Race reports 2021 - 2022

November 21, 2021

Race report by Allan Freedman

Remarkably, we seldom get two days the same, and even stranger to have two back to back Sunday race days kind of the same. Sunday was same, same but (sure) different. The direction was Southwest, and the breeze in race one teased the build. Deceptively light and balmy on the dock, the velocity locked in and then did a bit of a climb up the ladder. That called for a no-jibe course, with sea state and wind looking to conspire for one more Sunday of breezy and lumpy. The breeze did moderate to a comfortable (let’s say not more than 12) and never backed or do the build. After the no-jibe opener, the result was a day of course 1s and not much in the way of too-out-of-control jibes or unstable downwinders.  

The called for tactics were of the counter-intuitive variety. Start left and go right. Or start not too far left and head right, but like not too far right. There were races where a pin capture and a spurt to the left paid. But that was the exception. Instead, a center-left play on the long tack to the mark seemed a more favorable lane than hanging it all out there on the lefty corner.  That certainly worked well for the top A boats. Getting through the chop was all about keeping the power in. As Kevin Sailor noted in the debrief, he avoided sticking it in favor of letting things run and slice through the chop. This was a day when boat speed was at a premium, and the pinch was sure to kill the buzz and forward momentum.

As for the scores, Eva Burpee took an easy first in the 16-boat B division over 5 races, with straight bullets, followed by Zach Wininger and Gerard Sava. In the 11 boat A division, Greg Takata repeated again with 4 bullets over 8 races. (All scores preliminary) Thanks to RC Tor Soderquist, with a great assist from Paul Beaudin.

November 14, 2021

Race report by Allan Freedman

Sailing in chop is one of the more challenging aspects. You can hit the bumps and power through, or hit the bumps and slow. The key is the right balance between throwing in the power and poking it up a bit for height, and not getting all jittery when the boat speed plummets. With a backing breeze originating from the Southwest, starting at a comfortable 5 and building to a final no-gybe course at 15, getting through that southerly-induced sea state meant keeping the power in even when it could not necessarily be had. In the lighter stuff, pinch mode was possible but only during the respites, and when the breeze was on the trick was (and is always) sliding the boat into gear without inducing the death-spiral weather helm  

What made the day additionally challenging were the oscillations and then the later day back to the left. There were a handful of oscillations on leg 1 that made the corner plays far less attractive than playing the shifts. From my vantage, it was a true boat speed day, starting out lumpy and light and building to some nice surfing in the final downwind of the last A race. But playing those shifts could mean some nice pickups.  In B Division, Piotr Broszkowski had two bullets to narrowly edge out Carla Murphy by a point, with Will Scheck in third. With a 20 boat division, the top four boats move up with Tom Speyer looking at third after a tie break with Tor Soderquist. In the 8 boat B Division, Greg Takata took another first, narrowly edging Kevin Sailor, also in a tie break.

A big thanks to Suzanne Hulme on race committee, and Marc Berkowitz and Rick Kaskel on crashboats. There were a few swimmers, so they had some work to do. We have more coaching on tap for Saturday, and racing on Sunday. A very special request (particularly to A sailors) to sign up for Race Committee

November 7, 2021

Race report by Allan Freedman

If you watched the Sunday action in 2D, chances are you know the story, conditions so placid you could spot your reflection on the water top and the occasional whiff and ripple. Those squinty sails, the distant Lucky, and that question of are they drifting or sailing. You would have been right to think  both, as it was a mirror and ripple kind of day that rewarded the ballerinas and were not so kind to the less nimble. Not strictly speaking of course. But why let a metaphor go to waste.

The Dyer does not need much to propel it forward, wind wise, but there are plenty of forces to propel it to stop dead in its tracks. On a tricky day like Sunday, those include both user error and natural forces.  The puffs appeared like ghosts, seen and then unseen, haunting one side of the course then the other. The vague easterly, a little nudge to the south, a little more nudge to the north, generally favored the left side, except when it filled from the right less occasionally but enough to make a difference. Comedy or tragedy. Take your pick, supposing which side or location you happened to occupy.

Back to the metaphor, the trick was to keep calm and carry on, unless of course you are Greg Takata, who won A division by executing roll tacks like pirouettes that allowed him to land lanes quickly off the start, and prance from puff to puff. There is a tendency when it is that light, to move around a bit, maybe flopping a jibe when folks are passing you by, getting antsy a bit too much. Takata got caught in Race 1, last leg, too far right, when the left filled, but held off the lefty types by tacking his way back left, accelerating through each roll. No panic, just roll and speed. Well, maybe a little panic.

There were some usual and sundry patterns to the day as well, like hitting the favored pin in Race 3, as Kevin Sailor did and then keeping it left to ride what passed for prevailing breeze into the mark. You could tell that Bahar Gidwani, who had a bullet and a second overall, was both hitting the puffs and also keeping things moving along in some pretty challenging speed situations.

The 13 boat B division, which managed 2 races to A’s 3 and 8 boats, had some up and down finishes, with the exception of one Bill Zobrist who with two seconds won the day, followed by Carey James, and Marc Berkowitz.

It was all in all a pretty amazing start to the season. Saturday had many of us assembled for a doubleheader of coaching and tryouts, with a number of amazing new faces. On Sunday, we had a genuine party after, outside, and a debrief. Melissa Bontemps reprised on RC, accompanied by Tim Baron. They both deserved kudos for getting a race day in at all. And for those watching on the webcam, you may have seen the action, but we missed you participating in all the fun.