Race reports 2019

November 10, 2019

Race report by Scott Guerin

A nice day on the water was had with 18 hearty souls racing in one big fleet being swept out of the Harbor by a strong ebb tide.

The 5 to 10kts of fickle breeze from the SSW had the effect of wafting the smell of Beach Point’s canapes across the course, as well as creating big pileups at the windward mark. Because of the unlucky Lucky, out with a bad fuel pump I was told, the RC of Paul “99 ways to win a race” Beaudin and Dave “Bananas” Bessey entertained the seagulls with a round of stadium racing. The channel and the wind were not terribly well aligned geometrically but 4 races were recorded, each packed with thrills and some spills.

Gung ho newcomers included Jonathan (who had a 5th in one race), Pete, Dan, and Ed as well as many sou vide returnees: Jed (protest 666), Rebecca (protest 666), Lexi, Tracy Williams, Shig, The Berk, and Roy Israel plus many other of the usual suspects Bahar, Juan, Tim, Carla, Tom Speyer, Keith “Have another shot” Bell, and Alex Vogt.

The races were characterized by winning the start and heading up the starboard rhumb line to see if you could put it in the bank well enough to lay the windward mark. Easy to say, but as usual, hard to do. The big fleet separated quickly between the front and back packs but surprises often came in from the left side where the breeze may have been less blocked by the shoreline. Depending on how well a racer judged the lay-line, big gains were made or lost. Some excitement occurred in what would have been the 4th race as the leeward mark was set on a rock shoal that hung up many racers; that race was abandoned and everyone updated their metal harbor chart.

The problem this reporter faces in writing this doggerel is that I can mostly only report in any detail what happened from my narrowish perspective. For example, “Putting it in the bank” is a pretty apt anti-metaphor for my racing as I squandered literal fortunes of advantage on 720 degrees of tactical blunder. The Berk and I were in a leading position (ok, probably behind Alex but close) on starboard near the windward mark in little breeze and a current that had our hulls and that mark on a blind date. I was inside and knew I was not going to make it to third base much less first. Jed and others were on the starboard layline and I said to Mark, “we’re fucked” and he said, “no, you’re fucked” as he sculled hard and rounded clean. Righto. I bailed on the attempt, jibed, and then tagged Jed when I tacked too close leading to my first of two round the world trips. The second is too embarrassing to mention…

It was really great to race as one fleet, we should do it more. The B Fleet podium included Shig in third, then Tim Baron who heads to A fleet along with Marc Berkowitz with his (5, 4, 9, 7) fleet finish.

In A Fleet, Bahar had a bullet, but had bad luck in a couple races; Guerin had great starts and a new sail but was inept around the course; while it was Alex Taylor, in her first day of the season with a (1, 5, 1, 1) who gave us a master’s class in mistake-free racing and out maneuvered everyone with speed, smarts, and skill. Carla Murphy had a great day as did Rebecca Macie, and with Alex, finished 3, 2 , 1 in the third race.

I would be remiss not mentioning the stellar post-race goulash Alex V shared with hungry racers, a beef and mushroom version full of umami satisfaction and warmth.

See you in a couple weeks!

November 9, 2019

Race report by Bill Zobrist

Unbelievably, the docks at Beach Point weren't overrun with throngs of eager sailors who had eyed the forecast for sunny skies, temps in the high 30's and a nice steady southerly .... well, tomorrow, you may hear some folks say, "You should have been here yesterday..."

Without any data from the RC, this reporter can only speak generally to the size of the fleet and the number of races - but, hey, that's what you get when you pressed into service by El Presidente Field at a last minute.

The day began with RC getting in the loud speaker .... "Ahem.... attention...this is my first time being RC, so, be kind and be patient..." It's about that time that Dino had that quizzical look on his face that you know means he wants to say something but actually held back. Well, Mr. New RC guy heads out well ahead of the fleet and appears to be anchored nearly at American Yacht Club. As the fleet approaches, we spy someone hanging off the stern futzing with a buoy. Buoy? Stern?...that can't be good.... it appears quite a wrestling match is occurring on the stern with a fouled prop... eventually, Lucky is released from bondage and they motor well away from death's grip.

