2017 - 2018 race reports

Race report: Last race weekend! April 7 - 8, 2018

Race report by Scott Guerin

The final weekend delivered two days of windy, shifty, gusty conditions that challenged every sailor racing.

Saturday found 8 intrepid racers on the course in one fleet and the RC delivered 8 races including the rarely used, but nice and long, course six which is a no-jibe course with a long run to a leeward mark set downwind of the committee boat and a windward finish. A spray of bullets found many targets but delivered what must have been a satisfying win for Bahar (1,3,2,2,1,2,2,2) and because of his consistency, left Rob in second place by a point (2,1,1,4,2,1,1,4), with Jed and Nick getting another win each. Nick got the win in B Fleet with Tim then Will close behind him. Being short an operator, Guerin manned a crash boat and recommends it to everyone as there’s no better view of insane starting strategies, poorly executed tacks, proper weight placement, jittery body movement, over and understanding of lay-lines, and seeing how a puff hits the boats arrayed across the course. Kudos to everyone who kept upright despite shifty gusts to the high ‘teens. 

The final day of the season dawned cold, grey, and calm but ended cold, sunny, and near the edge. We saw blustery Spring conditions that, contrary to predictions, built from 10 - 12 up to 10 - 20kts with extended gusts well above 20 (where you just wanted to heave-to between races with your sails flapping) that provided near planing conditions: ride ‘em cowboys! Out of 12 racers, John Tremblay, Samantha, and Jeremiah (in third place and just 20 yards from the finish line) were “baptized” in the chilly harbor waters giving Melanie and Obi a real workout, while several others including Guerin, Rob, and Kara had very close calls! In A Fleet, Rob nailed it with a (1,1,1,4,1,) by keeping is boat flat and wits about him. Taking second place, Tracy was consistent (3,3,4,6,3) while yours truly – ahem, over early twice - had a (9,4,5,1,2). Kara was super consistent with a 2,2,2,2 but had a DNF after submarining in her last race which dropped her back. Leading the B Fleet pack was smooth-looking-operator-in-tough-conditions Will Scheck (4,6,3,5,5) with John Schneider (who was often in the mix), and Tim (with a solid 4th place in the last race) rounding out the podium.

All of us, feeling pretty beat up after racing and a long beat in, had to pull the boats off the dock and clean up. It’s hard work and a shout out to all those who came help.

So another season ends. And while many will race, and race together, this summer, those of us that don’t get onto the water in warm weather duds look forward to the 2018-19 season back at Beach Point!

Race report: March 31st & April 1st, 2018

Race report by Aaron Wheeler

Seventeen sailors made it out over two days of sailing during the penultimate weekend of the season, and the racing couldn't have been more exciting!

Saturday was a gorgeous day on the water with clear skies and a light breeze that made large sails a must. There was a lot of action between the 11 racers, from the short start to the down-and-twice-around course. At the head of the fleet, Kevin (3 bullets) and Kara (2 bullets) dueled for the season's overall point lead but were kept honest by Bahar and Eva (with a bullet!).

Sunday struck quite the contrast with gusty breezes that were right at the tip of what the large sails could handle. With only Dino sailing for A fleet, the 7 races on Sunday were mostly a test of B fleet's skills. Out of the seven sailors, Rob left no doubt that he was the top of the fleet by securing every single bullet available for the day! The excitement, however, was elsewhere on the course. Three capsizes, one snapped shroud, and a run away outhaul had the fleet limping at times, while the switching of the course to a no-jybe course kept all sailors on their toes while the wind kept us on the rails. 2nd through 4th position were separated by a mere 3 points, with Eric securing 2nd, followed by Jeremiah in 3rd and Aaron in 4th.

We're looking forward to a great turnout next weekend, the last of the season. See you on the water!

Race report: March 24th & 25th, 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

Jed Kwartler had a string of top three finishes, except for a 10th, going into race 6 Sunday, when his board snapped. Eva Burpee had a forestay adjuster give way, resigning her to the RC boat. And Rob SImonfy, known for his heavy air prowess, had an equally mysterious gear failure that kept him to the dock, never to be seen on the race course. The speed demon Kevin Sailor, after making it look effortless Saturday with a win, did not sail. The field cleared of competition led to a season ending win for your humble muse, in an 8 race series Sunday in a blustery no gybe easterly. Kara Licata had four bullets to take second and Scott Guerin building on his run of speed from Saturday took third. (OK so Kara and Scott are no slouches, but could not figure how to work that into the Agatha Christie theme.) There were some standout performances for the day, including Will Scheck who sailed consistently for the B win and 4th place overall, and bullets for John Schneider and Bahar Gidwani , who was so far out in front in Race 6 that he was rumored to be using the time to catch up on e-mails.

