If you haven't seen this yet, you're probably one of the few sailors on the planet who hasn't, as the word on this vid has gotten around pretty quickly.
But anyway, take 4 minutes and give it a look...if you've ever wondered what it's like to wipe out a VOR 70 this will give you an idea. And the last 55 seconds from a mastcam are pretty amazing, too.
Ouch............................................................................& how you can ease the pain
This shot has been used by custom one-off big boat builder McConaughy Boats as an advert image, but we'd like to remind owners of the pain and personal suffering their bow-peoples endure during the season, sacrificing life and limb to make the folks in the back of bus look like they have a clue.
So, in this time of holiday gift-giving, we'd like to encourage you to go forth to places like APS and Iniki (links above) and swipe that credit card for your guys and gals that work the pointy end of the boat.
You need them and boats needing competent bow gods and goddesses are a target-rich environment. Things like peeling strops, prefeeders that open, carbon poles and decent knives are gifts of a symbiotic nature!
One thing about November is the amazing ability of storms to form in no time off the mid-Altantic coast. This thing popped up on November 5th, a much deeper depression than had been predicted and also much closer to the coast.
It's no wonder people want to get out of Dodge in October. For anyone ever asked to help with a delivery, say Newport to Charleston, in November, burn these images into your brain, because being caught in one of these "bombs" off of Cape Charles or Hatteras would not be fun.
The thing about these storms is they stick around when they are blocked by Highs to the north. So you get a proper pasting for days and days.
An example being...here's the same storm 25 hours later:
It had barely moved.
Besides yucking it up and handing out a bunch of awards for the 2008 racing season, NPSA had the presence of mind to bring Terry Cummings, from the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, to their Awards Banquet to give a brief presentation on issues affecting the racing and cruising sailors from this part of the planet. Issues like the proposed LNG plant going into Sparrows Pt, the lingering levels of toxic pollutants still associated with the remains of Beth Steel, and the general miserable health of the Bay, overall.
Here at Nbayracing, we love awards dinners....but we also like being informed and getting the occassional infusion of reality...we're hoping more clubs in the area incorporate this kind of programming into the frivolity of their awards dinners...sometimes a few drinks, rubbery chicken, and soggy vegetables go very nicely with an accompanying gut-check.
(btw, as a contradictory point, the food at NPSA's affair was extremely decent!)
More from the North Country
We're happy to add another link to a club from up the bay, the Georgetown Racing Fleet.
Break out the Kokatats.
Nbayracing is ashamed to say that we've confined all of our frostbiting to keelboats south of Greenbury Point.
For those of us on the northern bay, a schlepp to Naptown for Sunday dinghy frostbiting might be a little farther than we're willing to go, but we just got a note from the nice folks at NERYC that they are the new home of the Upper Chesapeake Laser Fleet and they'll be sponsoring a bunch of frostbite races beginning in early November and extending all the way thru to March 1, 2009.
Click on the image below to get to their Laser Fleet page. And of course, APS is the place to go to get properly outfitted for this kind of masochism!
NERYC seems like they are very committed to ramping up their competitive sailing program and we wish them all the success in the world!
Like TV.........Only slower
Nbayracing has been complaining (whining, really) for years about how slow it is getting results from races and the general lack of any sort of media coverage of racing, blah blah blah.
Well, big kudos to Scot Tempesta and Alan Block (aka The Ed and Mr. Clean) of SailingAnarchy fame. The Ed sent Mr. Clean to do another On The Water Anarchy version for last weekend's Melges 24 North American Championship right down off our own Severn River and if you missed it, well, you probably got a lot more work done than I did during those 4 days!
Clean's style is part gonzo, part bozo and his shakey, blasted out vids lend a new meaning to the term "subjective camera" but what the production lacks in technical perfection is made up for in spades by a genuine passion for the M24 class and the people and products involved in promoting and racing these boats.
