if you are looking for the i550 build log, click image:


the page from 2012 is gone, probably forever. links to: 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004

12.15.13.....The Year

I'm not going to complain about my 2013 sailing season. In some ways it was the best I've ever had, probably due to the Bermuda Race on the Hinckley 42SW.

But I got to do other stuff I'd never done, the inaugural Race To Rock Hall and the F. Scott Key Classic and the Leftover Bowl.

And this year's back-to-back win in the Governor's Cup was outstanding, also.

Throw in a distance race on one of the fastest monohulls on the bay, and heck, that pretty much fills the bill. So I ain't complaining. Not now, anyhooo.

We hope your 2013 went swimmingly and your passion for the sport only grows in 2014.

12.7.13....Pearl Harbor Day

There was a big CBYRA meeting (the Annual General Meeting) and there was a lot to talk about. Like: whether or not we'd be able to exist as an organizing authority and meet our obligations as a 501(c) 3 and be able to conduct business in Maryland in 2014.

The membership voted to give us a shot at reorganizing the YRA, and we have a year to produce something meaningful, like better sailor-services, better communication, and better and more tangible and identifable benefits to racing sailors.

It can be done.


Oh man, why do people do this crazy sport, I swear...

You have a nice 4-5 day window carved out to eat, drink and sleep and take a serious break from running around in this rat-race we call the East Coast corridore, and then, suddenly, just after being comatose from overeating, overdrinking and over-napping, you find yourself kicking the ice off the foredeck of a race boat to go out and compete against people who are just as insane as you (and your crewmates) are.


But, I mean, what the hell, right? How bad could it be?

Actually, condits were quite benign, and it was in fact a lovely day on the water. We had some very light breeze at the start, then that turned into nothing other than drifting in the right direction, with the final quarter mile filling in with a spiffy little easterly that actually had us ripping along beautifully for a minute and a half and there was the finish line. Done.

You mean that's it?

Well, retiring to a cozy chili and beery post-race celebration at EYC was pleasant enough, but you begin to wonder if some clubs are sliding over into the dinner club side of things when the racers are relegated to the downstairs conference room. I remember a time when you got finished racing, you went to put your elbows on a BAR and you drank in a club house, not in a cellar. This is a trend in racing that has to stop. If you ask me. Which, admittedly, you didn't.

Some pix:

Condit an hour before the start...that J70 wasn't going to make it so we gave them a tow

things not looking much better at T - 12

Not much going on over by the YP Yard about 45 minutes into the race

Finally a little something off SSA-land. But do you really want 15-25 the day before December?

10.28.13....The RCRA Race that starts the day after the Harbor Cup

I missed the Harbor Cup. Had to work! Sheeeeesh.

This is the first one I have missed in a long time, but you know how life goes. Lucky for me Ed Tracey had room on Incommunicado for the Race Back, the F Scott Key Classic. This is a traditionally under-attended event, at least it has been as of late, and last year it got scratched because Hurricane Sandy was approaching.

So I was psyched about the FSK race, even though it was like 38 degrees or something when on the front porch when I first got up. It warmed up a bit and by the time the gun went off it was in the mid 40's maybe? The breeze was just about perfect, with a short leg up almost to Ft. McHenry (the racce starts down near the Key Bridge at that commemorative Star Bangled Buoy that's just north of the eastern end of the bridge) and then a nice solid kite run for about 10 miles to a government mark near 7 foot knoll or 5 foot knoll. One of the knolls. Not the grassy one, though.

18 boats came out to play and we had four in PHRF B. and Inc. smoked our fleet by 5 minutes and change. It was a normal day.

I swear these guys are going to need a warehouse for silver and bling one day. Maybe they already have one.

But I tell you, as the breeze came up and the sun got lower, it became damn cold. DAMN cold!

Next up: Leftover that ought to be seriously cold if this weather stays true to form....

9.30.13.....Race to Rock ON!

(above, the first ever B Fleet start at the first ever Race to Rock Hall)

How do you take a dying CBYRA-sanctioned event and resuscitate it? 

Simple! You toss it in the bin and build something else that works better!

And that’s exactly what John Aellen and a bunch of hard-working folks at Potapskut Sailing Association did. The annual CBYRA sanctioned “Queenstown Race” was in its death-throes and was down to 20 boats last year, a good portion of which were the Alberg 30s.

So John & Co. got to thinking and said, what if we offered a different destination this time, someplace with better amenities, more restaurants and a welcoming, full service marina! 

And so it came to pass that the Race to Rock Hall was born. 

And, lo and behold, the number of boats more than doubled!  In just the first year, the new race showed an increase of 220%.

I realized, late in the game, that I did not have a ride to Rock Hall, so I put the ball in motion to take Tom Schwartz’s J24 out for the race.  Tom readily agreed and we put together a crew of four, including Trevor and Carl, 4/5ths of our old team (sometimes known as the “BayBoyz Syndicate,” a travel team that we’d take on the road to different regattas in and out of the region back in the day).

We were late to the registration and have to thank Mike Mullarky and PHRF of the ‘Peake for cranking out a PHRF cert in no time.  I mean like: next day. Back last spring we heard a lot of complaints about PHRF of the ‘Peake, but they seem to be on their game these days!

So, Saturday dawned and it was quite breezy on the ride to the line, out the mouth of the Pataps and down to Balto Light.  It was so boisterous, one of our crew decided to suddenly, and without authorization, go swimming!  We scooped him up rather rapidly (in all honesty I was surprised at how quickly we recovered him).  This was the boat’s first CBYRA event, so it was nice to get the required M.O.B. drill out of the way, first thing.

With a sopping wet crew member and just a few dry clothes that fit, we were slightly behind schedule in getting ready for the start or maybe just slightly distracted, but nonetheless, somehow, we had a great start. 

Then we tacked over to head east and we were a lot behind when we finally consolidated.

Then we got some breeze and were ahead!

Then we found a hole and fell behind.

Then, with a new windline and a shift, back to being ahead.

Then a righty with breeze building from the east and we were screwed. Again.

It went something like that.  

I don’t know, but I been told, we finished 6th overall. I know we finished 4th out of 4 boats in PHRF C. It wasn’t the best of conditions for a J24, lumpy and shifty upwind and crappy and soft downhill. But I like the idea of being 6th overall out of 40-something boats. Only John White and one of the trimarans corrected over the C class.

(below, Steve Culfogenis's "Cookie" and the Lindy 26 "Ole Yella" truck upwind just after the start)

Like I’ve been saying, the C class is pretty awesome on the Chesterpeek Bay. It may not be glamorous, but it is great racing!

We had to do a turn and burn, but I heard the party was terrific and there were very few complaints (if any at all). I'm going out to buy my 2014 calendar and will put this race on the platter, you betcha, for next September.

