Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 SCYA Midwinters, ABYC - Brian Haines

Everyone who attended the 2012 ABYC Midwinters, held Feb 18-19, was treated to a great weekend of warm sailing conditions and a good turnout for the 505 fleet. As my wife might tell you, I’m not very good with the details, so I’ll avoid the play-by-play and provide some overall observations and photos from the weekend.

The most exciting part of the weekend was to see some new and relatively new faces in the fleet. Jeff Condon (8762- Pink Boat), Holt Condon (8841) and Brandon Folkman (8558) have all recently purchased boats. It was especially good to see 8558 back on the water after a pretty serious crash at the ’09 Worlds sent it to Larry Tuttle’s shop for some TLC. Jeff, sailing with crew Dave Kenny finished third in the event, while Holt, with crew Jacob Averbuck, and Brandon, with skipper Brian Angel each had top-5 finishes in the 12 boat fleet. East Coasters-turned-San Diegans Amy and Ted Huebner weren’t missing February in Rhode Island and finished the second to last race in 3rd as the breeze picked up. It is encouraging to see new talent coming into the fleet, and we hope that these guys and girls are having as much fun with the boats as the rest of us.

Saturday started with the typical scramble for us to get to the start on time, but fortunately there was already a nice 5 knot southwest breeze filling in. The hazy, partial cloud cover certainly didn’t make us think it would turn into a typical day in Long Beach, but the breeze settled in nicely at around 5-8 knots from the southwest and allowed for four races on windward-leeward courses. Aside from one significant left shift that left Ted and me scratching our heads, the name of the game for the day was boatspeed and the ever-so-difficult decision of when to wire run or when to sail deep. Big gains and big losses were made with each, but at the end of the day it came down to commitment; if you were confident enough to separate from the fleet and wire run, you had to really heat it up and commit to the puff in order to make it work. The rest of the boatspeed discussions after racing seemed to be focused on ram positioning, particularly with the newer teams. Thanks to Howie and Team Tuesday’s countless hours of developing the matrix most of us use, we can all speak the same language at the end of the day when comparing settings. I know that when I first got into the 5-0 after years of college and high school sailing, using the ram was a completely foreign concept. The matrix allows all of us, new and seasoned, to set up the boat and just race, which is so easy to overlook in these boats.

Sunday morning’s sky looked a bit more promising for breeze. Three races were scheduled and the noon start got off just as the anchored tankers started to shift around to the right. YES, Long Beach conditions. There were a few mark changes in response to the shifting breeze, but the race committee handled all of it very smoothly and did a great job of minimizing the waiting time between each race. By the end of the second race, crews were starting to stretch out their legs and the boats were moving. The third and final race of the day was sailed in typically beautiful Long Beach breeze. Aaron and Rob were glad to see some proper 5-0 conditions and it was only due to some aggressive covering tacks that Ted and I were able to keep them behind us. The 285 lb team of AJ and Pat sailed very well to finish the breeziest race of the event in third, narrowly missing out on the tie breaker for third place overall. Gary Lee and crew Dan Downing had great upwind speed all weekend to finish the event in second, and as mentioned above, Jeff and Dave won the tie breaker for third place. Ted and I ended up in first overall, our first regatta win in the 505.

The next Southern California event on the 505 schedule is the PCCs, held at Coronado Yacht Club in San Diego March 16-18. This should be a great 3-day event, so we hope to see as many of you as possible.

1 comment:

  1. Great job on the write-up and photos Brian. Many thanks!