Sunday, November 1, 2009

International Canadian Friendship Regatta

For the second year in a row now, we've held our annual International Canadian Friendship Regatta at Potapskut Sailing Association (PSA) on the north side of the Magothy River. I think I speak for most folks that participated when I say that this is a great venue. No fancy frills, just great people, great boats and great racing.

We've held this event for over forty years now. In the spring a group of Americans head up to Canada to race on Lake Ontario and in the fall a group of Canadians come down to Annapolis to race on the Bay. The regatta is held in a team racing format and the winning team takes home the Bruce Rankin Memmorial Trophy, which was donated to the class by Bob Chambers in memory of his good friend, and my grandfather, Bruce Rankin.

Having done this regatta on LinGin for decades now, I think we've seen a bit of everything. There have been races that we canceled due to no wind, and due to too much wind. There have been 2 kt currents to deal with and days of pouring rain. Mostly, however, we've had good weather and we've always had lots of fun. This year was no exception.

We set records for the lowest high temperatures on record during the regatta. It was in the upper 40s and raining with the wind out of the north. It rained heavily on Saturday and lightly on Sunday.

Saturday had a strong breeze with most boats reefing their mains and quite a few No. 2 jibs up. The beauty of racing on the Magothy in a north wind is that the seas remain quite flat even with a heavy breeze. Fast and fun. To give you an idea, you can check out a video Brian Palmer did from aboard L'Esprit:

The race committee decided against spinnakers on both days--not a surprise with the winds being so gusty and the weather so chilly. Two races were held on Saturday and one on Sunday, all windward-leeward.

Aboard LinGin, we lost our teammate on Friday due to weather related boat delivery issues, so we were paired up with Bill Jensen's Prudence at the last minute. And while we wanted to win this regatta, there was a subplot going on too: we were .003 points apart from Argo in the High Point standings and this was the last regatta of the season.

During each race, our plan, based on very similar conditions last year, was to have a clean start on the boat end and head right toward Gibson Island. We like the right because we found that with the wind out of the north, it bends around the island. If you head over there on port and then tack, you tend to get a nice lift heading up for the mark. This proved to be effective on all three races of the weekend.

For races one and two on Saturday, we had solid starts and quickly made for the right. Our setup, a full No. 1 and a reefed main, turned out to be just right for the conditions. It was strong enough that we considered the No. 2, but as the downwind leg was to be done without spinnaker, we opted for the No. 1 to keep our speed up downwind.

The marks used for racing on the Magothy are small. I mean really small, like not much bigger than a gallon milk jug. Add in ~20 kts of breeze and a generous helping of rain and I can attest that there were a few times when we were really searching for those marks! Thankfully we weren't too far off each time had to find them.

Unfortunately, Argo had a mechanical issue with their gooseneck which slowed them down a bit. Maddeningly, the same thing happened last year, although it was their main sheave that caused the trouble.

Due to the conditions, Prudence, dropped out after the first race and headed in for some warmth. With the forecast similar for Sunday, they decided to sit Sunday out as well. That took us out of contention for the trophy, so we decided to focus on High Point.

Sunday we found myself shorthanded on LinGin. Glen Becker and I doublehanded her for the day which was exhausting! Four tacks up the windward leg and I was completely beat. Thankfully Glen did most of the hard work from that point on.

We followed the same plan on Sunday and although our start wasn't quite what we had hoped, and our tacks were very slow, we did manage to have a hard fought race for fourth place with Windswept and Solstice. At the start of the last windward leg we were in 6th. We took a flyer to the right, trying our old "catch the lift on the island" trick and lo and behold it worked. By mere seconds we beat out the other two and took a hard fought and very satisfying 4th. We loved every minute of it.

Argo took first in that last race and although the official Hight Point standings aren't out yet, I think we came out on top. We'll find out at the annual dinner for sure, but either way it was very close and included a lot of fun-poking throughout the whole season.

That's the view from the race course as I see it. Maybe some of the other guys can add some colorful comments to the post.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

2009 Race to Queenstown and Back

9 intrepid boats registered for the 2009 edition of the Queenstown Race. We were greeted by a 15-20 knot northerly which had blown up a significant chop and some current as well, so for those of us making the trek up from Annapolis, this made for a bumpy ride. On board Calliope, the crew was out for her first day of sailing and also had some worries about seasickness, so the bumpy ride north was a solid indoctrination and all breakfast was kept where it belonged. I have to say that having a dodger was a key piece of racing equipment for this particular regatta. Unfortunately, we did manage to lose one participant due to propulsion issues getting in the way of a successful Saturday morning transit. So 8 boats started the race, one of which was a bit late... ;-)

The Morris Family getting their A-game ready during the pre-start.

There were 2 prevailing strategies at the start. I think most of us were in the dark as to the exact timing, but most boats decided to loiter in the area to the west of Baltimore light as the lighthouse was definitely the favored end. The start was going to be on port tack though, so a couple of boats decided to opt for the starboard tack approach sailing from the boat to the light house and this also seemed to work well as when the starting signal came, they were in a strong position to tack and be in the right place. Anyway, 7 of the 8 boats had a reasonably good start. Tim, Lanny, and TC punched out to an early lead with Jonathan, Larry, Me, and Mike fighting it out for 4th place. Almost everybody was sailing with the #1 genoa and some people had reefs in. We had elected to forego the reef and Ray Meyer later told me that he thought they had a speed advantage over us without the reef.

What we lacked in speed we made up for in tactics and boat handling. TC, who later explained to me that he had a GPS fail, went really high on the first leg, overstanding the mark by a significant margin. Fortunately for me, I was not using GPS, but only a chart book and a magnetic compass and whether by dumb luck or skill, I determined that we should be pointing about 20 degrees lower than the rest of the fleet. Fortunately for us, the rest of them did not realize that they were overstood until they had sailed a good deal of extra distance. We were not quite fast enough to catch Tim, Lanny, or TC, but we passed everybody else and rounded the mark in 4th, a couple of lengths behind TC.

Since we were racing in the 'white sail' division, we got to watch TC charge ahead after the mark rounding, which was unfortunate and we gave up trying to catch him. However, we did get a great view of some highly interesting spinnaker handling on board 'Laughing Gull':

Note skipper peering up into the rig, wondering how to fix this problem... Conclusion: Take down the colored sail and re-set.

After re-setting their spinnaker they did just manage to eek by us but it was not matter as after the 2nd mark, they promptly sailed into a hole and we passed them again on leg 3 of the race.

Here is the view from the front of the Morris family trying to catch us with their beautiful baby blue and white kite...

As we rounded Can 9, we had maintained our position in 4th and had the Adams family close behind. They went high for a bit and we stayed high to protect. For a minute I thought they were going to roll us but somehow we found just a bit of extra juice and managed to keep them behind us to hold on to position and finish in 4th. I told Jonathan that he should consider going to work for the advertising team as he had a cheering section on board that was chanting out 'go daddy' the whole way to the finish from Can 9, but unfortunately it just wasn't quite enough. Conclusion: you do not need colored sails to do fairly well. Smart white sail handling and a clean bottom can really do wonders for your scorecard.

