Thursday, July 24, 2014

Winds the Second Day of Finals Lighten

Before I talk about the racing I want to mention how much fun we’ve had at this regatta. Toms River had a reputation of not being the friendliest of venues, but that couldn’t be further from the truth these days. The organizers have provided door prizes every night, the food has been wonderful, and having the pool to jump into after a day on the racecourse has been fabulous. It’s a really gorgeous area and as we sail out every morning we pass two other sailing clubs, flocks and flocks of kids in Optis and Lasers and Sunfish. We’ve had good meals everywhere from a sub shop to a really good fish restaurant down near the beach.

flocks of optis

Anyway, the finals began feisty and fresh but today (Thursday) the wind gods were a little more confused. The winds in the morning started out from the north (as predicted), but the race committee had to keep shifting the course right and the wind began to clock east. They got the start off on time (after one general recall and then the “I” flag) but then had to abandon the race after two legs when the wind shifted so far east that the course became unusable. As it was, Ben and I, plus a few other boats, ran aground on the right side and had to sail with our centerboard part way up for about ¼ of the leg!

After moving the racecourse and further adjusting for wind, the race committee tried again, setting a four-leg, windward-leeward course. This time things went more smoothly. The winds were much less strong than on Wednesday and more spotty.  

In the Challenger division, Frank and Marianne had a fantastic race, coming in first by several boat lengths. Go Midwest District!

The second race the wind seemed to have settled in a little bit, though the right was still favored (we figured out in retrospect). Ben and I got a good start a little way up from the pin pretty near Ryan.  We stayed on the right side of the course and by the top of the beat we were in the top group of about eight boats. Feeling good! Downwind we kept up with that group and even stretched out a little, so that when we rounded the left gate (facing downwind) we were third or fourth! And then nothing we did worked. It felt as if we either ran aground or got weeds in our board and boat after boat passed us. By the time we made it to the windward mark again we were ahead of just two boats, both of which we lost going downwind. A tough ending to that race. In retrospect, I think we melted down mentally and I think we did get something on our board.

Frank and Marianne had another awesome race, finishing second! Things are looking up for them after that hard, heavy wind day on Wednesday!

As an aside:
Toms River is the only place I’ve sailed where you can run aground regularly on the course, not even going hard to one side and over-standing the mark.  If I could make one suggestion, it would be that the race committee make sure to talk about that at the competitors’ meeting. Granted, it felt like soft mud, so it wasn’t that it damaged the centerboard, but it sure is perplexing to all of a sudden feel like you are standing still in the middle of a race.

Thursday we had our annual meeting, which involved taking a shower and having a nice, sit down meal at the club. Nothing too exciting to announce, really, except that Deb is now the editor of Scots 'N Water. We're counting on you to keep those stories and photos coming! After dinner, the sunset was magnificent. You can't completely tell, but the sky is lavender.

This is the entire population of our rental house:
from left back row, Ben, Deb, John Wake, Rob Whittemore (both from Fishing Bay Yacht Club), Joe Brake, crewing for John Kreidler (his wife, Stacey, holding Becket just in front of him).
front row: Adam Keen (crew for Ryan), Ryan Malmgren, John Kreidler, and Beau, Joe and Stacey's other son.

and here is Adam being silly  with Beau (above) and
Becket (being choked!)

Afterwards we went to the boardwalk where we ran into Harry Carpenter, Melanie Dunham, Larry Taggert and Carrie Berger. Melanie won a Spongebob, which she donated to Harry....

Ryan, Spongebob and Harry

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for the update and congratulations on S&W. I'll try to be a better correspondent knowing it's your baby!