All posts by US Albacore

2023 Midwinter Championship Results

2023 Albacore Midwinters

Michael Heinsdorf
USA 8125

The spelling error in the email’s subject line from the Sarasota Sailing Squadron said it all: “Canceled 2023 One Design Midwinters”. 

A week prior to the regatta, the Squadron had fired a shot across the proverbial bow with an email stating that they were, “not optimistic about, the effect of the Red Tide Algae Bloom on the Sarasota Bay.”

Red Tide, or as science calls it, “harmful algae bloom” is pretty common in Florida, but it doesn’t make its way inland that often. As the name suggests, it’s an algae that produces a toxin that kills fish, makes shellfish dangerous to eat, and potentially suck all of the oxygen out of water, and turn the water red. Remember that last point as it’s pretty critical to our story. Red tide is also made slightly worse by global warming, as warm water temperatures encourage it to grow. It is something that you don’t want to swim in, or in some cases, breathe in. According to maps by the US Geological Survey, there were reports of Red Tide within the Sarasota Bay. Online, it looked legit.

However, as we later found out, there wasn’t any visible Red Tide in the Sarasota Bay or on the Gulf. This was a bit puzzling, as all the Squadron would have had to do to confirm the existing of said masses of seaweed or red tinted water was go for a short motorboat ride into any of the racing areas. Once the Albacore fleet made our way out on the water, we did not see any evidence of Red Tide (seaweed salad, dead and rotting fish, whale carcasses, etc.). To add a dab of manatee dung icing onto this rotting cake of seaweed, the Squadron held other, scheduled, events while we were there, such as their Luffing Lassies Thursday sail, Opti Training on Saturday, and an E-Scow series.

However, I’m getting ahead of events. Once the aforementioned email came out, the US Albacore class leadership made the decision to NOT cancel Midwinters and seek out alternative venues, with the less than week notice given by Sarasota. After many calls by Eva Hogan and Tyler Phillips, no alternative venue was found. 

In the immortal, unprintable words of Barney Harris, (of which I’m sure you can get the ethos), we just did it. We’d roll our own regatta in Sarasota. And a dozen boats, all of them loaded up, either en route, or already at the Squadron (not to mention the car reservations that were non or limited-refundable) showed up at Sarasota Sailing Squadron for a clinic and a couple days of racing.

Since this was not a regatta, I took this an opportunity to try out my unauthorized modifications to the HAPCO adjustable shroud system. Surprisingly, Barney did not even come over to look at these modifications, likely because he was busy unloading or keeping track of the two Albacores that he had brought. I’m happy to say that my modifications worked much better than the original setup, which, if it hadn’t been for some quick moves by Farley Will in the 2017 Internationals, almost cost USA 8125 a mast as a control line started slipping. To keep things fair, I didn’t use them while we were racing on Friday or Saturday. 

Back to Sarasota. Most of us showed up on Wednesday and rigged boats. Thursday, Barney and Lars, myself and Lizzie, and Dave and Chris (from here on known as “The Bruces”), went for a leisurely sail around Lido Key. While it was somewhat breezy, it was overall quite pleasant, with consistent breeze in the low teens, plenty of sun, and marginal wave action. We rounded the north end of Lido Key, headed down south along the shore close hauled, and then hit the south channel back in. Chris Maslowski was staying in a boat anchored at one of the marinas, which was crewed by an owner who was more than happy to deplete his beer stash by tossing us some cold ones. As this was happening, we suddenly lost sight of Barney, which is odd when beer is involved. Apparently he got incredibly distracted and excited by what he thought was a Hylas 47. Once Barney got his excitement under control, we headed back to the Squadron via a pleasant reach.

Friday

The weather forecast was a bit more challenging on Friday. Mid to high teens consistent breeze. Cloudy. The water was no longer flat. Waves were about one to two feet in height, just enough to be something you had to worry about, unless the crew didn’t mind getting a wave to face every thirty seconds. Puffs were forecast to be in the 20s, some even hitting the 30s.