9.19.13...... Pink Wednesday

I was planning on staying in late at work, but when I got the call that "Incommunicado" was maybe going off shorthanded, hell, how could I resist? (sensing a theme, here?)

This is MRSA's Female Skippers Series and when I got there, it was pretty obvious that our lovely female skipper, Janet, was on her game. There's a certain quiet intensity winning skippers have and, from the time we left the dock, until the warning signal went off, Janet was just brimming with those kinds of vibes.

Or, maybe she'd just had a pre-race beer, I dunno.

But we all knew where this was going and "Inc" won the race in a walk.

Aside from Governor's Cup, I had not been on the boat all season and I have been a fool: this is the best boat to race on in North America. Fun folks, phenomenal preparation, expert execution....and really, really good sails. Even their Wednesday night sails are terrific. Ed and Tim have an amazing program, as their warehouse full of trophies will attest.

as much as I loathe the onset of cold weather, it does result in some pretty skies.......B.F.D.

a couple more snaps: people who think alike, drink alike.....and that's a LOT of kites in the background

It really deosn't get any better than this on a weeknight. And, a full 'harverst" I in heaven, or am I in Miami.

9.16.13.... T.O.F.T.S.  (too old for this sh…..)

Part of hitting the 7th decade (which begins when you reach 60, for the math-impaired) is recognizing your limitations.

I had already decided that racing on a powered-up PHRF AO boat, to which I had a loose connection, would be beyond my skill-set. But when I was invited on board to fill-in at “pit,” on the McConaghy 38 "OOAH," well, how the hell could I say no?

I should have said “no, thanks.” Either I am drastically in need of male hormone replacements or the boat has some serious friction issues with some of the systems, but I suspect it may be a combination of the two.  I can do 100 push-ups in 120 seconds and generally feel like I can handle most reasonable loads on a sailboat, given the pre-determined and expertly installed levels of mechanical assistance.

So, one of my responsibilities in the pit was to set the pole. No biggie, I’ve set the pole on various sprit boats, 80’s, 105’s and a J120 or 122 on one occasion. But when I went to wail on the line, the damn thing would hardly budge. I gave it another go….holy CRAP. I put my feet against bulkhead and pushed off…Gee-zist CRICED!! 

Finally one of the Big Strong Guys got it out and kite went up.

That was about my biggest source of embarrassment, but there were others. But hey, no one was paying me. It was a fun ride, we did most of it under a chute and the boat went very fast. It was extremely cool starting near the tail end of all the Oxford Race fleets and then passing them all by the time we got to the river. The pesky beach cats kept up, but that was about it.

above, various lines doing stuff in the carbon cave

I thought it was heroic, the lengths to which they went with this thing, to eliminate weight, although some of the schemes seemed to be a little over the top. But hey, it isn’t my boat. One thing I did love was the way control lines are routed under the cockpit floor. Putting the vang cleat way back in the stern is about the best idea I have seen since carbon fiber came along. Boat is rounding up, run forward to blow the vang? Huh? That’s the idea on 99.9% of the boats I’ve raced on, so when a puff hit us in the Choptank, it was a “quick lean down and flick the vang line out of the cleat” from we dudes hanging out on the transom.  Most excellent!!!

somewhere back there is a cleat for the vang...

Huge thanks to Jim and the crew for having this duffer aboard!  Very cool boat and beating the Big Black maxi-canter is always a good thing.


9.05.13...Start Over

(left, sea-nettle clouds, which announce the imminent arrival of sea-nettles)

Last week we had an attrocious start. One of the worst starts I’ve been involved with in the past 10 years or so.  I think we were a good two minutes late finally crossing the line.

Sometimes you can dig your way back by taking a flyer and/or taking advantages of your opponent’s huge mistakes, but we seemed to make a lot of decisions that did not pay off. 

So be it. We finished DFL both on corrected time and boat for boat.

Charlie, the skipper, wanted to take responsibility for the crappy start, but with five people on the boat, all capable of seeing and talking, there is no way the skipper should take the blame for being way too low and way too slow when the P-flag goes up. 

Once in a while, it just happens. Sometimes it’s because someone is screwing around with some gear that suddenly needs attention, or maybe there’s an intense conversation going on about tactics, or about work, or about whatever, when all-of-a-sudden you realize there is no way in hell you are going to be anywhere near a good place to be, at the 1-minute signal.

So everyone goes sullen as you finally cross the line and the rest of the fleet is way ahead, carving up the breeze and loving their “rich get richer” status while you bring up the rear, hating life.

This is why everyone on the boat needs to be wired into the Start. Some people want one person dedicated to time and one voice calling out data.  But I’d rather have five people with watches running and saying, outloud, stuff like, “That’s our six minute signal, right?” Official timekeeper or bowman says, “Yeah our six.”

Meanwhile everyone is taking a look outside the boat frequently to assess the boat’s position. “Aren’t we a little low in this breeze and current?” is an excellent question six minutes out. A firm response, “we’re fine” from the tactician or helm is a good thing. “Probably. Let’s sheet in and head up closer,” means it was good you asked. “OH SHIT, yeah we are!!!,” means you asked just a little too late.

Anyway, with last week’s start in mind, there was no way Charlie was going to mess up last night’s and he did a masterful job, with Paul the bowman’s assistance, of carving holes and defending the pin fiercely for a near-perfect, favored-end start. 

Big smiles and big sighs of relief when that happens.

Nice job, Charlie!

(a few minutes out and lots of boats behind us)

(later, reeling in the spinn fleet...oh yeah)

8.28.13....The Cup

Other than a few minutes of video when Andrew Simpson died, I have watched exactly zero seconds of coverage from the AC this year.

I love racing, I think multihulls are a blast and consider SF Bay one of the top three coolest places I have ever raced a sailboat.

But the Cup just ain't doing it for me.

Probably when the LV races are over (maybe they already are?) I'll watch the showdown for the actual defense of the Cup, but then again, maybe not.

I can't even figure out why, but the whole thing just induces a gigantic snore as far as I'm concerned.

8.22.13....Whirled in the Back

I got to go racing on my birthday. I think that's a first. We'd been on vacation together and in a car so much in the past 2 weeks that I think the family was glad to be rid of me. Not that I blame them, not at all! Au contraire. "Sure, you want to go racing on your birthday? No problemo!"

Thanks very much to Charlie Rouse who let me go with them. After a 9 hour car ride the day before, I was waaaay too burned out to go out and single-hand. It wa fun being scratch boat in NS, too...and indeed, we did get the gun but finished third on corrected. BTW, note the PHRF spread in the picture below. Not all the boats are shown, but the scoring differential is more than 2 minutes a mile. NPSA is certainly not alone in this kind of "challenge." As racing drops off in terms of participation, PHRF fleets find themselves accomodating fewer boats with larger rating swings. Back in the day, NPSA had both an A and a B spin fleet. BTW, Annapolis Race Week had a mere 1 boat in PHRF AO and just 3 boats in PHRF A1, the last time I checked the scratch sheet (a few minutes ago).

