20 August 2007

V15 National Championship

Three boats from the nascent eight boat Benicia fleet entered the Vanguard 15 national Championship regatta this year. We all had a fantastic, if a bit crazy, good time. World class competition, big wind, and on The Bay before The Gate. Wow. My skipper Dean posted a nice summary of the event which I quote here:

Vanguard 15 Nationals Recap:
Beating more boats would have been a bonus, but there were no slackers out of the 29 crews. One wrong maneuver or screwed up tactic would likely cost you several boats each race. The fleet had some really high caliber sailors with resumes that were rather jaw-dropping. Twelve races in anywhere from 10 to 25 mph winds meant for sore and really tired bodies.

Jamie showed serious signs of brilliance. He had a "12" in the first race and placed in the teens several times. On one of Sunday's races he was in 5th place at one point! If he would have had another 50-100 pounds of crew weight, he would have easily been many places higher than 21st.

Despite my heavier-than-average crew weight, Dave and I were only one of two boats that didn't finish with a race in the teens. We fought to the end to hold on to 22nd place overall. We didn't ease up until our nearest competitor in the standings death-rolled in the very last race. I think that we may have been in the top 10 at one point during a race on Saturday, but one of our two driver-induced weekend swims put an end to that.

Joel and Jorge also showed signs of serious speed when they got rolling (e.g. that 19th on Sunday). Joel still hasn't figured out what "too much wind" is despite being most likely the oldest skipper out there. And Jorge, six months after buying a boat despite not knowing how to sail, found himself in the thick of a national regatta. Like me, they also caught the capsize bug. I didn't realize until looking at pictures that we were swimming just about 30 yards from each other at one point on Saturday.

Posted by Picasa

10 August 2007

Trying to remember how to race

Back on the Vanguard 15 tonight. Dean and I are entered in the Vanguard 15 Nationals next weekend, and we need some practice (I've only been in this boat twice.) Teamed up with the Benicia fleet for some more short course racing. Dean and I have both been trying to brush up on our boat tuning, racing tactics, etc. after having not raced in a proper regatta for almost 25 years now.

Overall, I'd say we were pretty much discombobulated. trying too hard to think about the right things to do instead of just doing them. Should be fun next weekend!

03 August 2007

Lions and otters and whales, oh my!

Took Mothra on her first trip away from home waters. Trailered about 2 hours south to Moss Landing. Nice little harbor smack in the middle of Monterey Bay. The wildlife there is absolutely incredible. Sea otters are pretty much all over, swimming on their backs using their tummies as tables to dine on sea urchins. Sea Lions appear from time to time, and we even saw a few dolphins cross our bow a couple hundred yards ahead. Cool. On our second day out we sighted a California Gray Whale.

The Monterey Bay area has always been one of our favorite places to vacation--now we have another way to enjoy the natural beauty of it.
Posted by Picasa