Mr Bill's Race Report- August 16 2009

Sunday morning brought big breezes and tough conditions to the boats not carrying a 3rd crew.
Thanks to Pete Schulze and company for serving as race committee, I think that was Pete's Dad with him.  I'm sure it wasn't easy setting courses and keeping the committee boat on station.

Race 1:  Winds from the south allowed for the longest course we've had this season.  Each leg seemed like 5 miles, but in reality was more like 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 miles.
All boats started on or a little late, with most carrying down the east shore on starboard tack, and 2 or 3 going to the west shore.  Those going west seemed to make out as those were the lead boats at the first windward mark.  the Schroeder's 14, and Jim Barr 8 seemed to having quite a duel up front, which carried on throughout the first race.  Watkins 20 and Bill and Ron 2 ( SL86 )  (geez, I gotta get those guys to get the right numbers on their sails) were the next boats around the first mark.  One boat capsized at the mark,  I'm not sure who.  I think it was either 6 Palys or Wayne & Mike 4.  Terry Ridenour rendered assistance to right the boat.  The breeze diminished throughout the course of the race, although the boats with heavier crew faired best.  Ron & Bill 2(SL86) just kept moving further back (I'm never using an incorrect sail number again, it's bad luck)At the finish it was Schroder's 14 just getting by Barr 8 for the win, with Watkins 20, Stygar 5, and Ron & bill 2 (SL86) rounding out the front of the fleet.
Race 2:  Wind came back on in a big way.  Schroeder's dropped off their 3rd crew, and most likely were wishing they had him back.  Both Gallo boats 1 & 24 withdrew before the start.  They must have known what was coming.  Wind stayed heavy through out the race and the race committee mercifully shortened the course.  Dennis Plays suffered the double indignity of not only capsizing, but later was dismasted.  He told me the mast broke running downwind.  He was not using backstays at the time, a good lesson for all.  I can only say we used backstays more in this race than we had all season.  At the finish it was Schroeder's 14, with Jim Barr 8 hot on their trail.  Ron & Bill 2 (SAL) ( those darn guys with the wrong sail #) and Watkins 20.
We were blessed that no one was hurt and little boat damage, Dennis Palys 6 not withstanding.  I'm sure if Dennis asks around, he'll find someone with a spare.
If you think we had it tough, yesterday was the final day of the Verve Cup Regatta off Chicago.  Those guys blew out a lot of sails and one man overboard when a couple squalls passed through.  I spoke with a former mate on a J125 (41 footer) who said they were going downwind with a reefed main and a #3 jib doing about 15 knots boat speed.  I've been on that boat doing 15 + and it is scary fast, a lot like some of the reaches we had yesterday.