Life is hard!

8.6.13....Back in The World

(left: a frame from Trevor Harney's GoPro video from Annap Race Week 2012)

During a lull at a recent Chesapeake Bay event, we had a conversation about coming back to work after a weekend of racing.

I first heard the expression “Back in The World” in 1969 from a guy I knew who had come back from combat duty in Viet Nam. To him, being “back in The World” meant returning to a place where people took showers, ate breakfast and trundled their kids off to school, went to their jobs and had a normal life. Not being in “The World” was a surreal experience where mortal danger lurked around every corner and shit happened that no one in their right mind would believe or begin to understand.

I’m not going to put sailboat racing in quite that category, unless it’s an offshore event like Syd-Hobart or a Fastnet or something, but it does get dangerous out there on the water from time to time, we all know that.

I’ve been shot at in anger (from a great distance with ridiculously poor efficacy) and I understand the difference between competing in a sport, voluntarily, and with absolutely zero strategic or global importance versus having fiercely nationalistic people who are very pissed off at you launching explosive projectiles your way. I get that.

Yet, coming back into the office, or the living room for that matter, after a particularly gnarly race is a challenge. How do you describe it? Do you even bother? If you do, don’t most people in your audience either yawn or shake their heads and ask, “and this is FUN for you?”

But the point is: you now know something about yourself that you didn’t know before the event.

You know you can hack it and you know that you know something a lot, if not most, of the folks back in The World will never know.  

Like how it felt to take down the kite in 40 kn of breeze with lightning spitting all over the place in near proximity.  Like how it felt to cross a finish line after a punishing 5 hour beat into a 30-35 kns. Like how it felt to be puking for twelve hours, offshore in ugly lumps of a seaway until you dry-heaved your way into feeling semi-normal. Like how it felt to get flipped out of the boat into 45 degree water in a vicious wipeout and get reeled in by your crew because you held on to that spinsheet you were trimming.

This stuff happens and then you go sit in a meeting. In a warm, well-lit conference room. On Monday morning.

Welcome back to The World.

8.6.13....Pix from \/

BTW, most of us noticed the little yellow float plane out above us for both Screwpile and Gov Cup. Their website is here and a lot of their shots are terrific! So go order one. Note to crew: a framed shot is a great way to say thanks to your skipper!

8.5.13....40th Gov Cup

(left: the B Fleet takes off in breeze at 1515 hrs., a great time to start a distance race in a building southerly)

I’ve never been accused of having a really good handle on human-nature, but for the life of me I cannot figure out why some people who sail, and lots of people who race, talk so disparagingly about St. Mary’s College of Maryland’s Governor’s Cup.

Aside from the Down The Bay Race, which goes off a bit early in the season and is on the longer side of what people can accommodate into their family and work obligations in early June, it’s the only race on the bay that can be considered “an adventure.”

Barring some sort of extreme weather in some of our shorter, destination races, it can be argued that the Gov Cup, raced mostly at night, with its list of hazards like crab pots, fish traps, obstructions (the targets!), thunderstorms, commercial shipping and sleep deprived crew and competitors, is really the only summer race that presents challenges approaching those one might lump into the "slightly riskier" category.

The Gov Cup. You race hard.  You may get a nap during the long night, if you’re lucky.  You most likely finish in a zephyr, trying to ooch over a hard-fought finish line in a dying breeze against a foul current.

But you finish. And then you get That Feeling.

That Feeling that you’ve arrived somewhere very cool and really quiet and pretty and folks are happy and maybe a little bit blasted and you know what? It’s FREAKIN GREAT TO BE HERE!  YAAAHHH!

Well, anyway, that’s why I love the race.

(Ieft: finishing at sunrise, with just a few boats in and a celebratory beverage is a good thing. It was a little bit painful watching one of the larger Jboats run aground for awhile, just yards short of the finish line...we felt for those guys)

t doesn’t hurt to do well, either.  In our case it was a repeat of a bullet in 2012. Only, this year we got to St. Mary’s even earlier and had decent breeze all the way up to the finish line at the Dove.  Drinking a couple of celebratory Dark & Stormies before sun-up on 15 minutes of sleep will definitely impact a good portion of the rest of your Saturday, too.

The whole experience is one way to cure insomnia, no doubt about that. Sleep comes mighty easily at some point on Saturday.

An idea that has come to be appreciated by 9/10ths of the racers I got a chance to talk to is: starting the slower boats first. It's fun to see the PHRF A boats in the river with you, not disappearing over the horizon before you've even gotten to Thomas Point Light.

(left: a packed house and a spillover crowd outrside the tent stuck around late to hear the results...SPLC may want to take notice)

Another great idea is the to not post the results until just before the Awards Ceremony, as it kept people around the tent and gave the ceremony a lot more energy and enthusiasm.  I love the campus and it was a little weird to repeatedly take the path past my younger kid’s dorm room from just a few months ago, to get to the townhouse we had rented. BTW, I highly recommend doing this. If you split the cost of a townhouse 4-ways, it will be the best $40 you ever spent to get a nap and a shower and then another nap. Or two.

I hope the race gives parents with kids, who are approaching college-age, a heads-up that this little college in the middle of nowhere is worth a look and should be added to the college tour schedule!

I also hope things have turned around as far as the college’s fiscal issues with this race, as it was just a couple of years ago that they were considering bailing from hosting the event. It would be a colossal shame if this race disappeared from the August racing schedule. I hope people who competed this year (and in years prior) get inspired to talk other boats into coming out in 2014.

This year, for the 40th anniversary of the race, at approx. 130 boats (counting both the Potomac and Annapolis fleets), the numbers weren’t bad, but they weren’t stellar either.

2012 saw 150 boats. 2011 numbered 155. So the trend has been downward, but that's the trend with pretty much every bay race this year.

Maybe interest in this race will renew once again, and the number of registered boat will climb back, to some extent, nearer to where they were in the race's heyday. I’ve already made a commitment to racing on a boat that’s never done the Gov Cup for the 2014 event. 

Cannot WAIT!

7.25.13.....SCREWPILE 2013 Rant/Rave

(part of Screwpile is seeing some interesting new [and old], the Farr B/One gets towed out on Day 3)

You read on some of the more negative sailing forums how Screwpile is always the same: hot, calm and frustrating.

For anyone who actually subscribes to that nonsense, OK, fine. Do us all a favor and don’t go. Because Screwpile is always a blast and we the people who love it, and look forward to next year’s beginning something like an hour after it’s over, really don’t want you and your stupid negative vibes there.

Stay home. Cut the lawn, whatever.

