Ware River Governor’s Cup 2023
Ware River Yacht Club welcomed us with their wonderful hospitality for the 59 th Virginia Governor’s Cup Regatta the first weekend in August. With several of our ace crews in Wales for Internationals, some of us were thinking we might have a shot at some silverware!
Natalie and I arrived Friday and camped out for two nights. We don’t have stars in DC, so it was a real treat when the skies cleared and the Big Dipper, Cygnus, and Scorpio lit up the sky. The club included breakfasts, lunches and dinner in the registration fee which made for an easy time off the water. Maize colored technical shirts for all and engraved pewter cups for the winners rounded it out. And a good-sized sea turtle joined us briefly on the water during Sunday racing!
Both days of racing saw light to moderate conditions, so boat speed did make a real difference, though, of course, a good start and clear air always helps. It was hard to keep track of Dave, Jim, and Scott since they were all sailing yellow boats! With the varying wind speeds, crews were moving their body weight all the time and the lighter among us sat on the rail.
On Saturday, Marty Minot shot out to an early lead, taking a number of firsts, while I trailed a bit, being challenged by Dan/Kaitlyn and Dave Huber. Elvin made the trip down for this away regatta and was first to the weather mark in the fourth race while Jim Englert, a returning Albacore sailor now at WRYC, made a strong appearance. Scott Titus was a genial host, and it was good to see Suzanne Morgan (she crewed with me two years ago) along with the other active sailors from WRYC.
Natalie and I were in striking distance of Marty and Jordan after the first day, and when we managed to just beat them in the first race on Sunday, our hopes soared. We had a bit better boat speed than on Saturday, having tweaked our mast adjustment, but the excitement came when Marty engaged us in a tacking duel near the finish line. We went back and forth at least five times, neither boat losing speed nor focus while rolling our boats. Finally we were able to break off toward the line and get the needed first. Alas, in the next race we did lose focus on the leeward rounding and Marty slipped away for the win. And Dan, going out to the right in clear air, also picked us off.
The Hapco boats were all set up differently. Dan pinned up for really light air on Sunday and shared the helm with Kaitlyn, who powered to second place in the sixth race and Dan matched her with a second in the seventh and last race after being first to the weather mark. Marty, Lloyd and Tom caught up downwind in that race. Marty gybed to pass behind Dan but Tom on the right got to the leeward mark first then went right and won going away. Dan and Dave went right with clear air.
Natalie and I cleared our air after the leeward mark and got left, where we thought the wind would be coming from the bay. Marty followed us, though he was ahead, and every time we tried to break contact, he covered, closely. We even tacked into headers to avoid him, but to no avail. Ugh! When the left and the right converged at the finish line, Dan crossed ahead of Marty to gain second behind Tom, and I was able to just barely tack toward the finish on Dave’s bow.
Marty and Jordan won overall, Natalie and I finished second, and Dan and Kaitlyn came in third. Jill Williamson, who had come down to enjoy the scene and help out, won the Congressional Cup, awarded for best sportsmanship at the regatta for helping launch and recover all the fleets each day. Congrats!
Saturday evening before dinner, a grand buffet, Natalie and I had a nice swim with no sea nettles, but we did miss Celeste, Farley and our usual WRYC swimming buddies. And guess what? The club has resurfaced their tennis courts (and added pickle ball lines, of course). So Natalie and I hit the tennis ball for half an hour before heading home on Sunday, completing a summer vacation trifecta of sailing, swimming, and tennis.
Next year is the 60th Anniversary Governor’s Cup Regatta so we are especially hoping to have a good turnout, with our returning friends from Wales and even more sailors from Ware and the DMV. That way we can beat out the Hamptons, who won the actual Governor’s Cup this year with strong participation.
Lloyd, with Dan and Kaitlyn