By Rob Gibbs
Cover Photo by Duane Darling
An early morning started lazily for everyone at our February 13 Birthday Regatta. With a forecast of light air in the morning and building to CRAZY in the afternoon, some were surprised to see dinghy fleets paddling to the racecourse at 8:30. In fact, the first race began at 9:15 when the C-22s decided to go for a quick, light air race starting to the north.
Then at 9:25 the PHRF Spin fleet decided to give it a go. The wind was filling in from the south already! And fill it did. The Buccaneer 18s started the parade at 9:45 and their first race lasted 45 minutes or so, as did most everyone else’s.
The wind built some to 5-7kts and steadied for race 2 and 3. Race 3 was a bit of an exciting finish as the RC boat, and the finish pin had drifted off station while the Mark Set Boat was working to adjust the North Long mark that was also probably dragging. I think by the time they got there the boats that rounded that mark had a good view of Cole’s Bay!
Race 3 also saw one of the Buccaneer 18s take a dip in the frigid 56-degree water. She suffered a broken tiller (and wet crew) and would be forced to retire for the day. The Volunteer Safety Patrol, all USCG Aux members, was right there to ensure that everyone was safe and the situation was managed.
The lunch break and “reset” ensued when RC called a 20-minute break so sailors could grab some food and drink, and the course could be reset. It was a welcome break by all. The wind was steady at this point but definitely manageable.
Race 4 lasted 20 minutes for most. The wind had backed and was oscillating from straight over the dam to halfway to the 10 lane boat ramp, blowing at 9-12kts. The A-Mark was deployed and you had to watch the course boards carefully! By the end of the race the wind was starting to build again, puffing mainly from the lake’s southwest corner. Some fleets called it quits at this point.
The Santana 20s, Lasers, Buccaneer 18s, and Sunfish ended the day by completing six races. As the wind continued to build, we called it done and headed for shore right around 3:00.
Right about 3:20, mother nature looked at the forecast and realized she was underdelivering! The front moved in and the wind jumped to 12-16kts gusting over 28kts! A few sunfish got knocked down on their way to the dock, but again the Volunteer Safety Patrol was there to help and ensured that the day ended safely.
All the while, the Cruiser Challenge was going on…although you may not have noticed. One Catalina 25 and one Catalina Capri 14.2.
Joanne Aspinall, with her son and father on their C14.2, were the winners of the Cruiser Challenge!
Smiles all around onshore as people broke down and put away their boats. Scores have been posted on our Results page. Arizona delivered more great sailing for our one-day Birthday Regatta. Thanks to all the participants and volunteers that made it possible!
Photos by: Wendy Larsen, Duane Darling, Joanne Aspinall, Steve Dawson, Lori Reger, and Rob Gibbs.