But if you are the kind of person who really loves the sport, I mean really loves and respects it, you’ll probably be there next year come hell or high water. Because, let’s face it, short of anything like Nap to Newport or Nap to Bermuda, you will not find the level of racing, on a consistent basis, anywhere else on our bay like you'll find at Screwpile.

Nor will you find as friendly a town, as happy a racing community and as easy a place to simply exist and function as a racer for 3-4 glorious days of sailing competition.

BTW, with regard to the competition: I’ve done a lot of Screwpiles. My first exposure to the event was delivering a boat to Audi Race Week before it was even called Screwpile. I’ve raced at Screwpile in PHRF A, PRHF B, and PHRF C . I’ve raced One-Design at Screwpile.  Hell, I’ve even raced NS at Screwpile.  And in each fleet I have found alarmingly good competition.  High-Point is one thing, but if you really want to feel exceptionally good about your racing program, you need to grab a place on the podium for overall results at SPLC.

And if your program isn’t that good? Come anyway! Nowhere else on the bay will you have an opportunity like Screwpile to see how the big boys and girls do it. The "learning opportunities" exist in droves.

Numbers are down on the bay for both PHRF and CBYRA membership, but still, there are many, many hundreds of boats racing on the bay this season. Why greater than 90% don’t bother to show up in Solomons, in late July, is a complete mystery to me.

OK, enough. Rant over (but for that > 90%,? missed it!)

(left) one boat that didn't miss it is Norman Dawley's Custom 48 "Pursuit."

"Pursuit" is just as likely to be found ocean racing [see the boat blog here] so it was most excellent that the boat took 2nd overall in the insanely competitive PHRF A1.

As for our effort? We got off to a rather inauspicious start. Saturday evening we went out to practice and tune against David McCullough’s Cal 34-III, “Gitana.” Long story short, we were getting ready to head in, after working through a lot of snafus, and were in the beginning stage of our last douse, when some big breeze rolled in and "gosh, the kite won’t come down!" It won’t budge. Boat speed went up over 12 kn, which would have been fun except we were running out of water. We blasted through the fairway and hit bottom inside of R”2”, just west of Lake Vista.

Once we got the sails sorted, we had to figure out a way to get the boat off the bricks. The lightweight anchor we had on board was useless to use as a kedge in the remaining 12-18 knot breeze, with higher gusts, and the prop would not stay buried long enough to move the boat in the small, 2-second period chop.

That’s when it’s good to have some skills on board. Out trimmer, Spencer, is a Navy rescue-swimmer, so who better to swim out 200 feet of line to our pals on “Gitana?”

So, Spencer lit out toward the channel with a line, while I jumped in and tried to ease the boat out to deeper water by pushing it, which was a Sisyphean venture at best.

Some time was spent tying various lines together and hooking up with the Cal 34, and voila!, “Gitana” had us off the beach and back out into Oh-Beer-Thirty.  Nothing broken, just our self-esteem and a few nasty sea-nettle tracklines on various body parts. No biggie.

It was good to get that stuff out of our systems, because for the most part, we were solidly in contention for a top-three finish in every race. We pulled off a 4 – 3 on the last day and should have actually scored better, but got buried at the leeward finish in a huge hole and were denied our only bullet for the event. We still pulled off a 4th overall, which is not too shabby for one of the smallest boats in the C Fleet and which was also a huge improvement over our past years’ performances.

One last word about the fleet: we ended up hanging out a lot with “Gitana’s” owner and crew and it would be hard to find a better bunch with whom to spend three days racing, partying and sharing harbor postponements. And, we were always bumping into crew from other PHRF C boats at the restaurants and bars and the same thing goes. 

(left) SPLC did a good thing by letting us rot at the dock instead of taking us out to bob & sweat. At least there's shade at the dock. We didn't have to wait long and we got in three nice races that day. "Gitana" is just out of frame on the right, but is providing some decent sun blockage at this wee hour of the day, at least a bit more than the mere Merit 25 can provide.

PHRF C on the bay has become a very cool scene, a lot of excellent racing and comradery without the testosterone-driven posturing of the faster fleets. It’s good to see there’s still a place on the bay for the traditional 4KSB.

6.30.13.....Dept. of Miscellaneous Stuff -- And remember: it's OK to race.

Coming up is BCYA's Annual Race to Baltimore. Details here. What could be more fun than racing up into Baltimore on a July afternoon? OK, we won't ask that you answer that, but you should probably do the race. You'd be surprised at what you might see in Baltimore. BTW, the Orioles have a home game against the pesky Blue Jays that afternoon, but you probably won't make the first pitch.

Look, Screwpile is a mere 3 weeks away. You know you want to go. So sign up. Just do it. Leave this site, go here and sign up.

OK, glad we got that straightened out.

(left) the scene from three or four years ago

and in the parallel universe scheme of things, we lost our way, temporarily, getting from Providence RI airport to Parker's Boatyard, on the other side of the Sagamore Bridge in Massachusetts. So we pulled into the nearest parking lot to check the GPS, and Lo & Behold, an APS!

Who knew?

(left) A mere 18 boats competed in this year's PSA Overnight Race. That's up 8 boats from 2009, 2010 and 2011, but down 6 boats from the 2012 tally. Too bad. This is one of the easiest and most accessible distance races north of Annapolis and it utterly baffles me why more boats don't come out.

6.21.13 MARION TO BERMUDA RACE ("Take my Hinckley....please." 630 nm on starboard tack)

(left) does this 60 pounds of offshore gear make my butt look fat? [photo: e. wassermann]

We found out a couple days before the start that Rob, the owner, was definitely NOT going to be on the boat for the race to Bermuda.

OK, we can deal with that.

We got a fantastic replacement to keep the crew at five (Bill Bowers, see below), Rick was a long, longtime friend of Rob's and Bob, as a Beverly Yacht Club member, stepped up to be Skipper-of-Record. That left me and Eric jumping on as first-time ocean racers, no biggie.

Except, a 42''er with a LOT of systems, (let's see here: refridge, radar, hot water, diesel, AIS, GPS the NMEA interface, the chartplotter, the Sat phone, the SSB radio, not to mention the various VHF transmitting devices scattered around the boat, and the in-mast furling system, electric winches, detachable staysail shroud...well, you get the picture) is going to require a significant learning curve and to be honest, some of that was achieved in the slip once we berthed in Bermuda at the Royal Hamilton Amateur Dinghy Club (R.H.A.D.C.). No worries, right?

Well, actually, there were very few worries. The ones we did have were more to do with VMG and SOG, the key players in the mystery that constitutes crossing the Gulf Stream and picking out the currents (warm and cold eddies) that most favorably propel you toward Bermuda.

I took a hands-off approach to this mystery. I didn't presume to know anything other than the basic "theory" behind this routing puzzle, even after attending two separate briefings devoted strictly to this subject in the days just prior to the start. My main jobs on the trip fell into two basic functions: 1) stand all of your watches no matter what and 2) when on watch, try to make the boat go as fast as possible.

