Beautiful evening for sailing

Evening Sail

Tracy sailing her 2.4 Meter, (Photo by Bill Blevins)

Tuesday night after work, Tracy and I headed down for an evening on the water.

I plopped in the fishing boat while Tracy got her 2.4 Meter rigged.

We met at the lift and got her pointed towards the middle of Canandaigua Lake at about 6 p.m.

The winds were light and other than me, there weren’t many other powerboats out creating chop. We chased each other around for about two hours.

The wind dropped off as she approached the docks and she got to try out the “Praddle” for the last 200 yards. We met again at the dock and put the boats away.

It was a great evening for sailing and putting around in the powerboat.

There were 10 or so cruisers out reaching up and down the lake. You could see each crew straining as we (or they) passed by to get a look at the little sailboat being chased by a bright red powerboat.

The sun was setting as we packed up and headed out.

As we were leaving, vehicles pulling trailers full of Force 5 sailboats were pulling in to the camping area to prepare for the Force 5 US National Championships being held at Canandaigua Yacht Club later this week.

The restaurant and bar are apparently closed on Tuesday nights so we picked up carry-out pizza on the way home and pulled into the driveway at 9:30.

Perfect.

Tonight is the “GO Fleet” race series. “GO” stands for “Geneoa Only” (whisker poles aren’t even allowed) and I’ll be out there with the cruisers tooling around a triangle course a couple of times.

Tomorrow night we are meeting friends after work and taking out several of the club’s Sunfish sailboats and participating in the Thursday night Sunfish races. That should be a trip! I haven’t been on a Sunfish since I was in eighth grade sailing on Brandermill Lake in Chesterfield, VA.

Stay tuned, that should be a real story!

Mark LeBlanc Wins 2008 2.4 Meter USA Nationals

2.4 Meter Champion LeBlanc Heading for a swim

2008 2.4m USA Nationals champion Mark LeBlanc headed for a swim, (Photo by Bill Blevins)

Mark LeBlanc (USA #137) edged out John Ruf (USA #88) to take the 2008 USA 2.4mR Open National Championship. Both sailors ended up with 21 points after 11 races. I wasn’t around when it was explained how the tiebreaker was decided but Mark took home the Overall regatta trophy, the US National Championship trophy and the US Disabled National Championship Trophy. (Mark was also thrown off the dock for a short swim by two of the coaches after the races on Friday.)

I ended up in 12 out of the 17 competitors. I had a horrible day on Friday because I couldn’t use my backstay so my main was as flat as a pancake and I couldn’t get moving upwind. I have some boat modifications on my list of to-do’s this week!

The regatta was a great time and everyone here was wonderfully helpful and friendly. Tracy has recovered from whatever bug she had during the week. We are heading over to the Noroton Yacht Club now to pick up the trailer and get the boats home.

Photos are posted on Flickr and you can get them by clicking here. They are probably at a quality level for reprinting small images using Flickr’s order form but if you want the high quality pics, just email me and I can send.

Again, a great week of sailing. Thanks Roger & Brit and everyone else involved! See you in Toronto next month!

US 2.4 Meter Nationals Day 2 & 3

2.4 Meter Nationals, Sailing to the course

We are getting ready to head out into Long Island Sound for the final day of racing at the US 2.4 Meter Nationals at the Noroton Yacht Club in Darien, CT.

Tracy is going out on one of the coach boats (there are several Olympians here training for China and their coaches ride on the outside of the course analyzing every tactic for discussion with the sailor between races). She’s taking a camera with a long lens, so tonight I’ll post photos. Yesterday was very busy and I totally forgot I packed my little camera and my video camera!

I’m in 12th place now after 7 races, moving up one spot. I got the boat moving nicely in the final race of the day when the winds picked up and held steady for the whole race. I am not moving so fast in the light air compared to everyone else. I’m still working on that one. My goal yesterday was “good starts” and I hit 3 out of the 4 starts in good shape. I’m still going to work on starts today but I think sticking to the side of the course with the leaders may be my “Plan B” today.

The top results shifted since the first day with Mark LeBlanc in first with 18 points, John Ruf in second with 22, Bruce Millar has 23, Paul Tingley has 25 and he is tied with Jerry Wendt and in sixth is Peter Wilson with 26 points.

2.4mR 2008 Nationals, Day 1

2.4 Meter US Nationals 2008 Day 1

Day #1 of the 2008 US 2.4 Meter National Championships is in the books! WHAT FUN!!

Winds were light and shifty. I mean, very shifty! One race took us upwind towards the yacht club and for the next race we headed up Long Island Sound towards New York City. The race committee did a great job.

Our first race was canceled due to a severe wind shift – so severe that I was in the back of the pack one minute and next to the mark in front of almost all of the boats the next! The race committee did the right thing and canceled that attempt and called it a “practice start”.

I finished 6th in the “real” first race. Straightforward race and I sailed pretty well. I caught a nice lift heading upwind near the left middle of the course on the second windward leg and sailed in front of a number of boats.

Races 2 and 3 weren’t so good for me.

I chose to avoid a port-tack boat at the start and I didn’t protest, instead, tacked away and jibed all the way around then got off the line several boat lengths behind the whole fleet in bad air. I did catch up for a bit, making the second boat to round the second windward mark, but my tactics fell apart on the final downwind leg and I finished in 15th.

Race 3, I tried to squeeze in on the RC end of the line and got taken up and over the line early and had to re-round the boat end. I never recovered from that one and ended up 16th.

Overall, I’m in 13th place after 3 races.

Tomorrow, I’ll work on my starts!

I’ve met lots of really nice and helpful people. Having a great time. Tracy is here, sick, but doing better.

More to report tomorrow and many more photos that I’ll post after I get home.

The low point leaders after the first day are John Ruf (7 points), Jerry Wendt (15), Burce Millar (15) and Peter Wilson (15) and Mark LeBlanc (16).