It was a great Sunday with very pleasant weather; mid-forties, sunny and a light breeze. Ideal for the lighter weights among us. The turnout (24) was excellent, especially considering that, only two days ago, we had the Hangover Regatta with thirty boats on the water. And it was great to see some ‘old’ warriors on the water once again (Chris, Nabeel).
This write-up isn’t really about wind shifts, favored ends, technique, and all that. Rather, I would like to give some encouragement to the many newbies in our fleet. Hurrah for them! Perhaps your finishes are a bit disappointing to you right now, but just wait. As an example, I joined the Frostbiters ten years ago. I had sailed and raced a bit in a Sunfish. But I was not a natural and had no college sailing experience, having started sailing in my late twenties. Once I joined the PRSA Laser fleet, my main goal was not to finish last, survive my dunkings in the dirty water, and not hit other boats. Even with those modest goals, I wasn’t very successful with many bottom-of-the-fleet finishes over the years. I made notes of my mistakes (many), hoping to improve. It took a long time, but this past Sunday I was lucky; got good starts in races 2 and 4 and held on to get decent finishes. And I didn’t foul or hit anybody! So, my advice to the fleet newbies is to hang in there and practice as much as possible. Don’t forget the spring and fall seasons and even in the summer you may have a good outing or two. You will get to the top of the fleet sooner than you think!
With respect to the actual racing, Todd Blekicki and Lindsey Bach (thanks for great committee work) set a longer than usual windward/leeward course. With the wind from the South, we went a long way towards the I-495 bridge and then downwind towards the airport. Finally a short upwind leg with a finish on the other side of the RC boat (classy!). ‘Once around’ took about 25 min for the first three races. The fourth race was trying because the wind had dropped to almost nothing; the magnetic tape on my (home-made) wind vane barely moved. But once we finally got close to the leeward mark, the wind changed to NW and my tape showed some action again. I rounded the mark, but was told that I had finished; surprise! Good decision though, because it was almost 3 PM and the course would have to be reset for a fifth race.
PS: Congratulations to Jamie Moran for winning the day.