Regatta Reports
Paul Cayard Report: Walker Cup and Midwinter Championship
Jan 15, 2017, 14:25

Walker Cup: Josh and I are back at it here in Miami in the Star Walker Cup and the Mid Winter Championship, four days of racing with up to 8 races in total. The first two days races will count for the Harry WAlker Memorial trophy.

Today’s racing was delayed while the race committee waited for the northwesterly wind to die and the southeasterly sea breeze to fill. This made the start of race 1 around 13:00 in 7 knots. The sea was flat and the maximum wind of the day was about 15:00 at 8 knots.

In the first race, Josh and I sailed pretty well and got up into the lead half way up the first leg. But a couple mistakes that kept us from winning. We finished 4th behind George Szabo in first, Charlie Buckingham in 2nd and Jack Jennings in 3rd. Buck senior was 5th.

In race 2, we were in a group of four boats called over early at the start down at the pin end of the line. The race committee took about 45 seconds to make the call (which they are not required to do but do regularly within 10-15 seconds). This put us and the other three boats about 1:30 behind the 26 boat fleet by the time we started. There was nothing remarkable about either race today so making a comeback in the second race was tough.

George Szabo leads the regatta with 6 points, Jack Jennings in 2nd with 7 and Augie Diaz, the current World Champion, in 3rd with 10 points. Josh and I got back to 15th in the 2nd race so we are in 10th overall with 19 points.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for light sea breeze to fill in the afternoon again. Saturday is supposed to be 14-16 knots from the south and Sunday is forecast to be 22-26 knots with gusts well over 30 knots from the north northwest.

Day Two:
Only one race was held today on Biscayne Bay and it was trying. The race committee postponed ashore again today waiting for wind and finally around 13:30 a feeble southeasterly breeze filled in at 5 knots. The wind died throughout the race to less than 1 knot at the finish.

Josh and I had a good start and sailed well to lead at the first mark. The wind was getting spotty on the first downwind leg and Augie Diaz found good pressure off the the right side and moved from 6th to a close second. Josh and I held the lead at the second windward mark with Augie and Arnie right in our tail but with a huge gap back to third by this time.

The wind dropped to 2 knots at this point. 3/4’s of the way down the final run to the finish, Augie gybed away, again to the right, and it was too light to cover (match). The little wind that there was then shifted 60 degrees in his favor and he won the race. Jack Jennings passed us as well. We were lucky to get 3rd as the wind kept shifting and we almost could not get to the finish line.

We finished 6th over all for the Walker Cup and are in that position going into the final two days of the Mid Winter Championship.

Tomorrow’s forecast is for 12-15 knots from the South Southwest. We should be able to get three races in. Sundays forecast is for strong wind. Unfortunately I have to leave tomorrow night so Sundays forecast doesn’t really matter to us.

Day Three:
Three races were scheduled but only two races were held today on Biscayne Bay before the wind pipped up ahead of a front that will hit Miami tonight.

The first race started at 10:30 in 12 knots from the southwest. Josh and I had great speed and got to the first mark second. Alberto Zanetti of Argentina, with Mark Stube crewing, led and held the lead down the first run. On the second windward leg, our speed showed through and we grabbed the lead and held on down the run to the finish. Charlie Buckingham, (little Buck) sailing with Austin “Hoss” Sperry, sailed very fast on the final run to pass Zanetti and finish second. George Szabo finished 4th, Jim Buckingham (Big Buck) finished 5th and Augie Diaz, the regatta leader, finished 6th. Things were tightening up.

In the second race we had a bad start and had one of our competitors tack on us right as we tacked to clear our air coming off the line. We then got tangled up with another boat in an unfortunate situation. We did a penalty turn. Needless to say, at this point we were deep.

Jack Jennings and Frthjof Kleen sailed fast the lead at the first mark. Diaz and Zanetti were up in the front with the Buck Family. We sailed fast and rounded the first mark about 10th and passed a couple more boats down the run and up the next windward leg to round the last mark 4th. Our speed upwind in the freshening breeze was excellent. Down the final run I stuck the bow into a couple of waves and filled the boat top with water. This ultimately cost us Big Buck and we finished 5th. Jennings and Kleen won the race with Zanetti second, Diaz third, Big Buck 4th, Josh and I 5th and Szabo 6th. The Race committee called it for the day as a couple of boats had lost their masts on the final lap.

We ended in 4th place. The last day, two or three races were scheduled but not sailed due to very strong wind.

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