Tuesday, April 28, 2009

NOOD Wrap Up

Well the 2009 Annapolis NOOD regatta is in the history books. This year's event featured a variety of conditions, from strong, gusty breeze on Friday, to a near drifter on sunday. Current was a persistent factor across the course on all 3 days. But through it all, TC Williams consistently found a way to make it to the top of the scoreboard. Full results can be found at:


There are 2 other teams that deserve a highlight. First, Andrew Cole had a great regatta, sailing consistently and just holding off Tim Williams to take 2nd place. It is great to see a new face on the podium, and if Andrew keeps sailing like he did this past weekend, he is going to be a sure-fire contender for high point.

Secondly, I really want to highlight Harry Gamber. This was Harry's 10th NOOD regatta, and his team on Second-2-Nun completed all 8 races. I think we all should be tipping our hats to Harry and his crew for their consistency and dedicated support of Alberg 30 racing.

I'm not the only one who highlighted Harry over the weekend. During one of the races on Saturday, he had an unfortunate foredeck malfunction which resulted in Tim Wilkes' capturing this classic shot:Is it me, or is the sheet over the boom? I am still trying to figure out how one can manage to get the kite this full with it upside down? Also, how does one gybe in this scenario?

If you haven't yet, take a moment to visit Tim Wilkes' website and check out the super professional photographs that he took over the weekend. Tim has prints for sale online, so if you find any pictures that you like, you might think about purchasing them. This is how Tim stays in business to keep taking those awesome sailing photos. So consider supporting him if you like his work.


I would like to point out that Harry beat me in the regatta. But that's not the whole story. You see, my new sailing motto is 'I win by leaving the dock.' Just being able to get off the dock is, to me, enough of a victory.

Overall, the 2009 NOOD was an excellent event. We had great sailing. We had 2 awesome parties. Thanks to the Coles for hosting everybody on Friday night, and thanks to the A30 association for putting on a great Rendezvous on Saturday afternoon/evening. In particular, thanks to Bill Jensen for providing live music which was enjoyed by all. I, for one, enjoyed having the rendezvous together with the NOOD, and I hope the rest of you enjoyed it as much as I did.

I'm going to leave you with this picture of my mainsheet trimmer, Rachel Meinhold, taking a nap during the no-breeze postponement on Sunday:

The thing that makes Alberg racing special and different from the more modern, more racy classes, is that you really can race these boats with kids, have a good time, and spend quality time with them all at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed having Rachel trim the main for me, and I think if we all did our part to get kids excited about sailing, we'd never have to worry about whether or not the sport is going to die off in the long term. So I hope you will all consider involving kids in your sailing, and in your racing, because they are the next generation of sailors and if we don't teach them, who will?

See you at PSA on the 9th!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

NOOD Day 2

Day 2 of the 2009 NOOD dawned bright, warm, and still. As we were leaving the dock, there was not much optimism for the day's breeze, but upon arrival in the racing area, we were greeted by a nice light southerly. The southerly built throughout the day and the sail in was a nice brisk reach.

Current was a big factor in the racing with a strong ebb pushing toward the starting line. Starts were challenging. The first two races saw the strongest ebb with the left side of the course being favored up and down for current reasons. Tim Williams put on today's clinic, taking all 3 bullets. He must have scrubbed his bottom overnight...

Andrew Cole maintained his position in a solid second position for the regatta, with TC Williams in First. Andrew perhaps did it best with his port tack of the fleet going for the right shift on the first beat of Race 3. The rest of us were scratching heads, until we got to the top mark and saw how well he did on the right.

Full results here:


All in all it was a great day of sailing, and at the end, we were greeted with a phenomenal party at the Spring Rendezvous. It was great to catch up with all the Albergers and enjoy an afternoon in the sun on the grass at the Bay Ridge clubhouse.

We have one race scheduled for tomorrow. See y'all on the water!

Friday, April 24, 2009

NOOD Day 1

Day 1 of the 2009 NOOD regatta was bright, clear, and warm with a building southerly breeze. The competitors were greeted by a light southerly of about 10 knots around start time, which consistently built through the day to an eventual 17-18 knots by the end of the day. 4 races were run and in race 4 pretty much everybody had a reef in. TC Williams put on a clinic, taking all 4 bullets. Andrew Cole occupies 2nd place in the standings, showing that his new genoa was, indeed, a very good investment. Jonathan Adams captured 3rd and rounds out some new faces standing on the podium after the first day of racing. Full results are available at:


After the sailing, the fleet retired to the Cole household for a great barbecue social with everybody catching up on the stories of the day. Though I was unable to make the racing, I did make the social, and it was great. Thanks to the Coles for hosting such a wonderful party.

See you all out on the water tomorrow, and at the Rendezvous tomorrow evening!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Tune-Up and Barbecue.

On saturday 4/18, Jonathan Adams was kind enough to organize and host a racing tune-up and barbecue at Round Bay. 2 boats (Andante and Laughing Gull) were on hand. Andrew reports:

Laughing Gull and Andante met up on Round Bay last Saturday for a pre-NOOD practice and shakedown sail. Other than one puff to around 7 knots, winds were under 5 knots and shifting through about 180 degrees. We did a bit of upwind tuning and set spinnakers once before Laughing Gull headed in to take up hosting responsibilities for the afternoon cookout.

There were about 30 people at the party, with several Alberg owners in attendance. There was a good bit of positive discussion about the new 'white sail' trophy that we are going to be awarding this year.

Thanks to Jonathan for organizing the party!