The decision was made to do an around the island race. Since the breeze was out of the south, the fleet would head out to the channel, hit Mark 12, round it to starboard, and head south, upwind, to Mark 8 (more on this later), also round that mark to starboard and head parallel to the Lido Key shore on a screaming reach, then head back into the Sarasota Bay via New Pass, likely getting stalled under the bridge, then round back up to Mark 12 and back to the beach.

The start was also going to be a bit different than our usual timed start. Instead of a traditional start, we’d be doing a Le Mans start. For those who don’t know what this is, it comes from the French LeMans 24 Hours Automobile Race, one of the oldest car races in the world. The Le Mans start involves the driver running to the car, jumping in, starting the car and racing. As a side note, it’s also a start technique no longer used, because it’s a bit dangerous. And we did have a bit of carnage – Eva Hogan tipped over her boat on the start line and Tyler Phillips’ boom tried to take out my crew.

The Albacore Le Mans start had one rule: one crew member must be out of the boat with their feet on the bottom of the Sarasota Bay. Realizing that The Bruces, who were tall, and some others who fit that vein, may have an advantage in getting out the deeper water with clearer air and a bit of a head start, my crew extraordinaire, Lizzie Ellis, and I planned on positioning ourselves as far out as possible, with as much separation as possible. This put us in the deepest part of the southern side of the starting area that I, as the tallest of the two of us, could get into. Once the start happened, I would pull what Lizzie called a “reverse ninja” (the “ninja” is my sneaky way of getting out of the boat as we come in, as generally Lizzie doesn’t know I’m out of the boat until I’m in the water), jump into the boat, and start trimming and steering as soon as possible. 

As Lee Mullins started a countdown, Lizzie got the boat ready for a reach (pulling in slack in sheets, pre-trimming the vang, setting the centerboard, and making sure she was ready to go out on max hike immediately). This was highly prescient, as once I saw Lee make what looked like a “go” sign, and I angled the boat off the breeze, we shot out like a bullet on a reach. While my legs were still outside of the boat, we were making massive separation from the fleet, with The Bruces and Tyler rounding Mark 12 in 2nd and 3rd respectively. There was a good 8-9 boat lengths separating us from The Bruces.

As we headed upwind, The Bruces and I made the decision to go to the east end of the channel, with Tyler choosing the west side. Lizzie and I shifted gears from reach mode to upwind mode. This involved a lot of talking about how the boat felt, which was initially a bit constrained and overpowered.  We talked sail trim, and strategized on the tradeoffs we were going to make over what was going to be a long upwind leg, knowing that we were going to have a screaming reach or run once we got into the Gulf. We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves keeping up with The Bruces in about 20 knots of steady breeze. Our tuning was working.  When we were reviewing RaceQs later, we were hitting a consistent five knots upwind. RaceQs had even higher upwind speeds, some pretty consistent numbers in the 5.5 to 6.6 knot range, which I’m a little skeptical of. The hull speed of an Albacore is technically 5.19 knots. From my perspective, it was a pretty stable and dry ride. I’m not sure Lizzie would agree on how stable or dry the upwind legs were. But they were a blast!

The breeze died once we turned west into the Channel and started heading out into the Gulf. We were still crossing The Bruces. Bob Bear, who had been out of sight for much of the upwind leg, was still in breeze and was closing the gap to 10-12 boat lengths. As we approached the Gulf entrance, the breeze started picking up. Significantly picking up. And the wave amplitude was getting significantly larger with the frequency increasing. 

This is when I made the call. In our minds, it turned out to be a brilliant call, though it meant that we technically didn’t complete the race. During the Skippers Meeting, mention was made of rounding Mark 8. There was one map which I did not take a picture of, which meant I missed that Mark 8 was in the Gulf, not in the Channel, because it was not on the map. I was also not right next to the person holding the map and couldn’t see where the finger was when the mark was pointed out. (Note: we didn’t didn’t make either mistake the next day.) There was a Mark 8 in the Channel in Sarasota Bay. Which seemed perfectly logical to round.  In the spirit of sportsmanship, we tried to let The Bruces know that they needed to round the mark, but they seemed very confused. We understood why when they separated from us and headed to another mark in the Gulf.