The action Saturday had less drama, but more shifts and velocity drops and shots, with just about everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out the breeze except Kevin Sailor, who could not manage less than first in 6 races. Bahar Gidwani may not have picked the lock with quite that level of sailing, but he showed the consistency to earn a second overall followed by Scott Guerin in 3rd. Both Bahar and Scott would seem to be well positioned for the Handicap Regatta, which wrapped up Sunday. The wind found its peak near the 18 knots mark, and the large sails called for some disciplined depowering in the puffs. The power loaded up quickly, both Saturday and Sunday, both big sail days, and heading to the aft quarter, inching up the board and keeping it flat and moving a definite trick to master. It was a stellar weekend of sailing, with a sunny, crisp bright northerly Saturday, and slightly less breeze and more-cloudy Sunday. Two weekends of great sailing left for the season, with one more day to go in March Madness!!!

Race report: March 18th, 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

The March days are dwindling, with just three more weekends to go and 6 potential days of sailing. The Handicap Regatta runs through both days next weekend and our Spring Series March Madness!!! wraps up the following weekend. Doing my best back of the envelope figuring, which is pretty hazardous under controlled conditions, the big B winner from Sunday, and (employing those dodgy math sills) no doubt jumping to the March Madness!!! leader pack, was John Schneider, with a 4-1-1-15. That bullet hat trick was no easy feat in that shifty, puffy northerly, in the 10-15 range, when a single bad start meant losing the advantage on the first shift, or blowing it on the last beat. (All mistakes recorded on my humble journey.)

In the hearty 10 boat B Division, John was followed by Nick Badal  2-3-3-5-4 in second and David Bessey 7-2-4-4-1 in third, both helping themselves on their MM!! and H regatta scores.  The story in A was a familiar one with the two Ks, that would be Kevin Sailor and Kara Licata, doing the 1-2, Kevin at 2-1-1-1-2 and Kara at 1-3-2-2-3. The third placer Bahar Gidwani, 5-2-6-3-1, could be overheard on the dock afterward attributing his success to more girth on the rail. This theory was easily dismissed by anyone who witnessed his flawless port tacker start in the last race, which reflected more guile than girth. 

The 5-race day, for those who missed it, was a crisp, clear blue sky that reminds us all why being out on the water is superior to just about any other way to enjoy a Sunday. We sailed smalls on no gybers, but it was sailing large. Thanks to the awesome Aaron Wheeler for the new logo and bumper stickers. Very cool man!

Race report: March 10th & 11th, 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

It was a weekend to remember why sailing in the current season offers some of the best sailing of the year.

A sparkle of a day today, with a fading Northerly and the late winter light hinting at the wind down toward Spring.

We were 17 boats in the 5-10 k wind range with shifty conditions, the more than occasional pressure drop and factor of 10 shifts. The sea state was flat given the northerly piping out of the harbor, but that did not decrease the demand for gear shifting and ferreting out puffs and direction. In the 10 boat B Division, Kara Licata posted 4 bullets to win the day, with a breathtaking tiebreaker for 2nd won by Rob Berridge 2-2-6-1-6-2 and 3rd for Scott Guerin, 3-1-3-3-5-4. In the 7-boat A Division,John Field won the day with 4 bullets and two thirds. Colley Wheeler, 3-1-4-5-2-3, was 8 points back in second, giving John a comfortable lead. A special thanks to Kevin Sailor for jumping into a crash boat and Will Scheck and Dino Ness on RC.  

Saturday is fading fast from memory, but it was hard to call it anything but a classic day on the water. We fired off 8 races with top wind conditions on the RC at 22 knots, and highs in the 18-22 range. From the vantage of the RC boat, keeping it flat and fired up meant the difference in speed. Tracy Kingsley managed both, hitting 3 bullets. Colley Wheeler was a close second with 4 bullets, but a pair of 4s and a 2-3, that dropped him out of top contention, A special shout out to the rest of the fleet for Saturday, in Dan Marques (3rd), Marc Berkowitz, Will Scheck, Nick Badal, Sam Lawrence and Aaron Wheeler

Race report: March 4th, 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

The wind was whistling through the rigging at race time Sunday. Indeed, putting up the mast was at time a two- handed task (well OK for those of less coordinated and prone to slight hyperbole). The shots funneling down the harbor were indeed a lot more than the Noreaster’s last gasp, some intense 20-plus gusts. Our wise RC Rob Simonfy, with Scott Guerin accompanying, headed out to the race area, to check out the velocity, which was a tamer 12-16 knots, and pushed us all off the dock. The harbor funnel turned out to be fiercer than the more manageable shifty Northerly in our regular race area, with the norm in the 12-16 range and the occasional gust pushing 20. Rob has campaigned for the appropriate use of the storm sail, and he proved the point Sunday, accomplishing 5 races on no gybe courses.