Whatever you think of the work and the general tenor of the echange of "ideas" on SailingAnarchy (ideas that may or may not involve: pornography, consumer sex, the promotion of substance abuse, strippers, profanity, normal sex, abnormal sex, drugs and/or rock 'n roll) you have to hand it to these guys for making sailboat racing look fun, slightly dangerous, and fast!
Whatever...if they can bring mark roundings in 20-25 kn of breeze to my desktop on a Thursday afternoon, mere minutes after they happened in real-time, then more power to them!
The 2008 BCYA Leukemia Cup
("Rag Trade" stands by the Schock 35 "Blind Fury" after Fury lost her rig. Photo nbayracing.com)
Left, Bob Yin and his crew on Dolce near the finish line inside Lazaretto Point in BCYA's "Leukemia Cup" (aka, the Harbor Cup). On a day like this, just finishing without a whole lot of busted up stuff is an accomplishment.
Suffice it to say this year's Harbor Cup lived up to its reputation as a gear-buster.
A rig down, a binnacle pedestal ripped off a C&C 110, many, many torn sails and bruises and near M.O.B.'s and wipe-outs galore.
Sounds like a typical Harbor Cup...only windier. We also heard of a Tanzer22 sunk in Naptown and a 210 foundered off Gibson Island.
Nice day to be on the Bay! We're trying to decide which race was more brutal, 2008 or 1999, and I think I'm going to have to say 2008, just because the wind blew harder for longer and the horizontal rain being blown at sustained breezes above 35 kn hurt like hell. The 1999 event was raced for the most part in sunshine. This year's rain didn't make it any wetter, it just made it a little more painful. It was, however, a bit warmer, thanks to the southerly, bringing with it fairly moderate temperatures. Thank god for small favors!
We were sweating it that this tri (Douglas Dykman's Corsair 31' "Temple of the Wind") would flip and we'd have to drop out and render assistance but, just before things got too gnarly, they doused and retired. Frankly, I have to hand it to them for hanging in as long as they did....it looked like they lifted the hull about 55 - 60 degrees during one monster puff, shortly before they bailed.
But, kudos to Russ Wesdyk and his crew for not only hanging tough and finishing and winning the multi class, but for winning Sunday's Race Back, too! Russ'es Corsair 27 and Ed Tracey's Omega 36 each won the race on Saturday and the race on Sunday, taking both games in the weekend double-header. Nice work!
It was cool to see the Sunfast 3200 at both the prestart and further on down the course. They reported hitting over 14 kns, not too shabby, but relatively slow compared to the speeds Brian Jones et al., saw on the the New & Improved "Problem Child," which won their class in PHRF 2.
Of course, "Problem Child" doesn't have two double berths aft, under the cockpit though, like the Sunfast. We got a chance to climb on board the Sunfast at Henderson's after the race and have to say we were somewhat amazed at the volume below, including those 2 aft berths, which are hardly caves....in fact they are quite airy and spacious...amazing on a boat that's 33 feet LOA and can get up and do double digits downhill! Cool design and we'd like to get a longer and closer look. Those stubby tillers are a mystery, for sure (the boat has twin rudds). I guess they're one way to get a longer cockpit.
No one likes getting rolled, but when Glenn Harvey's Taylor 38 "Kristany" trucked on over us, it was fairly awesome. We were hanging in, baldheaded with a single reef, with the breeze around 40 (this was right at the time when the breeze was strongest) when "Kristany" hammered through and smoked us up to the turning mark into the Patapsco....it was a bit of a fetch to the mark and that Taylor 38 goes to weather like a Metroliner and looks good doing it, too.
Heck, there was plenty of breeze for eveyone, so the passing lane to weather was wide open, no worries.
"Kristany" waves syanora for the time being, making major altitude toward the weather mark in breeze above 35 kn.
Here's the data from Key Bridge...pretty much confirms what we saw, maybe a little lighter as we were out a bit farther from the mouth of the river when the biggest puffs went through (12:38 to 1:08 Key Bridge readings)
Supercool to see Thad Bench'es 58' Sparkman and Stephens yawl "Windalier" competing in PHRF A2. You can find out more about the boat here. She finished 7th, but hey, she finished! More than a quarter of the entire fleet did not!