My call was to head down on a run about 300 meters off the shore in the Gulf. The water seemed plenty deep.  The rollers were big, but not as close together, and I could see it getting hairier the further that The Bruces got out. In fact, it looked like they were struggling. And as a backstory, this regatta was the first time that I had sailed USA 8125 in 3.5 years, and the first reach or run that I had done in 3.5 years. So had we gone further out into the Gulf, there was a little question of my skill and ability. I had no qualms about Lizzie’s confidence or skill level.

On a very conservative run, with full board down for stability, marginal pumping, marginal movement, and steering with the breaking waves, we were planning and averaging 10-12 knots. It got very calm and very quiet, almost trancelike, which was highly unusual for the two of us as there is normally a lot of back and forth. We were both a little nervous as we’d never gone so fast doing so little work. Lizzie took the opportunity to berate me as I hydrated, and had choice words when I offered her the water bottle. Apparently, as USA 8125’s newly appointed Boat Safety Officer, I had chosen a bad time to take care of my insignificant need to hydrate.

Turning into the New Pass Channel back into Sarasota Bay we saw some of the biggest rollers of the day. This seemed to me to be a great time to practice gybing on top of a wave. It was an incredible, beautiful gybe.  Once it happened, we shot off into the Channel, only to come to a screeching stop as the breeze shut off a couple houses into the New Pass Channel.

Lizzie, now enjoying her role as Boat Safety Officer, deemed it an appropriate time to engage in personal care such as hydration and chapstick/sunblock application, and informed me as such. This felt like a good time to let Lizzie know that the outhaul wasn’t working, and that the rudder had been popping up. When we got to shore, I found that the 12 year-old outhaul line had broken where it was knotted into a hole in the boom. As for the rudder tie down, I’m not quite sure what happened there.


Author and helm Michael Heinsdorf and crew Lizzie Ellis – Photo credit M. Heinsdorf

Once the rudder and outhaul were somewhat fixed, we launched the boat to honor Mark 12 for the finish and had an amazing reach out and back, hitting over 15 knots.

We completed our entire ten nautical mile trip around the island in just under an hour and a half. Over the next couple hours, boats came in one or two at a time. Notably, Lloyd Leonard showed up with a mast that had clearly met the bottom somewhere and lost. The tip of the mast was about two feet back from where it would normally be. Chris Gorton’s initial comment was along the lines of, “I’ve never fixed anything that bent.” However, Bruce rose to the challenge and a couple hours later, with the help of a couple palm trees and Tony Zakrajsek, it ended up respectably straight.

Saturday

For our second day of racing, the plan was to engage in buoy racing using preset marks in the Bay. Breeze was in the mid-teens when we left the dock and stayed in the mid to low teens all day. Water was generally flat, but there were still small waves to deal with.

Once the right mark was found and all had congregated around it in preparation for the rabbit start, we had a slight delay to the start of the racing. The rabbit went down the hole. Specifically, Eva Hogan (USA 7970) dumped about a minute or two before the start and they spent some time enjoying the waters of Sarasota Bay. Once she hauled her crew back into the boat, we started.

And that’s when most of the fleet went to the wrong mark. Only The Bruces managed to get to the right mark. Everyone else was chasing Barney and someone else, when the fleet suddenly turned downwind, and not around a mark. 

This turned into a legit race, and once Lizzie and I got clear air, we popped ahead on a planning run, closing a gap between us and The Bruces. We rounded the windward mark in second, with a pretty significant lead over third, and managed to extend that lead upwind. Downwind we played an angle that kept us in between The Bruces and the fleet, resulting in a second-place finish.


Dave Huber and Chris Maslowski – Photo credit M. Heinsdorf

The second race saw the wind die down a bit, but it was still pretty breezy, calling for a good amount of vang and the skipper and crew to hike. 

For this race we, along with the rest of the fleet, rounded the proper upwind mark. We were in third at the upwind rounding, headed down, playing the middle of the course with the intent to go down, when the bungee on the jib stick snapped. 

