nov. 19, 2007
20 FINGERED SAILING
The Two of Us
A new group on the Bay has been formed to promote more Double-Handed
Why double-handing, as opposed to single-handing or fully-crewed?
For one thing, it’s obviously a heckuva lot safer than single-handing,
especially in the event of a M.O.B. It also presents some interesting challenges,
especially downwind and on boats that traditionally count on full crew weight
to keep the boat sailing flat.
Double-handing allows each crew-member to perform a variety of different tasks they most likely wouldn’t have a chance to do on fully crewed races. For example, when was the last time you trimmed main, trimmed spinnaker, did foredeck AND took the helm....in one race?
The idea with the new DH group is to identify and promote dates and events that would attract DH sailors, with an emphasis on destination races, rather than paperclip (W/L) courses.
The last race I DH’ed was NPSA’s last race of the season, with a bunch of reaching legs and the majority of the race taking place after dark. It was intense and tiring and it was also a blast. Trust and mutual reliance making up a huge part of the relationship between the two crew members.
On a much larger stage, The Barcelona World Race took off on November 11th, testing nine pairs of Double-handing crew, on a non-stop, around the world course. This is the first DH non-stop, around the world event and it will be held (assuming sponsorship holds up) every 4 years.
And, by total coincidence, the latest issue of Sailing World (the print version) has three features on DH sailing.
So, when things start to firm up with dates for 2008, we’ll
keep people informed and maybe you’ll plan on doing a few DH races. Who
knows?…by 2011, maybe you’ll have raised a few million, bought an
Open 60 and have plans to shove off from
Barcelona with a trusted crewmate for a 25 thousand mile jaunt around the planet.
SOS…Save Our Sport
Is the sun going down on handicap racing?
An important discussion on our bay, brought on, in part, by the articles in SpinSheet by longtime Annapolis racer Chuck Coyer, is getting louder. The principle question in this discussion is: exactly what steps do we take to increase racing participation, particularly as it applies to mixed-fleet racing?
It seems to be a widespread phenomenum, at least in America, that participation in mixed fleet racing (racing in which people who own traditional or older cruising boats compete) is dwindling substantially. This is a topic nbayracing would like to devote some time to, over the winter.
If you have any thoughts on the subject, such as how to get non-racers (otherwise known as cruisers) interested in racing, or how to get more young folks involved in the sport, then email nbayracing or read and respond to Chuck's ideas in his 3-part SpinSheet series.
To anyone who owns and races a boat or crews on a race boat or just loves the sport and wants to see it maintain a critical mass, this is an important discussion. We think there are enough racing sailors who know what the questions are and how to articulate and remedy the problems…the biggest question is: is anybody listening, e.g., anyone who's in a position to see the proposed changes through, to the point where they actually get implemented?
11/12/07 Multinationalism Dept.
Three nights ago, Bob Yin was awarded this season's top prize for 2007 Overall Spinnaker Fleet at NPSA.
Big congrats to Bob!
And, earlier this Fall, Bob had also nominated his long- time crew member, Francesco Celli, for the award NPSA gives out to the year's most valuable First Mate.
Franceso was awarded NPSA’s First Mate of the Year, Friday night, and he gave a short acceptance speech.
He told the crowd how, when things go a little wrong on Bob’s C&C 110 “Dolce,” the rest of the crew need to put on their Berlitz hats, as it’s not unusual to hear a string of frantic commands in Italian, punctuated by equally indecipherable blasts of Chinese.
It’s very cool that the NPSA crowd brings
a taste of the America's Cup to the Patapsco!
Congrats to Bob and Francesco and the entire "Dolce" crew on having a great season!
11/05/07 MONSTER weekend in Naptown
Savasana (left) was predicted to be a contender, but ended up, by their own admission, having a tough regatta with numerous issues (including what looks to be a mislead spin hal on one of their sets Saturday).
I feel their personal pain, believe me!
boss photo by Eddie Hornick.
Over the last 50 years, Annapolis has certainly seen it's share of high-profile racing events, so it should not come as any surprise that last weekend, beginning on the day after Halloween, Thursday, Nov.1, was the beginning of yet another huge weekend featuring: The J105 North American Championship (results) and the I.R.C. East Coast Championship (results & stuff) and, not to be left out, college sailing's big boat championship, the Kennedy Cup (won by the USNA, btw).
