We started the Labor Day Weekend with a distance race ahead of the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. The boat I was to be sailing on wasn’t here on Friday so I jumped on a J120 called Bogey from Hampton Yacht Club with Steve, Daryl, Jim, Vicky, Amy, Tom, Rob, Mitchel and other Tom. This was my first time on a J120 which is almost like a 40′ version of a J105 and also has an asymmetrical spinnaker. My position was at the mast working with Tom on the bow and also providing some local knowledge as one of the only few who had sailed in this area before.

The wind was out of the NNE at 14 to 16 and we saw some periods of 8 while we were out there and some shiftiness. The race started in the mouth of the Piankatank River and we sailed about 4 miles to the south entrance of the Rappahannock River.

We had a great start right on the boat and we could just about lay the mark from there so we only spent a short time on starboard before tacking over for the long leg out. On the way out we crossed a current line where we could clearly see where the water from the Rappahannock met the water from the rest of the bay. We arrived at the mark just behind Nanuq with Excitation and Voodoo 2 just behind us.

Tradition, Nanuq and Voodoo 2
Tradition, Nanuq and Voodoo 2

The next leg took us straight upwind to another entrance mark of the Rappahannock River. To our surprise the cruising class was also using this mark as a leg of their course, only they were rounding in the opposite direction. We arrived at the mark at the exact same time as Running Tide and we were on Starboard so they made a wide rounding to avoid us. I can’t say I’ve ever been in that situation in a sailing race before and I’m not 100% sure how all of the rules might apply.

From there we went back to the mark we had just came from and then did another lap around both of them. We got to some spinnaker sailing and made up some ground on Voodoo on the first downwind, but ceded it upwind by being on the wrong side of the course.

The last two legs were reaches back towards Stove Point. Nanuq was first over the line and well ahead followed by Voodoo 2 just ahead of us. Excitation and Osprey were a bit behind us. We would go on to finish on corrected time 4th behind Osprey, Excitation and Voodoo 2 with Nanuq behind us.

I had a lot of fun and it was a great day of racing. Thanks Steve and the rest of the crew on Bogey for having me aboard!


Labor Day Weekend started with the Stingray Point Regatta Stingray Light Distance Race. This was effectively a warm up for the 2 days of buoy racing on Saturday and Sunday. Only 1 other boat in our A1 fleet had arrived and was there to race and we were started with the A2 and B fleet.

GOIN', Excitation and Stardancer going upwind just after the start.
GOIN’, Excitation and Stardancer going upwind just after the start.

At the start the wind was pretty light. We worked our way upwind and out into the bay. There was some current around the mouth of the Rappahannock as we were sailing to weather heading North. Once we rounded the entrance to the Rappahannock we headed south again and were able to put up a spinnaker in the light air and catch up to the boats just ahead of us. It was a very tight reach and only because it was so light were we able to run the spinnaker almost like a code 0. GOIN’ was the only other boat with a spinnaker up and they were just ahead of us. As we approached – we couldn’t go above them or we couldn’t carry the chute. We couldn’t go below them because we wouldn’t lay the mark. Eventually that didn’t matter when a barge went by and messed up the wind for both of us requiring us to pull the chute to the deck and go upwind for less than a minute to fetch the mark.

Reaching under spinnaker until the barge messed up our wind.
Reaching under spinnaker until the barge messed up our wind.

Though our competition finished well ahead of us, it was a good day for only having 5 of us aboard the boat. Nice light day and we didn’t make any big mistakes and actually got to do some upwind sailing. More racing tomorrow and we’re going to get A LOT more light air practice.


9/1 Stingray Light Distance Race - Mad Hatter

The Stingray Light Distance Race kicks off Labor Day weekend with a distance race as part of the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. I was sailing on Mad Hatter for the day and we knew the weather was going to deteriorate as the remnants of Hurricane Harvey moved into the area bringing light rain and cooler temperatures.

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.


Friday I started the weekend early and sailed the Stingray Light Distance race at the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club on Sam Mitchener’s J/109 Double Eagle.

8/29 Stingray Point Regatta: Stingray Light Distance Race

The course was a 13nm route that took just south and north of the Piankatank River entrance.  In our class were Bad Cat, Nanuq, Wairere, Voodoo 2 and Pursuit.  The wind was 8-11 out of the NNE with comfortable temperatures and mostly sunny skies.

Our race went pretty well particularly on the upwind/close reaching sections, we lost a bit on the downwind, but still wound up with 3rd place overall.  I got to do some bow work which was a change since I haven’t done that in quite a number of years.  All in all a great day on the water.

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