Finish order for race to Queenstown:
  1. Lingin #244 Williams (Tim)
  2. Argo #247 Williams (TC)
  3. Windswept #562 (Helms)
  4. Calliope #287 (Bergquist) * White Sail
  5. Laughing Gull #197 (Adams)
  6. Rinn Duin #272 (Meinhold) * White Sail
  7. Solstice #501 (Morris)
  8. Tatus II #262 (Maliszewski) * White Sail
Official results are at:

As you can see from the boat numbers, we were by far the strongest fleet present at this event.

After arriving in the harbor, you knew somebody had to run aground and I guess it was just not the Adams family's day as they were the ones who showed us where NOT to go:
Fortunately for them, they got off before we had a chance to get too many close-up pictures...but if you zoom in on this one, you can see skipper holding up his hands in exasperation...never a good sign...also note crew (erm...daughter) hanging from mainsheet over the water in an attempt to heel the boat off...

After a long and beautiful day of racing it was time for some cocktails:
We had a raft of 8 Albergs which is not something you see everyday anymore:
And a beautiful sunset after a great party on the workboat raft...
The Adams and Morris children made good use of their bow hammock for sleeping: Next morning dawned bright and beautiful and as the raft broke up we caught a good picture of the commodore's boat with his official burgee flying proudly:
On Sunday, everybody realized what a light air day it was going to be and so we had no 'white sail' participants. This was probably the right call for all involved as in the end only 3 boats managed to hang on and finish the race. My crew who had just learned how to trim the jib on Saturday was somewhat apprehensive about learning a whole new sail on Sunday, but in the end it worked out well and she turned out to be an excellent spinnaker trimmer. It was not without incident though as we mis-timed the start, barely laid the boat end of the line and looked down the barrel of the rest of the fleet having about a 5 minute head start on us on a very light air day.
This is the classic 'Calliope' view from the back watching the fleet sail away from us...

Fortunately, due to my bottom cleaning skills, we managed to make up ground quickly on the rest of the fleet. Also, the kite was the right starting sail choice and helped us to pass 272 and 197 on the first leg.
But we still were not making much distance on Lanny, Larry, TC, and Tim in the lead...
At some point, after the breeze kept shifting right, we had to change sails because we could no longer lay the first mark with the kite up. This was unfortunate but came off pretty well considering we had only two people. There were some catcalls from #272 something about wishing they had a camera. However, I explained to them that they would not be laughing when I was the leeward boat and as it turned out they were not able to lay the mark with the kite either and had to make a sail change of their own. The irony of the camera remarks was not lost on me as we had our camera at the ready:
Fortunately, they managed to keep their captain aboard during this sail change although I am told that was not the case for all of their sail changes.

After rounding the first mark, we went high while Helms, Adams, Meinhold, and Morris went low. High was the right call as breeze filled in from the south and we caught it first and held on to pass them all as well as gaining significant distance on the leaders. Solstice eventually decided that they wanted to get some of what we were in and headed up to join us which helped him to stay connected to us and the leaders. However, he eventually decided to continue sailing high all the way to Kent Island which wound up not being in the direction of the mark and eventually they got so far away that we could barely see them take their sail down when they decided to hang it up.
Ah how the view changes when you are in front! This is Rinn Duin and Laughing Gull duking it out with the Tritons for clear air.

And Solstice going high!

We were gaining on the leaders!
Jonathan shot this picture after they had decided to bail and head home. Not a lot of breeze at this point...
But we were at least having a good time. Note dodger deployed. That is a key piece of equipment for a race like this!
Breeze really starting to shut off on the boats behind...

Personally, I think I had the best looking spinnaker trimmer in the fleet! She also happened to be quite good as we managed to pass 4 boats from a 5 minute behind start (skipper's fault for starting late)!

We rounded R2 a few hundred yards behind TC who had rounded a few hundred yards behind Tim. After rounding, there was some breeze that was starting to fill in from the south. However, it was extremely light and flukey. There were large shifts in speed and direction and navigating the sail back across the bay was tough to say the least! TC opted to play a tactical game which paid off as he was tacking back and forth on shifts and managed to work his way somewhat further south and got into the freshening breeze coming out of the south. This proved to be a master stroke as he managed to pass Tim and in hindsight I cannot believe we did not think of this strategy as it was pretty clear that the wind was filling in from the south. In the end, it was a grudge match trying to get back across the bay in the super light breeze, but eventually they made it and took the gun. LinGin got 2nd place and we ended up finishing in 3rd without crossing the finish line as the RC gave us a Finish In Place (FIP) at 1600 when we were about a quarter mile from the finish. Full results are at:

All in all, it was a wonderful event with excellent weather, competitive racing, great social, and a good time had by all!

The Bruce Rankin memorial regatta is coming up on 10/17-18 at PSA and I hope to see everybody there!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Queenstown races

This is what happens when everyone goes to the raft up party, and leaves these three back onthe boat! Out comes the wine, the martini shaker is loaded, and .... for the record, I was offered a martini on our return.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Oxford Race - September 12, 13

Well fall sailing has arrived with cooler weather and for at least one day some good wind. On the race down to Oxford it was good wind either directly astern or slightly off the starboard quarter. Once we turned into the Choptank, it was conveniently on the port quarter all the way to the rockpile marker at the mouth of the Tred Avon River. We were able to make it to the finish line on one tack. All the way from Annapolis to Oxford with one jibe in less than 6 hours – good fun.

The start was fairly non controversial other than a Catalina motoring through the box as we were making our final approach – about 15 seconds to go. Both Lanny and I had some choice words for him. LinGin, Windswept and Laughing Gull all went to the upwind side of the course. Argo, contrarian as always, took off for the lee side of the course. About a mile down the course, we all raised our chutes with a beam to a broad reach all the way down to Black Walnut point and the Choptank River. By the time we reached the north end of the Poplar islands. LinGin had the lead, followed by Argo, Laughing Gull and Windswept. This established the order for the rest of the race.

We all got moored at Cutts and Case, and went into town for the party at the Tred Avon Yacht Club, followed by dinner at the Masthead. By the time folks got back to the boats, the rain was really coming down. I fell asleep to the sound of a card game on LinGin, and the patter of rain on my fore hatch.

The following morning, TC and Lanny managed to convince me to register for the race. I had not planned it as I only had one crew, and I wanted to explore Knapps Narrows. This was not to be – TC reminded me that he and his pregnant wife had doublehanded back some years ago after a hurricane, and so surely I could do it that. In addition, and perhaps more importantl, it would be good to have another boat to keep our participation numbers up. Anyway we all left the dock rather late. Argo’s engine was not starting so he got the tow, and we arrived just in time to hear a gun (or a horn I cannot remember). This happened concurrently with the check in boat telling me that this was our start. I looked over to see LinGin heading across the line and down course. This created a panic – up goes the spinnaker , down goes the genoa, the boat is sailing wonderfully towards the fist mark. I look over and LinGin is headed back over the line. What devious cunning - he had feinted the start!! I thought about keeping on. In one sense I had not planned on racing, and was there to keep our numbers up, but that just is not me. Down comes the chute, up goes the genoa, and we hot foot it back to the start; flip around; up goes the chute; down comes the Genoa. There were only two of us aboard, and by the time this was done, we needed a beer!