With a huge breeze for 3 out of 4 days and, by all accounts, a phenomenally professional job of race management provided by AYC and the Storm Trysail Club, hunderds of sailors left town smiling, by the time all was said and done, Sunday evening. It sort of put a capper on the season (although the J80's have a go at their championship this coming weekend, due to the original venue being unsailable...Lake Norman doesn't have enough water in it to hold the regatta), emphasizing the overall area's viability as a desirable performance sailing center. Because in my 65 plus starts in nine different racing vessels this year, I can say with all honesty that moderate to heavy air was the predominant condition this season. And if any season in recent memory can help to disabuse racing sailors of the notion that racing on the bay is always hot, windless and miserable, this one should.
A word on the J105 NAC. This might be a record number of boats, at least in this millenium, for the number of offshore keelboats assembled in North America for a championship. 69 J105's is an awesome number. Now, this design gets a lot of flack, some of it was warranted, maybe, five years ago, but the fleet has morphed into a very competitive, highly successful one-design alternative to handicap racing. The low number of protests and incidents involving contact this past weekend should finally shut up the detractors of this class. By all accounts, the racing was fast, clean and very, very competitive in conditions that were challenging, to say the least.
11/05/07 Leumekia Follow-up
ALWAYS wanting to stand corrected, nbayracing got this follow-up from Harry Murphey, to some errors made in the short note, below, about the Leukemia Cup. Harry crews on Tim Lyon's Corsair 43, "Triple Threat" :
"I am one of those "odd fellows" in the picture in your article. Like the pictures!!! If you look at the last picture of the big Tri, which was actually taken slightly earlier, you can see on the mainsail the sail #00l ..... I wonder??? 00l .... l00 ....
"Her name is "TripleThreat,"
and she is 43' and was made by Corsair Marine. Corsair only made one 43' tri
in 1995. She was built as a prototype and shown at the boatshows. Unfortunately
they did not get enough orders to go into production, so (to date) TripleThreat
is the only Corsair 43' ever built. I believe she spent her first ten years
on the Great Lakes. "TripleThreat" had a 60' carbon fiber rotating
mast retrofited to her several years ago. Tim has assembled a crew from local
"beach cat" sailors who understand fast sailing and rotating masts
"....we have been out working on our upwind speed, and had a top recorded speed of 19.1 knots beating to weather in the Leukema Cup, in one puff. So, we are making progress in our program. We were out at Baltimore Light early on Saturday and got caught in that squall line that came through. Things got hectic as we had some equipment failures on the boat, the mainsail reefing line parted ... the jib traveler car exploded losing all its ballbearing on one side .... the grommet at the foot of the mainsail ripped out losing our downhaul and outhaul abilities ....the quickrelease shackle for the jib attachment blew apart into pieces ... We were busy!!!! We managed to make temporary repairs and start the race on time, though our mainsail's outhaul and downhaul/cunningham were compromised and we couldn't sheet the jib properly. But our biggest problem was our "heads" were still on repairs and not planning for the second leg, we then screwed up the rounding at Sandy Point Light by not have the proper jib ready for run up to Pinehurst. C'est La Vie ....
"We had a great time and made progress we feel in our program. It is awesome to"feel the puff' as TripleThreat tucks her leeward alma down slightly, you start grinding and the speed recorded on the GPS starts to climb ... 14knots ... 15 ...16 ... 18.3 ... 19.1knots. The spray from the bows flies back to hit you in the face, you take look around and everyone is grinning "from ear to ear"!!! Tim is already making arrangements/plans for next year."
Nbayracing.com appreciates feedback (especially when we are wrong) and offers proper respects to the crew of "Triple Threat" for hanging tough and finishing the race despite a very, very hectic start in a big breeze. Best of luck to the "Triple Threat" program next season!
19.1 upwind, huh? I think nbayracing.com needs
to spend a bit more time on multis!!
11/1/07 Leukemia Cup
Charitable Affair...the wind/weather gods get itemized deductions
While we were screwing around on little boats down off of "R2," a decent-sized fleet of Leukemia Cup (formerly the Harbor Cup) racers were headed for the finish line in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. ML Gunther took some great shots and she was generous enough to share some with nbayracing.com.
