Thursday, November 02, 2006

Sunday in New England

It sure was a wild windy weekend in New England.

I wasn't able to race on Sunday, and for some reason Scuttlebutt thought that a day of non-sailing for Tillerman was newsworthy enough to tell the world about it.

Litoralis wasn't able to race because it was too windy.

Sherry Fowler from Stay of Execution coached her Bowdoin sailing team from the dock at the MIT Sailing Pavilion at the Schell Trophy and said...
It was the most extreme sailing conditions I've ever witnessed. That was the consensus among all the coaches on the dock. It was wild, and wonderful. The audible "oooooh!s" and "oh my god!"s on the dock was a spectacle in itself. There were moments when I didn't know where on the river to look, because there was such wildness, carnage, and excitement in every direction.

The Cedar Point YC Laser Fleet in Westport, Connecticut didn't race. Andrew Scrivan reported...
Who really wanted to sail in a shifty 40+ knots anyway?

It is not often that our series is blown out, but Sunday was clearly a good day to call off. The club clocked a steady breeze of 25-30kts with westerly gusts up to 50kts. Hope to see everyone next weekend at the regatta.

The Cottage Park YC Laser Fleet in Boston cancelled racing too...
Well... right now at Deer Island it's sustained 31 with gusts well over 40, and the forecast is for more of the same. We're postponing the regatta and BBQ to next weekend. There will be a few of us at the clubhouse today, in case people want to bring their boats down and set up for the season. If, by some miracle, we get a significant break in the weather, we'll try to sail a couple of informal races.

Meanwhile collegiate regattas around the area were struggling with the conditions. I've already mentioned the Schell Trophy at MIT but here's a more comprehensive report from the NEISA website...
Day One - Gnarly forecast but it never seemed to materialize. A Division started in Techs and went to FJs after race 8. B Division sailed FJs with storm jibs and then went to full size jibs and then to Tech dinghies.

Day Two - A west wind of 30-50 knots kept the fleet ashore until noon. Both divisions then sailed two sets in Tech dinghies with storm sails on an X course. Breeze backed off to about 30 knots so A division rigged FJs with storm jibs for their final set. After the starting signal the Rivah Chuck turned white with a 40-50 knot sustained blast for 15 minutes. Hooting, hollering and a few swims followed as the FJs ragged their jibs downwind and the Techs never got off their planes. A division was done at 17 races and B division finished off a matching race as the sun began to set in 40 plus knot puffs.

The college freshmen sailors in Vermont competing for the Nickerson Trophy also had an interesting weekend...
Saturday, New England's freshmen arrived to a 15-18 kt. southerly with 1-2 foot waves. The forecasted 25-35 never came - instead, we raced 4 A division races and 3 B division races in a downright weird 5-10 knot breeze that rotated throughout the afternoon roughly 270 degrees from the morning southerly, ending with an easterly that ultimately died during race 3B.

Sunday's forecast did materialize. A 20-30 kt WSW with 4 foot waves outside the breakwater was cranking from about 9:00 am on. The Vermont B boat attempted to test the conditions, and eventually bit it hard downwind, resulting in two stitches in the crew's eyebrow. Racing was called at 11:45.

Meanwhile up in New Hampshire at the Underdog Trophy another race committee was struggling to run a regatta...

Winds from the ESE at approx 8-18 mph and rain to begin the day. At approx: 11:00 A Division sailed 2 races, Windward-Leeward 2 times around. Races took approx. 20-25 minutes each. Very shifty, puffy conditions. B Division sailed two races starting at around 12:15. Shifty, puffy conditions with a number of capsizes. Races took 20-25 minutes each. Velocity in the puffs increased to above 30 mph at end of second B race and the race committee decided to postpone on shore. Conditions worsened on shore with higher velocity puffs in greater consistency and harder rain. At approx. 2:00, racing was postponed for the day based on the current conditions and forecasted weather.


Winds from the WSW at approx. 18 - 20 mph to begin the day. A Division raced one race at approx. 10:15, with building winds and many capsizes. All boats completed the Triangle, once around course without assistance. Velocity in the puffs had increased to 35+ and direction of puffs was very inconsistent direction. High velocity puffs were occurring every couple of minutes. Race committee postponed on shore until 12:30. At 12:30, race committee postponed again to await wind conditions that were suitable for racing. Puffs continued to materialize at least once every 5 minutes with velocities at 35+ mph with some at over 40 mph and direction changes of up to 100 degrees. several teams left the venue leaving 5 teams to sail the B division set. At 2:40, conditions appeared to be settling. Race committee went out to the starting line, observed winds of 18 - 30 mph with 30+ degrees variance for a period of 25 minutes and radioed ashore to send out B Division for a race at 3:05. At approx. 3:30, as B Division was sailing to the racecourse, sustained wind velocity increased to approx. 35+ mph and 4 of 5 boats on the water capsized. Race committee decided conditions were unsuitable to race in, sent the fleet back to shore, and ended the regatta.

1 comment:

AdriftAtSea said...

Very nice roundup of the weekend's sailing or not-sailing as the case was.

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