Showing posts from June, 2013

Wednesday Night Racing

Another season underway!  For those of us who live in the West Bay, and sail, the popular summer series run by Wickford Yacht Club is Wednesday Night Racing, happening just about every Wednesday night from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  It's a fun laid back group of boats sailing anywhere between Wickford Harbor, the Jamestown Bridge, the North End (Jamestown), and Quonset Point.  And we all follow the Ten Commandments of Beer Can Racing.  At the time of writing this, we now have two weeks of regular racing under our belts and I am happy to report Papa is in the lead with two bullets (in the Cruising Class)!
For those of you who are new to this blog or unfamiliar with Papa, it is my parents' Nonsuch 30 named for the nautical flag meaning "All Aboard!".  I usually will hop aboard with friends and family, and take a few photos in the process.
Race 1 saw a typical Wednesday night with a seabreeze at about 10 comfortable knots, tailoring off by the time everyone was headin…

Sail Newport Youth Challenge: Lasers

While the Sail Newport Youth Challenge sported a fleet of about 70 Optimists, and a small group of 16 420s, the Laser fleet only had 8 boats.  But that didn't stop these junior sailors from giving it their all!  With those heavy air conditions later on Saturday and a decent seabreeze later on Sunday, everyone was hiking out and sailing their boats to the max.  
All of the competitors were competing in the Laser Radial, a slightly smaller rig and reduced sail area for lighter weight sailors compared to the Laser Full Rig.  Everyone looked like they were having a blast and it made me miss the days of competing in Lasers!  Few capsizes to speak of, and some very tight racing between the top 3 sailors with only 3 points separating 1st and 2nd place, and another 3 points between 2nd and 3rd.
Congratulations to all the juniors, Lasers, 420s and Optis alike, on a job well done!  It was a great weekend of competition and hopefully as the school year ends and junior sailing gets into full…

Sail Newport Youth Challenge: Optis

Day 2 of the Sail Newport Youth Challenge started a bit earlier, which posed a bit of a wind problem.  With a ripping current flushing out to sea and a gentle westerly to start the day, no sooner was everyone off to the races that the wind decided to absolutely die and switch around to a southerly seabreeze.  It was nice once it kicked into gear, at a good 10 knots, but for several strenuous minutes the poor Optis were struggling to get to their windward mark.  
Port tackers were facing directly into the current and making zero progres.  Meanwhile, every Opti approaching on starboard tack, perfectly perpendicular to the currently, was side slipping in a way I had never experienced, making it impossible for the second half of the fleet to round the windward mark!  
Luckily, a few little Optis started letting out their sails, realizing the breeze was starting to fill in from behind them, and voila everyone started to slowly make their way around the mark!  With about 5 Optis or so left…

Sail Newport Youth Challenge: 420s

This past weekend I was over in Newport Harbor to photograph the Sail Newport Youth Challenge, an annual early season event for junior sailors.  All of these kids are still in school but manage to get themselves together for a two day regatta in early June.  I saw a few familiar faces and was out shooting for both days of sailing.  
Day 1 proved to be a very windy day as the seabreeze filled around 2pm to 20 knots or so and at times, 3 foot rollers.  A good day of sailing quickly turned to a heavy air event for the last two races.  Every few minutes on the radio you could hear kids retiring from racing, but several pushed through!  
Everyone was sailing a Windward-Leeward twice around, which became rather hectic at times as 420s and Lasers were sailing upwind through the Opti traffic, which was rounding a separate windward mark only a few boat lengths from the 420-Laser windward mark.  This may very well have been the first sailing event of the season for many of these juniors, but m…

Wickford Regatta: Bravo

Bravo circle was full of high performance one design boats:  the 505s, F-18 catamarans and the triple-handed Vipers.  While I still bounced between both circles on day two of the Wickford Regatta, I spent much more time on Bravo circle.  It was the first time I had seen F-18s sail and they were quite exciting to watch!  
Day two of the regatta had very similar conditions to the first day, with overcast skies, a breeze filling around noon, and rain that luckily held off.  Everyone got in multiple races and had a lot of fun!  There was only a few capsizes, just one broken rig that I know of, and one bloody injury, but fun overall.  It was a great group of competitors, and many of us are already looking forward to next year's event.  With sailors coming all the way from Massachusetts to Florida, we can only hope for more participation next year.  Hopefully, the J/70 fleet will be able to sail, and perhaps we will even see the return of the Moth fleet!
More photos from the event in t…