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.
Saturday we raced Wavelength at Fishing Bay Yacht Club to the Wolf Trap Light House and back. Wolf Trap is a memorable place both because I’ve sailed my own boat there and because it was the first race I ever did on a ‘big boat’ on Wavelength in 1998 after joining FBYC and getting my drivers license.
The weather was perfect for a race with winds 12-19 out of the SSW and mostly sunny skies. We had a good start and were 2nd boat around the short windward mark. The next leg was a little less than a mile downwind and chose not to go with a spinnaker and lost a couple spots to the boats behind us.
Nereid rounding Wolf Trap Light House just behind us
On the close reach out to the Milford Haven mark we had a full main and a No 1 up which was more sail than anyone else and held our ground and may have even picked up on some of the faster rated boats. From Milford Haven to Wolf Trap was a beat with a heavy current behind us.
Once around Wolf Trap it was all downwind directly into the current. As we got closer to the Piankatank the wind moved forward and it became a close reach again. The final leg was a beat up the Piankatank and we ended up 2nd in the 4-boat PHRF-A fleet behind Nanuq.
What the wind left us wanting for on Saturday was delivered on Sunday. Perfect sailing conditions with 10-14 knot breezes out of the south west and comfortable temperatures and partly cloudy skies.
Three more races were sailed. We did as well as we could and didn’t make too many mistakes. We still couldn’t hang with the faster boats and found ourselves 5-6-5 on the day. All in all it was a fun regatta and nice to sail with Rob Whittet, Steve Utley and the rest of the Wavelength Crew as we helped raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The first day of the Leukemia Cup Regatta got off to a bit of a slow start when racing was postponed on the water for almost 3 hours. We had a couple teases where it looked to fill and thankfully we didn’t have triple-digit heat while we sat around.
We finally started a race and we had a good start at the boat with only Double Eagle between us and the boat. Below us were a couple J/105s.
We worked our way out to the left as we went up the course. All in all we sailed well, didn’t make any mistakes and got around the course cleanly. Unfortunately, we still couldn’t catch the 2 j109s or Voodoo 2 and settled for 4th.
Two of the j105s didn’t have such a hot first downwind leg. They were just behind us when one of them tried to gybe behind the other and wound up colliding. One boat put their spinnaker pole right into the cockpit behind the driver and as the boats tangled it sheared off the rear pulpit before the boats came to a stop and were untangled. There were no injuries but the damaged boat won’t be racing tomorrow.
With one race complete it was too late for another one and we headed in.
Following racing we boated over to the Deltaville Maritime Museum for a great dinner and entertainment.
We got a pretty reasonable start and were 2nd around the top mark behind Double Eagle. On the 2nd leg out to mark E, Double Eagle went pretty low and allowed us to slip by while the Tartan 40 Nereid just waterlined us in the chop and was half a length ahead of us to leeward at E. For some strange reason Nereid went below the mark, we didn’t, but we couldn’t turn right to go to G because they were there. Eventually it was sorted out and Nereid went back to re-round while we led the fleet to G only to be overrun by Double Eagle once they caught up. Below is a photo of Nereid (right) going back to the mark, while Double Eagle tracks us down.
From G to J was a close reach up into the Rappahannock River with the current coming right on our nose. I drove about a mile and a half of the leg before we turned to go back to the Piankatank. We put the chute up just before F and gybed around it. We had a bit of a trouble with the jibe before we got settled to head for the finish. About halfway down the leg to the finish our topping lift broke. We took down the spinnaker and sailed bare-headed while we got the genoa sorted and hoisted. We came so close to winning the A fleet… Double Eagle corrected to 34 seconds ahead of us leaving us in 2nd overall.
Below is the course. The marks as sailed are labeled Moon Start-Moon-E-G-J-B(finish). The dotted red line is the actual course we sailed.
Saturday was the final day for the offshore spring series at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. With winds out of the north west at 8-10 it was expected to go west and die off. We didn’t end up with that – it built and went east!
On Wavelength we were a little late at the start of the first race, but we tacked out and were able to get some clear air. We were sailing a 3-lap .75 mile course. Not exactly our favorite to be doing so many turns. Luckily we sailing 10-up and had plenty of help to pack the chute just in time to need it for another downwind.
This being the 5 race day for us this year – we really had some of the crew-work down well. We were executing maneuvers with less notice and doing them faster with less loss of speed during them. And even when we did make some mistakes like dropping the sheet-guy over the bow on the take down and catching it around the keel – we recognized it and recovered immediately with little fuss.
In the 2nd race we had a great start and for the first lap we actually held our own with the faster Double Eagle and Voodoo 2. Eventually they stretched their legs and started pulling away from us.
In both races we were 3rd over the line and 2-3 minutes out of 2nd on corrected time. We knew we just need to finished today’s races to finish 2nd overall in the spring series. Another successful day to conclude a successful series!
It was another beautiful day for racing at Fishing Bay Yacht Club for the 3rd day of the Offshore Spring Series. I was again on Wavelength for the 3 races on a mostly sunny day with temps in the high 70’s and wind that varied from 19-8.
