After missing Saturday’s racing while helping Todd deliver the boat – day 2 at the Stingray Point Regatta would be the first race of 2023 for J99 Battle Rhythm. As we were heading out to the course we were seeing winds of 8-11 and we used it to practice some maneuvers with our short-handed 4-man crew of Todd, Len, Ron and myself.

The first race started on time – still in 8-10 knots and we had a fantastic start. Other boats in the A2 fleet had better first legs and we found ourselves deep in the fleet at the first mark. We picked up places as the race went on and as the wind continued to drop. By the last downwind leg to the finish it was pretty light. We had past most of the boats ahead of us except Afterthought and Voodoo 2 who were just ahead of us drifting to the finish. Just as we got close the RC abandoned the race with all 3 of us just a couple hundred yards from the finish. It was disappointing to come all of this way and race through all of that, but wasn’t going to be a fair race and was the right call. We definitely learned a lot, started to get the boat dialed in and worked on finding the sweet spot on the new spinnaker we were flying.

After some time postponed motoring around to make some wind and stay cool – the sea breeze eventually filled in out of the south. The RC reset the course and sent us racing again. We didn’t have quite as good of a start this time and had to tack out pretty early and get away. That wasn’t awful as it was the right way for current relief and it allowed us to go in clear air. As the breeze built we spent the race getting back in the grove and taking our time in the maneuvers to not mess anything up. Sometimes we were pulling away from other boats, and other times they were running up on us. We got a 4th in that one.

In the last race of the day – now in the late afternoon, we had another pretty good start. This time we did better to keep up with Afterthought and Voodoo and they were just ahead of us for most of the first lap. The wind had built to 9-11 and we had to adjust modes for the wind and adjust our maneuvers with only the 4 of us to raise and lower sails a little slower to keep things controlled. Voodoo 2 and Afterthought did get a bit more ahead of us, but we held off the boats behind and managed a 5th.

I had a great time sailing with Len, Todd and Ron and it was fun to show all of these other fully crewed boats what we could do short handed.

PICTURES | RESULTS | EVENT WEBSITE | FULL RESULTS

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