Category Archives: 2024 Regattas

2024 North Americans Championship – May 3-5

You may be asking yourself, the Canadians are hosting North Americans in Annapolis, MD this year?  Well you heard it correctly and it could not be a more convenient location for the US Albacores!

Albacore North American Championship for 2024 will be hosted in conjunction with the Helly Hanson NOODS in Annapolis this year May 3-5.  There are 12 Albacores registered as of the end of March.  Regatta fee increases April 15.

Launching notes say that the Albacores (dolly only) will be launching from Annapolis Yacht Club, probably from the junior sailing area.

Notice of Race

Register here!

Harris and Koci win 2024 Midwinters Championship in Clearwater

The Albacore Class tried a new venue for Midwinters this year, the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, and I am happy to report that all who participated seemed delighted with the facilities, regatta staff and race management, and with the raw natural beauty of the area around the Sailing Center. More mixed were our feelings about the air temperature — it struggled to hit 60 degrees formost of the weekend, although that was much warmer than the teens and snow blankets back home (still, a far cry from the mid-70’s of the week before and now the several days since.) In any event, it felt more like Rehoboth in October than what we normally get in Florida during the winter.

Racing on Friday involved only our 8 Albacores, but on Saturday and Sunday we shared the course with two dozen 420’s having their 420 Midwinters Open regatta (complete with four coach boats following along on the water). The winds were about 15-20 knots most of the time on Saturday and Sunday, until gradually easing Sunday afternoon. Gusts and shifts were not extreme, so feeling secure and keeping upright was not a problem (except that boat handling mistakes could still generate capsizes, as three Albacores reminded everyone on various occasions).  

DAY ONE  Three W-L (x2) races were completed on Friday, in relatively light south breezes (5-10 knots). Races 1 and 2 were highlighted by duels for first place between Barney Harris & Rob Koci (a Toronto Laser sailor) and Paul Clifford & Mia Brandt. They each had three points going into Race 3, when passing light rain showers began to produce squirrelly winds. Soon after the start, Team Barn was right while nice pressure came left, and later they were caught left while a big righty swung through. Paul and Mia rode Fire and Ice to their 2nd bullet of the day, and returned to the clubhouse with the overall regatta lead when the last race of the day was abandoned due to large shifts. Another highlight of Day 1: Team Bear (Bob Bear and Morgan Rathjen) were indefatigable, too, as they cranked out two 3rds in the three races.

DAY TWO  With strong but steady north winds early on Saturday (~15 knots), RC decided to send both fleets back into the Gulf, while declaring neoprene mandatory for all sailors. (For a few Albacore sailors who didn’t have neoprene because they had expected to be bathed in Florida sunshine and warmth all weekend, Bob Bear and Dave Huber graciously lent out their extra wetsuits.) Aboard Big Bad, skipper Jeff Kraus had to leave the regatta after Friday’s racing; he was replaced for the duration by another Canadian who flew into Tampa late Friday. This new guy’s name was Darren Monster from Toronto, and he also seemed to know his way pretty well around an Albacore 🙂

For Saturday’s first race, Gale Warning was anxious to make up for its bad luck late on Friday, and in the breeze and 2-foot waves convincingly led Fire and Ice around the first three marks. But then, reminiscent of the Springsteen lyrics ‘…made a wrong turn and just kept go-in‘, they turned for the leeward mark not realizing that the unusual trapezoidal course called for Albacores to plane over to a tight reach mark (this was done to separate the two fleets). Without Gale Warning to show the way, Paul & Mia romped for what was now their 3rd bullet in 4 races. Meanwhile farther back, Darren Monster gave Greg Jordan a lesson in steering through the waves as he slid past for 2nd. Also of note, the Wild Thing team of Dave Huber and Lars Rathjen scored the second of what would become four straight 4th-place finishes.

In Race 5, with the wind now in the forecasted 15-20 range and waves building, Team Barn shook off the DNF by scoring what would be the first of 9 wins in 10 remaining races. Fortunes also reversed for Fire and Ice when Paul missed the hiking straps on the 2nd beat (while in 2nd place). He and Mia executed a capsize recovery operation, and then headed home to the warmth of the club for safety and mourning. Greg Jordan and Andrew Scheuermann had been close behind, so they defaulted into 2nd place.

For the last two races on Saturday, Tyler Phillips and Eliza Pearce were flying around the course with perhaps the flattest main on the water. They traded 2nd and 3rd places with Big Bad, while Gale Warning was winning both races.

DAY THREE  Sunday dawned at an agonizing 36 degrees, but was forecast to warm quickly with strong sunshine. The RC kept all racing inside the bay on W-L (x2) courses, and this turned into the best racing of the weekend. The water was flat, and winds gusted and oscillated in a regular fashion. Line sights of the starting line were made easy by nearby condos. Each of the 7 races took about 30 minutes; Barney & Rob won six of them in Gale Warning. Greg & Andrew won the other one, Race 9, overlapped at the finish with Big Bad and just feet ahead of Gale Warning. In Race 10, Darren and Colette had a mishap near the weather mark that led to a capsize, and they retired for the day. As the wind eased a little and the day grew warmer, Greg and Andrew dialed into their best relative speed of the weekend, placing 2nd in the last 3 races, each time just ahead of Fire and Ice. Last but not least, the Deplorable team of Jim Schuster and Eva Hogan were alternating at helm and now in the thick of every race; they likely would have won most improved had that been awarded.

Kudos and thanks are due to our local hosts at the Clearwater Community Sailing Center, and congratulations to Barney and Rob for their win. Overall, all who participated seemed to have had a terrific time. The club said they really liked having us there, so it seems likely that we will decide to return again in 2025.

(by Greg Jordan)

2024 Racing Schedule Released!

Don’t let your sailing schedule be slowed down this year!  

Add the 2024 Schedule to Your Google Calendar

1/19-1/21: Albacore Midwinters, Clearwater, FL

5/3-5/5: Helly Hansen Sailing World Regatta Series and Albacore North American Championship – Annapolis, MD
5/25-5/26:  Spring Regatta, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA

6/1-6/2:  Dave Irey, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
6/15-6/16:  Summer One Design, Rock Hall Yacht Club, Rock Hall, MD
6/15-6/16: CAA Ontario Albacore Championship, Peterborough Sailing Club, Lakefield, Canada

7/6-7/7: Hampton Annual One Design Regatta, Hampton Yacht Club, Hampton, VA
7/20-7/21:  85th Annual One Design Regatta, Fishing Bay Yacht Club, Deltaville, VA

8/2-8/4:  Governor’s Cup, Ware River Yacht Club and Albacore Mid-Atlantic Championship, Glouchester, VA
8/31-9/1:  Bill Heinz Memorial Regatta, West River Sailing Club, Galesville, MD
8/31-9/2:  Canadian National Championship, Royal Canadian Yacht Club, Toronto, Canada

9/21-9/22:  President’s Cup, Potomac River Sailing Association, Alexandria, VA
9/28-9/29:  Corsica Annual One Design Regatta, Corsica River Yacht Club, Centerville, MD

10/12-10/14:  USAA Nationals, Rock Hall Yacht Club, Rock Hall, MD