Monday, June 17, 2013

How many races can you get in a day?

I finally got on the water the weekend of June 8,9, not sailing mind you, but as Vice Chair of Severn Sailing Association's Spring Series for Lasers and a Vanguard 15 invitational. Winds were light, very shifty on Saturday (up to 40 degrees which makes it tough for the RC folks, as soon as we shifted the weather mark the wind was somewhere else). Sunday was a light breeze, steady this time out of the North with lots of motorboat chop.

The racing format was intercollegiate short course with races timed around 20 minutes in length and starts ran with the 3 minute sound system. Most of the race committee felt pretty chuffed that we had succeeded in getting 18 races off for the three fleets in about 2 and 1/2 hours. I, who have volunteered over at the Naval Academy dinghy regattas, chimed in to say that getting 60 races a day was no big deal for the collegiate crowd. We had Ramsay Key on board the Sunday, an intercollegiate All-American in 1998, sailing for Tufts University. He mentioned that when he had raced in the Wilson Team Race event at West Kirby SC, over in Merrie Old England they would routinely get 300+ races off in three days. He went on to say that the intercollegiate clubs on the Charles River, Boston (MIT, Harvard, Boston University) decided to do West Kirby SC one better and ran a team race event with 400+ starts in a three day period using 44 collegiate dinghies and lots and lots of eager college volunteers.

Mindswimmingly large numbers!

We did have a professional photographer jump in one of our crash boats for Sunday's racing. Tara Roberts has kindly consented to send me a couple to post on Earwigoagin. More photos can be viewed over at Tara's website.

A Vanguard 15 start:

Two Lasers finishing with the Maryland State House peeking out over the treeline.

A typical packed Laser start. We did have the current helping us keep this unruly fleet below the line. No general recalls for the entire weekend!

And finally a photo of the "Favored End", SSA's main committee boat. Your blogmeister is standing on the cabin top (in a lime shirt) intently monitoring the fickle wind, unhindered by trying to figure out more swirls and vagaries if I had remained with the crowd down on the aft deck.


Tillerman said...

Oh when I was a young blade we routinely used to fire of 500+ starts. And that was before lunch. In the afternoon we would do another 6 or 700. Then we would walk to Australia for a few beers and walk home again afterwards.

Tweezerman said...

I remember talking to an old salt that said he ran races for the sandbaggers from a leaky old rowboat with only his dog "Beauregard" as his helper. Had to row upwind two miles if he wanted to change the weather mark (didn't do that too often). Used a duck call to signal the starts. Had some nasty scars on his face and arms when the wharf rat sandbagger crews had objected to some race committee protocol. Said he gave as good as he got. He had a rigging knife that looked as long as a Bowie knife. Don't make them like they used to!