What was the key to sailing the breeze? The shifty Northerly did not make for an obvious comfort zone. The Dyer has a habit of stalling out quickly, and the technique of the quick depower (ease-hike-trim, as Bahar Gidwani reminded us in the after-sail debrief) was as important as hitting the shifts. Many of us stood up our rigs, to cut down on weather helm, and inched up our boards, for similar aims. That was a recommended strategy our day winner Kevin Sailor, 1-1-7-2-1. Interestingly, hitting the corners paid off, if you could make your way into the incoming gust, and the outgoing tide (which seem supercharged by the harbor funnel) made a hard left or right over stand virtually impossible. It felt like Siberia out there, but then the fetch appeared. It was a 14-boat fleet, sailing as one, with John Field, finding his groove for second at 3-5-4-1-6, Jed Kwartler, the top B boat and 3rd overall at 9-7-2-3-3. 

The lesson for the day, or one lesson, is we can sail these boats in breeze. The sea state was relatively calm, and the same velocity with chop, could have been too brutal. Not a single swimmer for the day, Thanks to all for a truly great start to March Madness!!! and our Spring Series. Sailing returns this Saturday. Watch the point standings here.

Race report: Feb. 25 2018 CANCELED :-(

Race report by Allan Freedman

We lost the battle against the elements today, with the feisty Easterly kicking up a 20 plus baseline, gusts higher and a raucous sea state. The rain was the least of it, as the breeze piped up right around race time rather than moderate per the forecast. The turnout was stellar, given the rain, and everyone rigged and ready to roll at race time. The wind shook its angry fist, though, leading to an initial and sensible postponement. While the breeze moderated slightly, we ate up the clock waiting for the die down, that never quite came.

We called racing shortly after 1:10, a wise call, the wind still funneling through the harbor and waves kicking up. The breeze did eventually behave and follow the moderating forecast, but too late and a bitter pull for sure. Thanks to Bahar Gidwani for stepping in as RC, and everyone who stuck it out to the end: Scott Guerin, Kara Licata, Marc Berkowitz, Tim Baron (whose boat went for a spin, without Tim in it, it was that windy!), David Besey, Aaron Wheeler, John Schneider, Will Scheck, Rob Berridge, Eva Burpee, Melissa Bontemps (on RC) and our crash boat team.

Race report: Founder's Regatta, Feb. 18 - 19, 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

We broke the streak of light air drifters and returned to form with classic frostbite conditions Sunday, Day 1 of the Founder’s Regatta, with shifty breeze from the West at 5-10 knots. Big shifts and velocity drops made for a challenging day of sailing with solid starts essential, staying in phase the difference in capturing a top round marking and keeping the boat powered up in the lulls a key to catching the next shift.  In the 11 boat A Division, Kara Licata, clocking three bullets, put it all together topping Kevin Sailor in second and Tracey Kingsley in 3rd. Sailing just his second race day, Rob Berridge posted 4 bullets to top B division with guest Paul Zinger close on his heels for second and David Bessey in third. 

Day Two of the Founder’s Regatta on Monday started out with the promise of more breeze, but an initial Southwesterly toyed with the fleet before dropping to zero. An incoming current made the combo of diminishing breeze and sailing upwind into the flood, and some nice chop to boot, a challenge in maintaining boat speed. Footers were rewarded, and keeping the power on in search of the remnants of the Southerly a key to what sailing could be had. The 8 boat A division endured three races, with the second race called for time, just managing to make it a legal day with two complete races. Kara Licata once again came out on top with a 2-1 breaking the tie with second place Kevin Sailor with a 1-2. Allan Freedman, your humble muse, eked out a 3-5 for the third.

Kara and Kevin are in the catbird seats for 1-2 for the regatta, which wraps up this coming Sunday, with remaining contenders for 3rd. The 4 boat B Division completed just one race, although a second race was called for time. Mark Berkowitz managed the bullet, followed by Tim Baron, Nick Badal and Samantha Lawrence. Many thanks to the RC of Steve Wade, Melissa Bontemps and Roy Israel for fighting to the end. The breeze may have taken a holiday, but it still beat a day in the office.

