Thanks chaps… pulling this together really was a lot of fun and the competition and comaraderie made it into a great day. Maybe we will do it again later this year?
The fun actually started Saturday evening when Bill arrived and we three headed out for a meal. The early evening was a little murky but the view from the restaurant down the Sheboygan River onto Lake Michigan raised my spirits as always. Later Toby and Scott, two of the SABM guys came around. We quaffed beers and talked boats and life until the very late evening, Angus called and joined in long distance.
Sunday morning, up bright and early, breakfasted and on our way to start setting up. It was windy but the internet forecast promised a lessening wind from 10 to 20 down to 8 to 15 (haha). I looked at my smaller set of sails several times but decided to go with the big area despite the wind. The course was set courtesy of Mark’s hard working ‘Vac-u-Tug’, registrations finalised and we were ready to start but waited until the published time of 10am just in case we had last minute arrivals.
Ultimately we had six entries, with the addition of the two we lost to American Airlines (thanks AA this will not be forgotten) we would have had a nice size fleet, comfortable for our first attempt at organising a class type regatta. Six was a good start though and made for some good racing through the field. We set the course with as much bias to the bank as we could manage to bring the beat leg sufficiently in to wind to ensure the need to tack. This was the case all day as I remember, in fact the wind swung more westerly later to improve the situation.
We ran four races more or less back to back before the lunch break. Races were taking approximately 15 to 20 minutes I think. At 11.30 we took an hours break and went inside the mall foyer and Quizno’s to warm up and eat. After lunch the wind was still blowing strong but the sky was brightenning a little. Back on the water and we ran six more races in quick succession, like a well oiled machine!
I suspect Bill like myself has quite a bit of racing experience behind him and it was fun getting into close quarters with him. We had a tricky little tacking battle going up the windward leg on one occasion, good to have an excuse to call ‘starboooooard’! In general I think that his Micron/flexy rig could make ground on me on the run, but on the beat the SiREN could drive away powerfully.
Two of the Kittiwake builders deserve mention, both Toby (3rd) and Mark only put their new boats on the water two or three weeks before the event. Toby has almost no sailing experience and no racing experience… he will be one to watch. Mark’s boat was lacking some tuning time I think so should show a stronger challenge soon.
So, chilly but smiling we all pulled our boats from the (strangely warm) water for the last time and the scores were calculated. We ran 10 heats which with our system allows the dropping of two scores. I am using score sheets borrowed from a friend who sails with the Sheffield Model Ship Soc. in England… they borrowed them from elsewhere, etc. Thank you Alan they worked a treat and very easy too.
My much better half, Jan, presented the trophies as you have seen and we all agreed that we had had a great day’s racing and that we would indeed be doing it again. We would love to see more skippers of course and we hope that you will feel that our event is worth travelling to.
I think we can post the heat by heat results at the Footy Class Site, if not I will add them here.