This past Saturday sixteen boats participated in the annual Valentine's Day Regatta. There was no love in the air however, just some pretty challenging shifts. Instead of a rogue piece of dock floating through, we had big dead spots that were shifting and moving all over the course. However if you were able to stay in pressure, you could find some success on the day.
The wind on Saturday was anywhere between South and Southwest. With our starting line in the usual location, the wind was shifting left to the ICA and would go as far right as Rowes Wharf. Occasionally a strong breeze would blow directly from the Fort Point channel. But on average, the wind was slightly left of Fort Point near the courthouse, which is where the windward marks were placed. Wind speed was varying. The sustained was around 8 or 9 knots, which gusts approaching (but not over) 20. As the boats were headed out to the race course, a tug and barge was approaching Castle Island headed inbound to Chelsea Creek. We decided to postpone until the barge was clear of our course. Apparently there was a kind of traffic jam in Chelsea Creek, and the barge decreased his speed to approximately 0.5 knots, causing us to be postponed even further. Once we were able to raise the barge on the radio and explain that we were holding for him, he did increase his speed. Within a few minutes after that, he was clear and we were able to start racing by 1225pm.
Race one started with one boat being OCS, but Neal Goldman and Jennifer Rousmaniere got off to a great start and quickly found themselves ahead of the fleet on the first leg up the course. Coming around the leeward mark is was Reade Everett and Amanda Lyall who rounded first, followed by Goldman/Rousmaniere and Matt Marston and Cheney Brand. But by the time the boats were headed back down towards the finish Goldman/Rousmaniere had regained the lead, managing to pull ahead of Everett/Lyall. That would be the first and last time anyone would accomplish that feat on the day.
The first start of Race two had somewhere north of twelve boats OCS, and a general recall was issued. In general, starts were more aggressive today than usual. Often there is at least a little line sag, but that was not the case on Saturday. The second start still had two boats OCS, and they were forced to round an end of the start line before heading upwind. At the leeward mark it was Marston/Brand who rounded a full minute and a half ahead of Steve Uhl and Rebecca Mount, followed by Goldman/Rousmaniere. Coming into the leeward marks in 12th and 13th place respectively were Everett/Lyall and John Pratt and Russel Robinson. While the entire fleet had gone left around the mark, these two saw a puff building on the right side. They took that breeze all the way, blowing by the entire fleet into 1st and 3rd place, respectively. Mark Lindsay and Damian Gray managed to sneak in between the two for a 2nd place finish.
An outgoing tanker caused us to delay the start of Race three for only a few minutes. Luckily for us, he was moving a lot faster than our barge from before, and we were able to continue. At the leeward rounding in Race 3, Everett/Lyall had built a sizable lead. They managed to get around the marks before a big hole descended on the leeward end of course. Ken Deyett and Josh Pfosi fought their way through the lulls and rounded in 2nd. Behind them were Bryan Lee and Anne-Marije Veenland-Lee and Uhl/Mount in 4th, who managed to pass three or four boats as they approached the marks. No one would catch Everett/Lyall, but Veenland/Lee managed to gain a spot and come in 2nd ahead of Deyett/Pfosi.
A few rain drops fell from the sky as boats were finishing Race three, but the majority of the rain stayed West of us. By the time the boats were at the leeward rounding in Race four, the skies had dried up. Everett/Lyall rounded at the same time as Dylan Callahan and Ben Falkner. Everett/Lyall rounded left, and Callahan/Falker rounded right. The next two boats Lindsay/Gray and Uhl/Mount also went right, but Luke Leafgren and Conant Brewer rounded in 5th and followed Everett/Lyall up the left side. That move would ultimately pay off for them as they came in behind Everett/Lyall who took yet another bullet, and ahead of Uhl/Mount who came in 3rd.
Race 5 would end up being our last race of the day. Again it was Everett/Lyall with a sizable lead at the leeward rounding. They did their usual move, which was to round in first place, go left, and not let anybody pass them. Lindsay/Gray rounded in 5th, but took the right gate and managed to pick up two spots for a 3rd place finish, behind Uhl/Mount in 2nd. Although the overall strategy on the day may have appeared to be the same, there was nothing consistent about these races. The roving holes and shifts made for some serious frustrations all around. But despite all that, any day where you can race a sailboat in February and it's not 10 degrees, is a good day in my book. And an especially good day for Everett/Lyall who finished 21 points ahead of 2nd place, and winning the 2017-18 Valentine's Day Regatta. They take the title from last years winners Marty Gallagher and Chris Palmieri, who finished 19 points ahead of 2nd that year.
Congrats and thanks to everyone who came out, and especially to our top 5 finishers, who are...
- Reade Everett and Amanda Lyall - 6 points
- Mark Lindsay and Damian Gray - 27 points
- Steve Uhl and Rebecca Mount - 29 points
- Bryan Lee and Anne Marije Veenland-Lee - 29 points
- Neal Goldman and Jennifer Rousmaniere - 31 points
Because we missed Day 6 due to end-of-world cold, we are using the make up day on March 24th, and sliding everything back one week. That means that next week is the end of Series 2. If you haven't been keeping up on all the scores, you can do so by checking here. If you are able, please join us at Pier 6 after racing next week where we will have prizes for our top three finishers, and snacks for everyone.
We've had a great opening weekend at the boat show. Thanks to all of you who have stopped by already, we had a large Courageous contingent the past two days. If you are planning on coming to the boat show, please do come by and say hi. We are very easy to find. We are right in between the beautiful wooden CW Hood sailboats, the brand new luxury Beneteau's and Jenneau's, and the beer stand. Exactly where we should be.
Have a great week and we'll talk again on Friday. Forecast looks good so far, but we'll see as always...
Nate and the Courageous Frostbite Team