The forecast was ugly early in the week. Rain and more rain. We certainly need it but on a Roadmaster weekend? The skiers in the crowd were certainly stoked!!
John Gray aboard Immoral was on his home turf defending his dominating 3 Bridge win. Local hotshots Banditos, MooreWave*Ohs, and Vaughn Seifers dusting off Flying Tiger were lined up to give a master class in sailing the Circle. A great sight to see were several newer owners getting their feet wet.The Answer (what was the question?),Half Off, Firefly, and Sonho Meu were lined up and ready to show what they got.
The wind cooperated enough to allow 3 races on Saturday. The first race was tricky, with shifts and puffs constantly shuffling the fleet. NO NRA rounded the weather mark first, but was immediately left in the dust by Mooregasm. With the fleet heading toward Richmond, NO NRA took a hitch out to right to chase pressure. It turned out to be a lucky call as the wind was slightly stronger allowing NO NRA to overcome the superior boat speed the rest of the fleet was carrying. Conrad Holbrook and his experienced Topper II crew had an incredible downwind leg, blasting through the fleet to finish second with SNAFU right behind.
The second race SNAFU launched and schooled the fleet with Moorgasm right behind. Moore Wave *Ohs came in with newbies Half Off showing they need to be dealt with in 4th.
The race committed moved the pin to windward for the third race. NO NRA saw this as an opportunity for a port tack start. Port tack starts don’t work when the fleet is lined up at the pin on starboard. The second choice was to tack under Moorgasm who was gunning for the pin. NO NRA ended up launched on the fleet with the pin start. In my defense, I thought I completed the tack. Steve begged to differ and let me know that he thought the tack was not completed. With an abundance of caution, NO NRA gybed away to complete the penalty turn. This put us out on the right side of the course, all by ourselves. The penalty gods must have been smiling as we were rewarded with a 15 degree right shift which put NO NRA in launch mode. I’ll always take lucky over good. Firefly wanted you to know that they are to be reckoned with by finishing second. Banditos made their
presence known coming in third. For those who wonder, I don’t even have a protest flag aboard. I always do my circles when things are close. Sailing is much more fun that way.
Starting a new tradition, Steve Bourdow led a great debriefing of the day’s races. Each boat had an opportunity to talk about what went right and wrong that day as well as their rig and sail tunes. It was educational for all.
Then there was fog.
Somehow the entire fleet made it to the start line, except for one boat. NO NRA was blissfully sailing in circles in the fog somewhere between Richmond and TI. When the fog lifted, the fleet was 2 miles to leeward. All I can say was that we were VERY appreciative of the race committee taking the time to make sure the course was just right before starting the races.
Sunday turned out to be beautiful, with 10 knots out of the NW. Banditos came out with a bang and took the race. Sometimes it pays to read the race instructions. Unfortunately, Mooregasm and Firefly went through the restricted line on the downwind leg. The good news is it secured their place in the Good Sportsmanship Hall of Fame as both boats retired. The racing was tight and Wet Spot, in the capable hands of Dave Hansell, stepped up for a podium finish.
The last race was the tightest of them all. The whole fleet was bunched together, with the exception of Mooregasm, who took the pin and rode that all the way for the win. I’m not sure, but I may have heard the jingling of an Olympic medal.
Overall, NO NRA was able to stay out of trouble enough to notch the win. Banditos had a great last 3 races to launch them into second. SNAFU and Flying Tiger tied for third with SNAFU taking the tie breaker.
HUGE thanks to RYC and the volunteers who provided the facilities, logistics, and race course for all of us to enjoy. We are looking forward to the next one!!!