Wednesday Nights off to the Races
Oh Summer... bringer of hot sunny days, beach weather, wicked storms, tourists, and an all around enjoyable time of year to spend outside with friends and family. Did I mention Summer as the busy season for New England sailors and boaters? Not only do the weekend warriors come in droves to fish and crowd the bay, but dozens of sailing groups, small and large alike, formal clubs as well as casual collections of water sport enthusiasts, get organized for the sailing season. Wickford Yacht Club is no different, and every summer they host a Summer Racing Series for just about any sailors who want to get in on the Wednesday Night action! With 5 classes including spinnaker classes, cruising classes, and Ensign One Design, this group of sailors finds time every Wednesday week night at 6pm to make it out onto Narragansett Bay outside of Wickford Harbor. (Luckily, this summer racing series doesn't conflict with a lot of other regular racing schedules, like busy Tuesday nights out in Newport and Jamestown, and of course all those weekend regattas.) Plenty of regulars come to sail, and even non-regulars can be seen in the parking lot and on the docks hoping someone is in need of a crew. The other great thing is you don't have to be a WYC member to participate! (Anyone interested can find more information and NOR's at Wickford's website.)
I am usually out on my Dad's Nonsuch Papa, which really doesn't need too many crew members. Seeing as it has one sail and belongs in the cruising class, it can be quite the leisurely Wednesday Night Race, plenty of beer, cheese, and crackers to go around. It can, however, put up a fight, especially if the breeze picks up a bit.
After WYC's Commissioning Day on May 26th, Wednesday Night Racing was officially in season. The first night of racing took place on June 6th, and will continue every Wednesday night well into August (except for July 4th, which falls on a Wednesday this year. I think racing is that Tuesday instead).
Here are a few of my favorite shots from the evening! Although there wasn't much breeze, especially at 6 when races were trying to get started, the light was wonderful and the rain held off. Another great night out on the bay! (Oh, and Papa finished 3 of 6 on corrected time. Not too shabby for having 8 people aboard, with only 2 or 3 doing any of the work.)
Wednesday Night Racing photos will be uploaded each week in their own viewing gallery on my website: WYC Wednesday Night Racing 2012. Check back there for more pictures as the summer progresses! And try using your name or your boat's name to find photos of yourself! Any images available as stock will be kept separate in the Sailing & Nautical section of the Photography Catalog.
Nikon D80 with Nikkor 70-200mm VRII