March 14-16, 2003
Geoff Nelson's Report
Lee and I had a fantastic time on White Trash and got faster (or at least felt faster) as the weekend progressed. There were several highlights for us like beating KAOS on day one and drag racing Weasel to weather in race two day two (now forever known as The Never Ending Lift Race). Lee had his first opportunity to wire run and I think is ready to do one of those long tour de bay I-14 courses! I have now flipped more with Lee as crew than I ever have before which tells me we are pushing a lot harder than I have in the past as well. The whole mud thing is getting a bit old though... god that stuff stinks!!!!
The bigger than normal wind allowed us to work on our mechanics and pointed out the systems on the boat that were not up-to-snuff. The mast butt is still at the machine shop and the main sheet cleat is moved, repaired and reinforced (glass was cracked all the way around the base at the screw holes!). We banged out several other items on a VERY long maintenance list Sunday so the on-course repair drills should come down a bit as well.
We noticed all the transoms getting bigger as the races went on and the fact we could actually try using tactics to reel people in tells us we are getting our heads out of the boat and on the course. Our goal is now to dominate the classics and get kicked out of the classic fleet by years-end (after, of course, taking the classic fleet championship by upsetting current favorites Free Bee and wresting it from the clutches of the Moxie-Bus consortium). Looks to be a very good series indeed!!!
Bill Jenkins' Report
Seven 505s joined 15 other classes and over 500 sailors spread out across five race courses in one of the largest regattas in Southern California. This was a great event with a variety of conditions and race configurations, fun parties, and good comradeship. The 505 and I-14 fleets shared rigging facilities, at the Navy marina in Fiddler’s Cove, and the race course directly east of the marina in South San Diego Bay. This arrangement had the dual benefits of an almost nonexistent sail out to and back from the racing area, and no hassles dodging the keelboat classes or waiting for them to finish. It was like a box of instant racing. And the 505 fleet had the most races of any class in the regatta.
Even though a storm passed over during the weekend, the hardest rain and fiercest winds came through during the night. So while there was a little rain Saturday and Sunday, it was never a problem. In fact, the sun even came out for an hour or so Sunday afternoon while the boats were being unrigged. The wind blew in the 8-15 knot range, so there was plenty of trapezing, several great wire-running opportunities, and no crews crouching under the boom.
Post-race debriefing sessions on Saturday and Sunday hopefully helped spread some expertise around the fleet.
Dan Merino and Bill Jenkins put in their final appearance aboard the legendary Weasel, on loan from it's new owner Ben Wood. We sailed a pretty good regatta. Kitty was close enough to keep the pressure on and put us in second place when we ripped the jib (our jib, not Ben's...) and were forced to skip Friday's fourth race. On Saturday we gradually pulled into a tie for first during that day's four races. Kitty benefited from a shortened course during the second race when Weasel was caught on the wrong side of a shift with not enough time to get back ahead. But by Sunday our strategy was to get around the course without breakdowns and win the regatta. The icing on the cake was flying down the final run of the weekend and planing across the finish line. Good-bye Weasel, be nice to your new owners.
John II and John III traded places on Kitty throughout the weekend, but sailed a very consistent series of firsts, seconds, and thirds. Bill McKinney teamed up with Theresa (Chris Shand's sister from Phoenix) on board Fever Pitch. The highlight of their weekend came during the second race on Saturday when they caught a nice gust at the boat end of the starting line and jumped out into a significant early lead. Their lead lasted most of the way to the weather mark but melted away when they missed the first phase of the big shift to the west. That was when Kitty, Weasel, and Kaos moved up and Kitty eventually reached into first place at the next mark (the last mark as it turned out) when the wind continued toward the west.
Mike Jue and Marc Winger on board Kaos struggled a bit and seemed to be still getting the hang of the "new" Hamlin. But as the weekend progressed they became faster and more consistent.
Steve and Karl suffered a heartbreak early on Friday when their forestay broke during the first beat. Fortunately the mast stayed up and they were able to replace the forestay. But 4 DNCs gave them an insurmountable handicap. Even though they sailed well on Saturday and Sunday, they were not able move up past 5th place.
Geoff and Lee also had some bugs to work out. One trick they seem to have mastered though is scooping huge amounts of mud off the bottom of the bay and raining it down upon their heads. Great entertainment for the rest of us! Up to that point, the boys on White Trash had finished all the races. Some equipment problems kept them off the water on Sunday, but they considered the weekend a success nevertheless.
Bryce and his new crew brought Taz down to Fiddler's cove, but spent the first two days discussing tactics and boat handling in front of a roaring fire while cuddling and sipping hot toddies together (that kind of crew...). They spent some time on the water Sunday though, both right side up and sideways. Keep working on that one Bryce - soon you'll be scooping up as much mud as Geoff!
