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MBYC Ocean Regatta/Fleet 3 Championship Series#3.

June 22, 2003


Weather and kelp from hell along with a fleet of lightnings starting in front of us made for some interesting tactical considerations during our first ocean regatta since the PCC's.  6 boats started the day, 5 finished the day.  Apparently Roger and Mike wanted to practice some MOB drills during the first race.  That old clothesline they salvaged for a trapeze wire finally gave up the ghost.  They DNF'd and headed for home.  Hopefully everyone made it home OK without too much in the way of hypothermia.

 Most of us made it out on time or very nearly so for race 1.  TGIF hit a big patch of kelp right at the start and gave everyone else a head start of several boatlengths.  We cleared our foils and set our sights on catching up and getting ahead.  We were able to round the weather mark in first and hold off Fever for the downwind leg.  During the upwind, we decided not to follow Fever out to the right side as our stormy southerly wind shut down and filled in from the right.  We sat in a hole while Fever motored along on the lifted tack to the weather mark.  Fortunately, they were the only boat we lost and we rounded well behind them but still in second towards a downwind finish.  They successfully held us off from the high lane, though we tried to separate and eke out a little more boatspeed to catch them by the finish.  It almost worked, but once we came back together, we were still a length or so behind.  Score race 1 for Fever.  TGIF got second.  Tortuga showed flashes of brilliance and would go on to prove they were a force to be reckoned with today.  Trash and KAOS had a tough day and they would be battling for fourth and fifth all day.

 In race 2, we decided that starting behind everyone was not a good idea, so we tried being over early.  That wasn't such a good idea either, and once again we trailed everyone to start the weather leg.  This time we decided to stay right and we benefited from the persistent shift and possibly a bit more pressure.  We rounded first, managed to hold on downwind and rounded in first on the final beat to a weather finish.  Fever Pitch seemed to be facing a dilemma - they could try to catch us or be conservative and cover Tortuga and sail for second place.  They went right leaving Tortuga as she went left, and we managed to stay well ahead of both.  We watched the next two crossings with great interest as Tortuga first ducked them and headed out to the right, and at the next crossing was clear ahead and in a controlling position headed to the finish.  TGIF first, Tortuga second, Fever third, KAOS fourth and Trash fifth.

 In race 3 we decided to focus on the regatta win rather than the race win an ended up keeping a loose cover on Fever.  We seemed to find a nice gear and really got the boat moving upwind.  Tortuga again battled with Fever and pulled out the second place finish.  Finishing order: TGIF, Tortuga, Fever, KAOS, Trash.  We had a short debrief in the bar where we discussed settings, boat handling in waves upwind and downwind, and proper spin pumping technique.

 -Steve Schnelker


Team FreeBee

Yes FreeBee started the first race. We were showing good speed against WT when all hell "broke" loose. I always wondered what it would be like to have a trap wire snap when hiked full out. We were under full speed when it happened. The back of your head & neck hit the water pretty damn hard. Even with a vest on Roger said I just disappeared under water. I was well under water when I realized what happened. Still clutching the trap handle I popped up expecting to see Roger also swimming. However he was able to keep the boat upright. I started swimming towards the boat as it drifted slowly away. I finally made it as Roger reached out and grabbed one finger & pulled me to the boat. The first thing Roger checked was to see if I saved the handle parts, as this would make his repairs much cheaper. I was exhausted & dazed after pulling myself in the boat. I did have a headache as we bailed out for the channel. We got some lunch & were able to get in some practice runs in the bay as I coughed up seawater. I guess we are shooting for the demolition award this year. Well see you on the water for the next race.

Mike Barry