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2011 New England Masters PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 20:40

Ben Richardson demonstrated with his victory why he is one of the best all-round sailors, winning heavy-air regattas, like the recent Masters Worlds in San Francisco, and light-air regattas, like this one.
Many of the sailors making their way to Newport, RI on Friday may have been tempted to turn around, and some probably did, in the soggy weather they encountered on the road. The weather forecast for the weekend wasn’t much encouraging either. Yet, 45 hardy sailors were not deterred. They came from all six New England states, plus two from New York state, two from Toronto, and one from Montreal.

Saturday’s early morning rain gave way to fog, thick enough to obscure the opposite shore of the Sakonnet River, which is really an arm of the Atlantic. After a 1/2-hour postponement on shore, the fog had lifted enough to reveal the complete bay, and the fleet was sent out for the first race in a light S breeze of 8-6 knots on a windward-leeward twice around course with start and finish ¼ up from the leeward gate. Then, as the boats finished, the fog started to close in again, forcing a ½-hour delay in the start of the second race. When the fog had lifted somewhat, the second race was started, even though the windward and leeward marks were still obscured. It was a case of wishful thinking on the race committee’s part, prompted by the knowledge that Sunday’s weather forecast called for virtually no wind. With that in mind, the intention had been to get as many races in on Saturday as possible. As it turned out, the fog did the opposite of the expected and thickened up again half-way through the race, as the wind got lighter, started to back 20˚. Those with a compass had an advantage over those without one. With no hope for a weather improvement, the RC called it a day.

Sunday dawned with a cloudy sky and clear visibility, but no wind. After a 1-hour postponement on shore, a light NE breeze materialized, building to 5 knots, as forecasted, and the fleet was sent out for the first and, as it turned out, only race of the day. The course configuration was the same as the day before. True to forecast, the wind got lighter as the race progressed and dissipated into nothing after everybody had finished. There seemed to be no hope for the sea breeze to develop before the deadline of 3 p.m., and the RC sent everybody in for an early prize-giving and door-prize draw.

For a detailed analysis of the regatta from a sailor’s perspective, see Marc Jacobi’s blog.

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Last Updated on Monday, 03 October 2011 21:30
 

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