District 2  Regatta Report

Sat Oct 9th, 2010 through Sun Oct 10th, 2010

Winners of the Fall Shuster Regatta

Winners of the Fall Shuster Regatta

Fall Star Shuster_2010


Mongo go sailing the Shuster Regatta

The Shuster Regatta, the final Star regatta of the season hosted by Miles River Yacht Club also happened to be, technically, my first Star regatta at MYRC, and my second Star regatta. Technically, because I started two races with Karen out of MRYC in the spring regatta, but it was blowing and we opted out of both races; I think it was something about valuing her rig and not trusting green crew. You just canít call that a regatta. I think Karen and I made up for that unimpressive showing by placing 3-1-2-1 in the four races run on Saturday. Iím genuinely grateful that Karen gave me the chance to crew for her in the regatta Ė Iíve been begging for crew spots all year, guys! We had a lot of luck, and thankfully much of it was good as proven by our results.

I understand the committee recorded the wind as generally coming from the northwest around 340 degrees, varying from 320 to 28 degrees true. Although the water was glass while boats were launching Saturday morning, eventually the wind did beat the forecast, being at or above 8 knots all day and often around 10-12 knots. I can tell you that I was hiked out most of the day on Saturday and it was rare that I was in the boat on the upwind legs. Iím a little too big to hike out in truly light air - at least not over the windward side.

If it werenít for the green crew wrapping the jib around the forestay in Race 1 like a neglected spinnaker, we would have been fighting for 1st in all four races Ė Karen will tell you I didnít wrap the jib, I just destroyed it. Mongo go sailing. My jib art necessitated a long delay while we reached away from the course, to give me time to (not so leisurely)unwrap the spinnakerÖ I mean, jib. Regardless of the great jib debacle, race one was generally pretty rough, especially on the skipper, having to call just about every adjustment in the rig on every jibe and some tacks. We managed good upwind speed on each leg to recover 2 or 3 positions after the aforementioned jib debacle, and held out own on the downwind legs. By the end of Leg 1, race 1, I was starting to get that clue and we started to be able to focus a little less on rig tweaking and more on tactics.

Race 2 was my first win on a Star boat Ė or any one design boat, for that matter Ė and I was a little too elated to really get details. We won. I think at some point I realized my job was a play-by-play commentary for the skipper which devolved into ďdonít worry about it just do your thing and letís finish as soon as possibleĒ once I realized we were in the lead.

Race 3 saw us consulting on the Racing Rules of Sailing with other skippers Ė and crew Ėand recover a 2nd place finish from Don at the finish line on port-starboard rights. I like screaming starboard as much as the next guy, but I think some folks take things a little personal out there. Note Iím sidestepping the rules issue because I am not the expert. Letís just say we disentangled ourselves and passed said consultant/consultee (sorry, Will) and ran off to find Don, on whom we got to ďrequestĒ Starboard rights and take second over the line as they lost precious seconds to jibe away. Race 3 was also memorable as we seemed not to be able to find the final gear downwind and Chuck Wiley found some kind of afterburners on Elusive, passing us with extreme prejudice to the finish.

Race 4 was exciting for us as we managed to fend off other boats, including Chuck, to the finish by, I think around a 20 second lead. We had this lead earlier in the race but starting losing it as Chuck found that last gear downwind again. Fortunately Karen had a good handle on strategy and we generally found ourselves benefiting from her choice on which side of the course to race on. It seems we found ourselves crossing tacks with the fleet on most upwind legs initially, with course choice and upwind speed giving us a position or two each time we went to windward. On the final upwind leg as we approached the finish, my narration probably became incoherent, and I recall suggesting we tack over to starboard to stay between the fleet and the finish. Karen wisely Ė or cruelly Ė chose to hold port tack for a bit longer to maintain better speed and widen the lead.

Sorry I donít remember all those play-by-plays I was narrating for Karen throughout the race; I think I was having a little too much fun and living a little too in-the-moment to record much detail. Thanks to Marshall and all the volunteers (I understand racers only outnumbered volunteers by 1 or 2 bodies). I think everyone had a great time, and I know the racing on Saturday was a lot of fun. Of course Iím biased, and no, I donít want to talk about not racing on Sunday. Iíd have rather raced Sunday, but there was no wind. In fact, there was so little wind we just rolled up the main to stop it from driving us crazy as it flogged incessantly. Clearly the race committee felt the same way and ever so wisely cancelled racing.

I believe everyone enjoyed seeing Mrs. Wiley present her daughter with the trophy donated in honor of their father and grandfather. Iím not sure itís appropriate to make your mother cry after a certain age, but it was touching. Now, I havenít seen a lot of sailing trophies, but the first place trophy was pretty grand! Youíll see in the picture me trying to lean closer to it. Hey, itís not every day I get my picture taken for winning something - I wanted to be seen with the big trophy! Walking away from a regatta with my first sailing trophies (2!) was a great way to end the weekend, and I sincerely hope to do a lot more Star racing in the future. Hands down some of the best racing Iíve been involved with.

Written by Mongo AKA Matt Joyce

Place Boat Skipper Crew Sail #: Fleet 1 2 3 4 Total
1 CoverGirl   Karen Wiley Alt     7786   MES   3.0 1.0 2.0 1.0 4
2 Elusive   Chuck Wiley     7785   MES   2.0 4.0 1.0 3.0 6
3 Starstruck   Donald Elliott     7568   MES   1.0 2.0 3.0 6.0 6.0001
4 Lucky   Will Murdoch     7102   MES   5.0 3.0 5.0 4.0 12
5 Mamie   Matt Cartwright     7938   LG   4.0 5.0 4.0 7.0 13
6 7497   Kris Wilson     7497   AN   6.0 6.0 6.0 5.0 17
7 Locus   Jim Ryan     8000   MES   9.0 [DNS] 9.0 [DNS] 9.0 [DNS] 2.0 20
8 Wus N Pus   Rowan Perkins     7182   MES   9.0 [DNF] 9.0 [DNS] 9.0 [DNS] 9.0 [DNS] 27

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