Thursday, June 15, 2006

Osius Regatta

Competitors: 244, 247, 550, 57, 484, 562
Crew: Brian, Scott, Christopher, Tim

I'm going to try a new format for these posts to hopefully make them easier to write and to read. I welcome you comments.

The Basics
Course: Dropped marks off Tolly Point. Two races, windward-leward.
Wind: 20+ kts, with gusts close to 30!
Seas: Fairly heavy seas on the northern side of the course, Tolly Point lessened the impact of the wind on the seas to the south.
Setup: Reefed main, #2. Spinnaker when the wind wasn't too gusty.

Race One Highlights
  • Good start.
  • Overpowered at times on the windward legs.
  • Went left while others went right. I felt the seas were less to the left which gave us better speed. This seemed to pay off.
  • First downwind leg no spin; we watch TC struggle with it.
  • Second downwind leg we gave it a go about half way down, and had we done it right at the mark rounding, we might have caught Towney. As it was we caught up a great deal.

Race Two Highlights
  • Very similar to the first race.
  • Found ourselves in second behind TC coming upwind the final leg. Towney was close behind.
  • Dropped the traveller way down (had the backstay around 6) and saw a dramatic improvement in our ability to carry some wind in the main without being over powered.
  • About 1/2 way up split as far left as we could with TC.
  • We experienced a huge lift, and TC dealt with a huge header. We crossed ahead of him by about a boatlength right at the finish.

Lessons Learned
  • Drop the traveller in heavy air!
  • Make sure the foot is tight when reefing to make the main flat and depowered.
  • Reduce headstay sag by tightening the backstay in heavy air upwind. This improves pointing.
  • When flying the chute in heavy air going dead downwind, there is a tendency to death roll. Ease the pole forward to put the spinnaker behind the main and reduce the wind in it to minimize the rolling.

Christopher is a friend of Brian's, and he was a lifesaver on this race. We enjoyed getting to know him, and look forward to the next race with him. Scott did a great job running ragged on the foredeck. (We're putting it up. No wait. We're not putting it up. No. Yes, we are putting it up, but on the other side; switch it! No, wait, belay that...) Brian kept the tacks smooth, tracked the competition and introduced Christopher to racing. Great job, guys.

Next race: Solomons Island!


p.s. The engine belt snapped on the way to this race. We noticed it in time (steam coming from the engine comparment below), and shut the engine down. I changed the oil once we were back to be sure we didn't scorch it. It turned out that the overheating boiled off all the coolant as well. So, if you're ever out on LinGin and the engine overheats, shut it down immediately and sail in!

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 Total
1 247 ARGO WILLIAMS, T.C. 1 2 3.00 1
2 244 LINGIN WILLIAMS, TIM 3 1 4.00 2
4 57 INFINITY CURRIER, CB 4 4 8.00 4
5 562 WINDSWEPT HELMS, LANNY 5 5 10.00 5
6 484 SECOND-2-NUN GAMBER, HARRY 6 6 12.00 6
7 567 ANDANTE COLE, ANDREW 8/DNS 8/DNS 16.00 7

WNR - Series II - Race 1

Competitors: 247, 244, 550, 158, 484
Crew: Mark, Brian, Tim

With a few crew known to be out for this race, I was delighted to hear from Xa that he would be able to joon us. It was a good steady 12 kt breeze out of the SE,, and the weather was beautiful.

Unfortunately traffic kept Xa from making the race and he apparently arrived just as we were starting. We were bummed.

We started in the middle of the line, which since we didn't have time to siight the line, made it difficult to be right on the line. Towney and TC started above us at the boat end, and I thought we'd have them, since we could lay the mark from our spot. (We had course B, which is take a left at the spider, head toward Hacketts, round a mark to starboard, then round the usual mark to atarboard.)

What I failed to recognize was:
1. there was a line of boats (some of which faster than us) to windward, which would blanket us, and
2. TC and Towney would have a bit more speed as they bore off for the mark.

So, TC rolled us by the time we got to the spider. We had Towney by about one boat length, and there was a Cal to windward right in front of Towney.

We made an interesting mistake at this point. We kept a bit below Towney and the Cal (L'Orange, of course) but on the rhumb line. We had good speed and were able to keep them in check. However, at the mark, we had to give L'Orange room. When we did that Towney was right behind him, and was able to cut inside of us.

To make matters worse, there was a parade of boats behind him that as they came arouned were all on starboard. We were completely tracpped and actually had to sail to the layline. Before we could really tack.

