After the strong cold front on Wednesday, with winds gusting above 30 knots,
racing was cancelled for the day. It is amazing what you can learn at a
regatta, and a few of us sitting around on the porch at PBYC had a
fascinating lesson on the sex life of mosquitoes, from neuro-scientist Ben
Arthur. The topic switched from entomology to etymology, when 11-year old
Cam Farrah taught us that in the latest slang, the word "Beast" can be an
adjective. As in, "Dude, the Weta is so beast!" (it means "good"). Remember,
you heard it first here!
Suddenly Eric spotted a yellow Weta sailing out on the Sound. The wind had
moderated around 3pm and Charles Ashley was the first boat to take advantage
of the beautiful wind. Several boats were quickly rigged and we had a great
sail. It would have been nice to get in a couple of extra races, but at a
four-day regatta, there is no problem having a lay-day. I took out Rob, crew
on a Corsair 31 along for the ride, and we had an exiting sail. I managed to
catapult Rob off the boat by sailing full-tilt onto a sand bar at 12 knots.
Luckily there was no damage, and we caught the whole incident on video!
The next day started with a fresh North Easterly, which died down
considerably about time racing started at 10am. After a couple of races in a
fluky 5-8 knot wind, the sea breeze started to fill in, fitfully, and
clocked to the South East. Unfortunately, it did not fill in as hoped and
the last race was also light and very shifty. Generally I felt the right
side of the course had better pressure, and several boats were becalmed on
the left side. On the last leg of the last race, I rounded the mark first,
followed by Jim, and Chris was way back maybe 100 yards. Chris took a flier
towards the "parking lot" side of the course, and to my amazement, as we
converged at the finish, he made up all that ground. I gybed to cover, and
tried to plant one on him but he got through with clean air and finished
just a boat length ahead, with Jim and me neck-and-neck for second. It was
an exciting race despite the light wind.
The final results are here:
You can see how close the racing was: Chris Kitchen and Jim Leonard were
tied for first, with Jim winning the tie-breaker with one more 1st place
than Chris. I asked Chris what it felt like to be second, a new experience
for him. He said, "Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later. Jim is
obviously a good sailor". The mid-fleet battle between the three Ithaca
boats was just as close, and could have easily turned out differently.
I have always loved sailing my Corsair at Pensacola, and this year was even
better. Having the one-design fleet of Wetas made for great racing, and it
was fun to meet all the sailors I know through the forum. We'll do it again