Number 1 I figured would be easy. And, it was until the wind died off Nomans Land Island, which is about 3nm southwest of Marthas Vineyard. With the leftover swell from the departed low, and the richochet from adjacent land masses, an ungodly mess of a sea-state was created and, compounded by having very little way on....let's just say some food was passed over the rail on my part. That made me feel better and I slept soundly until my next watch...where I once again fed the fishes, so to speak, shortly after coming back on deck. Still, I stood the watches and the next morning I chowed down on an egg-muffin thingie that our terrific skipper (and Head Chef) whipped up, and from then on out I felt fine.

Number 2 was a bit more vexing. I've been racing boats for two or three decades, but I realized I know nothing about how to make a 13-ton cruising boat with in-mast furling, electric winches and a heavily built number 3 RF jib sail fast. Luckily, Bill Bowers stood most of my watches with me and he is a solid ocean racer who is ALWAYS thinking of ways to make boats go faster and has the energy to impliment his strategies. I stand in awe of this man. In fact, I stand in awe of everyone on the boat, and especially Bob and Rick who frequently did double-duty, toiling below, plotting our COG and cooking in conditions that would have had me hurling for most of the trip. And not to leave out Eric, who also manned all of his watches, even though he too, briefly, had a down-for-the-count interaction with the sea-state. Eric cunningly used his iPhone for navigational input that proved useful, if not corrective, over some of the data the boat was giving us. Who do you trust?

Speaking of conditions:

We lucked out. We got flushed out of Buzzards Bay in a very strong breeze on our stern. Oh yeah, we found some holes, but all-in-all we had outstanding wind, usually more than 15 and often 20+. I think the anno on the boat was unusually pessimistic. At one point, when exiting the Stream, according to Beaufort, we had Force 6 gusting 7 and the anno was saying 18-19....we said "that is definitely bogus" and had an exhilarating charge through the 8-10 foot waves with an occasional larger set showing up. Pretty fun stuff. In fact, Bill and I were on watch and he was driving. I looked at him and said, "This is fantastic" and he looked up at me, he was hunched over the wheel like he was driving a Ferrari at LeMans, and shouted, "I'm the luckiest guy in the world!" Fun times!

We finally finished up at the Crack of Dawn Wednesday morning. It was an outstanding race and the Hinckley trucks on like a Metroliner. There were times when I came on deck to find it was blowing 15-18 with a decent sea running and I honestly thought it was dead air when I was below, putting on my harness and stuff.

That's the kind of ride I want through the Gulf Stream!

(below) some of the bigger sets we saw exiting the stream...not too gnarly

(below) this is the Mason 43, "Shearwater." After 52 hours of racing, we converged with them on the open ocean and they had to duck our stern. Small world.

(below) this squal looked really menacing, and we took precautions by reefing the main and the jib (easily done on the Hinck) but to our huge surprise, this weather system hit us with an astounding 8 knots of breeze, which was an enormous disappointment as we had 16-18 on before it hit. Go fig!

(below) here is the finish in Bermuda as the sun came up....we had Dark n Stormies in cans from Gosling. Not sure I can recomend them though....

6.14.13 M2B2013 A Good Place to Start

Turns out we were the scratch boat in our fleet (ORR rating). So that meant there was a certain amount of pressure to, at the very least, start well. There were wives on spectator boats and other reasons to look good, or at least look like we knew what we were doing. I think we were the first boat in our class to cross the start line, but with a downwind start in 30, gusting 35, the priority was more on the order of not hitting anyone than being first. But I think we accomplished both.

(left) Eric sizes up the line while the skies show a brief flash of blue

The forecast was for gale warnings, but the low that was producing all the weather sped up a bit, and was well east of Buzzards Bay by the time we started. Fortunately the breeze died down a little, but I think it was still firmly on the 25-30 range when our gun went off.

(left) this is Bill "Blackie" Bowers. He is an awesome guy and a phenomenal sailor who has raced on some lengendary yachts with some lengendary skippers. ("Windward Passage" and Turner, by way of example).

The leftover breeze from the departing low was a northerly and it shot the fleet out of the Bay like a cannon. Good times!

(left) The Hinckley SW50, "Lyra" struggles with a snuffer douse in some decent breeze well after the start

6.13.13....M2B2013 Nice to Know Ya

Getting to know the boat that you will be spending the next 6-7 days on, exclusively, is best done slowly and patiently, assuming you have the luxury of a few days prior to the starting signal in which to do so.

(left) little things, like the how-to drill for belaying the staysail shroud, were addressed

So, we spent some time on Day 1 and Day 2 getting to know “Sparky.” Day 1 was just a few hours in the late afternoon after the flight up. This was just a basic run-through of systems. Day 2 was the real deal, though. A shake-down sail from Parker’s, across Buzzards Bay to the mooring that would be our home off Beverly Yacht Club until Friday’s start. The great thing about the shake-down sail was: it was conducted in conditions similar to what we’d see at the start of racing on Friday, although perhaps just a few knots less of wind speed.

(left) while on our way over to the west side of Buzzards Bay, we ran into the 77' motor vessel "Belle." She was built in 1929 and is offered for charter by Carol Kent Yacht Charters

We also got a chance to conduct our Man-Over-Board drills and let’s just say that having done so achieved two purposes: 1) qualified us for the start and 2) convinced us that staying aboard, no matter what, was a very, very good idea!

6.12.13  M2B2013 Heaven, Heaven is a Place

Heaven is a place where all the boats are beautiful and the prettiest stay that way forever.

This seems to be the guiding principle behind “PARKERS BOATYARD.”

It’s basically impossible to spot an ugly boat on premises and the level of fit and finish on the classics being tended to there is unbelievable.

Name of the bar, the bar is called "PARKERS."

5.30.13.....Early Retirement

(left, relax're done. photo: e. ford)

There’s a kind of groove, just a good feeling, about pulling into Young’s on a Wednesday afternoon.  I get a different feeling from different marinas, whether it be Jabin’s or Oak Harbor or Ferry Point or Tidewater (HdG) or anywhere else. Each place has its own vibe. None of the others feel like Youngs and none of the others feel quite as good. Not sure why that is, but it’s true. At least as far as I'm concerned.

On the other hand, I’ve never seen a creek that promotes barnacle growth as robust as Jones Creek. Simply astounding. I missed an opportunity to dive on the boat earlier this season and in 5 weeks, despite using an expensive ablative paint, the little bastids are everywhere. The plan was to use a large sponge to wipe off the slime…within 30 seconds I knew a sponge wasn’t going to cut it.

