Matha’s Vineyard Round the Island Race

Saturday, an 80 boat fleet of various sizes and speeds, raced the 57 nm course, counter clockwise around Marth’s Vineyard.  The forecast was not great but in the end, a nice southwesterly seabreeze filled in and helped the fleet get around before dark.

In the TP52 class, we had a good battle with Vesper and Spookie.  We on Phoenix led at each mark of the course but throughout the race, the lead changed hands more than 10 times.

The final shuffle was just 10 miles from the finish.  Vesper, leading had to make a choice to go south or north of a sand bar.  They took the south while Spookie and Phoenix took the north side.  Initially the north looked very good as we maintained 4-5 knots of speed while Vesper was completely stopped for more than 10 minutes.  This got the two northern boats about 2 miles away from Vesper.  Around 4:00pm, a southerly wind filled in and carried Vesper down the north shore of Marth’s Vineyard and into a comfortable lead.  Spookie and Phonix got the wind about 10 minutes later.

At the finish, Vesper crossed the line about 5 minute ahead of Phoenix who crosse 2.5 minutes ahead of Spookie.  Phoenix rates higher than Spookie so she took second on corrected time.

Nest up for us on Phoenix is the NYYC Cruise mid August.  Spookie will be racing there as well.

Paul

Edgartown Race Week Final

Edgartown, MA

It was a rainy and dreary start to the day out here on Marth’s Vineyard. By 11:00, it became a blustery and rainy day.  The racing started at 11:00 and I haven’t sailed in that much rain in a while.

Three races were held for the TP 52’s today.  Phoenix won the day with 2 first places and a second.  This brought us to within 1 point of Vesper for the overall win and 3 points clear of Spookie.

Today was our best day so far on Phoenix.  We are making steady progress with our team at learning the boat.  The TP 52’s have quite a few adjustments to the rig that need to be made before each start and it takes a while to get all the settings figured out.  It takes event longer to learn how to cope with the settings when the wind conditions change mid race and you don’t have your optimum settings.  The experience were are gaining by racing against Vesper and Spookie is preparing us for the racing we will do in the TP 52 Super Series next year. The Super Series currently has 12 TP 52’s racing together at 5 events a year, mostly in Europe.

Tomorrow will be a standalone event known as the Round the Island Race. The course is 57 miles long around the Martha’s Vineyard Island and its various shoals and sand spits.  The first start will be at 08:00 for the smallest boats and the TP52’s will get under way at 08:53.  The forecast isn’t that promising with 10 knots from the northeast at the start and weakening to 2-4 knots in the afternoon.  So it could take a while!

Paul

Edgartown Race Week

Edgartown, Marth’s Vineyard

This is the third leg of the east coast IRC summer series. 4 races were held today, in 9-12 knots from the southwest for the IRC fleet.  The three TP52’s had hard fought battles as usual.

Onboard Phoenix, we had 4 good starts. The left looked good in the first half of the day but as he windward leg was short, it was best to start to the right and hold the boats to leeward to the left with starboard tack advantage. Ironically, in each of the first two races, Vesper or Spookie,whichever had the worse start, tacked to port, went behind us and won the race while we pinned to other boat to the left layline. Three boat racing produces strange tactics.

In the last race,  we started to the right and did not let anyone get to the right of us and won by a big margin.

Vesper and Spookie are tied for first and we are a couple points back in third.

Three or four races are planned for tomorrow but there is bad weather forecast. Showers and lightening should greet us at daybreak so it is unsure how many races we will be able to get it.

Paul

 

 

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Rolex NYYC Race Week-Final


Photo by Daniel Forester-IRC 1 start

Newport, Rhode Island

The wind was very late to fill in today leaving just enough time for one race. At the start we had 8 knots from the southwest and a rolling sea.

Onboard Phoenix we felt the left side was going to have more wind so we started to leeward of the fleet. Spookie was to windward and tacked to the right first and Vesper followed shortly there after. We extended a bit before tacking and then it was a foot race to the right. At the first cross, Phoenix was ahead and we kept that lead up to the first mark.

Down the first run, Vesper showed signs of being a bit faster than us but while we were on starboard and in a line, their gains were limited. However, as soon as we gybed, and Vesper as in clear water to windward, they rolled us and took the lead. It was a bit disappointing to see this speed difference.

Spookie was now pretty far behind.

