Dama – that was good!
Seventeen racers from New England, New Jersey, and Canada decided to take on the Doc Fellows challenge at Damariscotta. The ice was hard and we had wind. T set the course early and racing started on time. Nice job T, Chad, and Oliver with all the committee stuff.
All season I have raced with my ABS sail no matter the wind or ice conditions. For several years racing my laser, I just used the full sail. I am small for a laser, but I dealt. When I finally cracked open the wallet and decided to buy a radial rig, I found myself constantly agonizing over sail choice if the wind prediction was 12+. On the course and depending on a race outcome, I’d say "Ugh, did I make the right choice? Should I go back in and switch out?" It was not necessarily great for me having two sails.
And, frankly, there is enough to be confused about ice boating that I didn’t want to muddy my brain with more decisions this season, but on Saturday T suggested I try his old FO sail. He said the fuller shaped sail would help move the boat through rough patches and lighter wind. I said what I usually say when advice comes from the top, "Okay, sounds good. Thanks!"
I was pleased to find the FO sail a little easier to trim given in its fuller shape. In the first race, I was just getting used to the new shape and finished in 8th. Not terrible, but I just felt I could do a bit better. The shape and tell tales in an FO sail seemed to fly a bit more similar to a laser sail given its fuller shape especially downwind. As the day progressed, I was really fast off the line with building speed and I was consistently surprised that I was rounding the first mark right with the top guys and holding my own downwind. When you are anywhere close to a mark with Chad, Oliver, Jeff K, or T – it’s a GOOD day. The most surprising thing is that I was close to them A LOT at the top mark (even in front of some of them at times) and I stayed with them at the bottom mark and then back up at the windward mark. And so on…
The breeze was very shifty. We had to re-position the marks and starting line mid-morning. In one race I did what almost felt like an auto-tack close to the windward mark, but the shifts were effecting everyone. Seven races allowed for one throw out. Phew.
Here are the scores below…I am not sure if it was the sail choice, luck, or maybe I am actually getting the hang of this sport but DAMN – I ROCKED! Is it lame to self congratulate? Probably. But the difference between last year’s crazy season with lots of "incidents" and this season is dramatic. Honestly, I am feeling in the ZONE a lot!
We scratch raced on Sunday on rougher ice and in huge wind. Jack from New Jersey (he knows wind from being a fighter jet and glider pilot-that’s cool!!) said some gusts were 25 mph. I felt so good after Saturday and with a hoped for regatta next weekend (stay tuned), I didn’t want to break me or my boat. I held the flag for several races and everyone was FLYING around the windward mark. The mast bend was incredible.
By lunch time most headed back to get home, but Robin, Nick, Peter and Colin were game for more racing. Canadians, clearly LOVE heavy air. They all gave T good consistent pressure and Peter took the last scratch race off T. Nicely done, Peter!
By this time several boats were straining under loads and a few sailors found cracks on planks and hulls. It was decided to call it a day and get boats home to be fixed before next weekend…Stay tuned. We are hearing good things from Canada and Lake Champlain…
(Here are the results…If you did race committee one or two times your average cumulative score was put in for those races. Then, there was one throw out. If anyone sees an error, let me know. )
Think Spring Ice,
Karen Binder DN 5630
DOC FELLOW REGATTA – LEAP DAY – February 29, 2020 – Damariscotta, Maine
|17 Registered||Race 1||Race 2||Race 3||Race 4||Race 5||Race 6||Race 7||Total Score||With 1 Drop||Place|
|2766||Peter Van Rossem||12||8||DNF-18||3||7||6||1||55||37||7|
|5224||James "T" Thieler||RC-2||6||1||RC-2||1||1||DNF-18||31||13||2|