Monday, May 01, 2006

2006 NOOD Regatta: A Great Weekend

Crew: Glen, Brian, Mark, Tim and Mike Klassen (new guy!)
Competitors: 550, 57, 247, 501, 562, 484

The NOOD is probably the biggest regatta on the Bay now. Just around 300 boats in four divisions make for quite a weekend. As the first High Point race of the year, it's a very important race for LinGin to place as well as possible.

The NOOD has a couple things going for it:
  • Spring weather: there's usually wind
  • Lots of boats: the seven Albergs this year was actually a very small number of boats
  • Three days of sailing!
I won't go into all the details of all the races. You'll all probably be sick of hearing the stories within a couple weeks! Here are the highlights.

After a shakedown race on Wednesday night (and getting the gun!), the new spinnaker was ready to go. We wanted to see how she faired in a foot race with Towney or C.B. Good news! She's up to the task. I can't say she's faster, but I can tell you that she will definitely hang with either of those boats.

Crew wise, fate tripped us up on Friday. We had expected to have Brian, Glen and myself all three days, with Mark joining for Fri. and Sat., and Xa joing on Friday. Xa had a server blow up at work early Friday and was dragged into the office. Mark ended up taking his son Adam in for a strep test. It was 10-15 kts. out of the north, and that turned out to be about as much as Glen, Brian and I could hande. We gave Glen a serious workout on the foredeck, but he was up to the challenge, and we did well.

The weather was almost identical everyday: ~10 kts. at 030°, with a killer ~2 kts. ebb tide. All the courses were up, down, up, down and finish. We raced off Hacketts point, south of the Bay Bridge. We went left four out of the five races. It was pretty predictable.

Friday was good day. Much to my amazement, we seemed to have figured out this north wind and heavy current racing condition. Going waaaay up in toward Hacketts Point, we got out of the 30 ft. water and into the 15 ft. water. It make a BIG difference. It looks crazy, though. You look like you've massively overstood the mark, and even as you come back toward it, it looks like you've overstood, but once you get in that 25-30 ft. of water, you slide sideways like mad. We watched C.B. tack three times to round the mark once. (He took three times to cross the starting line once too.) Ouch!

At the end of Friday, we were in 2nd, tied with C.B. and behind Towney. I didn't feel too bad about being behind Towney. He's the master, and if there's anyone I can lose to and feel okay about it, it's Towney.

Saturday we had one race. It was frustrating. We were in 1st rounding the mark for the second time, and with about 2.5 kts. of speed through the water, and being in deep water, went dead downwind toward the finish. About four boat lengths behind, Towney split with us. (We weren't thinking ahead enough to be ready to gybe to cover him.) I felt okay with this, but was a bit nervous because at 2.5 kts., we were at the edge of where downwind gybing might be faster that sailing straight downwind.

A Catalina (the class that started before us) crossed behind us heading left, causing some disruption to us, then gybed back and crossed back no more than 5 minutes later. I was fit to be tied, and said, "Pick a side!!!" He didn't get it, but at least he was gone. A few minutes later we realized the mistake we had made in not planning to cover Towney: he crossed the finish line about 2 boat lengths (if that) on a screaming reach to get the gun. Arghh!

The 2nd race that day had the wind die. We were probably a 1/2 mile ahead for a good portion of the race. It was when we finally got about 3 boat lengths from the mark that the wind died down enough for us to see the true effect of the current: making 2.5 kts. in LinGin (not a bad speed in light air), at 60° to the mark we were making 1 kts. VMG (toward the mark). Unfortunately in the deep water, we were in a 1.5 kts. current! We dropped the anchor and watched the speedometer show 1.5 kts. while we were standing still!

It was kind of interesting to see these races. Most of the races were only 3/4 of a mile from the start to the windward mark. It would take 30-45 minutes to get ot the windward mark, and then about 10 minutes to get back to the leward mark! Glen was whooped by the end of each race between packing the chute, running the lines and setting the pole--not to metion flying the spinnaker.

Saturday night and Sunday morning all I could think about was what we needed to do to beat C.B. Towney was a bit beyond my thinking, but I really wanted to stay ahead of C.B. After going for a run and eating breakfast, I got a call from Glen. "Hey, are you coming today?" he said. "Wait...AM I LATE?!!!" I asked. "Well, I think 1000 is late since we were supposed to leave at 0930," he said calmly. I was freaking out. How could I mess up the time with so much on the line?! I raced around like a mad man, and finally found a house in my neighborhood where I could run out on a dock and be picked up by the crew. Brian has pictures. I was terribly embarrassed. I'm sure there'll be an award at the Annual Dinner for me. :-)

Miraculously we made it with 10 minutes to spare. The first race was tough, and we thought Towney won again--little did we realize C.B. had actually caught him and jeopardized our 2nd place standing. Going into the last race, we traded 1st with C.B. a couple times. Usually, whoever could win the first leg got such a lead going downwind in the current that it was very hard to catch up later. We stayed as close as possible downwind the first leg, and THE ROCKET (along with Glen) held our position against him. When we came around the bottom pin, our rounding caught us up to him. He tacked right in front of us; it was arguble as to whether we should have protested him for tacking too close. Head headed left to the shore, just was we all had so many times before. We stayed inside of him and watched as he slowed and was headed the further he went. By the time we rounded the windward mark, we had a sizeable lead on everyone. We had worked very hard all weekend long to have good pointing and good boatspeed and it had paid off.

Crossing in first we were jubilant! It was such a great ending to the racing. We knew Towney was far behind, but since we thought he had had all bullets (1sts) so far, we had no idea how close we had come to taking 1st. At the post regatta party, I saw the scoring and was blown away. We had tied in points with Towney for first! He beat us because he beat us more times than we had beaten him, but still it was a great feeling. The crew had really clicked, LinGin worked and we had done well.

Thank you Glen, Brian, Mark and Mike (Mike came on Sunday and helped out. It was his first time on LinGin.). All the hard work, training and team work is really paying off. I have high hopes for High Point this year.

I have some awards for you guys!

As for everyone else, we wish you were there with us!

--Tim

Division: Alberg 30 (7 boats) (top)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 3 4 5 Total
Points
Pos
1 550 Skybird Townshend, Rolph 1 1 1 2 6 11.00 1
2 244 LinGin Williams, Timothy 2 3 2 3 1 11.00 2
3 57 Infinity Currier, C.B. 3 2 3 1 3 12.00 3
4 247 Argo Williams, T.C. 5 4 5 6 2 22.00 4
5 501 Solstice Morris, Larry 4 5 4 5 5 23.00 5
6 562 Windswept Helms, Lanny 8/DNF 6 6 4 4 28.00 6
7 484 Second-2-Nun Gamber, Harold 8/DNF 8/DNS 8/DNC 8/DNC 8/DNC 40.00 7

1 comment:

Brian P said...

You forgot to mention the sneaky sea anchor we found tied to the backstay hanging in the water on the last day! It didn't dawn on me until later how lucky we were to find it before we headed out... Running late as we were, if we threw it in reverse and spun that dock line around the prop to stall the engine (if we were lucky enough not to break something), we'd have to dive to cut it loose! A harmless prank that could have gone wrong, delaying us to miss the start :)