Luckily for us, the jib stick stayed in place and I was able to continue on our course downwind, ultimately rounding in second place at the downwind mark. However, there was an issue – what do we do upwind with the pole? There was no quick way to untie or move the pole. So I had Lizzie cut the pole line, which launched the pole right into the water. Oops.

Our second downwind was done college-style, with the skipper holding out the jib, and we quickly learned that the pole is essential for sailing deep angles in the Albacore. We went from second to seventh as a gaggle of boats passed us. We had to work around these boats, and ultimately got into a pinwheel at the downwind mark. There was a hole, a very, very tiny hole, just behind The Bruces and the windward boat that we punched in, did a crash tack onto starboard, accelerated away from The Bruces, and then got back on to the favoured port tack and rode a lift to a fourth-place finish. Racing was cancelled for Sunday because of the forecast (which turned out to be wrong).

Ultimately, the top three boats, Christine and Tony, Greg Jordan and crew, and myself and Lizzie, tied with a total of 6 points. 

This brought in the US Sailing tiebreaker rules, both of which had to be applied. Lining up the scores in order of best to worst finish, first place resulted in a tie since both Christine and I had a 2 and 4. The second tiebreaker rule counts results from the last race.

 

Final Results:

First Place – Christine and Tony Zakrajsek
Second Place – Michael Heinsdorf and Lizzie Ellis
Third Place – Greg Jordan and crew

2023 Midwinters Scores

2023 Regatta Schedule Is Out!

Don’t let your sailing schedule be slowed down this year!  With 14 boats already registered for Midwinters, the season is starting off strong!

Add the 2023 Schedule to Your Google Calendar

March
3/17-3/19:  Albacore Midwinters, Sarasota Sailing Squadron, Sarasota, FL
May
5/27-5/28:  Spring Regatta and Albacore Mid-Atlantic Championship, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
June
6/3-6/4:  Dave Irey, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
6/17-6/18: US National Championship, Miles River Yacht Club, St Michaels, MD
July
7/8-7/9: 2023 Hampton Annual One Design Regatta, Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, VA
7/15-7/16: Ontarios Championship, Hamilton Bay Sailing Club, Hamilton, Canada
7/22-7/23:  84th Annual One Design Regatta, Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Deltaville, VA
7/29-8/4: Albacore International Championship, South Caernarvonshire Yacht Club, Abersoch, UK
August
8/5-8/6:  Governor’s Cup, Ware River Yacht Club, Glouchester, VA
September 
9/1:  Long Distance Race (SSA to WRSC), West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
9/2-9/3:  Bill Heinz Memorial Regatta, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
9/15-9/17:  Canadian National Championship, Thornbury Yacht Club, Thornbury, Canada
9/24-9/25:  President’s / Cantina Cup, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
October
10/7-10/9:  North American Championship, Miles River Yacht Club, St Michaels, MD
10/14-10/15:  Corsica Annual One Design Regatta, Corsica River Yacht Club, Centerville, MD

2023 Albacore Midwinters in Sarasota March 17-19

UPDATE: SSS has cancelled the event due to the Red Tide, but USAA is currently looking into where else to host the event.  Hopefully we will still be able to hold the event.

Sarasota Sailing Squadron will be hosting the Albacores for Midwinters again in 2023.  Start making your plans now.

Sadly camping at the club will not be allowed so book your hotels early to get a good price!

Sarasota Sailing Squadron will host the Annual One Design Midwinter Regatta March 17th through March 19th. Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the E-Scow Class, they will be joined on the bay by the Melges 14 and Albacores. Other One Design Fleets with 5 or more paid registrations are welcome to participate. Sarasota Sailing Squadron offers some of the best sailing on Florida’s West Coast and we are happy to offer a venue for one design racing.

Registration is now open and available online via Regatta Network. 

NOR can be found here.

See everyone there!

2022 US National Championship Results

Like many sailors, I was looking forward to a full albacore race schedule after a long interruption. This year certainly did not disappoint.

