Sunday morning and I was just about to put my head around which project of many I wanted to tackle when my good friend George called. Turns out that my old club, West River Sailing Club, was running the Laser Districts. This had sucked up all of the RC folks, leaving a scheduled Sunday Fall Series for Flying Scots without anyone to run their races. I owe, I owe (Big George for previous work on a shed) so it wasn't hard to say yes, particularly since, according to George, I was the last one on the list. Sunday Series start at 1 pm. so this left some time to do some wet sanding on the Classic Moth, Tweezer, before moseying on down to Galesville.
It was a gorgeous day, the sky peppered with low lying cumulus, lazily making their way to the south. The engine for the one remaining whaler at the club started right up, never a sure thing for club boats this late in the season. I gathered up two hippity hops with anchor rodes, a spare Ollie was found and a start flag attached to a PVC pipe. There wasn't much gas so I made a detour upriver for Hartges Yacht Yard where I found they had closed the gas dock (argh! things change when you haven't been on the river for the summer). I backtracked to Pirates Cove gas dock, filled the tank, putt-putted another 1/4 mile (6 mph restriction) and then opened it up for another 1/4 mile to get to the race course. I had ten minutes to spare for the 1 pm start time.
The Race Course for the WRSC Sunday Series is little over 1/2 mile from the club, tucked into a little bay butting up against the Smithsonian Rhode River Research Site on the North Shore with the entrance to Rhode River marking the Eastern limit to the course area.
A light, shifty Northerly was going to give some trying conditions. I got the weather hippity hop down in what looked like a good upwind spot (though in tracking the shifts over the afternoon, maybe 50 feet to the left would have centered the mark more). I was able to plonk the start line outside the direct line freeway into Galesville (never guaranteed in this area; many times the wind forces the course to include dodgem of high speed stinkpotters and clueless sail cruisers).
I got three races off (WL, WL, finish downwind), lounged around on the bow of the whaler for the afternoon (when RC duties didn't call) and soaked the day in.
After the racing, on the way back in, I spotted what looked like a Dragon sailing back into the harbor. Had to take a detour to look at such a Classic but as I drew closer I saw it was a Luders 16, another very pretty Classic. Had a conversation with the skipper; built in 1954 and restored recently in Virginia and from what I could see it was a great job that was done on her. A wave goodby and putt-putt back to the club to put the Whaler and all the race committee accoutrements away.
Back on shore and some socializing. Flying Scot sailor, Gabor, told me he had bought a beater 505 for singlehanding and he was enjoying it immensely (the jib is roller furling). I didn't ask if he was singlehandedly trapezing as he is an older gent.
I also ran into another good friend; WRSC member Bob B. who had just gotten back in from the last race of the Laser Districts. He is over 70 and sailed in the Radial division with all the kids. Needless to say he got crushed and his back was also complaining quite loudly. Both of us have shared a campsite at the Mid Atlantic Small Craft Festival the past two years but I'm not sure I will be able do it this year.
Amazing what a unexpected phone call on Sunday morning will bring.
Leonid S. Sukhorukov
4 hours ago