That's about all I can remember. Now it's your turn!
Lots of thanks to Geoff and Lee for picking up info packets Friday morning! And to Mike and Noelle for putting up with a bunch of sailors Friday night. Financially, Bill M paid $60 for pizza Friday, John Billings paid $30 for beer, and Bill J paid $32 for boat storage at Fiddlers. If anyone who sailed feels that he did not contribute enough for any of those illustrious causes, don't hesitate to contact one of these fine gentlemen!
Check out results at http://www.sailingworld.com/sw_article.php?articleID=1728
March 15-18, 2002What could possibly be described as the best 505 conditions San Diego has ever seen occurred during this years NOOD regatta. In all 7 505’s signed up to compete, however only 5 made it to the line on various occasions and in some varied configurations of crew and driver. The beach launch at Fiddlers Cove worked well as far as allowing the boats to get to the starting line quickly, however even with a beach dolly, bringing back up was tough in the soft sand. Special thanks goes to John Billings for allowing multiple boats to use his dolly for many of the launches and recoveries.
The prediction: 10 – 15 knots from WNW.
What it blew: 12 to 15 knots from WNW.
I started the morning by packing up Weasel from it’s two week long repair stint and decided to wire up the trailer lights which in turn got me off to a late start to pick up Bill. Arriving at Fiddlers cove about we were pressed to get the boat rigged and in the water for the start. Putting in the new topping lift and connecting up the new spinnaker sock took their toll as we launched late and arrived at the starting area about one and a half minutes late. We checked in and went to work catching Taz and Mental before the first mark. Kitty on the other hand was launched and subsequently rounded the weather mark in First place. Once we set the big chute our advantage became clear. Conditions were ideal for wire running which we seemed to be able to do faster and lower than Kitty. The downwind was a blast as we passsed Kitty and led the rest of the race. Kitty on the other hand opened up quite a lead on Mental as Taz dropped out with a few problems.
Race two started in the same pressure this time with all four boats getting to the line on time. A quick shift left the pin end favored by about 15 degrees when the gun went off and immediately gave us a 10-boatlength lead on the rest of the fleet. From there we played shifts and tried to stay out of the holes and things became pretty boring as we played cover on the fleet. Somewhere around the course Mental flipped causing Geoff to feel how cold the water actually was and eventually retire. From that point on Taz followed Kitty who followed Weasel around the course. Once again the wire running was outstanding. Sailing doesn’t get much better than this.
That night we met at Mike and Noelle’s for Pizza and beer. Conversations revolved around the day’s sailing and what boat Tom and Bill would be sailing the next day. Money was exchanged however no one won because everyone bet against them having either Fever or Pete on the line. Things wound down early as it was apparent the sailing that day was pretty draining.
The prediction: 15 Knots from WNW
What it blew: 15 to 18 from WNW
As predicted there was no sign of Fever or Pete at the launch area and in addition Geoff announced he would not be racing that day. A quick call to MBYC found Tom and Bill working on Pete. A generous offer from Geoff allowed Bill and Tom to sail Mental that day. John Henke and Karl had teamed up since both Chris Stomberg and Steve Schnelker bailed out at the last minute. They were in the parking lot setting up TGIF (deemed the most likely to make it out on the water since bob was still a few parts away from sailing). On the way to Fiddlers Cove I tried to convince Bill that there was more wind than the previous day in store for us. He kept denying it until we were blasting our way out to the course at which point he finally admitted, “ Ok… maybe there is more wind”. In our quest to try new things at the wrong times, we tried a wire drop. Something we had never been able to do with the old chute but for some reason sounded good 10 minutes before the start of the upcoming race with the new big chute. Disaster doesn’t quite describe what happened next, but we ended up with the new large spinnaker under the boat. It took some sorting out but we finally got going again and over to the start line during the sequence. It was about that time that we noticed our vang had jumped a block and was wedged between the sheave and the block casing. The gun went off and we watched Kitty and Taz sail off on Starboard tack. Unfortunately the committee boat had been dragging its anchor making it impossible to cross the start line on starboard. Confused by these facts and the postponement that sounded afterwards we decided to sail through the line and then beeline it to the flat waters of the marina to fix our vang. Having sorted things out we reached to the windward mark to meet up with Kitty who was currently on their second lap. We put the moves on Kitty and began trying to make up the enormous full lap deficit we were handed. During this time we watched as an I14 and an Ultimate 20 lost their rigs and numerous other boats have some pretty spectacular wipeouts. In the end we weren’t able to catch the Kitty and ended up finishing one leg behind them. Kitty deserved the win. During the race Taz blew out their mainsail and headed in. Having finally gotten TGIF together, John and Karl were at the starting line waiting for the next race. Even Mental with Tom and Bill on board wandered out to the course in anticipation of starting the second race. Unfortunately, things were getting a little hairy for the RC. As an empty rental boat drifted across the line and a rescue operation was put into effect to find the missing renters, they decided to abandon racing for the day. Kitty, TGIF and Weasel all decided to take advantage of the wind and sail to the windward mark and then go wire running back to the marina. What a blast! Ok… so the sailing was even better than the previous day.