We're thinking an over-the-winter building project might stave off the depression that comes from short, cold days away from the water. It probably won't but what the heck, even if it doesn't you end up with a cool boat in the spring. So, here goes.
(Link to build page is above: i550build)
I was looking at some Sat images trying to get an advance look at the weather for this Saturday's Leukemia Cup.
I came across this GOES image of the mid-Atlantic. Nothing astounding until you look closely at the checkerboard pattern over central MD and south central PA.
Man is that weird...the clouds are in an almost perfect X-Y axis line-up, oriented about 25 degrees off the east-west axis. We've seen clouds in atmospheric ripples, like the ones lined up in eastern Ohio in this picture, but never in such an amazing grid as is seen at left.
We have absolutely no idea what it signifies, but just think it's interesting....
No, this is not audition footage for NPSA's "Piece of the Rock Award"
This is a bunch of sadists thinking up weird and nasty things to do to a perfectly good boat. We like the way things keep escalating.
Things get really ramped up about at about 4:25 in the clip...might want to put in your kid's mouth-guard for this sequence.
Reminds us of the old days, up in the Inner Harbor, with our Columbia 22...and all the stuff we bounced off of back then.
Leukemia Cup (aka Harbor Cup) is next weekend.
We're not saying it'll be like this (click for vid)....but it could be.
Back in Biz
Racing being almost done for the season, we'll be turning our attention toward making some progress on building the i550.
This warm, dry weather is really helping and if it stays favorable we hope to have a hull by the end of the month (if not next weekend).
There's one more butt joint to make (the hull side panels are done and the tips are on the bottom forward section)...after that the whole thing can come together as a rudimentary hull, waiting to receive the frames, etc.
In the meantime, here's hull number one blasting along in a 17 nm race in about 10-12 knots of breeze, puffs to 14. This is the St. Helena Cup, down under.
Click on pix to get to the vid.
Hopefully by Oct 20th I'll have something that looks a lot like this (Kevin's "Pipe Dream" build near Chicago)
Things Get Worse Dept.
Just in case you were suffering under any illusion that people in leadership positions in this country give a rat's red ass about what you think, or what you want, the Supreme Court handed down a decision today that pretty much seals the deal for the Natural Gas industry to set up shop on the corner of Bear Creek and Patapsco.
This facility will have major ramifications on recreational boating and, more importantly, Wednesday Night Sailboat racing in the river.
And, I mean, what's more important...the need for some of us locals to get our jollies in a weeknight beercan jaunt around the Government marks or the needs of millions of selfish juice consumers from Lancaster to Trenton to power their stinkin' air-conditioners on a 97 degree summer afternoon?
I think we all know the answer to THAT little riddle.
This definitely is a pile of crap coming our way but it doesn't look like there's a gull-darn thing we can do about it. Uh...what else is new.
Things Get Better Dept.
Or How We Kicked Ass in a Minor PHRF Race of No Particular Significance Other Than Our Own Self-Gratification.
Nbayracing isn't about bragging and self-congratulations, but on the other hand, once-in-a-while, it is nice to celebrate a little bit.
Perrenial NPSA'ers Doug Thomas and Yours Truly hopped on Tom Schwartz's J24 (hull number 4201) to serve up a giant can of whoop-ass the other day at Havre de Grace's Fall Invitational, smoking the nearest boat in our fleet by almost 20 minutes on a course just a little over 8.5 miles, in a light, but fairly consistent, breeze.
Once in a huge while everything you do turns out to have been the right call and this was just one of those days. We corrected over a ton of "A" and "B" boats and beat more than just a few "boat-for-boat" despite giving a 5 or 10 minute headstart and in condits that really favored the bigger boats, at least in terms of it being a rich-get-richer set of condits. I think we corrected to 3rd overall out of 45 boats.
