What a day. Sunny, mid 40s, with shifty winds from the NW in the 3 knots to get-up-on-the-rail range
that drove a staggering 30 boats split 14/16 between A & B Fleets respectively. Kudos to Mighty Miss
Bontemps, Steve Wade, and WIll Sheck who ran the committee boat and wrangled the cats. A big
shout out to our crash boat pros and volunteers, endless gratitude to Tim Barron, and boat owners, if
you are not racing, think about lending your craft to others in need as several did this Sunday.
So many boats on the line meant the competition was fierce in both fleets, so let’s go to the imaginary
videotape and see what happened. (Deep Boomer Cut).
In B Fleet’s 5 races, there was a big group of new or newish members on the line and I hope they feel the
“old timers” are making them welcome with help on the docks, rigging, racing tips, and general
merriment as they settle in. It’s such a simple looking little boat but there is a lot going on with all those
lines and settings. If Charter boats are not available, there may be non-racing members’ boats available
for use so don’t hesitate to reach out. Just ask.
I’m going to ignore Fleet Captain John Field who raced in B for an ego boost and go to Zack Winniger
who was just 4 points behind with a 2,3,2,2,3 combo. What consistency, and Zack will go up to A Fleet
for his spanking. In second place was Keith Bell in his legendary plaid Jameson’s boat with a nice
4,5,4,3,5. His smooth starts and consistent sailing put him in the lead at one point, but for that darn last
leg! The story from Anna Dyer was that she spent weeks finding a close-enough to Jameson’s tartan that
she could embed in the gel coat so it could sit on one of the family’s yacht’s. And then there is Mike
D’Agostino who finally put a bullet in his shopping cart and overcame his Chicago Cubs Billy Goat curse
with a win that helped him get past his 3,10,8,5,1 series on his way to third base. Hmmm, excuse the
metaphor but way to hang in there and congratulations Mike.
Many of A Fleet’s finest were on the course for 6-races with the addition of a guest, Paul Clifford, who
worked the boat like his bassinet was a Dyer Dhow. Paul took third place behind Kevin Sailor who won
by a tie breaker at 17 points, 2 wins to 1. The other Paul, Paul Beaudin, was frighteningly perfect in a
day when any error was costly. His 1,1,3,3,1,8 demonstrated his mastery of the wind, the current,the
boat, his kinetics, and, most importantly, his mind. (Disclaimer: he sells us our sails!).
Kevin told me afterward that he was trimmed in with a flat sail reasoning that the flat water didn’t require
power to overcome but helped his upwind angle even though it was a disadvantage at the start when
power was needed to get going. Watch Kevin, he is one with his boat.
The starts were almost the whole race in A. With a pin end that was favored in almost every race, I saw
John Schneider port-tack the fleet which took guts given all the sharks at his heels. But I usually saw
Paul, Gregg Takata, and Kevin, squirt out through impossibly tight gaps, get clear air, and head to
the mark from the left and middle sides of the leg.
The reaches were uneventful but the last leg shuffled the middle of the fleet. If you follow the rule of
thumb to sail the long tack first, the shifting winds caused some to go left at the leeward mark while
others hoped the phase would shift and stayed on port tack, then, taking the knock, be lifted to the pin.
There was an interesting protest at a windward mark rounding between Piotr Broszkowski and John
Schneider which resulted in a DSQ for John but there may be an appeal so standby. If you protest
someone, be sure you state the rule you are protesting under. And if you witness an incident, you will be
asked to state just the facts of what you saw.
This week’s Mark Spitz Medal honorees include Jacques Cousteau Society founding member Bill
Zobrist, along with Samantha, Dino, and Jurgen.
Lastly, while this reporter, having had to skip a season, came back ready to be a contender, his mind
and body would not cooperate. He had lost his kinetic touch, he was out of phase, was slow at the
starts, he fidgeted about, and he committed penalty-bound and tactical errors. Sound familiar? These
are abilities learned through literally years of racing in Dyers (and,of course, in other boats too). But fear
not those starting out; there are MFA racers with 30+ seasons on the water with you. We still love the
challenge, want to help you learn, and we remember fondly our early seasons, as you will.