The Atlantics were held this past Saturday. Because of the low turnout the class pulled out of the Sail Newport Regatta this year leaving the trophy without a regatta. The guys from Fleet 12, Eastern Long Island Sound, had promised to host a weekend so Sail Newport's loss was their gain, a big old trophy to present. The late season regatta was the brain storm of Cal Brouwer and Tom Welsh who normally sail out of the Thames Yacht Club. They worked a deal with the Niantic Bay Yacht Club to use their facilities, namely their hoist, in order to run the event.
Josh and I were on the fence about going to this event. Hard to schedule a weekend regatta when the weather could be anything from great to, well, very cold rain. The numbers were looking a bit grim so Josh made the call to rightly support Fleet 12 as they have for us in the past and attend the event which was changed from a two day to a one day event. In the end there were five boats, including us and the newly married Ross Weene and Holly Kindl from the Newport fleet. Josh decided to use his "newer" boat, US Blues
. We had not sailed her in two years so we thought it a good time to check her out and see how she was doing.
The drive from Rhode Island was painless and we found our way to the beach cottage town of Niantic. People were putting their boats together and we got to work putting US Blues
together while the Weene's showed up. After a bit of a late start the hosts provided us with sandwiches, chowder and our choice of water, soda or beer. Afterwards we got the boats in and headed out to the course, a short sail into the bay.
Conditions were light but mostly stable. Five windward-leeward races were run. Before the first start we watched the "unknowns" sailing around and noticed that #525, Reprise
, with Bobby and Casey Cullen looked good going through the water. Knowing Ross quite well we decided to concentrate on him. Most starts found us tied at the hip where we tried to get the advantage. If he tacked, we tacked. It was kind of fun in that we had a lot of down-speed, boat handling situations where trim and course could mean winning or losing. We held our own and managed to get win four of five races. The good news for the Fleet 12 members is that they are sailing pretty well. The race we lost was to the Cullens on Reprise
. We were in touch with them during the beat and next time we looked around they were leading around the windward mark. All the boats were mixing it up pretty well with Jack and John Erhard on Deja Vu
and Tom and Bob Welsh on Riff Raff
were never far off the pace. (yes, it was a bit of a family affair down there) Ross and Holly had to work hard to get through some of those guys as did we.
It was certainly interesting sailing the "old girl" again. Coming from the Screaming Pelican
Josh and I both felt a bit slow on the US Blues
. The day after racing we started a work list via email and it is already up to 20 items. Some read like "move traveler cleat", some are a lot more drastic. It is a good boat, though, and moves fast enough apparently. Don't forget, she'd for sale!
In the end I think the Atlantics were a great success. We felt very welcome by Fleet 12 and the Niantic Bay Yacht Club. The commute was easy, the waters and wind were ideal for mid-October. The only way it could have been better is if we had more boats. I really hope this venue carries on in future years and it would be great to see numbers build in years to come. Thanks to Cal Bouwer and Tom Welsh for living up to their promises and making it happen. Thanks to those who did participate. As always thanks to Josh Hill for the existence of the Screaming Pelican/US Blues racing program.
Mark Van Note/Josh Hill - US Blues - 6 points
Ross Weene/Holly Kindl - The Good Foot - 11 points
Bobby Cullen/Casey Cullen - Reprise - 16 points
Jack Erhard/John Erhard - deja vu - 21 points
Tom Welsh / Bob Welsh - Riff Raff - 21 points
I think I am doing some kind of go-fast ritualistic dance here.