A decent collection of boats turned out for the event, including a bunch of multi's, always cool to have a bunch of multi's out on the course, especially at crowded mark roundings...luckily we avoided those. A very eclectic monohull fleet, too, including a rarely seen (in these parts, at least) Thunderbird and one of the few J100's I've seen racing on the bay so far since they were introduced, what, about 2-3 years ago? (As an aside, when these things came out, I climbed on one at the Annapolis Sailboat Show and asked the Jboats guy why there wasn't a prod?
He said, "Jboats wanted to keep things simple." ...uh....ohhh.....kaaaaaaay.
Freaking stupid accident involving hazmats shut down I-95 for the way up to HdG, Saturday morning, which made the trip by car interesting, and may have been partially why we were sweating it, a bit, to make it out to the line in time for our start...it's also about an hour and a half motor to get to Turkey Point from HdG, so we were pushing Tom's aging and somewhat tortured Merc pretty hard, too. Luckily, when we got there, the Cat in the Hat was flying from the RC boat, so we had time to switch the chute around for a port pole hoist and tune a little better for the light air. This stuff paid off, big time.
All-in-all, it was a great way to end the season up at HdG (at least as far as we are concerned with the j24 program). Hats off to HdGYC for a fun race, a tasty party and a well-run day on the water. We at nbayracing cannot say enough good things about unpretentious YC's who know how to keep the fun in racing and not get caught up in a load of wound-up-tension-biscuit bullsh*t (to steal a phrase from Scott Tempesta).
Pretty cool to see Brian Jones'es old "Problem Child" up at the headwaters of the bay, now owned by Gary Moler and renamed "Frosty Paws." (We ground them down and left them lingering on the last upwind leg, along with the Express 35, the J27, the Dehler 36 and the Soverell 27...almost caught the Antrim, too. J24 a PHRF weapon? Who'd have thunk it?)
oh...and lest we forget, most importantly: R.I.P. John Heffner!
First place in C/D got our skipper this nifty duck!
Things Get Weird Dept.
On an eternal quest to find racing in the far corners of the globe, our intrepid reporter Willie White has filed from places like Kazakhstan and China and Australia. As of late he has been in Tibet, looking for the World's Highest Etchells Fleet, or so we hear. He sent these pix from Yamdrok Lake where there was "supposed to be a yacht club" but all he found was a "yak."
Mighty fine looking yak, though. One can only wonder what she rates....
I think I first started going out on boats when I was about 5 years old, so that makes 50+ years of screwing around on the water. And, to tell you the truth, I took a sort of tacit pride in having never fallen overboard.
Sure, I'll been floated off boats as a result being on the leeward rail during some ugly broaches, but I figure that was more along the lines of someone else's operator error, rather than any unforced error (as they say in tennis) on my part.
So it came as a bit of a rude shock, last week, whenI went over, with the boat still in the slip (just to the right of the trawler pictured at left) moments before an NPSA Wednesday Night race.
It pissed me off, in all honesty. Took away some confidence, too. At least for a few minutes.
We were striking an RF genoa to swap out to a #3 because the breeze was supposed to be a bit up range for the number 1 (turned out to be the right call). I was walking back to the cockpit to undo some stopper knots, and I must've tripped on something, which was no big deal, didn't alarm me, I just put my hand out as I was falling and decided to either grab the toe rail, or better yet, the lifelines....no problem.
So, I went for the lifelines. Only, this boat has the g.d. things on pelican hooks and the owner had undone the pelican hooks to onload gear and crew. So when my palm speared the lifeline, instead of a taunt impediment to the effects of gravity, I got the 1x19 version of a sea nettle tentacle and it was all downhill after that, as they say.
I must say that the neighbors were awful nice not to make a big fuss out of it and no one bothered to further humiliate me. Thanks to those folks and also to Charlie and Doug who hauled me out and were similarly mild in their taunting. The only damage was a scraped shin and my cell phone bit the dust.
Now, the only reason I bother relating this pathetic tale is: I'd like to think there's a lesson in all this.
