Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Solomons Island Pictures 2006

Brian, LinGin staff photographer, captured much of the race through his skilled lens handling.

See the crew!

Feel the heat!

You'll almost believe you were there, sweating away with us, eating pancakes and floating along at -0.4 kts. VMG.


Sunday, July 16, 2006

Solomons Island Race 2006

Competitors: 244, 247
Crew: Brian, Scott, Glen, Mike, Tim

The Basics
Course: 45 miles from Annapolis to Solomons Island starting at 1940 and finished at 1250 the next day. 17 hours and 11 minutes was the official time. Unofficially, we called it "Long. Very Long."
Wind: Started with 8-10 kts. out of the south but slowly died through the night. Went calm around 0500 and then again at 0900. The last 2 miles of the course took about 3 hours.
Seas: Pretty smooth.
Setup: Light air setup for the most of the race.

Race Highlights

  • Unfortunately, everyone other than TC Williams dropped out of the race before it started. TC ran aground and was becalmed for such a long time that he retired from the race, making LinGin the only Alberg 30 to finish.
  • Mike Nicolach crewed with us this race. He's usually on Larry Morris' boat, but as Larry bailed at the last minute, Mike came along. He was a great asset, bringing lots of good navigation information. Hope you can come out with us again sometime soon, Mike!
  • Good start: clear air on the side of the line that we wanted.
  • We had great speed up to Tolly Point.
  • Our basic strategy was rhumb line, but with an eye to the current. I'm never too sure how well we make decisions in the middle of the night. When the sun comes up in the morning, it's easy to blame the wind, the current, Brian's LED illumination efforts, Glen's breath, whatever! I think we did pretty well, though this year, but with only one competitor, it's hard to say.
  • We came close to a couple unlit marks during the night. (Suprise!)
  • We got as close as I think an Alberg can get to James Island to get out of a rippin' current.
  • We dropped an anchor less than 2 miles from the finish and went from beating upwind to setting the chute. We even passed a J35 during those last 2 miles!
  • Brian retained his white LinGin chef's hat, by concocting a lovely medley of omelets and pancakes. Little know fact: Brian can make pancakes in the shape of anything. (I'm not kidding, just ask for a demo.)

Lessons Learned
  • This was the first time I really seriously used the anemometer to steer the boat. I used the feature that tells the angle of the apparent wind. I would find the angle that kept the sails full and us the meter to gauge whether I was on target or not. I think it worked well.
  • Glen and I shared the helm throughout the night. With +/-2 hour shifts, we both got some rest and I think it made a difference in the quality of our work.

As anyone who's been around me knows, Solomons is the best race of the season. Unfortunately, as anyone who's been on the race knows, it can also be the worst. 17 hours was a long time to be in 90+% humidity and 90+ degree heat without a shower. The camaraderie is great though. If you didn't come along you, missed great late night discussions that included the following quotes:
  • "I saw a crab riding on a jellyfish."
  • "Look Brian, I made you a jellyfish-shaped pancake."
  • "LinGin should be its own brand."
  • "LinGin sounds like cheese."
  • "There are seahorses in the Bay. I have pictures. I can prove it."
  • "I've been looking for those shoes for over a year!"
  • "You did not see a crab riding a jellyfish."
If you weren't there, you missed out! But don't worry; there's always next year. Great job, guys. I had a blast!