Jerry Brower is sailing a PIKANTO #42 beginning this year to good results – 1st Place. Joe Damico is sailing his recently received Astbury BRITPOP.
By Larry Stiles
When you are putting on a regatta you can’t help but worry about the weather, as if there is something that you can do about it. You pick the time, you show up and you play the hand that you’re dealt.
That’s how this years Farrell Frozen Finger Regatta went, except that every hour we were dealt a new hand. Over the two days we had everything from dead flat calm to solid number 2-rig weather with gusts to 25 mph.
The first day started out a bit worrisome for the organizers with Cranberry Lake tabletop smooth from one end to the other. There was no wind ‘nowhere’. But right on cue the breeze started to sneak over the treetops and down onto the course, coming from the NE and then, as the day progressed, picked up strength and backing to the NW.
A standard box course was used that required little adjustment and one lap races that gave us lots of starts, which suited the conditions as the starts were a bit of a challenge. We used a race format that called for a set of three races in quick secession and then a five-minute break before the next set. This gave sailors time to clear weed, which were present but never a significant factor, and make other adjustments. More serious chores could be planned for the five-minute break and if there was an emergency, accommodations could be made. At noon the sandwiches showed up and everything stopped, giving us time to refresh and regroup. We had 24 splendid light air races that carried us all the way to 4:00 PM.
The second day was something completely different. We arrived to find sunshine and our usual wind coming from the SE at 5 to 8 MPH, which resulted in a more conventional starts and a real beat up to the windward mark. As the morning rolled on so did the wind, rolling at us with ever increasing strength. Coming up on lunch the boats were starting to look like ducks, feeding on the bottom of the lake with their tails up in the air. Very undignified. Over the lunch break the wind moderated and a higher degree of decorum was restored. At the end of the day the anemometer showed us an average wind of over 10 with a max gust of 25 MPH. Big fun and great racing with second place not decided until the last go-around.
In the end there were 41 races with few breakdowns, some bumps, some close calls, but no hard collisions. This was a good spread of conditions to test the preparation and tune of the boats and the skill of the sailors. An excellent crew of volunteers supported and guided the entire enterprise. Hats off to the entire team and especially Jean and Julian Lee for organizing and hosting the event. Next year perhaps we’ll get to race in the snow and ice. It is all very Pacific Northwest like in February.
Larry Stiles’ CHEINZ is easy to spot with the colorful deck and orange sail corner patches.
Julian Lee’s V8 close reaching to the weather mark.