The first annual Rio Grande Cup was held in Albuquerque in light, shifty and puffy conditions the weekend of 17-19 October 2008. Despite all our efforts, the economic conditions and uncertainty limited participation to the six RG65s in the Duke City MYC. We had a great time, and now that we have one event under our collective belts we’re ready for next year’s Cup, tentatively scheduled for 16 - 18 October 2009 – so pencil in your calendars and get building over the winter and sailing in the spring and summer.
Six boats competed in the bright New Mexico sun, four ABQ 65 hulls and two JIF 65s. The conditions really tested the skippers’ skills and the RGs showed their ability to move in a whisper of a breeze throughout the two days of sailing. In particular, their quick acceleration in a puff turns downwind legs, usually fairly dull parades, into something exciting. You can be half a dozen boat lengths behind and then ride the leading edge of the tiniest puff right back into contention.
The first picture shows the banner that competitor Carveth Kramer, who makes these professionally, whipped up for the event. Carveth deserves special mention because not only did he just finish his JIF 65 a couple of days ahead of time, it was his first model yacht and this was the first time he had sailed. He sailed all the events without incident and even came in fourth in one when two “experienced” skippers (including your reporter) fluffed some mark roundings in the light air.
The second picture shows the participants: From left to right is Steve Bailey, Michael Jiron, John Bannerman (standing), Carveth Kramer (kneeling), Jim Scheibner and yours truly.
The third picture shows our pond, small but precious in the High Desert.
The fourth picture is the obligatory “action at the mark” shot, and the fifth shows the winners: Center is Steve Bailey, holding this year’s Cup, Left is Jim Scheibner, who took second, and Right is yours truly, who squeaked a third place by one point over Michael Jiron.
Our thanks to Rebecca Houtman of the Albuquerque Bio Park for all her help in setting up the venue and publicizing the event locally, and Sven Stau who donated two Askook hulls, both of which were won by members who do not yet have an RG, so our fleet will grow by at least two.