Day one of the first event of the NYRA season began with twenty-four boats on two separate race courses. After lining up and waiting for the Cunningham Bridge to be opened, the procession of sailboats ranging from a J105 to a Sunfish began their trek out to the race course. Due to the light winds in the PHRF class, race one took almost four hours to be completed with a downwind leg that lasted as long as two and a half hours. Just a little painful as you can imagine!!! Near the end of the race, we had about two minutes until we would cross the finish line. Suddenly a forty foot cruising sailboat under motor power passed the daymark on the wrong side and blocked our finish. This caused us to tack two extra times to avoid a probable collision before we were able to cross the line. WTH?!?…was verbalized several times by various crew members…or maybe just one? The other sailboat was absolutely clueless that they had just motored in the middle of an ongoing regatta. In the end, all was right with the world after returning to the marina to view a spectacular sunset!
On day two, the start was delayed waiting for the winds to pick up as predicted. As the starting sequence began, the fleet was working on their starting strategy experiencing shifting winds. After the spinnaker class started, a course change was posted for the remaining fleet. We had to pay close attention to the course today which provided both port and starboard roundings at various marks. It was a race to the upwind mark with one of the boats in our fleet opting for a port tack heading off to the right of the course while we headed up the course in a different direction. It looked like it would be a close call to see who would make the mark first. After nearing one of the downwind marks, we could see one of our competitors up close and personal after they rounded the mark just ahead of us. Winds picked up throughout the race and continued to shift as we headed for the finish and were in second place. Mark Fields and the Race Committees did an incredible job hosting this event at BridgePointe Marina in New Bern NC. We plan on participating in more events throughout the season. Thanks to Michael and BoatBumz for the invitation for several Oak Hollow Sailing Club members to crew on “Why Knot II”.