Friday, October 09, 2015

2015 Harbor 20 Fleet Championships

It’s Monday the day after the 2015 fleet one championships and I have been staring at the results for the last two hours reviewing the regatta over and over again in my mind and waiting to see John Whitney post the results on the class web site.
I did happen to finally achieve my goal and move up a division by winning B fleet, but after it is all said and done the whole regatta was enjoyable to me this year. No, it’s not because I won well maybe a little. The regatta was fun for me because I purposely took a step back and cracked a few jokes between my crew, Craig Chamberlain, and I between and during the racing.

In fact I only stamped my feet once, on the bottom of the boat, the whole weekend while having one of my “Only Child” temper tantrums. I made sure we went by to congratulate the previous race winners and the teams that where racing close to us throughout the regatta. We made sure to talk to happy people like Debra and Peter Haynes, Anne and Ed Kimball, and the brother sister team of Kathryn and Ted Reed. These folks are always going to give you a big hello and tell you how lucky we are just to be taking part in this event.

Another thing I did different this year was attend the Saturday night dinner party and I have to say our fleet captain Nik Froehlich did an outstanding job. I never sat at a table that was laughing so hard during the daily first awards and throughout the night. Froehlich was requesting a story from the winner before he presented their award. You also had to be in attendance to receive the award otherwise it was presented the next place finisher. It was going so well Froehlich decided to break out some more awards and just asked participants to come up and tell their stories from the race course.

One of the better laughs of the night came when Argyle Campbell came up to tell his story and was immediately followed up by Bridget his wife. Argyle quickly returning to the microphone, with the face expression of disbelief, and informing the crowed “ I cannot believe that Bridget came up here, she never has done that before.” Greg Newman was at our table and I have never seen him laugh so hard. Of course he had his daughter Jessica sitting next to him and she was on fire with the jokes all night.  All good times to remember.

As for the racing conditions this year we had a light warm breeze, Saturday, out of the south that made it difficult for the race committee to set up a race course in the harbor. The breeze was staying at about six to eight knots for the most part of the day. The weather mark and finish line was tucked under Bay Island so that was that was tricky part of the race course for us. Later in the day John Fuller, our PRO, extended the leeward gates closer towards the PCH bridge and we made the mistake of sailing to the right side of the course upwind in that last race on Saturday.

Sunday we had rather big rain clouds that pushed the wind around thirty to sixty degrees. The good news was it never rained on us the bad news was the breeze never settled in. With the wind going from South West to West the starting line was moved closer toward the NHYC. During the first race we noticed the breeze out of the south west and that Bob Yates and Phil Thompson sailing Jubilee in A Fleet went left into the mooring and came out smelling like bacon.

By the second race the wind was leaning further west and getting lighter. If you stayed away from the herd and in some type of breeze you would win ask Porter and Chris Killian. The B and C fleet started at the same time this year and the Killian’s were killing it all weekend long sailing in C fleet. In fact they were so in tune, with the wind, they would have won B fleet by over six points.

As always it appeared that finding your way out of a bad start and consistently sailing your way back into the top five was how you would win your division. I just wish there was a way to have a drone flown above the race course and use yellow tracker with wind information. If we could do that I would spend another two hours staring at the results.

It was an engaging season this year and I hope to see you all at our December 4th awards dinner.

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