Tuesday, February 9, 2010

505 Midwinters 2010, Regatta Report

Fleet 13 was well represented at this year’s 505 Midwinters. Four fleet members were present, sailing in 3 boats: JB Turney with guest crew Russell “the love muscle” Miller in 7611, Craig Thompson with newest Fleet 13 member Matt Woodworth in 7346, and Stephen Long crewing in 8753 with Loic Bleuez from Fleet 9.

Friday was forecast to be the windiest day of the weekend. It did not disappoint. A strong southerly built as a massive low pressure system moved east from Louisiana to the Mid-Atlantic. The waves became surprisingly large as the breeze built. The entire fleet struggled to stay upright during the first race. JB and Russ took second in the only race completed before racing was called for the day. The downwind beach landing proved quite difficult with the on-shore breeze.




Saturday was supposed to be windy, but not as windy as Friday. The breeze was out of the Northwest and was about 18 knots when we left the beach. The breeze built slightly for the start of the first race. The weather mark was relatively close to shore and the conditions were tricky. JB and Russ were late for the start of the first race as they were tuning up and not paying attention to the RC. The breeze continued to build during the race and the final run was sailed in puffs of 22-24 knots. Craig and Matt capsized right at the finish while trying to avoid 2 starboard tack boats. They drifted through the finish while upside-down and were awarded with +100 style points for the event. The second race of the day was full-on, ripper conditions. The race was windier than Friday, but more manageable because the waves were much smaller. JB and Russ had some early hic-ups, but clawed back nicely to a 7th place. Craig and Matt sailed a good race and were 3rd at the final windward mark, but got the kite fouled under the bow, and had to 2-sail to the finish, losing 2 boats along the way. The sail back to the beach was consistently over 25 knots with puffs up to 35 knots(according to the iWindsurf data for Egmont Key)




Sunday was a totally different day. The cool temperature and lack of sun made it reminiscent of a frostbite series. The 3 races were very tactical as short oscillations required the leaders to tack 6-12 times on a typical beat. JB and Russ continued their consistency for the series. Speed took a back-seat to smarts in all three races. This was especially true in the last race. As the breeze began to lighten, there was more to be gained or lost based on staying in the puffs and out of the lulls. JB and Russ chose to square back on the last run while the other leaders chose to wire-run. They went on to win the race. Craig and Matt made the wire-run tactic work by being a bit more patient on the left side of the course. The leaders gybed and squared back in the middle of the course as JB and Russ were probably making them nervous.




The good:

-JB and Russ finished an impressive 3rd for the event
-Craig/Matt and JB/Russ felt fast upwind and down: We never felt off the pace with the group and our shortcomings were attributed to boat handling/tactics.
-Matt had an impressive “trial-by-fire” first 505 regatta, and now knows first hand that you can sail a 505 in almost anything
-JB did not get attacked by fire-ants again

The bad:

-Matt’s return flight through Dulles got cancelled, he had to fly home on Monday
-It snowed 8+ inches the day after we got back to Chicago

The ugly:

-Craig’s Truck lost a face off with a parking lot pole
-Craig’s bow lost a face off with Uncle Henry’s rail
-Craig’s mast lost a face off with the sandy bottom of Fort Desoto (but was bent back rather nicely I must say!)

Full Results

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