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post #174 of Old 05-13-2019
Jeff_H's Avatar
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Location: Annapolis, Md
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Re: 2019 Sailing Season on the Chesapeake

What a weekend on the Chesapeake. I ended up sailing double-handed in the Spring Race to Oxford in CHESSS Class(Chesapeake Short-handed Sailing Society). CHESSS had the second largest number of boats entered in the race. CHESSS Class was won by the ‘Narrow Escape’, a Dragonfly 25 Trimaran Garner Bennett and I pulled a second place on ‘Synergy’. Probably the most impressive performance of the day was John Zseleczky, (a SailNet member) who single-handed his Pearson 30, “Old Blue’ to a third place finish correcting out less than 17 minutes behind the class winner. CHESSS Commodore Rich Acuti (Ajax on SailNet) and his bride took fourth on his new to him Tartan 33, 'Alacrity'.

The race itself was marvelous sailing, with a long spinnaker run between the start and the first turning mark (green '7' near Sharps Island) in 8 to 12 knots of wind with a few higher gusts of the day. From there it was a series of very fast close reaches and beats to the finish. I have gotten my boat re-rated for a 3 seconds a mile credit for a 110% genoa as my largest racing headsail (rather than the prior rating with a 155%). I was extremely pleased with the way that worked out.

Before the race, there was speculation that the race would be a race within a race with the higher performance boats racing each other and the ‘good old boats’ (GOB’s) racing in a second tier. The high performance entries into the CHESSS fleet included the class winner “Narrow Escape”, the fifth place foiling Figaro 3, a well-prepared Seascape 27 and a couple Mini-Transat 6.50’s. The GOB crews got to enjoy the spectacle of the current generation boats at speed, but in the end it turned out that GOB’s corrected out to 3 of the 5 top finishers.

Some of my most exciting moments of my day came on the way to the course before the start when a pawl shattered in the halyard winch and locked up the winch with the mainsail part way up. I cross-sheeted to another winch raised the mainsail. On the way to the start I was able to tear the winch down, clean out the debris, install a replacement pawl, and get it back up and running. Once done with that, I discovered that the boom vang shackle had failed after the pin had backed out. It was amazing how this heavy duty shackle had become so twisted. Fortunately I had a spare for that as well.

The trip home was chilly, wet and wild sailing in frequently heavy rain conditions and 15 to 20 knot breezes gusting into the low 20 knot range . After a couple jibes in the Tred Avon, the trip home was very fast a tack-less set of beam reaches and close reaches covering the 38 NM rhumbline (according to the GPS) in approximately 5 hours. (I cannot recall when a hot shower felt so good).


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Curmudgeon at Large- and rhinestone in the rough, sailing my Farr 11.6 on the Chesapeake Bay

Last edited by Jeff_H; 05-13-2019 at 10:28 AM.
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