Most of us have done this race enough times to appreciate what a horrow show it can be, weather-wise (as the event T-shirt from 2003 can validate). But let's all give Al Gore a big round of applause, because the jowly hypocrite must've ordered up a heapin' helping of a fall sailor's best friend, GLOBAL WARMING, right in time for the event. It's always nice to have the combo of decent breeze and hyper-arctic temps to speed you along up to Poppa Kap-town.
It's also nice to see more and more multis getting out there and racing with the leadmines. The big tri "Triangle" is seen crashing to weather (left, photo: ML Gunther), although, oddly enough, they are listed as DNC in the results. Oh well. At least when you get rolled by a multi that's flying an ama, you aren't going to be getting gassed all afternoon.
The lads on sail #100 get ready for the next corner. Wait, there isn't a sail #100 listed in the results...
odd fellows, these multihullers.
So, I guess it's safe to say the reputation of this event is tending away from the miserable slogs we experienced in '99 and 2000 and 2001...the last 2 years have been completely benign. Go ahead and round up crew early for this race in 2008...it's almost a dead cert that we'll get hammered with 40's...40 knots and 40 degrees.
Photo: ML Gunther. more to follow....
Flying Circus took a puff in the entrance to the river and the top prize in phrf B. (photo: ML Gunther)
Fast Company and Blaze Star duke it out, reaching downwind, off Bodkin Neck (photo:ML Gunther)
Big tri "Triple Threat," lifts a leg on the beat upwind, off Pinehurst.
Lest anyone think the J24 is dead, think again. While nowhere near the size of the monster fleets back in the 90's, fifty-three boats at the starting line for the J24 East Coast Championship is not too shabby.
Throw in three days of big breeze and you have what J24 sailing is all about: pain, personal suffering and one helluva good time! This year's slugfest was hosted by SSA and results and some photos (from SpinSheet's Dan Phelps) are now available.
Don't let the photos fool you, Sunday saw puffs to 30+ and Saturday was only slightly lighter. No matter how much you hate J24's, and believe me the boat does have its detractors, being three boatlengths off the line with 45 seconds to go with fifty-plus J24's dialed up, flogging their sails and crawling toward the line in 22 knots of breeze is an amazing sight. Like a crowd of angry, hyperactive children, waiting on tip-toes for a pinata to break, it would be expected that a few don't quite have the patience and head for the candy before the bat hits the paper-mache! That was pretty much the scene and on Saturday, the second race had 3 general recalls and a bunch of OCS boats on the 4th try (our boat included). Looking at the results, the sheer number of Z-flag penalties is startling, including a ZFP on third place finisher Will Welles in Race 2.
So, no matter where you finished, the regatta was a wonderful opportunity to practice Big Fleet -Big Breeze starting tactics. The biggest disappointment being: when you absolutely nail a start and you're bow-out on 50+ other boats.......................................and then you hear that General Recall signal...
man, that HURTS!
What if they gave a race and no one showed up?
That sort of happened to us this time last week, when we hit the line for HHSA's Marathon Race, an afternoon/evening distance affair from Herring Bay to Solomons, about 30 miles overall.
Fifteen boats were signed up but only 4 went, and that's the rub:I don't blame anyone for bailing. In fact, in light of what happened this week on Lake Michigan, I'd say that being prudent and staying home should always take precedent over being gung-ho. Not that we were ever in extremes or anything near danger...we were clipped in after dark and the most we saw was a gust-front blast of maybe 30 and the boat we were on, Carl Schaefer's ETAP30 "Cadence II" could easily stand up to 50.
But the forecast was for a frontal passage after dark, and, as the day passed, the Fx got ramped up to Severe Thunderstorms. I'm not fond of a popcorn storm on a Wednesday night in July, with my regular crew, in familiar waters with a lot of friendly vessels around. I was less sanguine about a heavy frontal passage with nowhere to run between the Choptank and the Pax, nary a vessel in sight, and a crew I barely knew on a boat I'd never raced. But I did have total faith in skipper Carl, because after racing with him for 8 - 10 years on various boats from HdG to St Pete, I know that he never races without being phenomenally well-prepared.
We were pretty lucky...all the bad stuff passed way to the north and we saw maybe five minutes of very light rain and decent breeze all night long, in the 20's but nothing outrageous.
Then a few days later, seeing this news about the J35 in Chicago, one has a tendancy to pause and think about how easy it is for the situation to go completely FUBAR.