The wind was 10 – 15 knots until we got out of the Choptank, and then the wind started to die. By the time we reached the bottom of the Poplar Islands, it was looking pretty grim. At one stage, we were thinking that we might be able to catch Windswept, but the wind kept falling. When it became clear that the six hour time limit was going to expire we called it quits. LinGin had anchored close to the island to make sure the current did not carry her away from the mark, and Argo had found herself anchored in the middle of the Bay in about 55 feet of water also becalmed. At that time, TC was still racing, and declined our offer of a tow. He later got the engine started. LinGin crossed the line at 6:05 – close but no cigar. The picture of Argo below shows how calm it was.

This is one of my favorite races. It is a long one especially if the wind is down, but the Choptank is a beautiful river and there are invariable less motorboats than other parts of the Bay. The Tred Avon Yacht Club is great fun. They run a good race, and invariably puts on a good party with a band and an excellent location. To top it all off Oxford as a town is pretty and unique. My preference would have been to take another day, exchange the racing crew for family and do the exploring I was thinking of; logistics being what they are this was not to be - perhaps next year.

All of the pictures are on the web at

Monday, August 24, 2009

WNR 8/24/09 - The Last Four Races

Wednesday night series have been a true variety of experiences. Four races ago,we had an incredible storm. If you have not seen the picture check it out here - Lin Gin was the only one that got around the windward mark in time to be going downwind when the storm hit. I believe Harry Gamber stayed in the race, but Laughing Gull went directly to Pussers, and had a few of their rum drinks. The wind may have reached 50 knots. I know that there was a period of time when the boom was sitting in the water. It hit right as Argo, Second 2 Nun and ourselves were at the windward mark. There was a 30 second window when we could have tacked and got pointing the right way, but Second 2 Nun was sitting right there, so until the initial blow was over, we all just headed further out to the Bay.

This was followed by a race where the committee set the course slightly long, and only one boat finished - all the others time limit expired. We were sitting staring at the judges when they called TLE - bummer. The committee at least logged me as TLE rather than DNC – not that this buys you anything. Laughing Gull was having a good race too. Not that we caught up to Lin Gin, but someone has to be giving that guy a run for his money.

The following week, the race committee over compensated and set the course incredibly short. On top of that, the Committee decided that the Alberg fleet's windward mark was going to be just above the turning point for the faster boats. We were rounding the windward mark and cutting through the Eschels, and the larger boats that all had their spinnakers up - chaos. We all got back into the harbor, and it was anyone's race. On the way into the harbor, we had our chutes up. As we got in - drastic wind shift - our genoas went up and we were close hauled. Some boats went left and Lin Gin and Laughing Gull went right (towards Pussers - for those that need a reference point involving a drinking hole). All was going reasonably well until the wind shifted drastically once again and Lin Gin and Laughing Gull went from somewhere in the front of the pack, to fighting it out for last place. Laughing Gull won that fight for last place.

The last race was just right - we could have used more wind, but ... at least it did not rain. Laughing Gull went wide on way to the windward mark, and kept to the Hackett point side of the course. This put us first at the windward mark. On the way back into the harbor, we got tangled up in some Catalinas and Cals, and had to jibe twice to get clear. Towards the mark, we were in the middle of some J105s that were duelling it out. This was interesting, but not good for speed. We rounded the mark in a pack, and right behind us, Lin Gin caught up in clean slice of air unconfused by a herd of 105s with their asyms up. Going into the harbor, the wind dropped, and it was agonizing. At one point Lin Gin was way ahead, and Calliope was catching up nicely. .After a few more tacks I looked up, and Lin Gin was closer, but Calliope was lost in a crowd somewhere off the Chart House. There was not a chance of catching Lin Gin especially after I did not listen to the crew. I even ignored my 10 second rule (when you feel like tacking count to 10). That put us in a position where we had to pinch to finish. We were given a break by one of the fast boats. Laughing Gull was on port. I had the tiller over hard, and was not doing anything there was so little wind - he ducked me on Starboard - which is a good thing as I was a) in the way, and b) completely the burdened boat!

There are three more Wednesday nights left. For those that might want to consider a night on the water in the middle of the week, contact J Berquist at, he has a good handle on who is doing what. We often have a spot on Laughing Gull, so feel free to ping me as well.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

WNR 6/16/09

After 3 consecutive weeks of canceled Wednesday night racing, last night we were blessed with a strong easterly breeze and cool temperatures in the mid 60's. Under a steelhead sky that was full of foreboding clouds, and reefs in all our mains, the fleet set off in 15-20 kts of breeze for the first mark. The beat was pretty shifty in both velocity and direction. Tim Williams made it to the mark well in first place and with a pretty smooth spinnaker set, he had a strong lead. We traded places with Brian and TC and somehow managed to pass both of them from behind to round the mark in 2nd. I think this was due in no small part to the wicked good scramblas on my crew who scrambled back and forth always to the windward rail. With a crew of 9, we had plenty of beef to keep her upright. Also, I had a cracka of a main trimma in Rachel Meinhold who was workin the sheet and the travla like a masta.

After the mark rounding, we all turned downwind for the run back to the haaaba. Brian and I elected to forego using the kite by choice. TC elected to forego it because he had a little shrimping expedition during the beat and I'm not sure whether his kite or his crew was more damaged. Anyway, he also decided to forego using his kite, so the 3 of us were in a white sail race for the can, and we rounded in the same order: me, Brian, and TC. Brian was hot on our tail at the mark and went higher, but we were able to scrape him off by the time we got to the harbor can. However, he went high on us again and somehow (we could not figure out how for the life of us!) he kept being just a little faster than we were. He managed to get an overlap on us and was entitled to room at the bulkhead (a subject about which I had some discussion with one of his crew who I later realized was Geoff Becker the sailing coach at Washington College who knows a lot more about rules than I do...) but somehow he slowed down immediately after establishing the overlap and decided to change tactics and go low. In the end, we had a close photo finish with Me narrowly nipping Brian for 2nd and Brian narrowly getting TC for 3rd. I think we all finished within about 15 seconds of each other. But you can see for yourselves as complete results are available at:

Congratulations to Tim Williams on his win!

Division: Alberg 30 (8 boats) (top)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 Total
1 244 LinGin Nurco, Virginia 1 1.00 1
2 287 Calliope Bergquist, John 2 2.00 2
3 288 L'Espirit Palmer, Brian 3 3.00 3
4 247 Argo Williams, T.C. 4 4.00 4
5T 152 Andante pipkin, mark 5/DNC 5.00T 5T
5T 197 Laughing Gull Adams, Jonathan 5/DNC 5.00T 5T
5T 308 Asylum Adelman, Allan 5/DNC 5.00T 5T
5T 484 Second-2-Nun Bluntschli, Ralph 5/DNC 5.00T 5T

Here are some pix:

Julia manages the winged-out jib with Brian P over her shoulder.

