Showing posts from August, 2015

NBYA Race Week - Day 2

Day Two of NBYA Junior Race Week was scheduled for Tuesday, but with heavy thunderstorms in the forecast all sailing and activities were cancelled.  Tuesday came and went with only a few rain showers, but racing resumed on Wednesday in the hopes of getting both Opti and 420 circles enough races for a fulfilling regatta.

Conditions were light and unsettled as westerly breezes conflicted with a southerly seabreeze attempting to fill.  The Opti circle was located just north of the 420s, alongside Dutch Island.  While the Optis managed to get a few races off in the light westerly, the 420s were just a tad too far south for the breeze to settle and remained in a hole of circulating wind directions for most of the morning. Race Committee tried to move the racers closer to land in hopes of a westerly holding long enough for a race, but then had to redirect just a bit further south in hopes of the southerly.  This little dance continued for sometime until it looked like the southerly would pr…

NBYA Race Week - Day One - Optis

Race Week, an event to culminate summer racing for juniors sailors from all across Narragansett Bay.  This end of season event may be an somewhat unwelcome reminder of the summer's ending and school looming on the horizon, but it is attended enthusiastically and in full force by young sailors from yacht clubs and sailing associations all across the bay.
This year was hosted out of Fort Getty in Jamestown, a wonderful little location at Dutch Harbor with easy access to open waters in sight of the open ocean.  Day One of racing saw a slight postponement but before long the seabreeze was up, the current was strong, and the sailors were off to the races!  I stayed for the whole day at the Opti circle, watching the Red, White, and Blue fleets compete in the wind and chop.  A slightly unsettled breeze and a strong current meant for another hour of delay for these young competitors as the Race Committee struggled to perfect the race course and keep their anchors, but once the races got …

Wickford Catboats

The Wickford Catboat fleet is an active gathering of like-minded sailors who have competed every Tuesday night for summertime beercan racing for as long as I can remember!  With Beetle cats, Marshall 18s and Marhsall 22s, the fleet is compromised of almost 20 yachts.  Standard rules and procedures become more like guidelines as the fleets compete with their own set of racing rules and quirks.  These gaff-rigged day sailors are not necessarily the most competitive boat, but they are sailed with high enthusiasm by their crew!  
On any gorgeous summer sunset night that occurs on a Tuesday, the catboats can be seen sailing just outside Wickford harbor and the scene becomes incredibly picturesque and iconic of a summer night on Narragansett Bay.  Of course, my first evening out with the fleet was cloudy and overcast, but hopefully that will be remedied soon enough!  
See all the shots in the Wickford Catboats Gallery

Club 420 Nationals - Day Two

As Day 2 of Club 420 Nationals got underway in Newport Harbor; the sun was bright but a cool morning breeze was on the air providing crisp clear summer conditions.  The light wind was unsettled with it's typical morning direction from the north.

The fleet was able to launch on time and get about one race for all divisions completed until the wind died around 1:30-2pm.  Race Committee made adjustments for the flukey breezes, but with no thermal clouds over land there was little hope a true seabreeze would settle in.  It just wasn't a scorcher that day, and the breeze remained around 5 knots.  It continued to shift, somewhat west, but almost always returning to a northerly direction.  These conditions continued for most of the day, and luckily a little more breeze filled to about 10-12 knots for one good breezy reach leg, until it died back down again.

While I was not on the water for Day 3 of racing - with champion divisions of Gold, Silver and Bronze determined for more compe…

Club 420 Nationals - Day One

Club 420s are one of the most popular double handed designs for junior sailors throughout North America.  This year the National Championship came to Newport, Rhode Island, and I was on the water for the first two days of competition.  With 196 boats, three separate fleets, and a starting line with two mid-line committee boats, it was a busy day of racing out on Narragansett Bay!

Day One started with 2 hours of postponement, pushing the harbor start back until noon.  With sunny, hot, and humid conditions, most everyone was thankful the sea breeze started to fill from the south, however lightly.

Once the course was set and the races were underway, the sea breeze was a steady 7-10 knots.  Sailors from across the country competed on a trapezoid racecourse, and many faced ocean currents for the first time.  The strong outgoing tide made for dozens of boats overstanding the windward mark by several boat lengths later in the afternoon.

The most interesting race of the day occurred for Blue…