So kiss the wife and kids and make a toast to Neptune, or whomever, for keeping your crazy butt alive...and willing to go out and do it again, the next day!
Light on the way home, a gorgeous October fetch, back to reality.
10/12/07 SOMETHING BIG
At last look, there were 68 J105s signed up for the 2007 North American Championship, to be sailed in Annapolis from November 1- 4 and hosted by AYC.
We were on the same circle as the 105's in the Annapolis NOOD and I feel pretty safe in saying that having 40 or more of these beasts converging on the same mark is something to behold.
As of yesterday, it appears that, much to the chagrin of a lot of the racers participating in the event, the fleet will be split into at least 2 separate fleets for the first 2 days of eliminations.
Too bad, but one has to take into account race management and insurances issues. Probably a VERY smart move on the part of AYC to split the fleet and keep the carnage to a minimum. (photo courtesy Terry Walters)
10/11/07 You CAN go home dept.
LAST SHOT...Baltimore's NPSA keeps on satisfying.
I got invited (well, actually, I kinda invited myself) to race at NPSA for the season-ending Wednesday night race and, as per usual, NPSA put on a terrific evening, in many respects.
First off, there's nothing wrong with an evening in October that starts out in the mid 80's with a steady 8-10 southeaster chugging up the Bay.
I hopped aboard Charlie Rouse's new ride, a C&C27, a design I've always liked and sort of wished I'd bought back when I was sailing my old Catalina 27. Obviously it's not a rocketship, but it is a sweet little cruiser/club racer, very well made and quite capable of sailing to its rating. We were double-handing and the boat is pretty easy to get around the race course with just two crew.
NPSA had some issues earlier this year with it's long-time and much loved committee boat, "Myth," owned and operated by everyone's favorite race officer, Mr. Dudley Boycott. Seems "Myth" developed a problem with one of her fuel tanks and got knocked out of commission for the races that remained on the schedule for this season. That's when Ted Diehl stood up, big time, to volunteer his boat, "Windemere" as substitute RC boat for the duration. Major proper respects to Ted.
NPSA is famous for sending racers on long evening races, to the delight of most (and the scorn of a few), but so be it...the Race Committee calls the shots and they do a damn good job of it and in fact, have been doing so for many, many years.
Last night was no exception and when the gun for your fleet is after sundown, you better have your nighttime game on...ours was off, initially, that is, our stern light didn't want to do its duty. Luckily we discovered this prior to our start and we were deliberating on whether to bail out or try and jury-rig something, but a bent pop-top from a Pepsi can was the ticket, as by jamming it into the housing the bulb miraculously came back to life, and we decided to throw caution to the wind and reply on one of the more haf-assed jury-rigs I've ever made and I've made some doozies.
NPSA has a what amounts to a permanent "I" flag as part of its SI's, so if you're OCS in the middle of the line, you're pretty much hosed for the night. Here's the OCS Catalina27 "Roaring 40's" hightailing it over to the boat end of the line to restart. Starters tend to give the line plenty of offing at NPSA, so general recalls are pretty much unheard of.
As predicted, it didn't get any brighter as the race progressed. It also didn't get any breezier, at least not for the downwind leg and as we were racing non-spinn, the lengthy slog down to Brewerton Channel "12" was somewhat excruciating, especially as a large commerical vessel was coming up on our port hip and our rhumbline was basically the right side of the channel. Then it got really weird when it became clear we were closing in on a very large cruising yacht, identifed as such by virture of the fact that they were obviously towing a dink. With no moon, it was damn dark!
Turned out the "large cruising yacht" was actually Tim Troy's Open 60, "Margaret Anna" which is apparently for sale on Yachtworld.com. It might not be as competitive as the newer Open 60's, but from our observation, up close and personal at BC"12," she seemed to make a very nice weekender and 2-week family vacation machine. "Honey, it's a 3-day weekend, let's pop over to Bermuda for lunch!"
For 195,000 USD you could do a LOT worse.
(left) I'm telling ya, it was DARK out there!
We eventually found our way to the finish line and probably mustered a second....haven't seen the results, yet. We know Willie Burton's Tartan 27 "Windlassie" kicked our butts bad. But we were happy and it was a superior night. I mean, I had only found out on the way to the windward mark that this was Charlie's first race with the new boat, so being in a dogfight, for most of the race, for our fleet's gun was a moral victory, at the very least!