With that on my mind, and with only The Kid as crew, we set off to race. Even though she is often on the docks at that public honors sailing camp/college in S. Md, she has only raced once, so the night was going to be more about instruction than competition. Yet, we got a nice start in a huge, boat-end hole and were doing nicely upwind, even with just the two of us and the genoa hanked on up front. OK, the boat was on her ear a lot, but nicely powered up in 6-10, with puffs to 13 or so. Fun! Plus, The KId was picking up things on a fierce learning-curve. Bonus!

We banged the left* and cut the layline a little short, compared to the first three boats in front of us on the same board, but made it easily, and were in OK shape at the weather mark, mid-fleet, which exceeded my expectations by a lot! Then, after a short two-sail close-reach, we rounded a mark and fell off almost dead-down to the next obligation.

It was clear that a kite needed launching, and of course, it was a port-pole set. Anyone who has ever raced a J24 knows that they are pretty much always set up for a starboard pole (bear-away) set. I said to the kid, this is going to be a long-shot, but let’s give it a try…there was no way I was going to rerun the gear for a port-pole launch, so we just went kite up and pole later. And, miracle of miracles, the headstay did not wrap, the kite sorted itself out and we had a chute! …for about 90 seconds, until the long-anticipated lefty finally made it’s way up the river and gave us an unantipated gybe.

I know a huge CF when I see one (having created quite a few in my day) and I said, "that’s it, kite down." And after a clean-up and a short discussion, we both agreed: let's retire.

I didn’t care, she didn’t care, it was a gorgeous, warm late spring evening, so we just notified the RC and went sailing.

I don’t like a DNF, but once in awhile, it’s just fine.

*note to new NPSA and RCRA sailors: unless it's a really, REALLY fierce ebb, the left is ALWAYS faster than the middle in an E to SSE breeze. ALWAYS. The problem is, the righty comes in the farther you go out towards Rock Hall, so when to tack back and consolidate is the question. We waited too long and got buried by the righty, but at least for starters, the left is a good place to be.

5.24.13.....Ah, Let's Get Something Straight?

My copy of Sailing World came late last week, but I hadn’t had time to even look at it. Then, yesterday, I had a few minutes in the wee small hours of the morning and, opening the mag at random, was shocked, SHOCKED I TELL YOU, to see a half-page photo of my old boat staring me in the face.

This was “Bluto,” the boat that Ben Hall and Bill Berges bought from me some six years ago, formerly campaigned under the name “Direwolf,” when I owned her.

Now, this is where things get a little murky. A few paragraphs into the story, Ben is quoted as saying he came to Baltimore to look at the boat and “probably should have looked harder.”  

The article goes on to mention that, soon after taking possession, it was determined the keel sump needed rebuilding. This could be interpreted as meaning the boat had been neglected under the former owner’s [my] care.

Or not.  

Anyone even remotely familiar with Evelyn 32-2’s knows that they are entropy machines. I doubt there are any of the 54-55 built that don’t need their keel sumps rebuilt. Or, they’ve already had it done. 

That having been said, as stated recently on a popular sailing forum, I love what the Hall/Berges program has done with the boat and wish them the greatest success not that they need my, or anyone else's, best wishes, as they’ve proven to be a force in major regattas, up and down the east coast, since the boat pulled out of Young’s Boatyard back in June of 2007.

Just wanted to make the polite suggestion that there was nothing that, as the seller, I was trying to hide or was not upfront about.

Evelyn 32-2’s are gonna be Evelyn 32-2s.  And if you own one, you are already well aware of the boat’s lovable, and not so lovable, characteristics. 

If you are BUYING ONE, then caveat emptor.

5.25.13.....Weak Nights

At a recent CBYRA meeting, an examination of the numbers seems to confirm what has been more than just a sneaking suspicion for the past few years:

-- weeknight racing is continuing to do fine (and is even increasing in popularity and participation in some venues) while weekend racing numbers continue to plummet –

Accepting the above as a fact of life, what can we do for racers who want more out of the sport than a 6 nm, 45 - 60 minute experience on a workday evening, and then get frustrated when they show up on a Saturday to find there are only 2 other boats in their class?

We could insert a more demanding weeknight race once in a while. Something once a month that goes off 30 minutes earlier with an after dark finish. Heck, from mid-June to mid-July, it isn’t really dark until almost 10 pm. (unless there’s a weather system going through).

And why not move that longer/night race to Thursday? With a longer race, let’s say one that ends for most of the fleet between 9pm and 10,  it's pretty obvious that most folks will be getting to bed a little later that night, getting a little less sleep. But come on, everyone can schlep through a Friday, running on empty, with the knowledge that the weekend is coming up! Hell, that’s been a way of life since undergraduate school.

Make that high school.

It’s time for some creative solutions to bring the racers a better product.  Since weeknights are getting the boats out in larger numbers, maybe it’s time to reward those who are showing up with something other than the same old same old.

5.22.13.....Rightside up

This i550 project is in the finishing stages. More white paint on the decks, some non-skid in certain spots, some hardware and some rope...that might just do it.

5.16.13...Still Single

I used to do a lot of single-handed stuff back in the old days with the 22 footer, but as I moved into larger keelboats, the urge to singlehand lessened and the simple fact became: it was a bitch trying to go it alone on the Evelyn 32-2. I did an overnight by myself, down to the Magothy one weekend, and that was exhausting for some breeze and plenty heat, maybe.

So it had been a good seven years or so since I last did anything solo, underway, on a keelboat.

Similar to seeing someone alone, maybe like eating dinner in a restaurant or going to a movie, people seem to find the act of singlehanding repugnant..."Don't you want some crew?" "Do you need crew?" "Where's your CREW?"

Crew? We doan need no stinkin' crew.

Anyway, it seemed like a perfect night to go out alone and boy was I happy to have done so.

Small craft warnings were issued for Wednesday through the evening hours, but I don't think anyone saw a puff over 10 kn. Nonetheless, I wasn't sure if it would be a repeat of two weeks ago, outside the fairway into Jones Creek, so I just went with the class jib instead of the lapper and while I was definitely underpowered, it was the perfect set-up for going solo. In fact, I was amazed at how easy the entire evening went and that kind of thing can lead to comepletely delusional thinking like, "Gosh it would be cool to do the Bermuda 1-2 some day."


I was runinng late and didn't make the Spinnaker start, and knew it would be an exercise in futility to even think about racing spinn with just the jib and main as my total arsenal, so I just tagged along behind the fleet, making sure to keep well clear of anyone actually racing. I decided to try heaving-to just outside the Brewerton Channel, as the "Pride" was motoring up the river towards Baltimore and I wanted hang around close enough to get a look at her. Heaving-to in J24 is somewhat of a stretch, and I was never able to get her to fore-reach slower than 2 kts. It did give me time to rerun the jib sheets outboard for the downwind ride back to Jones Creek. It was fun to walk around on the boat while underway and the poor man's tiller tamer worked like a charm.

