeks for the next frostbite day.
Sunday’s racing at the Laser District 11 Championship in Annapolis started out much like Saturday, but with less wind. We started the first race under mostly cloudy skies and 8-10 knots of breeze.
After a general recall under P flag the RC went straight to the black flag. I had a decent start near the boat end and worked my way out to the right along with Ted Morgan. Karen long hit the right even better than we did and rounded the mark first with me and Ted just behind her. Downwind I got ahead and put some distance between myself and the group just behind me. From there I just kept ahead on the remaining 3 legs and took the gun.
Sunday’s 2nd race didn’t go so well. My start wasn’t as good and I got behind early by being on the wrong side of the shifts on the first beat settling for a 12. The thing I learned in the 2nd race was that the mode I was using to make the boat go fast upwind in a little more wind and more chop, stopped working when the wind lightened and the water got flatter.
By the 3rd and final race the wind was pretty light and the chop was just the random power boat variety. We were moving, but it was slow going at times, particularly downwind. I won the boat at the start and again worked my way up the middle right. This time the far right didn’t pay. And much of the fleet had gone left hoping it would pay off like it did last race – it didn’t. I rounded 2nd just behind Brady White with Brett Morris behind me. Brady extended his lead and I was able to hold off Brett. We would go on to finish 1-2-3.
With that finish and knowing several boats would have black flags, I knew the top 2-7 boats would all be pretty close. The 1 & 2 today certainly helped, but the 12 meant I’d have to keep a 10. In the end it was the bullet that won me the tiebreaker for 3rd place overall.
Despite the light winds, it was fun to be competing at the top of the fleet – especially with some sailors who I’m usually following around the course. And with 34 boats there were plenty of sailors keeping the competition close. Thanks again to Steven Cofer and everyone at SSA for hosting our championship! And congratulations to winner Mike Russom who sailed a very consistent regatta with top 5 finishes.
We started the 2013 District 11 Championship with 32 standards and 9 radials at Severn Sailing Association. It was overcast with and the wind was blowing 8-12. Out on the water we had a bit of a time getting started with the current pushing us over and multiple general recalls and restarts.
I didn’t have a particularly great start in the first race, but I made my way to the right and picked the shifts up the beat catching boats on every upwind. As the race went on the wind started dropping and was 7 or 8 with left over lumps and chop. I ended up 7th.
In the 2nd race I had a terrible start and won the 6th row getting shut out at the boat. I worked my way up the first beat just looking for clear lanes and only had 4 boats behind me at the first mark. Downwind I picked up boats and I picked up another handful on the upwinds. Salvaged a 10th.
For the 3rd race we still had a 7-8 knots and the chop started going down a bit. I had a great start, but let Brady and Mike get ahead and to the right. I followed and when they broke to the left I hung out to the right and crossed both of them. I was first at the top mark and lost a boat downwind. Mike Russom was fast and made a good comeback. But Ted Morgan had the best lines and speed and beat everyone at the top mark. I held onto 4th.
After racing we had crabs and listened to a band on the SSA deck.
This weekend is the Laser District 11 Championship at Severn Sailing Association. The J70 North American Championship is going on Thursday through Saturday with 90 boats and so I decided to come up a day early to go out and spectate. The wind didn’t cooperate much and after 4 hours sitting on the water, racing was cancelled for the day. While we didn’t get to see any sailing, it was still nice to get on the water. Thanks to Brian Reagan for the ride out to spectate.
Tomorrow we’ll have 40+ Lasers and Radials out for our two-day championship. Lighter winds are expected which just means – it’s anyone’s race to win!
We sailed another 3 races on Sunday to complete the District 11 Championship. The wind started out around 14-15 out of the north, north west and died off to about 8 by the end of the 3rd race. It was very shifty and challenging. I put up a 9-4-9 today to finish in 6th. Best part of the day was on the first beat in the 2nd race when I pulled off a perfect pick move when the Schooner Woodwind crossed behind me and blanketed the entire rest of the fleet (seen above).
We had an absolutely beautiful day in Annapolis for the first day of the Laser District 11 Championship with 33 boats. We did 4 races in 15-18 knots with each race taking about 45 minutes. We sailed in their area C which was just north of Tolly Point with the wind at 200-180. I did a reasonable job keeping up with the lead pack in winds that were right at the very top if not slightly above my competitive range. Having finished 5-7-7-10 I’m in 7th and looking forward to the slightly lighter winds predicted for tomorrow. Results.
On March 4 I shot this film in Annapolis with the Severn Sailing Association Laser Fleet. I was on the committee boat with a camera and then we had 5 GoPro cameras on various boats getting footage. Thanks to Dorian, Luke, Eric, Carlos, Reid and Bob for helping out!
The racing at the Crab Claw Regatta at Severn Sailing Association was marred only by a lack of wind this weekend. On Saturday we had just enough wind to get out to the course and sail 1 shortened race. On Sunday we ‘sailed’ out to the course in almost no wind and after waiting around for 2 hours we abandoned having not sailed a race.
In the one race we did sail, I got a good start on the favored port end and headed out to the left with the leaders. I came right a little too early and was 9th around the top mark. Downwind I picked up a couple boats and then the wind went right for the shortened course upwind to the finish and I was able to pick off one more boat to finish in 6th.
Even thought the sailing wasn’t so great, the weekend was still a fun time hanging out with the Laser sailors and catching up Saturday night with Lud and Blake who were delivering Impulse from Newport to Deltaville.
The Sunshine Open was a bust for me. On Sunday morning the wind was already well into the 20’s with a forecast calling for it to get into the 30’s and direction that would make it a difficult beat to get back to the club. There was no way it was going to be a fun day on the water so I headed back to Richmond instead.
Going back to Saturday evening in Deltaville, Fishing Bay Yacht Club was having their Opening Day Regatta and Dinner. There were about 100 people in the clubhouse having dinner. About 7:30, just as most people were finishing their dinner, a storm came through Deltaville and with it a tornado that passed about 3/4 of a mile from the club.
About 15 minutes later my phone started blowing up with tweets and text messages from various club members along the path of the tornado. I spent much of the evening gathering reports, relaying information and looking up other information online about what had just occurred. And based on the reports I posted updates to the club website and put out a map of the tornado’s path through Deltaville which turned out to be pretty accurate.
Thankfully everyone in the Deltaville area was unharmed, but at least one club members home received significant damage and several buildings and other homes in town were wiped out. Here are some pictures from someone who was there.
No racing today for the first day of the Sunshine Open at Severn Sailing Association in Annapolis. With gale warnings and thunderstorms in the area we weren’t able to get on the water. Through the afternoon we saw winds topping 30 knots. The regatta dinner and band is still on for tonight. Here’s some video of the conditions.