We had a great turnout for the 2016 Rookie Regatta, with 15 boats on the water and new sailors or crew in new positions on almost all of them! The wind was a bit tricky, but we still managed to run 4 races. There was plenty of time left afterward to enjoy a beautiful sunny afternoon on shore with some BBQ & beer as we all chatted about the racing and celebrated the rookies! In the Lightning class it was great to see Ed Lane driving for his first time (sailing with Karen & Lisa-Marie). Geoff Fuller took out a brand new sailor and also had Leigh drive one race (her first time driving a Lightning). Will stole the show, though, taking out two rookies — Brint and Kendra — and turning the helm over to Brint, who in turn scored two bullets and led team No Call, No Show to victory on the day!
Thanks to all who volunteered and — especially — to all the rookies who came out to give things a try. We hope to see you out on the water again soon! A link full score sheet along with my observations from the signal boat are posted below, and photos have been posted to the “Photos” area of the Fleet 50 website and to the PRSA Facebook Page.
I was on the signal boat trying to corral the wind, which, believe me, was no easy task. Before I go on to describe what I saw from the RC boat I have to give a huge shout out to the other RC volunteers who worked very hard to organize the racing on the day. Bob and Heather on the mark boat must have set a record for the number of anchors pulled and marks set and re-set. It is also a true joy to be on the signal boat and know that the crew on the other boat are already headed to the next mark to move, that they are taking wind readings and adjusting accordingly, and that you can roll into a start sequence while marks are still being moved and have no doubt that everything will be in place once the gun sounds. Melissa and Marissa on the signal boat were pros with flags, signals, and recordings. I’m not exaggerating when I say that the wind conditions were tricky (we saw the breeze run through two full 360-degree cycles in the first race alone) so having a great RC crew was what made it possible to organize four races on the day.
The wind was very light as we splashed the boats and headed up to the race course. I took the RC up to the course to drop marks in race area before we motored back down to see if anybody wanted a tow up to the course in the light southerly breeze. I loved the fact that everybody refused a tow — all the boats wanted to take some time to teach, practice, and sail in the light breeze. That was great! As it turned out, the light southerly held long enough to get everybody up to the course area by 11:45 or so…but then it died just as we went into sequence for the first start. After watching the I-20s bob around and drift away from the starting line for about 10 minutes we abandoned the first race and waited a bit for the breeze to come back.
For the rest of the day the RC scrambled to try to align the course with the light and variable E/SE/S breeze. It was great to watch our rookies take turns at the helm (Brint even won two races driving the Lightning; Pam one one on the Albacore, I think), crewing, and also to watch current PRSA crew take turns in new spots (Gabby drove a Buc for the first time and Leigh drove a Lightning for the first time). After the racing we all retired to the grove area to recognize our rookie sailors and the class winners and socialize a bit over some beer and BBQ. Thanks to all who volunteered and especially to all who came out — we hope to see you out on the water again soon!