The 2023 annual 94th Billy Heintz Regatta held at West River Sailing Club was a great event for Albacore class. The regatta brought two days of planned racing from September 2 – 3. Day two of racing was canceled due to a lack of wind. Conditions Saturday were sunny and wind ranged from 4 to 11 knots. The Albacore sailors showed up in force by being the largest fleet with 13 boats competing in the regatta.
The racing was fierce and competitive, with each boat jockeying for position to be where the wind pressure was during the first race of the day raced in 3 to 5 knots. After the first race the postponement flag went up as RC waited for more wind. The fleet moved from the West River into the Chesapeake Bay. This change allowed racing to be held in 7 to 11 knots of wind. The southerly wind direction brought a steady breeze with small wind shifts. A short race course brought congestion at the leeward mark and gaining inside overlap was key to gaining on competitors. There were a few contentious leeward mark roundings with multiple boats involved. Upwind playing the 5 to 7 degree shifts made a difference with the top boats able to extend leads. Downwinds legs saw many boats change positions throughout Saturday with the left side of the course downwind often being favored.
Congratulations to Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa in AL 8261 for winning the event. Second place went to Mchael Heinsdorf and Eva Hogan in AL 8125. Third place went to Greg Jordan and Scheuermann in AL 8256. The Billy Heintz Memorial perpetual trophy was awarded Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa as the first place finishers in the class with the largest number of registered competitors at the regatta. Hapco Marine Albacores took the top three positions.