What a weekend! Approaching the site, and for the first few hours, there was simply NO WIND. Glassy calm. We drifted out into the river and when there was a bit of a breeze most of the boats used it to go back to shore. Then, in the course of about ten minutes the wind went from nothing to single-trap conditions. Boats came back out, and soon we were racing and I was wishing I had crew. By the end of the four races, I was exhausted and had learned a lot.
The biggest problem for me was overstanding the laylines. Well, that and the constant tangle of lines that I was dealing with. Most tacks had me unwrapping lines from around my legs afterward. Next was that my stick (the stock white fiberglass one) just wasn't long enough for singlehanding; I couldn't lean back all the way unless I was at the rear of the tramp, where I usually am with crew, and I couldn't go more than about halfway up the tramp at all if I was on the wire. OTOH I generally had good boat speed and pointed well; I typically made very good ground on the rest of the fleet on the downwind legs. Starts were mostly awful - I didn't even have a watch - but I got much better as the weekend went on, and in my last race I started very, very well (then overstood the windward mark, then capsized...).
That evening was the catered BBQ dinner with everyone gathered outside by the garage discussing the day's events. Maybe there were sixty people in all? Just guessing. What a wonderful evening, made possible by the hard work and generous hospitality of our hosts and the regatta staff.
The wind stayed strong all night, and in the morning there was a bit of a lull but by the time we were out on the water it was every bit as strong as it was on Saturday and climbed throughout the day. Toward the end of race 2 (of 3) the wind picked up a bit more and I eventually capsized, more from fatigue than anything else. Heading back in after that it picked up even more. The H21 pitchpoled. There was a cluster (probably at the downwind mark) with all sorts of boats hitting each other, a sail pierced, a skipper tossed into the water, etc. Boats running downwind onto the beach were ending up five to ten feet from the waterline. The wind picked up even more, and the H21 sailed for home and capsized again; last we heard a CG boat was on the way. It was windy like that the whole way home, too.
This weekend was also an experiment in car-camping for us and our 20 month old. That part went really well, too, aided by the constant sunshine, lack of rain, and great company. Oh, and a resort-like setting with gorgeous views of the upper Rappahannock, let's not forget that! Little Vivien played in the water and walked around in an exciting new location and even slept well. I would have loved to take her sailing but this just wasn't the weekend for that!
It was a great weekend for racing, though, and there were a lot of really good sailors there. My hat is off to Warren, who can't actually weigh a whole 150 pounds, who singlehanded his blue 16 far better than I in those conditions. I have a few pics, mostly from Sunday afternoon, that I will post as soon as I can.
'00 H16 #104691 - '78 H16 #32692 ex-rental - Old Holsclaw trailerMy Hobie 16 pages