A quick debrief followed the racing and then we all adjourned to SDYC.
Following the consumption of too many rum drinks during the SDYC tent party, a few stalwart 505’ers reconvened for the much-anticipated dinner at Casa de Loma, hereafter referred to as Casa de Lamo. From the beginning, things did not go well. Only the manager and one waiter were serving tables, and we soon discovered from overhearing their bickering that they had double booked the room. So while the waiter refused to give us menus or chips until the rest of our party had appeared, we were defending the small territory we had claimed early on from the onslaught of the second group. Only later did we discover that the waiter had told the I14ers that the restaurant was full and there would be an hour wait for a table. So much for being joined by the rest of our group. Fortunately we convinced the waiter to start serving us, and eventually he got the show going. The one good thing at this point was that the manager was keeping us well stocked with pitchers of margaritas so, in spite of the unfortunate turn of events, we were still having a good time. When the food finally arrived it was generally pretty poor. In fact, about the only quality noted during the Selection Stumble last month that actually turned out to be true was the extremely tacky quality of the décor, topped off by the Christmas motif on the glasses.
Finally dinner came to an end and our fearless leader Bill McKinney managed to collect enough money to pay the bill. We forthwith took our leave of the Casa de Lamo and moved on to the Ballast Pub. The I14ers had already appeared following their much superior, though much more expensive, repast at Fiddler’s Green. Eager to let everyone know that the 505ers had arrived, we immediately took over an apparently unoccupied pool table, only to find that it was actually in use by some very large, primitive looking gentlemen who had been restocking their beverages at the bar. Fortunately they turned out to be much friendlier than their appearance suggested, and we played several doubles games with them. Mike Jue, it turns out, was the only one in the group who could play worth a darn. He eventually overcame the handicap imposed by whichever partner he had and was able to beat the other team. That seemed to pretty much cap off the evening, and we all headed off into the night to rest up for the next big day of sailing.
The prediction: 15 to 20 knots, small craft warnings.
What it blew: 8 to 12 knots.
Ok, so the local weather service got a little cocky and called for small craft advisories, essentially putting a Bromo-like “Whammie” on the day’s sailing. Despite that the conditions never got to survival mode the racing was tight and it was just like another day on Mission Bay. This was also the day we had all five boats on the line for racing. Boat-ho Bill McKinney sailed with Geoff (I’m too sick to sail) Nelson on Mental. Sadly… no one caught a glimpse of Fever or Pete at Fiddlers Cove. Bill and I spent the morning re-installing our barber haulers in anticipation of the big blow as well as repairing some damage from the previous day. We should have spent the time drinking beer.
Weasel again picked the pin end of the line, but this time Kitty looked a lot better up at the boat end. Eventually Kitty dropped in behind us, however, and the action shifted to the rest of the fleet as TGIF, Kitty, Taz and Mental all duked it out. TGIF managed to pull away from Kitty and take second gaining most of the distance on the downwind legs. Kitty, Mental and Taz rounded out the fleet. There was still enough wind to do some occasional wire running, but no long blasting runs like the day before.
After waiting for all the keelboats to finish, the wind dropped down to an unplanable 6-8 knots. This was particularly frustrating because the I14’s had been able to start a second race before the keelboats began finishing. We watched them sail their entire second race in what would be the last good breeze of the weekend. When it finally got going, race two was similar to race one, but the battle was between Taz and Mental. Taz held the lead until the final downwind leg when Mental passed them halfway down the final run. Both boats sailed excellent races.
For those of you that missed it, there was some excellent
shwag at the closing festivities. Next scheduled event is
1 6991 Weasel Jenkins 1 1 2 1 1 6
2 7773 The Kitty Billings 2 2 1 3 3 11
3 6571 Mental Floss Nelson 3 8(dnf) 8(dnc) 4 4 27
4 8024 TGIF Schnelker 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 2 2 28
5 5687 Taz Jue 8(dnc) 3 8(dnc) 5 5 29
6 693 bob Stomberg 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 40
7 6931 Fever Pitch McKinney 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 8(dnc) 40
Some of the real excuses are so lame, so pathetic, that making up fake ones seems like a waste of good material. So the fake and the real are thrown in here together. See if you can tell the difference.