The Association opened the sailing season with a brunch at the Pirates' Cove Restaurant in Galesville on 29 April. We were blessed to have a delightful sunny day and it was a great opportunity to see “old” sailing friends again. Our usual pattern in the past was to have a sailing lecture or presentation but this year we opted to learn a little bit about oyster restoration on the Chesapeake.
The speaker was Dr. Lloyd Lewis, a retired marine technologist and oceanographer who volunteers his spare (?) time to work on the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's oyster boat, the Patricia Campbell. Lloyd is also number one crew on the good sailing vessel Cloudsong. It was an unusually educational presentation on the Foundation's oyster restoration program and the life of our favorite oyster. I was reminded of the T30 Association banquet years ago that was held in the West River Sailing Club. Hank Mortimer and I shucked a whole bushel of oysters for our members. “Thems was the days” when it was safe to eat raw oysters.
Following the presentation we go down to the business of the management of the association. It was decided that we move ahead with a race and cruise program and that we continue to maintain communication through the Internet and a regularly published newsletter. Gene Gottschalk volunteered to being the Race Committee Chairman and Rob Gleason agreed to continue as the association's Treasurer. And so we're off and running (sailing).
Gene notified the group that the first race of the season would be the Miles River Race, a race to St. Michaels, beginning at a marker at the entrance to the Severn. We would overnight in or near St. Michaels, racing back the following morning.
The first T30 cruise of the season will be a cruise to Dividing Creek on 14-15 July. This great creek is on the eastern branch of the Wye River, not too far from Shaw Bay. Mark it on your calendar and try to make it. It's a great creek, well protected with farmland surrounding it.
The Association is looking for volunteers to suggest cruises and then serve as cruise captains for the cruise. There are lots of cruising spots on the Bay's rivers and creeks that are within easy cruising distance, a distance that usually takes no more than six to eight hours. The cruise captain hopefully arrives before the participants to put down the anchor and then directs the rafting up procedure. It is a great opportunity to meet fellow Tartans and to swap “honest” sea stories.
The Miles River Race and Race Back
as reported by Gene Gottschalk
Saturday, May 26 dawned a beautiful day, bright, sunny, with no prediction for rain for the entire Memorial Day weekend. The wind was light and predicted to stay light for the Miles River Race and Race Back on Sunday. In the days leading up to the race I received commitments from five boats to make the start Saturday. The boats registered were Miranda, with me and Cyndi and our neighbors Lani Cockran and Denny Debus. Brad Whitehurst brought Windrift and two new Tartan 30 owners Jim and Holly Tompert. Lee and Betty Greenbaum brought Cloudsong, Jeff Poehler sailed Beaujolais, and Jack Wong brought Fy Shun.
This was an especially promising day for Miranda as Jack Wong (Potomac Sailmakers) had just delivered a new light air headsail I was dying to try. We arrived at Region 3 “X” about 30 minutes before the first start. The wind was in the 6 knot range and we felt we could fly the new sail. We put it up for the first time and sailed around the starting area. It seemed to work fine, but needed a lot of adjustments to our rigging. About 30 seconds before the first start, the AP flag went up and we went into a postponement in very light wind, one to two knots. About 30 minutes later we went back into the starting sequence. PHRF N was the third start of the pursuit race in which the slowest boats start first.
I started Miranda at the pin end of the line, just below Fy Shun. Jack coached us in trimming the new sail until they had us far enough ahead to wave bye-bye. Shortly after, they withdrew, having had engine problems on the way out to the start. Jack just wanted to see how his new sail was working for us. It worked quite well as by the time we reached Bloody Point, we had scratched out a sizable lead. We rounded into the Eastern Bay and settled down to slow progress in light winds. The new sail was working better for us in light air than we had ever sailed before, although we were having problems working out the best setup. In six knots of wind we sailed either two knots or four knots and couldn't figure out why. Finally we heard from the race committee that the course had mercifully been shortened to end at the “F” mark, R “2A”. After finishing we contacted the other Tartan 30s to find Jeff and Brad about 10 minutes back. Lee had withdrawn after receiving erroneous information regarding the class the Tartan 30s were sailing in (PHRF N). Lee had gone ahead around Rich Point to setup the raft-up on Tilghman Creek. We had never been there before and it turned out to be a lovely creek, easy to get into, and very secluded. Brad joined the raft-up, but Jeff went on to the Miles River Yacht Club to check on the results and join in on the post race festivities.
After a lovely evening we woke up to a promising morning with a nice breeze. We broke up the raft-up and made our way to the starting line. The PHRF N start was second to last start. By the time the PHRF N start came around the breeze had dropped to about six knots again. Miranda maneuvered for the start and ended up picking the boat end of the line this time, feeling it was the shortest distance to the first mark. We got in a real fur ball at the start with boats around us thinking they had rights, but since it was a downwind start, leeward and windward were transposed. A barging boat took me up, and return I took the windward boat up, forcing them over early. I hated to do it but had no choice in the situation. We were a little slow getting the boat up to speed and Brad, Jeff, and Lee got the jump on us at the pin end of the line. They all three went to the left side of the course which appeared to have a little better pressure. Slowly Miranda built speed and we we opened a little gap, but the wind soon died. We were willing to sit and wait for the wind to fill back in until the flies showed up. All it took for me to withdraw was for Brad to come motoring by.
Miles River Race Comments
as reported by Brad Whitehurst
Windrift welcomed on board Jim and Holly Tompert as crew, the new owners of Emprise. (For those members who may have know the original owners of Emprise, she was owned by Brad and Jean Armendt. They were charter members of the Association. Jean was Commodore and Brad the “senior technical man” for the Association. He was responsible for putting together our Technical Manual.) This race gave the Tomperts an opportunity to see what racing was like, especially in very light airs.
With minimal winds, it took quite a while to get over the starting line on Saturday. We sonn headed to the Eastern Shore in an effort to find more wind. We kept in contact with Jeff Poehler after rounding Bloody Point, but I got greedy for boat speed and tried to reach south of the rhumb line. Unfortunately, that meant that when I realized that the race was finishing at Mark “F”, I had to run downwind in a fading breeze to make the line. Jeff finished just ahead of us.
A Note from the Commodore
Even though a considerable amount of space has been devoted to a race report, please know that the Association is not ALL RACE. Racing is great fun, especially point to point races where you get an opportunity to raft up for the night at the end of the race. Its very much like doing a cruise, except that you're doing your best to cross the finish line ahead of your friends (a fast cruise).
Initially, when the Association began, there were very few racers in the Association but over time, the “cruisers” joined in and at times we had ten to fifteen boats entered in the races. That was how we qualified for Cruising One Design certification in the Chesapeake Bay Yacht Racing Association (CBYRA). As a result, with a one design certification we didn't need to fuss with PHRF handicap ratings. The first to cross the line was the winner. It was great fun.