Why single-hand? After 7 years of O.P.B.s, I realize that I had slacked off in terms of taking certain responsibilities. It was always the Other Person's Boat and while I wanted to win races and sail fast and help with all the tasks involved in getting a race boat readty and then put away for the night, or the week, ultimately the responsibility was someone else's. With singlehanding, you are it, baby, from getting out of the slip to getting back in. You need something below? Go get it. Sail change? Do it yourself. Somehow, even with all the races and deliveries and boat prep I had done on O.P.B.s over the last 7 years, I had lost confidence in my own ability to independently operate a sailboat. So this past Wednesday night was a big night. Sounds pathetic: I didn't race, it was a gentle spring evening and there were no sudden challenges or crisis situations. Er....maybe that's the point.

Thanks to Tom for the use of the boat!

5.2.13.... More is better

I was getting ready to shove off and go out to race single-handed (sorta race...or at least go through the motions). I had let go the dock lines, and was yanking on the main halyard, when Steve C. went by in "Cookie." Seeing me alone he hailed me and asked if I needed crew. Well....uh...hell YEAH!

Even better, the crew member he sent over was Holly B.

Holly and I had done a lot of racing together, including an Ox race and all three days of a moderately successful Annapo Race Week, some years back, so it was great to have him aboard. Plus, he weighs a lot more than I do and, as we went off a little over-canvassed, with the genoa up in a solid 14-20 that saw short periods of significantly higher puffs, he was the right guy for the wrong job....DH racing a J24 in big breeze.

NPSA had set up with a massive boat end bias. But we were late to the game (even with cutting across the always-dicey shoal south of the Jones Creek fairway) and missed that fact. Having no clue on the clock, we found oursleves way down on the pin end and 50 yards downwind from the RC-end starters when the gun went off. (NPSA is the only club I know that starts with the RC on the port end of the line...even if the bias is there!)

Throw in being over-canvassed and under-weight, add some crappy driving and that's a recipe for an DFL in any league. I should mention that "Cookie" won the race in our (spinnaker) fleet.

So double-thanks to Holly!

4.29.13....Coasty Cup

Congrats to Steve Culfogienis and his crew on "Cookie" for winning the Coast Guard Foundation Race in PHRF C.

We talked to Steve a few days before the race and he was wondering how they'd do, sailing the Tartan 3000 a bit on the shorthanded end of things.

Steve said they'd go with a crew of 4 which can be a bit of a slog with 24-30 hours of racing expected. They finished the mercifully short 57 nm course in a little over 15.5 hours, so do the math on that.

We got the low-down on conditions from David McC on "Gitana" about the wind speeds (and the periods whereby there was a lack of any windspeed) and how Steve found the incredibly narrow bands of breeze on the eastern shore. We've seen Steve do that more than once!

All-in-all, not a great turnout for the race and that bothers us. This year AYC (who provided race management) saw only seven boats signed up. We appreciate just the fact that they followed up on providing race management with that few boats on the line.

One issue is how early this race is on the calendar. Judging from some quick looks around two different Region II boatyards, there are still a lot of boats that have not been splashed yet. Some of this is due to how cold this spring has been. But another consideration has got to be how ready crews are for something like this. Going off rusty in an early spring overnight race is not something I would recommend to the casual weeknight beer can racer. Yet, with the CBYRA calendar as full up as it is, it's almost impossible to slip a distance race into the line up in the warmer months.

One thought would be to market this race DIRECTLY to boats that have signed up for any of the offshore races this summer. The CG Foundation Race makes an excellent shake-down event for boats going to Bermuda this summer. I do not remember hearing word one from any of the speakers at the recent Safety at Sea course in Annapolis (see below, 4.07.13) about this race. Maybe there was an incidental reference to it, I cannot remember frankly, but an exchange of names from USSailing to AYC of local racers signed up for Safety at Sea and doing any of the Bermuda or east coast distance races this summer would have been a great way to promote the Coasty Cup.

I know people have a lot on their plates these days between work, kids and elderly parents, and that's why better marketing is essential for successful events.

Better marketing, not imperceptible marketing.

4.26.13.... M.O. B. mob

A local club had a scary MOB incident this past Wednesday. We are not going to get into specifics, but it could have been very bad. It ended OK.

BUT: if the water temps are 58 and it's blowing 15-20 with puffs to 25, YOU SHOULD HAVE A PFD ON. PERIOD.

That's all has to say about that.

4.25.13...Of Courses

(left, Cookie stepping out in a Race to Balto a few years back)

I walked out to the end of the north dock the other night to see if Steve C. was on "Cookie." He was. I told him I'd heard he was signed up for the Coasty Foundation Race this weekend (April 27) and wished him the best of luck.

For those folks still unaware of this race, it's in the Greenbook and it's slated to be 24-30 of racing, out to a point, and back to Annapolis. I think this is ambitious in April. It was 36 degrees on our front porch a couple of days ago at sunrise.

Here's the killer: There is a PHRF C fleet start, there is a "Cruising" start, and there are two PHRF A starts. There is no PHRF B start. Repeat: there is no PHRF B start.

Okay, it's not my call. I'm not going, and I don't race a PHRF B boat (but will soon, I guess). Yet, I do find it a little weak that the "C" guys can get a few boats out for a gruelling spring distance race and the "B" boats aren't showing up.

Check out the courses from the SIs...the 178 nm one goes out through the bridge tunnel to a Gov't mark offshore 10 or so miles. Cool.

Forecast is for 5-10 all weekend, so it looks like #1 is a no-go, in fact, course #4 might be a struggle.

4.21.13...Of Course

I went down to Young's to give Tom a hand with getting the J24 in the water and getting the mast stepped. Of course, the persistent northerly and low tide conspired to drive all the water out of the creek and we couldn't get within 25 yards of the mast-step slip, where Phil Young has an A-frame crane for just that purpose (works like a charm, btw).

So we put it in a slip and waited. And waited. I left.

Five or six hours later Tom was able auger the keel through the mud, close enough to get the mast on.

Cut to a few days later, with a honkin' persistent southerly, this is the scene (right) could've gotten a J35 in there.

Never fails.

4.14.13.....Bulbous Things

Definitely kind of a sucker for being in the boatyard in spring!....I love it!!

I like the reflection off this extraordinarily well-finished canoe sterned cruiser, looks to me like a Valiant 42, and the catboat alongside it.

We were in the yeard putting the beginning of the finishing touches on "Incommunicado."

It was nice to have been unofficially promoted off of "winch-cleaning and lubing" duty.

It always amazes me how little gets accomplished in three hours at the boatyard. At least as far as my productivity is concerned. Yet: boats get splashed and, for the most part, they float. Explain that?

First race for MRSA is one week from today. I am thinking that is going to be a reach for a bunch of boats.