We split from Vesper at the gate that marks the end of the downwind leg. We tacked to starboard to match Vesper out to the left. When Vesper tacked onto port tack, they could not cross us and we’re forced to tack back to the left. We protected the starboard tack advantage through a series of close tacks to the windward mark.

We had a 2 boat length lead as we headed down the final run to the finish. Spookie was distant to our battle with Vesper. When Vesper gybed we matched them. Unfortunately for us, the same scenario played out as on the first run. After a few minutes, Vespers superior downwind speed allowed them to pass us.

Vesper crossed the line 1st with us 3 bloat lengths behind and Spookie another 28 seconds behind us in third. Inter lodge  finished 4th today which put us in a tie with them for third for the regatta. We won the tie breaker by virtue of our two first places during the series.

After 8 races, Spookie won the regatta with 17  points, Vesper with 20 and Phoenix with 22. The racing was tight all week and that made it fun.

We on Phoenix feel we made some good strides in getting our program online and competitive this week. We learned a lot about our boat which we will be applying at the next regatta in 10 days time in Edgartown.

For complete results go to:

Rolex NYYC Race Week-Day 3

Newport, Rhode Island

IRC class 1, which includes the TP52’s was assigned to the “stadium” course inside the Bay and in front of Fort Adams today.  The wind were light, under 10 knots throughout the racing period.  Racing got cut a bit short at 14:00 as a large thunderstorm built just to the north of the racing area and was threatening.

In IRC 1, we had three very competitive races with all three TP52’s and Interlodge, mixing well in the results. Onboard Phoenix we started off the day nicely winning race 1 and leading at every mark of the two lap course.  Race 2 was tougher for us as Vesper was just ahead of us at the first mark.  This made us the meat in the three boat sandwich.  Interlodge sailed well to take second again and Spookie corrected out on us by .  In the final race, we had a great start and were comfortably in the lead.  We had a technical problem with our spinnaker dropping system and the end of the first lap.  The spinnaker ended up in the water like a giant sea anchor.  We lost a minute of time with that and our chance to get back into the running for this regatta.  Vesper had the race well in hand and got in a bad lane down the final run and Spookie got around them for the win. Interlodge corrected out in 2nd in all three races.

Spookie leads the competition with 14 points while Vesper and Interlodge are tied on 18 and Phoenix is 4th with 20 points.

While we are disappointed in the third race today, generally we are learning a lot about what it takes in the various conditions to sail Phoenix well. We are achieving our goals of getting our new team competitive with a couple of boats that are very well sorted out and have been at this for a while.

Two to three races are scheduled for tomorrow with light winds again.

For complete scores go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=2713

Paul

 

Rolex NYYC Race Week-Day 2

Newport, RI

The Race Committee sent us on the Coastal Race today.  The wind was blowing 15-20 knots form the south today. The course had us starting just north of the Jamestown Bridge, sailing upwind, south to a sea buoy about 3 miles south of Castle Hill and then all the way back north, into the bay about 12 miles and rounding an island there, and back south to the finish off Goat Island.

We had a very good start on Phoenix and were able to pin Spookie out to the left.  Vesper started to leeward of the two of us and crossed close behind about 5 minutes after the start. The racing was very tight between the three of us.  We seemed to be the meat in the sandwich and got squeezed out near the windward mark but we were all within 30 seconds at that point.  Down the long run, we got past Vesper but trailed Spookie by two boat lengths at the bottom.  Spookie controlled us well up the final beat to the finish and won the race.  We finished second with Vesper 3rd.

The smaller boats corrected out behind all of us.

At this point, Spookie leads our class with 7 points, Vesper is second with 10 and we on Phoenix have 11 and Interlodge has 12.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for a bit less wind so that will be interesting to see the performance of the boats.

 

For complete scores go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=2713

 

Paul

 

Race Week Day 1

Rolex NYYC Race Week

Vesper (inside) and Spookie rounding the windward mark.

Newport, R.I.

I am here in Newport racing onboard Phoenix, a TP 52 designed by Botin. We raced the boat a month ago here and broke our mast.  It has been a very tight schedule to get the mast repaired and the boat back out on the water in time for this event.  In fact, we sailed for the first time with the repaired mast night night at 18:00. Thanks to Southern Spars, New England Boat Works, and everyone in between who made our return to racing possible for this season.

