It was a light air day of offshore buoy racing at Fishing Bay for the first day of the Fall Series. We had 6 boats in our fleet and wind out of the NNW at 2-4 knots for the first race.

Our port tack start at the boat in race 1.
Our port tack start at the boat in race 1.

At the start the wind was shifting all over the place and light. All of the boats were right in the box just behind the line and we were coming just below them all on port – just drifting through. Since everyone else was down the line and given the shift to the left, we started on port at the boat and worked our way upwind. I don’t recall ever winning the boat on port before.

The upwind .8 leg took us towards Stingray Point. We picked some shifts, but mostly looked for pressure and had to tack to clear away from other boats a time or two.

Fleet behind us once the wind filled in race 1.
Fleet behind us once the wind filled in race 1.

On the downwind leg it got even more light and shifty and we struggled to keep the chute full. Eventually pressure came down the course and were able to lay the finish as the 2nd boat over the line behind Sting and just ahead of Corryvreckan.

By the second race the wind went about 60 degrees to the left, now out of the west and we were sailing into the Piankatank. At the start, we were coming up on the boat end with Excitation close by and to leeward of us. Sting had an even better position and was able to shut us out requiring us to around at the boat and started about 40 seconds late behind everyone.

Upwind in race 2. Nanuq
Upwind in race 1

Upwind we focused on shifts and pressure and were able to get around a couple of the boats in our fleet. At the top mark, Afterthought, Excitation and Sting were ahead. We started downwind with some wind and worked to the left which was into the current that was taking us towards the finish. As we went down the course some boats jibed to the right and were becalmed. We held onto the left and eventually the current pushed us down to the finish behind Sting and Excitation.

With only 5 of us on the boat, it was a little challenging doing the maneuvers, but the light air helped and we got it down. It was great sailing with Todd, Spencer, Len and Joe. We wound up with a 2nd place finish overall.

EVENT WEBSITE | RESULTS | PICTURES

Sunday at the Stingray Point Regatta was even lighter than the day before. We thought we would be postponed out at the water to start the day, but there was around 4 knots and so we started.

Starting the 2nd lap of race 1.
Starting the 2nd lap of race 1.

With the course set towards the east, port tack took boats closer to Gwynn’s Island and any boat that went too far in that direction ended up becalmed over there. We were careful to pick the shifts and pressure often in the middle right of the course and later to the left when the current switched. We continued to work on our boat speed in light air and our crew maneuvers.

Ghosting downwind in race 2.
Ghosting downwind in race 2.

The second race ended up being shortened to 1 race. The wind went to just about nothing and luckily we had current pushing us down the course to the finish. There also was a good bit of power boat chop making it tough to keep the spinnaker full.

Despite the light outcome and not being a boat in a single race – it was still a fun event and we learned a lot more about the boat and how to make it go.

EVENT WEBSITE | RESULTS | PICTURES

The first day of buoy racing for the Stingray Point Regatta at Fishing Bay Yacht Club brought light air and a combined A1/A2 start consisting of 11 boats (5 with us in A1). This was the first time buoy racing for Battle Rhythm and there was a bit to be learned about making the boat go upwind. We also got a lot better at spinnaker work having a full crew and plenty of opportunities to put the sail up.

Excitation in the A2 fleet coming downwind.
Excitation in the A2 fleet coming downwind.

We had a very tough fleet with 3 of the boats being light sport boats that we seldom ever even saw on the race course except shortly after the start. We never even came close to correcting over them. Had we been sailing with most of the boats we normally sail with in the A2 fleet, we’d be closer to finishing mid-fleet.

Madelaine, Carrie, Dan, Len & Todd
Madelaine, Carrie, Dan, Len & Todd

Current at the mouth of the Piankatank definitely played a factor given how light the winds were. At one point they were so light during the second race that it was shortened to just one lap. By the 3rd race the wind started picking up, we had a good start and we even got to sit on the rail for a time.

Jon trimming spinnaker as we approach some crossing traffic.
Jon trimming spinnaker as we approach some crossing traffic.

Post racing there was a great party and band at the club and it was great catching up with folks from other boats and others who just came for the party.

EVENT WEBSITE | SATURDAY RESULTS | PICTURES

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.

EVENT WEBSITE | RESULTS | PICTURE

Day one of the Stingray Point Regatta was a breezy one. This was my first time taking sailing pictures with a new-to-me Nikon D300s and it’s great to have a camera again to take pictures with. We watched the finish of the first race and the start of the 2nd race and got some great shots.

PICTURES

Saturday morning we helped Jess’ father put the power boat in the water. This would be the first weekend we truly got to use it without worrying about it taking on water. Jess and I took it out for a cruise to FBYC and then out to the racecourse at the mouth of the Piankatank to watch a start. Racing Pictures.

That evening we had a low country boil back at the river house for some neighbors and friends.

The rest of the weekend was spent helping around the house, paddle boarding, boat rides, crabbing and of course picking them afterward.

STINGRAY POINT PICTURES | PICTURES

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.

RESULTS

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.

Results | Pictures

Course:

FBYC launched a new website for the Stingray Point Regatta this week. It uses a lot of the things we learned from the 2010 Optimist Nationals website and should serve as a good platform for promoting and providing information about the event. The regatta takes place each Labor Day weekend in Deltaville, Virginia at Fishing Bay Yacht Club and is sailed mostly around buoy courses in 23-40+ foot boats. Check it out at http://stingraypointregatta.org

Stingray Point Regatta website screen shot