Not a view I often get...TC so far behind me I have trouble reading his sail #. Note crack main trimmer Rachel Meinhold keeping an eye on the competition for me.
2 of my wicked good scramblas keeping the boom where it's supposed to be.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Syronelle 2009

The Great Lakes Alberg Association ( ) hosted a wonderful weekend in Toronto full of racing, touring and Canadian hospitality. The weather was good, the winds were fair and the competition friendly.

Although we were team racing, and our American team came in third of three, Harry Gamber had the best overall single boat record in the three races. Sailing The Answer with owner Rick Kent aboard and his crew of Hans Jorgensen and Jim Davis, Harry had two seconds and a first in the five-boat, three-race regatta. Mike Meinhold, Sandy and Ray Meyer and Rachel Meinhold were aboard Viva II with owner Janski's (Jan Grodinski) boat, and at least were consistent with fifth place throughout. This was Janski's first racing experience, and he is already planning on loaning his boat next year and has ideas for improving performance! Janski does a lot of single-handing and his boat is very well set up for that. I saw a lot of improvements that I would like to apply to Rinn Duin. It's great to spend time sailing other Alberg 30s -- it seems there is always something to learn about the boat.

Also there for the weekend from the Chesapeake were Sandy Davis, Jacqueline Burke, Pat Meinhold and Max Meinhold. Phoebe Campell gave the Meinholds a fantastic tour of the town, and all these visitors took in the "Sound of Music" production at the Prince of Wales theater. We were treated to an excellent pot-luck dinner at Rick and Selena Kent's home on Friday night, and to dinner at the Mimico Cruising Club with grand views of the lake on Saturday Night. Mimico was a lovely venue for the regatta, and our thanks go the members for allowing us to use it, and the race committee for a well-run regatta.

Thanks go to Rick and Selena Kent for hosting the Friday night get-together, to Phil Birkenheier for hosting Ray and Sandy Meyer at his home, and to Phoebe Campbell for guiding Pat and the kids through Toronto. Special thanks to Don Campbell for all of his coordination and efforts in making a wonderful weekend all around. We look forward to seeing our Great Lakes friends here on the Chesapeake in October.

Here are the results of the 2009 Syronelle races sailed 13 and 14 June 2009 at the Mimico Cruising Club in Toronto, Ontario, as compiled and tabulated by the MCC Race Committee . Team standings were done by Don Campbell.

The teams were Gemini (Birkenheier) and White Opal (Campbell) as GLAA 1 LindisFarne (Watters) as a wildcard GLAA 2. Viva II (Meinhold) and The Answer V (Gamber) as the Chesapeake 1

Course indicates the numbers of the octagonal buoy system outside of Humber Bay. Buoy 9 is in the center, with the 8 others evenly spaced on a 0.75 NM radius circle

Saturday June 13th

Saturday June 13th:
10:30 Marine forecast: Winds light, Chance of showers, Waves <1m.
Conditions: Wind 350° -010° 4 - 7 knots seas flat

Course 9-6-5-9-5
Start time: 11:30

Gemini 12:39:00 1 1:09:00 00:00:00
The Answer V 12:39:50 2 1:09:50 00:00:50
White Opal 12:41:30 3 1:11:30 00 02:30
LindisFarne 12:50:52 4 1:20:52 00:11:52
Viva II 12:53:56 5 1:23:56 00:14:56

Sunday June 14
Wind 170°-192° 4-7 knots seas flat
Course 9-6-5-9-5
start time 13:30:00

White Opal 14:34:43 1 1:04:43 00:00:00
The Answer V 14:37:24 2 1:07:24 00:02:41
LindisFarne 14:47:54 3 1:17:54 00:13:11
Gemini 14:53:59 4 1:23:59 00:19:16
Viva II 14:54:53 5 1:24:53 00:20:10

Team results

LindisFarne drew 1 card from a group of 8 (4- 10s and 4 - 2s) three times. White Opal was 2 and Gemini was 10. Each draw was a 10 so the second GLAA team was LindisFarne and Gemini

Team Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Total
White Opal /Gemini 3+1 1+4 2+4 15
LindisFarne / Gemini 4+1 3+4 3+4 19
The Answer V / Viva II 2+5 2+5 1+5 20

Notice of Race: Orioles White Sail Race

1. Rules:
1.1: The regatta will be governed by the 'rules' as defined in the 2009-2012 ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing including the prescriptions of US Sailing (RRS) and the class rules of the Chespeake Bay Alberg 30 One Design Association, except as any of these are altered by the Notice of Race, Sailing Instructions or any amendments thereto, provided however that as between any boat which is racing and any which is not, the inland rules shall apply.
1.2 RRS 63.7 is replaced by: "If there is a conflict between a rule in the Notice of Race and a rule in the Sailing Instructions, the rule in the Sailing Instructions and any amendments thereto, shall take precedence"

2. Organizing Authority:
2.1 The Organizing Authority for this regatta is the Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 One Design Association.

3. Eligibility and Entry
3.1 Eligibility for the Alberg 30 one design class is limited to any Alberg 30 sailboat that is in compliance with the Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 One Design Association class rules. Eligibility for the ‘everybody else’ division is restricted only to sailboats of sufficient construction maintaining adequate safety gear.
3.2 The entry fee for CBA30ODA members will be $10 and must be submitted by check or cash to the Racing Commodore by 7/7/2009. Make checks payable to 'Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 One Design Association'. The entry fee for non-CBA30ODA members is $15.
3.3 There will be 2 classes of entrants: Those having class legal Alberg 30's, and everybody else. The 'everybody else' division will be scored by handicap determined by the whim of the organizing authority.
3.4 Only upwind 'white' sails may be used. Spinnakers are not permitted. Whisker poles are allowed. For the Alberg 30 one design class, sails are limited to the main, number 1, number 2 and number 3, as defined in the class rules. For ‘everybody else’ sails are limited to a main, mizzen, and headsails with a mid-girth of less than or equal to one half of the foot dimension.

4. Schedule
4.1 The event will take place on 7/11/2009.
4.2 All boats must start at a time of their choosing but between the times of 0900 and 1100 EST (GMT+5) on 7/11/2009.
4.2 All boats must finish before the hour of 1500 EST on 7/11/2009.

5. The Course, Start and Finish
5.1 The course will use government marks.
5.2 The starting mark shall be rounded or passed to starboard and will consist of GC "3" near the mouth of Swan Creek.
5.3 To start, each yacht shall sail within two boatlengths of the starting mark, taking the starting mark down her starboard side, and shall take and record her starting time at the point when the imaginary line through her traveler crosses the starting mark.
5.4 The finishing mark shall be rounded or passed to starboard and will consist of the Red, White, and Blue 'Francis Scott Key' buoy just upstream of Key Bridge in the Patapsco river.
5.5 To finish, each yacht shall sail within two boatlenngths of the finishing mark, taking the finishing mark down her starboard side, and shall take and record her finishing time at the point in time when the imaginary line through her traveler crosses the finishing mark.
5.6 Skippers may choose any course they wish between the start and finish marks.
5.7 Skippers are responsible for recording their own start and finish times using GPS time. All start and finish times must be reported to the Organizing Authority by cell phone no later than 1600 on 7/11/2009.

