You really can’t ask for anything better – 2 straight days of consistent South breeze at about 10 kts, sunshine, and a competitive pack of boats on the Lightning starting line. That’s what we had for the 2012 PRSA Spring Regatta, and boy was it a blast! Not only was the racing fantastic, but we had a magnificent pulled pork and chicken BBQ on shore both days, thanks to Michelle, Lee, and Scott (who I understand roasted the chicken himself!). Keep reading for all of the details, and make sure to post your own comments and observations!
The RC, led by expert PRO Nabeel, took full advantage of the fortuitous conditions and set a nice long W-L course on both days. We got in four races on Saturday and three on Sunday, as was scheduled. With high tide at 11:20 on Saturday and 12:20 on Sunday it seemed that going out into the river as you headed upwind (South) might pay off a bit. I think this was the case on Saturday, but the results were more mixed on Sunday when some good breeze could be found close in to the airport shore as well. Going out into the river also meant dealing with the Memorial Day power boat chop, which was especially annoying on Sunday.
The finishing results on Saturday were remarkably consistent, with Rick Welch skippering Sinistra to four bullets followed by Ron Buchanan (sailing with son Mark and with Rose Gentile) on Deux Poissons et un Chat in second place for each of those races. Team Ariel (Jeff, Bruce, and Jess Harrington) were consistently 3rd or 4th throughout the day, and the rest of the fleet (String Theory, Jalapeño, and Lindsay Bach on 14221) were busy duking it out for the rest of the spots. From my perspective on Sinistra, though, those four bullets were no walk in the park. Ron was fast all weekend long, and he often led to the top mark on Saturday. We seemed to have a bit more boat speed downwind, though, and managed to hold him off upwind with a bit more speed even though Ron was consistently pointing higher than us.
It was on Sunday that things really got interesting. The first race was largely a reprise of Saturday, with team Sinistra (with Aaron, Lisbet, and Piercarlo this time) taking first, Deux Poissons taking second, and Ariel taking third. The wind went light right at the start of the second race, and I managed to bury Sinistra in about the 5th row of a 2-row starting line, meaning we were dead last off of the start and up to the top mark. We watched Ron lead the pack around the course as we clawed back a few spots on the downwind leg. It was team Jalapeño (Mark, Greg, and Greg’s son, Cash, sailing on a Lightning for the first time and doing an excellent job!) that really stood out in this race, though, as they were able to work their way up into 3rd place and hold off us on Sinistra as well as team Ariel for a fine finish–great job guys!
In the final race of the day the Sinistra vs. Deux Poissons duel resumed, with Sinistra leading at the top mark but losing the lead to Ron downwind on the last jibe into the mark. Ron & crew were able to then hold us off over the remaining legs to take a win in the final race. It made things close, but team Sinistra hung on to the top spot overall with Ron and Deux Poissons taking second, and team Ariel taking third. Bob Astrove also came out to join in the fun on the second day and gave us all a run for our money, finishing 3, 2, 3 on the day and taking 6th place in the regatta (without even having sailed on Saturday!).