Wednesday Night Race 1

A squall greeted competitors for the first wednesday night race of the 2009 season. We clocked a few gusts in the low 30's in the pre-start which made for a sporty ride out to the race course. But at race start time, the clouds cleared, the breeze dropped to a reasonable 10-15 kts and we enjoyed a nice downwind start. 3 boats made it to the line for an on-time start: Harry, TC, and myself. I am not sure where everybody else was...since we have 7 boats registered where were the rest of you guys? Anyway, Harry and I elected to go with jibs for the start and then hoist the spinnaker afterwards. On my boat, this turned into a bit of a mess as we got a halyard wrap which took some doing to clear... Once we did, we were in a good position to get some nice shots of Harry and TC from behind:
Harry could probably do with a bit of spinnaker trim on in this shot...
Good shot of TC on 'Argo!'
This was about the time when we realized there was some ambiguity in the sailing instructions concerning exactly what the course should be. Ultimately, we elected to go with what seemed to be the fleet consensus that the short turning mark was the last mark of the 'A2' course that had been called. TC (and Tim who arrived late and was racing with the woodwinds...) apparently differed in opinion with us on this point and so they continued out to the mark that the previous fleets had rounded. We had a pretty disastrous leeward mark rounding (early season rustiness still needed some shaking out...) Anyway, the splitting of the fleet had the result of making our beat into kind of a 2-boat horse race. As we came into the harbor, we very nearly caught Harry, but we got squeezed up by a J-30 at the can, forced to tack, and this was enough to allow Harry to pass us again...disappointing. Anyway, Harry wound up with the gun, we got 2nd, TC got 3rd, and Tim was TLE. It was a beautiful night on the water, and a good start to the 2009 racing season. You can see the full results at:


Congratulations to Harry for winning the first WNR of 2009! Hope to see some more of you out there next week!

We enjoyed a beautiful sunset over the Annapolis skyline along with a couple of frosty beverages...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

April Mainsheet Column

Hello again Albergers!

Much has transpired since our last publication: the weather has become warmer, the seminars have been completed, NOOD registration has opened, and we have had a ROBUST discussion about masthead replacement! Before I go any further I would like to address my role in that discussion. Those of you who read the e-mail list will probably recall that there was a hearty, spirited (some might say a tad acrimonious) discussion on the subject of a potential replacement masthead fitting. I played a significant role in this conversation, and I am afraid that some of my remarks were a touch too sharp. For that I want to apologize, especially to Michael Grosh. In the end, I think the conversation did come around to a positive, well-reasoned discussion of the merits and demerits of the potential change that some people may want to embark upon regarding masthead fittings. I believe that we are going to have more discussion over the coming weeks and months, but I am confident that, in the end, we are going to see a clear consensus that accommodates all viewpoints and from which we can move forward with clear understanding. I further hope that anybody who may have been offended by my communication will forgive me for writing more quickly than I thought. And that is all I have to say about that.

Thanks to the hard work of Andrew Cole who is the CBYRA Cruising One Design representative, and his efforts at building consensus among the cruising one design fleets (us, the Cal 25's, Catalina 27's, J/35's, J/105's, Benneteau 36.7's, and Ohlson 30's), we have successfully raised the issue of the NOOD regatta cost at the CBYRA, Sailing World, and AYC levels and gotten them to agree to allow us to register for the regatta WITHOUT paying for a party ticket. This will result in a savings of $48 off the price of admission for this year's regatta. Since many of us do not attend the party anyhow, this is a mighty good deal (or at least a much better deal than before!) Of course, if you want to attend the party, you may still purchase a ticket, but now at least you are afforded the option. Regardless of whether or not you purchase a party ticket, everybody is able to attend the awards ceremony on Sunday. I know this for certain as last year I lost my party ticket but was still able to attend the awards (albeit they did not give me a wrist band for the bar...). Regatta cost is one of my main hot-button issues regarding sailboat racing, and we will continue to work on bringing regatta registration fees down so that hopefully next year we will be able to get a price reduction in the already-too-high cost of entry into premier regatta's like the NOOD. I will keep you posted on this.

Speaking of the NOOD, did I mention that registration is open? You can register online at www.sailingworld.com/nood. This is a great event and it will correspond with this year's spring rendezvous so I hope you will consider coming out to race with us in the first big regatta of the year! Keep in mind that the NOOD regatta winner gets the Maple Leaf Trophy which is one of the most awesome trophies ever, so it's definitely something for which to strive! If you are apprehensive, have questions, or if there is anything I can do to help you get out on the water for the NOOD, please don't hesitate to contact me.

The seminar season wound up with a great potpourri where Alon Finkelstein of Farr Yacht Design gave us a run-down of latest developments in racing yacht design and Gordon Laco made the trip all the way from Canada to discuss his role in the making of the "Master and Commander" film as well as his process of becoming an officer in the Canadian Navy which made for great stories. The maintenance seminar was also excellent in particular from the racing perspective with Reid Beigel giving everybody the down-low on rig tuning. I was unfortunately unable to attend that one and boy do I regret it!

Well that is about all I have for right now. I am really looking forward to getting out on the water with the warmer weather. I hope to see you out there. If there is anything I can do to help you get out racing, please don't hesitate to contact me at jbergqui@gmail.com or 410-507-3107. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about racing or help you get out on the water!

Also, don't forget to bookmark the racing blog at http://alberg30racing.blogspot.com in your web browser. We will be providing regatta reports, pictures, and other racing news on this blog throughout the season.