6. Protests
6.1 Protests may or may not be heard or acted upon at the discretion of the Organizing Authority.
6.2 Protests must be reported by cell phone to the Organizing Authority by 1600 on 7/11/2009. The Organizing Authority will direct any protesting boat as to when and where to file, and when and if any hearing will be held.

7. Penalty System
7.1 Per RRS 4.1, A boat that may have broken a rule of Part 2 while racing MUST take a scoring penalty.
7.2 RRS 44.3 (c) is replaced with: "The race score for a boat that takes a scoring penalty shall be":
(a) At the time of the incident, by taking a 20% scoring penalty calculated as a percentage of her elapsed time and filing an acknowledgement with the Organizing Authority within the protest time limit.
(b) After racing and before the start of a protest hearing involving the incident, by taking a 40% penalty calculated as a percentage of her elapsed time.
However, if the boat caused serious damages or gained a significant advantage in the race by her breach she shall retire."

9. Scoring
9.1 Scores will be calculated using the elapsed times as reported by the participating skippers.
9.2 Boats will be ranked in the order of their elapsed times with the shortest being the winner.

10. Prizes
10.1 Prizes will be awarded separately in each class. A prize of some kind will be awarded to ALL participating boats.

John Bergquist
Racing Commodore
Chesapeake Bay Alberg 30 One Design Association

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2009 Ted Osius Regatta

A beautiful late spring day greeted the 6 Albergs who showed up for the 2009 Ted Osius regatta on Sunday. In the beginning, it was not totally clear that there was going to be good breeze and the race committee postponed the first start, but once racing got underway, we were blessed with an excellent southerly at 8-12 knots and perfect racing conditions. Two races were sailed in a relatively steady breeze. There was a pretty strong ebb current during race 1 which gradually abated over the course of the day. TC Williams put on a clinic, leading both races from wire to wire and honestly he pretty much did a horizon job on the rest of us. Full results are reproduced below. Note that the finishing order was exactly the same for both race 1 and race 2. Congratulations to TC Williams on the convincing regatta win!

A couple of things I would like to highlight in addition to the racing. First, Jonathan Adams was pulled away at the last minute because of a death in his family. I am sure that I speak for everyone in offering condolences to him, his wife, and his family. We missed you out there on Sunday Jonathan, and I hope that you all are doing okay. I am sure it is difficult.

Second, I want to highlight Mike Meinhold for putting together a team to come out and participate in this race. Mike has a lot of experience racing with me as a bow crew, but I believe this is only his 2nd or 3rd race as a skipper. He did a great job of getting around the course, and I hope that we will see more of Mike out there on the race course.

Third, I want to highlight the party that SCC puts on Sunday for this regatta. I believe that TC and I were the only people from our fleet who attended the party (I did not arrive until very late). I spoke with Mrs. Osius-Zimmerman at the party and she was very nice to me, but lamented the fact that not more of the Albergers make the effort to come to the party. In particular, she said that she wished that Harry would come to the party as she said that she has not seen him in many years and would like to catch up. So Harry I hope you will consider going next year. I was ashamed to admit to her that of the 5 times I have done this regatta, this was the first time that I had attended. I think it's important for us to keep in mind that Ted Osius was an Alberger and that we should try and make an effort to attend the party. I hope that those of you who did not attend this year will try and put it on your schedule to attend not only the sailing, but also the party afterwards in the future. I think it is a nice gesture for us to say 'thanks' to Mrs. Osius-Zimmerman for hosting the event.

Fourth, I want to highlight the Luce Creek Cruise which was hosted by Vicki Lathom on Saturday before racing. Unfortunately, despite my best intentions, I was unable to attend because of an emergency boat mishap. However, Mike M attended and it sounds like it was a great party. I think that having a Luce Creek Cruise the same weekend as the Osius regatta is an excellent opportunity for Magothy boats to come down and split their travel time up so that they don't have to come all the way from the Magothy on the day of racing. It's also a great chance for everybody to socialize together. I want to thank Vicki for hosting this crusie, and I hope that she will host it again on the Osius weekend next year.

Finally, I got a couple pix from my boat to share with y'all. Sorry, no pix of the fleet, although in pic #2 you can just make out Harry and Lanny in front of me :-(

Despite our obvious focus, we still managed to be relatively slow...

We were lucky to have an excellent bow and mast crew! I think the main problem with boatspeed was that the nut on the end of the tiller needed adjustment...

Overall Results:

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 2 Total
1 247 Argo Williams, T.C. 1 1 2.00 1
2 244 LinGin Williams, Tim 2 2 4.00 2
3 562 Windswept Helms, Lanny 3 3 6.00 3
4 484 Second-2-Nun Gamber, Harold 4 4 8.00 4
5 287 Calliope Bergquist, John 5 5 10.00 5
6 272 Rinn Duin Meinhold, Michael 6 6 12.00 6
7 197 Laughing Gull Adams, Jonathan 8/DNC 8/DNC 16.00 7

Sunday, June 7, 2009

WNR Race 6

Another week of no racing. :(

An impending thunderstorm coupled with light air caused the race committee to cancel the race. After watching the storm roll in later in the evening (and recalling the epic storms last year), I think it was probably the right call.

Next week here we come!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

WNR Race 5: 5/27/09

The story for WNR this week is simple: there was no wind. Fortunately, those of us on the win-by-leaving-dock program had plenty of food & drinks aboard.
So as the fleet left the racing area, we came upon a motley crew of like-minded sailors...
Formed a raft and enjoyed the sunshine. It was all great until a powerboat wake caused a little bit of rig knocking and we had to send a man aloft to inspect everything.
In the end, it was fine and a good time was had by all on the water, despite the lack of breeze. We'll do it all again next week. Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Miles River Race

From St. Michaels 2009
The Annapolis to Miles River Race turned out to be a beautiful day for sailing.  A nice ~10 kts. out of the south stayed steady all day and the current was with us down the bay.

We had four Albergs out on the line: Argo, Windswept, Laughing Gull and LinGin.

One thing that was key in this race was to recognize that the current was pretty strong and it was sweeping us over the starting line.  Unfortunately for T.C. Williams and Argo, they were victims of this and wound up OCS (On Course Side) and had to loop back around (against the current) and start over.

Once started, we all headed for the deep water in the channel and worked our way down the bay.  I've race enough against these guys to know not to give them an opening, so our goal on LinGin was to do our best to stay in the deep water while keeping near the fleet so they couldn't get any leverage on us and slip by.

We were successful in doing this, but there was a moment of great concern that took place as we rounded Bloody Point and headed up into Eastern Bay.  We knew we need to sail 75° to get to the first red mark we had to honor and I looked a my digital compass (TackTick) and it showed 75°, but oddly enough only one J30 ahead of us was going the same direction.  I looked up ahead there appeared to be a mark where we were headed.  Why was the rest of the fleet heading much higher than us?  Didn't they have the same course?  Scramble...scramble...check race particulars...yes, they did have the same course here...note that Argo is now around and heading toward everyone else....!!!  We decided that the wisdom of the crowds was at work and headed up with everyone else.  Shortly thereafter the J30 did the same.  