The first race had the most wind and we started out with the No2 and a reef in the main. We did well at the start by staying away from the faster boats that outpoint us and we were able to make progress upwind albeit a little under powered. On a tack halfway up the beet we shook the reef out. The rest of the way around the course went well, but we couldn’t catch the 3 boats ahead of us and settled for a 4th.
In the 2nd race we lined up next to Voodoo 2 and had to take their bad air off the starting line for a while until we could clear the B boats and tack out. We kept up on the upwind leg, but it was the downwind legs where we shined and made up time on each leg. By the 2nd upwind leg the wind had dipped even more and we put up the #1. We barely missed 2nd place by 15 seconds.
The 3rd race didn’t start so well for us. We were over early and had to park it and let the fleet sail by so we could turn around and restart. Starting so far behind everyone made us get creative on the first beat and we banged the right corner (photo above) while most of the rest of the fleet went left which had been working all day. Sure enough the wind went right and we caught right back up to the fleet. Unfortunately, we would get stuck with the bottom 2 boats trying to cover each other for a position and ended up as collateral damage never being able to break free and chase the boats ahead of us and we settled for 4th.
We’re currently in 2nd place for the series and we got one more race day left next Saturday. With a good result we should be able to hang onto 2nd.
Following racing a storm rolled through throwing a 420 into one of the RIBs onshore and bashing Mad Hatter at the dock. I’ve seen some storms roll through and I’ve been at the club for some pretty serious tropical and nor’easters, but I’ve never seen a storm come up so quickly and with such intensity. Thankfully everyone was ashore and safe.
Today turned out to be an absolutely beautiful day for racing. With 22 boats in 4 classes we had great racing aboard Wavelength in the 5-boat PHRF-A fleet in the 2nd of the Spring Series at Fishing Bay Yacht Club.
The wind started around 16-19 and was in the lower end of that range for the first race with mostly sunny skies and temperatures in the 60’s. The wind started from the North East and by the end of the day had gone a few degrees further east. The first race was a single windward-leward 1.25nm. We had a great start and just worked our way up the left side. With the general trend of the wind going right – there were still nice lifts on the left and more importantly some relief from the currant. We did well to stay with the fleet, be efficient around the course and not make any mistakes. Being the slowest boat in the fleet handicap-wise we were 2nd at the finish and less than a minute behind Double Eagle on corrected time and took 2nd place.
The second race was 2 laps and went similarly to the first race. We had good speed, went the right way and didn’t make any mistakes. Again we were the 2nd A boat over the line and corrected to 2nd.
For the 3rd race, another 2 lap race, we started well, rounded the top mark in 3rd and had good speed downwind. We rounded right behind Nanuq and while everyone else went back to the left that had worked so well all day, we ended up going right. That paid off when we got a 20-degree righty and found ourselves on the layline and rounding a short distance behind Double Eagle. Our downwind went well and we held on to correct out 15 seconds ahead of Double Eagle winning the last race of the day and solidifying 2nd place overall.
We couldn’t have asked for better weather and it is so great to out racing again this spring!
After yesterday’s Opening Day Race, Fishing Bay Yacht Club started the offshore spring series on Sunday with some buoy racing. We only had about half of the crew we had yesterday and had several new folks in new positions. Overall we held our own going 3-2-3 on the day. Results.
What a beautiful weekend to start the sailing season at Fishing Bay Yacht Club. The first race of the season was a middle distance race of 12.8 nm from the mouth of the Piankatank out to the entrance to the Rappahannock River and back. I was sailing on Wavelength, a C&C37, with Rob Whittet and Steve Utley. We were among the 20+ other boats gathered in the 8-10 knot northerly breeze and mostly sunny skies.
We had a great start in the 5-boat PHRF-A fleet that consisted of a J/109 Double Eagle, J/105s Corryvreckan and Shamrock, and modified Quest 30 Chilcoot. The first leg was a short upwind leg inside the mouth of the Piankatank. We then sailed close-hauled out to the entrance to the Rappahannock followed by a spinnaker run down to the entrance of the Piankatank. Up until this point we were hanging with everyone except Double Eagle who was starting to get away from us. At the turning mark the J/70s and the C and non-spin fleets were also using this as a turning mark.
Most of the fleet who had asymmetrical spinnakers went low on their way back to the finish up the Piankatank. They weren’t laying the mark, but making really good VMG. With a symmetrical spinnaker, we elected to take the high route with the #1 up. About halfway back we could see Double Eagle get significantly headed and then drop the spinnaker. They had to beat back to the mark, while we just cracked off and came back down to the rumb line nice and fast and closed the gap. We didn’t beat them over the line, but had enough to make up the difference and won the race on corrected time. What a great way to start the season.
This season will be bittersweet for Wavelength and crew – this will likely be the last spring series for the boat.
Following racing the club held their blessing of the fleet and opening day party. The food was great – as was the fun!