But by far the biggest news of the night, at least for NPSA racers was that our longtime committee boat "Myth" had been sold on ebay...bummer. Or at least it appeared that way. But the ebay deal fell thru and a quick thinking and fast acting consortium of NPSA sailors chipped-in and rescued the boat, bought it back and the boat will now stay in it's usual slip and be NPSA's RC boat, next year and apparently in perpetuity! NPSA'ers celebrated the "Myth" news and also the "donning of the socks," with a case of champagne and a cooler of brewsters and the smiles and chuckles were abundant. This is a great club, a true gem of a sailing association and it looks like the future is bright for the members.
Typical dumbass move, on my part, to make my only race at NPSA this season the absolute last one of the season! I hope to see a lot more of the club next season. Click for Info on NPSA
Pimp Your Peeps!
Does your crew show up in all kinds of "colorful," but uncoordinated, garb that makes it look like you raided Vet's Warehouse on the way to the marina? Do they mention to you, at big regattas, how you guys are the only team under the tent who's duds look more like Goodwill Industries than APS?
Then it might be time to ring up the good folks at Boat Threads Custom Embroidery and Regatta Kids Outfitters and plunk down some loose change on some quality kit for the dudes and dudettes who show up loyally, each week, and work their tails off to get you up on the podium from time to time. And while we are on the topic of being competitive, check out how Boat Threads says "no minimum order" and yet manages to keep the smaller jobs cost effective!
If you are looking to upgrade your program, one great place to stop is with this local business (Eastport based) that'll make you look like winners...even if you're consistently mid fleet!
Can't design it yourself? Boat Threads can get it done for ya for a nominal fee.
That's "nominal," not phenomenal...
Call them or go on line and your crew might come back next year.
10/15/07 PIMP YOUR PIX
People who raced at Screwpile this past July may have gotten a solicitation from a company that shoots aerials of racing yachts from a helicopter. Maybe they were reluctant to follow up on accessing the shots because they were not happy with some other helicopter shooters (who shall not be named) who have not exactly wowwed the racing community with their business practices....
Well, let nbayracing.com try to clear up any confusion: Randy Mank at HELI-PHOTO does terrific work and is a pleasure to work with and will NOT charge you a cent until you select and keep a photo!
Randy's work graced the August issue of Spinsheet (and coincidently shows nbayracing.com's Webwolf on the bow of J105 "Veloce" probably pondering his navel, e.g., not bothering to hike).
You can contact Randy at www.heli-photo.org
has a soft spot for anything Carl Alberg ever designed...here's
a sweet little Ariel for sale locally.
9/16/07 ....As good as it gets dept.
I seriously doubt conditions could've been BETTER for NASS's fall race to Oxford...that is, if you dont mind a bit of a drag race.
Skies cleared at the start and a big breeze filled in from the north, blowing 15-25 with puffs firmly into the 30's.
Okay, there wasn't a lot to play with, in terms of tactics, but to blast down the bay with the speedo firmly pegged in the low teens, one can easily live with the lack of passing lanes. The smiles factor was just too huge to take second fiddle to playing the tactical game...besides, there were subtle ways to make gains until boats got into the river, and then a short beat home into the Tred Avon also served up a few passing ops.
The J105 fleet didn't lose any respect, as the 105 "Tenacious" was the third monohull over the line behind Donnybrook and Zaraffa. Whatever the critics say about this fleet, the boats get up and rumble in the big stuff. We saw 13.9 kn on our speedo and we were the boat with the boatspeed issues...our keel wrapped with something...a trash bag?...a clump of grass? ....a giant squid?...something was impeding our lift off, but we'll never know what, exactly.
Whatever, even though we did have one little wipeout, the boat felt stable and in control in the puffs to 32 kn.
Not sure the same can be said for the NS and Sym sails boats we passed, rock & rolling downhill. I talked to the winner of a smaller OD boat class in Oxford and was told they wiped out 5 times, which is pretty consistent with what we witnessed on the ride down to the river.
Once in the river, the beach cats and other multi's caught us and we were rolled by some of them and also by Donnybrook, of course. No biggie, there was plenty of breeze for everyone and no need for anyone to Dumbass-Out (e.g., throw a hard luff at someone).
On the left is WRSC's NACRA Fleet Captain, Chris Allen, charging up the Choptank. Chris mentioned that it was a bit of a wet ride...one can only imagine. Gotta hand it to these guys for going the distance on a performance cat.
