Went to a Race

The local sailboat club had a race at the Botanic Gardens yesterday. The program said, “Bring a boat and join us,” so I did. They race “Solwind” boats, so my Nirvana was a little outclassed by the bigger boats, not to mention that I’d never been in the water with other boats before.

I set myself a goal of not finishing last and participated in 3 races. In my first race, I actually rounded the second bouy with other boats. I was trying to turn into the wind and was outside some other boats, so I decided to turn starboard and get out from behind them. They all turned the same way. I lost ground on the upwind leg when I couldn’t get pointed any way but straight into the wind. On the second race, I got a late start, and was 1/2 way through the second lap when they started another race:rolleyes: so I sailed out of the way and watched. In the 3rd race, I got a good start, rounded the first and second bouys with other boats but again lost ground on the upwind leg. There seemed to be more breeze farther out and I managed to catch up a bit and got ahead of some of the bigger boats when I realized the wind was coming a little from the side and hauled in my sail a bit. I rounded the last bouy and tacked way out so as to stay in the stronger breeze. Somebody commented that I was doing pretty well, but when I turned to port tack, the breeze changed and I went luff and it took a while to get my bow out of the wind. I then battled for last place with a blue solwind. We both could go real fast on starboard tack, but couldn’t go anywhere on port tack. He finished a couple feet ahead of me.

“So that’s a Nirvana? I see them all over the internet. Pretty nice.” There was a beautifully detailed Footy sailing around. I didn’t get a close look at it.

The racers all packed up very suddenly and left. Since it was such a nice day, I sailed around for another couple hours before heading for the railroad garden.

I think I didn’t do to bad for a railroad engineer:D

Sounds like a fun time. It’s a bit intimidating to jump in a race with a bigger class. The Solings should be faster than your Nirvana, all else being equal. If you beat a Soling you’ve really out sailed that skipper.

I wanted to race with the local club here but needed time before buying an East Coast 12. My first boat was Footy, really funny with the EC12s. They claimed to sail Victorias as a entry level boat but I rarely saw them sail until I expressed an interest in racing them. Now we have a nice fleet of Vics and Solings that came out of closets and we have good races together on the weeks when the EC12s aren’t racing. We just last week had our first Nirvanas show up. It will be fun to see how they do in the smaller fleet.

I’m entering my first regattas next weekend with a borrowed EC12. It’s great to be racing with 15 other skippers but I’ve already learned something. I don’t have room in my life for a boat with a 58" hull and 72" mast. The Footys and Victoria are more my size. Seems the Footys are getting popular too. I think the big boat guys like the design freedom without a huge investment.

Hi Tom, glad you had a good time, sorry I missed you, I would like to have met you, I sail with the group but couldn’t make it Sunday, here’s the link to our web site http://www.chicago-rc-model-yacht-club.org/ check the schedule and come out to Axehead lake and sail with us, we have a good size Soling 1M fleet 27 boats.

Oh. It’s Soling? No wonder I couldn’t find anything about them on the net.

Now I find where to get the kit, and some building tips… Amazing what happens when you have the right name.