The best sporting competition this weekend took place on Boston Harbor and featured 18 Rhodes on one of the more unpredictable days we've seen. Despite a chilly forecast, the conditions were perfect for sailing. After a few weeks in a row of 30 knots, we were very happy to be looking at 10-15 kts with gusts up to 25. There was no skippers meeting and boats were headed out to the course by 1235. The course was set in the usual location near Piers Park with windward marks near Lewis Wharf and BSC.
Thirty seconds from the start of race 1, the wind dropped significantly. Most boats were still far away from the line at the start except for Marty Gallagher and Sandy Hayes, who were the first to find the breeze and took off. Right away we started seeing wind shifts of 90 degrees, with winds from anywhere between the Coast Guard and the ICA. As the boats were approaching the windward marks we noticed a tug and barge moving at a very good clip coming from the Mystic heading outbound. With only a short time to decide, we decided to shorten the course and finish the boats between the leeward marks. Coming in first was Dan Elbaum and Jim Kann who managed to get ahead of Gallagher/Hayes who came in 2nd.
After the barge passed we shifted the course slightly left, with windward marks closer to Long Wharf. Winds continued to come from all directions. Race 2 started with a general recall and flying of the "I" flag, putting the 1-minute rule in effect. When the "I" flag is up, remember that all boats who are OCS within 1 minute of the start must clear themselves only by rounding an end of the start line. Simply ducking the line is not enough. At the leeward rounding it was Niko Kotsatos and Carolyn Marsh who had built up a decent lead .Next to round was Kyle Jachney and Chip Terry followed by Zack O'Brien and Ben Zorfus. Kotsatos/Marsh took the right gate and everyone else went left. At this point the wind had shifted even further left and boats were practically fetching the mark on the 2nd upwind leg. The wind came back around eventually but the first 4 boats would finish in the same order they rounded the leeward mark.
Another strong lefty at the start of race 3 made for an interesting upwind leg, but Kotsatos/Marsh again rounded the leeward marks first, about twenty seconds ahead of Cole Constantineau and Manlio Lopez, followed by Ken Deyett and Luiza Smith. All three boats took the right gate and headed back up. No one was able to catch Kotsatos/Marsh but Deyett/Smith did manage to pick up a spot and come in 2nd. By the end of race 3, the wind had gone severely left. We foolishly attempted to start a race that featured 18 boats piled up at the pin. After another general recall we shifted the entire course left (again), this time with windward marks near the Moakley courthouse in Southie. From this point on the wind was still shifty, but nothing to the extent that we saw during the first three races. Once the course was shifted and the line was fixed, there couldn't possibly be anything that could get in our way. (More on that later)
The wind lightened up for race 4 somewhat, and Leo Gaskell and Grace Olsen rounded the leewards first, with Constantineau/Lopez about five boat lengths behind them. Dana Robinson and Matt Hebert would round in 7th, but ended up finishing 4th, and Jachney/Terry picked up a spot and finished 3rd. By the start of race 4, we noticed that a large section of dock has broken off from Rowes Wharf. This 40 foot long concrete obstruction started our windward and to the right of our course. But as the wind pushed it down, and the current carried it out, this dock was firmly in the middle of our race course at the start. However, the fleet responded appropriately, and it just became another part of the race course. This fleet has been nothing but flexible this season, and a little thing like a massive moving obstruction was not going to get in our way. Also during this race another tug and barge arrived, but this time they were anchoring just to the left of our course. It looked like it would be another problem, but luckily it was a non-issue. Constantineau/Lopez managed to avoid the floating dock better than everyone else and picked up the bullet ahead of Mark Lindsay and Linnea Goldstein and Robinson/Hebert.
By race 6 the barge was anchored and the wind was back up. O'Brien/Zorfus rounded in first and went left, followed by Matt Marston and Damian Grey. But Lindsay/Goldstein, who rounded third, went right, which was a move that would pay off for them. They would pass both boats on the next leg to take the bullet. And in race 7, the exact same thing happened. This time Lindsay/Goldstein rounded 3rd, following the first two around the right gate. But they would tack off almost immediately again managed to pass two boats for another bullet.
All day long it was a back and forth battle between Kotsatos/Marsh and Lindsay/Goldstein, but with a 2,1,1 in their last three races, Mark and Linnea managed to win a very challenging day. A special thanks to Bill, Martin and Jesse on the mark boats for attempting to keep the course square, which initially seemed impossible. Now, week 10 was supposed to be the last week of the series. However the series is not over! Because we had to cancel Day 6 due to horrible weather, we are going to push back the end of series two. Next Saturday is our Valentine's Regatta. This is a day that does not count for the series but DOES count for the overall season standings. It is simply a one-day regatta. That means that our final day of series 2 will be Day 12, which is Feb 17th. Also we will be using our make-up day on March 24th as the last day of Series 3. Please make sure to join us at Pier 6 on Feb 17th where we will have food (for everyone) and prizes (for top 3).
So despite barges and runaway docks and unpredictable winds and temperatures in the teens at points, Day 10 was a rousing success. Thanks so much to everyone who came out, and especially to our top 5 finishers who are...
- Mark Lindsay and Linnea Goldstein - 28 points
- Niko Kotsatos and Carolyn Marsh - 30 points
- Matt Marston and Damian Grey - 45 points
- Ken Deyett and Luiza Smith - 48 points
- Dana Robinson and Matt Hebert - 51 points
We hope to see many of you for the Valentine's Regatta next week. Also starting next week, Courageous Sailing will be at the New England Boat Show at the BCEC in the Seaport from Feb 10-18. Make sure to stop by and say hi. We hope to see some of you for trivia at PJ Ryans tonight for trivia, otherwise we will see you back on the pier on Saturday. Have a great week!
Nate and the Courageous Frostbite Team