A little while later, I recognized the problem.  Somehow we had changed the mode of the TackTick to "Tactics", which changes the information it shows.  Coincidentially the number it happened to show was the number I was expecting to see.  Luckily we figured it out before anyone passed us. 

From that point, it was more of the same: keep in front of the guys behind us and don't make any mistakes.  Thankfully we had a smooth spinnaker set and take down as well as a good mark rounding. 

We were happy to take the gun.  Next year, we need more A30's out there.  It's a fabulous race and the post race party and facilities in St. Michaels are great.  I highly reocmmend it to everyone.

I can't seem to figure out the link to the results.  You can get to them at CBYRA's website and clicking on "Results".  Here are the A30 results.

Division: Alberg30 (4 boats) (top)

Pos Sail Boat Skipper 1 Total
1 244 LinGin Tim Williams 1 1.00 1
2 247 Argo T.C. Williams 2 2.00 2
3 562 Windswept Lanny Helms 3 3.00 3
4 197 Laughing Gull Jonathan Adams 4 4.00 4


(1) Scoring System is ISAF Low Point 2005-2008

LinGin #244

Thursday, May 14, 2009

WNR Race 3: 5/13/09

The evening of 5/22 brought a gusty southeasterly breeze at about 15 knots (with some puffs higher). Temperatures at WNR start time were in the 70's and the racing conditions just don't get much better than this. Unfortunately (for me), my neuroscience final exam was at 8:30 AM on 5/14 so it was not a good night for me to be out racing sailboats. In anticipation of a night spent studying, I corraled my regular crew into representing the fleet in my absence. However, after a solid day spent studying, I decided that I could afford to take a break for a couple hours and go along. However, I also decided that I would forego the driving responsibilities in the interest of getting my crew ready so that they could participate in future races in my absence. Therefore, I had Mike Meinhold take the helm and all I did was make polite suggestions to everybody from the companionway (well, that's mostly what I did anyway...)

The start was highly boat favored there were at least 2 boats who were caught barging and had to peel off. We were a bit late, but we got a decent start at the boat with clear air and I said to Mike that clean is better than on time. We tacked a bit early for the layline to the cone, but it wound up being fortuitous as we were able to watch Brian Palmer go too far on port until he ran aground at which point I politely suggested we should tack before the same thing happened to us. I was able to get 2 choice photos of Brian trying to unearth himself:
I guess they thought dropping the jib was going to help them get off more quickly?
Note to self: don't sail past the Back Creek channel. It gets mighty shallow in there...

Well fortunately we did succeed in avoiding Brian's fate, but unfortunately we were inside the starboard tack layline. No matter, we proceeded ahead and were close to Harry at the last cross. He did manage to hold us off at the mark, though, and the 2 extra tacks slowed us down as well.

We elected not to use the spinnaker on the way down due to the puffy conditions and the fact that we were making hull speed anyhow. Tim Williams did use his and clearly it worked to his advantage as he managed to pass TC who led at the first two marks to take the bullet. Harry came 3rd, we came 4th and Brian (after extricating his keel from the mud...) came 5th. I will let Tim comment on what he thought was particularly fast getting around the course, since he won the race, he clearly knows better than I do. I am sorry that I didn't get a picture of him broaching after he came around the windward mark. It was time I will not be so slow on the shutter...

All in all, it was an agreeable night on the water, with fresh breezes, agreeable temperatures, and even a little studying squeezed in between. Thanks to my crew for driving and operating the boat so that I could study! And for those of you who are curious, I did manage to pass neuroscience. I did not achieve the 90% that Don C suggested before, but I learned a ton, and I actually really enjoyed the subject...maybe because I got to do some sailing while studying it. Maybe I'll become a neurologist...who knows?

WNR series results are online at:

We will do it all again next week at 1835. Don't be late! (Actually, I will be out of town next week, so y'all will have to enjoy it in my absence...)

What a great crew, huh? Note the barbecue. That is the extra secret sauce on the S/V Calliope program...

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

First White Sail Award Winner

Congratulations to Larry Morris for winning the inaugural 'white sail' award at last weekend's MRSA spring classic. The competition was fierce between Larry and John Maliszewski, but ultimately Larry, with crack crew Mike Nikolich, prevailed and took the division. It was clear on the water that Larry has adopted my motto of 'Win by leaving the dock' as he was clearly still mid-stream in a window repair job and sporting some nice blue tape and protective plastic over his port lights.

Thanks to both Larry and John M for participating in the White Sail division. I hope you folks make it for the Miles River Race as well!
Click the picture and you can see the snazzy new portlights...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

MRSA Spring Classic

4 Albergs showed up for the first of what we hope will become an annual Magothy River Spring Series. This year's event was abbreviated because a number of previously committed skippers had schedule constraints. Unfortunately for the fleet, Andrew Cole had mechanical problems and had to get towed into the yard on Saturday morning. Also sadly, Jonathan Adams had a serious illness in his family and was pulled away from sailing to attend to that. We all hope that everything ends up okay for the Coles and Adamses. I got coerced into the breach when Tim Williams got tapped for an unplanned lacrosse coaching contingency so I found myself packing my neuroscience books onto LinGin (#244) together with 2 of Tim's regular crew members (Glen Becker and Garrett McWilliams) for what turned out to be a pretty epic day of sailing. Larry Morris (Solstice #501), Lanny Helms (Windswept #562), and John Maliszewski (Tatus II #262) rounded out the fleet of four boats. This was not quite the turnout we had hoped for, but considering the aforementioned unplanned contingencies and the fact that it was Mother's Day weekend, not a bad turnout, all things considered. Larry and John had both pre-registered for the 'white sail' division which looked like a wise choice with the breeze forecast to be in the upper teens.

With a brisk southwesterly breeze of around 10 knots at start time, the course was set up for DHA 2 laps with port roundings. The beat was relatively close to square for the start of the first race, but with the boat strongly favored, everybody decided to head to the boat end of the line. This made for some sporty jockeying for position during the pre-start and I have to be honest, we on LinGin got a little bit schooled. However, Glen showed some serious helming skills and we managed to salvage a not bad start with strong speed of the line and room to leeward we footed out from under Larry who had started close to windward of us (in fact, he had rolled us at the gun with greater speed). Lanny was on our lee bow and was pretty punched out in front, with us struggling to hang in his upstream backwind. By footing below Larry we were eventually able to shoot the return off our main into his course and he decided it would be better to tack than continue to hang in that position. Once he tacked, we decided to go as well as the breeze had entered a left phase and port was now the lifted tack. Lanny went as well and set up to windward and ahead of us. This was not ideal but we didn't have to put up with it for very long as the lifeline that he was leaning against came loose and he fell in the water! Fortunately, due to (I am guessing) his strong grip on the tiller and some quick crew work, he got back aboard, but not without getting mighty wet! He said later that the water was refreshing! After all that, we came into the top mark in the lead by a few lengths. Our layline call was made with surgical precision (and a healthy amount of luck!) as we laid the mark by only about one foot. It was shifty at the top, which definitely made it challenging. But once again, Glen's helming skills really came through as he scootched us around clean. Tim had better be watching out or he might get replaced as helmsman on LinGin...

