Happy Monday, Frostbiters!
While Dave, Kate and I are happy to be home, we're also pleased to have missed out on the single-digit temperatures that you all had to deal with. Much of our time in Clearwater, Fl was spent indoors instead of on the beach... but we still got to enjoy some evening meals outside, right on the shore, and the view from the hotel was fantastic. Our attendance to the National Sailing Program Symposium, hosted by US Sailing, is a great opportunity for us to attend some great workshops, lectures, and brainstorming sessions with two-hundred and fifty other sailors from around the United States.. as well as some from Brazil, Germany, and the U.K.! Needless to say, we've returned with pages of notes, many a business card, and lots of ideas for Courageous. If you have any interest in meeting a large number of dedicated sailors from different backgrounds who are in some way involved in spreading the sport of sailing with others, I highly recommend checking out one of these symposiums!
A big thank-you to our frostbite RC team for running what seemed to be a smooth and beautiful day of racing on Saturday, and thank you to the fleet for helping make that possible! I'll leave the recap part to Rosemary:
"Despite the bitter cold, the weather was actually pretty great yesterday. Breeze from the north, 12 to start, swinging between the Zakim bridge and Pier 5 through the day but steady for long periods of time. The guys set the line in the middle of the channel off the courthouse and were able to lay a really long, nicely square course to start the day. First race was off before 12. The fleet split half and half on the first race, always a nice thing. As the day went on, the fleet kept splitting the starts but most people seemed to hang out on the East Boston side. It looked to me like the breeze was more consistent and stronger over there, although taking the left did pay off for a few when the breeze shifted west. Ask Jen, she was one of them :) !
The windward mark was a bit of a mess all day. We had a ripping current flowing out that hung up a lot of the fleet on the marks. I saw a lot of people who approached from port and tacked too early, or who misjudged their starboard layline and tried (and failed) to pinch their way up. Much shouting. Many circles (I was pleased by the self-policing). Surprisingly little contact - any that I saw was in slow motion.
Had one general recall and a few individuals but the current kept most below the line. We did have one surprise tanker come through during the first windward leg of the third race. They said scrap barge on 13. It was definitely NOT a barge, and it definitely came screaming out of the Mystic river with little warning. After about 3 seconds of debate I made the call to abandon. Got the fleet safely out of the channel very quickly. All in all it only delayed us by 15 minutes or so since we told them they could sail downwind towards the start as long as they stayed to the side.
During that delay we had a big right shift. We decided to shorten course significantly as we moved the marks, so we could get in a few more races while keeping the course 4 setup. Breeze kept picking up, and by the end of the day we were sailing in 16-18 knots steady. Fun but not crazy. Overall we got in 4 course 4's and ended with a course 5.
John Pratt came in to be head judge even though he didn't sail, what a great guy! Protests were resolved without incident. Soup was delicious and Mark DeShong brought awesome rolls, where does he get those? And SOMEONE got me a delicious beautiful cake for my birthday and made me cry a little. Thank you guys, that was so awesome <3
We are so glad to have had Rosemary help out on Saturday, especially since she is taking off for the Islands this Friday! Please all thank her for filling in this past weekend and wish her luck on her adventure if you haven't already - she won't be back until May! You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org !
See you all soon,