When the cold arctic fronts come from the north, we get huge blasts of northerly winds, and 60 degree weather. On Wednesday, January 7, 2015, we wanted to ring in the New Year, and had a full fleet of seven E-Scows with four in a boat for five races in winds from about 12 to 14 knots. The seas were pretty heavy so we moved the course behind the sand bar to keep the waves reasonable, and it helped that the wind backed to the west.
We laid out a triangle course with the weather mark off the “goal posts” and start near the base of the bridge for as long a weather leg as possible. We experimented with a new rabbit start in which we set out a second buoy upwind of the starting buoy with the rabbit tacking at the second mark, and all boats required to start between the two buoys and behind the rabbit. This meant that boats could not start real late, way up the weather leg. We forgot to discuss where to finish which caused some confusion.
At our well-attended beer and nuts (either meaning acceptable) get-together, we agreed to: (1) continue with the second buoy with sufficient distance for the fleet to start; (2) the rabbit is free to tack at the second buoy or continue on port; and (3) the finish is the start buoy, not between the buoys or at the second upwind one. We will see how this works – it is a variation on how 505s run their starts at major regattas.
As we say, we do not keep score. But, we know that the fastest boat was Bill Nolan in ARME with Chris Herdrich and Mark Vestrich as crew. Bill Kimbell racing KU18 won a race as a first time skipper with Jeff Nicholas, Don Fancher and Richard Elsishans trading off the helm. As usual, Jim Barr did well in the first race, and had to retire with a split jib and then rejoined the fleet with his crew of Dick Sherman, Bill Pretyka and Cowley Jackson. Synergy was out with John Gallick, Randy and Lynn Scott and Phil May. Doug Dearden skippered Rev It Up with Thomas Fufina, Jean Pierre Gorque and Dave Pederson. Valdek Kwasniewski (don’t you love those unpronounceable Polish names) skippered #18 with Pete Weir, John Tarrant and we are not sure of third person’s name. Ted Weihe raced E-Go with Bob Blomquist, Jerry Wheeler and Dave Leising as crew.
Last Wednesday December 31, it was overcast, light rain and some full blasts of easterly winds. As fair weather Florida sailors, most of those who showed up decided not to go out – also we would be racing at the Hang Over regatta the next day. Two E-Scows did race – Ted Weihe skippering E-Go with Doug Dearden and Dave Peterson and Don Fancher in KU 18 with a friend from Trinidad, and Vanessa Hamalian. We raced between several pilings that nearly lined up right with the easterly shifty winds from up to 16 knots with wild screaming reaches. We told ourselves what a wonderful time we were having and what the other E-Scow sailors were missing. In one race, we were neck and neck, and Doug Dearden yelled at Don Fancher that he was dragging a line. Don fell for it, and E-Go got ahead. Just like fake falls in soccer, E-Scow racers try to fake out their competitors from time to time without any red cards, just red faces.