|District 1 Regatta Report|| |
Sat Sep 16th, 2006 through Sun Sep 17th, 2006
| Report by Carroll MacCallum|
Twenty boats from 6 fleets and three districts attended the 2006 Nutmeg Regatta, held by the Mid-Connecticut Star Fleet.
On Friday before the Nutmeg Regatta 2006, the rain was heavy and ubiquitous. MacCausland, Meireles, Kohlhas and Bolles were in the boatyard regardless, hoping for a break in the clouds and a chance to try out sails which for MacCausland and Kohlhas might be used in the upcoming World Championship. But since sailing in a downpour would not prepare them for California, all stayed ashore and greeted other competitors arriving. Everyone had read the forecasts and, expecting at least light rain all weekend, was looking for space in the boatyard without puddles.
But amazingly Saturday morning dawned with a blue sky. Twenty Stars put to sea at 10:00, a Northeasterly speeding us out the channel, well past Charles Island, into the full ebb of Long Island Sound. There the wind lightened. We started the first race in only about five knots, the Race Committee giving us 1.2 mile weather leg, course 4 and setting the mark at 100 degrees. The first weather leg favored the boats that went to the right toward the middle of the Sound where the current was ebbing the strongest. There was more wind and a big lift. At the weather mark the RC veered the run heading by 45 degrees to 325. John MacCausland was first around the mark, followed by Will Swigart and Guy Gurney. Both sailed high on the starboard jibe against the ebbing current coming out of Milford Harbor, the wind still very light but filling in from the outside, from the middle of the Sound. At the leeward mark the RC further veered the course heading 25 degrees, to an upwind course of 170, the wind having clocked from the East to the South. Then, to make us crazy, it backed and filled in from the East, favoring MacCausland and Gurney who had gone left. At the weather mark the RC changed the course yet again, this time backing by 35 degrees to 315. Swigart, sailing fast on the run, passed Gurney and worked his way nearly up to MacCausland, but finished second behind the downwind expert.
By the start of the second race the wind had veered south again, the sky was clearing over Long Island to the South and there were only little puffs of clouds over Connecticut to the North. We started with a weather mark at 163 degrees and there were no course changes. The race was dominated by Jock Kohlhas, with Josh Revkin crewing, in first at all the marks with Rodrigo Meireles, Lee Dayton crewing, in hot pursuit. Kohlhas lost on the last leg, the run, as the wind dropped to 2 knots and the whole fleet spread out to take what there was from the leaders. The RC set a very skewed finish line and Rodrigo, who jibed later than Jock and was to his East, got the first place gun at the pin end. John Manderson with Matt Semler were third, MacCausland fourth. Will Swigart, who had rounded the weather mark in fifth, also aiming for the wrong end of the finish line, lost Gurney, fifth, Watson, sixth and Hornos, seventh, at the finish.
For Saturday’s third race the weather mark was set at 200 degrees and the RC again gave us course 4. The tide was flooding. Bill Watson port tacked the right half of the fleet, starting mid-line, above the sag. It looked glorious but Will Swigart, continuing to the left, was able to tack back on a lift and with further accurate choices of shifts, was first to the weather mark. Will widened his lead on the first run in the light, light air and was not sorry to have the RC shorten the course so that we finished up wind. It was a tense second beat, with Ken Anderson closing in and finishing a close second.
After the three light air races, we were grateful for a tow in, and happy to find hot homemade tamales and other delicious comestibles provided by Alejandra Bolles, waiting with the beer at dockside.
Two races were scheduled for Sunday. At 10:00 the 15 knot northerly blowing us out of the harbor chilled the light air crews and heartened the heavy. Once out on the Sound though the wind seemed to suddenly succumb to the clear blue sky. RC chair Alan Pritchard was overheard to say “I shouldn’t be doing this” as he started the sequence in a glassy calm with the weather mark set directly to the North. Half hour later, after letting us agonize, he ran up the blue and white checker. Only four or five boats were sorry to see it: Charlie Correll and Don Cronan, Paul Antinozzi / Paul Rossi among them, had gone left immediately off the line and gotten far enough to catch a whisper of shore breeze. They were on the lay line when the race was abandoned.
We waited, stripped off the hiking gear, doused sails, slept, swam, felt the Southerly fill in (were there little puffy clouds over Long Island?) and at one o’clock the RC posted a heading of 180 degrees and course 4. It was a very pretty Southerly breeze but only one or two of us were able to mini-hike. After the start Rodrigo Meireles followed Will Swigart (who was in first for the regatta, given a throw-out) to the left. Will went way into the corner but Rodrigo tacked sooner and fell in with Thierry de la Villehuchet who came from the right and was first around the weather mark.
On the run MacCausland took the lead by accurate jibing. He went up the middle on the shifts and held his lead. Rodrigo went far right and at one point had MacCausland in his window and the race won but lost him and Guy Gurney as well on another shift.
The North Sails pros, MacCausland and Meireles, came in first and second for the regatta. For MacCausland it was his eighth win of the Nutmeg Regatta. In third overall was Guy Gurney sailing with Roman Gotsulyak.
2812 Canon Street
San Diego, California 92106 USA
Phone: +1 619 222 0252
Fax: +1 619 222 0528
Sign up for eStarlights...