In my current state of decrepitude, I think something like this would somehow be more appropriate....with a western omlette and hash browns on the side, maybe a bloody mary. Might as well live it up.
We had a dogfight going up the river with Mike O'Toole's "Varmint."
Mike got the best of us at the finish line, catching altitude on the final beat to the line and smoking us by 3 seconds when we had to throw in a final tack, just off the pin, to finish. Great stuff when you race for 30 miles and end up with a 3 second delta.
J105 "Tenacious" crushed us and the rest of the
fleet, finishing a minute and a half ahead of "Freedom" and also,
I should add, 50 seconds ahead of PHRF AO Farr 36 "Stray Dog" (granted
the 105 had a 35 min head start...the F36 rates 9...you do the math).
It's a shame to have to end up in Oxford, but most of the
racers sucked it up and suffered through it. The town should try to work on
the aesthetics and the quiet, laid-back comfort of the place....
...it makes it too hard to leave.
But leaving was part of the game Sunday morning, as an early
(9 am) warning gun brought the survivors of TAYC's raucous Saturday night party
out to the line (mercifully, just off theTAYC waterfront) for the start of the
Hammond Race back up the bay. The breeze was a bit more "private"
for this one, as it was easy to find yourselves not in it, while a boat 200
yards off your beam definitely was. Nonetheless, Team Veloce was able to find
themselves in it often enough to finally grind "Varmint" down a mile
or so from the finish line to take the gun for the 105 class. Huge props to
Mike O'Toole and the crew of "Varmint"for an excellent weekend of
very, very close racing.
PHRF A3 goes off Sunday morning in a DW kite start. Solid breeze for the most part helped ease the pain leftover from Saturdays sled ride and Saturday night's overindulgences.
Gotta love Fall racing...and it ain't even Fall yet.
STARS & BARS...I meant to put this up as sort of a reference to 9-11-01, but I can't figure out what one has to do with the other, besides the fact that, despite all the problems this country faces, it's still a damn nice place to race sailboats on a late summer evening. Maybe that's enough...
NPSA HARRY YOUNG CUP
nbayracing.com likes the way NPSA keeps it real with the annual Harry Young Cup.
Here's this year's winning skipper, Scot Reynolds, getting awarded the perpetual cup by Phillip the Younger and his mom, Elizabeth Young. The Cup is in honor of Phil's dad/Elizabeth's husband Harry.
Below is a tidbit about Harry Young from Jud Henderson's, Chesapeake Sails: A History of Yachting on the Bay.
Photo: Willie White/NPSA
I won't get all hokey and say yachts are living things, like the people who write about wooden boats do, but I will go as far as to say they are "like" living things and they certainly have personalities.
In the 6-7 years we raced "Direwolf," we certainly recognized her as being a ready and forgiving vessel, always willing to overcome the mistakes we made by overcanvassing her, undercanvassing her, picking the wrong side of the course, etc., and annually under-spending what she deserved as a lady.
Along those lines, if it is possible for a vessel to shake off the deficiencies and neglect of a previous owner and move on to greener pastures (bad metaphor) then "Direwolf" certainly has. In fact, if it is possible for a boat to ascend into heaven, you could sorta say "Direwolf" has.
I didn't pay much attention to where she was going when I sold her a few months ago. The new owner's check came from Florida and I figured she was going to be a Gulf Coast racer down there. But about a month ago, I got curious and Googled her sail number.
To my huge surprise, she showed up in Bristol, R.I., and was being campaigned by Ben Hall of Hall Spars. Ben is a three time A-Class Cat north american champ and is involved in rig development for ventures that include the AC.
"Direwolf" (renamed "Bluto") has obviously responded well to the new owner (and most certainly a higher level of care and commissioning than she ever got in Balto). In ten races, Ben has racked up four bullets and 4 deuces with the boat. And if there were any doubt about the kind of competition "Bluto, (nee "Direwolf," nee "Accomplice") is seeing up at Bristol YC, check out their results page and see that one of her main competitors is Eric Goetz's Martin 40 "Katie G." Eric's contributions to performance sailing are legendary, some of which are chronicled here.
So yeah, while we won a few races and collected some hardware with "Direwolf," we never got to a point where we were an impact player in CBYRA. But the early results from Bristol indicate that the E 32-2 is still an absolute weapon in the right hands.
