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.
After an August race cut short by the doldrums and a September race cancelled all together by uninvited guest Hurricane Irma, The Sailing Club help it’s first full race since July. Our patience was rewarded with 8 – 10 knot winds and zero rain. Once again the point totals were extremely close, save for a malfunctioning Sunfish.
The June race began with all eyes on the horizon as thunderstorms were in the forecast. There were three rookie racers on the water as well as five of the usual suspects. It may have been the closest race in years with a three way tie for second place points and just two points separating first place. Penny and Rick showed how important it is to keep accurate time. After portsmouth corrections were applied, just one second separated second and third place. Because of the looming storm, the second race was shortened to just one lap. In a show of mercy, the rain arrived just as the gate was being locked up with all the boats properly stowed. From there the post-race activities were moved to the pavilion over at the dog park.
Congratulations Brad, Alyssa, Maggie, Shea, James, Hector, Christine, Randal, Matt, Stacie, Rhonda and Kyle for completing the Community Sailing Program. Good luck in your future sailing endeavors and we hope to see you back at the club.
Congratulations to Emily, Jordan, Amanda, Paul, Alex, Chait, Fernando, Karen, Thomas, Scott and Jesus for completing the Community Sailing Program in May. They had to deal with some pretty high winds, but everyone made it through and learned a lot.
For three weeks our April students experienced all that Lake Baldwin has to offer at 2 knots, 12 knots and 6 knots. Congratulations to Al, Andrew, Cyrano, John, Jordan, Leslie, Molly and Walter for completing the Community Sailing Program!
The wind was perfect for racing on 4/19….at 5pm….when the boats were getting stowed for the night. Nevertheless it appeared just often enough that we were able to fit in all three races. In his first race with the club, Matthew showed us all how it’s done. When a puff came through the course, he was right on top of it, increasing his lead with every one. Here are the complete results:
The Sailing Club capped of the winter and welcomed in the spring this Sunday with a fantastic BBQ prepared by Greg and Kathy. The annual Spring Fling usually brings out more members and this year was no exception. We had six Hunter 140’s on the water for the race, as well as one Sunfish out for a leisure sail. There were very light winds in the first couple races and even one near dead stop in the second race. In that second race on the final leeward leg, there was a fair amount of distance among the fleet. The lead boat around six boat lengths from rounding the leeward mark…at a dead stop. One boat was maybe 100 yards away, barely inching along. The rest of the fleet was crawling towards them, but back near the windward mark. This is when a lake Baldwin brought us a little puff, starting at windward of course. The back of the fleet caught the puff first and two minutes later all six boats were coming up on the leeward mark all together. It made for a fun finish. For the third race, it was getting late but the wind had picked up dramatically. After some kicking and screaming from the fleet, Rick agreed to run the third race, but only a single lap. I guess we need better negotiating so that the wind arrives before the race rather than after. Here are the results.