Race report: Norwalk Regatta, Feb. 10 2018

Race report by Scott Guerin

Ever the iconoclast and believer in the why not, we hauled Colley’s boat across a rip-rap border down to the beach. He polished his bottom a bit by dragging it into the water where he pushed off into the mirror-smooth harbor. 

The MFA team acquitted themselves well in a fleet of 21 and in three nail biter races. In the end, Colley and Jed were tied with 23 pts but Colley had a 2nd place finish so they were 5th and 6th respectively, Allan was 7th, Bahar was in 10th, Marc was 13th, I was 16th doing my best to lose boats on the last leg. 

The wind was extremely light and there were many moments when it was totally silent on the course. Then someone would try a tack and you could hear their sails rustle across the way. 

The tide was coming in so we were often in negative VMG. Beer was served on the committee boat for a between race refresher. 

It’s a great club up there, all of their ~40 boats glistened like polished, whitened teeth laid out on the dock. Their top dog, John Fallon, has a beautifully rigged boat using all 4mm black Spyderline rope except for his main sheet which was 6mm white something or other. 

The Uhaul 5 x 9’ trailer Allan and I rented worked perfectly for two boats plus a dolly, was cheap - $40  - and I will definitely do the regatta again next year!

Race report: Sunday, Jan. 28 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

Another great weekend of sailing, with champagne conditions Saturday for team racing and another ice skating rink of a day Sunday with occasional precipitation and tight racing. On Saturday, the temps hit just a nudge south of 30 degrees, and the wind cooperated at 8-12 knots from the West, with the occasional gust a bit higher. It was all sunshine though with the showing of muted winter light as the day wound down. Spectacular. With set up just off the breakwater, Colley Wheeler fired off four heats rotating between 3 teams of 3, including Jed, Sam, Allan, Nick, Rob, John, Eric, Tim and Aaron.  There was a definite learning curve with the teams making the transition from fleet racing thinking to team dynamics, but it was hard not end the day grinning. Kudos to Tim B, who had a refreshing dip and emerged from the water looking as if he had just won the lottery! 

Sunday saw a 14 boat fleet, no doubt some of our brethren deterred by a less than rosy forecast. Or we have a secret stash of New England and Eagles fans preparing for the big night. The promise of steady breeze was broken quickly, with a clocking Southwesterly that turned into what might have been call a vague northerly. Conditions were a testy 0-3 knots, but 4 races were fired off before the final fifth was called for no breeze. Kevin Sailor had a consistent day with 1-1-5-1 to take the day in A. Colley Wheeler continued his run of speed in light air to take second, followed by Tracy K in third. Nick B triumphed in B, with a 13-2-10-5. John S was a close second, with some nice breakouts followed by Mark B in third. Next week teams are headed up to Norwalk for the Larry Goodwin regatta, and then back to Sunday sailing. Let’s hope we don’t have to break out the ice skates again, or the fishing poles.

Race report: Sunday, Jan. 28 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

Another strong turnout today with coaching kicking off 10:30 in light drizzle, and zero to variable wind conditions. Nick Badal, Eric Lettelier, Sam Lawrence, John Schneider joining Colley Wheeler, Scott Guerin, Bahar Gidwani and, on the coach boat, John Field practiced roll tacks and light-air boat handling. By 12:30, the conditions looked grim for sailboat racing, with a lifting fog cover revealing glassy conditions across the sailing area. Sailing was cancelled shorty before 1 PM. Eric, John and Nick headed out for more practice, with the hope of a whisper of breeze, but could not find anything but dead calm and current.

This coming Saturday is team racing and regular sailing set for Sunday.

Race report: Sunday, Jan. 21 2018

Race report by Allan Freedman

The win Sunday may have to go to the Race Committee, and Eva Burpee and co, which managed to sneak in 3 competitive and challenging races in near glass-like conditions. After multiple cold-out cancellations in previous Sundays, today the fleet saw its best turnout of the season with 13 boast in B and a 10-boat A division. In A Division, Colley Wheeler put it all together with 1-2-3 finishes and Dan Marques showed similar consistency to take the B win with 2-2-1.

Temps topped 50 degrees at the end of race time, and the wind did not budge past the 4 knot range, with mostly glassy fluky conditions. There was zero, dead calm, at 1 PM.  Maintaining momentum and ferreting out the pressure proved the trick, and good driving through the occasional leeward mark parking lot did not hurt either. Despite the super light day, the fleet was all smiles after suffering through the January cold temps.