The Charlotte Harbor regatta is a three day event running Friday through Sunday and the regatta consistently attracts a strong Hobie 16 and Weta fleet as well as a spin boat fleet. Friday started off chilly with the breeze in the high teens to low twenties. The race committee put up the postponement but that didn’t keep the Hobie 16’s and Ken Marshack on the beach, so much for a postponement. My skipper and I were moving a bit slow and it was hard to find the motivation to get cold and wet but the shame got the better of us and we headed out to the course. We were a bit tardy so we didn’t make the first race and Mr. Ken sailed the course unencumbered by the distraction of other boats allowing him to sail a perfect race to a solid bullet. Even though it was a bit chilly the conditions were ideal especially for an F18. We got 3 more races giving us a 4 race day, perfect! The best part of the day was sitting in the Marshack’ s RV recounting the day giving everyone a good laugh at each other’s “brilliant” moments.
Day 2 brought gray skies and light breezes and the youth teams from Sarasota joined the fleet. Everyone pushed off the beach and made it the course to be greeted by fading southeasterly. Ken Marshack worked it best scoring a bullet in the F18 fleet and the youth team on the F16 made all the right moves and crushed the first race, the rest of the fleet struggled to finish as the wind went to near zero. Once the fleet finished the race we went into postponement for about an hour and waited for the forecast 180 degree shift with new pressure. The shift came in right on the schedule but the bad news it came with rain. The second race started in a light rain and a building breeze going right, by the second downwind we were pretty much on a reach heading for the finish line knocking out the race in about 20 minutes. There was a short postpone while the RC reset the course for the new pressure and right shift. The last race of the day started in a building breeze with increasing rain. The rain made finding the top and bottom marks a challenge and was fun wrinkle. To be honest the best part of the day was the ride in, we were in a driving rain with breeze in the upper teens. We got quite lost and when we could finally see shore again we discovered we had been sailing away from the landing and we were sailing away from the landing in a hurry! The good news is we brought some company with us so we didn’t get lonely. Once on shore we packed the boat and made a beeline a hot shower, it’s the first time I’ve jumped in the shower with every pierce of gear on and it felt soooooo good! Once our body temperature was restored to normal we headed to the hotel bar where we met up with Jeff Rehm and spent the evening shooting the breeze.
Day 3 and it was breeze on! Many teams called it a weekend and packed up leaving us with about 60% of the fleet on the course for the first race. Jeff Rehm lost his jib halyard before the first race and called it a day. We only sailed 2 races on Sunday and I think most if not all the teams were ok with the call. It was windy and quite chilly.
Charlotte Harbor did another outstanding job on and off the water and we thank them for inviting us to their wet part of the world.