If there is, it's this:
Gravity works really really quickly. One minute the last thing that's on your mind is figuring out how to get back on the boat, the next second it's all you're thinking about. So don't be overconfident....it can happen to you. Don't obsess about it, but keep it in the back of your mind that you could go over. Be a little more cautious and a little more methodical and a little less cavalier abotut how freakin' fast gravity works. Gravity is some fast sh*t, hombre.
A Word on Havre de Grace
I raced on 11 or 12 different boats last year and just slightly fewer than that this year, so I end up racing with a lot of people who don’t know me. When they ask where I usually race and I answer. “Havre de Grace,” I usually get some odd looks. Most people don’t know much about Havre de Grace, at least as the place relates to sailboat racing.
After a few years of racing there, I’ve come to like the place more and more for its quirky breezes, numerous on-course hazards and very consistent and competitive J24 fleet.
We usually find ourselves in the top three boats of the J24 standings and that’s rewarding in terms of a one-design weeknite program, but the place would still be fun even without our relative successes there.
For one thing, there’s almost always flat water. Big bumps can be fun sometimes, but for a weeknite race, who needs the misery? HdG is pretty much always a dry beat and a bruise-free morning after. The biggest breeze we’ve seen there was 25-30 and that was from a small fetch direction (NNW) and also it was on a weekend regatta. So Friday mornings are usually pretty painless.
The geography sets up a breeze matrix somewhat akin to lake sailing and the interplay between the water coming over the dam upstream at Conowingo and the normal tides and wind-driven current can be a bit of a puzzle. One would think local knowledge would pretty much ice a weekend regatta, but the Millenium Falcon guys have come up to HdG and schooled the locals, so I guess it isn’t rocket science. Nonetheless, it is a challenging venue.
The occasional gravel barge parked near the rhumbline, on some legs, the courses through the mooring field off of Tidewater Marine and the ability of the Portsmouth boats, mercifully reduced to just Stars this summer, to pop out of nowhere (always on starboard tack) mean that a good time to relax is never.
It’s a great venue and it’s totally unlike any weeknite venue I’ve sailed on the Bay. It’s probably not for everyone, which is fine because the fleet sizes have stayed consistent and probably even grown since I’ve been going up there and, let’s face it, there isn’t THAT much water up there! 25-35 boats on a Thusday night is plenty, especially when it’s light and everyone, from Starboats to 35 foot cruisers, coverges simultaneously on a downhill mark.
Pretty nice manners when 10 or so boats pile up at the downhill corner...a star or 2, a few j24's and some assorted Capris and J27's......still it was a lot quieter than the epic J105 pinwheel at the 2007 Annapolis NOOD.
One thing you learn to do quickly up at HdG, especially as the season progresses, is back-down. The invasive species "fanwort" (Cabomba caroliniana) gets pretty nasty in mid to late August and there's nothing fast about it. Dropping your boat into a mess of this stuff is pretty weird, but you deal with it...only once in the past 2 years did someone have to jump over the side and deal with the stuff by diving...although I must say that when I did this, I had to have a line thrown over to grab because there was no way 150-200 pounds of this stuff was coming off the keel easily. It felt like removing a dead body from the bottom.
Wonder if a J24 can be retro-fitted with a kelp cutter....
simply huge..........Vendee 2008
When it comes to hardcore, pretty much nothing tops the Vendee Globe.
Non-stop. Singlehanded. Around the world.
Those three criteria pretty much define a level of madness for anyone who signs up and qualifies to compete in this race. And yet, this year's offering has, at this date, a record TWENTY NINE boats participating!
above photo shamelessly lifted off the Vendee site, but what the heck, we're promoting the race here!
And it goes off in about 6 weeks, which is perfect timing as we approach the end of the season and most of us are stuck at a desk staring at a computer screen anyway, for the next five months....what a great distraction this will make!
