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The Southern Maryland Sailing Association Spring Regatta was held in the Patuxent River, off Solomons Island, July 13th, 2002.
SMCC members Bobby and Thea on their Hobie 21, new member Jim on his Prindle 16, and Patrick and Lisa on their Nacra 5.5 participated.
Two minutes into the first race, the Nacra's dolphin striker pulled out from the front beam causing the beam to partially collapse. They were able to limp into shore safely.
Bobby pulled of 3 bullets and won the Regatta in the multihull class.
5 boats from the Southern Maryland Catamaran Club set off Saturday on Labor Day weekend for a group sail up the Patuxent River for lunch. The goal was Sandgates 9 miles up river. Fairly high winds meant the original thoughts for an across the Bay sail would be too challenging for some of the sailors. The cloudy skies and threat of rain later also made a Bay challenge look a bit to much. And the North East winds would make for a straight reach up and down the river to Sandgates.
Setting off were Troy and Lynn on their Nacra 5.2, Pete and Linda on Pete's Hobie 16, Patrick and Brent on a Nacra 5.5, Bobby on his Hobie 21, and Mark on a Nacra 5.2.
|Here at the boats
lined up ready to launch.
From Left to Right
Nacra 5.2 (Troy's)
|Troy setting up.|
|Troy and Lynn almost ready|
|Pete and Linda got out early for a test run.|
The sail up river was excellent and without incident, with winds around 12, gusting to 15. The boats beached at the Sea Breeze Restaurant in Sandgates in about an hour.
Lunch was very fun with people ordering crab cakes, shrimp baskets, etc. And of course some beer. Patrick's wife Lisa and kids drove by to enjoy the lunch also.
|The boats beached at the restaurant.
|The crew enjoying lunch.
Left to right: Brent, Patrick (with his girls), Lynn, Troy, Pete, Linda, Bobby, Mark.
|More Lunch photos.
Lynn and Troy in the back.
|More Lunch photos.
Pete and Linda are across the table. Pete said he may have not been the oldest sailor out, or the fastest, but he was the oldest-fastest. I am sure he was right.
|Bobby explaining his tactics to exit the beach to Patrick.
It was a bit tricky heading straight into the wind with piers on either side.
|Brent helps Bobby push off.
Excuse the thumb.
|Brent's ready to go
while Patrick is just watching the other boats sail off.
The wind picked up during lunch to 17 gusting to 22, leading to challenging conditions for the solo sailors on the sail back. Everything was fine until about 1/2 way back when Mark caught a big gust and capsized and turtled. Troy and Lynn were behind Mark when he turtled, and pulled up to him and Lynn jumped overboard, taking there righting line with her, to help Mark while Troy sailed their boat. The two of them were unable to budge the boat (since as we saw on Marks sails later, the mast was about a foot into the bottom.) Troy sailed off to find "a friendly powerboat" and found one that had already seen the trouble and was already heading in to help. Bobby was behind Mark and stopped to help. Although he could not do much as he had no crew. Patrick and Brent who started back last and were hanging back, in case one of the solo sailors needed help, also soon caught up. The friendly powerboat helped Mark pull the boat back up. The first try ended in a re-capsize. Then Pat left Brent solo and got on the Hobie 21 to sail it while Bobby jumped in to help Mark. With the powerboats help Marks boat soon came up and Mark was on his way after some re-rigging.
No sooner was Marks boat was up then Troy and Lynn lost the pin holding the front stay and their mast came down. The same friendly powerboat ended up towing them back to Solomons, turning down an offer from Patrick and Brent to tow.
All was well until Bobby, who had sailed past the ending point at Glascocks beach, wanting to have more fun, had a side shroud pull out of the fiberglass. By the time Patrick and Brent caught up, another powerboat had stopped and was preparing to tow him in the short distance.
After putting the boats away back on the beach, and Troy and Lynn putting their mast back up, all (except Mark) headed for the Tiki Bar for a drink.
Overall a great day of sailing. The clouds may have kept many people of the water, but we had a great time. Patrick and Brent had a GPS which recorded they were often moving at a good 14-15 MPH clip, with lulls to 12 and gusts taking them over 18 MPH. We had a few boat failures, which is a bit uncommon, but everyone watched out for one another. The friendly powerboats were helpful, but not required as the other boats could have helped out more.
Notes on sailing catamarans to the Sea Breeze Restaurant in Sandgates Maryland. The restaurant is about 10 miles up the Patuxent river from Solomons harbor. There is a beach to pull up about 4 boats. At low tide, there is room for several more. The beach is sand but has many rocks and shells that could scratch up your boat. It is recommended you bring bumpers or something to roll the boat on. There are some docks that could make getting in with SW winds or getting out in NE winds challenging, but nothing insurmountable. The restaurant seemed to have no problem with a group of wet sailors coming in for lunch.
SMSA is hosted their fall regatta Sept 21/22. See the Southern Maryland Sailing Association web under the Small Boats link.
