29 April 2008

Se retrouver en plein champ

Bay Champs. That's French isn't it? Whatever. Dean and I sailed in the Bay Champs Regatta last weekend hosted by the Fleet 53 gang out of Treasure Island. Dang they have a lot of Vanguard 15s there. 14, included two of us from Fleet 76, hit the water for this one day regatta. This was the first time Dean and I had sailed together since the Fall Dinghy last year, and without any practice time before hand, we suffered two next to last place finishes to kick off the 8 race event. We managed to climb back into 9th place overall, one point out of 8th. Not bad, I guess. The highlight for us was a brief moment of greatness. A good start, decent tactics (no major mistakes) and some hard hiking got us to the weather mark in second place. After rounding, we surfed past the one boat in front and found ourselves leading the pack for the first time in about 20 something years. Cool! Unfortunately, a tactical error on my part, mistaking the start line buoy for the leeward mark and calling for a premature gybe, cost us several boats and we found ourselves once again in "the middle of the field." There's a French saying for that, you know.

Rockin' Friday Night

OK, just trying to get caught up on documenting each sailing event. Not much to say about Friday, April 12. The wind was so light (and the current strong) that none of the Fleet 76 boats even made it to the starting line. Dean and I did our best rendition of rockin' and rollin' the boat to generate headway. Fun exercise, I guess, but a lame replacement for actual sailing.

05 April 2008

Out and Back, Happy Fleet

Last night was the opening for the Vanguard 15 Fleet 76 Friday night series. A great bunch of sailors building a healthy fleet through camaraderie, knowledge sharing, and some feisty short course racing. I gave up my crew position for new guy Murray who discovered the Benicia V15 fleet via our "outreach" at the RYC Regatta last weekend in which he raced his Laser. Not wanting to miss out on a good evening sail, I rigged up my Megabyte and headed out to join the fray.

Turned out 20 knots gusting 25 with a 2.5 knot counter current was a bit much for me. I poked my bow out the harbor entrance, immediately jumped to a plane, and went screaming out across the Carquinez Strait. Wow, quite a ride! But alas given that the committee boat was doing double duty as crash boat, I choose to return for an early beer rather than disrupting the V15 races with the committee attending to my likely need for a rescue. Apparently a good decision as from the shore I watched two of the six double-handed Vanguards go inverted and need help.

Flat Stanley gives it a try:
From David Anderso...

04 April 2008

South Shore Flashbacks

Some of my fondest sailing memories are of warm Wednesday evenings racing small boats out of South Shore Yacht Club in Newport Beach. Must have been sometime around the mid 1980's. Dean and I would race his dad's Lido 14. I don't remember a lot of on-the-boat details other than it was great fun, always close competition with Paul Blank, and without fail, there would be a pack of Oreos on board to munch on. Once off the boat, Mrs. Fulton would be waiting with all the fixings to make for a great after sail BBQ. We'd just hang out talking about the sailing and eatin' burgers--all without a care for tomorrow. Once in a while we'd get the extra special treat of a tub of sister Cindy's molasses cookies!

What brings this all back nearly 25 years later? This past Sunday, Dean and I both entered our boats in the Richmond Yacht Club "Big Dinghy" pursuit race, he in his Vanguard 15 with son, Jake, as crew and I in my Megabyte. It was a great afternoon of sailing, and lo and behold, a whole clan of Fultons awaiting at the docks to welcome us back! I got the exact same loving hug from Mrs. Fulton as I did those many years before on the South Shore docks. And, Mr. Fulton was their ready for engaging discussion of wind, tides, boats, tactics, all that good stuff. But life does move on and this time the youngsters enjoying the after race snacks and listening in on the sailing chatter were Dean and Peggy's three kids. Won't be long before they're the ones out racing and we'll be at the dock warming up the BBQ.

I just wonder if Dean and Jake had any Oreos on board. They didn't share any with me.

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