The wind barely cooperated enough to get three races in for the June race. By the third race we had a 90 degree shift in what little wind there was, making for a very awkward start. Despite the typical summer conditions, it was yet another close race. In A Fleet, first place went to new member Karel by a tie breaker with Penny and Matt. Third place was just one more point behind. B Fleet was all about the McCurdy’s who are working hard to earn the B Fleet trophy.
After several delays, the May race was finally held on Lake Baldwin on June 3. Better late than never. There were eleven sailors on six boats using the 6 – 8 knots of wind to try and best their fellow competitors. There were no photo finishes this time around, but Penny and Todd made sure it was a memorable race when they lost their Main halyard up the mast. Not wanting to forfeit the next race, they capsized on purpose so that they could reach the shackle. After a couple attempts thwarted by running the halyard on the wrong side of the shroud, they were back in business for the final two races. In A Fleet we had Kurt racing with new club member David, who we quickly learned was not new to sailboat racing, taking first place. In just her second race ever, Donna took the crown in B Fleet.
Upon arrival at Lake Baldwin, the weather looked iffy. There were storm clouds looming overhead while the lake was doing it’s best impression of a mirror. Not wanting to postpone the race for another week, eight sailors rigged up four Hunter 140’s. As the course was being prepared, the storm continued to dissipate and the wind came up to a lovely 8 – 10 knots. It turned out to be a perfect day for the three rookie racers and five regulars. Kayla secured a win for the Crimson Tide over the Buckeyes in B Fleet. Rick and Penny continued their dominance with a win in A Fleet. There are still plenty of races left in 2018 and lots of room to climb your way up the standings in both fleets. Next race will be on May 20th.
There were fourteen sailors out racing on Feb 11th and they were rewarded with a beautiful day for sailing. Winds were a consistent 8 – 10 knots and temps in the high 70’s. It’s fantastic to see many new names on the score sheet this year. On the course were three JY 15’s, three Hunter 140’s and one Sidewinder. Yet another day ended up with a tie in total points for A Fleet, leaving the pair of firsts earned by Kurt and Gordon to break the tie for the day. In B Fleet we’ve got a couple rookies fighting for their place in the top three of 2018. Overall and very exciting day of sailing. Next race is March 11th.
If you’ve driven past Lake Baldwin on a Sunday afternoon, you’ve probably noticed the sailboats frequently on the water. For the first time open to the general public, The Sailing Club is hosting a community sailing day on Sunday March 4th, 1pm – 4pm at Lake Baldwin Park. This is a day where several of our experienced sailing instructors will be waiting to take you out for a quick introduction to sailing, free of charge. You’ll get 20 – 30 minutes of sailing in a JY 15 or Hunter 140 sailboat. The instructor will explain as much or as little about how the boat works as you’d like. There will be limited life jackets for you, but you may want to bring your own if you have them. Wear shoes and shorts that you don’t mind getting wet. Trips will be first come first serve, but we’d love to know if you’re planning to come. Email email@example.com
January’s race had great weather. Wind around 8 knots and the sun warmed up the cold air for just enough time that everyone was comfortable. We had the usual suspects on top of A Fleet and some new comers for B Fleet.
That little cold snap we had towards the end of October had me a bit worried about the Fun Sail planned for early November; but it turned out the weather was grand, with high temperatures in the low 80’s and lows in the high 60’s—just lovey. Our winds ranged from 4 kts to around 14, and pretty much came from the northeast the whole trip. We had good winds for sailing at least part of each day, with a tendency for the lulls to occur around midday, but picking up again in the later afternoon. The crew included two experienced sailors both fresh from summer ASA 104 courses, and three “newbie” sailors, who recently did the club’s sailing course and had never been on a cruising sailboat before. The moderate winds were perfect for convincing them they could take the helm and practice tacking and jibing in the 35-foot Comfortably Numb. All was well as we anchored the first night off DeSoto Point close to the mouth of the Manatee River. Cooking preparations resulted in a marvelous feast complimented by red wine and cibiatta laced with our own roasted garlic. The next day we headed out for the gulf; but again the wind died midday, so we anchored for lunch off Egmont Key, then headed back to the Manatee River to dock at Twin Dolphins Marina in Bradenton. The wind picked up again about half way back across the bay, so we got some nice sailing in. After showers and dinner on shore, we had great sleeping weather; but fog in the morning. Heading back to St. Pete’s the weather followed the same pattern again, so we had some good sailing in the afternoon, and returned to the Vinoy Marina at exactly 1700. Comfortly Numb performed well, although we did have a couple of issues (like with the head and the main sail); but if we didn’t have any issues, it wouldn’t have been sailing…right?
Sunday was a tremendous day for sailing! With winds starting out around 14 knots and then settling in to around 10 for most of the race, you couldn’t ask for better conditions. We had eleven sailors join us this time, including a couple rookies(Caroline and Andy) hiking out for their first race with the club. There were no capsizes on the day and no fouls called. Being the last race of the season, bragging rights for the next year were on the line. In A Fleet, Kurt was trailing Rick by just four points coming in to the race. As you’ll see below, there was a two way tie for first place on the day, and a three way tie for third place. That means we had to dig in to the tie breaking rules. With two first place finishes, Matt and Jesus win the tie vs Kurt and Caroline. The cup for 2017 came down to a photo finish in this final race of the season, but of course we don’t have a photo to refer. We think Kurt and Caroline edged out Rick, Natalie and Walter by a foot or two following a great comeback rounding the final mark. That’s what the record will show. It was a great 2017 season, and everyone is looking forward to 2018. Stay on the lookout for Matt as he scored several first place finishes recently and is poised for a run at winning in 2018.