Friday, February 23, 2007

March 2007 Racing Column for the Mainsheet

For awhile it seemed winter would never come, and now it seems like it will never end, but trust me, Spring is on its way! With Spring comes the anticipation of the racing season and our first big race of the year: the Annapolis NOOD. I want to encourage each and everyone of your to consider coming out for the NOOD regatta. Here are 5 reasons why:

  1. You will have a fun racing adventure! Guaranteed. All racing comes with a good story to tell all your land-lubber friends over and over again. Some are happy ("We won the third race!"); some are sad ("We were becalmed in a fog and lost our foredeckman to Chessie.")
  2. The racing is close by and quick. The NOOD spans three days: Friday, April 27 through Sunday, April 28. We typically race just north of the mouth of the Severn on short courses so that we ideally get in seven races in the three days. Consistency is key to winning the NOOD, so it's not a regatta where one bad race ruins your regatta. If you'd like a spot to dock your boat nearby the NOOD please drop me a line and I'll see what I can work out.
  3. The parties are first class and a lot of fun. There is a party that includes food, drink and entertainment every night of the NOOD so you and your crew can come in and tell all those Melges 24 sailors what sailing a real boat is like.
  4. The NOOD is a world-class event and is the regatta that decides the Alberg 30 Maple Leaf Trophy winner. There are nine NOOD regattas held each year in the U.S. and Canada, organized by a professional PRO (Principal Race Officer) and support staff. Over 2,000 boats participate in the NOODs each year! If you've been to the Alberg 30 annual dinner, then you have seen the half-hull models that are given out to the winner of the Maple Leaf Trophy. Who wouldn't love to win one of those?!
  5. It's a great way to get a jump start on qualifying for High Point. High Point is the award given by the Chesapeake Bay Racing Association (CBYRA) to the best overall performer in each CBYRA sanctioned class. As a class we have eleven days of racing in 2007. In order to qualify for High Point, you only have to complete five races! If you do the NOOD you're more than half way there; just do two more days of racing during the season and you're in the running.

A quick side note about High Point qualification: it's important for our class and association for us to have as many boats qualify as possible. Why? Because when people are looking to purchase a boat, they are interested in getting involved with an active, supportive class. If you read the Alberg 30 e-mail lists, you have surely seen this expressed by many people that purchased Albergs. Racing participation is a directly measurable component of participation, tracked by CBYRA, which is used to assess the strength and health of our association. While support from a maintenance perspective, jovial parties and great cruising opportunities are important, so is racing. It offers another avenue for people to use their boats, create camaraderie and for us to get the word out about this great, beautiful, boat. So coming out to support racing in our association is an important way that owners can do their part to maintain the health of the association.

There are four things I want to ask you to do:

  1. Contact me with any challenges you have in getting out for the NOOD (e.g. crew, maintenance, registration, etc.). If you want to get out there, we as a class want to help you make it. I'm in the membership book; contact me!
  2. Go to and click on the tab that says, "NOOD Regattas". Check out the results form some of the other NOODs and see if registration is open. If it is, sign up!
  3. Join the Alberg 30 racing e-mail list. This is a low-volume list that consists mainly of racing announcements and it's a great way to keep up with what's going on. If you go to and click on "mailing lists" (near the bottom of the page) you'll find more information about how to sign up. If you have trouble, contact me!
  4. Even if you don't plan to race your own boat, consider teaming up with someone in the association who is going to do so. Racing is a great way to improve your overall sailing ability and it's a great way to be part of a fun team activity.

I am looking forward to getting the year of to a great start. I'll see you on the water!

--Tim Williams

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Note: As Racing Commodore for the Alberg 30 Association this year, I write a monthly column. I'll be posting it on LinGin's blog throughout the year for those of you that don't receive the Alberg's "Mainsheet" newsletter.


As published in the Feburary 2007 Mainsheet.

Anyone want a peanut butter on a cracker?” Grandpa asked. This would be a normal question on the boat if it weren’t for the conditions.

My grandfather, Bruce Rankin, graduated from the Naval Academy in 1945 and shipped off to World War II to serve in a submarine. He was either building, fixing, on or under a boat pretty much his whole life. My brothers and cousin grew up spending our summers racing all over the Bay on LinGin, his Alberg 30. We all considered him an old salt. Sometimes that saltiness was more apparent than others.

We had prepared for the St. Mary’s Governors Cup Race and had made it out to R2 at the mouth of the Severn when a sudden storm had come upon us. There were a couple hundred boats waiting to start and the sky had gone from foreboding to lightning filled. We were dealing with four foot seas and 35+ kts of breeze.

As the crew put on our foul weather gear and dealt with the horizontal rain, Grandpa announced he was going below to take a nap. He stripped down to his shorts and t-shirt, lay down and went to sleep! Not to mention that if any of us had even gone below for a second we would have been immediately seasick. I struggled to stay away from other boats and to not worry about the lightning strikes that were occurring all around. The rain felt like someone was shooting thousands of B-Bs at you and stung even through the foul weather gear.

After his nap Grandpa asked us about the crackers. Needless to say we declined. The storm settled down soon after that, but I’ll never forget how calm and at home Grandpa was on the water.

I’m excited to serve the Alberg 30 Association through the Racing Commodore position this year. As you can see from the story above, racing Alberg 30s is synonymous with family, adventure, childhood memories, and fun for me.

I want to encourage all of our Alberg owners to get this great boat out there on the starting line for a couple races this year. Every race has its story, its own adventure—why not experience it? Racing Albergs will enrich your life and your relationships. I has for me.

My kids are racing with me on LinGin now. She’ll be 40 years old this year and the kids are the fourth generation of our family to race her. Could your family have a legacy like that? It sure could, and I hope we’ll do it together! Please come say “hello” at the annual dinner this year. I look forward to seeing everyone there.

--Tim Williams