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!

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