Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August Alberg 30 Assoc. Racing Column

August Chesapeake Memories

August on the Chesapeake holds many memories for me. When I was in high school my grandfather, Bruce Rankin, had finally completed the training of his crew: my younger brothers and cousin, and me. We had all crewed for 5+ years and worked well together. We had a little bit of that "read each other's mind" thing going on, and it was fun. We did all the Annapolis Yacht Club Wednesday Night Races and at the beginning of each CBYRA racing season he'd give us the option of going after the High Point trophy.

One spring he asked us, "Would you rather race for High Point this year, or sail to Venezuela from Florida?" Being young, naive and having girlfriends, we foolishly chose High Point. Boy what I'd give to go back and choose the Caribbean adventure! Oh well. That's the problem with youth, right? It's wasted on the young.

When Grandpa went after High Point, he went after it. That meant that every race that counted toward High Point, we raced, and every race was raced until there was no more racing. Enter August on the Chesapeake. If March enters like a Lion and exits like a lamb, then perhaps August is best described as a 3-toed sloth, or the banana slug. I supposed if everyone is going to go on vacation in August, the wind has the right to as well.

That didn't matter to Grandpa and so there we'd be bobbing up and down in 0.02 knots of breeze in LinGin roasting like pigs on a spit in 98° heat and 100% humidity. If the time limit was 6 hours, we raced for 6:00:00 hours! We were committed. (Or at least Grandpa was, and because we couldn't swim far enough to make it home, so were we.) Looking back on int, I can't imagine that Grandpa enjoyed it too much either; we must have asked, threatened and whined to go swimming, climb the mast or start the engine thousands of time.

The youth in today's in the Alberg class doesn't have this problem. August is a "bye" month for the racers. Other fools may try to race in August, pounding through power boat chop in search of breeze, but our class smartly sticks to short Wednesday night races. Boy, things only get easier and easier for kids these days.

Are you itching to do some racing on an Alberg? Even in August? Well drop me a line and I'll get you out on a Wednesday--I promise. And if you're prepping for the fall racing scene--and we have lots of that--now is the time to get on those projects. Need help? Just let me know and I'll see what we can do.

Fall Alberg Races
September 15-16 Race to Oxford and back
September 22-23 Race to Queenstown and back
September 29-30 International Friendship Races

All of these are great, fun races. The Williams family is planning on racing Queenstown as a family this year. (With a little help from faithful crew.) Come join us for our only race north of the bridge! Call or e-mail me with any questions.

--Tim Williams

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