Wednesday, July 8, 2009

505 East Coast Championships 2009 - Regatta Report

This year's ECC's happened to take place on Lake Ontario. I guess that is close enough. For us it was a similar driving distance to the Mid-Atlantic, a 12 hour drive. It was a bit of an operation for us; three people driving through the night in a small car with a boat on the roof and another in tow. We made it there and back, and didn't miss any work. The trip was well worth the effort, good breeze and great fun were waiting for us in Kingston.

The showing was light on superstars, but the top boats were solid and relatively close racing made things fun. We arrived Friday at 6 AM after driving all night. We rigged up the boats and went out for 4 races. Fleet 13 posted some alphabet soup with Loe/Thompson blowing out a kite in Race 2 and Turney/Turney getting the spin sheets around the bow and behind the centerboard in Race 3. The conditions were pretty straight forward although there was quite a range of velocity as the rain system that passed through.

Saturday was sunny and windy. A very good day for racing. Wind was more offshore causing it to be quite shifty and challenging at times. Both Turney/Turney and Loe/Thompson showed moments of brilliance and moments of mediocrity. The low-lights of the day were Turney/Turney pulling the old "Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.", and Loe/Thompson coughing up the lead in Race 8 to finish 5th. The day finished relatively early with one race left in the series left for Sunday.

Saturday night was a very fun time. Unlimited supply of pizza and beers were availible at Jeff Boyd's house, which was within walking distance of our housing. We then went to The Grizzly Grill, one of the finest Canadian drinking facilities I have been to. The 19 year-old legal drinking age lends itself to somewhat of a "high school dance" atmosphere. Even with the crowds in the bar it was easy to spot the 505 sailors as they were generally the oldest ones and weren't dressed up in their "going out costumes". One individual managed to get kicked out of the bar on two separate occasions, another managed to make it back to the housing alone and on foot. I think everyone except me stopped by the Burger King next to the bar which was conveniently open late.

Sunday was a rough day. We got up at 9:15 which we thought was plenty of time to make it out for the 11 AM start. Unfortunately the start was at 10 AM. The course was very close in proximity to the club so we were rushed but we made it to the start in time. Both Turney/Turney and Loe/Thompson gated early expecting the left side to be favored. The situation looked grim mid-way up the first beat but the left came in nicely toward the top of the course putting Turney/Turney in first and Loe/Thompson in second. Loe/Thompson were passed on the second-to-last leg of the race which shattered our hopes of finishing in a Fleet 13 1-2 for the last race. Turney/Turney hung on to win the last race although extremely dehydrated/hungover.

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