As well as the fleet of 22 RS Aeros holding our North Americans, there were three other classes participating in the Gorge Dinghy Invitational in Oregon this weekend. The race committee used a finish line to starboard of the committee boat to keep finishing and starting boats separated. And although the start line was "open" and could be crossed at any time during the race, they did suggest to fleets that it would probably not be a good idea to attempt to sail downwind through the start line while another fleet was starting!
Even so, you had to stay alert at all times while racing and in between races for the boats from other classes, which all added to the fun.
There were 7 Weta trimarans, some sailed singlehanded and some double-handed. They usually started just before or just after the RS Aeros and were of similar speed to us.
There were 9 505s.
Ands there were 18 I-14s who were also holding their North Americans at this event.
I was personally most concerned about avoiding the I-14s. With two crew on the trapeze and a huge asymmetric spinnaker they were seriously fast downwind and, in spite of the suggestion from the race committee, in several races they came tanking along downwind through our start line just as we were starting.
I did have some fun in one light wind race as an I-14 rapidly closed on me and a couple of other Aeros from astern on a downwind leg. I kindly opened up a gap between myself and the other two Aeros so that the I-14 could pass to leeward of me and to windward of the other Aeros. As his wind shadow cut of the wind from my two competitors the skipper of the I-14 looked across at me and said, "You owe us a beer for that one!"
Children can be so cruel at my age.