I'm interested in seeing if the boat goes to KW in January and if she goes, how she does. Whatever, it's a joy to see her go to a good home!
WEAPON OF CHOICE
Speaking of weapons (story above), we got a chance to take a ride on Al Passori's Evelyn 32-2 "LEEANNE" last night, down at Round Bay Sailing Association. Round Bay doesn't get much ink, but they've got some good boats down there and the fleet seems to be one where there's an emphasis on comraderie, rather than strictly on competition. Nbayracing loves that, having come from so many pleasurable years at NPSA...we wish there were more clubs along these lines for weeknite stuff.
It was great to be back on an E 32-2!! Frequent nbayracing.com contributor "Jammin'" hooked me up with Al and we climbed aboard in a clammy, cloudy, 5 pm dose of intermittent NNE puffs to 9 kn. The water was absolutely flat, punctuated by areas of wavelets and ripples...hmmmm....I dont know what "Jammin'" was thinking, but I was near to drooling: an Evelyn kind-o-nite!
Getting a glimpse of Al's new set of 3DL's, the drool factor increased. What a great set-up:
1) one of the sweetest club-racers ever made, a
2) a brand-new set of upwind rags, and
3) a venue made for a boat that hates the kind of square wave chop the Bay barfs up in anything over 12.
AND, as an added bonus: a set of J27's to run around with, reminiscent of the great battles "Direwolf" used to have up in the Patapsco against ML Gunther and Rick Franz'es "Thin Float."
With two of us completely new to the boat, and a third pretty much new to racing, the four of us didn't get the boat around the corners in complete mastery, but we did manage to grab line-honors and a spot just 3 seconds out of the money behind the J27 "Revenge." Good competition, great folks, a bunch of laughs and it doesn't get much better for a weeknight out on the water.
and a level playing field...the perfect Evelyn playground.
Al demonstrates a little Sailing Karate, as he leads the post-race debrief on "LEEANNE," while the bowman rummages below for...BEER.
The E 32-2 is a decided weapon of choice in a venue like RBSA. Thanks to Al and Dave for having us aboard!
Sailing for Singles
Gotta give NPSA credit...they're the only club above the bridge that sponsors a single-handed race every year, This year the turnnout was light, just 6 boats, but I like the fact they were able to pull off the event. Big congrats to Phil Young, who took the bullet, Ryan Reitz, who came in second, and Bob Sopka who grabbed third...all by their lonesomes.
Single-minded sailors, Phil, Ryan and Bob,
Couple of situations cropped up this season and it sort of makes you wonder how racing associations can better educate their racing members.
Take a quick glance at these 2 diagrams and then tell yourself who has/doesn't have rights and what the fouls are.
Then click here for discussion
(Above: photographic evidence of the rare Screwpile phenomenum, "Wind")
The Mother of All Screwpiles
I ran into frequent fellow crewmember, and ocassional Nbayracing.com contributor, "Jammin'"at the Awards ceremony after Screwpile, and his quote pretty much sums it up. He said, "Screwpile's done. That's it. Probably won't have another one like that for the next 80 years."
Three straight days with the breeze in the high teens? In July? From the north for 2 days and then a southerly, last day?
Yeah, well. Stranger things have happened. But: when you add an optimal breeze for the Eastport Race down and then a breezy Saturday for Southern Maryland's version of the Hospice Cup, you're looking at 5 straight days of dynamite breeze in Solomons. Someone definitely sacrificed SOMETHING to the wind gods!
Results for Screwpile are here.
In all that air there was some terrific racing and the recquisite amount of carnage. The worst of which was probably Bill Shinn's "The Fish" dropping her rig in Race 2, after they had just won the opener in a very competitive PHRF 3 class. Nbayracing's heart goes out to "The FIsh," as we'll miss them on Tuesday nights until repairs can be completed...seems it's more than a new rig: a bulkhead blew and the deck heaved and then the rig went.
Also in the carnage arena was the APY Esse autotaking into the other Esse and snapping their prod near the base. Another bad one was in on the West Course, day 3, when a Beneteau First 305 didn't quite miss the RC boat, at the finish, and inflicted some damage on one of the RC crew and the boat's chrome and horn system. Woe onto thee who hit the RC boat!