I started sailing albacores 7 years ago, and turned to racing that same summer. It was the perfect outlet for my competitive alter-ego. I was fortunate that my albacore racing started in Toronto, where you would regularly find approximately 40 albacores on a Friday start line. Race trainings were on Mondays, where we would learn about the power of being on starboard, how to roll tack like your life depended on it, and how to play with all the colourful lines till the boat moved.

As I participated in more regattas, I met sailors from the US and the UK, and travel regattas became the main topic of conversation. I eased my way in with regattas close to Toronto, and slowly ventured further afield until I found myself in Shelbourne, Nova Scotia for the Albacore Internationals in 2019, with sailors from Canada, the US, and UK: 94 fellow ‘Athlete- Competitors’ (as we are known in Nova Scotia). This event was a hint of how much fun travel regattas could be. Clearly, 2020 was going to be even better.

2020 and 2021 were so much fun, there’s no space to mention them here, so let’s skip forward to US National Championships 2022 hosted in Rock Hall, Maryland.

The first day was gloomy and windy. On our way out to the race course, our new scenery included a duck blind, crab pots and hundreds of questionable jellyfish. We promptly adjusted to survival sailing for the shifty winds and quickly discovered the effects of current.

The second day was sunny and windy. There were five races, Barney and Ernest won four.

The third day was sunny and un-windy. There is nothing we can be more thankful for than an incredible race committee who knows when not to send the fleet out on the water. The day started with a well supported AP flag until a light breeze trickled our way. We ultimately drifted our way through 2 races before we were back on shore for awards.

Congratulations to Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa for the victory! In addition to Barney’s well-deserved win, he went above and beyond, towing 4 albacores to Rock Hall for 3 other teams from the US, Canada and the UK. I am very grateful he graciously lent me and my amazing helm (Stephanie Stalinski) a boat for this event. Thank you to the volunteers, staff and race committee at Rock Hall who made this such an enjoyable experience! This weekend contained many firsts for me. First time travelling to the United States for a regatta. First time sailing a boat decked out by Barney. First time sailing an Ontario Yacht albacore. For anyone who has been racing for 1-2 years, travel regattas are incredible opportunities to develop memorable experiences with new friends and broaden your sailing skills. There will be another full schedule of racing next year and you can find the racing schedule for Canada here, the US here, and the UK here.

See you on the start line!

2022 US National Championship Results

Check out photos from the event!

Check out the Sail-World Article!

Planning for the 2023 season is already under way, with the 2023 International Championship being held in Abersoch. If you’re interested in joining this fun fleet, get in touch because there are lots of boats out there waiting to be raced.

Winners:
1st and President’s Trophy: Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa
2nd: Raines Koby and Stephanie Mah
3rd: Marty Minot and Jordan Minot
Bob Harwood Challenger Fleet Winner: Stephanie Stalinski and Mabel Chan
Bill Shore Trophy (Top Woman Helm): Anna Sepko
Roger Thomas Senior Trophy (Combined age over 110, not in top 3): Marty Hublitz and Lars Rathjen
Most Improved Helm: Eva Hogan
Endurance Award: Elvin Aponte and Willy Bresee

2022 PRSA President’s Cup Results

This past weekend 15 of 18 registered Albacores competed in the President’s Cup Regatta in Washington, D.C., with around 50 boats of various classes in total. We had a good turnout with a few people from other countries and from nearby states. The regatta took place over the course of two days on the sunny Potomac with the D.C. skyline always in view. It was beautiful to see many sailboats with colorful spinnakers sailing about with the sunlight glistening on the water.
Saturday had very light wind and the races were cancelled, though everyone seemed to be in good spirits regardless. Sailing teaches you that while you can’t control the conditions, you can control how you respond to them. I enjoyed simply being on the water and talking with my skipper. As a less experienced sailor, I find that I learn a lot about sailing (and life in general!) from crewing with more experienced sailors. After sailing, everyone gathered for Mexican food at the picnic tables and there was a visible sense of community. On Sunday, the wind picked up and conditions were ideal for racing. Because of the gathering storm clouds, we went back to the docks a little early for the awards ceremony before the rain set in.
Thank you to everyone who participated and to the Ware River volunteers!
Natalie