The run turned into a fairly tight reach as the breeze had stayed pretty far left, and each puff seemed to be a stronger lefty. We elected to go with a 'stay high and come down late' strategy which worked well as we went into the early-and-clean douse with a comfortable lead over Lanny. After the rounding, it was not quite a close hauled course to the next mark (A, which was the start line pin). On LinGin, we were confused to see Lanny tack away to starboard and head left which we couldn't figure why he would do that as he would miss one of the marks of the course. When we got to the A mark, we tacked immediately to reconnect with him and realized that indeed he had sailed the beat to the wrong side of the 'A' mark. He later retired, but for the time being we decided to make it a race anyway. When we reconnected, we had a close crossing with him on the first cross with us narrowly ahead on starboard. But by the time we came to the 2nd cross, he was in a strong position and able to force us to duck. From there, Lanny did not make any mistakes and kept himself between us and the marks, sailed the boat fast, and held on for the bullet. It was a good race and a lot of fun.

During the lunch break, the breeze started building and I would say that for the start of race 2 we had a strong 12 with some puffs of 15 or maybe a little higher. This time, we had no pre-start comms malfunction between tactician and helmsman. Glen took the bull right by the horns and got us a great start at the boat going full speed ahead. It was masterful work on his part executing a textbook Vanderbilt timed run. We all felt good about having a strong start. The first starboard tack was a short one as the left-shifted breeze had turned the course into very nearly a one-tack beat. We crossed the fleet on starboard then set up on the left hip to protect the left side. We were struggling to keep the boat from being overpowered as the freshening breeze put us on our ear several times. There were a number of discussions about how best to handle the gusty conditions with the #1 and full main we were marginally overcanvassed. Garrett did a great job playing the main traveler though and Glen was starting to develop a feel for how to keep the boat driving in the gusty conditions. Clearly he was doing an excellent job as we came to the last cross of the beat close behind Lanny who we had to duck on port. Lanny is a fast helm in heavy breeze as we all saw last fall at the Canadian regatta, so it's again a testament to Glen's helming skills that we hung on so well. Unfortunately for Lanny he had tacked just a bit too early for the layline and he also was rolled by one of the PHRF boats which forced him to double tack at the mark and this was enough for us to squeeze in front of him.

Despite a significant spinnaker malfunction on the run, we managed to hold onto our lead position coming into the bottom mark and this time there was no splitting. We hardened up past mark A with Lanny a scant 3 lengths behind us. The 2nd beat became a drag race between us and Lanny with Lanny pulling even during the early part after rounding mark A but on LinGin we did not give up. We refocused on our main trim and on Glen's helming and after some adjustments we held our own and then we were able to pull ahead by a couple of lengths. By this time, we were shooting our main return in Lanny's direction, but in the left phase one-tack-beat, there was not much he could do to avoid our jetwash. By the time we got to the layline, he was 3 lengths directly astern and we were seeing clear ahead to a bullet of our own. As we came to the layline there was a huge right shift that had us overstanding by a signficant amount, but that was okay as we were on the same ladder rung as Lanny anyhow. After the mark, it was a fairly uneventful run and final beat to the finish with LinGin taking the gun this time. With racing for Sunday canceled, we made a hard left and headed home.

Larry and John also saw some close racing in the white sail division with Larry ultimately prevailing to take the first of the white sail trophies. I haven't received it yet (it is supposedly in shipment). But I will make sure to present it at the first available opportunity. It was good to see some people come out and compete in the white sail division and I hope that we will have some more 'white sail' participants on the line for the Miles River Race for memorial day.

Overall, it was an excellent event. It was a real treat for me to get out and sail on another boat, with new people. I can't say how much I enjoyed sailing with Glen and Garrett. We had an absolute blast all day on the water. I just wish that I could have been more social but with the neuroscience final coming up on Thursday I was pretty distracted thinking about that... Thanks to Larry Morris for doing the organization for this event. Thanks to everybody who came out and sailed. For those of you who could not make it, truly you missed one excellent day of sailing. I hope that some more of you folks who live up on the Magothy will put this event on your calendars for next year, come out and join us for some great racing put on by MRSA!

I will post results once they have been put up on the MRSA website. As of now they have not yet been posted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

First White Fleet Award Art Work

The first White Fleet award will be presented at the Alberg 30 Spring Series this coming weekend. I just wanted to give you all a preview of the art work for the award. The award will be a pint glass engraved with the following design. The prize will be contested according to the rules laid out previously in e-mail and on the previous blog post. If you are interested in competing for the White Fleet award, you need to inform me by Midnight on Friday, 5/8.

White Fleet Award

Andrew, Tim, Mike M, and I have been discussing for several weeks the
idea of introducing a 'white sail' award. The idea behind this award
is to make racing relevant to everybody who is a member of our
association, not just those who have the experience and resources to
recruit a full regular crew for a consistent racing performance. I
want to see people out racing even if they are shorthanded, have small
kids as part of their crew, or are just not comfortable using the
spinnaker for whatever reason. To this end, we are going to be trying
out a new 'white sail' award this year. The conditions are as follows:

1. For each event, we will have one individual white sail trophy which
will be engraved with the event name and date. It will be something
nice, but also utilitarian. Currently I am planning on using either
pint glasses or highball glasses. The idea is that you would be able
to have a series of them for the whole year.

2. Only one 'white sail' participant must register in order to win the
award. This means if you are the only white sail participant, you will
get the award.

3. If more than one 'white sail' participant registers, the event
winner will be determined using the low point system. Weekend events
will be scored as one event. For example, Oxford race and Hammond will
be scored together. Tiebreakers will be applied as prescribed in the
racing rules, or at the judgment of the racing commodore if the racing
rules are insufficient to break a tie.

4. At the end of the season, the overall 'white sail' winner will be
determined using a high point system. The person who wins the most
non-spin trophies through the season will win the overall award. This
person will be recognized at the annual dinner with a new, perpetual,
white sail trophy that we are going to commission this year. It is
going to be a nice trophy.

5. Registering as a 'white sail' participant requires that you notify
the racing commodore by e-mail of your intention to compete as a
'white sail' competitor the day before the regatta begins. You must
still register with the regatta's organizing authority as all other
competitors. The 'white sail' award is organized solely by the A30
associaton and so it has nothing to do with the regular regatta awards
and organization provided by the hosting club. You just have to
register for the event as usual, then notify me that you will be
competing for the white sail award.

6. We will have one 'white sail only' event which is going to be a
race from Swan Creek to Baltimore the weekend of the Orioles cruise
(7/11). This will be a non high-point event, but we may make it a high
point race next year if it is a success. Details and the NOR will come
out when I can make time to write them. This event will be
incorporated into the summer cruise and the orioles cruise.

