Tuesday, May 31, 2011

ABYC Memorial Day Regatta - Aaron Ross

Eight 505 teams from San Francisco to San Diego turned up for the 2011 Alamitos Bay Yacht Club Memorial Day Regatta. The weather was beautiful with sunny skies and great breeze. There were also two Lindsays and two ladies, so the fleet looked good as well.

Race 1

Wind low teens. No Hubert, AJ or Jake

Howard Hamlin and Andy Zinn and Ryan Cox helming for Mike Martin break away from the fleet, with the former taking the win. Aaron Ross and Rob Waterman battle it out for third with Stine Cacavaas and Bill McKinney. After the first gybe Rob discovers his auto ratchet is rigged backwards. It was a painful port gybe wire running, Rob doing his best to hold the sheet and Aaron doing his best to steer to the kite. The flat water made it somewhat manageable. Approaching the leeward gate, a request from the Crew’s Union to re-lead the spin sheet was overridden by the slave driver holding the tiller, and the second run was equally painful. Antoine Laussu and Jake Wes finished fifth.

Race 2

Saw the same breakaway up front with the same outcome. Hubert Guy and Frederic Courouble make it out to the course and join the 3 way battle for third. After the first lap, Aaron and Rob get the course wrong and head for the finish, letting Hubert and Frederic get to the right and hold on for third.

Race 3

Same breakaway up front but with a bit more breeze, the places swap. After two trips to West Marine, AJ Crane and Ted Conrads get one of their two boats put back together after the container trip home from Australia. They hold third place until a swim at the gybe on the second run. They recovered quickly, but found themselves on a 3 sail reach over standing the leeward mark with the wind now into the high teens. Aaron with proper size Rob made short work of AJ and soon to be knick named Pinner Ted.

Jake Muhleman and Reeve Dunne made it out and took advantage of Hubert’s close encounter of the Laser kind to finish fifth.

Race 4

Saw the same break away and same result up front as the previous race. At the leeward gate, AJ and Ted douse early, allowing Aaron and Rob to close the gap and round just behind with speed. Not knowing the course was only one lap, AJ can’t figure out why Aaron stays on her weather hip in bad air, until he tacks for the finish, slightly over stood. Aaron and Rob steal another race from AJ and Ted.

The day ends with the top 2 tied with 6 points each, and Aaron and Rob in a comfortable third with others having each missed at least one race. The forecast was for big breeze on Sunday. The morning started with a solid 20-25, but dropped to the high teens by the time we launched. The race committee set the course close to the outer breakwater and even set a reach mark, presumably to keep the fleet in one area for the safety boats.

Race 5

The race starts with wind pretty far to the right in the mid teens and rapidly drops to maybe 5 knots. Howard and Andy and Mike with Don Smith bang the right and come out ahead. Rob and Aaron and AJ and Ted work the middle, with Pinner Ted occasionally getting on the trapeze and earning his new name. The breeze came back up to the mid teens for the 2 sail reach to the reach mark. Mike tested out his new America’s Cup match racing knowledge and forced Howard into a penalty. Andy was heard later saying to Howard “I told you so.” AJ and Pinner Ted take advantage of the less than proper amount of breeze and pull away from Aaron and Rob. The next leg was a gusty and too tight 3 sail reach, and AJ can’t hold it down with Pinner Ted. They go for a swim, and Aaron and Rob steal a third race from the sub-300 pound team.

Race 6

The wind is back to the high teens with some gusts that might have topped 20 knots. With the cold wind, cold water, fatigue and long waits between starts, the race was a blur. The race committee sent us to the shorter weather leg, and the race was a 20 minute triangle windward leeward sprint. Mike and Don won the race, and the tie breaker for the regatta win.


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