2022 President’s Cup Results

2022 93rd Annual Labor Day Regatta (Bill Heintz Regatta) Results

93rd Billy Heintz Regatta Hosted by West River Sailing Club

The 93rd Billy Heintz Regatta hosted by West River Sailing Club took place September 3rd and 4th 2022. Thirteen Albacores competed over two days of racing. Day one of racing had 5 windward leeward races in light breeze with a sunny blue sky. The breeze ranged from seven to ten knots in shifty conditions which was better than the predicted forecast. At times there were 30-degree shifts, which kept the fleet on their toes. Some boats lost while other boats gained in the shifty conditions. Downwind for the fourth and fifth race was tuff with the light breeze and the sun blasting competitors. The only controversy from day one racing was when AL 7492 fouled AL 7970 at the start of a third race in a port starboard incident at the start of the race. This caused a few boats to pile up at the pin of the start line and sailors to ponder why other boats do what they do at times.

Day two of racing brought five races and more breeze than day one. The breeze ranged from eight to fifteen knots with crews hiking upwind all day. Boat traffic was another added element during day two racing. At times it looked like rush hour with non-racing boats zipping through the race course to the dismay of racers.

Ten races total were raced for the event. In addition to the top three Albacores receiving awards another award was given out to an Albacore. The Billy Heintz Memorial perpetual trophy was awarded to first place finisher in the class with the largest number of registered competitors for the regatta.  And a shoutout to Scott Titus for bringing his boat up from Ware River for the event.  We look forward to seeing more Ware River boats traveling to events!

Top 3 and Billy Heintz Memorial Perpetual Trophy
1st AL 8162 – Barney Harris & Ernest Ayukawa
2nd AL 8122 – Farley Will & Celeste Karpow
3rd AL 7984 – Khin Thein & Thant Thein (best looking boat unofficial award)
Billy Heintz Memorial Perpetual Trophy – Barney Harris and Ernest Ayukawa

2022 Billy Heintz WRSC Results

2022 VA Gov Cup Results

The Albacores had a great turnout at the VA Governor’s Cup this year at Ware River.  It was great to see several of the Ware River members out sailing in the Albacores!  We had 15 boats total registered and out and one point or another.  Ware River is one of my favorite places to sail and this year did not disappoint.  The weather was more pleasant then usual and it was not particularly sweltering or windless.

Saturday was a little light and shifty and at the end of the day the scores were very tight with a 5 point spread for the top 5 boats.  When they called racing at 3PM, the wind was starting to come up.  Celeste and I decided to stay out and convinced Eva, Tyler, Greg, and Lloyd to stay out with us.  Not only did we get to do some tuning and practice, but the wind piped up further out in the bay to about 15 and provided some fun non racing conditions.  This also let us avoid the backup that often happens at the ramp.  Sunday’s sailing was also good.  The wind velocity was still pretty up and down and very shifty.  At times you could feel like you were in last and then some crazy lift that brought you back in the running.

The weekend overall was quite good.  The dinner was tasty and it was fun hanging out as a fleet past dark when the bugs finally came out.  There were a few on shore boat work and tuning recommendations made for older boats.

Thanks to all the Ware River boats participating, the Albacores solidly won the Gov cup this year.  Big thank you to everyone for showing up.

Results are here!

2022 Corsica River Annual Regatta Results

While camping with a low of 76 degrees overnight is not my favorite thing to do, the Corsica River Regatta did not disappoint.  We had 7 Albacores show up including Elvin with his boat looking like it came fresh off the assembly line (at least from how shining the white gel coat looked).  There was actually a fair bit of breeze too which was unexpected with the highs of 98 the weekend promised.

CRYC had us race just before the mouth of the Corisca River into the Chester river which gave us some pretty nice wind coming off the Chester River that did not appear to actually be in the Chester River.  At the end of the first day racing was quite tight with a tie for first place.  The second day began with an on shore postponement but the wind filled in around noon around 5-10 knots but was a bit more shifty coming off the land.  With the high temperatures, the Race Committee was watching out for all the sailors and had us do 3 races each day.

