Home 2009 Midwinter Blog
Final Report for 2008 MWE Regattas
Written by Ken
Monday, 23 February 2009 09:02
Well we are on I-75 entering Ohio. It is Monday morning at 8:30 am. Lori is driving and I am reflecting back on the prior week of sailing and vacation. All in all it was a really nice vacation. I wish I had better results in the second regatta but you just can't have everything in life.

Recap of the days I did not write...
Friday was windy out of the North and cold...about 55 degrees!! I thought I had dressed warm enough but I got chilled on the way out and never warmed up all day. We sailed 3 races that were over an hour long. The waves were big and were coming from the wind direction and a leftover swell about 20 degrees different. It made the runs pretty exciting. Since I was cold I was fairly conservative so I didn't dump. My speed was so-so up and down. I needed to hike harder and work harder...plain and simple. We didn't get back to the dock until 5:30 pm. There was a lot of waiting between races. I didn't warm up until well after my shower.

Saturday started out nice but by the time we started it lightend up. I got a lucky shift on the left and ended up 3rd at the first mark but got swallowed up as the race went on. The next race was a bad start and ended up mid fleet again. Both got shortened. We got back around 5pm. As we finished our race the Silver fleet had just started! Then after them the full rigs!! Very late day for them.

Sunday was to start an hour earlier. I had a hard time getting motivated to do it as the forecast was for very light air. I went for it and as most people were getting tows I look at the time and the wind and felt ok. It was a one tack beat out in 12kts...nice day! I was getting pretty psyched up to race. I heard the postponement and then about 5min later a sequence started. Then a start went off. I was about 5 min from the line. As I got closer I saw the fleet that started were radials...it was the gold fleet! Instead of being the 3rd start like any other day they went first. I turned around and had a nice broad reach in and leisurly sail thru the pass with the tide. I was first to the hose!

Next year instead of this regatta I will do the Masters week. I just can't get prepared enough physically and mentally in February for a marathon event like this. Having made this conclusion I feel as though I have lost a small battle with age. I need to fight back and get prepared for the Masters Worlds this year!

That's it for this adventure. There is snow on the ground and no sailing in site for me for a couple months. And then it will be with a drysuit! I think I need to figure out how to Winter in Florida....

Written by Ken
Friday, 20 February 2009 20:52
Just now realized I forgot to sign in after sailing. Instant penalty. I'm PISSED at myself!!! Haven't even looked at results. No more report.

Day 1 - very long day...
Written by Ken
Friday, 20 February 2009 09:13
We started out meeting our new friend, Gene, at 7:15 am at the auto service shop. We transferred the boat and all the stuff to his Volvo station wagon. In a short while I was at the club with boat and completed registration.

The wind was forecasted for SSW at 15-20 kts shifting to NW at 10-15. When I got to the starting area the wind was 190 and the strength was close to the forecast. Waves were 3-4ft.

The RC went into postponement at 11am. I thought I was lucky by being in the yellow fleet split. I thought yellow (gold) would go first all the time. Well...not so lucky (think I blew all my luck at Sarasota...). Start sequence was Full, 4.7, Blue Radial, Yellow Radial. After the various fleets had their general recalls we finally got started about noon. I had a so-so start and round the top mark about 15th. We were the inside loop and as we went downwind it started to rain pretty hard. The wind shifted toward the west less than 10 degrees. As we got to the leeward gate they cancelled our race! I think they anticipated either a squall or loss of visibility and wanted to "circle the wagons".

More waiting. Lunch. Waiting. Wind shifts right. Waiting. Wind dies. Now it is at 290 degrees about 10 kts with the leftover south swell.

When our start finally went off they set a line you could hardly cross on stbd and was too short. I struggled thru and passed some boats to end up 33rd.

Then we waited and waited and watched other starts. Wind didn't change much. The next race had a more square line and a little longer. I had a good start and mingled in the top 15 for most of the race. I took a few chances and got around some boats to end up 11th.

The a long ride in. Most here have coach boats and get towed. Then the rest of us beg borrow and steal. I got a late tow. Hit the beach about 5:30 pm.

On the bright side Lori was there WITH THE VAN! 800 bucks later and a new fuel pump it lived. The mechanic said the pump I put in last year was junk and they used an OEM pump. Pump alone was over 500 buck so they did the job pretty cheap. If you ever need a mechanic in Clearwater go to GW Automotive on Court. Trustworthy guys!

The Journey North...
Written by Ken
Wednesday, 18 February 2009 21:50
Well, today we thought we were going to have a lazy journey from Sarasota to Clearwater Beach. The van thought differently. We had jus got into Clearwater when it started losing power and stalled. It felt like a fuel system problem. I rode my bike to a parts store and got a fuel filter...easy enough to change. After the change it started right up. But after 10 min of driving it acted up again and stall in the middle of a busy intersection. Many unhappy people passed us... Eventually it started and we got it to a repair place.

So now it is the night before the regatta (9:30am skippers meeting). We got a rental car (last one in Clearwater). The boat is still on the van. Dilemma. We found a guy who will meet us at the boat at 7:30 am to load the boat and gear on his Volvo station wagon. So there is hope I can start the regatta on time...stressed...but on time.

It is supposed to blow and be cold the next four days. But hey...I'm sailing!!

Tailor made conditions...
Written by Ken
Sunday, 15 February 2009 22:03
What can I say? After a postponement they sent us out about 11 am and we got 2 races in. On the way. Out and the presail we had about 9 to 10 kts out of the South. By the time the race started the wind backed down to about 8 and then a bit less by the finish. I had a great start (for a change) and really good upwind speed (good to be light). I rounded the top mark first and got passed by Brett (regatta overall winner) and a GrandMaster (gives me hope for growing old). The next upwind I let Bret cross and went a bit more left. It had always been good to be left late and it paid again. I led by about 4 boat lengths. Then the wind came up jus enough to where I didn't feel "sticky" so for once I did NOT get passed downwind. I held of Bret for the win. Man...that felt good!

The next race started out about 6 - 7 kts. Again I got another good start. This race got a little dicey an the second beat as the wind went right...then went real light...then came back some left.

Bret ended up 1st and handily won the regatta. I was thrilled to have won a race and beat him a couple times. So I won the Masters division and ended up second overall. Way above any goal I set but the conditions were tailor made for a guy like me. Now on to the Midwinters East in Clearwater Beach. We'll see if any of this performance can carry through. I am not setting my sites too high.

Now it is time for a few days of R&R.

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