I was on a plane last weekend, headed down south at 5:30 a.m. after, like, 1.5 hours of sleep. I felt like complete crap, and there I was, relatively safe, warm and dry, with a competent crew getting the plane in the air and back down on the ground, no worries and I felt like absolute dog-doo, and I thought to myself, imagine feeling like this (just from sleep deprivation) and being in the Southern Ocean, it's blowing 50 and you've got a busted block aloft and you've gotta go up.....and you're alone.
We should be in absolute awe of the maniacs who elect to compete in this race. They depart from Las Sables d'Olonne on Novermber 9th.
really big ..............DUCK OR CROSS.
Here's a new entry to the European One Design scene, the Giant Duck Class. This hull number 8 and supposedly there are orders in to build another 25 of these things. Apparently they are not exactly speedy, upwind, but downhill these babies have wings.
Get a load of the peeps in the lower right hand corner in order to get a sense of scale...we hear the interiors are simply incredible.
We're not sure they'll catch on over here, but we're sure of one thing: we want one!
The upper bay is no stranger to enormous one-design fleets, as anyone who's ever done a J24 or J22 Worlds in Annapolis can attest.
But the Laser SB3 Worlds taking place next week and starting on Monday (Sept 22) amp up the sportboat OD equation massively with a mind-boggling 140 boat fleet.
Say what you want about the SB3, relatively heavy, aluminum rig and not particularly innovative (no kite chute, for example) the boats have earned a terrific following on the other side of the pond and we think it's cool that everyone is converging off of Dublin, Ireland to race these things around for 5 days in what is sure to be a huge logistical challenge for the YC, the RC and the lift operators.
Hat's off to Laser and the National Yacht Club of Ireland, Dun Loaghaire, for having the gumption to pull off an event like this.
ARW DAY 1
Pretty much true to form, ARW DAY 1 turned out to be a total turd of a day.
There was breeze before the rendezvous and breeze at the start, but it was clearly dying.
On the X-Yacht, we had a smoking uphill first leg, were way ahead and even beat a fair number of AO boats to the mark....then: total dog poop on the way down and, after an excruciating wait-fest, we finally got the "all racing abandoned for the day" call from the RC.
From a distance, we were watching the one boat in our fleet that had a chance of being scored for the race. Thompson 30 "Wairere" was awful close to finishing and still had 5 minutes before the TLC signal, when, for some reason, the RC fired 3 guns and everyone went home. Maybe there's more to it than that, but we'll have to wait and see....
Update: "Wairere" apparently was recognized, after the abandonment anouncement, as having finished before the TLE, and her time was taken. That should earn her a bullet as the only boat scored in PHRF A1. Hat's off to her crew, as finishing in almost zero knots of breeze against a strong current setting her down the bay, was quite an accomplishment. Especially when you look at the CBOFS graphic, above left, that pretty much defines the word "hole" for the courses off the mouth of the Severn.
TEE - ELL - EEE
Few things in sports are as frustrating as working your ass off in a really light air race, and putting the boat in a position to win, only to have the Time Limit expire as you approach the finish line.
Race committees need to be flexible and creative, and also need to be able to anticipate, well ahead of time, when a shortened course is going to mean the difference between a race that goes into the books and a race that gets abandoned...with a bunch of boats filled with disgruntled crew heading back to the docks.
Make no mistake, nbayracing.com deeply appreciates the unpaid heroes who do RC work on weeknights!
But we believe that if you are able to get a race off, then 9 times out of 10 you should be able to shorten a race that uses the local Gov't marks, all of which are in close proximity to the RC boat.
We've seen the letters TLE quite a few times this season, out in the mouth of the Patapsco.
We're all for supporting and praising volunteers who put their energy, time and love for racing into action by providing race management on the water, but we also feel like sometimes they need a little constructive feedback. The ability to read current conditions, and the ability to anticipate new ones, and then change the course to compensate, is an important skill in Race Management, as important, we feel, as setting square lines and accurately recording finishes.
