The 2014 Spring Series has come to an end and the scores are posted below.
We had fantastic sailing for Spring Series #7. PRO Chris Kozel and his crew set a nice windward-leeward course in a somewhat shifty S/SW breeze and did a good job getting us four races for the day. Most of the Albacores were down in West River for a regatta, but we did have 11 Lightnings on the line as well as a couple of Bucs, Albacores, and Cats. Scores will be posted soon. You can click here to read what I observed from Sinistra in the Lightning class. As always, feel free to add in your own comments and observations as well!
What a crazy day! The river was absolutely ripping after several days of rain. Although there was not much debris in the water, the ferocious river flow made things challenging for the competitors and the RC alike. I was on RC duty this weekend, and I thought I’d have the chance to get some nice observations of the racing. Instead, we were kept on our toes, first towing boats up to the course against the river flow as we waited for the breeze to fill, and then dashing around the course to reset marks as they were repeatedly breaking free in the combination of river flow and WNW breeze that filled in over the afternoon. The breeze was extraordinarily spotty and shifty, moving from due north to nearly due west and back in various phases. That, combined with the fact that the pressure would simply die off at points and then pipe back up, made for some very tricky sailing as the competitors fought against the river flow. We did manage to get 4 races off for the Albacores and 2 for the Lightnings and Cats.
Even with all of the action on the RC we still managed to capture some video on the GoPro that we had on the 16′ skiff: a leeward mark rounding for the Albacores, a start and upwind leg for the Lightnings, and a few finish line shots from the first Lightning race as boats struggled to make it up to and across the line. Scores are posted below, and you can find the video links here: http://lightningfleet50.org/?page_id=2047
Spring Series #5 brought us a tricky day on the river, but PRO Jeff Neurater and his crew still managed to get us 4 races in a spotty, shifty, WNW breeze. The day looked very promising at the outset. We had a nice northerly breeze of about 10 knots blowing as nine Lightnings, six Albacores, and a Hobie Cat headed out of the cove and up to the race course.
The RC started the first sequence right on time, only to have the wind cut out altogether with about 2 minutes to go in the sequence. The river was high and the tide was flowing out, so most boats drifted away from the starting line even as they tried to sail upwind. Another breeze line was visible up at the windward mark, though, and soon enough it filled in and we were off racing. The boats that were close to the line got the breeze first, go a big jump, and ended up with a huge lead for the entirety of the Olympic course.
That same pattern pretty much repeated over the next three races — another Olympic course, and then two shorter Triangle courses. Finding breeze was of the utmost importance, and this meant looking up towards the bridge to see where the next line was forming even as you were hunting for the patches of breeze that had made it to the racecourse. In general, the breeze would fill from the left side of the course…but that wasn’t a guarantee, and there were times when boats that went out to the right going upwind came out ahead, despite battling the current in the channel.
It was great to get out on the water, even if the conditions were tricky. After the racing we all gathered in the grill area to enjoy some great food, beverages, and the last bit of a fine sunny afternoon.
With the Lightnings out for Doc Gilbert, we had a lighter than normal turnout. But the weather still provided us with a very fun day of sailing. Temps were in the low 70s and winds out of the west ranging from 10 mph to 25 mph and gusts up to 35 mph. PRO Jim Graham was able to get in 5 races using a new “Figure Four” course that Barney Harris came up with. We did 1, 2 and 3 lap races. The course is a modified triangle that provides long hot angle reaching legs, one of which rounds the start pin to starboard and provides a downwind leg. We ended up with 3 Albacores, 1 Bucc, and 1 Laser making it out for the races. The course provided some awesome reaching legs with lots of planing.
Sunday (April 27th) was a beautiful spring day. The breeze was from the northwest. It was patchy and would turn off and then on to as much as 15 mph, but, hey, that’s the river. I often saw good breeze in the middle and so tried to work it but when the breeze died it always came in first from the left so people who set themselves up near the airport always gained.
Jim Antonovich, Marc Carre, and Bob Etheridge ran the races. The first race was a long W3 and gave us all ample opportunity to look very smart and then very dumb as we tried to figure out the patchy wind.
The first two links below are to Sunday’s race results. The other two, I believe, are the cumulative results for the series where each day counts as one “race”. We didn’t have any races on Spring Series #1 but everyone present will get their average position in the other days they sail as redress and that should help them get the required days sailed to qualify.
Sunday turned out to be a very nice day of sailing. Winds were from 15 to 20 out of the south with a high around 80. Thanks to Mike Heinsdorf for running RC and missing out on the awesome day of sailing. We had 2 Lasers, 3 Albacores, and 4 Lightnings make it out. The RC ran windward leewards for the lightnings and triangles for the albacores and lasers. Lightnings got in 3 races before calling it due to high winds. The albacores and lightnings stayed out for a 4th race before heading in. Sorry to all that missed out and we look forward to seeing you out next weekend (4/27). — Farley (your scorer)