As usual, the Corisca party was a lot of fun.  A blue grass band was playing when we got back on shore and played through dinner.  The dinner was very tasty and the libations were flowing.  Hanging out at their club area under the ceiling fans was quite nice.  Camping was better than it could have been with a little bit of breeze most of the night.  Other than being a little warm (except Barney who claims he froze himself since he could not figure out how to turn off the AC in Spot) for the camping the regatta was a great time!

2022 CRYC Annual Regatta Results

2022 North American Championship Results

For Tyler and I, Albacore North Americans in Toronto was a lot of firsts. It was the first time visiting Toronto for both of us and Tyler’s first Canadian passport stamp. It was our first time racing an Albacore together, actually our first time sailing one together – and if I’m being honest- it was my first-time seeing one in person, so everything was new!

After a 10-hour overnight drive, we quickly rigged, set some goals for the weekend (have some fun and don’t come in last!) and tried to get a practice sail in. The wind had other plans and we just bobbed about for 30 minutes so Friday’s race was truly my first Albacore sail: first time with the layout of the lines, first time figuring out the whisker pole, first time using a tactical compass, first start and first finish in this class. It didn’t take too long to settle in to the basics but even as our comfort grew as skipper and crew, we pushed ourselves, trying for more aggressive starts.

The result was a couple nice line positions on general recalls and one unbeknownst OCS that prompted our first hand-held radio purchase (nothing like returning home to some freshly delivered online orders!). We had some light wind frustrations on Saturday during a major wind shift and a raised rudder on Sunday which was kindly pointed out to us near the windward mark and explained our confusion over our lack of speed and inability to point, but otherwise we felt good. We had a couple mid-fleet finishes and even managed to beat some boats overall! While we still have plenty to work on and practice, we achieved our goal: had fun and didn’t come in last!

From never having heard of Albacores two months ago to now, North Americans has sold it to me, hard not to with a fun boat, a good group of sailors, and the excitement of a spectacular racing venue. Tyler and I have a long ways to go but this weekend was a lot of firsts, not the finish-gun kind unfortunately, but the this-seems-like-the-beginning-of-something-good kind, and that is just as exciting.

-Eliza Pearce (& Tyler Phillips)

Albacore 7373

2022 Albacore North Americans Results

2022 Dave Irey Regatta Results

Last weekend, Farley and I sailed Albacore 8122 in the annual Dave Irey regatta at West River Sailing Club (WRSC). There were 8 Albacores registered and it was great to have a new team with a new boat on the water racing. WRSC is one of the prettiest venues to sail at on the Chesapeake Bay and it’s convenient coming from Washington DC because you don’t have to cross the Bay Bridge.

Saturday started off light and the Race Committee postponed on land which gave me the opportunity to catch up with some other sailors and play Wordle overlooking the view. After one quick course location change, we sailed 4 great races Saturday afternoon. The Race Committee balanced getting races off after our postponed start which I enjoyed. We forgot our compass so we were reading the shifts based off feel on starboard tack and the shoreline on port tack. The sea breeze filled in throughout the afternoon which led to hiking and waves. Given the short races, strong starts seemed to be important. Also, Saturday afternoon brought motor boat traffic and with the breeze, I was conservative with our centerboard going downwind.

The race committee postponed on land again Sunday but for the opposite reason, there were gusts of 25-30 knots. As forecasted, the breeze subsided as the day went on and we raced later in the afternoon. We sailed 3 races Sunday. We found the course was skewed to favor port tack so we tried to start at the pin end allowing us to tack to port soon after the gun. There were other larger sailboats on the race course which impacted our tactical decisions to avoid or minimize the wind shadow as we approached the windward mark. Our downwind legs seemed to go well sailing wing to wing. After sailing and derigging, I took the opportunity to swim twice before heading back to the city.

WRSC put on a great regatta, we had made dinner reservations but the catered dinner looked great. Race committee by Constantine was excellent and I always appreciate the friendly faces from the WRSC members and volunteers. We look forward to sailing at WRSC again!

Celeste
#8122

2022 Dave Irey Regatta Results