RCs need to work with their Fleet captains to make sure there are adequate provisions for shortening weeknight races...especially here on the Upper Bay, where "sunset" is often synonymous with "shutdown."
GOOD OLD BOAT Regatta....October 11 & 12 in Annapolis
We'd be lying if we said the idea of a Good Old Boat regatta was a turn-on, initially, here at Nbayracing.
But in the spirit of owning up to certain stupid past tendancies, which is becoming a tradition on these pages, we are now happy to admit that we've done a 180 on this event.
The fact that there were more boats participating in last year's GOB Regatta, on that weekend in October, than there were boats participating in AYC's Fall Series, speaks volumes, in our opinion, about where the sport is going, or rather, more accurately, where the sport has been and what's become of it.
Somehow, despite what the numbers at CBYRA sanctioned events would suggest, there are tons of older boats out there who still want to race (and have fun while doing so). Yet the dynamics of racing, nowadays, clearly has set up a set of conditions that discourages their participation.
We think that's a damn shame.
So, along comes the magazine Good Old Boat, which must be experiencing some level of success because the lifespan of new magazine launches is usually pretty short and I think GOB has been around now for 7 or 8 years, maybe more. This will be their 9th Annual Regatta and if you own a boat who's first hull was built before 1975, you should give this event a good look...but don't look too long, entries cap at 80 boats due to limitations at the party site!
Imagine what this event could be like without the cap on the number of entries....
Fit to be Tied
We dont make any attempt to hide our deep affection for NPSA, here at nbayracing.
Here's a club that sticks to its maverick roots, refuses (or ignores) any movement toward getting "sanctioned" by CBYRA, schedules races whenever they feel like, regardless of what's going on with the "official" calendar, and basically just exists in order for a bunch of nice folks to get together, once a week (and sometimes on weekends) and go sailing under the excuse of having a boat race.
It works for us, although we wouldn't be totally honest if we didn't admit that there was a time when we here at nbayracing seemingly didn't "get" NPSA and, inadvertantly, brought some bad vibes to their house, a period in the learning curve of nbayracing that, believe me, is deeply regretted. But time marches on and those days are over and the club is doing pretty well despite the fact that the PHRF A fleet has pretty much evaporated....this might be due more to the fact that it is a tough environment on boats that draw more than six feet as the creeks have silted in quite a bit and there are also some "sunkers" that have ripped some of the deeper keels assunder in the past few years. But anyway, regardless of what's going on with PHRF A boats, there is always a steady core of good old boats (and an awful pretty fairly new one) out there in front of Old Road Bay on Wednesday nights, and we like to get down there as often as we can, given family and work demands and certain One Design commitments and stuff like that.
NPSA holds a singlehanded race every August. They liked the idea of holding a singlehanded race and so they decided to schedule one. They didn't consult with CBYRA or cluck-cluck over whether it would conflict with Summer Oxford...they just said, look we'll be out there in an RC boat and you can show up and race, if you want to.
It went pretty much like this (yesterday), according to NPSA's Commodore, Charlie Rouse: Out of 5 registered boats, 3 dropped out, "so as the flies were munching on our legs due to a lack of wind (I said I would rather be playing in poison ivy), but plenty of power boats to kick up a few waves, Jack and I called it a tie and came home."
That's all there is to it.
A certain beauty to its simplicity.
Annapo Drift Weak....Looms
Nbayracing really does try to keep a positive attitude, but the line gets pushed when it comes to Annapolis Race Week, which starts in 13 days. Some people hate the Governor's Cup, we here at Nbay reserve the right to share similar feelings for ARW.
First of all the name is stupid. It's 3 days.
3 days is not a week.
Second of all, the days with breeze are usually lacking. People can say what they want about Screwpile, but Screwpile is the freaking Columbia Gorge compared to the last couple of days of August, off the Severn. We've been miraculously blessed by decent air this summer, but I just have a gut feeling the run of luck is going to bottom out when I get to Naptown next Saturday morning. I'll be doing just one day on board the IMX 38 "Equilibrium" thanks to the kind Equil-people, who have invited me on board for the day. I'll take a few snaps and report on conditions, but I have no illusions that things will look anything like the snap, above left, of a sistership "Excession," honking along under a kite somewhere off the coast of Holland.
