Tuesday, September 14, 2010

2010 NASS Race to Oxford

From 2010 Oxford Race

For all you loyal LinGin blog followers, I posted a recap of the race to Oxford on the Alberg 30 Racing Blog:

The race back was two gybes and other than the dinky first leg, all under spinnaker. A regular foot race, that we won. Damp and steady around 10 kts, it was fun, but worthy of a write up? Meh.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The 2010 NOOD

Photo Credit: Brian Palmer

The 2010 Annapolis NOOD (National Offshore One Design) regatta was fantastic this year. We had eight boats registered for the event and seven out on the line for every race. There were the usual faces: Windswept, Argo, Laughing Gull, Second-2-Nun and LinGin; as well as some new ones: Skybird (with a new skipper!) and Backfin. We once again had the Spring Rendezvous at Lake Ogleton during the same weekend as the NOOD. It was great to visit with everyone and swap sea stories about the racing during the rendezvous.

One thing I love is learning about the boats that come out to race with us that I don't know. Backfin was skippered by John Finley, who last raced well over 10 years ago. I have it on good account that John is the second longest original owner of an Alberg on the Bay--he purchased his boat six weeks after Bruce Breiding in 1965. That means that John has owned Backfin for 45 years! His sails are vintage; they were signed by Bert Jabin (who was on the rules committee back in the day). John had his daughter out racing with him and he hopes to make some of the other races this year as well. Welcome back to the racing scene, John! (By the way, I still see Bruce Breiding out sailing Phantom, #113, out on Whitehall Bay whenever the breeze is up.)

One neat thing that happened in this year's NOOD is that one of the editors of Sailing World, Mike Lovett, crewed on LinGin for day one of the NOOD. We really enjoyed having Mike along; he was great crew and we learned quite a bit about the sailing media world. (Did you know that Sailing World magazine is generated each month by only 3 full time editors?) He wrote a nice piece about involving kids in sailboat racing. You can read it at http://ow.ly/1MlVo. (You'll need to scroll down about to the April 30 entry, "Saving Sailing, One Kid at a Time".)

The first thing I can say about the NOOD is that the weather was perfect this year. Beautiful sunny days with good breeze. It was ideal. The race committee did a great job of setting the courses, which were all windward-leeward, about a mile from top to bottom and usually two laps. That doesn't necessarily sound crazy until you consider that if you were doing foredeck on Friday when we had four races, that meant you packed, set, doused and reset the spinnaker eight times during one day of racing! I don't know about the others, but my foredeckman's wife, Krista McWilliams, said that Garrett was so tired Friday night that he couldn't talk. The good news is that I'm pretty sure that he had a smile on his face while he slept that night.

As for the racing, T.C. Williams drove Argo to 3 bullets on Friday and never looked back. He won the Maple Leaf Trophy (the Association's trophy for the NOOD) for the second year in a row. The next four places, however, were tightly contested. I don't know the actual times of the finishes, but we had numerous races where three or four Albergs finished within a few boat lengths of each other. The leaders at the top of the first mark were often racing to catch up again the second time around. It was nail biting!

Lanny Helms, our Racing Commodore, had a excellent series proving that his new spinnaker not only looks good, but can make Windswept fly downwind. New skipper and the new owner of Skybird, Mike Nikolich, showed that he'll be one to watch out for this season. He knows how to make that boat go. Laughing Gull put us on notice that they are out for silver this year. Jonathan Adams got the gun on the last race of the regatta, nosing out Argo in the last few seconds a VERY hard fought competition.

I didn't hear of any major mechanical failures during the racing and I don't think there was a single strategy that won the day out on the course. Some of our crews were a little rusty coming out of the off season. I, for one, could use some practice starting! I think I speak for everyone when I say that it was some of the best racing we've had. Beautiful boats, closely matched in tightly contested one-design racing. Love it!

The results can be found here. Brian Palmer put some great photos he took of the regatta on his Facebook page. (I think you need to friend him to see them.)

Even David was whooped after a full day of the NOODs.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Wednesday Night Races: No. 1, 2010

A windy, chilly, but beautiful evening greeted us for the first WNR of 2010. It was an exciting evening as we started off by realizing that we were missing the battens for the main. Ugh. We were too far from the dock to turn around and get them and then make the race on time.

I called Mackenzie and being the trooper that she is, she and AndrĂ©a drove to Mimi's, found the battens in the garage attic and zipped them out to us via the powerboat. Sounds fun, but not so much when it's 50° and blowing 15-20kts! They both were soaked, but we were glad to get the battens.

We quickly raised the main and as it got to the top of the mast, TWANG!, the rope part of the wire/rope halyard snapped. With 15 minutes left before the start, we looked around and David piped up, "I'll go up, Dad." We grabbed the bosuns chair and had him up the mast in no time.

If you've ever been up a mast, you know it can be pretty scary up there. A few degrees of heel on the deck doesn't feel like much, but 40 feet up, it can translate into 10 feet of motion! In rough seas, like we had tonight, it can be quite difficult to hold on.

David did it like a pro! He went all the way to the top, tied a line to the broken halyard and even checked the sheave. I was very proud.

We ended up starting a few minutes late. It turned out battens were the wrong set and a few of them bust through the pockets...not good. Harry (484) and Mike (550) were the only other A30s out there, but we caught Harry at the Naval Academy sea wall and came in 2nd. Not a bad start to the season.

Now for the NOOD this weekend!