Overall, the results are interesting. I was talking to the bowman on "L'Outrage" and was amazed to learn that, with all the myriad events Bruce Gardner and crew have won through the years, they'd never won Screwpile, so huge CONGRATS to the "L'Outrage" folks.
(left, Day 3, in a crankin' Southerly, John White's purple boat heads for the left and another bullet, one of six for the event)
Another neat thing: John White proved that even a rating hit (6 seconds, reassigned over the winter) could not keep the boat and his skills at bay, as he and his crew took an incredible SIX bullets and two deuces, to totally dominate in PHRF 5. Major props to the Many Bad People on the Purple boat!
(Left: J105 "Veloce" 43, in a flat-out drag race with "At TACK 330 and "Breakaway" 251. "Veloce" went on the take top honors by 2 points over BCYA's "Jester." PHOTO: courtesy Terry Walters)
Nbayracing.com was lucky enough to snag a ride on J105 "Veloce." We took the top prize in the biggest (and only other) One Design fleet (what's up with that?), with a Day 2 that never saw "Veloce" round a mark behind another J105...an incredible wire to wire lead through 12 straight corners. Big thanks to owners Eddie Hornick and Marty Hublitz for putting up with their A.D.D. bowman!
(Above, a Day 2 start with Dan Rossi's Mt. Gay 30 "Stitch-N-Glue" coming in a little late but very powered-up)
I think everyone who atteneded this year's SPLC would have two words for anyone giving it consideration for next:
oh and one last thing...note the massive improvement in the party location over 2006's!
(Above, this year's location, LEFT, vs last year's RIGHT...now think 95 degrees and 80% humidity)
7/18/07 SPLC Countdown
The deadline for registering passed about 3 hours ago and I think there were 116 boats registered. Quite a decrease from prior years. Yet, the people I know who are going are worked up to a fever pitch about it. And, let's face it....what's not to be excited about? SCREWPILE...just the name congers up visions of three days of racing and off-the-course mayhem. And remember the old adage that Las Vegas stole from Solomons...what happens at Screwpile STAYS at Screwpile.
The only thing bad about Screwpile is: after Screwpile you feel like you need a vacation. Take the rest of the week off.
7/13/07 SPLC limited?
As of 3:00 pm today, there are only 113 boats registered for Screwpile. Could this classic bay event's reputation as an agonizing excercise in controlled drifting be responsible for the diminishing number of entries? Or is this just another example of the Procrastination Mode we often see with bay performance sailors (who traditionally wait until the last possible second to register)? Guys (and Gals) this isn't ebay...just Sign T F up!
7/13/07 Midsummer Night's Scene
As good as it gets: a perfect night on the water in mid-July.
Okay, a bit more breeze would've been nice. But if you're
like us here at nbayracing, you live for summer evenings like this.
How many performance sailors does it take to fix a light hoist?
For a few minutes it looked like it wasn't gonna happen. A strong line of T-storms earlier this week seemed to have rendered the hoist inoperable and a bunch of very disappointed J24 sailors were milling around trying to brainstorm a way of rigging up anything that would put their boats in the water in time to get to a 1825 hrs prep. signal.
A miracle: by 1745 hrs the hoist came alive and the mad
dash to get 4 boats in the water ensued. Big props to Arvid!
Definitely our kind of Race Committee!
I think we may have been able to ask for a delay if we
hadn't gotten the boats in the water in time to make the start...I mean, these
guys just represent "Island Time!"
the breeze went all to hell and finishing was in no way garaunteed, but the
name of the game is keep the boat moving and the crew of 4201 was able to eek
out a bullet for the night...like I say, it doesn't get much better.
God, I love summer...
7/11/07......Re: Traction Dept.
There's a blurb down this column a few inches that doesn't
have wheels. It's the thing on PHRF vs OD, below, ("Making Flippy Floppy").
Nbayracing.com cherry-picked that data and it unintentionally diminishes the
accomplishments of some terrific sailors who have earned the right to be the
Big Dog in their fleets. They've earned that right, to be Big Dog, because their
passion for the sport of performance sailing has pushed them to be better sailors.
Poor & simple.
Nbayracing.com regrets any implication otherwise.
7/10/07...Think this guy can do foredeck dept.?
YOUR NEXT BOWMAN
CLICK HERE TO GET TO PAGE TWO - 2007 (earlier stuff)