“Sporty” Skill Building at TTL

Contributor: Emory Heisler
Photos: Joanne Aspinall

The week 6 forecast for TTL was looking….mmmm…sporty.  With winds forecast at 10-15 out the West-Southwest, gusting to 18-20, definitely “Sporty” and a day to have some extra meat on the rail.  Ever ready for TTL’s notorious gusty conditions, the Lasers and Sunfish One-Design fleets plus the Portsmouth misfits took on the challenge.  And if the crazy breezes weren’t enough, the sunny weather brought out a GANG of kayaks and paddle-boarders weaving in- out-around through the start-finish line made things even more interesting.

Race 1 for the Laser’s set the theme for the day.  A solid 8-10 breeze launched them up the course, and we took a quick look away from the fleet to see which Class Flag came up next. By the time we looked back at the Lasers heading upwind, they were dropping like dominoes. PUFF ON! Capsize. Capsize. Capsize. Half the fleet down. Oh boy!  Here we go!

The swirling TTL breezes continued to take their toll and befuddle us all. Every fleet had its share of capsizes, including Buccaneer Alex Kaye’s first-ever in his Bucc.  Alex and crew Eamon O’Brian righted “Puffin” without assistance (whoop whoop!) and, after getting safely ashore, still called the day “exciting” as they dried off and assessed the damage, only a bent wind vane and a mast ring in need of new rivets.  Deb and I aboard “Erin Morgan” hit a swirl that spun us through 3 gybes in 10 seconds while barely moving, to which the on-looking Ferrings said from the RC barge, “Better you than us!”

Matt Baker busy staying upright

Nonetheless, it proved to be a great day with Buccs and Fireballs flying their spinnakers, all the fleets demonstrating capsize-recovery skills, and the 14.2 Fleet and AYC paparazzi getting great photos of the fun and mayhem.  Once again, TTL delivered an exciting day with wind from every direction and suddenly from no direction at all.  Oh yeah, SPORTY! 

  “This photo shows 3 Lasers down, 4 up and Junior Laser, Ryan Zornik, threading his way through the carnage.”
Photo and comment-George Sheller

Joanne Aspinall was busy taking photos again on Sunday and shared her photo link with me through our AYC website. She has given anyone permission to download the photos you might like to have. She took some nice ones. Here is the link: https://photos.app.goo.gl/1GUu54SvbMH8b1MQ9