Monday, September 24, 2007

LinGin Places Second on the Race Back from Queenstown

Here's a summary of the race that I provided Towney:


The race back was fun, but disappointing. We won the start and lead the race until about 15 min. from the finish when CB jumped ahead of us.

The wind had been 15-20kts out of the N for the morning, and our choice of our No 2 worked well. However, when we rounded the red nun to head back to Baltimore Light, the wind was too far forward for our chute. We held pretty well with both TC and CB (who were 10-15 boat lengths behind) for 4.5 out of the 6 miles. TC had held high with the hopes of popping his chute and charging ahead to the line. CB, on the other hand, took the rhumb line with the idea of holding the jib all the way in. We took something of the middle to minimize our risk, but the wind began to die and we knew we would get rolled if we didn't do something. A headsail change was out of the question as it would take too long. We headed up for a bit and put up our old, narrow spinnaker. (It does better on a close reach than our more full new one.) We were first with the spinnaker up and seemed to be doing quite well. However, as the wind went from 10+kts to less than 2, it swung about 150 degrees aft. Ugh. Between CB having a better angle and his having his big shouldered chute up, we had little hope. It was big seas and no wind, which, by the way, is my least favorite kind of sailing. We held off TC quite well, but couldn't manage CB.

I feel good, because we had a great race and I feel we really covered our bases and did the best we could in those conditions. Had the wind held, or gone forward, I think we would have won.

It was a great weekend to be on the bay!


Division: ALBERG 30 (5 boats) (top)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper Rating Finish
Penalty Pts
1 57 INFINITY Charles Currier
1 13:11:04.0
2 244 LIN GIN Tim Williams
2 13:12:35.0
3 247 ARGO T C Williams
3 13:19:49.0
4 501 SOLSTICE Larry Morris
4 13:41:12.0
DNC 197 LAUGHING GULL Jonathan Adams
DNC No Time DNC 6.0

Start Date/Time = Sunday, September 23, 2007 10:10:00.0, Length (nm) = 13.60

LinGin Wins Race to Queenstown

With a family-based crew (Andréa, Darcy and David) along with the capable Brian Palmer, LinGin had a fine race to Queenstown, taking the gun at the finish. (It was a real gun. Imagine!)

The wind was a steady 10 kts. out of the south, so the course was pretty much a straight shot across the bay and up the river. Like many years before, there were no tacking legs in the course. Good for family racing, I think.

The start was a bit hairy. T.C. Williams (Argo) was barging and his spinnaker hit our spreader. Unfortunately, Larry Morris was coming up underneath us and with T.C. in the way, we couldn't get out of Larry's way and he very nearly hit us (there was some good fending off that went on). T.C. did his turns right after the start and we did ours too. Larry did turns for not giving us room to maneuver (he just came right up and hit us, even though we had no where to go).

After a fair amount of thought and discussion, we're not sure we should have done turns as we think we could have kept clear if T.C. had not been barging. Oh well, it turned out it didn't matter.

C.B. (Infinity) started mid-line (and a bit late) so he wasn't involved in the starting melee. We were lucky to get through our turns quickly and get after C.B. On the second leg, we were able to fetch the next mark without a tack, but C.B. got a bad shift or bad air and had to tack to make the mark. He lost a couple places in that situation and we successfully held T.C. off for the rest of the race into the finish line.

One item of note is that we did not run aground in Queenstown! I'm pretty sure that in some 20 years of doing this race that this quite possibly is the first time I can say that.


Division: ALBERG 30 (5 boats) (top)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper Rating Finish
Penalty Pts
1 244 LIN GIN Tim Williams 1 12:39:45.0
2 247 ARGO T C Williams 2 12:41:45.0
3 501 SOLSTICE Larry Morris 3 12:44:10.0
4 57 INFINITY Charles Currier 4 12:46:02.0
5 197 LAUGHING GULL Jonathan Adams 5 12:48:30.0

Start Date/Time = Saturday, September 22, 2007 10:10:10.0, Length (nm) = 13.60

Monday, September 17, 2007

Hammond Memorial Race - Alberg Results

1. Tim Williams
2. Lanny Helms
3. C.B. Currier
4. Harry Gamber
5. T.C. Williams
6. Jonathan Adams

53rd Annual Race to Oxford - Alberg 30 Results


Sail No.




























Laughing Gull



















Sunday, September 16, 2007

Hammond Memorial Race (Race Back From Oxford)

Having had such great success the day before, Scott and I were determined to do everything we could to repeat our performance. This time, however, we decided we'd start in the lead and let everyone try to catch us. At least that was our plan.

The wind was still out of the north on the way back, but this time it was closer to 8-10kts. We had a nice spinnaker start, especially for a crew of two. We were just a bit ahead of Infinity this time and Argo wasn't far behind either.