4.07.13....Impressions - USSailing Safety at Sea Seminar

Going offshore this summer, I figured it was time to belly up to the bar and register for one of these sessions. It is also required of all boats competing in a Cat 1 OSR race that 30% of the crew have taken the SAS course in the past 5 years. So, back in February, I decided to devote a weekend in April to taking this course.

I guess the biggest question one might have when considering taking one of these seminars is: is it worth it? It ain't cheap and I can think of some much more fun things to do with 300 bux. But then I thought:

"Is your life worth the 3 boat-units?" I reckon it is....

The presenters at this seminar were fond of using the expression "here's the take-away from this." The take-away for the entire weekend, for me, was:

Take the issue of safety a LOT more seriously, not only when you go offshore, but even when goofing off (relatively speaking) racing on the bay. This stuff we sail on top of, and through, is really dengerous, especially if it's cold.

The Coast Guard defines could water as anything less than 72 degrees F. That means that, even if you are exercising, your body cannot generate enough heat to stay alive in water less than 72 degrees. Not for long, anyway.

This became abundantly clear on Sunday, when we all jumped into the pool in full foul-weather gear, boots, harnesses and tethers. I was surprised how well the inflatable worked to keep my head out of the water (I used my old SOS manual inflator instead of the new Spinlock Deckvest I bought at the Boat Show last fall, because the new one's firing mechanism is hydrostatic and I didn't feel like plunking down the cash for a re-arm before I head up to Marion in June for the race).

What really surprised me is how cold I got.

I asked our Presenter, Dan O'Connor from the Life Raft and Survival Equipment company, what the pool temperature was and he said "82." I found that shocking because I thought it was colder and just about everyone else did, too. (I'd put it more like 75-77 degrees and I consider myself a damn good judge of water temps). We floated around and experimented with different heat-saving postures (the H.E.L.P. position and the Huddle) and another big surprise, those positions really work! Of course, this was in a swimming pool, but it doesn't seem like it would be too much of a leap of faith to think these positions would help even in a seaway.

After everyone was dismissed, I got a chance to get back in the pool and try swimming in full foulies and no PFD. I was surprised at how much buoyancy there is in just the foulies alone, staying afloat was no issue. But forget about swimming are NOT going to catch up to a boat, unless it's a drifter. And you are not going to catch up to a tossed piece of flotation if it's breezy and downwind of you.

On Saturday, the Mids put on a display of MOB strategies and this was actually a LOT more informative than I had figured it would be. However, like in the pool, you could count on conditions being one helluva lot more severe than the Severn on this fairly decent April day. We had maybe 8-12 on.

But the water temps were something like 46, so not much to like about that. They used a professional diver as the MOB and huge props to this guy, whomever he was.

Clearly they had practiced, because most recoveries were in the two minute range, and even the more complicated single-handed LifeSling recovery was done in 6-7 minutes.

But, that's the "take-away"....PRACTICE!

In light breeze, the middies nailed this quick-stop, spin douse manuevre. You can see the MOB next to the flotation ring just off the stern of the 44.

Anyone who has raced against the Navy's Offshore team in the last few years knows how good these guys have gotten, how competitive, but also how much fun they are to watch. There's a certain beauty to doing things by-the-book, efficiently and quickly. So it must have gone against the grain to complete this manuevre without tidying up, immediately, but that's the "take-away:" it doesn't have to look pretty, it has to work!

And I'd say kite down and MOB alongside in less than two minutes works

FINAL IMPRESSION? there was a lot of info on both days that I already knew or thought I already knew. And some of what I knew was flat-out wrong. The bottom line is this course is well worth the money and I strongly recommend taking it.

And the final take-away? WEAR YOUR PFD!

3.12.13....At the end of the i550 tunnel

A little more paint, then flipped over, more paint, some hardware and boom, we are in business! Next question, where to race? Bigger question, what will PHRF do about it?

For the first season with this boat, I like the idea of casual racing at NPSA. Problem is, the breeze is significantly bigger at North Point than at virtually any other venue between Annapolis and Havre de Grace.

Most people who haven't raced at the mouth of the Patapsco on a hot summer evening do not understand this. But any day this summer, when the breeze is out of the south and the air temps are above 90, drive down to Fort Howard and see for yourself. Anyone who has ever raced in the east SF bay, out of Berkeley, will understand this immediately.

What's worse is the wave state. North Point makes the Magothy venue look like a pool table. And this boat will not like waves. A J80 is a great ride for North Point. An i550? Not so much.

So, the Magothy may have to be it, assuming MRSA lets the boat come out to play on Wednesday nights.

Who knows, that may not even be until August...but, it could easily be as early as May, too!

3.12.13....Smiling, Happy People....

are not always easy to find with regard to this year's (2102 winners) High Point Awards. As some owners and crew have already discovered, there were a few glitches with scoring this past season.

It doesn't do much good to point fingers. The problem was a cascade-effect of bad timing, bad strutcture and bad execution on the two Organizing Authorities, at least when it comes to scoring the awards for handicap racing.

The PHRF high point scores for Region II are still being worked on. So, in the interest of doing that thing that our dear Governor is always talking about, "moving forward," suffice it to say, this will NOT happen again next year.

We (CBYRA) plan to keep a much tighter grasp on where the High Point scoring stands. Unlike most other OAs, CBYRA does not "own" or oversee PHRF of the Chesapeake. They are two separate entities. This is a structural problem, but it is not something that can't be overcome with better communication and coordination, something both the CBYRA Board and PHRF of the Chesapeake are going to be committed to working on in 2013.

So please join. Racing on the Bay would be much diminished, qualitatively, without these two organizations! (links above ^)

(photo above: Russ Wesdyk and daughters hold High Point hardware outside the Eastport Dem. Club on 3/913)

2.26.13 NEWS: with regard to PHRF High Point

Here is what I do know: there have been some issues with correlating CBYRA membership and verifying the scores.

Racers are asked to be patient and realize how immense a job it is to handle this chore.

END OF RUMOR HERE: CBYRA has not lost 2012 membership info and PHRF of the 'Peake has access to the data.

Thanks for your kind patience.

2/20/13: NEWS: HIGH POINT MATH IS DONE and will be posted eventually on the


The awards ceremony will be at the

Eastport Democratic Club on March 9th! You'll get a phone call if you won.


Star Wars 2013 is on and will be sailed in J80's this year (scene above from 2010)

2013 PSA's Race to Rock Hall, Sept 28!

this race replaces the old Queenstown Race
it's still a CBYRA sanctioned (high point) race but to a new destination with many more
family-friendly and cruiser-friendly options.

The RACE BACK is the next day, Sunday Sept 29, 2013

Stay tuned to nbayracing in 2013 for a lot more info

and sorry about the tech glitches...we are actively working on it!