Today was the first day of racing in the Rolex New York Yacht Club Race Week.  This is handicap racing which means that boats of different sizes and performance all race together.  The scoring is done on a “corrected” time basis, according to the handicap of each boat.  Our class has 6 boats; 3 TP52’s and three smaller boats. The 3 TP 52’s are virtually the same speed and rating.

We had three races today in 14-17 knots from the southwest.  There was no favored side so the race track was wide open.  The three of us TP52’s raced “rubbing wheels” around the track in all three races.  Vesper and Phoenix each won a race while Spookie, with Olympic Silver Medalist and Rolex Yachtsman of the Year, Steve Benjamin driving, got three seconds and is leading our class.  A smaller boat, Iterlodge, took the win in the second race largely because the three of us TP’s tangled with each other and made extra maneuvers.  It was fantastic racing and we felt like we onboard Phoenix felt like we improved in each race.

I can comment on what happened on the other race course or in the other fleets on our course.  The Rolex NYYC Race Week is a large event with over 150 competitors on 4 or 5 race courses, some inside Narraganset Bay and some outside in the Ocean.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for similar conditions. In fact, the condition should be good for the entire 4 days of the event. We will be doing a Coastal Race tomorrow as opposed to the three windward/leeward, race track type races we had today.  In the Coastal Race you race point to point and you can sail various wind angles so you need some specialty sails for that.

For results go to: http://www.yachtscoring.com/event_results_cumulative.cfm?eid=2713

Racing continues through Saturday.

Paul

Star District Championship-Final

Marina Del Rey

All 15 teams were back out on the Santa Monica Bay today for the final three races of the District 5 Championship.

The conditions for race 4 (first of today) were 9 knots from the southwest, sunshine and smooth seas. Danny and i had a good srart down at the left end of the line. We managed to get to the first mark first. Down the run we got in a bad lane and Ben Mitchell with Hollywood Hal crewing got past us.  We caught them just before the top mark but did not quite get around them. Results of race 4 was Mitchell, Cayard, Dave Watt, Doyle and Szabo so the battle for the championship was getting tight.

Race 5 saw Szabo and Doyle take first and second while Steve Gould and Greg Seek sail a great race, leading at the first Mark and finishing third. Danny and I were 4th with Jim Buckingham in 5th.

Going into the final race, Szabo and Doyle were one point apart but it was a who beat who. Mitchell and Cayarf were tied for third.  Szabo and Doyle got out front early and Szabo held the lead. Danny and I were in the top 4 at the first mark while Mitchell was in 12tg.

Up the second windward leg, a block in our main sheet system broke and I had to go to the aft deck and implement a bit of seamanship. That cost us a few places including Mitchell who was going fast in the 12 knots of wind.

On the final run, while winning the race and Championship, Szabo’s boat rolled hard on a wave and he lost his crew overboard. Doyle sailed by and went on to win the race and the Championship. Mitchell and Haenel finished 3rd while Danny and I finished 6th.

Overall:

  1. Doyle, 2) Szabo, 3) Mitchell, 4) Cayard, 5) Buckingham.

I am headed to Boston to join my team on Phoenix, a TP52, for the New York Yacht Club Race Week.

Paul

 

 

5th District Champiinship

Marina Del Rey

15 teams showed up to contest the 5th District Championship which is being held concurrently with the King of Spain regatta, an annual So Cal classic.

Three races were schedule for today and we had  7-10 knots of wind from the southwest with a gentle swell. The fog line moved over and receded from the race course several times during the day. This produced 20 degree oscillations which gave opportunity to all.

Eric Doyle led the way with scores of 1, 2, 2. In the second race Eric had the race well in hand after the first lap. Danny Cayard rounded the gates in 6th after the first run and headed left. The wind went his way and he rounded the second windward mark on Doyle’s heels. There was a good tussle down the final run with George Szabo getting into the mix. At the finish, it was the youngest skipper In the fleet taking the gun. His father was his happy crew!

In race three, George Szabo got left from the start and held the lead wire to wire. Ben Mitchell with Hollywood Hal had a good day with a 2, 6, 3 and are in third place behind Doyle and Szabo. Young Mr. Cayard is in 4th with Eugenio Cingolani and Hoss in 5th.

Three more races are scheduled for Sunday. The forecast is more of the same.

For complete scores go http://results.calyachtclub.com/RaceResults/2016/kingofspain.html

Paul