Thursday, June 23, 2005

WNR - Series II - Race 3

Crew: Brian P., Scott, Glen and Tim
Competitors: 550, 247, 484

What a great race! With no wind and overcast skies, we set out to pick up Glen from his downtown mooring. (His parents are in town, so they grabbed a mooring in the harbor to watch the end of the race.) Once on board, we hustled to the line, and with a t-storm blowing through and bring a strong wind out of the west, we quickly decided against putting the spinnaker up right at the start.

Towney and most of the Catalinas decided the pin was the place to be. We agreed with T.C. Williams and started on the pin third of the line, but a little bit away from the crowd. T.C. was over early, and after re-crossing the start, was never in the running. Towney was squeezed out at the pin by a Catalina, which held him up a bit.

Taking the lead to the first mark (course BA), we tacked on some shifts as the wind was all over the place after the storm. Shortly after rounding the mark, the wind died. Thankfully, we were around, and with whatever little air we could find, we did our best to use it to float toward the next mark.

Shortly outside the next mark, the wind started to pick up again. However, we had been drifting for quite some time. Would we make the 2040 deadline?

Scott flew the spinnaker for a bit, but the wind shifted forward and we put up the jib. Rounding the nun, and with less than 20 minutes to go, Brian said his GPS said we'd finish in 34 minutes. We found that hard to believe; we were cruising! But it did get us down.

Scott prepared to fly the chute in the harbor. We would do anything to get us across the line to get that gun!

While we couldn't put up the spinnaker, it started to look like we would make it! Brian informed us that he had programmed the route 50 bridge in the GPS and not the Spa Creek bridge. Doh!

With roughly four minutes left on the clock, we took the gun with a big cheer. Two guns, two weeks in a row. A great race. We now lead the series by 1 point. Here's to a great finish next week.


Monday, June 20, 2005

A Quick Summary to Start the LinGin Blog

The big news of 2005 is that Towney (Skybird 550) has retired from chasing High Point. After 7 straight wins, he's got a record that will stand a long, long time. LinGin's crew was very sad to hear this news as Towney was who we were after this year. Having lost twice by thousandths of a point in the past 7 years, and having finally put together a solid, regular crew, it really seemed like this could be the year. It was not to be. We wish Towney the best in retirement, and look forward to doing our best to beat him on those races he does make.

LinGin got off to a decent start this year with a 3rd overall in the 2005 NOOD. C.B. Currier (Infinity 57) showed that he had what it took to really lead the group with a definitive win.

Miles River Race
After that, the Annapolis to Miles River race was great--until the end. Taking the lead early and holding it until the last leg, C.B. pulled ahead as we rounded the final mark. The jib halyard wrapped around the shrouds, such that we could not put on any halyard tension. C.B. pointed higher and was faster all the way in. LinGin came in 2nd.

Twilight Race
The SSC Twilight Race was cancelled due to lack of wind. The crew of LinGin took the Emma Jane out and tried wakeboarding. That was fun. (But not as much fun as sailing!)

Osius Memorial Regatta
The Osius Memorial Regatta was another tough race. Leading the pack at the start, we did an admirable job up the first leg. T.C. Williams (Argo 247) had tremendous boatspeed and beat us, but we hung with Infinity (which we were happy about), and came around the mark in the forward part of the pack.

I have to mention that shortly after the start, I handed the helm over to Glen Becker. We need another helmsman, and Glen has the makings of a great one. He's confident, steady, well thought out, and has a great capacity to focus. However, on one port/starboard with Towney, we all (and I include Glen) got a scare. I'm sure we came within a gnat's eyelash of taking Towney's stern pulpit off. The only closer crossing I've ever seen was with Grandpa himself!

Then we tried to set the spinnaker, but since our ace foredeckman, Scott Whaley, was not on board, I (Tim) tried to put the chute up, only to have it wrapped around the forestay in a wicked way. It was so bad that we had to douse both the spinnaker and the jib and while I untangled, Brian Palmer re-packed the chute. By the time things were squared away, it was time to round the mark and we never set the chute. Needless to say we were no longer near the front of the pack.

We were a bit disappointed, and feeling a bit lazy as well. (It was very warm.) So we followed everyone all the way right for the next two upwind legs. At this point were next to last, with a definitive lead on Harry Gamber (Second 2 Nun 484). For some reason, on the last leg, Infinity decided that going left would be a good move. That gave us just what we needed, and crossing them at the finish, we beat them with a 4th place finish.

The next regatta is the long night favorite of the year...Solomons!