7. You may compete for both 'white sail' and regular awards, but not
at the same event. If you declare as a white sail participant, then
decide to use your spinnaker, you will be ineligible for the award and
will not be allowed to compete for future white sail awards in the
current season.

Please feel free to ask if you have questions. As this is a new idea,
we welcome your feedback.

WNR 4/29/09

There was a brisk but moderating east-northeasterly breeze for the start of WNR on 4/29. Initial forecasts were for about 10-15 knots but at start time we were clocking numbers around 10 and high single digits. During our initial pre-start analysis, the consensus seemed to be that starting on port at the pin was going to be the way to go. In fact, it appeared that it would be difficult to even lay the line on starboard because the breeze was so far left. However, due to tactical considerations (we did not want to be forced to tack by starboard tackers coming across the line after the start...) and because of a significant right shift that rolled through during the start sequence, we decided to start at the boat and see how that worked. TC started with us over there and just before the start another big lefty rolled through which forced us all to tack, and found us on the unfavored end of the line. Coming out of the harbor, we were looking for the strong righty as we wound up over by Bembe beach way out in the right corner. The big righty never came, but eventually we got about 10 degrees which was enough to convince us that we should bail out and head back left. Coming back out of the right corner we were actually looking pretty good relative to Tim and Harry who were on the far left, and Brian who was in the center-left. Unfortunately for us, though, as we came out of the right, we got a progressive left shift, which drove us down below the layline. Complicating matters was the fact that the other fleets were starting to return from their mark and inevitably they were passing us close to windward, giving us a big wind shadow with each passing boat. In hindsight, we probably should have taken a higher lane back out of the right corner, but that is why it is called hindsight, I guess.

At any rate, we decided to take a hitch back to the right and got forced back over by a catalina 27 that we couldn't quite cross. 2 bad tacks later and we were well deep behind everybody else. By the time we got back to starboard, we were just on the layline, but those boats coming downwind just couldn't resist the temptation to continue passing us close to windward and with each wind shadow the layline got closer and closer. We did eventually make it and very nearly managed to pass the mark without hitting it. However, it was not to be and as we went by we just kissed the mark. After completing the rounding, we did our full 360 degree penalty, including a gybe and a tack, even though we were deep in last place. From then on, our race was not very interesting as we had to complete it by looking at everybody else's transom. Tim won the race, followed by Brian Palmer, TC, Harry, and finally us. Series results are available at:

On the positive side, it was a nice evening on the water, the forecast rain did not materialize, and we all had an enjoyable time. This week is a bye because of the J24 worlds. Next week we will be back at it. Look forward to seeing you then!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

May Mainsheet Column

Hello again Albergers! Once more here I am in your mailbox.

By the time you read this, the NOOD regatta will be in the books. But you can go back and read all the play-by-play reports at the Alberg 30 racing blog where we will provide daily updates on the racing. I can't say for sure who will win, but it is shaping up to be an extremely interesting event. The Alberg 30 fleet appears to have 8 or 9 boats for the event, with at least 2 entrants competing in their very first NOOD regatta. Notwithstanding the economy, the fleet continues to see fresh faces on the racecourse, a very positive thing! Second, I want to recognize Harry Gamber who I believe (and I'm sure he will correct me if I am mistaken) has raced in EVERY SINGLE NOOD since the first one I believe back in 1984. That means this will be Harry's 25th NOOD regatta, certainly an Alberg 30 record, probably a NOOD regatta record as well. Rolph Townshend continues to contribute to the racing fleet notwithstanding his retirement last year. Towney has stepped forward to lend his treasured Skybird, a boat that has probably taken home more silver than any other in the fleet (certainly during the time of my involvement with the class), to a new Alberg 30 fleet member from DC who wants to race the NOOD but is unable to do so because of the logistics of moving an Alberg from the Potomac to the Chesapeake.

Our next event following the NOOD is the Magothy River Spring Series on May 9-10. The first day is organized by the Magothy River Sailing Association and the second organized exclusively for the Alberg 30s by PSA. This is a great opportunity for those of you who are up on the Magothy River to get out and do some racing in a great fleet for a great price. Larry Morris is the head honcho on this event, and he will be providing information about registration and other logistical issues post haste. This event will count as three seperate high point events (two Saturday, one Sunday) so for those of you up on the Magothy, please come out and participate. You do not have to be a crack racer to enjoy racing in this series, there will be a crack party on Saturday evening to enjoy as well. As always, if there is anything you need, please don't hesitate to call me or Larry and we will do whatever we can to help you get out on the water and have fun!

After the Magothy River Spring Series, our next event is the Miles River Race on memorial day weekend. This is always a great race, starting off Annapolis and ending in St. Michaels. The race once again ties in with the Memorial Day cruise over to Wye River. If you are heading over for the cruise, I hope you will register and start the race, the added participation helps our high point qualification each year and the party in St. Michaels is worth it. This is a great event with a long-running association with the Alberg class. Miles River Yacht Club will host a wonderful party on the lawn after racing on Saturday evening with a band. I hope everyone who is able will consider racing this event.

On another subject, I want to talk about trophies. I am looking for the Tyro trophy and the Novice trophy. Neither trophy has been awarded for the past several years notwithstanding a host of suitable recipients. To the best of my knowledge, neither of these trophies was awarded in 2002 when I joined the class, and according to the 2008 handbook, the Tyro trophy has been awarded only once since then (2004). With the influx of new faces into our fleet, we should be recognizing their achievement. It takes most new Alberg owners a number of seasons to reach the top of the class, but we need to recognize the outstanding efforts our new fleet members make in order to continue to encourage racing in the Alberg 30. If you know the whereabouts of either of these trophies, please contact me so I can make sure they get awarded at this year's annual dinner.

Also on awards, as an experiment this year we intend to introduce a series of non-spinnaker awards. At each event, we will have a trophy for the top overall finisher that sails without a spinnaker, as well as a season long non-spinnaker award to be presented at the Annual Dinner. Sometimes experienced crew is hard to come by, sometimes crew are unable to attend a regatta at the last minute, sometimes you just want to take a weekend sail with a bunch of other Albergs without having to jump around the boat throwing sails up and down. Whatever your reason, if you'd prefer to race without a spinnaker and state your intention to do so prior to the first day of the event, you will be eligible for the award. We want to recognize everybody who is interested in racing their boat, and establish a spirit of gentlepersonly competition among the boats that elect to race non-spinnaker. The only thing prettier than one or two Albergs sailing together is a whole flock leaving a start line together. A few of us are working up a set of criteria for the award and will publish them shortly. We plan to award a non-spinnaker trophy for the first time at the Magothy River Spring Series and for each subsequent event for which people decide to compete under this designation (even if there is only one competitor). I cannot tell you what exactly the trophies are going to be, but I promise that they will be nice.

Finally, I just want to say that I really agree with what Jonathan said in his column about development. I think it is sad that not more people consider their personal impact on the bay that we all love. I think if we all did something small to make a difference in the quality of our environment, the net effect would be a huge improvement. Thanks to Jonathan for bringing this to our attention!