Friday, March 1, 2019

2019 CMBA Mid-Winter Regatta

It's late February.  Must be time to pack up the boats and head down I-95 towards Gulfport, Florida for the Classic Moth Boat Association's Mid-Winter Regatta.  The older I get, the longer it takes me to pack up and get to the point where I'm confident that I've packed all the important stuff and not, for example, forgetting a rudder or boom or some other critical component for one of the boats.  It's roughly a thousand miles from home to Gulfport Yacht Club so making lists and checking them over and over is not a trivial pursuit. I'm envious of guys who have just one boat to pack!

The weather forecast for Gulfport called for sunny skies, temps in the upper 70s and winds of perhaps upper single digits on Saturday and lower double digits on Sunday.  Your basic Chamber of Commerce weather forecast.  Meanwhile, up in Maryland, it snowed a day before we made our Gran Depart.  That, of course, made the packing up just that tad more tedious.  But in the end the job got done, all the important stuff was accounted for, and so diaristson and I left Maryland at 3:50am the Thursday before the regatta weekend.

My goal in such an early departure time is to pick my way past Washington, DC and get south of Richmond, Virginia before morning rush hour traffic chokes the highways.  That strategy has worked in previous trips and worked again this time.

When we arrived at the club on Friday morning the temp was already hot and climbing towards 80 degrees--wonderful if one was under a shady porch with an appropriate beverage.  We were unloading and  rigging boats in the  hot sun!  Also, the wind forecast was changing by the  hour.  Saturday's once benign forecast now featured winds in the upper teens to low  twenties with  gusts higher.  None of this easing into your regatta, old man.  No sir, this was an in your face, launching off the lee shore kinda regatta.

What follows is a photo collage of the boats and people that made the trip and made up this year's event.  Len Parker took most of the pix.  The rest are via Amy Linton and your old diarist.

Mike Parsons digs in the bow of his Mistral at the weather mark.

Rutledge Young must have stuck a copy of the Wall Street Journal on his leeward side tank.  The cockpit sole of a Europe just isn't that interesting.

Mike Parsons rounds the mark ahead of a gaggle of boats.

Same mark a few seconds later.

Diaristson Erik in Ooh La La, Nr 69.

Your old diarist in Femme Fatale,  Nr 151.

Although it isn't obvious in this photo, Saturday's racing offered up stiff winds and a goodly chop which caused many to go for a swim.

Jeff Linton in Mousetrap.

Mark Saunders in Spider.

Erik inside of Rutledge Young's Nr 138.

At least the boat's pretty.

Bill Boyle in his home built Euro.

Larry Suter, Europe.

Joe Bousquet.  Swiss Moth.

Chandler Owen arrived at the club on Friday with this old Shelley which a friend had found as a "give away" on Craigslist and after a long session of "boat building" in the club yard, produced a creditable racer which proved very competitive.

Low boom.

Last year's Gen I winner Lewis Hay.

Randall Stoney borrowed a boat and became this year's 3rd place winner in Gen I .

Woody Kapp.

Bill had several leaks to deal with during the regatta.

You can almost feel the breeze.

Despite his problems, Bill Boyle managed a series of good starts only to drop back as the race went on.

As the day progressed many skippers went for a swim.  Here we see Chandler struggling with his borrowed yacht.

He did eventually right the boat but he had to sweat up on his bow stay after turtling.  The winds were strong enough (20 knots sustained with gusts a good bit stronger) that I decided to retire after the third of five races on Saturday.  This didn't do my score any good but I just didn't feel like I had control over the boat, especially downwind.  The last thing I wanted was to hit another boat and cause damage or injury to a fellow competitor.

A better view of the Shelley.  The fog reveals that this photo was taken on Sunday rather than Saturday.

Good thing that Erik had a bright orange cap!

During the Sunday races a random guy in a Sunfish joined us uninvited.  He had the nasty habit of camping on my air!

I eventually was able to extend away from his wind shadow but the damage was done.

 Here we see Woody trying to figure out where the marks are.

Our RC boat.  One can just make out the condos on the far shore.

John Z. Mistral.

Larry Suter, Nr 3, with the odd scalloped shaped leach after he cut down an old Europe sail to CMBA specs.  His sail did measure in legally.  Opinions are divided over the esthetics of this sail but in Larry's hands it was very effective.

Randall Stoney

Note the open transom on Chandler's Shelley.  The boat had a false bottom and self-draining cockpit.  Chandler later told me that the first big wave that washed over the bow swept his sponge and bottle bottle straight out the transom holes!

Mister Sunfish.  Some people's children have no manners.  I've encountered jet skiers with more couth and refinement.

I can't  say that I  missed him once he left.

Mike Parsons, eventual third place in Gen II.

Lewis Hay

Jeff rounding without another Moth in sight.

What? That sunfish again!  I thought he'd gone!

Another look at Larry's sail.

The Shelley digs in.

Fog.  The RC postponed for an hour in the morning.  Regrettably Erik and I launched early and didn't get the memo.  After a half hour's time a mark boat came out to tell us but I didn't feel like going all the way back to the  beach only to arrive in time to relaunch.  We kept our eyes peeled and ears open for  power boats.  Luckily we had no close encounters.

The fog lifted a bit and racing commenced. Here Jeff leads the parade to the gybe mark.

Mark Saunders rounds outside of Larry's Europe.

Your old diarist momentarily leads a group of Gen I boats.

Sun. Finally.

After a total of ten races it was time to go in.

Once again Mike Kasper (blue shirt, tan hat) headed a very capable race committee. Photos of the awards were taken by (I think) Amy Linton.

The usual suspects (left and nearest the camera, diaristwoman, clockwise: your old diarist, Beth Saunders diaristson, diaristdaughter, and Joe Bousquet.

The awards: Randall Stoney receives his 3rd place Gen I award.

Mike Parson was 3rd in Gen II

Our new guy, Chandler Owen seems happy with his well deserved 2nd place in Gen I.

Larry Suter crushed everyone in Gen I.  He discarded a 1st place!  Sadly, both members of L'equipe Albaugh finished well off the podium this time but hope springs eternal. 

John Z took 2nd in Gen II

Barb and Mike Parsons.  It's hard to find a picture of this twosome without a glass in hand!

Larry Suter (left) in deep discussion with overall winner Jeff Linton (center) and Mark Saunders (right).

Len Parker, aka IoW Len, (left) took most of the photos seen in this post while slaving away on Amy Linton's mark boat. Thanks Lennie!  Clockwise beyond Len are Amy Parker, diaristwoman, Len's daughter Nikki and an unknown pair of legs.

And so as the sun sinks slowly in the west we bid a fond adieu to Gulfport YC until next year! 

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