Yet, ya never know. I'm thinking at the very least, powerboat traffic will be slightly less than years past...it almost makes me wish for another petrol price spike in the next few days. Almost.
Nbay swore off ARW a few years ago after a couple of brutal days slatting around on a J35, getting waked by every Rodney south of The William Preston Lane Memorial Bridge in their 40 foot Clorox bottles, hurrying through the race course circuits to go nowhere. We're hoping against hope this year's breeze lures us back into the event.
Please excuse this brief departure into negativity.
Don't Worry, We're in Total Control Dept.
We like Tucker's coverage of NYYC Race Week at Newport, and the last couple of minutes of Sunday's racing (7/27) are definitely pretty entertaining. Check it out at http://www.t2p.tv/
If you haven't already done so, you'll have to register but the low-rez stuff is free.
The vids from the opening week's coverage of the 12 Meters are pretty cool, too.
J one twenty 'tude
Got a chance to take a ride on a J122 the other day. God knows there are tons of idiots who take an enormous amount of pleasure in dissing Jboats, but nbayracing.com takes a more realistic approach and tries to appreciate each Jboat offering for what each model has to offer.
The 122 is a recent, IRC-optimized retooling of their 40 footer, the 120. The 122 is a bit more powered up, with 4 more feet of hoist and a tiny bit of an increase in the SA/Disp ratio and a tiny bit less LWL than the 120.
My impression after 5 hours on the boat in 8-15 knots is: WOW.
Here's a shot taken while cracked off, maybe an inch or two, on the ride back up into the river on the way home. In 12-15 kn we had the speedo pegged well into the 8 knot range and the boat simply shrugged off the confused slop that's generated off the sea wall in front of the Academy and Spa Creek on a summer Sunday afternoon.
With four more feet of hoist than the 120 and a giant, masthead assym, on a carbo rig, the 122 feels a lot more lively than, need I say it, the 105 in light air. The friend who invited me along said he'd love to see the boat powered up in 20 kn.
This would be a very slick ride to take to Bermuda.
Huge thanks to all the Plum Crazies who were nice enough to extend the invite to me!
All Hail Dept.
Mark Jefferies owns Balto Light with a few other people....he shot these vids from the lighthouse when a fairly violent T-storm rolled through on Sunday July 27th....check out the lightning strike sequence.
Vids are here
No one was hurt but we are sorry to report that his newly installed inverter got fried.
We're not even going to bother with the superlatives...Screwpile is 15 years old, now, and if you haven't figured out that it's the most fun you are going to have racing on the bay, in any given season between 1993 and the present, then you're a lost cause.
About a hundred and forty boats this year...not a record, but a pretty solid turnout and we were able to get 5 good races in despite a total fluke on day 3 when a rare mid-morning Chesapeake T-storm rolled through somewhat unexpectedly. (a T-storm at 10:30? coming out of the almost cloudless blue sky at that existed at 10 a.m.?...when the RC hailed the fleet with a "racing postponed--head for cover" announcement, we pretty much figured they were goofing...at least for a few seconds. Then the report of strong winds and the potential for hail came through and we fired up the saildrive on the ETAP 30, "Cadence ll" and hauled butt back in.....tied up just in time to see this beauty whailing in from the NW at 29 knots:
So, we played the waiting game for awhile, until Race Management blew the 3 note sonata and then packed the boat up for the delivery back home. Another Screwpile down the drain and another 362 days of looking at that yellow banner at the top of their website until SPLC 2009!
(waiting for the inevitable...3 toots signalling Regatta Over, Man. Nonetheless, 5 races wasn't too shabby even though Day 3 was a bit of a disappointment. Wait'll next year, eh?)
----------------------------------------- LINK TO EARLIER 2008 STUFF ---------------------------------------