Hello ECSC Members,
January is definitely a quiet month for us sailing types. While most of us sit at work, we day dream about warm breezes and the sounds of water rushing past the hulls of our sailboats or the organized chaos that is a yacht racing starting line. Many of our members are lucky enough to head south for a week or two or twelve. I doubt that I am the only one at ECSC that actually misses their boat during these cold winter months.
As for publicity, I would like to start a member article section in the coming months issues of our beloved newsletter “The Tell-tales”. If you are interested, just write an article and send it along to me at email@example.com . Write about anything sailing related; your favorite cruising spot, a regatta you attended, your favorite ECSC memories, why cruisers are more fun than racers, why racers are more fun than cruisers, your own stupid boat tricks, how you managed to ground your boat on the point….Anything sailing. Or even just a regatta report as I have done below.
Between Christmas and New Years I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Open Orange Bowl Regatta in Miami Florida. For years our club has sent juniors down to compete against the worlds best youth in the Junior Orange Bowl Regatta, so I have attended this event many times with my kids and other ECSC Juniors. This year I was able to take my Ex-Junior son, Austin Graef along for some racing. He and I competed in four days of very competitive and challenging Laser racing. Coconut Grove Sailing Club hosts an adult Laser regatta in conjunction with the junior event that also occurs during this time.
Conditions ranged from one day of postponement (light winds) to steady 18 gusting to mid 20’s. While the fleet was small (17 entrants), it was chock full of laser olympic hopefuls, former laser Masters world champions, Star mid-winters champions, and even a former Snipe world Champion. Having not been in a Laser in almost a year for both of us, the learning curve was steep. After the first day of racing (three races) I was able to hold a solid mid-fleet position slightly ahead of Austin. I guess the old man does still have some tricks up his sleeve. Day 2 was a great day for Austin as he moved up in the standings….ahead of me (I knew it was inevitable). His best finish of the day was a 3rd!! (beating several world class sailors) Day 3 was a sit and wait day with light and variable winds. The 4th day brought a cold front and winds sustained near 20 knots with higher gusts. With Austin only a few points ahead of me, I saw my chance to show him I could handle the heavy air and regain my place ahead of him. . . . After leading him around the upwind mark I thought my sail looked a little dry, so I capsized and watched him (and another boat) shoot past me. So much for race 1 in the heavy air. Raced 2 was looking equally as promising for me… until I decided to practice my death-rolling skills…twice. Needles to say, Austin handled the heavy air in a much better fashion and had some nice finishes. In the final race that day, I chased Austin around the course and just couldn’t quite get him….until the last mark when the death-roll bug hit him during the final gybe not 500 yards from the finish.
After finishing nine races in 4 days Austin finished with a solid 6th overall, beating me by a solid four points ( I was7th place overall). Not that I like being beaten, but it is a proud day when a junior sailor (who is also your kid) who you have trained and coached all of his life not only beats you but competes solidly against some of the worlds best racing talent. Congrats on a great regatta to Austin.
I hope you all stay warm. Start making lists of all those spring boat projects. I will see you on the water in a few short months.