Somewhere 10 boats made it to the line for single fleet racing. That was an awesome idea since we got about 5-6 races in.... no swimmers, no breakdowns.... I'm relatively certain the indomitable Kara Licata took multiple bullets...maybe the whole lot except one which I know Tom Speyer grabbed the bullet on the final race. The newbie Charters all seemed to do well ....but it's hard to see from the back of the pack quite honestly.

The fleet headed in around 3:30 happy with our fill of racing .... "Uh, where's Lucky?....uh-oh." SHe was not so Lucky today ... SeaTow brought her home.

November 3, 2019

Race report by Scott Guerin

Mamaroneck Frostbite Association's 62nd season got underway with 22 racers on the water:12 in B leaving 10 in A to duke it out. The docks were jammed with hulls as newcomers (more on those later) learned to rig their boats with help from all the "old timers."

Peter WInder, what a champ, was on crutches as he got his boat rigged, however, I measured them, they met class rules, (no carbon fiber anything) so we let him go out. Of course the talk on the dock was centered on "ja do anything to your boat this summer?" Keith Bell's plaid Jameson boat drew a lot of attention: I guess the windows in the hull will let him see the crash boat approach from any direction should he need rescue. Bill Zobrist had a new British racing green hull to go with his boat's name: the unpronounceable Korean word for "Peanut" (his daughter designed the tag). The name is so decoratively large on the stern we thought he was pulling our legume.

Shout out's required to many including veteran Sandy Waters heading the RC (he told us he was 22 years old when he joined MFA in 1957) ably assisted by Melissa Bontemps ("Scott I can't see the pin and that means you're over"), and I saw Dino Ness and Robert Leviton on Lucky as well. Creepy foreshadowing voice: "...and the boat was about to get a lot more crowded as the afternoon wore on..."

Moving right along, the day was a blue sky wonder that left few thinking they should be home or on the street watching the Marathon. The call was for large sails which seemed sensible given the 8 to 12kt westerly at the time, and the fleet got off the docks without mishaps. Newcomer roll call: Peter Broszkowski, Zach Wininger (nice last name dude), and Harriet Taylor stepped up to the plate and into boats which they had never raced in before. We have a bumper crop of new fodder (I mean talent) thanks to Carla and others who have proselytized successfully. Welcome to all.

In A Fleet's first race, a triangle as they were for both fleets all day, Guerin led from wire to wire with a "perfect" start (where is everyone?) that took him left into a big knock. He tacked onto the corresponding lift that took him straight to the windward mark. The second race was a much closer lead-changing duel between Takata, Licatta, and Scottata, with Kara taking Guerin up and nearly past the leeward mark, letting Greg get away. The three boats, still just a boat length or two apart, headed up toward the favored pin end but Kara and Greg tacked back to the center of the course while Guerin stayed right and caught them both at the finish line in a thrilla from Mamanilla. The wind built in that second race to a solid 15 with gusts and by the third race, Chicken Gybes were under consideration. Takata took that race with Juan Rodriguez in second and Kara Licatta in third. At day's end, the podium held Eva Burpee (2,4,5) then Kara (3,2,4) and lastly, every dog has his day Guerin (1,1,6).

A big B Fleet saw two races and a lot of underwater action from 4 or 5 boats who have asked for anonymity. It was exciting to see so many Dyers on the water and to our new racers, do not be discouraged, today was a wickedly tricky day with steady but very shifty and puffy wind coming from the shoreline. Hang in there as it gets easier! Podium finishes were closely held by just three sailors over two races: in third, losing a tiebreaker was Laser racer and newcomer Peter B (2,3) to Will Scheck (3,2) and leading the pack and heading to his A Fleet spanking with Will is Tom Speyer (1,1 and done).