Of course we had other mishaps. We forgot about the snatch block when we rounded the markl. There were spinnaker setup snafus that made it tough for us to tack.

After rounding the next mark in 3rd after 247 and 550, we got the chute up and followed everyone in. Brian did a great job of spinnaker considering it was probably his 3rd time ever doing it. It made me rerealize that we should really consider using WNR races for switching tasks around and cross training..

I had a blast!


Race to Miles River

Competitors: 550, 247, 501, 244, 484, 57, 562, 505
Crew: Scott, Glen, Brian, Tim

The Miles River Race is one of my favorites. In the Williams family, we've started what I think will be a long standing tradition. I race down with the crew, our families meet us in St. Michaels and we have a nice dinner. (Well truth be told, we're still looking for a good meal in St. Mike's; we're really open to any good recommendations.) Then my family and I spend the night on the boat and sail (or motor if we run out of wind) back the next day.

So, for the race...

We had about 10kts out of the north for the start, and we did a pretty good job starting right at the front of the fleet under spinnaker. We thought the current was ebbing, and that turned out to be pretty true. About 1/3 of the way to bloody point, the wind really died down. We dropped to about 2.5 kts. and the half of the fleet that went west and gybed was looking pretty smart. They had a better angle on the wind, and coming back across it became clear that 247 had the lead. 550 was next but while 57 had more or less followed our path, they had made out a little on us.

It was exciting to watch Scott and THE ROCKET catch back up to them and pass them.

The rounding at Bloody Point was tight. 247 decided to drop their chute, which was a bit odd to us since it didn't seem they need to. 550 did the same, and as we were in 3rd we decided to see how we could fare. With 57 right on our rear, I cut close to Bloody Point, just like I would a Wed. Night Race mark. I was in for a surprise, though. Apparently, about 3 feet under water around Bloody Point there are serious rocks. We hit very hard, and bounce a couple times in the lee of the lighthouse until the spinnaker filled again and pulled us off. I've hit ground on the Chesapeake many times. One thing I appreciate all the more about the Bay now is that it has a sandy bottom. We quickly "checked for leaks", but I was pretty confident that between the massive keel that make Albergs the solid vessels they are, and the fact that we hit on the bottom of the keel (which it just filled with iron), we were safe.

With our chute up and Scott bookin' it, we passed both Towney and TC and took the lead again. Watching the line of Albergs behind us closely, we made a B-line toward the next mark. About a quarter way there, we noticed something odd: the rest of the fleet bore off about 30 degrees. Glen was acting as navigator and check, then re-checked his calculations. We had a near mark and a far mark, but since we were to pass the near mark to starboard, we could ignore it an head straight for the far mark due to the wind and the angle we could sail. He was still pretty confident about our course, when I had an epiphany. "Are you sure we pass the next mark to starboard?" I asked. A quick check of the race particulars, and Glen called for the course change. It was too late, though: we rounded in 4th.

We fought hard on the next leg, and we made it back to 2nd. That final leg, was tricky, though. 247, who was in 1st headed straight to the finish, wing-in-wing. We followed them, and really were covering CB who was right behind us. 501 (Larry Morris) and 550 gybed out and went way to the right. We let them go, thinking they were taking a flyer to try to get back in the game.

While we held our own, and even made out on CB a bit, we couldn't catch TC; his lead was too great. But we had great seats for watching Larry and Towney come back in to the line. Sure enough they had made out considerably going right. (Towney later told me that he had guess that the current was a strong flood--he was right.) We were watching this 18 mile race coming down to three boats finishing with in 2 boat lengths of each other.

Who won? You guessed it, Towney by a nose. 18 miles, and Towney was in 1st place for less than 2 minutes. Only it was exactly the right two minutes! At first when asked, he said it was luck. "It happens way too often to be luck," I said. The man is a great sailor.

Although we came in 4th, it was a really great race and I think we all felt good afterward. We held CB behind us and know that if when we are on, we can clearly compete at the head of the pack.

Brian, Glen and Scott all did a great job. We've really got it down now and I look forward to winning some silver this season.


p.s. I dove on LinGin this week, and checked out the damage from the rocks. There are indeed some deep gouges (one the size of my hand), on the very bottom of the keel. Thankfully, I have to have her pulled to get her painted this season anyway, so we'll patch her up then.











Townshend, Rolph







Williams, T.C.







Morris, Larry







Williams, Tim







Currier, CB







Helms, Lanny







Gamber, Harry







Lehman, Mike