Next 10 miles were really a "foot race" in that there were almost no tacks, just a gybe or two round the marks. We actually flew the spinnaker the whole time--even when Infinity and Argo took theirs down. That really opened our lead to about 5 minutes at the final mark to the last leg.

That last leg, and last 8 miles of the race, were where things were really tough. It was a beat up the bay with 20+ degree shifts and tremendous changes in the wind velocity. One minute we'd look behind us and feel like heros. The next, we'd look back and our heart would be heavy. This was because of the huge shifts that were marching down the bay. They were bands of air and they would hit us and then travel down and hit our competition. Oftentimes we were in complete different air than everyone else.

Our strategy was really defense at this point. We selected Infinity, as they appeared closest, and tried to cover them.

In the end it worked out; no one ever really seemed to get close. We were very pleased to see Lanny Helms, Windswept, take second, and we were pretty sure there was another boat between him and Infinity.

The Whaley--Williams Dynamic Double-handing Duo. Fun stuff!!!

Race to Oxford

The forecast for the 53rd Annual Oxford race sounded pretty good: 15kts. out of the north. The crew situation was not. Sadly, I was unable to put together a full crew, but thankfully, I did get a solid commitment from my lead foredeckman, Scott Whaley. Singlehanding to Oxford was a no go, but double-handed…well, we'll give that a go.

Thursday night I gave Scott a call to see what he wanted for lunch and catch up on some race details, and was shocked to hear that Claire, the Whaley's 2 1/2 year-old Corgi, was extremely ill and at the vet hospital. As I believe most dog owners feel, the Whaleys felt like Claire was a part of their family. Scott said he'd get back to me about the racing.

Friday night, I was relieved to get an e-mail from Scott letting me know he would be coming to Oxford. I didn't find out until the next morning that Claire had to be put down late Friday. Although sad, Scott felt the race was would be a welcome distraction and Crystal's parents were coming to town to help with the kids anyway.

After some prep work, we headed for R2 to start the race early Saturday morning. It was blowing out of the north, but more like 20kts. with gusts up to 25. Scott, being the foredeckman that he is, wanted to pop the chute right away. I was a bit concerned about the gusts.

We started about 1/2 boat length behind Infinity, CB Currier's boat, and started chasing him down the bay. When he set his chute and started to pull away, there was no other choice but to raise ours and go.

We had a bit of trouble getting it up. We raised it, but I didn't put enough wraps on the which. So while I was pulling in the sheet, the halyard slipped and the sail came down. When I reached to grab the halyard, I didn't properly cleat that spinnaker sheet, so that ran free. Soon we had the spinnaker full up, but the sheet blowing in the wind.

It was quite a site to see Scott trying to grab the sheet when it went in the water. When a gust hit, the line acted as if it was electric fly and spinning around angrily. Scott finally grabbed it and got the sail under control.

A while later, thing got out of control. The wind was too puffy and shifty for us to handle by ourselves. When we dropped it, I rope-burned my hand something fierce and the sail got wildly out of control on the way down. I have this great image in my mind of Scott standing on the cabin top with his back on the main sail, completely covered in the blue and orange chute trying like mad to get it down below with all the wind and waves throwing us around.

After that it was whisker pole time, baby! We were about 7-10 boat lengths behind Infinity at this time and the other four boats behind us were quite a ways back. As we rounded a mark to go up the Choptank River, we had this sneaking suspicion that it would be difficult to get ahead of Infinity.

Approaching the Choptank Light we would be changing from a beam reach to close hauled to go to the finish line. There might even be need for a tack. Infinity decided to reef their main due to the high winds. We knew we have trouble with depowering against Infinity and decided that since there were only two of us onboard we would leave our main full.

Infinity's reef took place about 10 minutes from the mark according to our GPS. That gave us 10 minutes to narrow their lead and when we rounded, CB was yelling, "NO ROOM" at the mark. We were right on his tail.

Sure enough, Infinity started to move on us as soon as they came up to close hauled. At about 5 boat lengths ahead, Scott and I were of the opinion that we'd very likely come in 2nd. Rather than risk running aground, we made our penultimate tack and Infinity soon followed suit. When we tacked back we decided to do so because we are only two people and tacking is a pain that way! We decided that we didn't want to risk missing the line and have to make another set of tacks.

When we tacked, we couldn't believe our eyes! CB crossed right in front of us, kept going a bit then tacked back, but he had given us the lead in doing so. We didn't need to tack again, so we could sail a straight line in and while he was to windward, he was behind.

In a 4 1/2 hour race, we were in the lead for roughly 45 seconds. It was just the right 45 seconds.

As you might imagine, Scott and I we whooping and hollering when we got the gun. That was a lot of fun!