Spring 2007 Results 4/15, 4/22, 4/29
Our spring season finally got underway last Sunday with a nice spring day.
Too bad the seawall was under water--it made for a long day of launching and retrieving boats. And everyone got their feet wet!
Our forecast was for north winds, building all day. Instead, we were treated to a light easterly thermal that gradually died away to nothing.
That, combined with our late start, left us with only 5 races completed instead of the usual 6.
The first race saw one of the more exciting finishes of the day. Jack had won the race, but most of the other boats were overlapped for the last half of the run. Bill nosed me out by a whisker, followed by Cricket and Mike.
In fact, several of the finishes had boats that were overlapped, so a few feet here or there could mean a big difference in finish. In the end, the day belonged to Jack Rickard who is sailing very fast with his new light air sail. I am using the same sail, and since I totally tanked I asked him if he was able to keep the telltales flowing. He said "Yes! All the time!" so I have a sneaking suspicion that I was pretty much stalled out once the wind died as I could not get any of the telltales to function except in the puffs. Jack ended up winning 4 out of the 5 races in a performance worthy of Dick Tennerstedt, and Cottie won the other race. Kudos to Bill Perley and Cricket Herndon who were very fast, and extra-special kudos to Dan Hillard who led at the weather mark in the second race and finished just behind Jack. Way to go Dan! (Of course, if Dan keeps using that sail from Cottie he'll have to change the sail number!) On the way in we had a few problems. Mike's centerboard jammed, and Cottie's rudder wouldn't come off. Eventually it all worked out and everyone agreed that it was a good day to shake off the winter rust and get the boats wet again, although a bit more breeze would have been nice.
My thanks to Cricket for starting the races from his boat. He's a real pro at that and I'm sure my finishes would have been worse if I'd tried to do it myself.
Here is the short version for those that can't open the Excel attachment:
|Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Total|
|*weight penalty for this race|
Well, today we almost got to race, but in the end Mother Nature said "No!"
I showed up at the pond at 11:30 and expected to see a strong, gusty southwesterly breeze. Instead, I was greeted by hot temperatures, spotty winds, and more kayakers than I have ever seen in my life. The wind never really filled in until some of us hit the water. Jim Hilliard was our RC for the day, and he set the starting line while I got the weather mark positioned. On my way to the line I noticed that some of the puffs were getting strong, but nothing too alarming. I figured we were in for a "normal" jumpy day on the pond. Then a big blast hit me and I almost went over even though the the sail was totally free. I figured what the heck, it's just one puff--not a blowout. Five minutes later the same thing happened to Jack Rickard, and he went over even though he was way out on the rail and his sail was completely free. Jack thinks that the puff hit him abeam and when the boom hit the water the sail had no where else to go but into the drink. Jim did a superb job getting Jack out of the water and then the two of them got Jack's boat up. By this time Cricket and I had conferred and decided that the best way to spend the afternoon was on the dock eating snacks and drinking carbonated malt beverages, so we all headed in. Jack sailed in on his own, sporting the new "Lagoon Look" on his sail and shirt. Nothing like that lagoon mud to spruce up your wardrobe. My thanks to Cottie for bringing the crash boat, Mike for bringing the snacks and beverages, and Jim for being RC. I'm just sorry the wind waited to build until AFTER we got our boats in the water. Too bad--I think we had 9 boats ready to go.
On the dock we all talked about Mother's Day weekend, and the general consensus was that for several of us it would be better to sail on Saturday (May 12) rather than May 13. A lot of folks wanted to start early too, so we will have a 12:00 start on Saturday, May 12. If we get rained out, blown out, or just plain bummed out we can talk about Sunday as a rain date, although I know a lot of folks can't sail that day. Hopefully the weather will start to cooperate as we have only had one day of racing out of 4 so far this spring.
Hope to see you next Sunday!
According to the weather channel, yesterday should have been a blowout. In fact, it was the identical forecast as last Sunday with 82 degrees and SW winds at 20-30 mph. I got to the pond early and conditions were ideal, so I rigged and launched but all the while was thinking that this was surely going to be a blowout by early afternoon. More boats arrived and Cottie brought the crashboat, and we all launched as I was still thinking that we'd get blown out. Dawn set the starting line while I set the weather mark, and we started right at 1:30 as we were afraid that the wind would build during the day.
In the first race the puffs were strong but not too frequent, with the lulls being quite challenging. I was sure that the puffs would be out of the southwest, so I charged for the pin with 30 seconds to go. Wouldn't you know that at the start the wind clocked a LOT so the boat end was favored by about 30 degrees and Jack looked golden. I was patient--for a change--and waited for that southwest header and when I tacked I was even with Jack. I managed to pinch over him coming into the weather mark and held him off downwind. At the leeward mark he was right on my transom and I worked very hard to stay ahead on the next beat. I got a lucky puff on the second run and held on for the win, the race could have gone either way.
The second race was a drag race between me and Cottie. We were pretty much overlapped at every mark rounding, so it was very close. At the second weather mark I had about a one boat length lead but Cottie pulled away in the last third of the run and crossed the finish line by about a boat length. Between the start and the finish I think we had at least a half dozen lead changes, so it was great competitive racing. By now everyone was getting in the groove and finding the right balance of hiking, pinching, and easing the sheet. Downwind I only let the shroud off half way, and if I saw a big blast coming down the pond I pulled the shroud all the way back. I saw several near-death rolls--including my own--but no one went over. Great boat handling all round!
In the third and fourth races the puffs began to get stronger and longer, so I knew our time on the water was limited. Both races had wild downwind legs and I broached one time to avoid going over. I was sure Jack was going to pass me in that puff but he ended up on the other gybe and headed over towards the island so we both ended up sailing about the same distance. I managed to win the third and fourth races and Jack was second in each. I doubled up the mainsheet for the fourth race and have mixed reviews. I liked the increased mechanical advantage, and it was nice having less mainsheet to trip over in the bottom of the boat. However, it was a lot more sheet to haul in or ease, so in some ways it took more energy. I like the doubled mainsheet in a steady heavy breeze, but in some ways I prefer the single part when it's puffy and shifty. After the fourth race we had a lot of folks bailing and some others with equipment problems, so we headed in. Many thanks to Dawn for doing such a great job helping people tie up to the crash boat for repairs, and for running the races well. Plus I always seem to sail better when Dawn is on the water.
Coming up: This Saturday, May 5 is our annual spring regatta--the Puddle Championships. Registration and weigh-in begin at noon, and we will start racing at 1:00. Party afterwards at the Boyle residence. I will have directions to their house with me at the pond. Registration fee is $10.
Come sail with us and then see the Boyles make their "party debut"
afterwards! Should be a lot of fun.
Short version of results:
Pegis: 1--2--1--1 = 5 points.
Rickard: 2--3--2--2 = 9 points.
Perley: 3--6--3--4 = 16 points.
Kerr: DNS-1--4--DNF = 19 points.
Boyle: DNS-5--5--3 = 20 points.
P. Hilliard: DNS-4--DNF--DNS = 25 points.
D. Hilliard: DNS-DNF-DNS-DNS = 28 points.
Hope to see you on Saturday.