SMSA 2002 Fall Invitational Regatta Story By Patrick
Three catamarans from the SMCC participated in the SMSA 2002 Fall Invitational Regatta. These included myself and my wife Lisa on my Nacra 5.5SL, Jeff and Donna on their Hobie 16, and Jim and crew on his Prindle 16. We made up the whole multihull fleet.
Winds were great for the 2 day event, but each day started off somewhat shifty with sustained gusts before the winds filled in. The first race Sat was held in those gusty conditions. Our Nacra is a faster boat than the Hobie or Prindle so we were ahead of them as expected. However it seamed each time we would get decent wind it would only last 30 seconds or so but we would be out well ahead. Then Jeff and Donna would get a gust and catch up quite a bit. Then we would get ahead. Then they would catch up. Jeff and Donna were easy to spot with their blue sails. Jim was harder to keep track of so we were not always aware where he was, but he was following the same pattern. The race committee had called for an extra 2 legs (one lap) for the catamarans on top of the 4 everyone else was racing. However since the cats had the last start and the wind kept dying down we were not passing all the monohulls as expected. As we finished the second lap, most of the monohulls were done. We thought the race committee might shorten the course. Not knowing what a strange flag was on the committee boat, we dipped down over the finish line. Not hearing the finish gun, we confirmed verbally with the race committee that there was another lap to go, and headed on our way. (By the way the flag was an "R" meaning another race would be held.) As we neared the windward mark, a small powerboat positioned it self near the mark with a flag raised. So they were shortening the course. As we neared the boat and mark, the flag suddenly came down and the powerboat crew said the race was not abandoned. They did not have a watch with a second hand to record the time! OK, had to do a couple extra tacks to make the mark, and then get on our way. We had had a good lead, but while we were in a relative lack of wind trying to get to that mark. Jeff and Donna were screaming upwind, almost straight to the mark on a good gust and wind shift. They did not catch us but came close, although they also had to make extra tacks with the course not now shortened, the damage was done and they took 1st place corrected. We took second. Jim on the Prindle had missed the "2" on the course boat the added the extra lap so did not finish the race.
The second race was similar but the wind started filling in more consistently. But still where you were on the course when the gusts hit was what made the difference. Jim on the Prindle got first, Me and Lisa second, and Jeff and Donna third.
For the third race the wind really picked up. This is where me and my boat excel. We were able to eek out a first place but just barely. All three boats were very close.
Saturday evening was a very good dinner at Bowens Inn. Interim results were announced. We we in first by just one point but that was enough to win a West Marine gift certificate!
Race for was Sunday morning. As Lisa and I were heading out to the course, I was letting Lisa sail to get more experience sailing rather then just crewing. I went to the downwind side to check out the sail shape. Well the jib looked kind of loose and puffy on the end side (leach). Two jib seams had pulled out! We hurried (as best we could in the light wind) back to the beach, brought down the jib and added a bunch of sail tape. Back on the water and we could see the other classes starting as we inched to the committee boat. Luckily the catamarans started last. We ended up just missing the start. We got the the start line about 30 seconds late and just kept right on going. We caught up to the other two boats as expected since our boat is faster. We were together about 1/2 way up wind in light and shifty air again when Jeff went left. I said something to Lisa about our slim lead and that as we learned at a Rick White Seminar we should turn to cover (follow) him since he was our main competition. But I was sure he was heading the wrong way for the given wind, so we kept right. Our strategy paid off (we thought) as we were quite close to the upwind pin and Jeff and Donna were way off. But then we sat there inching slowly closer while Jeff on the Hobie comes screaming up from nowhere. Jeff said the wind had filled in from that side the previous day so he took the chance. It paid off for him. He and Donna took first, we took second and Jim was third.
By the time we finished the the lunch delivered on the water between races, the wind had picked up quite a bit. We had been nursing the jib because the sail tape was coming off some but figured we needed to get 1st to win the regatta so decided to push it. In the higher wind me and my boat were in out best conditions. We were able to hold off Jeff and Donna and take first.
So after a throw out score we were tied with Jeff and Donna. Using the fist tie breaker did not help as we each had two firsts and 2 seconds. We ended up winning the regatta on a somewhat arbitrary tiebreaker of best finish in the last race.
At the awards ceremony I thanked the person who made my win possible. I thanked Bobby Noll for not showing up, as he would have won the regatta as usual. He was attending a regatta in Connecticut where there were 5 Hobie 21's competing.
Pos. \ Race 1 2 3 4 5 Totals --------------------------------------- --- --- --- --- --- ------ 1. Patrick and Lisa on Nacra 5.5SL #310 (2) 2 1 2 1 6.00 2. Jeff and Donna on Hobie 16 #87512 1 (3) 2 1 2 6.00 3. Jim and crew on Prindle 16 #4596 (DNF) 1 3 3 3 10.00 Note: scores in parenthesis () depict a throwout.
Bobby sold his Hobie 21 and bought an Inter 20. Watch out.