By Greg Romano
On what should have been the last racing day of the Spring 2022 Tempe Town Lake racing season, the one-designs came out in droves and enjoyed a fine day of sailing with fresh breezes, sunny skies, and just enough mishaps to keep the race committee on its toes.
Seven Lasers, nine Sunfish and four Capri 14.2s were on the starting line shortly after 3 p.m., a short delay caused by a capsized 14.2 right in the middle of the line. With the 6-8 knot winds blowing (mostly) from the southwest, the racing was quick and competitive. And, while not nearly as strong as those experienced two weeks ago, the winds were quite shifty and provided the occasional strong gust, forcing the skippers and crews to hike hard, and causing a few unexpected swims in the “crystal blue waters” of Tempe Town Lake.
One of those mishaps happened to new members Eric Bruce and Catherine Napoli, sailing an Adopt-a-Boat Capri 14.2. A gust caught them just before the start of the first race near the aforementioned starting line. With some assistance from Matt Baker in a kayak and Emory and Commodore Deb Heisler on the mark/chase boat, they got the boat righted and on their way. This was Catherine’s first time sailing EVER, yet she was pretty nonchalant about the whole thing. After climbing aboard the safety boat, she joked to Deb, “I suppose you’ll want us to turn in our membership card after holding up the entire race.”
Having a sense of humor certainly helps in moments like these. In fact, at the after-race social she told those celebrating the day over cocktails that we should thank her for convincing Eric NOT to wear his customary kilt. We thank you, Catherine, for your persistence. There are some things you cannot unsee.
Also sailing an Adopt-a-Boat Capri 14.2 for the first time were Greg Ullrich and Dawn Berg. Helping these first-timers out kept Adopt-a-Boat Coordinator Andrew Newingham busy, but he still was able to try out an Adopt-a-Boat Laser for the first time, quickly learning how important it is to be nimble when sailing the world’s most popular one-design … he went into the drink three times during the day!
As usual, the Portsmouth Fleet performed its Race Committee duties with aplomb, allowing the fleets to get in a lot of races! Fleet Captain Clay Paulson brought out his customary charcuterie when the racing was done; always a treat!
The last of the TTL 2022 spring season racing is Sunday, May 1 (rescheduled from March 27 due to a conflict with the popular Dragon Boat races scheduled the same day). The Laser fleet will be running the show as we wrap-up the season!
Photos: Deb Heisler